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Small Village, Big Government: Salem Lakes Residents Fight Back

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Salem Lakes Village Hall
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Kenosha County Eye has had no fewer than a dozen people contact us with some concerning behavior in the Village of Salem Lakes. On February 14, 2017, Salem Lakes became a village, which included the Town of Salem and Silver Lake, as well as the communities of Trevor, Wilmot, and Camp Lake. The Village has only 14,000 people who lay their heads down every night, but tales of bad government seem to be largely ignored by the elected leaders. Residents have told KCE the Village is weaponizing the government to attack residents and political opponents.

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Salem Lakes Fire Chief James Lejcar and Fire Inspector Steve Ptaszynski
(Photos by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

In most cases, the Village of Salem Lakes is alleged to be using the Village’s Fire Chief, James Lejcar and Fire Inspector Steve Ptaszynski, to use their great authority to attack business owners. Many of the people we heard from are too scared to go on the record, but a handful of them retained an attorney to fight back. We attended a meeting on January 9, 2023 and saw more than 100 residents at the meeting. Attorney Mike McTernan was addressing the board. He spoke about several of his clients’ grievances with the Village, most involving the fire department. The board members were admittedly ignorant to the responsibilities of the board and/or the fire commission. They scheduled a special joint meeting of the commission and board, that was to take place on January 23, 2023, to determine who had authority over the fire department misconduct.

We contacted Attorney Mike McTernan, a Kenosha-based lawyer of more than 25 years who specializes in real estate and business litigation. He granted us an interview after getting permission from his clients.

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Attorney Mike McTernan (Left) Addressing Salem Lakes Board
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)
Kenosha County Fair Bleacher Upgrade, October, 2022

Kenosha County Fair

The Kenosha County Fair recently underwent a major project to install new bleachers to accommodate about 5,000 people. The $700,000 project almost didn’t happen. The Fair had all the approvals and permits needed to build the bleachers. The first step? Dozens of concrete trucks. It took four months for the contractors to line up enough trucks for the project. Just days before the pour Fire Chief James Lejcar and Fire Inspector Steve Ptaszynski drove out to the fairgrounds and put a “stop order” on the project. They apparently invented a fire code that required the enormous project to be moved. McTernan called a state inspector who came down to Kenosha County and overruled the Village. At last year’s Fair, Fire Chief James Lejcar and Fire Inspector Steve Ptaszynski were seen going from vendor to vendor looking for violations and harassing small business owners. They thought they found a faulty propane tank and shut down the vendor. The tank was taken to VAN’s Gas where it was learned there was nothing wrong with the tank. The vendor travels around the region and knows the safety requirements well.

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Auto Truck Equipment & Repair / Davis Dunn Transportation

Auto Truck Equipment & Repair / Davis Dunn Transportation

Steve Dunn, owner and operator of Auto Truck Equipment & Repair and Davis Dunn Transportation made a decision to expand the business, which has been in operation in the Village of Salem Lakes since 2003. He wanted to remodel the building, making it bigger and nicer. He hired an architect and obtained all necessary permits for the remodel in 2019. The property is zoned M1 heavy industry, it’s the highest industry zoning that exists in Salem Lakes. The Village asked Mr. Dunn for a favor. They asked for a small strip of his land, and in exchange gave him a small strip of unusable forest land. Dunn says he wanted to cooperate with the village and be a good neighbor. Since the newly-formed village didn’t know how to properly do the land swap, it took an outrageous amount of time to make it legal, something that Dunn did as a favor. Again, after all permits issued, Fire Chief James Lejcar and Fire Inspector Steve Ptaszynski came in and demanded hundreds of thousands of dollars in changes. The delays turned a $32,000 fence project into a $65,000 fence project. Dunn has done three flammability studies at the demand of the fire department. Again, says McTernan, the fire department made up rules about needing room to get large fire trucks on all four sides of the building, a requirement that doesn’t exist. “The village keeps moving the goal lines,” said Dunn. “The Village refuses to tell me or my attorney, in writing, what I need to do to be in compliance. Instead, I keep getting new demands that cost thousands of dollars.” The Village also asked Dunn to move expensive, 80 amp wiring twice inside the business.

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Village Administrator and Assistant Fire Chief, Mike Murdock
(Cell Phone Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Village Administrator Mike Murdock

Village Administrator Mike Murdock who is also somehow the Village’s Assistant Fire Chief, apparently rules with an iron fist. KCE obtained many emails from Murdock. It’s easy to now see why the fire department is going after some of these businesses and individuals. In a February 2, 2022 email, Murdock authored a “hit list” of sorts, outlying the business he allegedly wants to shut down. Eight business appear on his list. In a January 10, 2020 email, Murdock makes his opinion of Dunn painfully obvious in an email to the entire board saying: “I have zero tolerance for dishonesty and will not tolerate his lies and bullshit any more.”

