Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Non Gang-of-Six Council Sworn In

By Gentle Reader Dian, whose report I've unabashedly gleaned and edited from today's comments threads:

Attended the swearing-in ceremony today for our new [Ogden, Utah] Council members. They have all now sworn to uphold their positions with fidelity.

First order of business after the swearing in was to appoint a new council chair and vice chair. They are...

Jesse Garcia: Chair

Amy Wicks: Vice- Chair

Thought you'd like to know that.

The room was really quite full--some people were standing in the back, including Representative Neil Hansen. The speeches were courteous with those stepping down thanking the people for giving them the opportunity to serve, and those being sworn in thanking their predecessors for serving. The firefighters were highly visible--in fact, Jorgensen, in his speech, produced a piece of firefighting equipment that went with a hose, I think, and stated that it was the council's responsibility to regulate the flow of the water.

Wondered if this were in response to Glasmann's comment on this board that council work was sort of like trying to take a drink out of a fire hose:

It's been said that our job is like drinking from a fire hose, and from what I've seen, they're right. But I'm ready, so pass me the nozzle on 3 Jan., 06.

Well, Bill, the nozzle has been passed.

Doug Stevens talked about the need for stewardship of the city and its future, and that he wished to work toward making Ogden a great place to live. He gave a call to all of us to think of how we can support Ogden, not simply what we can get out of it.

Bill Glasmann especially thanked the current and outgoing council members, some of whom he had gotten to know well. Said there was a lot to do, and that having a lot to do was a sign that the city was in a phase of vitality, soon to be a "shining city on the hill."

Dorrene Jeske concentrated on the need to make Ogden City Government accessible to the citizens, and, as she put it, "let some light in." And to this end, she produced flashlights for all the council members, to remind them that the local government's dealings should be out in the light.

The event was not without its emotional moments--Jorgensen became a bit choked up, as did Glasmann, which I draw attention to because of Rudi's comment about Women On The Council. Have you noticed that women in these positions really try Not to choke up, for fear of being thought too emotional? Interesting that the men are freely expressing emotion now without fear of gender prejudice rearing its head. A new day has indeed dawned.

Food Note: There was a reception afterwards with hot meatballs, sandwiches, stuffed croissants, fruit and cheese, a vegetable plate, and punch.

New Council Fashion Note: Stevens and Glasmann wore impeccably tailored charcoal gray suits. Dorrene Jeske was stunning in a cream colored suit with a heavy gold necklace.

All in all, an auspicious occasion. Gorgeous day, too.

------------

Editor's Note: I'd like to thank Dian for providing a full and accurate description of today's momentous Ogden city council event. I couldn't have done any better in my own description; and I'll only augent this with one comment. The guy sitting next to me in the audience commented to me: "Mayor Godfrey has the look on his face like he's attenting his own funeral."

12 comments:

ozboy said...

Did you notice how comrade Jorgensen - in his farewell address - gave advice to the new council. He told them who their loyalty should be to.
The citizens of Ogden were 4th on the list!
1st was the council itself
2nd was the Mayor!
3rd was the city?
4th was the citizens.

Is it any wonder this guy was thrown out of office by the citizens who thought he was supposed to be representing them?

RudiZink said...

This is awesome!

The woman-hater Matt Godfrey is going to have to deal on a day-today basis with Amy Wicks -- a Woman - the new council Vice-chair.

This will piss off Godfrey to virtual insanity.

Women are NOTHING in Mattgodfreyworld.

Curmudgeon said...

Two points:

First : vis the Garcia/Wicks elections to chair, and vice chair: how meaningful [other than symbolically] is that? Does the chair have any significant power to affect the agenda, say? Or is the position a largely ceremonial one, the major responsibility of which is to preside at meetings? I don't know. Seeking information.

Second: Ozboy, I attended the swearing in session as well. Funny, I heard Jorgensen's speech too, and it strikes me one would have to work hard to find in it something major to criticize. The Council, after all, is elected by the people. Loyalty to the council is a form of loyalty to the people. So too is the Mayor elected. And the city is the people as well. It was boilerplate, Ozboy, and it was offered as advice to the incoming members to remind them that without cooperation with each other, and the administration, the Council is not likely to accomplish much. That was not bad advice. I think Councilman Jorgenson insufficiently excercised the Council's check on the administrative branch, and I think that perception cost him re-election. I do not think, however, that he behaved dishonorably. He stuck to his guns and voted as he thought best, and though I disagree with many of his votes, I find in that nothing to criticize him for.

