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Meet Allen Dunski, Jr – Serial Arsonist Turned Vice President Of Salem Lakes Fire Commission

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Allen M. Dunski, Jr. – Serial Arsonist And Vice President, Salem Lakes Fire Commission
(Kenosha County Sheriff)

On June 29, 2018, Allen M. Dunski, Jr. of Salem Lakes, WI applied to be on the Village’s Fire Commission. In his application, he admitted to being a convicted felon. He admitted to being convicted of arson. He didn’t, however, admit to being convicted of three separate arsons. In his application he wrote, “I was young, dumb, and have paid my debt to society. The man I am today is not the child I was when this occurred.”

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According to court records, however, Dunski wasn’t a “child” when he was convicted of arson for three separate, destructive, and dangerous fires.. He was 22-years-old. Dunski plead guilty to three felony counts of arson.

Three Arson Convictions

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In the first confirmed arson, on October 15, 1997, Dunski admitted to lighting a Ford station wagon on fire. He was a firefighter for the Trevor Fire Department at the time. He was bored, so he broke the window to the station wagon with a spark plug and lit the vehicle on fire with a signal flare. He then drove back to the fire department and was later dispatched to put out his own fire.

Dunski admitted to lighting a Lincoln Continental on fire on October 30, 1997. He admitted to police that he again, broke the window of the car with a spark plug and used a signal flare to start the fire. It didn’t work this time, so he used an accelerant. Just like he did two weeks before, he went back to the fire station to await the inevitable dispatch to again put out his own fire.

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Allen Dunski, Serial Arsonist and Vice President, Salem Lakes Fire Commission
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Finally, Dunski admitted to torching an RV camper on March 19, 1998. Dunksi torched the RV camper with a signal flare, went back to the station and was dispatched to put out his own fire the third time, at least.

Dunski was convicted of all three arsons and was sentenced to a year and a half at Dodge Correctional Prison in Wisconsin. He was also placed on probation for three years.

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Salem Lake Trustee Bill Hopkins
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Still, Salem Lakes Trustee Bill Hopkins made the motion to approve Dunski as a fire commissioner and it was seconded by Trustee Ron Gandt on March 11, 2019 . The appointment vote was unanimous. On the Salem Lakes Board at the time were Village President Diane Tesar, Trustees Ron Gandt, Bill Hopkins, Mike Culat, Dennis Faber, Ted Kmiec, and Dan Campion. Tesar, Culat, Kmiec, and Campion were all defeated last year by large margins in the April 2023 elections. Trustee Hopkins was an EMT for Silver Lake Fore at the time and knew about the serious allegations against Dunski and his status as a serial arsonist. He was and is a big supporter of Dunski.

Just before these fires, in the early morning hours of September 1, 1997, the Silver Lake Village hall, that also included the Police and Fire Departments, burned to the ground. During the investigation into the three fires for which Dunski was convicted, Dunski made a statement about the Silver Lake Fire Department fire. During a police interview conducted by Special Agent Greg Eggum of the Wisconsin Department of Justice Department of Criminal Investigations, and a Kenosha County Sheriff’s Detective, Dunski blurted out something unusual. “Chief Tanski from the Silver Lake Fire Department has accused me of setting the fire to the Silver Lake Fire Department. If that is what this is about, I want a lawyer,” shouted Dunski. Dunski then lied to the police and said his involvement in all of the arsons were untrue rumors. He then asked for an attorney.

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Dunski then changed his mind and asked for his Dad, who was the previous Fire Chief for Silver Lake. “You can’t just call daddy to fix this,” said Special Agent Eggum. Dunski then confessed in full, to the three arsons.

Allen M. Dunski, Jr. – Serial Arsonist And Vice President, Salem Lakes Fire Commission
(Kenosha County Sheriff)

Other Criminal Activity

According to court records, Dunski was also found guilty of Taking and Driving a Vehicle Without Owner’s Consent in 1998. This was charges as a felony but was pleaded to a misdemeanor. According to court records and the victim’s parents, Dunski and a friend took and drove a fellow firefighter’s car without his permission while drinking. He was convicted and received two years of probation. His probation was revoked and he spent six months in jail. He also have some traffic-related arrests.

