Brett KenCairn: Fixing Oak Creek

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As one of many who has come to know and love Cargo and her energetic efforts to help Oak Creek, I have been deeply disturbed by the drama now taking place.

I watched from afar the amazing projects Cargo helped put in motion-the Ice Rink, the Old Town Hall renovations, the upcoming upgrades to our Sewer Plant, Sewer lines and Downtown improvements. Knowing how much work this was, some of us started trying to get more involved to help see these projects through. We began coming frequently to Town Board meetings.

I was surprised at how quickly Cargo became defensive and confrontational to anyone questioning the details, particularly financial details, of these projects. At first, we thought she was simply overworked. Then the news of the town's enormous financial deficit became known. At first Cargo claimed she was surprised, but later we learned that the independent auditor called in to review Oak Creek's books had been warning her about this for months. Few Oak Creek residents are aware that we started this year, the beginning of Cargo's third term as mayor, with a budget deficit of $193,000.

It turns out the initial cause of this staggering debt is the very Ice Rink project we're all proud of. Cargo had assured the Town Board when she originally proposed the project that the town's share was only $10,000. We all know what a challenge it was - steel price increases etc. Nonetheless, the town was left holding the bag for over $110,000 in project costs. This pushed the town budget into the red by over $100,000. We still don't have a final County approval of the Ice Rink structure because much of the basic building safety review and approval process was circumvented.

Add to this the commitments Cargo made to match other upcoming projects and the $24,000 annual contract she secured as town grant writer, and we end up in our current mess.

The petition now being signed at the local grocery store and other local businesses gives one the impression that Cargo is somehow being wrongly pushed out. Cargo has asserted that those who have raised concerns-town employees, Town Board members, a county commissioner, other residents-have never talked to her directly. This isn't true. I and a number of others have met with Cargo personally on a variety of occasions to encourage her to ask for help with these and other problems. Cargo seems unable to hear anything but her version. Any other version is called "lies".

Unfortunately, as many of us in Oak Creek know, Cargo has frequently created a court of public opinion, loudly denouncing those who have questioned her. Along with her campaign manager Maynard Short, Cargo has viciously questioned the moral and social character of anyone courageous enough to challenge her. Short recently used a Town Board meeting to read what he proudly described as satire entitled "The KLU KLUX KLAN Returns to Oak Creek (The lynching of the Mayor by the Town Council)." These ugly intimidation tactics are deeply damaging in our community. As citizens, we are responsible for bringing them to an end.

The fundamental issue here is not whether we love Cargo - most of us do. It is about whether Cargo has gotten in over her head and is now trying to cover her mistakes by turning this into a referendum about our affection for her. Our town is in serious financial trouble. Rather than a personality contest, we need to have all of the facts presented so we can make an informed decision about what we must now do. Until the facts are presented, we can't know what to do.

A series of meetings are now planned in which these various financial issues will be discussed. I hope the many people now signing petitions will take the time to come and hear the facts of this situation for themselves. If you really love this Town, help create a public process in which all of the facts can be presented. It is time for Oak Creek residents to stop sitting on the sidelines and get to work sorting out this mess.

Brett KenCairn

Oak Creek

Comments

candylane 7 years, 4 months ago

Since you have your mind made up, that there were NO moments that Cargo had anything but her best interest at heart, then do something about it. If you have written, verifiable proof of Cargo's wrong doings. then go to the appropriate attorities and do something! Jay Elliot was the right man for the job. He knows and believes Cargo is a valued member of this town! He wants her help. Should we get rid of Jay now?

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Camo181 7 years, 4 months ago

Hey, Hey, Hey Candylane -- you are SO RIGHT in stating "...there were NO moments that Cargo had anything but HER BEST INTERESTS at heart..." Hat's off 2 you -- couldn't have said it better. THANK YOU!!!!!

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JQPUBLIC 7 years, 4 months ago

Yes candylane, Elliot will be the perfect politician. Haven't you ever heard the saying "keep your friends close but keep your enemies even closer"? It's good to put an offer out to C to help but that's not probable because she won't get all the credit.

