Oak Creek to appoint new mayor


— Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman isn't the only one who wants to be Oak Creek's mayor. Three men also have applied for the job.

The Oak Creek Town Board is expected to choose a new mayor at a special meeting Tuesday.

Town Clerk Karen Halterman said Rodeman, who resigned as mayor last month, has submitted a letter seeking appointment. Halterman said Bill Paxton, who resigned his Town Board seat earlier this year; Bill Norris, who lost to Rodeman in the 2004 mayoral election; and J. Elliott, currently the mayor pro-tem, also have submitted letters.

The vacancy was created Oct. 13 when Rodeman quit, saying she could no longer work with the current administration. During a closed-door meeting on Sept. 25, three town employees complained that Rodeman was overstepping her bounds and functioning like a town manager, not a mayor. The employees said Rodeman frequently interfered with their job duties.

Rodeman said the employees' complaints are not true. She said community members convinced her to change her mind about resigning, and she attempted to rescind her resignation during a Nov. 9 Town Board meeting. She has argued that the Town Board never formally accepted the resignation.

But Halterman, one of the employees who complained about Rodeman, said Rodeman's resignation did not have to be formally accepted. She said Rodeman's letter requesting appointment as mayor would be considered equally with those of the other applicants.

"We were advised by our town attorney (Bob Weiss) that the Town Board didn't have to accept or reject her resignation. She resigned, and she has submitted a letter just like everyone else," she said. "She has an equal opportunity (to be appointed), just as any other citizen."

The town stopped accepting letters of interest for the position from Oak Creek residents Nov. 17.

No grant writing

Rodeman has said that if she is re-appointed, she will be a "two-night-a-month" mayor. She said she is not seeking renewal of her contract as the town's grant writer. She resigned that position when she quit as mayor.

Rodeman's role as grant writer had come under criticism since a review of the position by County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak, an Oak Creek resident.

In a memo to the Town Board, Stahoviak wrote that the town contracted with Rodeman to be the grant writer in 2003 and agreed to pay her $25 per hour for 32 hours per month for a total of $800 per month. Stahoviak noted that Rodeman's contract expired in May 2005 and has not been renewed, but that her salary has gone up annually to $2,000 per month in 2006. She noted that at 32 hour per month, the hourly rate climbed to $62.50.

Stahoviak also reviewed the town's finances and noted that the town's general fund has gone from a positive balance of $95,876 in 2003 to a negative balance of $217,000 at the end of 2005.

The other applicants

Elliott was elected to the Town Board in 2002, the same year Rodeman was first elected mayor.

Paxton initially was appointed to the Town Board in 2000 and was re-elected in 2002, 2004 and 2006. But he resigned from the Town Board in July because of what he said was his frustration with town decisions regarding several Oak Creek residents.

Norris ran against Rodeman in the 2004 election but he netted only 52 of the 253 votes cast or just 20 percent.

Budget decisions

After appointing the mayor, the Town Board will adjourn the meeting and move into a budget work session to continue finalizing the town's 2007 budget, Halterman said.

The town's final budget is due to the State of Colorado by Dec. 17.

The Town Board most likely will take into consideration the directives it received from its Nov. 13 work session with the town's Denver-based auditor Tim Mayberry to finalize the budget.

"(Tuesday's) meeting will probably be one of the last budget work sessions before it's done," Halterman said.

The special meeting and budget work session are open to the public.

- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com


JQPUBLIC 10 years, 5 months ago

In the 2004 election Norris tried to tell the good people of Oak Creek that the numbers didn't add up, and all of this was denied by the ex-mayor, the people believed her rhetoric instead of looking closely at the finances. Norris actually had the figures in print for the people to read that proved Rodeman's numbers were wrong but the ex-mayor convinced the public that Norris was printing lies and and the town had more than enough funds, what a con. In the next election Babcock tried to tell the people again that the town's spending was way out of control, again the ex-mayor conned the people, well... they got what they asked for. I hope the next mayor isn't expected to bail the town out of the mess that Cargo had well over four years to create but the good citizens will probably expect just that. The logical choice (just my opinion) would be to put Elliott in as mayor and Norris to fill his vacated board seat. Sorry, but Paxton is a quitter when things get tough and the employees do not deserve the wrath of Rodeman (nor can the town afford her back again). Maybe the ex-mayor can make a living as an investment banker, go ahead Oak Creek, trust her with your personal funds!


