Silver Lake votes to talk to Salem about shared EMS/fire service; maybe more in future

silver-lake-VHSilver Lake will open negotiations with Salem about sharing fire and rescue services after action by the Silver Lake Village Board Wednesday.

Village President Sue Gerber was the only vote against the motion, which was presented by Trustee Barbara Ironside.

Ironside said she saw this as the first step in a series of possible explorations of shared services with Salem, which could include public works and other village functions.

“We owe the residents in the village for them to have the best they can for their tax dollars,” Ironside said. “We are not doing that. We are maintaining but we are not moving forward. It’s got nothing to do with personal feelings … it’s doing what we need to do to survive as a village.”

Ironside acknowledged that her aim is in part to try to rectify the contentious issue of fire and rescue services that has been dominating local government for almost two years.

Ironside said she contacted Salem officials about discussing shared services and found the reaction favorable as long as discussions were not held behind closed doors. Ironside said that was in reaction to recent negotiations between Silver Lake and Salem for providing emergency medical services that were conducted largely at the staff level on Salem’s part. Salem eventually backed out of providing the service after it reached the Town Board level.

After the meeting, Gerber said she voted against talking with Salem because she is concerned about the cost of sharing service with Salem.

“I can foresee a further cost … only because of what happened previously  when this was brought forth,” Gerber said. She cited an analysis done by Salem town Supervisor Dennis Faber that  showed at the per resident rate for rescue service only paid by Salem residents Silver Lake would pay  $64,911.60 a year; at the per resident rate for rescue service only paid by Paddock Lake Silver Lake would pay $77,459.20 a year; and at the per resident rate for rescue service only paid by Brighton residents Silver Lake would pay $42,409.90 a year. Brighton and Paddock Lake contract with Salem for fire and rescue services.

No time for a first meeting with Salem was set.



  1. Karen says:

    Gee, didn’t we just spend 2 years studying sharing with Salem. We got their answer…just as mentioned above…about $100,000 just to cover us for rescue. WHO were the Salem “officials” Ms. Ironside spoke with about this? The chairman, the fire chief? Was this done at a meeting of their board or behind some other closed door? What does she propose…a meeting of both village boards?

    Come on…we just had a committee “explore” this.

    She said it needs fixing, so she proposed giving our fire dept. better than a 10% raise? Guess it isn’t so broken after all if there is that much money to burn.

  2. It Takes a Village says:

    Maybe what needs to be looked at is Silver Lake rethinking being a Village. Bristol just became one, Somers is going to do it and Salem thought about it and said no.

    Being a Village is hard work and comes with it’s own set of rules. If Silver Lake can’t pay for what it takes to be a Village any more, then they can rescind being a Village and become part of Salem Township. Salem services already cover part of the lake and part of the northern end of Silver Lake so why not just give it up and fold the board.

    Think about it, do some number crunching and see if the tax money, redirected to the town will bring better services for less money overall.

  3. Bernard Punsley says:

    Karen……keep slamming the SLFD… and your Save Our Rescue Squad zealots banked on Mudslingin’ Sue to save you….wrong move. You conveniently refer to the 2 year “study”..and “committee to explore this”. You conveniently(and consistently) IGNORE mentioning what those recommendations were!!! The fact that a former SLRS member is spearheading the current move has just got to stick in your craw! Remember one thing…..SLFD did NOT “go after” SLRS. You and your band-aid bunnies have mounted a ruthless campaign to undermine the credibility of the Silver Lake Fire Department. They have stayed strong and resisted the mudslinging. I can hear the wailing coming from the squad building across the tracks. Time to get your yard signs back out. And turn up the “farkle factor”. Guess you and the “WE DON’T NEED PARAMEDICS IN SILVER LAKE” faction better start trying to influence the Salem Town Board. Looks like you failed miserably in Silver Lake. Speaking of “money to burn”…does the “non profit” SLRS have over $400,000 in their kitty, or don’t they. You have repeatedly “dodged” that question!!!! Stay tuned. Silver Lake, MOVING FORWARD.

  4. Matt says:

    As I see it, the only reason this is an issue is because Silver Lake rescue doesn’t have the necessary requirements for a certain EMS level. Why is no one telling SLED to get the proper equipment and training? Because it would raise their costs and those costs would be passed onto the residents?

