Oak Creek prepares for busy April election

Three candidates vie for mayoral seat; 11 running for trustee positions in South Routt

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If you go

What: Oak Creek election forum, sponsored by the League of Women Voters

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: South Routt Community Center

Oak Creek election calendar

Today: Last day to fill a vacancy in nominations (due to death or withdrawal)

Monday: Last day to appoint election judges

March 22: Last day to give written or printed notice of election

March 28: Last day to file application for absentee ballot

April 1: Election Day

April 8: Last day to make abstract of votes; last day for interested party to request a recount

April 11: Recounts must be completed

April 18: Last day to contest election if no recount is conducted

April 21: Last day to contest if recount is conducted

— While Hayden officials consider canceling the town's election because of unopposed races, Oak Creek is gearing up for heavily contested races for mayor and trustee positions. The interest could be a reflection of a number of contentious issues in the South Routt town, including how the town's police force carries out its duties.

Three candidates are running for mayor, and 11 candidates are seeking four trustee seats in the April 1 municipal election. Current mayor J. Elliott will face former trustee Bill Paxton and former mayor Gerry Greenwood.

Elliott, who was first elected to the Town Board in 2002, was appointed mayor in November 2006 after Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman resigned. Elliott said he is seeking re-election to continue work on the town's current projects, including pending annexations, the update to the town's Comprehensive Plan, and sewer and wastewater projects.

"We've got a lot on our plate we've got to deal with," Elliott said.

Paxton served on the Town Board from 2000 to July 2006, when he resigned citing dissatisfaction with town decisions regarding several Oak Creek residents. Later that year, Paxton submitted a letter of interest for the position of mayor after Rodeman's resignation.

Paxton is aiming to get back into town government because he is disappointed with its current leadership.

"I think there needs to be a change, and I think I can make that change," he said.

Greenwood serves on the Oak Creek Planning Commission and spent 10 years on the Oak Creek Fire Protection District Board. Greenwood also served a one-year appointed term as mayor after five years on the Town Board in the 1990s, he said.

Greenwood said it would be "premature" to discuss his candidacy prior to next week's election forum.

Mayoral and trustee candidates will outline their platforms Tuesday at an election forum at the South Routt Community Center sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

Eleven candidates are running for the four vacancies up for election on the Oak Creek Town Board. The top three vote getters will serve four-year terms, and the fourth-place candidate will serve a two-year term.

Chuck Wisecup, John Crawford and Steve "Spike" Beven seek to serve another term on the Town Board. The seats occupied by Mayor Pro-Tem Angie Krall and Trustee Dave Fisher are not up for election. Tom Bleuer, who was appointed in July 2006 to fill the vacancy created by Paxton's resignation, is not seeking re-election.

Crawford has served as trustee since 2002, and Beven since 2004. Wisecup was appointed to the board in December 2006.

The incumbents will be challenged by Wendy Gustafson, Josh Voorhis, Richard Wisecup, Bernard Gagne, Ed Paxton, Cal Martindale, Dave Ege and Larry "L.A." Anderson.

Town Clerk Karen Halterman urged local residents to turn out for the April 1 election. In Oak Creek's most recent town election in 2006, only about half of the town's 500 or so registered voters cast ballots, Halterman said.

"In a lot of years past, we haven't had a lot of people turn out to vote," Halterman said.

That might not be the case next month. Last week, residents packed Town Hall for a public forum about police issues. Many residents have expressed displeasure with new police Chief Russ Caterinicchio; others support increased law enforcement. Recent Town Board meetings have been well attended, and issues such as annexation also have become hot-button topics.

Comments

Slapper 6 years, 1 month ago

Cdave speaks the truth and there are others as well that would bring the same. Josh,Wendy&Gerry are the others. The rest for the most part represent and hang at the bars. Any of those on the board it will be town business as usual conducted at the Colorado. These people will disolve the police department and that process has started. If you do not want police vote for the bar crowd but if you want accountability vote for those above. This election is about one thing and one thing only. POLICE! How smart or how dumb residents of Oak Creek are will finally be answered after years of speculation with the results of this election.

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nmypinon 6 years, 1 month ago

I have never heard the names Wendy G or Josh V before. How long have they been here?Just curious!

