Mayor proposes dissolution of OCPD

Oak Creek could consider contract with the Sheriff's Office

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What: Oak Creek Town Board

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Oak Creek Town Hall

— After weeks of back-and-forth discussion about the Oak Creek Police Department, the town's mayor is proposing dissolving the local department and contracting with the Routt County Sheriff's Office.

Mayor J. Elliott instructed town attorney Bob Weiss to draft the ordinance, which will be up for discussion at tonight's Town Board meeting, Town Clerk Karen Halterman said.

Elliott, who is running for re-election, could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Elliott has been on the hot seat with other Town Board members in the ongoing discussions about police issues in Oak Creek - trustees have publicly accused him of mishandling police complaints and having a conflict of interest. Elliott co-owns the Colorado Bar with his wife Becky, who began circulating a letter of concern last month enumerating complaints from Oak Creek business owners and residents.

Approval of the ordinance up for discussion would dissolve the Oak Creek Police Department, but the Town Board would have to take additional action to contract with the Sheriff's Office for law enforcement services, Halterman said.

Oak Creek Police Chief Russ Caterinicchio declined to comment because he had not seen the ordinance.

Before Oak Creek had its own police department, the Sheriff's Office provided emergency services without a paid contract. The office currently has a contract with Yampa. The Routt County Board of Commissioners would have to be involved in determining any financial arrangement with Oak Creek, Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall said.

Wall noted that providing services in Oak Creek would be an additional burden for the Sheriff's Office, likely requiring additional personnel and funding, but he declined to take a position on Oak Creek enforcement.

"We are going to do statutorily what we need to do to provide law enforcement to the county," Wall said. "But the issue of dissolving the police department belongs to Oak Creek."

At last week's public police forum, local residents packed Town Hall to share their praise and complaints for OCPD. However, a common thread among many attendees, even those disgruntled with local enforcement, was that Oak Creek needs a local police force.

Keeping law enforcement local, rather than countywide, is the only way the people will continue to have input on how the police force operates, Oak Creek resident Chuck Gustafson said last week.

In other business, the Town Board will discuss Oak Creek's contact with the Britina Group for the upcoming revision of its Comprehensive Plan, consider a resolution opposing Yampa River diversion projects and hear a presentation about the town's wastewater treatment plant collection line project.

Paxton withdraws

Trustee candidate Ed Paxton announced Wednesday he is withdrawing from the heavily contested Oak Creek Town Board race.

Though Friday was the last day to withdraw from the race, statute allows for Paxton to withdraw with consent of the Town Clerk, Halterman said.

Ten candidates remain for the four trustee seats up for grabs in the April 1 election. The top three vote-getters will serve four-year terms. The fourth-place finisher will serve for two years.

Incumbents Chuck Wisecup, John Crawford and Steve "Spike" Beven all are seeking another term. Wendy Gustafson, Josh Voorhis, Richard Wisecup, Cal Martindale, Dave Ege and Larry "L.A." Anderson are challengers.

The candidates will announce their platforms and discuss town issues at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the South Routt Community Center, in a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

Comments

bluntman 6 years, 4 months ago

is this really the best you can do for your campaign platform, J?

that is so desparate, yet utterly predictable, in what i would expect from one of the chosen ones of the former mayor who quit.

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upstream 6 years, 4 months ago

well I'll be darn dipped. J Elliot has officially lost his marbles.

Thank goodness we have so many brilliant minds waiting in the wings...Hey, Mr. Greenwood, Now is Your Time- the people of Oak Creek need your leadership, knowledge and level-head like never before. Thank you, Jerry, for stepping up as a mayoral candidate and giving us something to hope for.

Peace out, J. And good luck with rebuilding that customer base, eh?

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spukomy 6 years, 4 months ago

Sounds like a long cab ride for Wall. There and back.

