Oak Creek denies GRAMNET funding

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— The Grand, Routt and Moffat Narcotics Enforcement Team will not receive $2,000 it requested from the town of Oak Creek.

On Thursday night, the Oak Creek Town Board attempted to reconsider its earlier vote not to fund GRAMNET in its 2003 budget, but the results did not change.

The initial vote, made Nov. 26, was a 3-3 tie because Trustee Clyde Moore left the meeting early.

Before that meeting, Mayor Cargo Rodeman told GRAMNET Program Director Dwight Murphy she expected a 4-3 vote in favor of funding. Moore was expected to give a "yes" vote.

At Thursday night's meeting, the faces were different, but the odds were the same. This time it was Trustee Bill Paxton who was missing. He was sick and in the hospital. Paxton voted "yes" in the original GRAMNET vote, leaving the outcome of the revisited vote an inevitable 3-3 tie.

The board decided not to vote again on the issue.

"To reopen this would be a moot point," Rodeman said.

GRAMNET has a backup plan. Steamboat Springs Director of Public Safety J.D. Hays asked the Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday night to pick up $500 of the tab if Oak Creek did not change its decision. GRAMNET planned to make the same request of Routt County commissioners and funding entities in Moffat County, he said Tuesday night.

In other business, the Town Board voted 4-1 to officially hire Tim Willert as an Oak Creek police officer. The only dissenting vote came from Trustee Mike Kien, who wanted the board to wait for the results of a background check from private investigator Gary Wall.

The board voted by proxy over the telephone last weekend to hire Willert, who started work Monday. Kien said Thursday night his proxy vote was also a vote to wait for the background check.

As of Thursday night, Rodeman and Moore were the only board members to meet Willert. He was not at the meeting. Willert has been living in Hayden with a friend but is moving into a house in Phippsburg, Rodeman said.

The rest of the meeting was dedicated to discussion of the 2003 budget, due Dec. 15. Oak Creek resident Chuck Klumker attended the meeting and offered his services to search the town's Fund Ware program for salvageable data before the town buys new software and re-keys all of its budget numbers.

"Re-keying numbers is a nightmare and is just a chance to introduce errors," Klumker said.

Trustee John Crawford approached Klumker this week with concerns about several reports by former treasurer Jo Dee Stordal of data corruption in the town's financial records.

"I have questions whether anything is actually missing," Klumker said. "There is a question whether the expertise did not exist to run the complex Fund Ware program."

Klumker told the board he understood the program, having written the Fund Ware technical manual more than 12 year ago, and would determine in writing whether any information was missing and the integrity of the information that did exist.

The board asked Klumker to submit a proposal to be discussed at the Dec. 12 board meeting.

Rodeman reported the town has several applications for the treasurer position and interviews are tentatively scheduled for Dec. 11.

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