By Gail Peckler-Dziki

Three weeks before the April 4 election, where three former Town of Salem supervisors were elected to serve the Salem Lakes Village, former Silver Lake Village President Bruce Nopenz signed a new contract with then-Town of Salem Administrator Pat Casey.

The contract came after a closed session of the former Silver Lake Village Board February 15, when Nopenz received authority to complete negotiations and sign the contract.

Contract terms were obtained through an open records request by the Report.

The major change involved his salary, a reported $101,804 in 2016, but upon signing a March 15 contract, Casey received an annual salary of $127,000. As part of the contract, his salary will not get reduced during his service as village administrator.

Casey, whose starting salary was $87,000 in 2009, has seen a 46 percent increase since.

Another stipulation in Casey’s contract entitles him to the same health benefits as other non-union employees at no additional costs. Other employees are obligated to pay a portion of their health insurance premium.

Casey also received both life insurance and long-term disability benefits equivalent to one year salary at no cost.

The contract states the administrator can opt out of the contract by submitting a 30-day written notice to the board.

The effective term of the contract was retroactive to Jan. 1, weeks before the Feb. 14 consolidation of the former Town of Salem and Village of Silver Lake, creating the Village of Salem Lakes. It runs until Dec. 31, when he receives an automatic renewal.

If the board decided to end the contract, it must give Casey notice by July 1 to become effective on Dec. 31 of the same calendar year.

According to the consolidation agreement, during the transition period, which ran until the first meeting of the Salem Lakes Village Board after the April 4, the former Village of Silver Lake could not incur debt other than refinancing existing debts.

During the transition period, issues were required to come before the transition committee, which consisted of Nopenz and former town board officials.

The transition committee consisting of chairwoman and current Salem Lakes Village President Diann Tesar, some former Town of Salem supervisors and Nopenz met on Jan. 23, Feb. 20 and March 15.

The last meeting was the same day Nopenz and Casey agreed to the new contract, which was never listed on the agenda.

Open records complications
Receiving a copy of the contract had complications, starting on July 5, when the Report emailed an open records request.

Casey, Tesar and former Silver Lake Village Clerk Vicki Galich did not respond.

Nearly a month later, on Aug. 1, a second email open records request was made to Casey, Village Attorney Rich Scholze and newly appointed Village Clerk Cindi Dulaney.

Dulaney responded two days later, stating “the office of the current clerk does not have knowledge nor possession of any such contract.”

Since then, Casey forwarded the contract to Dulaney, who in turn, met the open records request.

The Report sent emails to trustees on the Salem Lakes Village Board inquiring about the contract, but have not received a response as of Monday.


1 Comment

  1. Annette Newcomb says:

    Great story as always Gail!

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