Finally, I'm hard put to see the value of continuning to pick at a defeated candidate no longer in office. Seemed to me Councilman Jorgensen handled his defeat and his last council session with grace and class. Trying to make cheap points out of it seems downright churlish to me.

There is a new Council. Let the old one go. There are new fights to fight. Continuing to fight the old ones already won or lost is a waste of time and energy.

RudiZink said...

I took notes, Ozboy. When the properly-ousted councilman Comrade Jorgenson listed his order of loyalties, they came out like this, in order of preference:

The council
The city
Mayor Godfrey's Administration
Constiuents
Self

The constituents were low man on the totem-pole, in the ousted and
socialist Jorgenson-brain.

"Good riddence to bad rubbish," I
say, as the olde saying goes...

dian said...

Regarding Jorgensen's comments on loyalty: What I recall Jorgensen saying is that sometimes he had trouble with conflicting loyalties to the council, mayor, city, and citizens, and that he thought that was good--that one should always be---questioning one's motives in these things, I guess. My personal opinion on these conflicting loyalties is that they should not be present--the loyalty should be to the citizenry only.

But that's just me. (And quite a few other people.)

More about the ceremony...

The room was really quite full--some people were standing in the back, including Representative Neil Hansen. The speeches were courteous with those stepping down thanking the people for giving them the opportunity to serve, and those being sworn in thanking their predecessors for serving. The firefighters were highly visible--in fact, Jorgensen, in his speech, produced a piece of firefighting equipment that went with a hose, I think, and stated that it was the council's responsibility to regulate the flow of the water.

Wondered if this were in response to Glasmann's comment on this board that council work was sort of like trying to take a drink out of a fire hose:

It's been said that our job is like drinking from a fire hose, and from what I've seen, they're right. But I'm ready, so pass me the nozzle on 3 Jan., 06.

Well, Bill, the nozzle has been passed.

Doug Stevens talked about the need for stewardship of the city and its future, and that he wished to work toward making Ogden a great place to live. He gave a call to all of us to think of how we can support Ogden, not simply what we can get out of it.

Bill Glasmann especially thanked the current and outgoing council members, some of whom he had gotten to know well. Said there was a lot to do, and that having a lot to do was a sign that the city was in a phase of vitality, soon to be a "shining city on the hill."

Dorrene Jeske concentrated on the need to make Ogden City Government accessible to the citizens, and, as she put it, "let some light in." And to this end, she produced flashlights for all the council members, to remind them that the local government's dealings should be out in the light.

The event was not without its emotional moments--Jorgensen became a bit choked up, as did Glasmann, which I draw attention to because of Rudi's comment about Women On The Council. Have you noticed that women in these positions really try Not to choke up, for fear of being thought too emotional? Interesting that the men are freely expressing emotion now without fear of gender prejudice rearing its head. A new day has indeed dawned.

Food Note: There was a reception afterwards with hot meatballs, sandwiches, stuffed croissants, fruit and cheese, a vegetable plate, and punch.

New Council Fashion Note: Stevens and Glasmann wore impeccably tailored charcoal gray suits. Dorrene Jeske was stunning in a cream colored suit with a heavy gold necklace.

All in all, an auspicious occasion. Gorgeous day, too.

(Did not take notes but remembered the above to the best of my ability. If I have made any mistakes in it, please feel free to correct them...)

RudiZink said...

Quoting our misguided friend, Curmudgeon:

"There is a new Council. Let the old one go."

That's a LOAD, Curmudgeon. Ogden citizens are still hellbent to understand what went wrong with the LAST councii. It's reasonable to expect some more continuing re-analysis here.

"I think Councilman Jorgenson insufficiently excercised the Council's check on the administrative branch, and I think that perception cost him re-election. I do not think, however, that he behaved dishonorably"

Well, "what you think" is plainly wrong. Not only did Councilman Jorgenson insufficiently excercise the Council's check on the administrative branch -- he betrayed his promises to the people who elected him.

Since you're new here, I'm providing this handy link.

The citizens of Ogden believed Jorgenson acted dishonorably. His flipflop on his major campaign promise was likewise a major factor in his elections defeat,IMO. This issue was raised in every forum where Jorgenson spoke publicly. The citizens did not EVER forget his "dishonorable" affront to the public "weal."

Try to keep up ;)

ozboy said...

Well Mr. Curmudgeon, I certainly agree that you have a point there.

I don't totally agree with that point, but I will try to contain my glee in future posts so as not to offend the defeated, may they rot in RDA hell.

althepal said...

I Interpreted ex-councilman Jorgensen's reference to the fire hose nozzle to mean that it takes teamwork to hold onto a firehose when it's running full blast.

