A chat with Oak Creek's Kathy 'Cargo' Rodeman

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Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman

Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman served as Oak Creek's mayor from April 2002 until this past month, when she resigned in a dispute with the Town Board and some town employees. She has since changed her mind and wants to rescind her resignation. She sat down Friday for a chat with steamboatpilot.com. Below is a partial transcript of that chat:

You resigned Oct. 13 as mayor of Oak Creek, but last night you said you wanted to return to your job. You made the decision after listening to tapes of the Sept. 25 meeting. Why didn't you listen to the tapes before making the initial decision to resign?

Rodeman: That's a good question. First, the tapes were not available because the Town was fighting the release of them. Once they were available, the cost was almost $40. I did not see a reason to pay for information I legally had a right to hear first hand.

Then, a friend of mine "bought" them, I listened to them and made several copies to give freely to the other residents of Oak Creek. I truly wish I would have waited. The board members that were in that "session" were unbelievably brutal to me. It was half of my board and I knew that when a board fights among themselves that nothing from that point on would get done for the Town. I actually thought the Town could move on easier without me. The tapes turned out to be almost entirely untruths, so I rescinded my resignation to try to get the truth out and turn those members back around.

A handful of town employees accused you of essentially "overdoing" your job as mayor. They said you wouldn't let them do their jobs. Are their criticisms fair and if you get the chance to be mayor again, will you take a different approach?

Rodeman: I don't believe I ever "over did" my job. I know the criticisms are not fair and that the examples they gave on the tapes were untrue. I do not believe we would have that problem if I am reinstated because I have no intentions of having an office at Town Hall. I plan to work in McCoy five days a week and attend meetings whenever they are set. I will not have the time to do all that I did before while working a full-time job out of town.

You said Thursday that you don't plan to return to your role as grant writer for the town. But there are still grants to be administered. Who should take care of those grants?

Rodeman: I should, because I know the most about them and I have liaisons within the entities that granted the funds. They are used to working with me, and they like me. I am not sure who the town will have handle the grant administration, but I hope whoever does it understands the importance of the various paperwork and timelines connected to each granting entity. Grant administration is a lot more work than most people think. One resident explained to the board at the last meeting I presided over that writing the grant is only 5 percent of grant services and the administration is 95 percent.

Back when you were elected, part of your plan was that you did not need a town manager. And sure enough, the town manager quit the day after you were elected. Some think you have become the town's de facto town manager. Does Oak Creek need a manager to run the day-to-day affairs of the town?

Rodeman: The Town manager the previous board had hired was not there to work for the betterment of Oak Creek. I have my theories on why he quit when I was elected, but this is not the place to explain them.

I guess some would think I was trying to be, or acting like a town manager, but to me I have acted like a mayor. I have cared about every aspect of our town. I believe every citizen of our town should be treated with equal respect. I did not go out and seek complaints, but I felt it was "part of the job" to listen to peoples concerns. I believe that we pay extremely high rates for water and sewer and in return that infrastructure should be in good working order and ours was junk. Now, more than ever, I believe the town does need a town manager. I think the rest of the board knows that too. We simply don't have the money in the general fund to pay for one.

I believe none of the current problems would have occurred with a town manager in place. One of the employees that complained about me shouted "You are not my boss!" and I began thinking, who is? If the heads of our departments don't answer to anyone, then their errors in judgment will never be questioned. There are so many aspects to running a town and like any other business there has to be someone at the helm.

Based on the reception you got last night, what do you think the odds are on you returning as Oak Creek's next mayor? And if it's not going to be you, then who do you think it will be?

Rodeman: The reception last night was wonderful. There were a couple people who listened to the tapes and thought the board acted correctly. The problem with that is that there was very little truth in the tapes. No one can make a good decision without all of the information. The board never formally accepted my resignation and they didn't have to but could have. They have not yet appointed anyone to fill my position and... They could have. I don't really know how this will work. Logic says I was elected and even though I stepped down briefly, I rescinded it and am still the person the voters want in that position.

How do you view Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak's interference in the affairs of the Town Of Oak Creek?