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In a February 23, 2022 email he says “We will up our enforcement and continue up to and including, fines, citations,  shutting this business down..no matter what these people tell you they are not good business owners. They have no respect for the safety and well being for their employees or customers. The time they are spending calling a couple of you would be better served cleaning up their junk. These people are not your friends no matter how nice they to you. They are scammers that have invaded our community and they will follow the rules that you have put in place to make Salem lakes a safer place or they will be shut down.

Village President Diann Tesar
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

KCE reached out to Village President Diann Tesar who has known about these unprofessional emails and selective fire code enforcement for many years. We asked her about Murdock’s “hit list” and unprofessional emails and she responded: “I don’t feel it would be proper of me to address anything, appropriate or inappropriate regarding the administrator with anyone other than the village board and/or the administrator himself.” Only Tesar and Trustee Ron Gandt would talk with KCE. Each and every other trustee ignored our repeated requests for comment.

Wilmot Stage Stop

Another business on the Village’s “hit list” is the Wilmot Stage Stop. The 174 year-old restaurant has a beautiful charcoal grill and chimney that were put in about 50-70 years ago. The proper permits were pulled and the stove has been signed off on by experts. According to Attorney McTernan, the US and State of Wisconsin Constitution protect business owners like Chad Cantwell, who owns Stage Stop, from having their property taken from them. That’s exactly what is happening according to McTernan. The fire department is ignoring the grandfather doctrine and insisting that Stage Stop be brought up to current code, as opposed to the code at the time the building was built. Murdock, wants to shut down the Stage Stop so bad, that he told the Village Board that Cantwell’s insurance carrier dropped him from coverage. Cantwell then provided a letter from an executive at his insurance company that indicated that Cantwell has never lost coverage.

Insurance

The Village has now hired a third party “consultant” called Fire Safety Consultants, Inc. (FSCI) out of Illinois to perform their inspections. This seemingly is a way for a third party private company to deny applications.

McTernan says that the reports that FSCI are generating are ambiguous and outrageous. “How is my client, or any other applicant supposed to interpret this language?”

Bender’s Tavern

On July 30, 2022, a 39-year-old Genoa City woman was driving drunk and crashed into a telephone pole outside of Bender’s Tavern. The crash, her third OWI, bent the tavern’s vertical service conduit slightly. WE Energies came out and said that there was no safety issue with the bent conduit. Owner Mark Rogers thought that was the end of it, but wanted to fix the conduit because it was unsightly. He made a claim with his insurance company, but there was some missing information in the police report. This slowed down the process to get the wiring fixed. On January 3, 2023, Fire Chief James Lejcar and Fire Inspector Steve Ptaszynski came to the tavern and called the Sheriff’s department to send a deputy. They called WE Energies to come shut off the power and were going to close the business down. A trustee was nearby and also came to the tavern. WE Energies arrived and luckily, the same electrician from the crash was on the crew. He told Fire Chief James Lejcar and Fire Inspector Steve Ptaszynski that there was no life safety issue and they didn’t need to close the business. KCE was tipped off about this. We made a public records request for the fire report to see who called it in. We also obtained the call audio from Ptaszynski to the 9-1-1 center. He said that he had gotten many calls about the bent conduit, which seemed incredible. Ptaszynski denied KCE’s public records request. We had to email the Village’s attorney and threatened to sue. If you read this publication, you know it wasn’t a bluff. The Village Attorney told Ptaszynski that he had to provide us with the report. We received it and immediately knew why Ptaszynski broke the law to keep it from us – he lied. He said he got many calls about the wires. He didn’t. No records existed.

Attorney Mike McTernan Addressing Salem Lakes Board
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

“Everyone wants to be safe and follow the law, but when you go out of your way to invent violations and shut people down, that’s bad. He thinks there is a fire safety issue, so he believes he has the power to shut them down,” said McTernan “In my 25 years of dealing with the government, I have never seen the government attack an applicant, a property owner, or business owner like in Salem Lakes.”

Village President Diann Tesar told KCE “I guarantee that there are no personal grudges against any of the businesses in the village. Our goal is simply to have all businesses to operate safely. We are definitely willing to work with all/any business in Salem Lakes.”

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134 Responses

  1. It seems to me that the village leadership is taking a “Law and Order” approach in their governance. Shouldn’t we support that?

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    1. When you allow leadership to define “Law and Order”, that is called a dictatorship. No citizen of the United States should support that type of governance.

    2. Nope, these businesses are doing the best they can to follow the laws as they are written. The problem is you have a fire chief, and inspector that make up unreasonable requests as they go for the sole purpose of shutting down a business. Those 2 idiots and everyone working with them should be thrown in jail!!!