  5. Bernard Punsley says:

    One VERY IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION…..the original proposal between Silver Lake and Salem called for NO CHARGE to the village of Silver Lake for Salem providing PARAMEDIC level service. Let me repeat that NO CHARGE!!! Salem was going to keep the transport/care ambulance fees, and their taxpayers would not be assessed for building a new fire station at Highway 50 & B in the future. It was a “win/win” proposal for all taxpayers in Salem and Silver Lake. To quote the late Paul Harvey..we all know ” the rest of the story”. Mudslingin’ Sue, with an able assist from Colleen, were able to convince Dennis this was a “bad deal”.
    The dollar signs started flowing, and no matter how this turns out, Silver Lake’s
    golden opportunity to provide PARAMEDIC level service at NO CHARGE went right out the window! “Stupid is as stupid does”??? So Colleen, Dean, Oh Danny Boy, et al now have their work cut out for them. Let the “lobbying” begin. Difference this time around? Silver Lake Village Board is “on board”. With the potential for shared municipal services down the road(public works, law enforcement, etc.)this endeavor could prove to be a “tax relief” bonanza for BOTH communities. The
    “cash cow” is in the ambulance transport/care fees. Salem realized that last time around….one of the key issues to all those claiming fees charged to Silver Lake don’t match those charged to Paddock Lake, Brighton, etc…….Silver Lake is providing FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONSE COVERAGE. Make sure you subtract those figures when you are punching your calculator keys!!! What’s a new fire station going to cost Salem…..$1 million?? More? ZERO if they hook up with Silver Lake!!!! Dispute that FACT! Bernard is not “feeling the love” here! And for all the “bashing” I sometimes(ok, oftentimes) do to the Silver Lake Board, I must commend them for their foresight on this issue. They have not let emotion rule their decision. Shortly after her ‘inauguration”(anybody remember the coup that SLRS ran to oust the previous president?), I noted that Mudslingin’ Sue was a “lame duck” president, with little or no control over her board. Anybody care to dispute THAT observation? Time for her to put her emotions and political favoritism aside and do what the rest of the board has recognized is right for the citizens.

  6. Andrew says:

    Karen, there shouldn’t have been a 10% raise to the dept. It should have only been an increase for the four members that increased their certifications. 2 received their FF1 certs and 2 received their EMT licenses. No other raises were asked for.. Any questions contact me….

  7. Bernard Punsley says:

    Let me get this straight..the Silver Lake Firefighters, via their Association, sponsor various event to raise money. That money is then used to purchase various equipment for the fire department, funds that taxpayers do not have to budget for. But Sue, Colleen, Roger, et al think that is illegal and want it to stop.
    Their continued assault on the SLFD should be most disconcerting to the firefighters. To say nothing of their fellow taxpayers who will now be faced with budgeting for items the firefighters previously paid for via their Association(eg. turnout gear, breathing apparatus, etc.) Guess Roger didn’t have any trouble tapping that Association money for fire department use when he was village president. Now he’s got a vendetta or grudge against the firefighters. Check out the ad for Bristol Firefighters Association “Fill The Brat” fundraiser on the west of the i web site. Wonder what Attorney Gray would have to say about that. Time for a new village attorney(who is funded by village taxes, by the way!). If the “3 Muskeeters” are so concerned about funds….why haven’t they asked SLRS if they have $400,000+ in their coffers? Should be able to buy a LOT of Save Our Squad yard signs with that coinage!
    Every nail that they try to pound into fire’s coffin just brings the reality of Salem Fire & Rescue absorbing SLFD and providing PARAMEDIC level services to our village that much closer! We were moving in the right direction, we suffered a little bit of a ‘hitch’, we are back towards moving this village back in the right direction. I applaud the board for their courage to stand up for their convictions and do what is right for their constituents. If SLRS wants to run another “coup” come election time, let ’em try. Didn’t work out too well last time around!!

  8. Bernard Punsley says:

    It appears that Mudslingin’ Sue and her “ostrich approach” to dealing with issues(stick my head in the sand and hope they go away) has finally caught up with her. The “issues” “across the tracks” in the rescue squad building are starting to bubble over……..some of those folks are “foaming at the mouth”……more yard signs are needed!!!!! Shortly after her “inauguration”(anybody remember the “coup” SLRS ran to oust former board members?) I observed that she was a lame duck president with virtually no control over her board. Anybody care to dispute that observation with me now? I hope the board has taken a pro-active approach and budgeted for LOTS of gavels….she’s gonna be pounding those gavels into oblivion. Reminds me of the story “the emperor has no clothes on”. Salem Town Board and Silver Lake Village Board working together in a collaborative effort should be able to resolve the issues to the satisfaction of both respective government entities. There has been a breath of fresh air filtering through the Silver Lake Village Board…it is quite refreshing!

