Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Time to Cut the Fat -- 6/6/06 City Council Notes



By Dian Woodhouse
(With help from an un-named Gentle Friend)

Council Notes: 6.6.06

The labor negotiations for both police and fire are currently at an impasse, and that was tonight's main issue. It is unfortunate that the agenda was not publicly available prior to the meeting. Other issues than this one were discussed, of course, but I am going to concentrate on this one for now and do the rest separately. All council members were present except for Bill Glasmann, who was excused.

Bill Cook began with some background, in which he said that the "meet and confer" process provides employment associations an opportunity to negotiate with the city. There were three associations involved this year--the police department, the fire department, and UAGE, the Utah Association of Government Employees. UAGE settled, but the former two are at an impasse.

Chairman Garcia then announced that he had brought up the question if the hearing could be held in a work session instead of a council meeting, and he had been advised that there can be no hearings in work sessions. He then went on to state the usual admonitions---no clapping, no booing, etc., and please keep the tone of your presentations and comments respectful.

Mark Johnson first presented the administration's point of view, projecting overhead a document entitled "Employee Wage and Benefits Negotiations FY 2007." He said that he felt like Custer, in this "sea of blue," but that his opinion was that he had a good rapport with the individuals he had worked with from the OPD. "My view is from my rose colored glasses," he said.

More...

Comments, anyone?

48 comments:

ozboy said...

It is pretty outrageous that the Little Lord Mayor can spend a million dollars a year on his "dream team" of development losers, $70 grand a year on that former head loser Reid, $45 grand for that same loser's going away gift, Thousands of bucks for a trip to Europe to look at gondola cars, more thousands of dollars to take him and Geiger to Washington, Hummers to haul a lard ass bureaucrat around town, $65 thousand dollars for some lame study supporting the Gondola, $45 thousand bucks to pay a lobbiest to work against our interests, and lord only knows how much more of our tax dollars to secretly promote this obcene gondola scheme - yet the arrogant little mongrel can't spring loose a few bucks to adequately pay our most important public servants, our cops and fire fighters, who after all are the ones most responsible for the quality of life most Ogdenites enjoy.

Godfey is a total embarrassment to our fine city, he and his circle of sycophants, that put such a huge drain on our tax dollars, should be tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail. Unfortunately good citizens can no longer get rid of leeches and crooked politicians in this manner. But despair not fellow citizens, the election that will remove this vermin from our presence is only 15 months away. Hopefully the evil little bounder will not completely break the city by then.

Fernald said...

He (Kevin Hoffmann) stated that "The union was asked to endorse the gondola in return for staffing." He ended by stating that "We urge you to fulfill the primary role of government."

WOW, are you kidding!

Curmudgeon said...

I was at the meeting, and noted too that Paul Oles, who spoke on behalf of the Police Benevolent Association, began with a slide of the gondola as "Ogden's future." Sad to see that the negotiator for Ogden's policemen believes he has to suck up to the Mayor's real estate speculator friends in order to win decent pay and benefits for the men and women he represents. But hey, this is Mayor Godfrey's Ogden. With his policemen's pay at stake, I can see why Mr. Oles might think he had to do that. {Though I notice the Fire Department negotiator, Mr. Kevin Hoffman, refused to demean himself and the people he represents that way.)

Still, I think we all owe Mr. Oles a vote of thinks, for in his presentation he blew a rather large hole in the notion [that Mayor Godfrey and his Amen Choir over at Lift Ogden are eagerly trying to create] that Ogden is in crisis, declining, verging on urban disaster and that only the silver-bullet of the gondola/gondola scheme and Mr. Peterson's real estate specualtion can save it.

Mr. Oles cited the recent issue of Kiplinger's Magazine [a magazine that focuses on finance], publshed in June 2006 which lists the top 50 "smart places to live" in the US. Top 50, nationwide. Ogden is on the list. Clearly, the publishers of Kiplinger's thinks Ogden is one of the better places in the nation to live. Right now. Without having sold 28 % of its public park lands to a real estate specualtor. Without gondolas on 40 foot poles clattering over its streets. Imagine that. And I think we are indebted to Mr. Oles for pointing it out.

