Problems with the Salem Town Finances

      For the 2011 budget, the town budgeted $600,000 for the water tower in Trevor. At the annual meeting last week, the town informed the taxpayers that they spent over $1.3 million.

      That is $733,000 over budget. For one tax year, that is equivalent to a 22 percent tax increase, or decrease. I have been very vocal in my public statements that the Town of Salem was taxing us too much. This is proof that I was right. They had the money sitting around in fund balances that they were not using so they could pay for this. One of the questions is, “What will the 2013 budget look like?”

      Apparently, the town board knew nothing about this overexpenditure. The town administrator, who does not live in Salem, failed to notify the board of this expense. This violates the statutes of the State of Wisconsin (65.90(2)) and he should be held accountable. We will have to pay for this, not him, as he does not live here. The town administrator’s arrogance, incompetence and total disregard for the taxpayers of Salem is coming to light.

      This also brings into question the competence of the town board. I believe the town board was unaware of this overspending. Where have they been? I have been to meetings where I told the board they should be more attentive to the spending in the town, only to be shouted down by the likes of Dianne Tesar, Pat O’Connell and Dennis Faber.

      One of the most important roles of the town board is to oversee the revenues and expenditures of the town. Where have they been? At a minimum, the board should review the budget and the expenses at the end of the year, for the year, and look into problems. I suggested a quarterly review to the board years ago, and, as I said, I was shouted down by the individuals named.

      Where is the leadership of the town chairwoman, Diann Tesar? Diann was the town chairwoman when this town administrator was hired. She was in charge. When will we see the vision and leadership required from a person in this position? What is the job description for the TA? What is he measured by?

      On April 17, I wrote to Diann Tesar, the town chairwoman, and copied most of the other supervisors asking for an explanation. I do not have a response yet.

      Making Salem Better will have timely updates and I will continue to write letters to the newspapers. To sign up for Making Salem Better, go to

Jim Valentine



Thank you

      The Silver Lake boater safety course on April 14 and 15 was a success due to your assistance in advertising the course.

      We had 20 students attend and all successfully completed the course.  The instructor and I were advised by some of the students that the class was well taught and very informative.

      Of the 20 students, half were adults and half were children. We plan to offer another course in the near future and will let you know the dates as soon as possible.

      Thank you again,


John Kosterman

Water Patrol Supervisor

Silver Lake   


Walker’s reforms are working

      A positive economic report for Wisconsin was released by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank showing that Wisconsin’s economy is expected to grow 1.95 percent over the next six months, the best forecast since 2003. This is good news for Wisconsin families who have struggled under the failed liberal policies of Doyle’s administration. Walker’s leadership has laid the foundation for economic growth. His commonsense budget reforms have resulted in lowering the state unemployment rate and balancing a $3.6 billion budget deficit.   Wisconsin lost 150,000 jobs under Doyle. It is encouraging to see Walker creating thousands of private sector jobs throughout Wisconsin.

      Wisconsin’s forecast was the most improved in the nation with a three-month change of 2.36 percentage points. This is the best forecast for Wisconsin since 2003. The Democrats’ and their union allies have repeatedly attempted to use this same report in the past to attack Walker. It will be interesting to see if they use it now.

      The unemployment rate for January was 6.9 percent, the lowest rate in Wisconsin since 2008. Job creators in Wisconsin have taken notice of Walker’s efforts and 94 percent believe the state is heading in the right direction according to the 2012 Economic Outlook Survey. Only 10 percent believed that in 2010.

      Walker knows there is much work left to be done, but he is turning things around for Wisconsin’s economy. These newest reports of state leading economic indexes provide more indications that Walker’s pro-jobs policies are moving Wisconsin in the right direction.

      Governor Walker’s reforms are working.


Amy Holterman



Republicans have made hard but necessary choices

      The Wisconsin Reporter wrote about work the Manhattan Institute did in contrasting what Gov. Walker and Republicans did in Wisconsin, with what Gov. Quinn and Democrats did in Illinois when faced with massive budget deficits.

      While Walker and Wisconsin’s Legislature made the necessary cuts to fill a $3.6 billion state budget shortfall, Illinois’ Legislature and governor’s office imposed the largest tax increase in state history.

      The article reports that a little more than a year later, Illinois is right back where it started. Illinois now has about $9 billion in unpaid bills dogging the state’s finances. The deficit comes even after Illinois posted tax revenue gains of 15.3 percent, among the top states in tax revenue collection, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 survey.

      “Meantime, Wisconsin’s state and local governments have made substantial strides toward long-term budget stability,” the Manhattan Institute report states.

      “The different fiscal outlooks of the neighboring states illustrate a crucial fact in today’s budget wars: You can’t tax your way to a better future.” Illinois is a “poster child for fiscal irresponsibility.”

      This report sets off alarm bells when you hear the Democrats running against Walker in the recall promising policies that will lead to substantial tax increases and a return to the failed policies that got Wisconsin into the fiscal mess in the first place.

      Walker’s and the Republican Legislature’s reforms are working. They have eliminated a $3.6 billion state budget shortfall with sensible reforms.

      Republicans deserve credit for making hard but necessary choices.

Fran Hanus,




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