Voters choose Rodeman
Oak Creek mayor returns to post; two new trustees picked
Oak Creek voters overwhelmingly returned Kathy “Cargo” Rodeman to her position as Oak Creek’s mayor in Tuesday’s election.
Voters also passed an ordinance to take away term limits, which means Rodeman and other town officials can run for and serve as many terms as they wish.
For the three trustee spots, voters elected incumbent Bill Paxton, former mayor Karen Halterman, and Stephen “Spike” Beven, who is new to the town’s political scene.
Oak Creek Town Clerk Nancy Crawford said 253 ballots were cast during the election. Rodeman beat candidate Bill Norris by a vote of 193-52.
“I’m obviously very happy with the outcome,” Rodeman said. “Oak Creek can keep going in the direction that it’s going and be as groovy as we’ve been.
“I really hope the ugliness is over,” she said, referring to the campaigning process. “Let’s all get together, work as a team.”
Norris said he wanted to thank the residents who supported him during the election.
“Since my only interest in the position was for the good of Oak Creek, I wish the new board well,” Norris said via e-mail. “Hopefully my campaign will result in renewing the citizens’ interest in the town’s finances and goals. That alone will have made it worth the effort.”
Incumbent Trustee Paxton received the highest number of votes of all eight candidates for trustee, with 152 votes.
Former mayor and Trustee Halterman had the second highest number of votes with 136. Halterman said she wanted to “thank the Oak Creek voters for giving me a chance to serve the community.”
Beven received 121 votes, beating out incumbent Jim Eskridge by only four votes.
“I am just personally very grateful that Cargo won and by such a large majority,” Beven said. “With so many good people running for the board, I feel very humbled to get in.”
Kelly Lipsie received 67 votes; Clyde Moore received 49 votes; Kenton Schmidt received 45 votes; and Reta McNutt received 38 votes.
The ballot question to take away term limits passed by a narrow margin with 127 votes in favor of taking away the term limits, and 110 votes against the measure, Crawford said.
The voter turnout was similar to two years ago, when Rodeman beat former mayor Deb VanGundy, 164-81, Crawford said.
Rodeman said she wished there had been an even larger voter turnout, and encouraged residents who didn’t vote to register for the next election.
She also said she was looking forward to continuing to serve with the three board members not up for election, Paxton and the two new faces to the board.
“I’m looking forward to the new energy,” Rodeman said about the result of the election.
The new town officials will be sworn in at the Oak Creek Town Board of Trustees meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday.
— To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203
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