It was a pitch for cooperation, I thought, and not an admonition to turn down the flow.

A minor detail, perhaps.

Otherwise, I agree with everything Dian said.

Curmudgeon said...

In reply, I'd merely point out that I am leery of anyone claiming to know for sure what "the citizens of Ogden" want or think about any particular point. Generally, people on both sides of every issue claim they represent what "the people" want. We know for a fact what those who voted wanted by way of representation on the council, and that is all we know for a fact.

I'd also point out once again that the members --- all of them --- are elected to make, every time they vote, the best decision for Ogden in their opinion. Sometimes that means doing what is [in their view] best for the city rather than simply raising a wet finger in the air and and going with the prevailing breeze.

As for the most interesting thing said in the first speeches by the members, no one has mentioned it so far. It was Glassman's statement that he was a believer in "checks and balances." A shot across the Mayor's bow if ever there was one.

Now we shall see what they do. Talk is cheap and passionate statements about "listening" and "openess" and "making people feel comfortable with their government" are a dime a dozen on the stump. What matters now is the decisions they make. I am cautiously optimistic. Cautiously optimistic.

As for continued piling on on the defeated --- well, being the old codger that I am, I was raised with the idea that decent people don't kick a man when he's down. Once you're down, you're out of the fight and the attacking stops. Doing otherwise is downright Republican.

ozboy said...

Curmudgeon

This is not a gentleman's fight or some erudite discussion in a political science class at Weber!

This evil Godfreyite movement has visited more pain and inconvenience on the citizens of Ogden than all previous administrations in the history of the town. It will take us twenty five years to undo the financial damage they have done. The human pain and suffering will never be undone

Like any nest of snakes the Godfreyites will continue to be a threat to decent society until every last one of them is hunted down, defamed and thrown on the dung heap of history.

A gentle kick in the ass is a very mild rebuke to comrade Jorgensen considering the yoke of servitude that he has helped put on the neck's of the tax payers of Ogden. He and all of his arrogant co-conspirators really deserve to be hung at noon on the corner of 25th and Washington and their bodies left to rot in the sun as a lesson to all would be tyrants. Jefferson had the right solution for politicians of this ilk. Their blood should be shed periodically to nourish a free society.

But then that is just my humble opinion.

dian said...

You know, there were some things that did Not happen yesterday that I was thinking about.

There were very few, if any, supporters of the administrative agenda present, to my knowledge. In fact, one council member, Donna Burdett, was excused from the proceedings.

And I don't remember Mayor Godfrey giving a speech of welcome to the new Council members.

And I don't think any of the current administration and council attended the reception following the ceremony to mingle with the public and congratulate the new members.

These things would have been courtesies which could have been extended as gestures of good will, and might have done a bit toward closing the political chasm we have here in Ogden. In watching the political scene here for the last little while, I have noticed that quite a few opportunities toward reconciliation have been ignored, with people instead, as Curmudgeon said, going after people when they're down.

For instance, many did not want the rec center, but the vote was cast. People on this board who had said that they were against it did come out after that vote and wish the project well, showing a willingness to comply with the decision made by our local council. At the groundbreaking, there was an opportunity for that to be acknowledged with the promise to the citizens that those involved would do their best toward making it a place where All in Ogden could gather as part of the community, for instance. But was this done? No. Instead, the division in the community was emphasized once again, and there were remarks about "naysayers," and the hope was voiced that they would be proven wrong. Which once again irritated quite a few people who had expressed a willingness to support the project, and probably lost that project its newly gained support.

In other words, with all the talk about how we all must work together, no one seems too interested in creating an environment congenial to that.

Our system of government is based on conflict--that is what checks and balances is all about. But involvement in politics can be accomplished with mutual respect during that conflict. Who was it that said: "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it?" I think that says what I am trying to communicate here in a nutshell--the attitude that disagreement need not equal lack of respect and courtesy. And also, that respect and courtesy need not equal caving in to some kind of mindless group-think.

I think our new council is equal to the challenge of narrowing this breach in the community. We will never all agree on anything, since our disagreement is usually based on a difference of opinion as to what government should or should not do, but it may be possible for us to function as a community instead of warring factions.

But maybe not. Maybe things have gone too far and we are at the point which among nations would be war. We've all seen situations where diplomacy and courtesies simply do not work, and maybe we're there.

I think the one thing we might all agree upon is that we do not want a stalemate wherein we all grind to a halt and stay there.

It will indeed be interesting to see what all this turns into.

ozboy said...

Dian

It was Voltaire who said it.

Great idea that I have admired for many years.

However, I would still like to see the bastards hung.

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