By Gail Peckelr-Dziki~Correspondent
The Silver Lake village Board voted unanimously to accept letters of intent from individuals interested in filing the village board seat left vacant by the resignation of Barb Ironside.
The letters must be received by the next board meeting, scheduled for Wednesday Dec. 18. The letters will be opened at the meeting.
Trustee Soti Wilber had put filling the vacant seat on the agenda for the Dec. 4 meeting. Trustee Pat Dunn made a motion to appoint Joy Corona. That motion was met with opposition from village president Sue Gerber.
Gerber complained that the village board had not agreed on a method to fill vacancies. Wilber pointed out that the last suggestion Gerber made, to take letters of intent as Paddock Lake has done, was agreed on.
Gerber ran afoul of board wishes when she wanted to chose the top three and put those up for vote. The board members wanted to see all the letters of intent.
Gerber said one reason she didn’t want to utilize that method again was that she believed some board members planned ahead to appoint Paul Snellen to a vacant seat.
“Both you (Pat Dunn) and Cindy Schwebke first said you had someone in mind,” Gerber said, “then as soon as Soti mentioned Snellen, you changed your mind. I thought that was odd. It seemed like a set up to me.”
The motion to appoint Corona failed with a four to one vote, Dunn the only yes. Wilber then made the motion to accept letters of intent by the next meeting to be opened at the board meeting passed.
No change in number of board meetings
During recent budget workshops, Gerber suggested that board meetings be cut to one regular and one committee meeting a month, rather than committee meetings and two board meetings.
In Silver Lake, board members are paid per meeting. It was mentioned at several meetings that fewer meetings would run longer and board members would work the same number off ours for less pay.
When the ordinance came up for a second reading at the Dec. 4 meeting, Wilber mentioned that while they could not change the flat annual amount Gerber receives as president, Gerber could return some to the village.
Previously Gerber stated that she is paid the same regardless of how many meetings she attends. She is paid $300 a month.
Gerber suggested that the suggestion go back to a committee meeting. When the item came up for a vote, it failed with Wilber, Snellen, Schwebke and Dunn voting no and Gerber the only yes vote.
During citizen comments, former village president and trustee Jeff Albrecht warned against cutting the number of meetings. “The neighboring villages have administrators,” he said, “and Silver Lake doesn’t. The board members here fill that position and work closely with day-to-day operations. You need that time together as a board to get things done.”