Suspect In Silver Lake Fire Department Fire

According to police reports obtained by KCE from multiple law enforcement agencies, in the early morning hours of September 1, 1997, a woman who lived near the Silver Lake Police and Fire Department heard “at least” three loud booms coming from the area of the SIlver Lake Police and Fire Department. She then heard a squealing tires from a vehicle that left in a hurry. She then heard sirens, soontherafter. After the building burnt to the ground, arson investigators were immediately called to the scene from the Wisconsin Department of Justice and the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF). The Police Chief, Roger Griebel, was asked by law enforcement if he knew of any suspicious circumstance that could be helpful to the investigation. The Chief told the police that Dunski worked at the fire department and was seen at all hours of the day and night in the buildings. The Chief thought that Dunski was in the building the night of the fire.

Rob Hamm, Captain – Somers Fire Department
(facebook)

The investigators suspected that maybe someone who worked at the fire department may have set the fire, so they developed a questionnaire to give to all of the employees to complete. Most or all of the employees filled out the questionnaire, with one exception – Dunski. He quit working for Silver Lake and went to Trevor after the fire. Dunski told police that his friend Rob Hamm, who is today a Captain with the Somers Fire Department, tipped him off that he was a suspect.

Dunski was asked if he started the fire and Dunski said “No. Why Would I? My Dad was the Fire Chief from 1988 to 1990. I love this place.” Robert Hamm then came forward to investigators with some information. He was with Dunski on the evening of the fire. Hamm told investigators that he was with Dunski at the Walworth County Fair during the day until 9pm and after, he dropped off Dunski at the Silver Lake Fire Department just hours before the fire to “get something.” Dunski told Hamm that he had to pick up sunglasses that he left there. Hamm noted that Dunski came out of the Fire Department without the sunglasses he said he went in to get. Later, Hamm responded to the fire as a firefighter and noted that Dunski “Skooter” was the first one at the fire. Hamm later told detectives that multiple people told him that Dunski set the fire to the building, but said he couldn’t remember who.

Kenosha County Eye believes that sufficient evidence was not obtained to charge anyone in the Silver Lake Fire Department fire.

Allen Dunski, Serial Arsonist and Vice President, Salem Lakes Fire Commission
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Kenosha County Scanner Facebook Page

Allen Dunski, along with his partner John Broemelkamp, run the Facebook page Kenosha County Scanner. The firebug, Dunski, now chases fires and video records them for Facebook. We made contact with Broemelkamp on 1/30/2023 to ask about his partnership with Dunski. When asked about Dunski’s criminal past, Broemelkamp said “that’s old news and isn’t a factor at all.”

John Broemelkamp, Partner, Kenosha County Scanner
(facebook)

We asked Broemelkamp why his Facebook page has been advertising itself to be an LLC when it wasn’t. He responded “May want to check your ‘sources’ we are a legit LLC. And there’s documents and the Tax info to prove it.” Later that same day, Broemelkamp and Dunski filed their LLC documents with the state of Wisconsin to cover up their lie.

The two go through lengths to keep their identities secret from the public. For example their email address the name says “AJ DB.” It is the duo’s initials but out of place. Dunski told KCE that “we try to keep our names out of the public just due to the nature of some of the calle we post…yes, [our names] are already out there, but most do not know.”

Dusnki and Broemelkamp run their page with an iron first, blocking anyone who disagrees with them and frequently delete comments. They told KCE at one point, they had banned “hundreds” of people and made a joke about it. Of the frequent blocking, Dunski had the following to say:

“The 1st amendment does not apply to private companies and we have every right to censor comments as needed to keep the comments on the KCS page clean, non-political and appropriate for the page. We are well aware of the situation in Salem Lakes, however, political and personal attacks in any format are not allowed on ourpage. KCS will continue to monitor and delete specific comments that we feel are not appropriate for the specific post. We are simply a police/fire/rescue scanner page and intend to keep it that way.”

