Wednesday, March 12, 2008
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
Steamboat Springs 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.