Village of Salem Lakes Complaint Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to the Village Board, Administrator, Village Staff, and citizens of the Village of Salem Lakes for processing and filing complaints. The Village strives to maintain quality of services, improve relationships between Village employees, Village Board members, the Administrator and the citizens. 


This policy applies to all Village of Salem Lakes departments, divisions, offices, boards, commissions, committees, Village employees, and Village citizens. 



It is the policy of the Village to accept and investigate written complaints as described in this policy and to assure compliance in accordance with Village  Policies and Ordinances. 



It is important to recognize the difference between a complaint and a suggestion, observation, question, neighbor dispute, or simply a call pointing out a hazard or safety issue. Any citizen or employee of the Village of Salem Lakes can file a complaint. The elected official or staff member fielding the complaint will need to determine whether or not a complaint exists and which type it is. Example of complaints include:

                Violation Complaint

                   A citizen's complaint against a fellow citizen because he or she feels the Village Ordinance is being violated


                  Non-Violation Complaint

                   A complaint against the Village as the result of a policy or ordinance deemed unfair. It can also be a complaint against the Village because of what a                    citizen feels is inaction or an inappropriate response to a situation.



It is necessary for the complainant to fill out a Complaint Form, which may be provided by any Village staff member. Complaints will be considered hearsay if a formal Complaint Form is not completed and signed. Unsubstantiated complaints such as anonymous phone calls or e-mails will warrant no action by the Administrator, Village Board or staff. The form must include a description of the complaint and be signed and dated by the individual filing the complaint. The Village Administrator or his or her designee must also sign and date the complaint form. If a response to the complaint is requested, the complainant must also provide contact information. The original completed complaint form will be filed at the Village Hall



All complaint forms filled out will be turned over to the Village Administrator, or his or her designee who will determine the validity of the complaint. Once determined a valid complaint, the Village Administrator, or his or her designee, will communicate to the complainant, in a reasonable amount of time, the course of action if such a response was requested on the complaint form. The person following up on the complaint and the of follow-up, when that occurs, should also be noted on the complaint form. Matters not found to be substantiated by Village  Code will be dismissed without action. If contact information was provided, complainants will be notified of the Village's decision not to pursue a complaint and for what reason. 

                  Violation Complaint

                   For complaints involving municipal infractions, the Village Administrator will review the complaint and complaint form. Complaints will be                   

                   investigated for validity and resolution. If the complaint is found valid the following process will be followed:


                   If this is the first complaint received, a notice will be delivered in person or mailed with the affidavit of service to the offender, specifying the           

                   violation and action required to comply with the Ordinance or Policies of the Village of Salem Lakes. If the notice is returned undeliverable,

                    reasonable efforts will be made to locate the responsible party. These efforts may include the notice being hand delivered by a Law Enforcement

                    Officer or process server.  Notices will also include a reasonable time frame for compliance. The notice shall cite the ordinance and consequences

                    of noncompliance. 


                    In the event that compliance has not occurred in the time frame allowed or in the event of a second occurrence within 12 months, after the first   

                    abatement period has expired, a first offense citation may be issued. The appropriate municipal infraction citations may be issued for each               

                    occurrence thereafter as allowed. Each violation and each day a violation continues or occurs shall constitute a separate offense per Chapter 1 of 

                    the Village of Salem Lakes Code Section I-4(D). 


                    Should citations be issued per Village Code, the citations will proceed pursuant to applicable laws.


                     Non-Violation Complaint

                        Steps will be taken on non-violation issues to be resolved by the appropriate body, preferable by Village staff. Example: the Administrator and/or

                       the Highway Superintendent will review matters involving street repairs. If not resolved, the matter will be directed to the Village Board, provided

                       the matter falls under such jurisdiction of the Village Code, in the event further administrative review is required, the Village Board will be kept 

                       apprised of issues in progress. 


This complaint policy is intended to create orderly guidelines for processing carious routine complaint issues. The Village reserves the right to proceed differently than described in the policy if the Village Administrator or Village Board deem different action is appropriate. Among the possible alternative actions, without limitation, may be to: skip Property Maintenance Notice and issue immediate citations; refer matters to other jurisdictions, such as to the Kenosha County Sherriff's Department or the Kenosha County District Attorney; proceed with statutory hearings, such as regarding police disciplinary proceedings; summary abatement of violations; Circuit Court litigation; taking no action, for example upon finding the parties have adequate private remedies; and other possible actions or inactions as the Village Administrator or Village Board may determine.  

Where this policy conflicts with applicable Federal, State, or Village Laws, codes, ordinances or other lawful regulations, such as applicable Laws shall control.



In accordance with Village codes and State Statutes all written documents, including complaint forms are subject to open records rules. This signed complaint is a public record and may be shared with the person being complained about. All complaints must be signed to be considered valid.

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