upstream 10 years, 5 months ago

jaobee- now you're talking...saying what many of us have been saying for not weeks, not months, but years. It was no accident that this last election brought 3 new faces and voices to the town board. I personally joined with Oak Creek residents to thoughtfully elect a board that might provide a little better oversight. At the same time, I hoped Cargo would make the adjustments necessary to work alongside strong willed individuals who expect answers, details and documentation. The rest is history, so to speak. Now we have a very strong, cohesive and conscientious town board led by J Elliott. You will notice they have largely stayed out of this media circus. Why? Because they are busting their butts and wracking their brains to get things sorted out (recall they were as surprised as anyone else to have the mayor resign in the middle of the budget process). Let's let them continue their work and show them a little respect and support. Come down to a meeting, bring a friend and I believe you'll be impressed. A final thought- as one who has been very familiar with grant-writing- getting paid a set wage of over $60/ hour is UNHEARD of. Professional grant writers are almost ALWAYS paid only on a percentage of grants that are a)secured (which includes the matching funds being in place) and/or b) implemented. Getting grants is not hard- getting matching funds and implementing them is. No one (least of all an elected official) should have ever received our tax dollars on an hourly basis to write grants. I believe this 'scandal' is one of the issues the new board was hammering away at when the mayor/ grant writer resigned... See you all Tuesday, showing your Oak Creek pride! upstream


grins 10 years, 5 months ago

Scott,... Maybe, the liner should have read; "bye-Bye-Kathy!" The Depot has left Oak Creek! >but the junk beneath "all" STAYS<!!! God forgive Jay,- to even move to town retiring on wet drunks and hunters! (Sell The Ranch-n~quit-renting!) Plezz.,,, Remove the sheep hairs from your brow(n)e!

why is Jay soo dry?<

Norris, Personally; I don't know too much. Which is strangley un-heard-of. Except of other posts.eh?

Bill! On the other hand, Has a referance, un-surmized! He's got Virginia!!! A "WOMAN" of virtue! Someone that knows and cares, sees every day's changes! Bill is a Ol~"Oakcreekian", and lives it!!! (You Can Feel The Luv!)

Heck, why isn't Linda mentioned? Linda would/could do all till `08. She's been juggling every thing else!

Maybe Debi could rule again and reverse the times-un-seen?

Scott, with your powerful-stance, You have more "say" than any "So-Ro-T-ian", Twenty-Odd-miles, >down<, the "CREEK"!?! Halloween is over eh?

P.S. If you can't understand this/past posts. Think of paril-/-bles .


Scott Wedel 10 years, 5 months ago

Either Nancy Stahoviak is completely ignorant or if she knows the facts then she is being deceptive..

The facts are:

What happened to Oak Creek's budget is that earlier this year their accountant told them the water, sewer and electrical utilities were supposed to be budgeted separately from the general fund. This was news to Town Hall in Oak Creek since that improper mixing had been going on for as long as anyone can remember including when Stahoviak was on the Town Board. So now the utility departments have a relative surplus and the general fund is hurting.

The Town Board has J. Elliot and John Crawford who check every expense during Town Board meetings. So if there is fraud then it would require the cooperation of someone in the Town's financial dept to submit false reports to the Town Board. Considering the working relationship between Cargo and that person, that scenario is laughable.

What happened with Cargo's pay is that the Board at that time in Spring 2005 agreed that Cargo was working at least 20 hours per week or more than 80 hours per month as compared to 32 hours per month and so continued to pay her $25 an hour, but now for 80 hours. I have no idea why that change was never made into a written contract and signed by the Board.


Scott Wedel 10 years, 5 months ago

Of all the applicantsI think J Elliot should be appointed mayor because he got the most votes for Town Board, and so if there was election held now for mayor, he would have a good chance at winning, he has excellent judgment (even though he messed up by holding an improper closed Town Board meeting), he is frugal. and I think he would be a healer of some of the divisions in Oak Creek. Though Oak Creek is a small town with personal disputes that get brought to Board meetings so politics will continue to be a blood sport in Oak Creek.

That would create an open seat on the Town Board that would then have to go through the process of taking applicants. If Cargo applied then she should be appointed because she would very likely win a seat in an election.

It is hard to take Bill Norris seriously as mayor ever since that fiasco campaign voter forum/debate that he and Reta McNutt did not allow Cargo, then candidate Karen Halterman or other candidates attend. And then he got so few votes in the election that it would a slap in the face to the voters, 80% of which that did not vote for him to appoint him mayor.

It is also hard to take Bill Paxton seriously as mayor ever since he resigned after the rest of the Town Board did not agree with him. I know and like Bill, but he was wrong to resign as board member.