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Slapper 6 years, 1 month ago

Josh fairly new but lived in the area for some time. Wendy for several years and is an accountant while Josh works for the forest service. They are very competant and up to date on town matters because they attend the meetings. Some of the others never have. Once again this election is totally about removing the police department.

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nmypinon 6 years, 1 month ago

I do not think that "getting rid "of our police is why certain people are running. I think if that was the "reason" more people would be running.Hopefully I will be able to attend the meeting on Tuesday.The only one I have seen any info on is Dave E.

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nmypinon 6 years, 1 month ago

Happen to read it while having lunch down town over the weekend

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aristocat 6 years, 1 month ago

Every meeting I've been, I've seen Richard and Bernie! I believe you are wrong, Slapper. I have talked to about half of the candidates running and everyone that I talked to was about the police finding a middle ground. I don't know why you think it is your job to personally slur anything that has been in Oak Creek for any length of time. Evidently you haven't been here very long yourself and why you continue to stay is beyound any imagination. You consistantly harp on why you hate Oak Creek and how dumb you think the people are. But you seem to have an opinion (mostly negative) about everything.

Oh, and by the way, what were the names of the good police that were run off?

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bluntman 6 years, 1 month ago

this election is about everything (aside from matters pertaining to the Police Department) that challenges the leadership in the Town of Oak Creek. in reality, it has very little to do with police matters at all, but several candidates who have no other platform attempt to make it such. that goes for 2 or 3 of the incumbents who are seeking re-election as well. the candidates to vote for are informed, aware and speak to the real issues, not about the dismantling of the Police Department a central component of their election campaign. it is also highly probable that these qualified candidates possess the ability to stay awake through long, arduous and often uneventful meetings. it is time for the silent majority of Oak Creek residents to take a stand for progress and accountability in our municipal government into our 2nd century. do not allow the tail to wag the dog and let the bar & liquor special interest group drag us back somewhere well before our 1st century of existence.

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flotilla 6 years, 1 month ago

This election, to me, is about more than just police, Slapper. I think our town is in a crucial state regarding growth management. It really is a shame that we waste so much time on these two men; one of whom (Chief Russ) is completely unwilling to change and "catagorically denies" each and every complaint against him. Sad how the Police commissioners are so stubborn that they think that residents of OC with complaints would willingly pay for babysitters and spend three hours of their time after work in the evening to publically speak out (which few enjoy doing) against these men if they were ALL fabricating these stories. And most people who side with the police claim the same sorry old bs "they must be doing something wrong". Yeah... all these people secretly have meth labs under their homes. COME ON! In answer to nmyopinion's question: Wendy is always at the meetings, is an accountant as her profession and also teaches yoga. In my opinion, she would be an excellant mediator and has an amazing accounting background. She is originally from Evergreen. Josh also has an impressive resume and has very good ideas about growth. Please attend the election "primaries" for more info.

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Dukebets 6 years, 1 month ago

Slapper - Why aren't you running? You seem to have the answer for everything. Let me guess.........You are not running because you can't work for the town and be on the board. We all know who you are.............

And, once again we hear the tirades about the bar crowd wanting to get rid of police. I don't believe anyone wants to get rid of police.........."We came hear to clean up the town", says Russ. That's a real positive attitude. Every time you ask Russ a question, he answers by saying he could be making 6 figures in Evergreen but chose Oak Creek. What a line of bull!

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shortbus 6 years, 1 month ago

I do hope that the election is NOT about police (that would be very petty). There are much bigger issues in the town than the police... (a town of 500 really should not need two police officers regardless of who they are) like staving off bankruptcy, eliminating junk, attracting more solid businesses to get a good revenue stream going, fixing a reputation of poor adminstration... I could go on and on.

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Dukebets 6 years, 1 month ago

srm - That quote just made my day. Nice Job!

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Dukebets 6 years, 1 month ago

bluntman - When you say SLAM, are you making a reference to the time a couple of months ago when Russ ran into Candidate Cal's truck and was going to leave the scene until Mr. Martindale walked out of his office.

And, if you feel the need to slander Cal's name, maybe you should make those comments directly to him.

