Letters to the editor for June, 25, 2003

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Letters to the editor

In defense of Cargo
I am writing to reply to your editorial last week regarding Oak Creek Mayor Cargo Rodeman as grant writer for the town of Oak Creek.
The Town Board voted in favor of Cargo being paid $25 per hour, up to $800 per month, to write grants for the town, which she has taken part in (successfully, I might add) already in an open town meeting. Make no mistake about it, Cargo will be under scrutiny in this grant-writing endeavor unlike anyone else has been or will be, yet she is still willing to do this for the good of the town of Oak Creek.
Being a person of integrity and having taken a sworn oath as mayor, Cargo would be the first person to admit she wasn't the right choice for this grant-writing position if she found her abilities lacking in that area.
We had a town manager (making a bit more than $800 a month) not that long ago whose job included grant writing; how much money did he obtain for the town?
I take issue with your statement that Cargo puts in as much time at Town Hall as any mayor. I have lived in Oak Creek for 29 years and in that time cannot remember another mayor, including myself, who put in time anywhere close to what Cargo has. Most of us have held full-time jobs while committing to this basically volunteer position and therefore have not had the ability to put in the kind of time that she has and does. At present, circumstances allow her to put in more hours than most of us put in for our paying jobs.
Cargo is a very intelligent, giving, caring and diligent woman who has made more headway during her tenure as mayor in countless areas and once again we are hearing from a very small faction of individuals who seem to find fault with everything that she does. It doesn't matter who runs for any office anywhere where there isn't always someone who will cry out "special agenda."
I am sure that everyone's opinions and ideals could be said to be their special agenda. However, in government, whether it is a small municipality or a large federal operation, those persons who run it will be scrutinized by the rest of the populace.
I would only wish that the amount of energy that is being put into finger pointing and name calling would be channeled into a more positive direction for Oak Creek such as putting energy into community good by volunteering time in different areas where it is needed. I don't see that Oak Creek has an overload of community volunteers and for those folks who find themselves constantly dissatisfied, perhaps some good old-fashioned charity to others would be good for the soul.
Karen Halterman
Oak Creek
A future plan?
For the third time in 10 years, the Steamboat Springs City Council has asked its residents if they would like to plan for the future, and what kind of planning should take place.
The results of these surveys are absolutely in favor of managed growth. And they are equally absolute in rejecting the unregulated free market economy that has, by default, resulted in a faster growth rate than what those same citizens expressed was optimal.
(1) In the 1995 study, 62 percent wanted stronger regulations to direct our future, 65 percent agreed with the phrase "stop the brutal marketing," 67 percent did not think the free market economy was helping our community, and 80 percent of the residents asked for a 2 percent or less annual growth rate. What they got, because the city did not act, was an annual growth rate of more than 4 percent.
(2) In the 1999 study, 80 percent of the citizens said they strongly supported controlling the growth rate, 56 percent thought the present growth rate was unacceptable, and 72 percent felt that if our present rate of development continued, the quality of life would deteriorate.
The city continued "to study the problem."
(3) In the 2003 study, by a margin of 2 to 1, residents have asked the city to implement a growth rate mechanism, and they have asked for the city to aggressively pursue infill redevelopment.
Ninety-two percent have asked to diversify the economy, and a majority support the protection of our water and wildlife habitat.
All three studies have other components which, if implemented, would help our community prosper by encouraging a diversified economy, by managing the timing, phasing and location of new development, and by improving the regulations governing the future.
Between 2001 and 2003, city planning directors Wendie Schulenberg and Steve Stamey, and now, Clarion Associates, presented the available and usable tools to manage growth, at the request of the City Council.
What is the council going to do with those tools?
The real question is this: Does the City Council truly want to plan for a future in a meaningful way, or does it only want to appear to be doing so? Will the city really act, or will it continue to delay -- as it has for the past 10 years -- telling us that it just needs more time, more monitoring of the situation, more surveys, more input, more studies, more whatever.
Will the City Council take the political heat and implement the wishes of the community, or will it dodge its responsibility and continue to let the vested interests protect the status quo?
John Whittum
Steamboat Springs