The Facebook page had many subscribers that, according to a source, is the main source of income for the three-time-felon and his partner. The subscribers pay monthly to see facebook posts about local public safety issues.

Salem Lakes Village President Rita Bucur
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Village President Rita Bucur was asked about Dunski’s past crimes and Bucur told KCE “I am generally aware of the past incidents regarding Mr. Dunski, although his appointment and confirmation vote were done by a previous board and administration. I am not aware of the details of the incidents, but always assumed they were minor, knowing that he had unanimous support by the board in 2019.”

During Dunski’s time on the Fire Commission, he was alleged to have participated in illegal “ex parte” investigations into complaint made to the commission. He was also a vocal supporter of the now-disgraced former Fire Chief James Lejcar. Dunski has just participated in the hiring of an interim Fire Chief but his term is up later this year. It is unknown if he will seek another term on the commission.

Former Salem Lakes Trustee and Attorney, Ted Kmiec
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Dunski has also recently asked Tony Evers for a pardon of his three felonies. Believe it or not, the embattled former Trustee Ted Kmiec, who is also an attorney, helped prepare the pardon application for Dunski. As a basis for his pardon, Dunski asserts:

“With my current business, I work daily with Fire-Rescue Departments, as well as local Law Enforcement. The Village of Salem Lakes showed the trust in me by appointing me Commissioner on the Police and Fire Commission, I am currently serving a five year term…Since these mistakes, I have devoted my life to helping my community to make up for what I did. I have organized the annual spring clean up in Salem Lakes for the last ten years, where I organize volunteers to clean up the community. and(sic) get food donations for our local food pantry.”

Dunski was appointed to the “Fire Commission,” he lied when he wrote “Police and Fire Commission.” There is no police department in Salem Lakes. Dunski’s supporters have pointed to his “annual cleanups” as redeeming qualities, but it almost seems like the cleanups were to use as ammo for his pardon. Neither Circuit Court Judge Gerad Dougvillo, nor Kenosha DA Mike Graveley Supported the pardon.

Allen Dunski, Serial Arsonist and Vice President, Salem Lakes Fire Commission
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)
1999CF000351 Summons And Complaint 3984506 3 Fires Police Report Allen Dunski 98 66367 (1) Silver Lake PD Fire 97 101526 FULL (1) Dunski Application Dunski Car Theft Complaint Jan 22 2024 8 58 AM Dunski Pardon (redacted) 8 59 AM Copy (1)

Author

  • Kevin Mathewson

    Kevin Mathewson is a disciple of Christ, husband and a father to two wonderful children. Mathewson was born and raised in Lake County, IL and worked as a police & fire dispatcher from 2005 to 2010 in Round Lake Beach, IL. Mathewson moved to Kenosha County in 2006, later being elected to the position of Alderman of the 8th District in 2012 and 2016. Mathewson is a private investigator, security contractor, journalist, and photographer. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, camping and boating. His favorite amendment is the second, followed closely by the first. He loves his country and community.

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88 Responses

  1. Most firefighters are tremendously dedicated people who give much of themselves for their communities.

    A few have a proclivity to set fires in order to be the hero that arrives on the scene to put them out. Very dangerous.

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  2. The truth is stranger than fiction.

    Almost all serial arsonists light fires for sexual gratification. To think that this guy will set more fires in future. I hope no one dies.

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  3. Is this the guy who started and runs the annual spring cleanup in silver lake now Salem lakes ??

    Tell it isn’t so ?!?!?!?!

    1. Trying to get that pat on the back. Making himself feel better after screwing up a lot of peoples lives.

    2. So you know him and now wanna judge him on his past, even after he has paid his debt to society?? Why not look at the man he is now??

  4. Bad decisions by the last board keep haunting us. We still have three on the board. They need to resign immediately. They also voted illegally to disband a Fire Commission that was operating according to state statutes because they had no clue what they were doing. It now has come back to haute them. Resign now.

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      1. After such a big sweep of the four seats up last year only one challenger, Peter Poli came forward this year for the three left.
        Dennis Faber. Ron Gandt. Bill Hopkins.
        All left overs from the last board.