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bluntman 6 years, 1 month ago

Candidate Cal captured crucial credibility points at the Community - Police forum by stepping up and setting the record straight about the exact same incident you refer to, Dukes. i give him the respect he deserves for talking honestly about what happened there and trying to put the matter to rest once and for all. if you are one of his supporters, maybe you should do the same, otherwise you aren't exactly doing him any favors. i'm sure that any serious candidate will be available at the forum to answer anyone's questons about their qualifications. i'm not just talking about the questions that i plan on asking, either. this candidate's forum should be a whole lot more entertaining and enlightening than another boring 3 hour meeting about the Poolice already...

what was that about qualifications, again? SLAM

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prayerrequests 6 years, 1 month ago

PRAYER AND FAST FOR OAK CREEK

THURSDAY MARCH 13th NOON til 12:27 (lunch)

All are welcome. Not organized this time. Just pray where ever you happen to be.Fast is no food just drink water or juice.

Especially remember those bound by drugs and alcohol. Also remember the Police Deptment as they try to clean up decades of rot in Oak Creek. Elections are soon remember to pray to cleanse the hearts and minds of any person who wishes to lead the little town. Pray for honesty and pure intentions that are fair to each citizen and not just a few. Pray for a refreshed Oak Creek with everyone seeking a positive future with achievable goals.

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flotilla 6 years, 1 month ago

Hey- prayerrequests- rot is in the eye of the beholder. I hope someone cleanses you... weren't you the one who mentioned at the forum that you "watched a drug deal go down" but didn't do a thing about it? Stay in phippsburg and stay away from our business. sister cityhood doesn't give you a right to mettle in the business of our town. "Prayer" should go out to Cheif Russ and his muddled brain thinking he can fool those around him,.

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prayerrequests 6 years, 1 month ago

flotilla

Anyone that does business in OC cares about what happens in OC. The sister towns buy groceries ,gas, food at the resturants ,etc. Are you afraid the many prayer warriors including ones out of state now, have found you out? No longer will the rest of the county allow you to intimidate the innocent in OC. We are watching and praying. Do you believe pray works?

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nmypinon 6 years, 1 month ago

SRM: Better watch what you say, SOMEBODY may accuse you of bribery. Especially if they do get rid of the ocpd.

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CoJustice 6 years, 1 month ago

Southrouttmucker: Your hate for law enforcement is destructive. You deserve Wall in your community. Maybe he can have his deputies drive the drinking patrons home, or even tow them with winches.

What a shame for the officers that work for your city. "I was fired for enforcing the law, and protecting the public".

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CoJustice 6 years, 1 month ago

Ever notice how Wall is so closely associated with damage control regarding issues of drunk driving and town meetings?

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upstream 6 years, 1 month ago

wow- we made it through nearly 1/2 a dozen comments before the random, irrelevant rant began. I was actually thinking this thread, this time, might allow for intelligent discourse about the real issues facing our town and the folks running for town board. We have a serious election coming up and just a few weeks prior to the election we are still talking about one of the absolute least important issues facing our community.

Whatever about the police- like em', hate em' who cares?

It is just not that big of a deal- especially when you look at (and THINK about) the stuff the trustees have been dealing with (the ones who actually attend meetings, stay awake and follow up on their commitments that is):

-The Comprehensive Plan (how many of you have even read the old one? How many will show up to write the new one?) -The Darling Annexation (very, very complicated issues here and likely to set precedents for years to come) -The wastewater treatment plant construction that has still not gone out to bid thanks to the engineers awarded a no bid contract by our previous mayor (hmmm....bet the building costs on that are going down. NOT) -Finding a way to repair and staff a very sophisticated water treatment plant that was not properly engineered, has already failed once (recall the port-a-johns on main street?) and could be decertified anytime. -And, then, there is the dirty little issue of all the "grant money" our former mayor obtained while failing to provide matching funds- better part of the last 12 months have been spent unravelling that mess.

These, folks, represent a few of the real issues facing the town we love and, sad to say, none of them is as sexy and alluring as railing on about the police.

Please help us elect trustees and a mayor who are ready, willing and able to tackle these problems. Do not be distracted by the police nonsense- choose the most intelligent, hardworking and dedicated individuals you can. Please. The future of our town depends upon it.

