Scott Wedel: Picking on Oak Creek


What is it about Oak Creek and Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman that so bothers this newspaper's editorial staff? The editorial criticizing the town for moving ahead on the ice rink is so illogical that it appears this paper refuses to let anything good in Oak Creek happen without being second-guessed by nitpickers on the paper's editorial staff.

The precedent that is being set by Oak Creek's Town Board is that a public facility being built with donated time from numerous contractors including heavy equipment and crane operators who also are donating the use of their equipment will be allowed to be finished in time for its intended winter use. The town is not allowing shoddy construction or anything improper to occur. Everything will be fine when the building is complete. The town is merely allowing construction to start before completing the legal process of condemning an adjoining a strip of land.

Precedents like that don't bother me. In fact, I think Rodeman and the other Town Board members should be commended for showing the same "can do" spirit as the volunteers working on the project.

To suggest there is irony between what was done with the rink and enforcing the town's nuisance ordinance is nonsensical. The nuisance ordinance is being enforced to clean up the town. Property owners are given every chance to fix the problems themselves before being fined or charged to have others clean up the problem. It is my experience that the town is treating the nuisance complaints and the construction at the ice rink in a remarkably similar manner, which is to note the situation is not correct, but instead of panicking and making it into a crisis, to instead work at making it correct. That is not irony, but instead good governance.

I know something about what I am writing about. I've been volunteering to help build the roof at the ice rink, and Officer Linda, as part of enforcing the nuisance code, has told me to clean up trash on property I manage there. There are so many good things occurring in Oak Creek that I've been inspired to participate in building the rink.

I wish this paper's editorials regarding Oak Creek would some day stop being so wrongheaded. The editorial staff appears to be biased and ignorant when it tries to combine two nonissues (rink and enforcement of nuisance ordinance) to create an injustice instead of dealing with any of the real issues facing Oak Creek.

Scott Wedel

Steamboat Springs


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