Rodeman: From the moment I was first elected in 2002, Commissioner Stahoviak has never supported me, any of the projects I worked on or anything else in South Routt County. I feel it was ethically wrong for her to get involved in a "he said, she said" town employee matter and she never spoke with me throughout the whole ordeal. I have read two letters she wrote to my board and she was anything but open-minded. As I stated earlier, no one can make a good decision when they only have a part of the available information.

Comments

Slapper 7 years, 10 months ago

CHATTY KATHY STATES THE FOLLOWING "The board members that were in that "session" were unbelievably brutal to me." THEY WERE DOING THEIR JOB "It was half of my board" WHO'S BOARD? "I knew that when a board fights" NO ONE IS FIGHTING "The tapes turned out to be almost entirely untruths" TO YOU "I rescinded my resignation to try to get the truth out" THAT MAKES SENSE TO CHATTY "I know the criticisms are not fair and that the examples they gave on the tapes were untrue. I do not believe we would have that problem if I am reinstated" YOU ARE THE PROBLEM WHY CAN'T YOU GET IT "I think everyone would like to make sure that all the work I have done on all the projects that are in progress gets followed through with and not dropped." WRONG Who should take care of those grants? Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman: "I should, because I know the most about them and I have liasions within the entities that granted the funds." ALWAYS I, I, ME, ME. WHAT KIND OF LIASIONS ? "I guess some would think I was trying to be, or acting like a town manager, but to me I have acted like a mayor." YOU GET ONE VOTE LIKE ALL THE REST AND ADMINISTER TO THE MEETINGS WEAK MAYOR SYSTEM-MEMBER THAT? "Now, more than ever, I believe the Town does need a Town manager. I think the rest of the board knows that too." WRONG "One of the employeees that complained about me shouted "You are not my boss!" and I began thinking, who is?" NOT YOU WHY CAN'T YOU GET IT "The problem with that is that there was very little truth in the tapes." CHATTY EXPLAINS CLEARLY EVERYONE BUT HER IS A LIER "The board never formally accepted my resignation and they didn't have to but could have." WHY SHOULD THEY YOU QUIT MEMBER THAT "They have not yet appointed anyone to fill my position and they could have." 60 DAYS CHATTY NOT BY YOUR TIMETABLE "Logic says I was elected and even though I stepped down briefly, I rescinded it and am still the person the voters want in that position." STEPPED DOWN YOU QUIT WHY CAN'T YOU REMEMBER? SPOCK YOU ARE NOT "The Town attorney will research this insanity" START AT THE SOURCE " It is no secret that Stahoviak does not care for me, but her interference showed her blatant disregard of the professionalism that should acompany the office she holds." YOUR STOOGE MAYNARD GOT SLAPPED BAD BY THE COMMISSIONERS AND THEIR LAWYER&OAK CREEK'S LAWYER ON JUST THIS ISSUE. GET HIM BACK IN HIS CAGE BEFORE HE HURTS HIMSELF. IT'S BECOMING VERY CLEAR WHY MANY HAVE GROWN TIRED OF YOU "I have never said the current or past staff is not capable, they have never expressed the desire until they wanted to get rid of me." THIS IS SICK STUFF "The board has been fed alot of false information for quite some time now. I would hope that once they INVESTIGATE and learn the truth, they will want to work with me again." YOU CAN NOT BE SERIOUS BUT I FORGOT WHO SAID IT "This has been fun." FOR YOU ONLY CHATTY KATHY

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Hmmm 7 years, 10 months ago

Why doesn't the town board just find a new mayor? Afterall, Rodeman resigned and that's a fact. She should not have "jumped ship" so soon and I think she should be held accountable for making that decision. If she cared sooooo much for the town and truly believed she had done nothing wrong, she would have stuck it out until all the facts of the meeting had come to light. Seems like the town and the town board should put all of this behind them and move on.....get a new mayor and start fresh.

If Rodeman does get her job back, everbody knows nothing will change. She will still go down to the bar, get wasted on booze, and talk about town people and town business until she's blue in the face.....that's one fact that will remain consistent.

