Steamboat Springs 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.
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.
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