Steamboat Springs Up the creek
I read with dismay your letter in this past Sunday's issue of the Steamboat Pilot regarding my beloved community of Oak Creek.
I have happily lived in Oak Creek for 28 years where I have raised my two sons. I am getting a little tired of reading one slam after another about my fair community by someone who does not live here and prefers to present sensationalism rather than fact.
Your smug diatribe was insulting and ignorant. Have you ever thrown your hat into the ring, Scott Stanford?
It is pretty easy to sit back and dish it out especially when as a journalist your hope is to present something you fancy as clever for your own amusement and a pat on the back from your fellow mud slingers.
I have been involved in my town government as Trustee for four years and Mayor for two years. I can tell you with certainty that, no matter how much you would like to, you simply can't please everybody all of the time and that even the best of intentions of those public servants (volunteers) can be misconstrued by individuals who simply are unable to overcome severe negativity and/or sour grapes.
Change is never easy but it is inevitable and we can all choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution.
We can work together to bring about change in a proactive and productive manner. Name calling and backstabbing unfortunately will probably always go with the territory; however, I urge you to make an effort to present an informed and balanced message about your neighbors to the south.
Remember, many individuals from Steamboat's surrounding communities are the folks who work in Steamboat's various industries, which make Steamboat the kind of place that you wish to live in.
For those of us who choose to make Oak Creek our homes please spare us your insults and injurious remarks, as they are unnecessary and hurtful to many of us who prefer a small, friendly and tight knit community such as we have in Oak Creek.
An ill-informed Pilot
I'd like to thank the Pilot for all of the negative, ill-informed articles about this town, the new administration and myself.
Amazingly enough, the people of Oak Creek are not so foolish to believe everything they read over what they see with their own eyes and apparently feel in their hearts. The overwhelming support that has poured in from past and present residents has more than compensated for the hurt and anger I feel when reading petty jabs from those who simply do not know.
A philosopher wrote: When I want to speak, let me think first
Is it True?
Is it kind?
Is it necessary?
If not, let it be left unsaid.
The "Our View" in Sunday's Pilot met none of these requirements.
I believe I shall write these criteria for speaking on the board at Town Hall; hoping it becomes the "rule of thumb" for our upcoming meeting.
In closing, I'd like to invite Kathy Bloom, author of the letter entitled "Ouch" in the letters section of the same paper, to visit Oak Creek.
We love children. And being a good person with good intentions is the only prerequisite to being treated respectfully. Steamboat has some "real" people as well; the ones on pedestals are just louder.
Mayor, Oak Creek
Give Cargo credit
This letter is being written in response not only to the two articles in Sunday's paper concerning the town of Oak Creek, but also in regard to the general attitude toward our mayor and the change that our town board has implemented.
The last sentence in the editorial column states that, "unfortunately for the town's residents, the change hasn't been for the better."
The authors of this column should have taken a closer look at the situation at hand before making such a remark. The changes that have been made were all too necessary, considering the incredibly negative situation the new board was thrust into.
The main purpose for hiring Ray Leibensperger was to obtain an employee who could get grants for the town, but in the year that Leibensperger was employed by the Town of Oak Creek, he did not acquire one. In the four months that Cargo Rodeman has been mayor, she has managed to acquire $25,000 in grants, and has taken on many of the responsibilities of a town manager.
Her car can be seen parked in front of town hall at least four days a week, eight hours-a-day.
Venture into her office and you will see a woman who is working a full-time job for about $90 a month, her desk stacked high with mounds of paperwork and her phone ringing off the hook.
Cargo came into her mayoral position knowing nothing except that she had to do something about the direction the town was heading. She has spent hour upon hour gaining and retaining massive amounts of information crucial to the accomplishment of this goal, and has managed to do so while facing the demands of citizens and the criticisms from sore losers.
Why waste time trying to maintain your pride by dredging up Cargo's past there are, of course, no skeletons in your respective closets when you could be helping to improve the town you suddenly love so much? What did happen to Labor Day, anyway?
The "restructuring" of the current police force was not an attempt to allow people in town to drive drunk, but an attempt to relieve the constant fear of police abuse that arose when one drove within the town limits.
This fear was not limited to citizens of Oak Creek, but was also felt by those of surrounding towns. Tourists traveling on C.R. 131 were told to avoid Oak Creek at all costs.
Oak Creek obtained a reputation that no one but Cargo was brave enough to oppose and do something about.
I, along with many people to whom I have spoken, no longer feel my stomach twisting in nervous knots when I see a white Blazer with the Oak Creek Police logo emblazoned on the side.
I no longer follow its path in my rear view mirror after I pass it to watch for brake lights, praying that I have employed my turn signal soon enough and have remained stopped at the stop sign long enough.
With the arrival of Jason Lunnen as an officer in Oak Creek came a foreign concept. A cop who talks to you like a human being? Who acts like a human being?
I even found myself smiling when I saw the aforementioned white Blazer, anticipating a smile, a wave, and perhaps a friendly conversation.
Jason's 95 percent approval rating reveals that my personal opinion of the man is concurrent with the majority of the town.
He might have failed his state certification exam (a fact which has been obscenely reiterated by the press), but if there was an exam to evaluate a police officer's heart and soul, Jason would have passed with flying colors.
Cargo was just as willing to fight to keep a good policeman as she was to remove a bad policeman, and her "criminal" past did nothing to cloud her judgment.
I will end my letter with a simple suggestion. Next time you drive through Oak Creek, stop for a moment or two and take the time to form your own views on our little town without the negative preconceptions that the editors of the Steamboat Pilot & Today have worked so diligently to ensure.
You'll be pleasantly surprised.
Sara Jo Linden