Oak Creek to discuss tapes

Town Board authorizes attorney to research 'legal matters'

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— Oak Creek Town Board members decided during a special meeting Thursday to have their attorney research whether a secret session they held Sept. 25 violated open meetings laws.

Thursday's meeting was called after the Steamboat Pilot & Today filed a request with the town Tuesday to gain access to recordings of the Sept. 25 executive session.

The executive session was held to discuss "personnel matters" related to allegations three town employees made against Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman. The complaints allege that Rodeman circumvents staff decisions and that she did not follow town protocol regarding resident complaints against town employees.

Rodeman said she was not given the opportunity to participate in the Sept. 25 executive session. According to Colorado Open Meetings Law, no board or council is allowed to go into a personnel discussion without first asking the involved employee if he or she would like to take part in the discussion. The law also states that no discussion may be held regarding an elected official, such as the mayor. The tapes of the executive session would have to be made public if it was determined that meeting was held illegally.

On Thursday, Rodeman's attorney, Charles Feldmann, sent a letter to town attorney Bob Weiss and to Town Board members demanding that the tapes from the Sept. 25 meeting be made public.

During Thursday's meeting, Town Board members met again in executive - or secret - session to take a conference call from Weiss regarding the release of the tapes and the allegations made against Rodeman.

Town Board member Steve "Spike" Beven opposed going into executive session.

Citing attorney/client privilege, the Town Board met with Weiss for nearly 30 minutes before opening the meeting to the public.

In the open session, Town Board member John Crawford made a motion that the Town Board authorize Weiss to research "legal matters" surrounding the tapes. The motion passed, meaning Weiss will look into the matter before the board decides whether it needs to release the tapes.

Rodeman voted against the motion.

Weiss is scheduled to meet with the Town Board at 7:30 p.m. Monday to further discuss the issue.

Also Thursday, the Town Board appointed members Angie Kralj KenCairn and J. Elliott to represent the board in discussions about the allegations against Rodeman.

The Town Board hasn't decided how to handle the allegations.

In addition to Monday night's special meeting, the Town Board will hold its regularly scheduled meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday.

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