Whether the Mayor will be all that happy about it is another matter. Hope Mr. Ole's gaffe doesn't cost his constituents a cost of living raise, since as the paper reports, the negotiator for the Fire Department, Kevin Hoffman, said the administration offered the firefighters a straight quid pro quo: back the gondola scheme and the Administration would hire more firemen.

The Standard Examiner reports that Ogden Chief Administrative Officer John Patterson denied the story, as did Mayor Godfrey: "Mayor Matthew Godfrey noted that Hoffman’s claim is “obviously bogus."

Really? Obviously bogus? Why?

Hoffman made the charge that it happened. Peterson and Godfrey deny it. So we have a "he said, she said" situation. My question is, what in the world, given Mayor Godfrey's shameless activites as a promoter of the gondola scheme and diseminator of misinformation about it [see the Salt Lake Trib story recently on how Snow Basin management has had to write to the Mayor again, second time, insisting he stop giving people the impression the gondola will connect with Snow Basin Resort, makes the Mayor think the story is obviously bogus?

Curiouser and curioser...

Anonymous said...

I remember a few years ago there was rumors floating around that there was a good possibility that Hillfield may see the chopping block. Because of the B.R.A.C. Commission was doing some realignments.

There is a fear that this would hurt Ogden’s struggling economy. The Little Boy Mayor response to this was that if Hill Field were to receive any cuts no matter out deep, this would have very little impact on Ogden’s Economy.

I thought is he really that stupid?
I mean, I am just a normal person that tries to keep up with current event’s and was reading that if Hill Field was to close the annual Budget for that Base if roughly $1 Billion dollars. Then when you consider that the state of Utah’s budget is roughly around $8 billion dollars.
You wouldn’t need to be a rocket scientist to realize that is 12% of the state of Utah’s economy. But then think about it. The state of Utah budget is mainly focus on the Wasatch front.

Which would put it about 65-68% of the money’s that the state spends here in the state. And Hill Field’s nearly all of it’s budget is spent along the Wasatch Front. Then realize that just because a majority of employees may live in Davis County and Weber county. They provide not only federal employees a income but all those business that provide services to Hill Field as well.

So now you can see how a absurd this statement from our little mayor was.

In fact if Hill Field was to close the doors. The only hope Utah would have to keep this states economy from going into a depression is the LDS church headquarters located in Salt Lake City. The point I just trying to make is only an idiot would blow off the effects of the impact that this would have on this state. Especially one that has an annual budget of over $1 billion dollars. I wonder if he even realizes that a billion is 1,000 X million dollars....

Curmudgeon said...

Once again, thanks to Dian for the excellent, and full, reportage on the council budget session last night. We are all in your debt. Again.

There is a Scott Schwebke story in this morning's Standard Examiner on the meeting as well. And as is often the case in his stories, there are things that need to be clarified.

First: Mr. Schwebke writes that "Godfrey is leading efforts to establish a gondola system estimated to cost as much as $20 million that would connect downtown to Weber State University and possibly Malan’s Basin."

Ahem. "As much as $20 million"? No. The estimate made by the Wasatch Regional Council Study put estimated construction cost at $22.4 million. [The Wasatch Regional Council study is availble on the SmartGrowthOgden website under "Transit".] So, the estimate is not "as much as $20 million" which implies that $20 million is the maximum possible cost, and it might cost less. The estimate is millions more than $20 million. Of course, the Mayor and his Amen Chorus over at Lift Ogden no doubt are happy to have folks believe the the maximum cost would be no more than $20 million. But Mr. Schwebke and the Standard Examiner should not be helping them create that impression.

I am informed that when questioned about such matters as this [i.e. getting the estimated cost of the city end of the project wrong], Mr. Schwebke dismisses the subject as involving "just boilerplate." Sorry, but being accurate about facts invoving a matter of public controversy is not "just boilerplate." Accuracy matters. That seems to me beyond reasonable debate.

Maybe he was under deadline pressure and didn't have time to look up the right figure so he had to be general about it. Understandable. I've been there. In that case, he might have written, accurately, that the city end of the gondola would "cost $20 million or more" or "cost more than $20 million" or even "cost at least $20 million." But "as much as $20 million?" No. That simply gives the wrong impression and is not accurate.

