As today marks my 100th day as the mayor of Silver Lake, I wanted to share my State of the Village report. The presentation was made at last week’s Village Council meeting.

Therese Dunphy gives the 2024 State of the Village presentation.

Good evening.

I am honored to share some of the achievements and challenges in our Village during the past year and to showcase what’s on the horizon, but first I want to express my gratitude to all of you. It takes the dedication of many to make our Village a better place to live, work, and play.

Tonight, I will highlight some recent improvements, including infrastructure projects, equipment acquisitions, and community enhancements that have taken place in recent months or are planned for the near term.


Finances, Capital Expenditures, and Contracts

In 2023, the Village had a total of $5.6 million in disbursements, with 70 percent in governmental expenditures and 30 percent in enterprise expenses. Governmental expenditures were largely comprised of security, health, transportation, and labor costs.

While we did spend down $717,000 in cash reserves – largely on capital projects – we ended the year with cash reserves of $3.2 million. Balances in both governmental and enterprise funds exceeded benchmarks for healthy reserves. Simply put, we are in good financial health.

Supply chain issues, on the other hand, made some capital expenditures a little more challenging than normal. Equipment investments over the last year include a Ford 350 Pickup truck for the Service Department, two Ford Interceptor Police Cruisers, a Case wheel loader, a Tiger Cat mower, and the Leaf Vac Machine – which was an instant hit with many residents.

Through a $50,000 grant, we were able to purchase a generator that will ensure water continues to flow throughout the Village in case of a power outage.

We’ve also negotiated a new two-year gas aggregation contract and a four-year trash contract.

In addition, we’ve invested in our most important asset, our people. In December, Council modified its compensation package to reduce the number of steps for various categories of employees, improved accumulation of vacation days, and increased sick leave conversion at retirement. These steps put us in better alignment with surrounding communities and should help us attract and retain employees.


Service Department

The Service Department is busy working on infrastructure throughout the Village.

It has been conducting a lead service line inventory. This is a public safety issue and is required by the Environmental Protection Agency. Working with our engineers, we received a 0-interest loan to fund the first phase of this work, replacing approximately 100 lead lines as we continue to identify additional lines that need to be updated.

We also received a Congressional District Grant of $904,000 through the office of Rep. Emilia Sykes. These funds will allow the Village to separate its last remaining combined sewer and stormwater line. This means better infrastructure, cleaner outflows to Silver Lake and the Cuyahoga River, and a healthier community. We are also working with Rep. Sykes on grant funding for a water looping project that would improve water supply and quality to the Terrace Knoll subdivision as well as the southern portion of Village-owned property.

The Service Department conducted smoke testing along Athens Road and Silver Lake Boulevard to determine which sections of the sanitary system have the greatest number of defects. A total of 43 smoke sources were identified, indicating sources where groundwater and storm water could enter the sanitary sewer system. The next step in this project is to camera these sections and determine remediation options.

At Willow Park, the Service Department is building a new playground and pavilion, along with a grill and water fountain. These improvements will enhance the riverfront area for our residents this summer.

And, today kicked off the spring leaf and limb program, which will continue until April 28.


Silver Lake Police Department

Our residents have a deep appreciation for the SLPD and the peace of mind it provides.

The department has been recertified by the Ohio Collaborative Community Police Advisory Board in 11 areas of department policy and procedures to ensure accountability and to instill greater public confidence.

The department is also investigating an upgrade of its patrol rifles – with my full support and encouragement. Our rifles, acquired through the state’s military surplus program more than a decade ago, date back to the Vietnam War. As our officers protect and serve, we need to ensure they have the proper tools. New rifles, along with the shields already purchased by Council, are important components of keeping our police department suitably geared.

The Silver Lake Police Association continues to be an active community partner. It recently held its annual Easter Egg Hunt, which was a wonderful experience for some of our youngest residents and their families. The SLPA looks forward to its participation in events such as the Festival, Car Show, Shop with a Cop, and Tree Lighting in 2024.



Like our Service and Police Departments, the Administrative staff is top notch. Each week, I hear them answer resident questions, address their concerns, and go out of their way to help residents in ways that go well beyond their scope of duties. From fielding calls about trash service, gas and electric rates, the leaf and limb pick up program, dogs, cats, deer, and coyote, they help residents find the information they need and steer them to the proper resources.