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Camo181 7 years, 4 months ago

Candylane -- "lies" according to whom? Cargo's Code of Ethics? Why is it that everyone else is lying, being "hateful"? FYI, there are numerous letters to the Board over the years concerning Cargo's behavior (most authors of these letters were forced out--she made it miserable for them--in typical Cargo fashion). These employees are not the first! Look at what has happened for goodness sake. We have skeleton crews in all departments because we can't afford to replace employees who have moved on (or quit). Again, Cargo's Code didn't allow her to rescind her $24K salary -- she made herself "indispensible" (in her mind), the Town's"Ann Landers complaint department" (for a select few). Perhaps, now give this some thought, please, if she had diligently applied herself to writing the grants instead of getting involved in everyone else's business or even acted in a halfway professional manner, maybe things would have worked out differently. She had to be involved in everything, wouldn't listen to the other Board members, employees, etc. Why? Because she has to be the center of attention. Ask not what Oak Creek did to Cargo -- ask what Cargo has done to Oak Creek.

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JQPUBLIC 7 years, 4 months ago

Hats off to you Mr. KenCairn, what a well stated letter. The only major problem I see is that with Cargo it always turns into a personality contest. If you have the gall to disagree, question, or even follow up on what she says, you must be the enemy and she can get vicious in defending her "I love Oak Creek and Oak Creek better love me" attitude. Just because we are not blindly following her doesn't mean we dislike her and just because she "loves Oak Creek" doesn't make her capable of handling the town's affairs. A qualified town manager would never had allowed the town to get into this mess, the entire Board would have been informed, updated, and required to make the major decisions. With the salary Cargo created for herself, a qualified town manager would have been money well spent and the employees would have had a boss that they had to answer to. It's time to WAKE UP Oak Creek!

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JazzSlave 7 years, 4 months ago

I'm an agnostic, so the "ungodly" part is accurate as it applies to me.

As for general anger, spite, insults and juvenile name-calling, cargo's contributions here are principally responsible for the bulk of that.

If she's hell-bent on being a politico in the public eye, she needs to grow a thicker skin.

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cargo 7 years, 4 months ago

As usual, misconceptions and erroneous information abounds. Brett obviously got his information from others who have "no clue". Since it would take an entire newspaper to provide correct information to all of KenCairn's misconceptions, I will focus on the Carter-Burgess B.S. The engineering fees increased because the project went from a one million dollar wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) only, to the addition of replacing 27,000 linear feet of 60 year old wastewater collection lines and 3.3 million dollar budget. USDA and DOLA are well aware of the additional scope of work and have gone over EVERY facet of the project budget. You do not triple a project cost and scope without an increase in the engineering portion. As far as the Main Street project, Carter-Burgess has worked with me since 2003 and this project would not be possible without them. CDOT, DOT and DOLA accept and condone Carter-Burgess as the engineers on this project. Additionally, this has been brought up and discussed in board meetings of both the 2002 and 2004 Town boards. It was discussed and clairified that any engineering firm that would provide FREE preliminary engineering and cost analysis could both legally and ethically be the engineers for that project. I know you can smear me, but there may be legal ramificatioons for slandering well respected companies. Just once, could you get your facts straight?????

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JQPUBLIC 7 years, 4 months ago

Cargo says... "As usual, misconceptions and erroneous information", and "get your facts straight". Haven't you found out yet that there are only Cargo's facts, Cargo's information, and Cargo's concepts? If you want to know what is right and wrong...ask Cargo. Want to know how Cargo single handedly saved Oak Creek...ask her. Want to know why the auditor, a county commissioner, the town board and employees are all wrong and she is right....ask her. See facts or figures in writing that don't match what Cargo is saying....must be someone else's mistake, but...ask her at your own risk. Aren't you aware that us misinformed idiots expecting Cargo to be held accountable, and to take responsibility for the mess that Oak Creek is in are nothing but hateful, spiteful people....ask her. We are all supposed to love and blindly follow Cargo, her soul can't take citizens that have ungodly attitudes, are hateful toward her, and make venomous verbalizations! It is time for everyone to do the right thing, Cargo loves Oak Creek so in her presence, kowtow appropriately.