  9. Rhonda says:

    Bernard, you are a disgrace to this village. The hatred you spew on these websites is disgusting. As a former village President, BERNARD aka Jeff Albrecht, I hope you never have a hand in politics again. This whole mess was created, started, and continues to have your name written all over it. You have ripped a village apart. Are you happy? As someone who hopes to raise a family in this village, I might just run the other way if you continue to destroy every inch of what this village is. The trustees “appointed” to the board have no regard for what the citizens want. They flock together like birds of a feather and very few times have I seen NEUTRALITY come from any of them. It really is a shame that vendettas are preventing anyone from working together. Perhaps the President would have less of a lame duck session if the VOTERS actually had a say in who was ON THE BOARD!!!!!!!!!!!! Correct me if I’m wrong, but the CURRENT board members (who are your pals) totally disregarded the ballot when they chose to appoint someone who came in LAST on the ballot during elections? How is that the will of the people? Seems to me like they enjoy doing whatever they want to spite people because they are the “majority”.

    1. Rhonda and everyone else following this and related comment threads: Since we don’t require real names for comments, we have no proof that commenter Bernard Punsley is the person you assert he is.

  10. Bernard Punsley says:

    Rhonda….You accuse me of “spewing hatred” and then you just open the floodgates and let the venom flow out of you!! Wow!!! You proceed to rip the village board to pieces…..something you and your “We Don’t Need Paramedics in Silver Lake” zealots have lots of practice on when you are rippng on fire.Perhaps you never heard the statement ‘never bring a knife to a gunfight”. You are in the “big leagues” now. Put the peanut butter knife down, shaking hands and all. You seem to confuse my vision of the future for our fine village, with a “vendetta”. Sorry sister, not in my nature. I love this vilage too much to jeopardize the citizenry via the vendetta process. So you keep pounding on the village board members with your drivel…let me know how that works out for you. Bernard

  11. Rhonda says:

    Bernard, why don’t you take a look at your vehicle…the one with righwing license plates and Republican bumper stickers plastered all over it and then tell me what zealot means again ?? …….. And honestly, I don’t really need to spend my time dealing with fanatics so our conversations are over. I just think it’s sad that you need to publicly via social media lowball fellow citizens and board members, yourself being a former one. SHAME ON YOU !!

  12. Bernard Punsley says:

    Rhonda…..”our conversation are over”? Reminds me of the old Carpenter’s song..”we’ve only just begun”………….I am “lowballing” board members…have you read your recent post where you do a pretty good job of lambasting them? You accuse me of “needing” publicity via social media,,,,let’s say you are correct.I think that wagging finger would have to point right back at yourself, since you used the same West of the I media website that I have availed myself to. And since you are THROUGH with me, I guess I won’t be reading a reply from you, will I. I was not aware that “Republican bumper stickers” were not in vogue in Silver Lake. Since when did this village become the heart throb of the Democratic Party? Since you will no longer be “wasting your time” reading these posts, you can spend that time monitoring license plates and bumper stickers in the village. I’ll continue to advocate for TRUTH, JUSTICE,and the AMERICAN WAY, to the continued chagrin of many, your company included.While I will miss you brutal honesty, I won’t miss the hypocrisy. I gotta admit, I’m just not feelin’ the love here…..bye-bye.

  13. Bernard Punsley says:

    I think It Takes A Village has a keen insight into the future of Silver Lake. We are doing all we can to try and stay afloat as a village, and we just seem to keep slipping a little farther behind each day. I think our village board has realized some of the handicaps they are forced to deal with in running the operation, and the pending talks with Salem are both prudent and needed. I think the future of our village lies in the outcome of the talks with Salem. While we do have some amenities to offer, they have many more resources than we do. While I share our proud village heritage, perhaps the time has come to revert to town status and be absorbed by Salem. Sharing Fire & Rescue services is definitely a step in the right direction, and it appears both boards are ready to sit down in a professional manner to discuss options. That is downright refreshing!

  14. Bernard Punsley says:

    “the walrus was Paul’……………

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