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Salem Lakes To Appoint New Board Member – Pete Poli Is The Obvious Choice: Opinion

Peter Poli (51) Salem Lakes
(File Photo By Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

The Village of Salem Lakes has the opportunity for any legal resident of Salem Lakes that meets the age requirement, as well as other legal statutory requirements, to serve out the remainder of the term of beloved Trustee Kelly Sweeting. Sweeting abruptly resigned due to health reasons. The Village of Salem Lakes has seen major fundamental changes since the upset of the Spring 2023 election. These changes have been led by President Rita Bucur, trustees, new Salem Lakes Village Administrator Cassandra Hiller, the new interim Fire Chief Al Carr, and the new Village Attorney Remzy Bitar. These new leaders are making the changes that will lead to a much more effective government body that is far more transparent. Much has already been done in the last year. To be part of the change please attend meetings in person or watch on YouTube. In time, more will be disclosed about the mistakes of the past and how these new leaders are charting a bright future for all residents of the Village of Salem Lakes. With that in mind, this is why Pete Poli should take the place of Kelly Sweeting for the remainder of her term.   

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(Top Row) President Rita Bucur, Village Administrator Cassandra Hiller
(Bottom Row) Fire Chief Al Carr, Village Attorney Remzy Bitar
(All File Photos By Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Pete Poli is a Village of Salem Lakes (VOSL) resident and serves as the chair of the Board of Appeals as well. Pete has a unique specialty in sewer and water; a craft that he has spent most of his life doing. Pete took time away from his business and his family to serve the citizens of Salem Lakes in helping assist in the Valmar/Yaws sewer project. The original plan promoted by the Village engineer and high-level employees was a gravity sewer project that was slated to be completed in the next few years for a starting cost of approximately 11 million dollars. Pete immediately recognized that this area where the project was slated would be an extremely difficult project to complete with a gravity sewer system. The potential cost overruns could possibly be double the cost of the installation. This area has a very high-water table and would be under the constant attack of water trying to infiltrate the new gravity system, as well as extreme construction difficulties. 

Pete decided to explore and help educate the new board on these issues that would be presented with a gravity system. Pete’s input was originally met with major push back by certain board members and high-ranking employees of the village. Pete did not let this dissuade him from educating the board, high ranking employees, and ideologically driven engineers.  Pete presented a new way of using a low-pressure system that made more sense for numerous reasons:

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1. It could be done in stages, greatly reducing upfront cost.

2. The low-pressure system would present much less issues with water infiltration.

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3. The construction cost would be greatly reduced due to much of the piping installed through underground boring vs. open excavation (which would be required in a gravity system).

4. The low-pressure project would offer minimal disruption to the residents in the area. A gravity system would have been beyond difficult for residents to gain access to their homes during construction. Also, a concern was if rescue equipment was needed to get into the area, it most likely would have been impossible to do so.  

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5. The low-pressure system has an alarm that would alert the Village when there is an irregularity. This is a benefit to the homes that this would impact.

These are just a few of the major advantages to using a low-pressure system, yet obviously the most substantial is cost. Potentially, this could result in 5-10 million dollars in savings. As a taxpayer, I cannot be more thankful of Pete Poli’s sacrifice and concern for the residents of Salem Lakes

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The village has the opportunity to appoint someone that has already done something incredibly beneficial for the Village. Pete Poli finishing out Kelly Sweeting’s term is simply a no-brainer.

Salem Lakes Village Board (Top Row) Trustees, Jared young, Bill Hopkins, and Dennis Faber
(Bottom Row) Trustees Bill Barhyte and Ron Gandt, Village President Rita Bucur
(Photos by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

A Recap of Why Pete Poli should fill Trustee Sweeting’s Vacancy

  1. Self-Sacrifice- He offered hundreds of hours of his time to persuade Salem Lakes to seek another more viable option for the Valmar/Yaws Subdivision sewer upgrade project.
  2. Willing to take fire and push back when he believes in something. Pete clearly has a strong backbone when it requires him to protect the citizens of Salem Lakes.
  3. One of the most important public works departments for any municipality is sewer and water.  Can you even comprehend not having an expert like Pete Poli overseeing the development and future endeavors for the Salem Lakes sewer and water systems by sitting on the board. Taxpayers should recognize this expertise is essentially free advice to the village. We have already seen how this extremely knowledgeable citizen will ultimately save the taxpayers money. Any time a village board can have an expert in a field, they should not even hesitate at the chance to better their community.
  4. Previous Trustee Kelly Sweeting has endorsed Pete Poli and given her support of Pete Poli to finish her term.
  5. Pete Poli ran in the most recent election and did incredibly well. He went out and collected signatures, knocked on doors, and talked to taxpayers about their concerns. He also put signs out and made himself available to the public. He did not have the name recognition, which is why he lost by a small margin.
  6. He was praised by most of the board by his sacrifices and they acknowledged his perseverance, which ultimately persuaded the board to move forward with the low-pressure system. Cassandra Hiller worked with Pete and the different pump manufacturers to provide the most comprehensive information to change course and install the right system.  This system also offered an incredible cost savings of millions of dollars for the taxpayers of Salem Lakes.
  7. Pete is a very approachable leader and will offer expertise to our Village that will be long lasting. What makes a Village board the best it can be? When citizens with needed skill sets are willing to serve and advise the board with their knowledge. This new board has many members that clearly have special skills sets that can and will serve for the greater good of the VOSL. Pete Poli should be undoubtfully be part of that addition to this new board of leaders.  

