Oak Creek readies for elections

Two candidates vie for mayor; nine running for Town Board seats

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— Campaign fliers are being printed, candidates are busy shaking hands and talking to residents, and Oak Creek appears ready to elect its next mayor and Town Board.

With the election just more than a week away, candidates participated in an informal meet-and-greet March 22 to talk with residents and discuss issues facing the town. A formal candidates forum is at 7 p.m. Thursday at Oak Creek Town Hall.

Town Clerk Karen Halter--man said she encourages Oak Creek residents to attend the forum because it will be an opportunity to meet the candidates and hear their platforms and positions on issues before the April 4 election.

Incumbent Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman is seeking her third term as mayor. She is running against longtime Oak Creek resident Bill Babcock.

Nine residents are vying for four Town Board trustee positions. The three incumbents seeking re-election are Tom Bleuer, John Crawford and J. Elliott. Other candidates are Ann Kirton, Angie Karlj KenCairn, Dave Fisher, Kelly Lipsie, Chuck Wisecup and Stacy Hayes.

The three candidates with the most votes will serve four-year terms, and the candidate with the fourth highest total will serve a two-year term.

Registered Oak Creek voters can vote from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 4 at Oak Creek Town Hall.

Mayoral candidates

Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman
Age: 52
Occupation: Mayor, town grants writer
Oak Creek resident for: 34 years
Family: Three children
Why she is running: "I want to follow through with all of the good stuff both of my boards have started. I want to see Main Street happen -- it's going to be an amazing glow to our town. No one else is as passionate about it as I am. I love this town."

Bill Babcock
Age: 53
Occupation: Self-employed
Oak Creek resident for: 26 years; born in Oak Creek
Family: Six children
Why he is running: "I backed Cargo up for the first three years she was mayor. She had a lot of energy, but I've become concerned over the last few years about a few things. I saw the town's budget for 2006, and it threw up a lot of red flags for me. I think we need to give the power back to the Town Board. The mayor is only one vote, they're the majority. Right now it's like, whatever Cargo wants, Cargo gets. She's been given carte blanche."

Trustee candidates

Ann Kirton
Age: 40
Occupation: Loan processor
Oak Creek resident for: Six years
Family: Husband, Scott
Why she is running: "I love Oak Creek. I want to see it progress with integrity. I'd love to see Oak Creek's small town values continue with healthy growth."

Kelly Lipsie
Age: 35
Occupation: Subcontractor
Oak Creek resident for: 25 years
Family: Wife, Dixie; five children
Why he is running: "I've been a volunteer with the fire department for 11 years; I love serving my community and I wanted to see what else I could do. I have a fresh mind, a young body, and I am ready."

J. Elliott
Age: 59
Occupation: Restaurant owner
Oak Creek resident for: Six years
Family: Wife, Rebecca; two children
Why he is running: "I want to continue what (the current Town Board) has started. We've got a real positive attitude that needs to continue. I'm really happy with the direction the town is headed in. It needs to stay going in that direction."

Angie Kralj KenCairn
Age: 36
Occupation: Archeologist for the U.S. Forest Service
Oak Creek resident for: Two years
Family: Husband, Brett
Why she is running: "The place to make local, positive change is right here on the grassroots level. I support all the positive change that has been happening in Oak Creek. I want to maintain that but keep Oak Creek's character and integrity in mind."

Dave Fisher
Age: 42
Occupation: Bike shop owner
Oak Creek resident for: 6 1/2 years
Family: Wife, Sarah
Why he is running: "I honestly don't have an agenda to change anything. I want to be a part of my community and contribute in any way I can. We're on the verge of some pretty major changes that I'd like to be a part of."

Tom Bleuer
Age: 56
Occupation: Equipment manager
Oak Creek resident for: 14 years
Family: Mother and father
Why he is running: "Since 2000 and what has transpired since then, many in the U.S. have felt the need to take part in the process. I am one of those. In recent history, Oak Creek has taken a progressive stance and, in my opinion, attracted progressive thinkers. I like that direction. I want to see that continue. I want to assure the integrity of this town does not change in the future."

Chuck Wisecup
Age: 47
Occupation: Fire chief
Oak Creek resident for: 45 years
Family: Wife, Debby; son; daughter; two granddaughters
Why he is running: "My main concern is that the town has lost some continuity. The last bit of continuity was lost with (former Town Clerk) Nancy Crawford's death. (Nancy) was a wealth of knowledge. I think we need to hire people for their attitudes, and train them for knowledge and experience. I know this town. I plan on staying here. I've always been involved."

Candidates Stacy Hayes and John Crawford did not attend the March 22 gathering and could not be reached for comment.

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