Candidate forums scheduled | SteamboatToday.com

Candidate forums scheduled

Susan Cunningham

Oak Creek residents who want to learn about the town’s two mayoral candidates may need to go to two candidate forums, one with each candidate.

There’s “Meet Mr. Bill” tonight, where residents can talk with mayoral candidate Bill Norris, followed by a candidate forum Saturday, where residents can ask questions of Mayor Kathy “Cargo” Rodeman.

Norris set up his forum after learning that the town was not going to hold a forum, but this week, the town helped schedule one for Saturday.

Oak Creek’s election is Tuesday. At the polls, voters will choose between Norris and Rodeman for mayor, eight candidates for the three open trustee seats, and whether term limits should be eliminated.

Last week, Bill Norris’ wife, Sonja, said she asked the town whether there would be a candidates’ forum. When she learned no forum was planned, “We decided to go ahead with our own,” Sonja Norris said.

They advertised the forum for only Bill Norris because of legalities, they said. But Rodeman said she and other candidates planned to attend.

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In the meantime, Rodeman learned from candidates and residents that there was interest in having a forum, so she helped schedule Saturday’s event, Town Clerk Nancy Crawford said.

Bill Norris will not be able to make the Saturday forum because he has to be at CPR training, he said.

His forum, Norris said, will give people a chance to learn “the other side of the story.”

“I’ll give my ideas,” Norris said. “And I’d like to hear what (residents’) views are.”

Crawford said Saturday’s forum will give residents a chance to learn about candidates who are not incumbents.

“It’s important to not just vote, but to vote intelligently,” Crawford said.

The Saturday forum is open to all candidates and will have a question-and-answer format. Residents who attend will write down their questions for the candidates, and the questions will then be read by mediator Renee Johnson. Each candidate will have a limited time to answer.

Rodeman said she thought the forum was a good idea, especially because there are a lot of people running.

“It helps people know who stands for what before they’re going to the polls,” Rodeman said.

Residents running for town trustee positions are incumbents Clyde Moore, Bill Paxton, and Jim Eskridge; former trustees Reta McNutt and Karen Halterman; and first-timers Stephen “Spike” Beven, Kelly Lipsie and Kenton Schmidt.

The ballot also will have a question asking whether residents want to eliminate term limits, which were put in place by Colorado law but can be eliminated by a town’s vote.

— To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com