They also leverage our Neptune 360 water meter system in ways that directly benefit residents. They monitor the leakage report and call residents to report spikes and help them identify the source. Their conscientiousness can save residents hundreds of dollars a month on their water bills.

They also keep residents informed of what is happening throughout the Village by creating the monthly newsletter that accompanies our water bills and updating our website, social media accounts, and sign.

They’ve recently completed training that will allow residents to make water bill payments via credit card in the near future. This training will also expand our communications options through email and text alerts to residents.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that they’ve been a great help as I’ve transitioned into my new role.

Next, I’d like to touch on some of the people and projects that enhance the quality of life in Silver Lake.


Veterans Tribute Garden

Last Memorial Day, the Village dedicated the Veterans Tribute Garden, which remembers and pays tribute to those who served, those who are still serving, and their families.  Symbolism can be seen throughout this garden, which is a permanent and beautiful reminder of the commitment of our veterans and their families, and a place for reflection and appreciation for all of us.The project was the swan song of my predecessor, Bernie Hovey, and his committee, including John Schluep, Mike Thorson, Barb Oldham, Rosalie Goshen, Denny Stoiber, and Bob Steiner. Our deep appreciation goes to each of them, as well as our administrative team, who developed this concept into a beautiful and deeply meaningful addition to the Village grounds.

I’d also like to suggest that you mark your calendars for this Memorial Day when we will host a service at the Veterans Tribute Garden.


Community Events

In spring of 2023, former council member Bill Church suggested that the Village once again sponsor a summer concert series at the gazebo. The idea was met with resounding support, and a series of three concerts were held, featuring live entertainment, food trucks, and an old-fashioned hot dog cookout. With each event, the crowds seemed to grow. It was a wonderful way to spend time together as a community. Thanks to all who served on that committee, including Bpb and Carol Steiner, Bill and Lynda Church, and John and Beth Schluep.

This summer, the concert series is being spearheaded by Bob and Mary Alice Tedquist. We look forward to another line up of food trucks, musical talent, and time together.

Once again, the Garden Club hosted one of the Village’s most beloved traditions – the Silver Lake Festival. With the support of dozens of volunteers who cooked and served food, manned games, provided prizes, and sold souvenirs, this signature event strengthens our sense of community and fosters a sense of tradition among all generations.

Next week, we will host a family friendly event: Total Eclipse at the Arboretum. The Silver Lake Police Association is generously providing safe eyewear for residents to view the once-in-a-lifetime event. Community members are invited to bring a picnic to the arboretum on April 8, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and view the eclipse together.


Board and Commission Service

In addition to volunteers for community events, the Village is fortunate to have many of its residents who volunteer for our boards and commissions.

  • Planning Commission is comprised of Denny Stoiber, Don Brown, Lou Ciraldo, Courtney Zimmerman, David Whited, and Lora Wilmoth.
  • Board of Zoning Appeals includes Jeff Anderson, Craig Chmielowicz, Doug Hachat, Tom Kramer, Mike Thorson, and Lora Wilmoth.
  • Park Board is made up of Shelley Jurkiewicz, Bob Barsan, Brandon Easton, Sarah Snook, Deborah Steel, Cecelia McDermott, and Suzanne Garrett.
  • Shade Tree Commission includes John Gerrath, Bob Henry, Sheri Petrosek, Debra Sanderson, Bill Braden, Ben Gregory, and advisors Marcia Mandala and Paul Theiss.
  • Citizens Housing Committee is composed of Victoria Scott, AnneMarie Lann, Stanley Lero, Jeff Nank, Mary Ann Schneider, Lou Ciraldo, and Brian Lapolla.
  • The Watershed Commission is made up of Dan Markowitz, Marty Emnett, Shelley Jurkiewicz, Tim Nichols, Polly Bloom, Denny Stoiber, Jennifer Wells, Paul Theiss, Mark Lipan and Suzanne Garrett.

These residents give freely of their time and talents, and we owe them a debt of gratitude for their service.

And finally, I want to recognize the members of Council. You are dedicated to working in the interests of the Village and its residents. I appreciate your commitment to service, and the thoughtful guidance and support you’ve shown during my transition to the mayor’s office.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Government exists for one purpose: to make things better for all people.”

Here, everyone comes together with the common goal of making life better for the residents of Silver Lake. That is our greatest strength and the reason why the Village is such a wonderful place to live, work, and play.