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    3. That comes from MIKE MURDOCK who knows hi ks he can do what he wants when he wants. The sooner the board is flipped and there is new management the sooner the village will turn around for the better.

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  2. If the village won’t put things in writing, that seems fishy. If I were these business owners I would not do anything without written documentation. I’ve been to many meetings and it’s disgraceful how they treat their constituents. What does Salem Lakes have to show for years of increased taxes – a Dollar Store? The business park that costs us money? Look at surrounding communities, they’re winning. Salem Lakes? Not so much.

  3. Sounds like the Salem Lakes Fire Department has a Reichs Führer, Deputy Reichs Führer/Direktor, und a Reichs Ober-Inspektor who all want to hear the repeated Klicking of heals. It’s amazing how NAZI-ism has sprung so quickly into our lives recently. Time for a Nuremberg Trial at the Village Court House.

    1. Fire them both – and the board who stood by and did nothing .

      These business owners are hard working people who want to comply with the requirements and not some ginned up rules that a moved by power hungry dictators. If those an administration are not removed now – they will be after the election when new board takes over.

  4. This is exactly what happens when people don’t have enough to do. I have seen this type of behavior before when self-important little dictators sit around and come up with crap to justify their existence. How many fires have these guys fought in the past year? How much time do they spend actually performing their duties. These municipal functions need to be merged regionally so that these little thinkers who sit around all day coming up with something to do go get real jobs. Firefighters are some of the most over paid under worked employees in the entire nation. What a joke these guys are!

    1. Overpaid? You remember that when you need us. We train hard and put in a lot of hours away from our families for $15 an hour.

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      1. $15 an hour? Firefighter/EMT positions at Salem Lakes are being advertised as having an “anticipated income” of $53,580 plus benefits. For a 40 hour week that’s $25.75 an hour.

        1. A fire department does not operate on a 40 hour work week otherwise there would not be 24/7 coverage unless more staff was hired. Firefighters work an average of a 56 hour work week. 24 on 48 off. So the salary of $53,580 works out to be $18.39/hr. So quiet down.

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          1. Thank you for setting the record straight. The rank and file don’t need to be denigrated because of what the chief is doing.

          2. Does this include the hours they get paid to sleep? How about the majority of hours listed in “down time” where there are movies and popcorn and games?

            Tough, tough life with all those long hours. Wish my work week had hours in place where I was paid to sleep.

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          3. Just curious with all those massive hours these heroes work they just be exhausted after they get off shift. But it’s funny that they are NOT. Paid to sleep, well rested for additional work or fun at the tax payer expense.

            Get rid of them!

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    2. Definitely one of the biggest scam professions around Firefighters. For the amount they are paid and what they actually do it’s absolutely amazing. If a building around here actually catches fire it’s going to be burned to the ground anyway OR filled with so much water you are going to lose it all. As far as saving lives—the deputies and cops get there 5 minutes earlier and have everyone out by the time those clowns show up.

      Scam of a profession. EMT/Paramedic, different story, pay those guys and gals. Firefrauds? Let the 18yoa kids volunteer and have fun hosing down the ruins.

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      1. This. Is. So. TRUE!

        If everyone realized majority of the time they see a fire truck blaring horns and sirens and flying around….those 5 people are headed to a nose bleed or case a diarrhea. Majority of the time. Send a fire truck and an ambulance for a guy with a stomach ache.

        All that waste. It truly is a fraud. Tax fraud.

        Only way they are getting away with it is because they have all those horns and lights. Making a big scene. Making people think a true disaster just occurred. In in actuality it’s someone that ate some bad food and has diarrhea.

        Don’t believe it? Listen to the scanner. Or pull record on how many real fires there are. And read through for a REAL FIRE not a call the code as FIRE because someone burned a pizza or a dryer belt wore out and smoked a little.

        Look it up.

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      2. You’re a f’in idiot. If it’s so easy, give it a shot. When a person is receiving cpr and the family is around crying begging you to save their family member. How about you go to one of the many horrific car accident with kids involved that have been killed or hurt. Guess what, the emt/paramedic is cross trained in fire! Wtf do you think puts fire out? Frickin water, you choose either water or the fire.
        The cops get there quicker because they are already on the damn road, maybe think a little before running your uneducated mouth.

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        1. Are you talking about that same accident scene that ONE cop was dispatched to but Frauds send a fire truck with 4 guys and an ambulance with 2-3 others?

          You know the one where the cop was on scene for 5-10mins by him/herself waiting for you frauds to wake up, dress, load up and then get on scene? (Patient could have already been transported to the hospital by then)

          The scene that the deputy probably already assessed all of the injuries involved and has been rendering aid (yes, CPR if needed) just waiting for ALL SEVEN of you to arrive on scene?

          Then you Frauds get there, and THREE of you at a time are directed by the deputy as to exactly who needs to be attended to first and all of their claims of injury?