        I suppose it’s not the three you want this year, but it’s the “one” you don’t !!
        Only one seat will change.
        And that’s if Peter Poli wins !!

        So it’s not picking your top three horses !
        Win, place and show.
        It’s picking forth place !!
        Do Dennis, Ron and Bill live to fight another day ?!?!

        Unless someone wants to mount a write in campaign.

  5. Remember the yellow signs on hwy 83 that publicize What the old board members did. I can’t wait to see the yellow signs for this election.

  6. Sounds like his excuse for not voting against lejcar was more than he stated. In effect, he prolonged the bs against the citizens. Oh, and he ruined property of others in his premeditated 22yo kid actions. Has he paid back the owners for their losses. Had to burn up a Lincoln, not some little junky comet?? And a family Rv? And a station wagon, as if they didn’t need a family car? What a friggin zero. A thief! And scared those people and neighbors. A F zero. And I don’t care what he might have done since then. Still a frigging zero.

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  7. He can add fraud to his profile too. LLC but isnt.To file they need to give names social and report earnings and file its forms. Fraud, both of them and LIARS!
    Their families must be so very proud.

    I wonder what Shirley Boening thinks about sitting on that commission with him. Wasn’t she chair when A.D. was on Tvfd?

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  8. Let me get this straight: a convicted arsonist was chosen to lead our fire commission. That’s insanity. Thank you, Kevin, for informing the public.
    Ladies and gentlemen, what we have here is a prime example of a terrible nonsensical decision made by a group of backwards-thinking democrats who wash each other’s hands. The ideology of the left will bring this village to its knees. Keep voting to keep removing the insanity.

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    1. you are right about some stuff they are Republicans not Dems. Kemic is the only Dem on the board at that time.

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  9. He lit cars on fire then went directly to the fire dept to wait for the calls to put the fires out. Crazy.

    An obvious question is would an arsonist who makes a living from a Facebook scanner page, light things on fire then wait for the emergency calls that he directly posts to his scanner page? Sure would bring in the views, likes, comments, subscribers, and money, wouldn’t it? How many unsolved vehicle fires, or other unexplained fires, has there been in our village the past couple years. I don’t know, I’m just asking. Just wondering.

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  10. Hey guys , here’s a great idea that I have.
    Let’s put a guy in charge of the fire commission who loves to burn things up !!! 😂😂😂

  11. I have mixed feelings on this. Has he been in any legal trouble since 20+ years ago? Did he get counseling? People do stupid shit when younger, yes, 22 is kind of out of the age norm to do this but do we give people any chances to change?

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    1. People can change, but you don’t put felony arsonists in charge of a fire commission. Sorry. Would you put a convicted rapist in charge of a women’s shelter? I don’t care how long ago the crime occurred. The Fire Department is too important to leave in the hands of a known arsonist. Moreover, this fire commission had a chance to show true leadership and failed when they let Lejcar stay in charge when he was running around town attacking the County Fair and other businesses in town. This guy along with the rest of the fire commission need to go.

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    2. Not sure what was done back then, but let’s say he did get counseling, was a model inmate, paid his restitution timely, and has done so many good things for the community since then. I do believe in second chances and some people really can change (some).

      With all that, common sense (which most of us have but apparently those who put him on the fire commission don’t) tells me – you do not put an arsonist on the fire commission! Would you let someone who pled guilty and was convicted of child porn work in a daycare or babysit your children? Simple answer: no.

      He may be a nice guy who is doing great things for his community, but he needs to do the right thing here and resign immediately. If he doesn’t, he needs to be removed immediately.

      Arson + making decisions for Fire Dept = Lunacy

      It’s time those sitting on the Village Board prioritize public trust, protection, and fiscal responsibility.

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      1. Maybe Rita just wants him to “serve” out his commission this year and then go away.

        No drama, just moving on.

        Though if she was going to remove him she would have already done so.
        The Fire Chief and commission issues while severe in their own right will be corrected over time. Slow and steady goes the ship called Salem Lakes !