But lets move on. Later in the article, Mr. Schwebke writes: "Peterson wants to reconfigure the course, acquire about 150 adjoining acres from Weber State University and then build about 400 upscale homes on some of the combined property." Ah, Mr. Schwebke was doing so well last week when he reported [acccurately], that what the Mayor wants to sell to real-estate speculator Peterson is the Mt. Ogden Golf coures and an additional 65 acres of public park land near the golf course. Somehow, the additional 65 acres got lost [again] in this morning's account.

Think I'm quibbling about trivia? Well, look at it this way: the additional 65 acres of public park land the Mayor wants to sell amounts to about one-third of the public land Mr. Peterson wants to buy from the city. One-third. That's not a quibble.

Look: real-estate promoters and their political cronies have been under-estimating costs and over-estimating returns on proposed projects involving public assets since forever. Trying to stop them from doing that would be playing King Canute and trying to sweep back the sea. It's going on again here in Ogden. The Mayor and the Lift Ogden Amen Chorus are perfectly happy to have the public think the city end of the gondola will cost, max, $20 million. Just as they are delighted to have the public think the gondola/gondola scheme will link downtown Ogden with Snow Basin. Just as they're not at all upset to have folks think happy skiers from all over the world will be jetting into SLC International Airport and hopping onto the Frontrunner commuter trains from there to Ogden. That's the sort of thing real estate speculators and their political cronies do. I wish it were not so, but there it is. A fact of American public life.


But there is no reason the Standard Examiner should help them pitch the marks and bamboozle the rubes with less than accurate reportage. Getting the details right matters. The facts are not "just boiler plate."

see, I Told you so said...

well, well,

I guess that since this council meeting was on the infamous day of 6,6,6, that godfrey had to, not want to, but had to show that he is really the devil in a twerps clothing.

Would it be nice if there was a audit of the mayors books to see how he is spending that 500,000 dollars that he is playing with and treats it like monopoly money.

look at the all the lift Ogden signs that are put out on the parking strips illegally and that our little hitler should have his zoning inspectors out and ticketing all those people for violations of the law and then the city would have the money to lift up our fire and police officers to a higher place. the Mayor wants to lift Ogden but keep our servants down what a moron, or should I say a oxy moron. nah, Moron sounds better.

Hey maybe we could have Stewart Reid buy all the police and fire personal a map to his house in SLC so we really know where all that money from Ogden is really going.

On another note:
Have you all seen how good looking L Nate Peirce and John Greiner Look on their Poster boards, I think that It is just great how they think that it will be their good looks that will get them elected and that they are in the Mayors hip pocket and when Elected that will do anything that the little hitler tells them to.

Curmudgeon said...

Ozboy:

You wrote that the Mayor squandered
"$65 thousand dollars for some lame study supporting the Gondola." Well, actually, the study did not support the gondola as the best transit option for Ogden. The study examined four options: light rail, trolleys, bus rapid transit and the gondola. The gondola came in third. The trolley came in first.

I don't think the study was wasted. In fact, I think the City would be well advised to have similar studies done concerning the feasibility of the lastest version of the gondola/gondola scheme [it's changed since the Wasatch Regional Council study], and the other attendant schemes related to Mr. Peterson's real estate speculation involving the use of city park land.

What is wasteful is the city having spent the money for the study by an outside group that does not have a dog in this fight, and the Mayor then ignoring the results because they didn't fit the particular gondola-and-real-estate speculation plans he favored.

Anonymous said...

I too was slightly taken aback when the slide of the gondola appeared on the police presentation, and also wondered if it might indicate, as Curmudgeon elegantly puts it, "sucking up." But there's another way to interpret it, I have since thought, which is a very subtle and gentle reminder to the council and administration that the police are just as much, if not more, important to Ogden's future as the gondola is. This to me is true, and I think now that this was what he was communicating. Oles' presentation did have the appearance of being soft, simply because of the emphasis placed on the volunteerism, but this was also a Very Strong Point in communicating what an asset to the community the OPD is because of the many, many positive things it is involved in. And the presentation did have some teeth in it, like the accusation that the City had not abided by several joint resolutions, the mention that officers just about got killed because of lack of equipment---the public comment about this was a good one. It makes sense that officers, when doing a wellness check, might want to have at least one of these carbon monoxide detectors along--and the fact, pointed out by both police and fire, that their respective forces have less seasoned and experienced people than they should because of the low salaries.