          Then THREE of you stack on top of the patient to either 1) convince them to sign off on the no transport med sheet so you can get back to your movie/video game/football game and not have to waste your time transporting OR 2) convince the patient to get transported so you can spend time out of quarters to avoid being sent on additional calls and hang out to play with the nurses.

          You mean that scene? Oh. Yeah I have been on that scene. That’s how I know the tax payer does NOT need you.

          1 accident= 1 deputy, 2 tow truck drivers and SEVEN Frauds.

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          1. Rest easy, the fire department will still respond to your emergency when the time comes. But know if the station nearest to you is on a call already it may take a few extra minutes for the station across town to get there. If a PD officer arrives first, it’s because they don’t work a 24 hour shift and they were already on the road. Maybe educate yourself a little or find something more fulfilling for your job so you aren’t so miserable in life.

        2. Ever been on scene administering aid or CPR to someone, trying to prevent death, and their family members are surrounding you asking why Fire is still not on scene after ten minutes? They beg YOU to take the person to the hospital instead of waiting and you have to ensure them it’s best to wait. Knowing the boys probably had to secure their grocery cart at PickNSave first or watch just a couple more minutes of the movie Before they responded?

          I have.

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      3. I was on a fire department about 20 years or so ago. This department was local and I believe I can speak fairly. I can confirm we certainly had our fair share of downtime. At that time nobody complained of being on the job because we all knew we had it very very good and we’re our fairly. I retired with just under 20 years on. In my entire career I actively fought no more than ten fires. We were on standby for many others but just were not needed. There is validity that our profession needs to evolve, with materials used for buildings and suppression and detection systems there really is not a need to have just fire personnel. So while some comments may seem rude, from a conscience tax payer standpoint I actually agree. That department can be way more efficient and people should demand it. Yes we got cross trained from EMT to Paramedic to Fire. But like someone indicated we are scheduled to only do one at a time, so you really can’t even use that.

        It is a fact when you hired in as an EMT you wanted to advance to Paramedic as fast as you could to avoid the piss and shit (EMT) and then all the guys would quickly try to get on the fire truck.

        Why? Because quiet simply it was the best job, almost like retirement and yes every once in a while we had to do something g but not too damn often. It was a Great job but a bit of a waste too. Way more ways to be more efficient.

        Love the people I worked with but yes I have to agree, everyone wanted to promote to the fire truck as fast as possible to avoid having to do much work.

        I will tell you it is no different today. Everyone wents off the ambulance to sit on the truck. That’s why all the fire guys are the senior guys. Just no other way to explain it. And it’s that way in alllllll of the departments too.

        1. Salem is not a big enough department to be able to be a truck or engine guy. They have to jump to either the ambulance or the fire apparatus depending on the call.

          1. What would you say the ratio of Med calls to Fire calls are? I’m talking about real calls. Not a call to fill someone’s pool.

  5. I have personal knowledge of this situation! Although I don’t know all the details I do know quite a bit about one business owner in particular because of a business relationship I had with him. There is a lot to be said about this that can’t be detailed in a news article but this abuse of power by elected officials and appointed government employees is astounding and it also may have spread to other adjoining communities. The few names stated in the article are just the head of the problem and there are things yet to be discovered! Don’t brush this off! Show up to board meetings and vote to remove them, get people to lead who do it out of duty and not for power. This is your community! Protect it!

    I believe if enough people stand up maybe the county or state will consider criminal charges! We can hope!!

  6. Maybe Steinbrink can be the village administrator? I won’t go to Salem Lakes anyway, they have no ZERO trollies!!

  7. These autocrats need to resign before they cost Salem Lakes a bundle in legal fees and legal awards! If that doesn’t happen, residents should vote (on Feb 21st) for board members that will held them responsible for overstepping their authority and fire them. We do not need egotistical, power-hungry and seemingly corrupt dictators in local government!

    1. I wish we had the same enthusiasm with the Village of Pleasant Prairie as at least 12 people of Salem Lakes did to stop the corruption here! Nobody is even running against Steinbrink for the upcoming election! He retaliates against people do it makes it difficult. It’s a shame!

  8. Total abuse of power and corruption at its finest. These boys have betrayed the oath they have taken and show be removed by choice or by force

  9. They also closed down Happ’s Pumpkin Patch, a community treasure. This devastated Don Happ and literally broke his heart and he passed away

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  10. They also closed down Happ’s Pumpkin Patch, a community treasure. This devastated Don Happ and literally broke his heart and he passed away

    1. YOu needed to say it twice? – You said this on FaceB too stop saying stuff like this it takes away from things that might be valid … it’s people making comments like this makes me wonder if the other stuff is twisted comments too. I am trying to reason out factual and this ridiculous comments like this are made.