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bluntman 7 years, 4 months ago

hello everyone. please open your hymn booklets and sing along with cargo:

i, me, mine... i, me, mine... i, me, mine

what a sad, tired refrain, and it is now time to move on. cargo accomplished much, to the detriment of the Community, acting in an unethical, unilateral fashion (and with complete disregard for legal considerations).

the process is codified for a reason. OC certainly doesn't need a despot modeled after mayor Daley (the dead one), Huey Long, or Marion Barry for that matter. the Community can ill-afford the pipe dreams of a sadly deluded visionary.

Boo; as long as cargo is providing numbers, dates & facts, perhaps she would be so kind as to enlighten the readership in regards as to how the town has been left holding the bag (yet again) with the old Town Hall project.

speaking of numbers, perhaps it is time for a renaisance of sorts.

; - )

bluntman

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bluntman 7 years, 4 months ago

i guess the end justifies the means, then. right Boo?

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bluntman 7 years, 4 months ago

just attend the meetings, Boo. you will learn the facts as i have.

maybe the town board, in all of their wisdom, will re-instate the term limits for mayor (that cargo so conveniently and self-servingly did away with).

my .02 on that.

bluntman

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candylane 7 years, 4 months ago

The late and great Ann Richards, the first elected woman Governor of Texas, said it best when she was the keynote speaker at the Democratic Convention. "Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels!" Why in a world that is run by men (and boo I do appreciate your comments - this is not meant as a slap - just a fact) do women want to put down someone that got out there and did a thankless unappreciated job! You know that woman have to do twice as much work to get 1/2 as much credit! Give Cargo her due! Get down to Town Hall, apply for the vacant seat (there is only one woman on the board) and see how much you can get accomplished! Then when you do twice as much as the men sitting on the board with you, and get 1/2 the recognition (and that half put down as a bad job), you may have learned a lesson in empathy!

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candylane 7 years, 4 months ago

That is the response I would have expected from my teenager! Not some one who prides themself on the only one knowing the facts! Funny I didn't notice last nights meeting be an audience of one!

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bluntman 7 years, 4 months ago

the response is completely appropriate, considering the previous rantings of the sophmoric dimwit it was directed at (and who subsequently took the bait and responded).

well done, candy j. many have heard your impassioned pleas on cargo's behalf, not to mention the scurrilous attacks directed at employees of OC, at those same meetings in the past. perhaps trying something different than the ol' "victim" approach may garner more satisfying results.

why don't you put in your letter of intent?

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candylane 7 years, 4 months ago

Those scurrilous attacks directed at the OC employees were directed at the lies on the tapes, as you should well know. Yes I am one of those people. Like I said at that meeting, any employer, when lied to, would and should get rid of those employees!

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Camo181 7 years, 4 months ago

My sincere apologies davinci. I forgot about whom I am talking.

By the way, Candylane--the previous contract cleaner (a close and personal friend of the former mayor) was making $400/month to clean Town Hall (10 hrs./week) -- the most $ in years! The office staff volunteered to clean and, guess what? They will receive NO COMPENSATION for this. And, yes, they will clean the toilets (which are open to the public) since it is so important to you. The $1,200 budget (again, down from $4,800) is to be used for contractors to clean the windows, carpets--the "big" stuff. Please check it out. One of the Board members felt the office staff should be compensated in some manner, but, guess what? We don't have the money. Check it out. Dare ya!

Here we go--more numbers in the hat!

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candylane 7 years, 4 months ago

Camo - I have written proof that can prove the lies that the ladies of the TH said. They "pulled out of the hat" my name and started all this nonsence! May 17 to Sept 25 is not one week, and that is just the first of many that followed. I'm sorry, but I am a person that once you have lied to me (or about me) then I have real problems believing anything else that may come out of your mouth. Do you have personal knowledge of all Cargo lies? If you do then you need to go to the ethic committee and present those. Otherwise, check out BooDog's definition of hearsay! Do realize that OC water system was so outdated that we were on the verge of noncompiance! That would have cost the town $25,000 a day in fines! The water plant grant did not happen overnight. It took months of planning. Where were the town board members heads if she was able to get all of it done on the sly! Every step had to be presented to the board and voted on, before it could even be sent off to be applied for! When you stop listening to whatever is being spewed out of Town Hall, (from her best friend), and try to get at the bottom of this, maybe you will see that eventhough there are two sides to every story...they are not just black or white!