In defense of Cargo I am writing to reply to your editorial last week regarding Oak Creek Mayor Cargo Rodeman as grant writer for the town of Oak Creek. The Town Board voted in favor of Cargo being paid $25 per hour, up to $800 per month, to write grants for the town, which she has taken part in (successfully, I might add) already in an open town meeting. Make no mistake about it, Cargo will be under scrutiny in this grant-writing endeavor unlike anyone else has been or will be, yet she is still willing to do this for the good of the town of Oak Creek. Being a person of integrity and having taken a sworn oath as mayor, Cargo would be the first person to admit she wasn't the right choice for this grant-writing position if she found her abilities lacking in that area. We had a town manager (making a bit more than $800 a month) not that long ago whose job included grant writing; how much money did he obtain for the town? I take issue with your statement that Cargo puts in as much time at Town Hall as any mayor. I have lived in Oak Creek for 29 years and in that time cannot remember another mayor, including myself, who put in time anywhere close to what Cargo has. Most of us have held full-time jobs while committing to this basically volunteer position and therefore have not had the ability to put in the kind of time that she has and does. At present, circumstances allow her to put in more hours than most of us put in for our paying jobs. Cargo is a very intelligent, giving, caring and diligent woman who has made more headway during her tenure as mayor in countless areas and once again we are hearing from a very small faction of individuals who seem to find fault with everything that she does. It doesn't matter who runs for any office anywhere where there isn't always someone who will cry out "special agenda." I am sure that everyone's opinions and ideals could be said to be their special agenda. However, in government, whether it is a small municipality or a large federal operation, those persons who run it will be scrutinized by the rest of the populace. I would only wish that the amount of energy that is being put into finger pointing and name calling would be channeled into a more positive direction for Oak Creek such as putting energy into community good by volunteering time in different areas where it is needed. I don't see that Oak Creek has an overload of community volunteers and for those folks who find themselves constantly dissatisfied, perhaps some good old-fashioned charity to others would be good for the soul. Karen Halterman Oak Creek A future plan? For the third time in 10 years, the Steamboat Springs City Council has asked its residents if they would like to plan for the future, and what kind of planning should take place. The results of these surveys are absolutely in favor of managed growth. And they are equally absolute in rejecting the unregulated free market economy that has, by default, resulted in a faster growth rate than what those same citizens expressed was optimal. (1) In the 1995 study, 62 percent wanted stronger regulations to direct our future, 65 percent agreed with the phrase "stop the brutal marketing," 67 percent did not think the free market economy was helping our community, and 80 percent of the residents asked for a 2 percent or less annual growth rate. What they got, because the city did not act, was an annual growth rate of more than 4 percent. (2) In the 1999 study, 80 percent of the citizens said they strongly supported controlling the growth rate, 56 percent thought the present growth rate was unacceptable, and 72 percent felt that if our present rate of development continued, the quality of life would deteriorate. The city continued "to study the problem." (3) In the 2003 study, by a margin of 2 to 1, residents have asked the city to implement a growth rate mechanism, and they have asked for the city to aggressively pursue infill redevelopment. Ninety-two percent have asked to diversify the economy, and a majority support the protection of our water and wildlife habitat. All three studies have other components which, if implemented, would help our community prosper by encouraging a diversified economy, by managing the timing, phasing and location of new development, and by improving the regulations governing the future. Between 2001 and 2003, city planning directors Wendie Schulenberg and Steve Stamey, and now, Clarion Associates, presented the available and usable tools to manage growth, at the request of the City Council. What is the council going to do with those tools? The real question is this: Does the City Council truly want to plan for a future in a meaningful way, or does it only want to appear to be doing so? Will the city really act, or will it continue to delay -- as it has for the past 10 years -- telling us that it just needs more time, more monitoring of the situation, more surveys, more input, more studies, more whatever. Will the City Council take the political heat and implement the wishes of the community, or will it dodge its responsibility and continue to let the vested interests protect the status quo? John Whittum Steamboat Springs

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