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  11. Just curious….
    Do any of the people on the fire department or village board have ties to family or friends buying and selling real estate?
    Not unheard of for an owner of a structure or property, when facing astronomical costs to repair or comply with building codes to accept a low ball offer from someone who seeks that property.

    1. If I’m not mistaken, Trustee Culat is a realtor. I’m in no way accusing anyone of anything, just answering your question.

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  12. Just a side note… has anyone looked into the amount of staff that has left the fire department since Jimmy took over? It just seems to me, there’s been a lot of turn over due to his “management.”

    1. Only one fulltimer is left from before this chief started, six fulltimers have left since then and half the lieutentants have quit also.

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  13. First Pleasant Prairie and their shenanigans and now Salem lakes poor taxpayers. We must do something about this as citizens of the United States for the people by the people

  14. Started my business in 1997 in silver lake and sold my building to Mr Dunn in 2019 and in the 23 years in business in silver lake I can say it was nothing but problems with the village and the fire department it is definitely not a business friendly village it’s a good Ole boy town you gotta be in the click or you’re gonna get the dick. Don’t forget to remind everyone the silver lake fire station BURNED DOWN ? village fire inspector hahaha Hahaha little tyrant karma is a bitch.

  15. Why do firefighters get away with it? Because they are members of the Firefighters Union and use their dues to buy politicians. Biggest government waste scam going is firefighters. Their day consists of workouts, grocery shopping and cooking! The police actually face real danger on a daily basis. Firefighters in most communities are over paid clowns who run around in garish uniforms trying to pick up women while sucking off the government teat. Look at the jokers in this article. Are these morons going to save anyone. I think not! All government employees should not be allowed to unionize, plain and simple!

    1. This issue has nothing to do with the firefighters. Every single full time firefighter at Salem Lakes is also an EMT or Paramedic. Just because a cop has days that they don’t have to directly deal with a shooting or a criminal, doesn’t mean they don’t put their life on the line for their job. Same thing with firefighters. Just because there isn’t a daily fire doesn’t mean that they’re useless and don’t risk their lives as well. You sound dumb.

      1. Daily fire? How about monthly fire. Screw it….thanks for responding to the total of 3 fires. Well worth it! Especially since the buildings were fully destroyed anyway. Clowns is all they are. It’s a scam.

  16. What is the motive behind all this? They have got to be getting some kind of under the table kickback. Are these officials get a percentage of the sales from land being turned over for new housing and gas stations?

    1. Agreed, something is up here…..

      Me thinks the people in this little tiny village aren’t real smart, either, and left lots of paper trails.

  17. Let’s get Chief Slover back and get the department back to the way it was. One that everyone was proud to be a part of. Chief Slover put Town of Salem Fire and Rescue on the forefront of how a department can thrive from starting as a Volunteer organization and combining multiple departments to work as one. The board needs to get Chief Slover back, as an advisor, to get a department we can be proud of again and one the people will be happy to be employed at.

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  18. I don’t know why everyone is trashing firefighters here.

    This isn’t a firefighter issue. I bet the two clowns in charge don’t even go out on fire calls. The issue is they apparently think they are the fucking mayor or attorney general and can use their power to shut businesses down.

    People are stupid nowadays. Everyone can find out where everyone lives and there are some crazy people out there…..especially when you mess with peoples’ livelihoods. Probably not wise to do so.

  19. Quite impressive where KCE has gotten. I read KCE before social media and the Kenosha News. Mr. Mathewson has got the goods.

  20. Fire Safety Consultants is a bigger joke yet. They contract “inspectors” that interpret code so inconsistently that they are a total joke!

    1. Steve – you obviously are a professional in the business…. not, FSCI consults and reviews plans for countless fire agencies large and small across Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and varied other states. The reviewers hold the appropriate certifications to know code sets such as the IBC, IFC, NFPA, and also look at local ordinances for which they are reviewing in. Reviews are not at the whim of the reviewer, but based on codes required for the occupancy type being reviewed…by the “book”. FSCI can only “recommend” approval as the AHJ is ultimately responsible for the Approval process. The AHJ has the ability to “Not Approve” any review submitted. still confused ?

      1. If the AHJ wasn’t a dumb A** the village of salem lakes wouldn’t have this issue If The AHJ wasn’t a power hungry Bureaucrat the village of salem lakes wouldn’t have this issue, And the board lacks leadership If they had the courage to lead this A** would be herding SH**T at the sewage Plant

  21. Send the Luftwaffe to take care of their little village hall… They’re not helping hard working families pay their bills or put food on our tables. Taxation without representation. Hope they’re proud to be taking food out of my children’s mouth.

  22. That’s what happens when there is no need for those elected officials. They need to create work in order to justify their jobs. Useless fat that could use a trimming!

    1. Easy NOT to miss any meal when you get PAID to shop for the food, PAID to make the food and PAID while you are eating the food.

