Oak Creek to hire life coach

Town Board votes for counselor, against medical marijuana grow operation

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— The town of Oak Creek is going to get a counselor.

After a 40-minute private session with the town lawyer, Oak Creek Town Board members voted unanimously Thursday night to set aside as much as $5,000 to hire a life coach for town employees.

Mayor Nikki Knoebel said the coach could start as early as next week, providing counseling and advice about communication and interpersonal relationships for all town employees.

“We’re just trying to get some cohesion with all the staff because we don’t have a town manager,” she said later. “We’re trying to get some camaraderie between the department heads, where they can work together and work with each other.”

The $5,000 will come from the general fund.

Town attorney Bob Weiss said the board met in the private executive session because the Town Board members were getting advice from counsel.

After the vote was taken and the board voted to set aside the money for the life coach, an audience member shouted out a question about what the vote means.

“We are trying to enhance staff at Town Hall, and we’re going to mediate and work on some policies and get us all on the same page,” Knoebel said. “We’re going to (work) with the staff and how we want them to interact and how we want everybody to work together.”

Knoebel said issues including budget cuts have raised tensions for staff.

“Nobody got raises, things like that,” she said. “We just want a morale booster.”

Knoebel said she has a life coach in mind she has worked with and plans to contact him about the project.

She said communication and policies also could be addressed during the process.

“I think in every comp­any, somehow communication always falls through,” she said.

The town has slightly more than $1 million in the budget for 2010, including $369,363 in the general budget, according to documents from the Oak Creek Town Hall.

No grow space

Medical marijuana provider Jacob Wise again was left without a grow space after the meeting.

Wise was trying to get approval to turn a storage space at 106 Moffat Ave. into a growing area for his Oak Creek medical marijuana dispensary, Mary’s. Town Board members voted, 5-1, against allowing the land-use change. Trustee Lawrence Jaconetta voted in favor of the proposal.

Wise tried to sell the town on the idea that the building hasn’t been in use for years and the town would benefit from having more workers.

“It’s a small town; there just aren’t many options,” he said. “The building hasn’t been utilized, and the building is currently being used for light industrial, and I really don’t feel like I’m hurting anything.”

Town Board members said they supported Wise’s business — especially because the center is paying taxes to the town — but did not think the location was appropriate.

Town Board members and audience members also debated whether the grow operation could be located near a park — the site is less than 1,000 feet from one — but the town’s medical marijuana code and state laws do not require that grow operations stay away from parks, only centers.

After Wise’s application was denied, Town Board member Dawn Smith said the town should consider helping Wise find an acceptable space.

The Town Board also:

■ Voted to retain Old West Sanitation, of Craig, as the town’s trash service. Old West and Waste Management submitted sealed bids at the town’s request.

■ Voted to increase water and sewer rates by 2 percent to compensate for increased costs.

■ Spoke with Weiss about the town’s land-use code. The town will begin to prepare the code for approval.

Comments

freerider 4 years ago

Hey I'll do it for free . ready here ya go

Don't smoke , don't drink , don't do drugs , get plenty of sleep , don't eat processed food . go skiing , get lots of exercise ... have a great sex life die happy

any questions

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Jane Sindell 4 years ago

$5000.00??? you have to be kidding? Maybe those who where elected and or hired by the citizens of Oak Creek should pay for this out of their own pockets. Tax receipts are way down and if we can't afford raises for the town employees, how can we justify spending money on counseling? And, yes I know, I should have been at the meeting.

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Scott Wedel 4 years ago

And if you had been there you'd have seen a meltdown by a member of the planning board. Apparently, that was not part of the $5,000 problem because that executive session could not involve any elected or appointed official.

But it is amazing to think that a planning board member could lose it like that during a town board discussion of a land use change without feeling the need to apologize to anyone. An applicant is supposed to be able to get a fair hearing and a planning board member acts like that?

The planning board is a nightmare for property owners. At the planning board meeting of October 20th, another applicant was told by the planning board that the part of his eventual plans that involved using the cabin for residential nightly use only needed administrative approval. So, of course, he doesn't show up for the Town Board meeting where the same planning board members argued to the Board that the proposed use was not acceptable.

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freerider 4 years ago

Hey anybody anybody on the Oak Creek planning board wanna buy some magic beans

Today only $5000.00

cheap !!!

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upstream 4 years ago

Wow. Municipal employees up in middle routt not only did not get raises this year, they got furloughs and lay offs. I don't think they got a taxpayer funded "life coach"- just a nasty dose of life. This recession bites and those of us who still have a job to go to should not be the one's sucking the taxpayer dry. 5grand could help a lot of our jobless neighbors this winter and I would far prefer my tax money go to them. To quote my wise old mom- snap out of it! If you really can't get your head around doing your job with a decent attitude- step aside and let someone else earn a paycheck with benefits!

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flower 4 years ago

Town Employees; look around no one is getting raises right now, so quit pouting. Maybe you could have gotten a $5000 bonus instead of a life coach.