        With Rita at the helm we can be assured she is doing the right things.

        But if she doesn’t, there’s always next April !!

        1. Hopkins, Gandt and Faber are old timers in Salem Lakes. Knowing what all Dunski has done, why would the vote him in? Were they trying to score votes ( because most of the public aren’t aware of Dunski’s criminal record.) and Dunski with his is involved with Salem Clean up?

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        2. Bill Hopkins served in the Navy for 30 years. He served for years on the Riverview Grade School board. Helped start the Bulldog / Jr. Panthers Football & Cheer program back in 2000, a program that has served several thousands of local kids over the past 23 years. Bill has served on the Village of Silver Lake board and currently serves on the Village of Salem Lakes Board, and probably a couple dozen other things I have forgotten.

          Bill Hopkins doesn’t have anything to be embarassed about. To lump him in with other board members that were not doing their jobs is lazy and really just plain ignorant.

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    1. the mistakes the old board made are going to come up for years yet. Tell Hopkins Gandt and Faber to step down

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  12. Well I’m from the camp that I applaud Dennis Faber, Ron Gandt. and Bill Hopkins for taking a chance on Allen. What you’re missing is anyone who currently knows Allen knows he has the highest integrity and gives back more than anyone to this community. Did he make mistakes 20 + years ago yup. What I see missing in this article what about his current performance as a Commissioner, has any of the new board members stepped up and made a stand for or against? Objective reporting would have been to interview each board and Fire Commissioner position and publish their opinion of his current performance.

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    1. I need contact with all of the old board and every commissioner on the board and no one wanted to talk about Allen. My guess is that they are too ashamed to be associated with him.

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      1. Thank you Kevin for your hard work. We would know nothing without your investigation skills. thank you.

    2. Maybe he’s on the commission to vet out any new applicants/recruits who may also be serial arsonists.

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    3. His current performance (and u can read all about it here on kce] was to not vote when he could should have and that extended the whole chief inspector bs. He should gave resigned then but for sure should resign now. But maybe he needs the money as commissioner and the digital scanner and Inside scoup for his fresh new LLC. Smh

    4. He is nothing but an arrogant asshole! His Facebook is proof! This news is actually no surprise to me! As far as I’m concerned he’s just a piece of shit jackass!! Thank you Kevin for reporting this story and for all of the stories that you bring to light!!! Keep up the good work and let’s expose every single crooked snakey liberal democratic moron out there!!!

    5. You don’t see the problem? People like him draw the community to like him or view him a certain way “such a great guy” while he has a whole different side of him that does this kind of shit. The fact he would even want to be a part of something that he took joins in destroying is mind boggling. This is the same guy that puts no trespassing signs up on county and village property to claim it as his own. Such a stand up guy.

  13. Like having a known pedophile as your babysitter.

    Think about how dirty the backgrounds are of the people that know this yet put those people in these positions. Birds of a feather flock together.

    My guess: Freemason brotherhood at play. It would be nice if Dunski used his boyhood skills at all of the local Masonic lodges.

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  14. The ironic part of this is that Mr Hopkins is always beating up on people’s past when it comes to liquor licensing but to think he was able to forgive such a crime of arson. Mr. Dunski has given a lot back to this community but to think they put him in the capacity of his position knowing the past is just out right crazy. Some one with that record can still contribute to a community positively. But to give them the power to set policy that just not right. As far as Hopkins this is proof that in a small community when there’s a good old boy club the good old boys will thrive while beating the shit out of everyone else

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    1. Hopkins does have a passion for applicants history.

      Maybe he’s just too close to the Fire to see clearly on this one !

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  15. It sounds to me that he was lucky to not have a cell phone trail at the time of the Village of Silver Lake village hall fire.

    I think that people don’t believe that the time served was long enough.

    1. And when the mutual aid departments showed up at the Silverlake fire. Dunski was standing outside in his Silverlake gear and radio while chief Tanski was running into the building in a t-shirt and jeans trying to save what he could.

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      1. He was the first one there full dressed with shoes and everything. Firemen that lived closer had no shoes and half dresses.

