Oak Creek Elections
Oak Creek residents took to the polls Tuesday to elect a mayor and town trustees.
Oak Creek Oak Creek Mayor J. Elliott was re-elected to another term Tuesday, edging out challenger and former mayor Gerry Greenwood by just three votes.
Elliott, the 61-year-old owner of Colorado Bar & Grill, will serve a two-year term. Elliott received 105 votes to Greenwood's 102 votes. Mayoral candidate Bill Paxton, a former Town Board member, received 29 votes.
Tuesday's election also reconfigured the Oak Creek Town Board, as two of the three incumbents running for re-election were defeated. Oak Creek Fire Protection District Chief Chuck Wisecup was the lone incumbent to be re-elected, receiving 129 votes. Wisecup will serve a four-year term along with Wendy Gustafson, who received 135 votes, and David Ege, who received 131 votes. U.S. Forest Service conservationist Josh Voorhis was the fourth-highest vote-getter with 120 votes. He will serve a two-year term.
Incumbents Steve "Spike" Beven and John Crawford saw their re-election bids fall short, as did challengers Larry "L.A." Anderson, Bernard Gagne, Cal Martindale and Richard Wisecup.
Elliott and the trustees will be sworn in at the April 10 meeting of the Town Board.
Although Town Clerk Karen Halterman said Greenwood could request a recount, the 60-year-old mechanic indicated no such plans Tuesday night.
"I think everyone down there (judging the election) can count real well," Greenwood said after learning the results. "I don't think there's a problem there."
Greenwood said he will "still have plenty to do" in town affairs as a member of Oak Creek's Planning Commission and expressed confidence in the trustees elected Tuesday.
"I think J. (Elliott) will have a good, sound board with him," Greenwood said. "It will be a well-rounded board and J. will have support moving forward with the budget issues."
Oak Creek resident Bill Babcock, who lost a mayoral race to Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman in 2006, also expressed confidence in the new trustees after reading the election results taped to the door of Town Hall.
"I like to see new, young people getting on the board," Babcock said, saying Gustafson and Voorhis, in particular, are representative of an increasingly youthful demographic in Oak Creek.
Ege, 49, said he hopes to make the Town Board more approachable.
"There's a lot of good people in this town with a lot of good ideas," he said during dinner at Black Mountain Tavern. "Let's start listening to what the citizens really want."
Ege said he hopes to increase Oak Creek's staffing for road improvements and improve the town's "upside-down budget."
"We've got to figure out a way to fund the town without draining our backup," he said.
Halterman said 242 ballots were submitted for Tuesday's election. That tally included 219 ballots cast Tuesday at Town Hall and 23 absentee ballots. Halterman said three ballots were voided because of errors such as voting for too many trustee candidates. Oak Creek has 594 registered voters, meaning 41 percent turned out. In the town's 2006 election, 44 percent of registered voters turned out. In 2004, 45 percent of registered voters cast ballots.