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max huppert 4 years ago

I think Nikki is just hookin up her friend with $5000.00 Life coach will not make any difference but piss everyone off. you should not be in a leadership position if you can not manage personalities. I would rather that money go to electric grid or water lines. I cant believe you didn't stand up and make more of a fuss Scott, we all count on you to be our independent watch dog. When are you getting the big washing machine fixed? I also don't understand why you will not let Jacob create more jobs in this town and expand the exporting of drugs. there is a lot of expansion that would help out Oak Creek. And once the new club opens up that will bring in more people " the Coal Miners Daughter" Big Money..

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sledneck 4 years ago

Both of these actions are a perfect example of how government leaders don't get it.

No raise? Waaaaahhhh. Maybe no job, like the people paying your salary, would feel better?

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frankly 4 years ago

Wow. This is one of the stupidest things I've heard about, hands down. A life coach? Here's the advice: Get a life! Breathe, calm down, play nice ... seriously, didn't we all learn this stuff in Kindergarten?? 5K? Just send them to the public school each day for 1/2 day Kindergarten and save some money to spend it on something useful, like the local library, fire department, schools or animal shelter ... or even better, give it back to the TAX PAYERS!

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Scott Wedel 4 years ago

How Oak Creek avoids layoffs is because the town operated electricity enterprise fund pays more for salaries to Public Works than road maintenance and snow removal combined. These same public works employees are not qualified electricians so when people knock down power poles then, according to Public Works in the last Town Board meeting, there is nothing for them to do. They just call Cromer who brings staff out from Craig and does everything.

Electricity enterprise also provides free electricity for what should be a general fund expense such as free electricity for Town Hall, free electricity for street lights and free electricity for all Town Buildings.

And so while general fund does not have much money, they can raise electricity rates so OC residents pay 15% more per kwh than YVEA customers.

The whole thing is so poorly managed that Public Works keeps no records of how much time is spent working for the different enterprise funds that is paying their salaries. So, there are no timesheets showing they are working a lot on water/sewer and not so much roads or electricity. No, the Town decides how many public employees they want and then assign the costs to the enterprise funds and then adjust water, sewer and electricity rates to balance those budgets.

The situation is screaming for a lawyer that wants to establish small government and taxpayer rights credentials and knows how to win a TABOR lawsuit to file against the town. I think also if he wins the TABOR lawsuit then the Town has to pay his fees.

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Scott Wedel 4 years ago

How Oak Creek avoids layoffs is because the town operated electricity enterprise fund pays more for salaries to Public Works than road maintenance and snow removal combined. These same public works employees are not qualified electricians so when people knock down power poles then, according to Public Works in the last Town Board meeting, there is nothing for them to do. They just call Cromer who brings staff out from Craig and does everything.

Electricity enterprise also provides free electricity for what should be general fund expenses such as free electricity for Town Hall, free electricity for street lights and free electricity for all Town Buildings.

And so while general fund does not have much money, they can raise electricity rates so OC residents pay 15% more per kwh than YVEA customers.

The whole thing is so poorly managed that Public Works keeps no records of how much time is spent working for the different enterprise funds that is paying their salaries. So, there are no timesheets showing they are working a lot on water/sewer and not so much roads or electricity. No, the Town decides how many public employees they want and then assign the costs to the enterprise funds and then adjust water, sewer and electricity rates to balance those budgets.

Seriously, does anyone honestly believe Public Works employees spend more time on electricity enterprise work than road maintenance and snow removal COMBINED? Well, actually, that is what Town Board members are certifying when, as acting the managing board of the electricity enterprise fund, that they are paying Public Works that much money for salaries.

The situation is screaming for a lawyer that wants to establish small government and taxpayer rights credentials and knows how to win a TABOR lawsuit to file against the town. I think if she wins the TABOR lawsuit then the Town has to pay her fees.

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flower 4 years ago

Just courious, how many people will this 'life coach' be coaching? And why is it a life coach and not a get a flippen clue and do your job coach?

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Scott Wedel 4 years ago

Flower, Since the personnel issue was held in executive session, nothing was disclosed about the involved employees. Though, a comment was made about department heads working together so it is pretty obvious which two have issues.

It was not discussed in the public meeting why a life coach vs telling both to work it out or risk being fired. Though, seems to me that both could be fired for issues not involving the other and goal might be as much trying to keep two trained employees as it is to work out the issues between each other.

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sledneck 4 years ago

A "get a flippen clue and do your job coach". !? AWESOME! Hee Hee Hee

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1999 4 years ago

WOW!

I bet I could find someone to take their jobs who would get the job done AND be able to get along with everyone.

JEEZ. the idiocy and audacity is staggering..fire them all.

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Scott Wedel 4 years ago

1999, If you want idiocy then take a land use code that is so confusing that it is frequently questioned whether an business related application is of no, minor or major impact. So, is the solution to clarify the code? Nope, the new proposed land use code adds a noticed required pre-application meeting to determine if the proposal is no, minor or major impact. And then after the planning board decides that, then the Town can accept the application for land use change.

BTW, planning board meets monthly so that adds another month to the process for a business wanting to move to OC.

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Queenie 4 years ago

wow....for once I actually agree with everyone's comments.

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muck 4 years ago

Wow! No wonder everyone in Routt County laugh at us in Oak Creek. How bout we spend 5000.00 on WATER we can drink. Or maybe roads that dont have pot holes. Or maybe we can keep the power on for more than 24 hours without an outage. Oak Creek officials take care of your people first! THIS IS EMBARRASSING!

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