Open letter to Silver Lake Board of Trustees    

      Eight years ago my wife and I moved to Silver Lake and not to long after that I attended my first village meeting.

      This board consisted of some of the village’s mature citizens; some had 15 to 20 years of service. It didn’t take long to figure out that this board wanted to keep everything status quo (they didn’t want to change a thing).

      At one time they voted no in letting a developer build a condo project, which in my opinion would have generated at least one million dollars of tax revenue…it was like being locked into the 19th century.

      Not long after that there were some new trustees elected and a couple years later this board gave a local contractor projects without ever getting any other quotes or proposals from other contractors.

      In my opinion, some of the invoices were outrageous. As we all know these invoices were made public and the results of that came a new president and three new trustees who were voted in. In 2012 two new trustees were voted in.

      This new board consists of some of Silver Lake’s younger citizens; they seem to be very energetic, and very frugal. Everything is accounted for. This new board along with the village president has been doing their job; no new or increased taxes for the past two years and they are now chasing delinquent sewer bills. What more can you ask for? They are now being crucified because there is a problem with the fire department responding to calls.

      They asked Silver Lake Rescue Squad, Inc. (a private company) to consider a merge agreement in joining the Silver Lake Fire Department so that the citizens of our village can be cared for and protected properly!

      I understand there are personnel on the Fire Department that can provide the same services that Silver Lake Rescue Inc., can along with back up from Salem’s Rescue (also providing paramedic service).

      This may cost some extra monies to the citizens, but that is why we have insurance. Let us all think about one thing: if we lost our Fire Department, what will happen to our homeowners insurance?

      Perhaps Jeff and the village trustees should increase our taxes to cover the Fire Department? I think it’s time that we quit thinking about what happened 50 years ago and try to move into the 21st century.

Ralph Jankovic

Silver Lake resident

 

Retailers compete in unfair marketplace

      With the holiday season upon us the stores and malls are full of shoppers looking for that special gift for loved ones. And while local retailers are still the preferred outlet for Christmas shoppers, Internet sales continue to grow dramatically. Early estimates for 2012 show a whopping 20 percent increase over last year in Internet shopping in Wisconsin. Wisconsin retailers welcome the opportunity to cater to the needs of customers, both on the Internet and at stores. Wisconsin customers pay all state and local taxes whether they purchase in store or through the Internet from Wisconsin retailers.

      Current Wisconsin law requires state and local taxes to be paid for any purchase made on the Internet. Online-only retailers however, are exploiting a massive loophole in the system and aren’t collecting sales tax at the point of sale despite that fact that the tax is still due.

      Wisconsin retailers must compete in an unfair market place, with online retailers costing the state not only lost sales tax revenue, but Wisconsin jobs. We urge Governor Walker and legislators to put Wisconsin first and deliver more jobs for Wisconsin by treating out-of-state online retailers the same as in-state retailers.

      Governor Walker and legislative leaders have made job retention and creation a top priority in Wisconsin and we applaud them for advancing legislation to build Wisconsin’s economy. However, we can do more to support Wisconsin business. It makes no sense for Wisconsin to give out-of-state Internet companies an advantage over in-state business. Online only retailers don’t collect the tax, leaving that responsibility with their customers who are not aware of the law and in most cases do not comply, leaving customers with a potentially significant unpaid tax liability.

      Out-of-state Internet companies employ nobody in Wisconsin, pay no taxes in Wisconsin and give back nothing to local communities or charities in Wisconsin. It is time to put an end to this ridiculous unfair advantage out-of-state Internet companies exploit over Wisconsin business.

Joe Pankratz, President

Wisconsin Jewelers Association

 
 

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