I also had the same reaction to the "obviously bogus" comment. How was this "obviously bogus?" It is no small thing for a rep to get up in a public meeting and state that the union was offered a deal of this nature. That he was willing to do this to me indicates that there is a distinct possibility that it was Not bogus.

I spoke with Kevin Hoffmann after the meeting, and in addition to assuring me that I could quote him on that one, he spoke of how difficult it was for him to tell his younger firemen that "the city has no money" in view of all these dollars going into projects. He also told me that safety issues are not allowed discussion in negotiations, (which makes one wonder how a gondola found its way into them,) and that this is something that they, as well as the police, I believe, are trying to change.

dian said...

The post above this one is mine. Had quite a bit of trouble getting it to post, and when it did, it came out "anonymous."

Let's see what this one does.

Curmudgeon said...

Dian:

On Oles' presentation, vis-a-vis the gondola slide: you may be right. I had not thought of that way of looking at it.

The Lovely Jennifer said...

Regarding the public comment section of Dian’s council notes:

“Mr. Chris Bentley, a student at WSU, presented a petition to the council, signed by more than 1100 people, opposing the sale of university land to Mr. Chris Peterson for real estate development. Mr. Bentley explained he had collected that many signatures opposing the sale in only "a week and a half."

Here we have the mayor retorting: “… Mayor Godfrey responded by telling the Council that a WSU professor had months ago conducted a student survey on campus in which students indicated they strongly supported the gondola proposal. The Mayor did not indicate the number of students surveyed, nor did he address the question of whether the students surveyed were under the impression they were being asked about a gondola that would run from the WSU campus to Snow Basin Ski Resort.”

In reality, a number of months ago, a WSU econometrics class scientifically prepared and conducted a survey for students on campus regarding the gondola. The class then scientifically analyzed and interpreted the results to come up with a conclusion that, by and large, the WSU student body DOES NOT SUPPORT a gondola plan for mass transit in Ogden. The SE ran an article about the survey and quoted the mayor disputing the survey results because he said the survey was not scientific and other such nonsense. [Rudi, please make a link for the article here]

Didn’t someone once say that if you are going to lie, you should keep track of everything you say – because it will come back to bite you. On the other hand, if you tell the truth from the beginning, you won’t ever need to worry about it. Mr. Godfrey, what do you have to say for yourself now?

Dave said...

Is any one really surprised that Glassman ducked out on the firemen and police? He doesn't have the guts to face them. He pulled the same disappearing act as the Mayor did two weeks ago.

Glassman was very solicitous with the men and women in uniform during the election. He relied strongly on us to get elected. The firefighters especially went the extra mile for him. He promised them that he would represent their interests before the council and with the mayor. Since then he has turned his back on them. That is why he didn't show up at the council meeting when he knew there would be a lot of these noble public servants in attendance.

Glassman was a self absorbed and not very bright kid in high school, a [Removed by Blog Administrator] bar operator in his younger years, and now seems to be a completely beffudled joke as a city councilman.

His Courthouse bar of twenty years ago was a [Removed by Blog Administrator]

It saddens me to think of Ogden coming to the point of having some one of this low character and intelligence in a position of importance in the city government.

Curmudgeon said...

To Jenifer:

Jennifer: if you can find a copy of that survey, you might want to email the Council in re: the Mayor's remarks last night, and include the key paragraphs of the story. You can write one email and, via the Council's website, send it to the Council staff for distribution to them all. You might also want to do a letter to the SE quoting the reporting what the mayor said and then quoting the article. If your memory of the survey and its results are correct, you, or we or somebody ought to nail him on this.

Curmudgeon said...

Dave:

Afraid we are going to disagree again. [Though that's OK. Wouldn't be a horse-racing business if folks didn't disagree about things.]

First, I'd be reluctant to criticize Glassman's absence last night, or any Councilperson's absence on a given night, without knowing first why they were excused. I can think of reasons [involving family crises, for example] why I might miss even an important meeting like last night's.