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QuitYerWhining 6 years, 4 months ago

I wonder if Brent can put a sound wav of "Dueling Banjos" when ever you open this link.....Just a suggestion

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nmypinon 6 years, 4 months ago

Oh so it is ok for Wall to burden the county with a DUI + other possible charges, but it is not ok for his office to be burdened with patrolling OC.(don't they already do that anyway?) If they are going to get rid of the police I sure hope that the money was not wasted on those little cameras. I wonder if the town hall will be as packed tonight as it was last week?

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housepoor 6 years, 4 months ago

unbelievable...how could anyone want to raise children there? What kind of message are the sending by disbanding the police because the bars in town want their patrons to be able to drive home after a few too many.................who's running this town.......mob rules!!!! I'm embarrased.....

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flotilla 6 years, 4 months ago

Can't wait for the meeting... ought to be a late evening.

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bluntman 6 years, 4 months ago

agreed, 'tilla. there is alot more interesting and important stuff on the agenda that is being glossed over by this ordinance, which amounts to nothing more than egotistical grandstanding on the part of the soon-to-be-ex-mayor-J.

time for the Board of Trustees to dump the baggage (including the remanants of the Cargo regime) and get back to being focused on the REAL business.

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justathought 6 years, 4 months ago

This ordinance appears to be completely ILLEGAL to me. When did the board vote to give Elliott permission to have the attorney draft the dissolution papers? Where was it publicly posted that this was even being considered? Isn't J spending public funds on the attorney for his own personal agenda? Is OC back to the mayor running the whole show against the mayor/board system by making major decisions without board approval? Is this board going to have enough backbone to stand up to J, to tell him he has overstepped his authority? Because of his wife/bar partner's stand on the OCPD, isn't all of this a conflict of interest for J? Maybe the board should address some of these questions.

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Dukebets 6 years, 4 months ago

bluntman - Why is Elliott the 'soon-to-be-ex-mayor-J'? He is running again. And, based on the competition, J will have a landslide victory!

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bluntman 6 years, 4 months ago

...and the business of the town will continue be conducted and decided from the seat of local government... the Colorado bar & grill.

the voters of Oak Creek are far more savy and discerning than to fall for J's transparent and flimsy stunt.

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flotilla 6 years, 4 months ago

I seriously have a question. What is everyone's problem with J and Becky. They are nice business owners. If people don't like the Colorado- don't go. Isn't it that simple? I personally like that J is a good mediator. Like it or not, the citizens of OC are allowed to drink. No, they aren't allowed to drive but J is not the babysitter. And, as I see it, Russ and Eric are home asleep before those problems are rumored to begin. SO... what is the real story here? People seem to make pretty good decisions about drinking and driving as a general rule. Maybe the sheriff's office is out and awake at night to patrol, since Russ and Eric aren't. I happen to think these rumors will dissapate once people realize that these are problems that plague all small towns- the age old one bad apple thought. But I think there is a lot of over-reacting. Maybe J's time is up but can we please stop being so ridiculous and let people live their lives instead of bashing them all the time? J isn't a drunk driver and he isn't a meth lab maker. leave CArgo and J and the rest alone and learn how not to burn bridges... grow up a little and enjoy people for who they are.

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Dukebets 6 years, 4 months ago

And those that support J can spell savvy correctly.

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prayerrequests 6 years, 4 months ago

Do not forget today is PRAYER AND FAST FOR OAK CREEK. noon TIL 12:27 (lunch). Pray right whereever you happen to be.

Oak Creek does matter and many in the County wish to see it cleaned up and back on track. For those weary of the turmoil and hatred seen between OC residents......Hang in there...prayer always always always changes things.

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prayerrequests 6 years, 4 months ago

slapper

Our men and women are making progress in Iraq. We pray for them each day. They are loved and not forgotten. One day soon they will come home with an incredible mission accomplished.

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ptrpaul1 6 years, 4 months ago

The Routt County Sheriff's Office is a bigger joke than the OCPD.

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ptrpaul1 6 years, 4 months ago

As a citizen, I don't take either of the agencies seriously. Simply look at the RCSO Administration. They have no idea what they are doing. Just ask any of the current RCSO Deputies. As far as the OCPD, between the two of the Officers, they have maybe three years experience between them. At least Chief Russel the muscle has a desire to do the right thing. Somebody just needs to train him.