      Anyone else have a job like that??

  23. Simple motive, create problems to justify their existence. Or they might have to actually pick up a shovel and do something pro active again.

  24. Truth, one of the biggest problems to date, everyone is quick to point the finger, but nobody wants to physically do anything… kids can’t work together as a team, problem solve.

  25. LET ME START WITH SAYING THAT EVERY SINGLE FULL TIME FIREFIGHTER AT SALEM LAKES IS ALSO AN EMT OR PARAMEDIC. People are totally free to feel however they want to feel about the chief and inspector.. but the comments on the article talking so much trash about the actual firefighters and how they’re a scam and all that.. is so messed up. My husband has risked his life putting out fires and has had to witness and clean up absolutely horrific car accident scenes including literally tearing apart a vehicle to get people out to SAVE them. I am SO fired about these jerk holes making comments like this in regards to the entire profession of firefighting. I don’t know why the firefighters are being brought it into when they have absolutely nothing to do with this issue. So messed up and I will defend the firefighters EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Unless someone knows the daily life of a firefighter and what they have to go through, they need to shut their mouths. SO MESSED UP.

    1. Joke of a profession. Tax fraud. 18year old recent graduates could do what they do. Make it a community service requirement NOT a profession. Do things happen and they need to act, yes. If you managed the business and found out what they actually do and how often it occurs would you pay them….. ABSOLUTELY NOT.

    2. Ask your “hero” how many fires he “fought” this year? His career? Then ask the outcome. Was everyone already out of the house? (Yes, the cops got there 5mins earlier and did that). Did the house still burn to the ground anyway or was filled with so much water it was a total loss? (Yes).

      No need for them. Put the jaws of life in the back of a cop car and cut 3/4 of the fire people. Contract out private EMTs for service.

      There I just saved a lot of money. People need to see the truth especially when govt continue to cut real services and keep this illusion of a fire person going.

      Just NOT needed anymore!!!

  26. I disagree with all of these “anonymous” people. When I call 911 for my toothache or colicky baby, the fire department rushes right over to my section 8 apartment. Of course, I never get a bill because I don’t pay bills, you guys support me. But I’m still mad they closed KMH, now my free and unnecessary ambulance trip takes longer. Nonetheless, tax paying residents also fund my transportation home too. Anyway… keep votin for Evers please……

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  27. This whole story will lead back to 1 person. A tirant who had made this community his little domain. He didn’t get to where he is by what he knows, but who he sits in a tavern with. Follow the information, it will lead you too the problem. Did people over step, yes. They were doing the bosses dirty work. There will be calateral damage out of this. I hope the person who is the leader of this gets what is coming to him!!

    1. I have said this from day one when o was hired. If the public ever worked under him they would see the threatening way he leads. If you don’t kiss his ass he will throw his smirk at you as if ur days are numbered. He belongs in jail for the corruption and law breaking

      1. There have been written complaints from employees that board members have received copies of and not one investigation or follow up was made to such complaints the board has been complicit on such actions of staff the non actions allows for retaliation against employees driving the employee to seek employment somewhere else

  28. The people on here going after the Firefighters are MORONS!! These folks are doing a job that people in our community no longer want to volunteer to do anymore. Thats why we have full timers, thats the ugly truth. If you think contract is the solution, a cotract FF/Paramedic makes 10k more than Salems highest paid FF/Paramedic to start. Iv been a volunteer. Iv gotten up at 1am to fight a fire till I had to leave to go to work for $9. Cut people, dead and alive out of tore up cars its not glamorous. I did to help our community. All this bashing of firefighters is not helping the community. If your not willing to fill out an application and volunteer, keep your hate to yourself.
    Pat Casey and Slover left for a reason, wonder what it was?

        1. And by “save” you mean when they come in and work on someone that is dead already and then they leave all the perishable items they used on the person behind.

          All your latex gloves, the wrappers for your tubes and shots and the rest of the garbage. I’m talking your straight up trash you leave behind, not the items that need to be left attached so the ME knows what was used.

          Yes people. You just lost a love one, they work on them and unfortunately could not help them. Now they leave your house leaving behind all the trash next to your dead loved one.

          No worries, you don’t have anything on your mind in that situation just pick up all their trash laying next to your loves one while you and the deputy wait there for the medical examiner to come get the body.

          Same on an accident scene. Families that have been in this situation never should go revisit the scene but we all still do it.

          Then we get to see all the medical trash they left behind which creates a terrible thought process of what occurred for those trying to piece it all together.

          Yes, this happens, all the time. Pick your shit up.

    1. Still waiting for someone to tell me how many REAL fires Salem Lakes had last year and the outcome of the response by the Fraud Department.

      I will guess REAL fires is well under 10. And I’d bet further that it’s under 5.

