SYLVAN LAKE — City Council members didn’t try to find a silver lining to the upcoming retirement of Police Chief Mark Silver. Instead, they reminisced about some of the programs he helped implement during his tenure.
At a March 13 City Council meeting, City Manager John Martin said Silver will be retiring effective May 31 after 13 years of service with Sylvan Lake, including eight years as police chief. Martin said Silver and the city arrived at the decision by mutual agreement.
Martin added that he would be taking over the duties as chief, adding that he will soon finalize what those operations entail.
“This will be the status quo until City Council and staff continue to explore the best options for the Police Department at the best cost,” he said.
In November 2011, Sylvan Lake voters chose to raise up to 5 mills to save their Police Department, and the council voted in 2012 to levy 4.7 mills. Voters had heard that the other alternative at the time was to outsource police operations to Bloomfield Township.
Martin said Silver made some positive changes in the Sylvan Lake Police Department, such as starting the police reserve program that allowed the city to conduct patrols while saving money.
Martin also praised Silver for buying Christmas gifts for needy kids and contributing to charity drives, such as the Polar Plunge and the Torch Run.
“Mark did do some very good things in his relatively short time here,” he said.
During the meeting, some city officials criticized a report in another newspaper that rehashed “negative stuff” about Silver’s term.
In 2007, an ex-Sylvan Lake officer filed suit against Silver and accused him of sexual harassment. Although Silver reportedly wanted the case tried in court so his name could be cleared, the city settled the suit without an admission of guilt in 2008 at the recommendation of the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority.
In their remarks on the retirement, the Sylvan Lake council members uniformly had kind things to say about Silver.
“We are not a community without our challenges, but we certainly wish him well in his retirement,” Mayor Mike Zubrzycki said.
Councilman Aron Lorenz also wished Silver well and praised him for listening to City Council’s comments. “The guy did everything he could do to make his time here as productive as possible,” Lorenz said.
Silver could not be reached for comment by press time.
Learn more about Sylvan Lake at (248) 682-1440.