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outoftown 6 years, 4 months ago

i do not know what town some of you are from, however, there has always been crime in oak creek. Therefore, you really do need the police. The Sheriffs office have a lot of ground to cover, and when this action was tried several years ago it really did not work well at all. Just face it all of this disaster started with Cargo. and those of you who supported her and her followers ought to go down the road right a long with her. The town used to be attractive clean, like someone actually cared, now you drive through and you are put off. Not to mention the Colorado Bar used to look like someone cared now its like you have steped into a junk yard. Good Luck.

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Ed Miklus 6 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Elliott's idea merits serious consideration not only for Oak Creek but also for Steamboat Springs and Hayden. Routt County is rife with redundant and inefficient public safety services. The key to saving taxpayer dollars is regionalization of services. The Routt County Sheriff's Department is an already existing excellent vehicle for the regionalization of services. The resultant efficiencies would save substantial tax dollars, not compromise public safety and more than likely improve coordination of services to the citizens of Routt County.

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ptrpaul1 6 years, 4 months ago

Statutorily, RCSO is required to respond to emergencies only. Do you really think that they are going to respond to the issues such as code enforcement, dogs running at large, noise complaints and other calls for service. And if they do, their response times will be way too long. Is this really what people want.

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aristocat 6 years, 4 months ago

The dogs are still running at large. If you have a noise complaint (like fireworks at 4 am on a week night) no one answers because they are long off duty and someone will come by later in the am when on duty. The current staff is long off duty at midnight and RCSO is responding to calls any way. After Russ has done his extra patrols of the businesses (maybe we could hire a security officer) he takes his car and heads south or Eric takes his car and heads north.

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bluntman 6 years, 4 months ago

and bitter wails of anguish and despair emanate from the bars as the besotten realize that Linda mommy isn't there anymore to give them a taxpayer-funded ride home in the patrol vehicle...

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Dukebets 6 years, 4 months ago

outoftown - You evidently are from out of town. Every town has crime in the good old USA. Did you notice that Oak Creek is located in Routt County where there is law enforcement called the Routt County Sheriff's Department?

And, you evidently haven't been through town in the past 5 years. 5 years ago main street was dumpy. Now, OC has a new commercial building (Dovetail), a new face on the Colorado, Realty shops that look nice, a new front on the grocery store, a delapitated building that's been refurbished (Judy's Donuts), and I even think the Elk's got a paint job a year ago. Not to mention, the school and the bank are fairly appealing to the public eye.

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Dukebets 6 years, 4 months ago

bluntman - once again you're trying to be witty, but that attempt is overtaken by the lack of grammatical skills.

'besotten' is not a word................but a valiant attempt at besotted.

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aristocat 6 years, 4 months ago

Tipsey Taxi has been around the OC for a long time, way before Linda. But she was wise enough to realize that a free ride home for a drunk was lots less than a funeral for someones loved one. She was smart enough to know that some people manage to drive drunk for years without getting caught, for example a DUI at the store, a few weeks back.

We need to save our tax bought gas so our officers can get back to their far parts of the county, even the part timers.

And wasen't slapper nice to give us insider info. Keep up the good work Slapper so those of us who only go to the bars occasionally don't miss out on the facts from within town hall.

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Dukebets 6 years, 4 months ago

srm - remind me to shake your hand next time we run into each other because that's 2 days in a row that you have absolutely made my day!

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flotilla 6 years, 4 months ago

I see no one has replied to my question about J Elliot. Just misguided, unfounded b!tching. we are all on our way to where if you people can't drop the Cargo blame and now the J blame. gross.

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aristocat 6 years, 4 months ago

Mucker, thanks for the link. Those pic. make OC look simply beautiful and clean, but where are our hills. The landscape looks flat.And the information was realy interesting but needs updated,.

FYI Caps lock means you are shouting!!!

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