    1. It’s so sad. The people responsible should resign now Faber Gandt Hopkins It is the responsible thing to do.

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  16. It’s so sad. The people responsible should resign now Faber Gandt Hopkins It is the responsible thing to do.

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  17. Thank you Kevin. Now let’s find out about the lawyer. How did his girlfriend die in his bed. Who sold them the dope.

  18. Who out there thinks Gandt Hopkins and Faber should not be held responsible for putting a convicted arsonist on the Fire Commission

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  19. With an Evers pardon, Felon Dunski could run for office and make law in the village.
    Isn’t that F* bs?

    Yes, Faber, Gandt and Hopkins appointed a friggin felon! What is wrong with them? It isnt as if they didnt know about Dunski’s
    background. Not a one of them can claim ignorance. And yet, they put a felon in a brand new position in the village.

    Hopkins needs to be voted out.

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    1. You really think he would get enough votes ??

      Actually probably could because nobody else seems to want to run any more.

      This story should have run after thanksgiving so the possible supervisor candidates that were on the fence about running might have jumped in.

      Now this cycle is another two years away

  20. Facebook is proof! This news is actually no surprise to me! As far as I’m concerned he’s just a piece of shit jackass!! Thank you Kevin for reporting this story and for all of the stories that you bring to light!!! Keep up the good work and let’s expose every single crooked snakey liberal democratic moron out there!!!

  21. He deserves to be exposed and made to pay penalties and apologize to everyone!!! He is nothing more than an arrogant asshole and his Facebook is proof of that!!!

  22. Kinds off topic but same subject, Salem Fire Department.
    I dont really know the guy but does the interim chief hold all the minimum requirements the board put out for the position?

  23. After working with Dunksi, it was quickly realized he was a loose cannon. I cannot believe the Salem board did not do their due diligence in contacting previous employment or fire department members.
    It is dangerous to give someone like him that much power.

  24. All committee members should be QUALIFIED ELECTORS of the village. I gavent verified with statutes but??? Rita, update your specs and/or get board approval that committees in the village require only qualified electors to apply. Unless a qualified elector, one cannot vote in elections or run for office. How can a person not able to vote or run for office be on a committee? Wtf. Remove him and others that the clerk cannot verify as a qualified elector. And don’t forget to update all the committee applications/requirements.
    Absurd.

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    1. So, your concern is that a committee that has no real authority should only be made up of Voting residents? How about hard-working taxpayers who have skin in the game?
      So, the biggest taxpayers in the community should have No Opinion on how their local government is run? People like you are the reason we have a bad government, Just shut up and pay your taxes attitude. Anyone who has skin in the game should have a voice. I do agree that policy should only be done by residents, that’s why you must be a resident to be on the board. Rita has made that very clear, maybe you should come to the meetings and find out what a great job this new board is doing. It takes time to clean the messes, but the new Administrator, Attorney, Intern Fire Chief, and the board are trying every day. They are winning, please join us so you can see for yourself, we will welcome your voice.

      1. No real authority? For years they screwed citizens with regulations. Yes qualified electors. That does not mean the are voters, only that they could vote. Silly you.

      2. Voting residents is not was the author said. Read. They said qualified elector. If you are on as a new board member, you need to educate yourself.

  25. Allen dunski I see his name all over Facebook comments all the time and he’s always a dick well look at here

  26. Didn’t Hopkins endorse the sex offenders moving to town as well? He can do all the volunteering he wants, that doesn’t give you a free pass to be an ignorant prick. The arsonist he endorsed volunteered to clean up.

    This stinks like the scent of arrogance coming from Hopkins and the good old boys club that cling to their years of volunteering as free prick passes.

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised . A neighbor found an offender living 100 ft from a park, in a neighborhood filled with young kids. And it strangely slipped through the cracks until my neighbor brought it up.

  27. With all do respect to Mr. Hopkins, he is a nice guy, but who ever wrote the he was there when the Bulldogs started is totally wrong. I can state this only because I was. Let’s not use youth groups to promote.

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