      FOR. THE. ENTIRE . YEAR.

      1. All the fire fighters are either ALSO certified EMTs or Paramedics.. so you are just super ignorant and have no idea what you’re talking about.

        1. Wonder why they have to be BOTH a FireFraud AND an EMT? Oh wait, I know…..because we don’t need firefrauds anymore. Better get trained for the crossover so we can tell everyone how valuable we are doing TWO jobs! Eventhough when they are on shift they are NOT scheduled to do BOTH jobs and will only ride on the truck OR the ambulance……NOT BOTH.

          Scam.
          Illusion.
          Fraud.
          Get rid of them.

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    2. Why do FireFrauds go lights and sirens to EVERY call? Why do they get upset when a citizen actually requests them NOT to come lights and siren?

      Because it is part of the ILLUSION.

      Admittedly I used to always think there must be some huge fire or major incident everytime I heard the racket and noise these frauds made when they respond someplace.

      Then I was in a position to observe what they are actually responding to and am absolutely dumbfounded we pay these people all that money and benefits to ru. 5 people to a guy with a bloated stomach or a cough.

      1. All the fire fighters are either ALSO certified EMTs or Paramedics.. so you are just super ignorant and have no idea what you’re talking about. Cool bro.

    3. Pat Casey left because he found a different job. He was in violation of his contract, changed residences and didn’t notify the board. And he was a bully. I wrote for the Westosha Report for 20 years and every school board, village and town produced a summary budget to be published. Casey changed that and one had to hunt through the budget to see what he and everyone else was paid. He moved money around from account to account without informing the board and getting their consent – abasing state law for towns. He was a terrible person. After the consolidation of Silver lake and Salem, when the Silver Lake board took charge until the next election, Casey, against the agreement between the village and the town, negotiated a fat contract for himself. Silver Lake should not have approved it without informing the Salem advisory board. Neither board did anything about it when it came to light. It came to light because I asked the Silver Lake present.Casey was hiding that contract and he was quite upset when I wrote about it.

    4. Pat Casey left because he found a different job. He was in violation of his contract, changed residences and didn’t notify the board. And he was a bully. I wrote for the Westosha Report for 20 years and every school board, village and town produced a summary budget to be published. Casey changed that and one had to hunt through the budget to see what he and everyone else was paid. He moved money around from account to account without informing the board and getting their consent – abasing state law for towns. He was a terrible person. After the consolidation of Silver lake and Salem, when the Silver Lake board took charge until the next election, Casey, against the agreement between the village and the town, negotiated a fat contract for himself. Silver Lake should not have approved it without informing the Salem advisory board. Neither board did anything about it when it came to light. It came to light because I asked the Silver Lake present.Casey was hiding that contract and he was quite upset when I wrote about it. Casey left because he was getting into trouble.

  29. WOW! YOU PEOPLE ON HERE REALLY ARE IGNORANT! HOW MANY ACTUALLY ENEN LIVE IN SALEM?
    Its sad your going after the only people that are just trying to do a job and help people.

  30. Who sits there and puts fire fighters down?! Your logic is the stupidest thing I have read in a long time.

    ..So is the military pointless too just because they’re not currently deployed fighting a war? They’re there just in case we have a war but they’re just stationed at a camp training and “hanging out” right? NO.

    ..and those cops sitting in their cars chatting with each other for hours in a parking lots because nothing is going on have a fraud career right? They’re there just in case a call comes in but they’re just “hanging out” right? NO.

    .. oh and Oncologists and surgeons are totally worthless too the way you are viewing things. Why do we need them when they only specialize in cancer or performing a specific surgery? Just go to a regular general practitioner and they will handle everything right? NO.

    Everyone I listed has been certified and trained in their own specific profession and have saved lives. I would love to know what kind of job you have.. I bet you’re a real hero..

    1. I don’t have to wait for my military, police or doctors to wake up from “Nigh Nigh time”. They are ON DUTY and ready to go.

      I don’t have to wait for my military, police or doctors to respond taking a long time because they are checking out the meat specials in the back of PickNSave. Those guys are already on duty and ready to respond NOW.

      I don’t have to wait for my military, police or doctors to put their uniform on and get their gear loaded, they are already on duty and ready NOW.

      1. You obviously haven’t been in the er recently talking about waiting to be seen people sit there for hours sometimes more than 5 hours to see a dr.

    2. The BIG IDEA here is that eventually the cop, military or doctor will have a call (multiples throughout the day and everyday), have to respond to many incidents or have many patients.

      Your hero gets to re roll hoses bd wax the old wagon for the 12th time in a day. To “stay busy”.

      You see those other professions don’t have to act to stay busy, they WILL get a call.

      Just how many of them blazin’ fires you frauds been to? How many occurred in Salem Lakes? Take that number and see if it’s really cost effective to have those frauds on staff.