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upstream 6 years, 1 month ago

Oh, and by the way, Mucker- let it go already...reality check here- you are flapping your jaws on an ANONYMOUS forum. Enough of the Sherlock Holmes is here to out you biz. Would you mind just giving us your insights (preferably without the caps lock on the entire time) and leaving the who's who out of it? It would make it a whole lot easier to take anything you say seriously.

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aristocat 6 years, 1 month ago

Hey guys, Why don't you quit slandering or whatever you are doing to get removed. It's kind of hard to respond when you get up, post, and get removed before we have a chance to read your post.

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aristocat 6 years, 1 month ago

What happened to SouthRouttMucker? He is no longer showing up anywhere.

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justathought 6 years, 1 month ago

That's the reason it seems so peaceful on here today.

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nmypinon 6 years, 1 month ago

I guess he/she got deleted,erased,removed or whatever you want to call it. Like MUSK & COLO123.Guess maybe he was speaking his/her mind too much or said something true. Or maybe he was taking up too much room with his caps lock on. HAHAHA

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bluntman 6 years, 1 month ago

the likelihood of a marked increase in the level of civil discourse around here has increased substantially.

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dave reynolds 6 years, 1 month ago

should make Oak Creek a reality show..this is to much..hey just get along and dont have a mayor who owns a bar

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aristocat 6 years, 1 month ago

What difference does it make if the mayor owns a bar? A good businessman will do anything to help yhe economy of the town he lives in . What's good for the town is good for his business. His business is open long after the cops go home anway and the late nite drinkers are generally the trouble makers and the ones who drive under the influence.And the cops are home asleep . And by the time RCSO gets here everyone is GOA.

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CoJustice 6 years, 1 month ago

"A good businessman will do anything to help the economy of the town he lives in "

Anything? I am starting to see exactly what some businessmen will do for profit and to protect their own interests, of course benefiting the business first, prior to any taxable income.

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shortbus 6 years, 1 month ago

Aristocat. It makes a huge difference if the mayor cannot separate his personal financial needs and agendas from the needs of the community as a whole. It would appear that perhaps the board would agree with the appearance of conflict of interest based on recent actions. I am sure he is a great business man, but that does not necessarily equate to a great political leader... Ross Perot.

"What's good for the town is good for business"; not necessarily. When the economy of a town is largely focused on just a few businesses within a single sector (or on OC's case sub-sector) the two can often be in constant conflict.... especially if the town is in the process of transformation as Oak Creek is. (aka $500,000 houses)

Just take a look back at our history locally and throughout our state... We evolve and our businesses evolve with us.

Perhaps the heyday of a bar on every corner in Oak Creek is over and maybe we will start seeing a donut shop on every corner (jab). Or even better yet, maybe we will start seeing sustainable manufacturing and service industries appear in the community as a result of the high quality workforce that OC provides.

Don't hold on to the past man... the ride could be a fun one. Look at all of the towns that have re-vitalized themselves over the years.

I look forward to the day that I can comfortably own real estate in Oak Creek when the town is an amalgamation of businesses serving the community where a variety of customers and lifestyles are served. This is the only way to insulate a community against hard times in any given sector.

The bigger issue is to find leadership that is willing to make the very tough decisions to get Oak Creek to evolve and not stagnate like your neighbors to the South who seem more then comfortable watching their town slowly die.

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candylane 6 years, 1 month ago

I do believe that J has the best interest of Oak Creek and then the Colorado, together and seperated, in mind. If you were at the meeting last night, and could hear Spike, you would have heard that there were stipulations to the ordanece tht J had the lawyer draw up. Spike brought up there was a time frame on the police being able to settle differences in town and finding out the cost of Sheriff Office protection as several of the stipulations. If we could ever get the full story on important issues in this town instead of getting half the story and the ball being dropped, maybe we could come together as a town. Honestly, I don't know how much different the cost would be since the RCSO is covering the town a large part of the time any way (at no cost now).

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justathought 6 years, 1 month ago

J still over stepped his authority, it takes public discussion and a vote of the board to make decisions such as this, THAT is how you get the full story on important issues. It is definitely time for OC to get a mayor that will be unbiased and open, it's good Greenwood stepped up.

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