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aristocat 7 years, 10 months ago

Slapper, You seem to THINK you know EVERYTHING that has gone on with the OC Town Board. Have you talked to Cargo? How could an illegal meeting be "doing their job"? Were you in O.C. 5 years ago? Do you have any idea how much better life is in the O.C. now? How do you know this guy Maynard was slapped by commissioner's and town attorneys? Have you been listening to bar gossip? I have listened to the tapes and I have alot of questions, but unlike you, KH, I wil ask Cargo for the rest of the story; unless you would like to make it up!

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candylane 7 years, 10 months ago

Wow, slapper....you said the exact same thing two times. If you say it loud enough and long enough....does that make it the truth?....Keep repeating it and maybe someone other than the voices in your head will answer you!

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RickBevan 7 years, 10 months ago

So who in the hell is "slapper"? Once again, I reiterate, that if one can't put one's name on it, it's NOT VALID!!!!!!! A whole lot of people are talking smack about Cargo; yet they don't have the backbone God gave them to even OWN their comments! I'm really impressed! The FACT is, Boys & Girls that the so called "meeting" (I think it's tantamount to a lynching, personally) was illegal. What part of that don't you illustrious board members don't you understand? If all this drama was on the up and up, then why close the meeting? Yeah, Cargo has fun, but has she hurt anyone? I think NOT. She's done more for this one horse town than anyone I've ever heard of; AND I'd like someone to step into her shoes and see if he/she can do a better job! She scored a ton of money in grants for us all, and worked tirelessly to keep the money coming in. There was a snide remark some time ago that she was actually "making money" from these grants. Well, let's do a little Econ 101 here, shall we? Last I heard, $30,000.00 was the "poverty" line in America. Cargo made less than that writing grants. If all you "do-gooders" and "finger pointers" and mental midgets keep perpetuating this Soap Opera, the town's going to implode on itself! It already has a good start. Like I said earlier: Find someone to do a better job!

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JazzSlave 7 years, 10 months ago

Rick

Try to wrap your holier-than-thou pea brain around the concept of an anonymous forum.

It's really pretty amusing to consider how "NOT VALID!!!!!!!" [wow - not one, not two, but 7 exclamation points! And all caps!!! I guess that means you ARE VALID!!!!!!!] you regard some of this commentary to be. So naturally, you devote 5 paragraphs to refute whatever it is that has your panties in a twist.

Most people who encounter observations and opinions they consider to be invalid or insignificant or valueless will disregard them and move on (and by "people", I mean "grownups"). But not ol' Rick. ol' Rick prefers adolescent chest-thumping to an exchange of opinions. And that's all this forum is - an opinion exchange. As Jeane Kirkpatrick once said: "If you can't stand the heat, go back to the kitchen." A small-town newspaper's online forum may to too hot for you, Rick. Go find an apron.

Incidentally - Benjamin Franklin, Isaac Newton, Samuel Clemens, Tom Wolfe, Bob Dylan, et al, have all published anonymously. Is their work invalid? If not, why not?

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RickBevan 7 years, 10 months ago

Top 'o the Day to ye, Jazz Slave and M.r Lizard! First off, I like jazz, too and am disappointed that the petitions going 'round the "Boat didn't stir enough interest to get KUVO from Denver up here. I mean if Laramie can have it, why can't we? Nuff of that! Well, I don't believe I was chest thumpin', Slave, but all I'm saying is stand behind your beliefs. We are gong nowhere with this banter. I was once told that if "Something's eating your LUNCH, RUN don't walk away" Could it be that all the sniping finally got to Cargo? I have never seen anyone who has put her heart more into this town than she, and unfortunately, she has taken a lot of stuff personally; a political faux pas. Such is life in politics. Another point to consider: There was never this much "infighting" going on prior to Nancy Crawford's passing was there? OK, so I gave the "wrong" impression, and my point was missed. Simply put, I'm tired of watching this soap opera and we're not talking "Days of Our Lives," either. More like: "As the stomach turns" My apologies for all the exclamation points, but we are not afforded the luxury of italics, so one has to emphasize SOME how. If you have a better, and less belligerent style to share with me, please feel free to cut me in on it. I'm not so old that I can't take suggestions or criticism. Thanks for your support, Mr. Lizard Rick "the known"

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