      You’d never pay it completely out of your pocket. If it was a business and they could charge per fire call it wouldn’t last….plain and simple just NOT enough customers/fires.

  31. Back on course to the true reason for this discussion, oh yes, it was ABUSE OF POWER by elected officials. Has nothing to do with what profession you have and can happen anywhere, even small town USA. STOP VOTING SOCIALIST DEMOCRAT! Unfortunately Our youth will be on the receiving end, left to cope with the disastrous aftermath the DEMONS have left in their wake.

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  32. I love reading these comments – more often than not, people don’t have clue what they’re talking about, but it is definitely entertaining.

  33. Just close the stage stop already- we don’t have stage coaches anymore, because they’re racist. And who needs working dump truck?? Not me… I’d like a tall cocktail, but not from that bar… Shit that bent pipe menace down today!!!

    1. Most of the rescue calls are probably caused by heart attacks from all of the butter in stage stop baked potatoes anyway- a true menace to Salem lakes….
      (Just kidding)??

  34. It’s the same fire inspector that inspects in the Village of Paddock Lake with a different administrator. No big issues reported there.

    Sounds like an administrator issue.

  35. Could you imagine someone actually trying to get rid of the fire department? They’d be the laughing stock of the state!

    The fire department is like insurance. It doesn’t do anything until you need it, and when you need it, you thank God you have it.

  36. It’s really a shame this comment section went to complete madness. Anyone who thinks we don’t need Fire Department personal, lack critical thinking. This article is about abuse of power, not a hit piece on Fire Dept. Personal.
    It seems a lot of people believe that if you not sweating doing a job, your not working.
    Does a pilot using Auto pilot deserve to be paid? The Fire Department protect and save lives. Yes it’s true they don’t fight fires often but when they do, they may need to risk their safety.
    Let’s get back to what the story represents,
    People in power using over reach for some twisted reason. This type of abuse needs to be called out and Stopped.

  37. To the idiot that states firefighters is tax fraud and that we don’t need them. We’ll I guess you should go to the state level and plead your case,to get rid of the fire service as under Wisconsin state statute 61.65(2)(b) “each village with a population over 5,500 or mor shall provide fire protection services…… “ So let us know how that works out for you

    1. Correct and guess exactly who was able to get that very statute in place?

      You got it the frauds by lobbying through the IAFF! Fact.

  38. One of the Salem Lakes board members is a licensed realtor in IL and WI.
    Is he using this knowledge to profit? He knows too much behind the scenes
    to not have a conflict of interest.

  39. Another Salem Lakes Board member has had a hard time deciding whether to run each time he/she is up for reelection. Has been vocal that the only reason he/she does run is because they need the money, not because of wanting to do what is right for Salem.
    The board president is paid $15,000 a year and board supervisors are paid $7,500 a year. More money than any of the surrounding communities, including Pleasant Prairie. This is public record so call and ask or look it up.

  40. Oh yea when you go to the state take a “Smokey the Bear” teddy bear with you and point on the bear where the firefighter hurt your feelings

  41. Sounds like all the businesses owners are choosing profit over keeping their customers and staff safe. If it’s a safety violation, it needs to be fixed!
    Every business in this article should be ashamed of themselves.

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    1. Robert, I can assure you this Is not the case. I’ve been in the code industry for decades. Everyone likes to believe it’s black or white, in many cases there could be several circumstances that change the out come of a code being enforced. I always try to focus into the intent first, then the exceptions and exclusions. To be a fair enforcer of code it takes a person with a open mind and a willingness to find answers before a citation is imposed. When a property or business owner is given a citation it creates anxiety and panic. I have reviewed 100’s of citation that were not a violation in my experience, creating unnecessary confusion for the recipient.
      It takes a structured person to be able to be unbiased and focused into what constitutes a real public safety threat. I believe inspectors with the right approach will get the real dangers addressed and the small stuff addressed over time.
      Through my years I have also dealt with absolutely terrible inspectors with very little knowledge of what the code says, they just wanted to be right. That type of person should not be in that position.
      I have read through a lot of the issues beyond this article in the web page tied to this village. My first impression is there is a lack of real leadership within that Village. It appears to be amateur hour. I’m not sure about the folks leading in this Village. They may not be the right people in right position? Leadership Matters.
      There is so much going on in that Village , leadership is where I would start, then training. This process Works.

      1. Excellent assessment – I concur. Small businesses are tough. they struggle to stay afloat and watch every dollar. Larger businesses and large firms have a somewhat easier time staying in compliance as liability and insurance entities such as FM Global are very strict.

  42. When the beast gets hammered they regroup and find new anticipated fragile victims. Now they go after residents for asinine incomprehensible inapplicable interpretations of ordinances.

    Hiller is falling into the self preservation administrative state to appease big government mores and alliances.

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