Oak Creek appoints judge


The Oak Creek Town Board formally appointed former associate judge Ralph Cantafio as the municipal court judge of Oak Creek on Thursday night.

Cantafio will take on the town's increasing caseload next month.

Cantafio, a Steamboat Springs attorney, will replace longtime Oak Creek municipal judge Bob Sonheim, who gave notice of his retirement earlier this summer. Sonheim will continue to serve as the municipal judge in Yampa.

Oak Creek's municipal court handles minor traffic offenses and municipal code violations such as dog-at-large tickets, Deputy Town Clerk Vivian Johnson said.

When Sonheim began serving as municipal judge a decade ago, he heard only one or two tickets a month, Town Clerk Karen Halterman said Thursday. Since then, the caseload has increased exponentially, and municipal court now is held several days and nights each month.

"It's not uncommon to have 18 to 25 people on the docket," Police Chief Russ Caterinicchio said.

Cantafio's first day of municipal court will be Aug. 21. He was out of town and could not be reached for comment Friday.

The Town Board also went into executive session for 45 minutes Thursday night to discuss Caterinicchio's performance as police chief, deeming the discussion a "personnel matter." The board members in attendance unanimously voted to take the discussion behind closed doors; Trustees Dave Fisher and Chuck Wisecup were absent.

After returning to public session, the Town Board reiterated its previous efforts to determine exactly which oversight powers the town government has over its police department.

The town's elected officials have expressed exasperation with Caterinicchio's denials to share records and information when police commissioners have attempted to review citizen complaints against the department. During the past several months, Oak Creek has worked to revise the town's police complaints process amid residents' complaints of heavy-handedness and over-enforcement of the law.

The Town Board has been working with its attorney, Bob Weiss, to delineate exactly what authority the town's elected officials and appointed police commissioners have over the Oak Creek Police Department, as well as what records they can access.

The Town Board is expected to appoint a replacement for former Mayor Pro-Tem Angie Krall at its next meeting on Aug. 14, as well as to approve an ordinance making it illegal to fill truck-mounted tanks with the town's treated water.


below_me 8 years, 10 months ago

Lawyer, Judge, Realtor. Whats next, a used car lot?


nmypinon 8 years, 10 months ago

Why would they want to make it illegal to fill up water tanks? Don't they get paid for it? I heard it was 5 cents a gallon. So any clue as to what the board decided on the chief & his department secrets?


aufait 8 years, 10 months ago

If they have a 500 gallon tank, at >o5 cents a gallon, they pay $25.00. Each home pays $27.00 per month. The people having to haul water probably use more than one tank a month. So why the outcry because at this time they are paying more than the people that live in Oak Creek. It would seem like that would just be more revenue for the town. Why if it has been allowed in the past, is it illegal now?


Ms_E_Bronte 8 years, 10 months ago

Are they all paying? Does anyone know? If so, seems like an ok revenue source for OC. If they aren't, ... then that's another matter.


Ms_E_Bronte 8 years, 10 months ago

nmyopinion & aufait -- this might explain what's going on about the filling of water tanks (an example given): There is at present no back flow prevention in place and if someone has some kind of pesticide residue in their tank and it backs back into the hose it could contaminate the Town's entire water supply (i.e. Alamosa). Apparently there was lengthy discussion at the Board meeting, but the reporter failed to mention the reasoning behind this in the article.


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