Second: well,Dave, we have, many of us, done things in our younger days we have come to regret. [I once voted for a Republican candidate for state office in my former state. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa But there were reasons. I was young. I didn't know what I was doing. He seemed sane. Even rational. The devil made me do it. [Pick one of the former.] I'd hate to have it thrown up to me now, after decades of responsible votes for Democrats unsullied by anymore straying. [I grant you some things are politically unforgiveable. Rooting for the NY Yankees for example. Anyone guilty of that has displayed a judgement so flawed he should never be entrusted with public office. But that's so self-evident a truth, it hardly needs discussing.]

It matters a lot less to me what kind of callow youth an official may have been, and a whole lot more what kind of public man [or woman] he or she has become since. Granted, that last point vis-a-vis Councilman Glassman is still an open one. But jeez, he's only been in office --- what? --- five months? He evidently cast one vote you disapproved of, but I still think we need to cut all the new members a little slack. Another six months, we'll have a better idea, but it's still early days.

Third: It's unfair, I think, to hold an elected official's [or a canditate's] relatives' actions against him. We are responsible for what we do, not for what our brothers or daughters or uncles do. Fair's fair.

Told you we were going to disagree.

sharon said...

Dian!! Huzzahs to you for excellent reporting. You have it all as my recollection confirms.

I was dismayed to see the gondola on the police presentation also. Frankly, I'm not sure I have the foggiest idea of what OLDS ("like the car",he said(, was attempting to convey.

I thot Kevin Hoffman, especially, gave an excellent presentation for the firefighters. I remember when they were upset that Patterson had suggested the FF support the gondola if they wanted more personnel. It was during the hectic campaigning time before the election. I'm so glad Hoffman had the guts to say it last nite!

I thot Olds gave a warm picture of all that our police do ON THEIR OWN to help our community. Amazing. And, crime is down.

Officer Ron Gardiner and the other two officers who were overcome with carbon monoxide poisoning on March 31, Gardiner's b'dy!, are still feeling the effects...and will for the remainder of their lives. They were 60 SECONDS from death!

The mayor waffled on supplying ALL police and FF's with carbon monoxide detectors...saying that the FF's have one to a call.

The cops don't. Officer Gardiner wears one now, and will for the rest of his life. He was in a toy store recently, when his detector went off! He can't take any exposure, but he had to call for help for the customers and staff who didn't know they were exposed to a very high concentration.

How lucky for him and others that Ron was wearing that detector. If this mayor and his overpaid staff got off the public dole, there'd be plenty of money for those life saving devices and a living wage.

Godfrey is so anxious to be thot of as a great and innovative leader, and having Ogden known as cool and sexy and first in all things.

Well, Ogden has the dubious distinction of being the lowest paying city for our bravest public servants! No wonder the turnover, 32, is astronomical. This puts our FF's and police and the public in danger.

This administration is perpetrating a welfare scam.....all that's missing is a booklet of food stamps for each of them.

No city can flourish without adequate safety and security for its citizens. The Junction, if ever finished, will die if downtowners don't feel safe.

I think cops should walk the beat and the horse patrol with Officer Gardiner and others, should be brot back. Not only would it be charming, but locals and tourists would FEEL safe!

Also, lighting on Wa. Blvd, with 'man in motion' flashing signs need to be placed at all pedestrian crossings. If people feel and are safe being downtown, they'll want to be there to dine, shop, etc.

This will do more to make The Junction successful, than any gondola could.

BTW Curm...I see you extend the olive branch to others which is laudable. Now, if you could just repent over being a democrat, you'd be perfect!

The Lovely Jennifer said...

Curm -- I found the blog reference to the aforementioned gondola survey (& the mayor's contradictory remarks) in WCF's December 2005 archive. The link to the SE article from there is broken, & Rudi isn't anwering his phone. See if you can find it.

dian said...

Thanks, Sharon. Maybe I can get the blogmeister to correct that misspelling, (my fault, of course, not his.) Olds, like the car. My apologies to Mr. Olds.

