Treasurer resigns

Oak Creek's Stordal gone immediately

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— Oak Creek Treasurer Jo Dee Stordal resigned Monday without notice, effective immediately, and cleared her Town Hall office of personal possessions the same afternoon.

The decision came after almost a month of tension between Stordal and Town Hall staff over professional differences.

An e-mail message sent from Stordal, dated Oct. 26, to Town Clerk Nancy Crawford detailed a list of her complaints.

Since that day, several letters have gone back and forth.

Tension reached a point where it came to the attention of the Town Board, which discussed the situation at its Nov. 14 meeting.

Stordal did not attend the meeting.

Stordal's husband, Trustee David Stordal, stepped down from the discussion.

Moments into the discussion, those in attendance voiced their discomfort with the Town Board discussing personnel matters at a public meeting.

The discussion then stopped, Trustee Mike Kien said.

"The board made no decision," Kien said. "I told Nancy that I would support her decision to do what she felt was necessary as a department head and a manager."

On Monday morning, Crawford wrote a letter of reprimand to Stordal.

"I also gave her a list of rules that she needed to follow," Crawford said. "We set work hours when she needed to be in the office. I told her that she needed to treat everyone in the office with courtesy, and she was not to give any directives to other staff."

Crawford handed the letter to Stordal, and the treasurer immediately began packing her things, Crawford said.

The letter of resignation came no more than an hour later.

"(Before Stordal) we'd been a while without a good treasurer. I liked (Stordal's) numbers," Kien said. "It's unfortunate that now we have to start over again."

Stordal declined to comment.

This is not the first time Stordal has tendered her resignation.

In Feb. 28, Stordal, then assistant treasurer, gave notice citing a personal difference with Town Manager Ray Leibensperger.

Stordal asked for her job back after Leibensperger stepped down.

She was rehired in April after Mayor Cargo Rodeman and several new board members were elected.

This second resignation is unfortunate in its timing.

Oak Creek lost its treasurer three weeks before the completion of its 2003 budget.

According to Colorado state statute, towns with a property tax must certify their mill levy with county commissioners by Dec. 15.

The budget must be adopted before that date.

The public hearing for the 2003 budget is scheduled for Dec. 12 at the next Town Board meeting.

"Citizens will have an opportunity to criticize the budget at that time," Crawford said.

Though the board will struggle with the budget without the aid of a treasurer, they have a plan.

"One of our board members, J. Elliott, has a strong accounting background," Crawford said. "The board will look to him for some real guidance."

A special meeting is scheduled for tonight to select a new public works director. A budget work session will be held after the meeting.

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