Oak Creek addresses residents

Mayor's grant writing contract questioned


— Town Board members offered statements Thursday night that were both supportive and critical of embattled Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman.

Town Board members Angie Kralj KenCairn and Steve "Spike" Beven were scheduled to address the Town Board during its meeting, and Town Board member Tom Bleuer spoke after he was added to an amended agenda.

All three members read or made statements regarding what has transpired since a special meeting on Sept. 25. The purpose of that meeting was to hold a closed session to hear employee complaints about Rodeman.

The Steamboat Pilot & Today has asked for tapes of that meeting, arguing the meeting was an illegal closed session because Colorado Open Meetings Law prevents discussions about elected officials to be held in secret. The town has refused to provide the tapes.

On Thursday, KenCairn read a letter defending the town's decisions and actions on Sept. 25.

"Our honorable intent has been spun to seem like a 'lynching,' has drawn negative publicity to the town and has now divided the town over what could have been simply dealt with through mediation and conflict resolution," she said.

Beven made a short statement suggesting the Town Board and Oak Creek residents acknowledge the accomplishments Rodeman has made during her five years as mayor, and that she is a valuable asset to the town.

Beven also made a motion for a resolution that encourages the Town Board to support Rodeman, urges all lawsuits or future lawsuits by town employees be dropped "in good faith" and pledges that the Town Board will adhere to the "chain of command" in receiving complaints from town residents and other employees.

Some of the allegations brought against Rodeman include that she didn't follow town protocol in receiving complaints from residents or other employees.

The Town Board agreed to take more time to discuss the resolution before voting on it and most likely will discuss it at its next meeting.

Bleuer said Rodeman is "the common denominator of any strife" when issues arise in the town. He accused Rodeman of inappropriately discussing town business in public.

"It is of my opinion the damage caused by this behavior probably cannot be repaired. We tried but failed," he said.

In other business, the Town Board:

- Passed a resolution adopting the International Fire Code with an amendment that requires any changes to the code be reviewed and approved by the Town Board.

- Tabled a discussion regarding Joni Rutledge's water and sewer concerns until the Town Board could speak with the Routt County Building Department. Rutledge told the Town Board she thought she was unfairly being charged double water and sewer rates for an apartment in her garage, which she contends is not an apartment because it does not have a kitchen.

- Tabled the Darling Annex-ation conceptual plan. The Town Board agreed it needed more information.

- Tabled amending an ordinance regarding a judicial surcharge. A few Town Board members wanted to discuss removing the ordinance altogether before making a final decision.

- Approved the Oak Creek Police Department's Taser policy and procedure manual.

- Discussed the town's Main Street Project.

- Agreed to lease the Hageman Property for $700 a month for snow storage.

- Discussed the renewal of Rodeman's grant writing contract. Rodeman said the town's attorney, Bob Weiss, asked the issue be put on the agenda because the only contract between the town and Rodeman is not signed by the town, it is only signed by Rodeman, and it expired in May 2005. The Town Board agreed to discuss the terms of the contract and the roles of a grant writer before renewing any contract.

A letter from Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak was read into the record expressing her concern with Rodeman having an independent contract with the town based on the appearance of a conflict of interest and the blurred lines between an elected official and a paid employee.

-To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com


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