I did acquire, last night, a salary comparison chart for the firefighters. Will put some figures here so that you can see the kind of split between us and other cities the firefighters are talking about:

Here is minimum salary comparison:

Murray Firefighter I & II $31,512.00
West Jordan Firefighter $37,273.60
Sandy Firefighter/EMT $33,030.40
Provo Firefighter/EMT $33,149.00
Layton Firefighter III $37,190.00
South Salt Lake Firefighter $31,845.00
West Valley Firefighter $31,500.00
Salt Lake City Firefighter $33,862.00
Unified Fire, SL County, Firefighter $33,684.00

Average: $33,671.78

Ogden Firefighter $28,578.91

Difference -$5,092.87
% Difference -17.82%

Here is maximum salary comparison:

Murray Firefighter I & II $52,234.00
West Jordan Firefighter $47,590.40
Sandy Firefighter/EMT $48,422.40
Provo Firefighter/EMT $44,857.00
Layton Firefighter III $52,083.00
South Salt Lake Firefighter $47,154.00
West Valley Firefighter $51,120.00
Salt Lake City Firefighter $54,642.00
Unified Fire-SL County Firefighter $47,928.00

Average: $49,558.98

Ogden Firefighter $44,335.27

Difference: -$5,223.71
% Difference -11.78

Kind of embarrassing, isn't it?

dian said...

If you take the lowest Ogden salary plus the maximum Ogden salary, divide those by 2, get the average salary--$36,500, approximately. Multiply that by 8%, and that by 100 firefighters, (and I think that is approximately what we have---)

You get $291,652.

Add the benefit package to that, (which I don't know, so I will just plug in a 40%, which would include taxes, etc.) you come up with $408,312.00.

This still would not bring them up to the average.

Something to think about.

ozboy said...

Dave

I have known the Glasmann family for many years and I can tell you that you are completely over the top with your rant on the Councilman.

For starters it was the "Court Room" not the Court House, and it was by no stretch of the imagination a "shameful drug den" as you state. It probably was the finest night club in Ogden's history and the clientel were Ogden's high society including Doctors, Lawyers, Business leaders and Judges. Hell there was even an Indian Chief as I recall. It is my understanding that it also had the best reputation in town as being clean, high class and drug free.

I may agree with you on the Mayor ducking out on our public safety personnel a couple of weeks ago, which I consider pretty chicken sh_t seeing that he did so to go to another Lift Ogden pep rally. However it is stupid of you to accuse Glasmann of the same offense. Do you have any proof that he didn't have a legitimate reason for not attending? I am with Curmudgeon on not accusing the councilor of some nefarious motive without knowing for sure.

Yes, Glasmann was solicitous to the firemen and police during the campaign. Show me one promise he made to them that he has broken. Show me one fireman or police officer who feels that he has betrayed them. Put up or shut up!

These drug alligations are really old news Davy boy. Where have you been all these years! I challenge you, or any one else to provide one shred of evidence to back up this nonsense. Do you really think that if this were true it wouldn't be all over the papers? Get a clue buddy, repeating dumb and stale old rumors aint gonna gain any traction on this blog or in this town. Every body knows Glasmann and his history, that's why they voted for him!

Oh ya, one other thing - Glasmann's brother was never a part of the Court Room. He lived in California in those years and he was never in Prison.

Maybe you ought to get your elephant mouth in sink with your mosquito brain and verify what you're talking about before you go rippin off any more of these tall tales.

Curmudgeon said...

Ozboy:

I wish [as I presume you do] that folks would stick to discussing issues before the council, and the evidence for or against a particular action before it, and the members' actions in office.

What we have going on here [vis-a vis-pretty much all we discuss: the pay for firemen and policemen; the gondola/gondola scheme; adding floors to the Junction buildings; RDAs and tax increments; the Riverside Project; etc., etc.] are policy debates and differences. Personal histories and personal lives don't seem to bear on the questions much to me. [Except of course for Yankee fans, who cannot be trusted. Ever.]

Not to mention, all of us are going to win some of these debates [the Council will do what we want it to do] and lose some [it won't]. Either way, once the matters have been decided, we all have to continue living and working here, and keeping a hand in in future policy debates. Relatively easy to do so long as the debates remain about public policy. Very hard to do if the disagreements center around individuals' personal lives.

And the politics of personal destruction leaves a bad taste in the mouth anyway. I want to win this gondola fight be cause the facts are on my side, because it is not in Ogden's best interests to go forward with this pie-in-the-sky real estate speculation scheme. I don't want to win it -- or lose it --- because someone has dredged up something [real or fabricated] about the Mayor's personal life or Mr. Glassman's or anyone else's on either side of the issue that will damage them in voters' eyes.

