Oak Creek growth a concern

Two candidates challenging incumbent mayor in April 1 election

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Oak Creek municipal election

Upcoming stories in the Steamboat Today and Steamboat PIlot & Today:

Saturday: An introduction to Oak Creek's 10 candidates for trustee

Sunday: A look at issues facing the town - and what the candidates plan to do about them

Where to go

The polling place for all registered voters is Oak Creek Town Hall, at 129 Nancy Crawford Blvd. Voters can cast their ballots between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Candidates for mayor

J. Elliott

Age: 61

Occupation: Restaurant owner

Oak Creek resident for: Eight years

Why he is running: "Down in Oak Creek we're a smaller town, and we've got two pretty serious problems - the lack of money in the general fund and the unfunded mandates from the state."

Gerry Greenwood

Age: 60

Occupation: Welder, mechanic

Oak Creek resident for: 29 years

Why he is running: "I'm not happy with all the controversy that Oak Creek seems to go through periodically. With experience on the Town Board, and the Planning Commission and the fire board, I have the experience to possibly help the board keep it together, along with the public."

Bill Paxton

Age: 58

Occupation: Retired miner

Oak Creek resident for: 58 years

Why he is running: "I think there needs to be a change, and I think I can make that change."

— With Oak Creek's update of its Comprehensive Plan looming this summer, the mayoral candidates in Tuesday's election want to play a role in shaping their town's future growth.

Bill Paxton and Gerry Greenwood, both of whom have previously served on the Oak Creek Town Board, are challenging incumbent Mayor J. Elliott. The winner of the three-way race will serve a two-year term as mayor. Elliott was first elected to the Town Board in 2002, and was appointed mayor in November 2006 after Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman resigned.

Growth is needed for Oak Creek to increase its property and sales tax bases and put more dollars in the general fund, Elliott said. The only other way to balance the budget would be to cut expenses in the town's already "bare-bones" operations, he said.

But that growth needs to be carefully planned to keep Oak Creek the way it is, only a little bigger, Elliott said.

"I'd just hate to lose the small-town character. It's like a family - we have our little squabbles, but we all come together," Elliott 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.

"My primary concern with the next two years : is seeing the board deal with updating the Comprehensive Plan and going through the land use code, and getting it right," Greenwood said.

The town's small size and population - just 850 people - makes it difficult to financially support needed infrastructure and services, such as a police department and improvements to Oak Creek's water and sewer treatment plants, Greenwood said.

"We know we have to grow so we can afford to live here," Greenwood 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. Paxton is out of town and could not reached for comment Thursday.

Incumbent trustees Steve "Spike" Beven, John Crawford and Chuck Wisecup all are seeking re-election Tuesday. They will be challenged by Larry "L.A." Anderson, David Ege, Bernard Gagne, Wendy Gustafson, Cal Martindale, Josh Voorhis and Richard Wisecup.

Trustee Dave Fisher and Mayor Pro-Tem Angie Krall are not up for re-election this year, and Trustee Tom Bleuer is not seeking another term.

"I'm just looking forward to this election, and not just for me. There's new young people who bring a lot of energy and fresh ideas," Greenwood said.

- To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203

or e-mail mdudley@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

justathought 6 years, 9 months ago

The Restaurant (bar) Owner quotes "serious problems - the lack of money in the general fund", wasn't he part of the problem that caused "the lack of money in the general fund"? Wasn't he one of the board members responsible for overseeing the over spending of the previous mayor? The retired miner (not affiliated with the liquor store anymore?), states "I think there needs to be a change, and I think I can make that change,", didn't he quit when things didn't go his way before and will he quit again if he can't control the majority? Quiting isn't the way to get "change", AND wasn't he also one of the board members responsible for overseeing the over spending of the previous mayor? Both of these men either advocated the actions of the previous mayor or did not have the stuff to stand up to her, either way OC now has major financial problems because of it. Hopefully the good citizens of OC will recognize this at the polls and elect Greenwood.

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shortbus 6 years, 9 months ago

Justathought. I echo your sentiments completely.

Hmmmm; bar owner (sorry it is much more of a bar than a restaurant; that is an after thought) that helped create the problems or a complacent whiner that quits when things don't go his way or when they get tough.

Not sure either has the kahunas to confront the issues in OC head on.

Love the growth platform. It is the only way to get Oak Creek out of its problems... but I would advocate commercial growth over residents. Residents are demanding... commercial pays for things that they don't use much... like infrastructure; police, fire, ambulances, sewage. They also collect taxes for you.

If we look at a front range city (that by the way is in financial peril) we can see that. The City of Centennial is nearly bankrupt... why? Because they have 70,000 residents and very little commercial development.

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prayerrequests 6 years, 8 months ago

PRAYER AND FAST BEFORE OAK CREEK ELECTIONS

Sunday March 30th 9:00 A.M. til 9:27 A.M.

All are welcome. Prayer or thoughts right were ever you happen to be at 9:00 A.M.

This is a food fast. If possible just drink liquids for breakfast.

Sunday will be prayed in as a DAY OF FORGIVENESS. All the past to be washed away. Everyone gets a fresh beginning. Pray for a refreshed returning or new team that visualizes and then intiates amazing recovery efforts for the town. Not one team member covets their position to crush an old enemy. Pray for the best group of politicians in Oak Creeks history. This bunch will mentor all future leadership.

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