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Camo181 7 years, 4 months ago

Candylane -- you're starting to sound like someone else whose name starts with a "C". By the way, formulations for dealing with the future major projects in OC were started years ago by prior mayors and Boards to set into place $ for these projects. C just happened to get into office at the right time and took all the credit (initially) until (after 2 years) the above was brought to the public's attention. She then, in her own words, gave slight credit to others for this (and I mean in tiny, fine print). Show us where "every step had to be presented ... and voted on ..." in the Town's minutes. Maybe you know where better to look. Yes, it appears there are two sides to every story -- in this case, Cargo's side, and Cargo's other side.

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aristocat 7 years, 4 months ago

I think you should go back and read candylanes's comment again. Thats how rumors and inuendos get started. People get only half of what is said or done and use it how it suits them. I think you took something out of text.
But, then you probably see how "Love thy neighbor as thy self" applies to you! Because it's obvious that you are willing to get on with tomorrow! Quit beating up Cargo! Unless you get in there and try to do what she did, get over yourself! J has some mighty big shoes to feel.
Good luck J and best wishes.

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Hmmm 7 years, 4 months ago

Looks like I was too naughty for Pilot staff and they have promptly censored me. However, anybody who has lived in Routt County long enough knows about the ridiculous antics (past & present) of the former Mayor....Oak Creek is much better off with Elliot leading the way and fixing the town's budget.

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Camo181 7 years, 4 months ago

aristocat -- learned it from the best (in your book, anyway!) Haven't laid a hand on Cargo. Not beating her up. Careful...that's how rumors get started!

Hummm -- looks like the board as a whole is working as a team finally -- whether J is "leading" them or not is anyone's interpretation. Let's wish them all luck.

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the_Lizard 7 years, 4 months ago

<<<>>><<

Ohhhh my yes, but laughter is good for the health after all.

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Hmmm 7 years, 4 months ago

Again, nice try "boo-hoo"....you took a post, made into something you wanted to hear, and then posted it as "according to Hmmm". Nowhere did I say that Elliot was drug addict, so please don't twist the words into your pathetic ways. Once again you have proved me right about who you are....unintelligent and weak minded....I call you out everytime and say you will make some dumb, unintelligent comment....and everytime you do (that's the amusing part I enjoy so mucy).

...."I donated thousands of dollars to assist those trying to assist themselves"....that's a good one and definitely amused me.

Hey Editor...should "boo-boo's" post not be removed? I never called anyone a drug addict (especially the new Mayor). You removed most of my posts and "boo-boo's" is clearly in violation and should not be allowed.

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Hmmm 7 years, 4 months ago

Sorry, I had to defend myself against a poster ("boo") who felt the need to make stuff up. "Boo" - if you are the upstanding person you claim to be, then you should retract what you said about me in your post. You know I never said that Elliot was a drug addict....I said, "drug addicts can't afford the new homes"....your post is a total lie about what I said and you know it.

You should retract the comment, but you probably won't and will again prove me right about the type of person you are. I have no problem giving you credit for certain things and I certainly will give you credit if you do the right thing in this case.

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Hmmm 7 years, 4 months ago

"boo-hoo", Congrats on your wonderful contribution...I'll choose not to brag about donations I've made over my lifetime. The fact still remains the same....you lied about what I said, twisted the post into something you wanted to hear, and never had the guts to say you were wrong about it.