I wish Cargo had only resigned as a town employee and had kept her job as mayor. She has done so much good for the Town. It was not long ago that the Town had a Town manager so awful that Nancy Crawford felt compelled to resign as Town Clerk. And now people say how easy it is to get grants, but th town was not receiving grants until Cargo got involved. The town's police dept was a mixture of ineptitude and vindictiveness. Remember the police officer that gave the entire $500 youth services budget to the three people that showed up for a fishing contest held months previously? He should have been investigated because it was widely alleged stores gave him gift certificates for the youth association that he used personally.

And the ice rink would never have been roofed if it was not for Cargo. That project got so much free concrete work, free crane services, free reach lift and skilled free labor that it simply would have never happened without Cargo's "git r done" support. The free labor was conditional on being done late fall and if the project had waited for the county's approvals then it would not have been built with free labor. And Oak Creek is in charge of construction within Oak Creek, it choses to normally use the county building dept so no laws were broken by not waiting.


JQPUBLIC 10 years, 5 months ago

Someone called to tell me I was wrong on the date Norris ran for mayor, I wrote an apology before I double checked the facts (I know better), seems I was right the first time.

Wedel... you better get your head out of that smoky cloud you're in, you know not of which you speak. Just where are you getting your facts, the ex-mayor?

Stahoviaks' integrity and accounting abilities far outweigh Cargo's "I and me" speeches that you seem to be repeating. Oak Creek's funds were always budgeted separately before Cargo and JoDee got their hands on them. If it ain't broke:fix it 'til it is. Through the years the enterprise funds legally transferred monies to help the general fund but never to cover such an irresponsible, ungoverned spending spree. I have to blame the entire board for letting this happen but at long last they seem to be waking up.

Why should Cargo be allowed to quit and give her a seat on the board but Paxton was wrong and undeserving? Sounds like double standards. Town hall told Bill Norris there would not be a meet the candidate forum for the 2004 election (they then scheduled one after Norris scheduled his) so why should Norris pay for a forum to discuss his views and allow it to be taken over by his opponent and her cronies? Cargo and a couple of her followers (who showed no class whatsoever) caused the fiasco, they couldn't stage their own forum it was better press coverage to ruin his!

The last town manager left the town in great financial shape, he was always there for the public and he treated everyone fairly, a couple members of the office staff were out to ruin him because they did not like having a boss they had to answer to; they were used to manipulating town trustees who couldn't make personnel decisions without a board meeting. The town clerk never resigned. Someone you are listening to likes to embellish her feats.

As for grants, ALL the previous town boards utilized them when they had a project they wanted to get done AND HAD THE MONEY to meet grant requirements. I know the board BC (before Cargo) put in the water pump station for Parker addition with a grant and boards before them built the ice rink with grants, just go to town hall and get a copy of all the grants received throughout the years (BC). Not one of these other mayors paid themselves $2000.00 a month and the grants were still written and administered. Had it not been for the board BC, the town manager, and the head of public works, the water plant would not have been started when it was: they are the ones that did all the preliminary paperwork and had all of the meetings that determined Oak Creek was eligible for funding and added Oak Creek to the project list (a year wait). Cargo just happened to be in office when it came through but she was real good at "see what I did".

to be continued...


JQPUBLIC 10 years, 5 months ago

Sorry. I got my dates wrong on my previous post. Norris ran in 2002.


JQPUBLIC 10 years, 5 months ago


I have no personal knowledge of the officer that gave an entire $500 budget to 3 people so I cannot comment on that (may have happened) but I have questions about some of the DC (during Cargo) "hand picked officers". Cargo boasted a pals program that was said to be funded with grant monies, what happened to that program and where did that money go? Was there really an officer caught viewing porn in the PD (DC) and allowed to slip quietly out of town? Do all of the bars in Oak Creek now quit serving people before they get drunk, did all of the drunks suddenly quit drinking, or is drinking and driving suddenly tolerated?

"Git r done": First, lie on the grant ap (tell them you have the property rights) then try to take someone's land so that you do). Don't get a building permit (because they want to do inspections) it might slow down all this "free work" (that ran us how far over budget?). Some shortcuts aren't worth it, if the roof comes down and hurts or kills a child it can always be said "but I got r done".

Why is it the ex-mayors most vocal supporters do not live in Oak Creek?


Camo181 10 years, 5 months ago


Seems as if you've been oppressed for a long time too. Too bad when those of us state the facts and the die hards just don't get what's being revealed to them. Makes one wonder what goes on in their minds. Seems to me that perhaps Messrs. Wedel and Maynard Short are in some way related according to what they've been saying and the unusual manner in which it's being said. Pretty darn unusal--and what's worse, they both probably think they sound educated! Have a good day JQ.


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