Saturday, August 25, 2001
Oak Creek About 40 members of a local activist group staged a peaceful rally on the steps of Oak Creek's town hall last week.
Citizen Down formed about two months ago in response to what supporters perceive as unjust treatment by town officials. Oak Creek residents deserve fairness from their mayor, trustees and police force, Cargo Rodeman, a spokesperson for Citizen Down, said.
Rodeman said the turnout was smaller than what had been hoped but added that the number of younger faces in the crowd was encouraging.
Capacity crowds at the VFW forced Citizen Down members to recently move its meetings to the town hall.
The town's board of trustees and Mayor Deb Vangundy were holding a meeting at the Oak Creek Town Hall Thursday night.
Protesters entertained board member Mike Kein with a song as he arrived for the meeting.
"I expect this group to stay around for a long time," Kein said later.
Several of the other board members used the back entrance to avoid the crowd's notice.
Vangundy said before Thursday evening that she did not expect any distractions from the rally.
"I would imagine that they wouldn't disrupt our board meeting," Vangundy said. "They're outside and we'll be inside."
The police had no reason to show up at the rally, Oak Creek Police Chief Tom Ling said.
A few protestors showed up on horseback. Citizen Down has rallied around a local woman who was arrested a few weeks ago for riding her horse on the town's sidewalks.
"It's O.K. as long as you're not riding your horse in the park or on the sidewalk," Ling said. "This woman was arrested because she was riding in the dark and almost caused a car accident."
About a half a dozen people stood up during the board meeting and expressed support for Ling and his department.
Rodeman said he was pleased that the group was able to make its point.
"What is so wrong about wanting to have a Mayberry kind of place to live?" Rodeman asked.