Obviously you have a problem admitting that you made a mistake and you lied in your post about what I said ("drug addicts can't afford the new homes" does not equal "Elliot and everybody else is a drug addict"). Again, you have proven me right about how unintelligent and ignorant you really are. And I'll say this again (for the one hundreth time), you will fail to re-tract the lie you posted and will respond with some weak/unintelligent/dumb comment....please "boo-boo", prove me wrong this time....it would be nice to be wrong about you just once (seeing as how I've been right about you everytime so far).

Maybe you can follow my lead, ready?, here I go....Oak Creek is a good town with many good people. Some of the things I have posted should have been more clear and not so generalized. Oak Creek is not a town full of drug addicts and it was a mistake on my part for not clarifying that better. It is unfortunate that people feel the need to twist things around to make themselves feel better.

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Hmmm 7 years, 4 months ago

I'm not surprised that you left out the last part about how unfortunate it is that people have to twist things around to make themselves feel better....ohhh, but you also lied about what I said and won't own up to it like a grown man. I am very amused at how you keep proving me right about you and how you keep disgracing yourself....I call you out time after time, you avoid my repeated challenge, and answer with an ignorant statement (and you'll do it again).

Sometimes it's too easy to pick the boys from the men....I'm having way too much fun with you "boo-hoo"....it's like taking candy from a little boy (which I'm not afraid to do).....don't forget to brush your teeth and wash your face when you get up (ha!).

P.S. How do you like the article from the Pilot about your gal "Cargo"? Even though they don't put it in bold face letters, I can read between the lines and the Pilot definitely takes a big shot at her (poor "Cargo").

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Hmmm 7 years, 4 months ago

Ahhh yes "boo-hoo", Just like I said you would do....twisted my post yet again and made into some sick fantasy that you wanted to hear. You are truly infantile in your behavior, I have shown you to be a liar numerous times, and you still haven't admitted any wrong doing. You again avoided my challenge (because you are afraid of your own shadow) and now you're trying to claim something about me and little boys....your posting of lies and disgraceful display continues to prove me right (karma is real and it will come back to bite you for this).

I will be anxiously awaiting your next post, so I can see how you end up twisting this around and making it into some sick fantasy of yours....because you will....oh "boo-boo", you are so predictable and such a moron. One particular statement rings very true for you, "If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy."

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Montana 7 years, 4 months ago

Wow boo-poo, you are sick! I don't agree with everything hmmm says, but I've been reading the fighting between you two and you have turned hmmm's posts into big, made up lies. Curious as to why you feel the need to take somebody's post, lie about what they said, and then it put forth as fact? Not to mention that hmmm continues to predict the exact behavior you continue to exhibit. You should be ashamed of yourself for posting what you have and accusing hmmm of saying things that were not said. I've actually agreed with some of the things you've posted in the past, but I do not agree with your behavior and blatant posting of lies. An apology on your part is long overdue, but like hmmm has predicted many times, you won't.

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Montana 7 years, 4 months ago

Again, wow!, poo-dog is one weirdo. Poo, not only did you lie and twist hmmm's words into some sort of sick fantasy you harbor in that weak mind of yours; but now you're sitting around with your friends (equally weird I'm sure, if not more so) and laughing about the exact lies you conjured up.

Hey hmmm, a word of advice, stop while you're ahead! You have already made poo-dog look like an idiot on several occasions and very clearly proved your point about him (I'm not the only one who is disgusted that poo-dog feels it necessary to take somebody's post, twist it into a blatant lie, and then post it as that person's words). You've done your job, called poo out for the village idiot he is, and you will only be wasting your time by continuing to reply to his lies.

He and his friends obviously find some sort of sick gratification by sitting around and making up lies, so let him. His ignorance and idiocy is something he is proud of. Be the adult hmmm, and stop contributing to his nonsense.

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Montana 7 years, 4 months ago

P.S. I better be careful with my words, because poo-dog will now probably start lying about my posts (he's pretty predictable, so I shall wait and see).

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Hadleyburg_Press 7 years, 4 months ago

Boodog Hmmm posting at 3:39am is kinda of interesting. Makes one wonder if they were able to purchase their house in Oak Creek before Elliot took office? Keep up the the Satire! I would have loved to catch your airwaves spiel if it was this much folly with the drivel drones....

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