Please show your support at the next Village of Salem Lakes Board Meeting on May 20th at 6pm. Speak or show your support for a great addition to the Village of Salem Lakes Board.

Brian Filiatreault
Salem Lakes Taxpayer



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18 Responses

  1. He actually ran for office and did the work.
    Anyone who steps up now with a letter and a few answers in a meeting is a Johnny come lately.

    We need people who are committed to the many.

    And those on the board already who got there as come latelies shouldn’t brag.

  2. Seems weird that the board didn’t just appoint Mr. Poli. Was there a legal reason they didn’t?
    Looks to be the most logical choice, if the goal is some form of better government. Is this new board returning back to the good old boy’s club? Maybe Mr. Poli is not part of that Club?

      1. I can only imagine what delusional reasoning the board could dream up to not appoint this guy. Aside from some big skeleton in his closet, which we haven’t heard of as of yet. What a waste of time, I’m pretty sure they could have just appointed him, he was vetted of sorts in the last election. I have a feeling that somebody-ies don’t want Poli, I guess, we will see Monday who the opposition is. Probably, the same folks that thought he was crazy, but instead the staff and engineers WERE?? Politics is a dirty business, it’s not necessarily what is good for the people. Politicians and Staff usually don’t do what is best for the people but what’s good for their job or an election. YUCK!!!!

        1. Somebodies? Let’s see Hopkins for sure he tried to hand Peter his ass as being a Dumb plumber. Yeah just not as dumb as the Village staff and a handful of board members. Such as Brad, Snellen, and the Village Engineer. Hopkins and Gandt are usually aligned but I think Gandt seen the value in Poli on this one. These people would of voted for a dogshit project just not to embarrass themself, pathetic. Maybe Peter Poli should go to Pleasant Prairie, at least they know they need him.

  3. Pete Poli screw Salem Lakes, please come to Pleasant Prairie. Salem Lakes isn’t looking for your caliber of a Village official.

    1. We need decent people to run against the corrupt machine in unpleasant prairie. Lets start finding decent people for next years election!!!!!!!!!

  4. PP needs Pete Poli.  Please, Pete move to PP we need you more than the hillbilly’s in Salem Lakes.  They had their change last year.  These little towns and Villages can only handle so much change at one time.  Salem Lakes could probably put cardboard cutouts of half or more of their board and these hillbillies would still vote for them.  It’s not about what best for the people, but who your drinking buddy is. Sorry Pete.  Time To Move PP.

      1. Our chance to get rid of Steinbrink is next spring election, getting rid of him will loosen the power of Polloncoff!

  5. At the meeting when someone speaks for Pete Poli, stand in support all during the statement. When Pete speaks, stand in support. If you are planning on speaking, let everyone know upon your arrival, and ask them to stand when u get up to speak..all as a body. Don’t speak. Just stand quietly in visible support.

  6. I’m afraid all this money being found and saved will go to Raises, New Employees Fire Trucks and Legal expenses. I hope the people’s tax bill will get a little kick back before they spend all of this new found money. Thanks Pete, but the saving will be spent somewhere else, guaranteed.

    1. What’s the village mil rate? Do u know?
      And that of twin Lakes? Or paddock LAke? Make the calls, ask and then tell us if your complaint is legit.
      We will wait on your exercise results.

    2. People complained when Cassandra was hired that her salary was too high. She took less pay than she has had in the past.
      And by the numbers, in just a few short months she has “saved” more than three times her salary !!

      And the savings will continue to mount !

      Do you want these “savings” to be redirected back into the village ?? To bring our employees wages up to par with surrounding communities so they stay ? To pay for an attorney that will keep us out of trouble ?

      And as for your current tax bill. Look around in communities nearby. Drive around and find a home like your own and Zillow it. The tax bill on those homes are right there to see. Compare yours to it. Is yours less ? How much ?

      And as for ValMar sewers. Those home should never have been allowed to be built way back when. But back then what were they ? Summer shacks ?

      They were built on land that’s just a few feet higher than a swamp. Anyone back there is lucky we are willing to do what’s necessary to allow them to stay.

      And once it’s done don’t you think their values will increase ? The properties will be improved ? And the tax base will shift just a little more on them and just a little less on you ? BTW. My Salem tax bill has been relatively steady. Yours ?

      You get what you pay for !! And if Cassandra and Rita can pay for most of these fixes with the Savings, tell me what’s wrong with that ??

      1. Getting grant money as a prerequisite to earning 145k a year could violate terms of most grants.

        Hiller bureaucratic experiences will make Salem Lakes a mini Chicago!

        Wait until she starts going after wells.

        The new board members are sweeping in a bigger government platform and they look like deer in the headlights blinding them from common sense that got them elected!

  7. As a former co-worker of Pete Poli, I can say with confidence that he is real deal. He’s extremely intelligent and detail oriented. What makes him unique, is that he is humble, a team player, and approaches problems from all angles. Salem Lakes is lucky to have him serve in any capacity!

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