Despite the tactics adopted by the Republican Party nationwide since Kenneth Starr's days in office, the American system of self-government is not [or rather, should not be] "anything goes." Not in the nation; not in the state; not in Weber County; not in Ogden.

Sorry for the rant, everyone. Ozboy's post triggered a pet peeve.

thomas luke said...

Lets see if I get this straight Mr. Curmudion -
Dave attacks Glassman, Ozboy attacks Dave for attacking Glassman, You attack Ozboy for attacking Dave for attacking Glassman. Is that right? Incidently I did recogonize that your attack on Ozboy was of the warm and fuzzy pussy variety.

That is a great rosy model of political discourse that you carry around in your imagination. I don't like it any more than you do, but In the real world that tactic doesn't seem to work anymore. Unfortunately, if you try to stop Godfrey and his gondola minions with that "let's sit down and reason with each other" stuff, he will stomp a mud hole in your ass and plant a gondola pole in your front yard.

Godfrey is a relentless and warped politician with dillusions of grandeur. He doesn't care who he steps on or who he hurts. If some one gets in his way he will tromp them down and discard them. He must be stopped and you are not going to do that with offerings of roses. Fortunately we live in a nation of laws so the old fashioned solutions are no longer available to us. That pretty much leaves us in a PR war, a contest of public persuasion on the merits of the proposal.

In this war for the hearts and minds of the citizens, Mr. Godfrey is an extremely dirty and disingenuous contestant. The only way to combat that in this public arena is to continually expose his lies and the ridiculousness of his logic on this subject. In order to do that you automatically are attacking his character and motives.

This is the great Gondola war of 06. You don't win wars with dainty hankies and pleasant conversation.
I wish it were different, but it isn't. Incidently, your soft approach is why the Demo's have got their butts beat around here since the 60's. People like politicians who stand up for them and call a spade a spade. Most people would rather see a fist fight than a debate. Another sign of this unfortunate situation is that there are a heck of a lot more people watching pro wrestling than General Conference - even when they are on head to head.

To finish, I just have to say thay it seems almost un-american to not be a Yankee fan. The Yankee Clipper would spin in his grave if he heard you cast such totally ridiculous dispersions about America's Team.

Curmudgeon said...

TL:

Well, I must not have been clear. I was not attacking Ozboy. I was agreeing with him [I thought] that scurrilous personal attacks serve little purpose in debates over public policy.

You wrote: That pretty much leaves us in a PR war, a contest of public persuasion on the merits of the proposal. Of course. That's what I said, I thought. Certainly nothing I said contradicts what you wrote in any way. A pr battle to convince the public about the merits of the proposal, or more accurately, the lack thereof, is exactly what we are involved in.

You wrote: The only way to combat that in this public arena is to continually expose his lies and the ridiculousness of his logic on this subject. Of course. I couldn't agree more. That's exactly what many of us are, and have been doing. The question of whether the Mayor has behaved ethically in the conduct of his office is absolutely fair game.

However, doing that does not involve making the kind of charges about his personal life that Dave made about Glassman.

You wrote: This is the great Gondola war of 06. You don't win wars with dainty hankies and pleasant conversation....
Incidently, your soft approach is why the Demo's have got their butts beat around here since the 60's. People like politicians who stand up for them and call a spade a spade. Most people would rather see a fist fight than a debate.


Once again, I could not agree more. Nothing in what I said precludes hard campaigning, and a good old fasioned pier six political brawl. [I am about as partisan a supporter of God's Party... the Democratic Party of course... as you are likely to find. And not to get us onto national politics, I've been posting for years now against lickspittle wet finger in the air Democrats who hesitate to give their names on the record until they've done focus groups on whether the voters prefer them to use "Dave" or "David" much less take plain and principled stands on controversial issues. The DNC and several candidates,in and out of state, are tired of hearing from me about this.]

But good old fashioned hard political fights need not, and should not include going after an official's family or personal life. If an elected official... oh, say the mayor of a smallish city somewhere in the mountain west, just by way of example... spreads misinformation about, say, a proposed real estate speculation involving city land by one of his cronies, have at 'em. If he is abusing the powers of his office for political ends [oh, like for example making the homepage of the city an outlet for Lift Ogden speculations and propaganda, or using the tax-funded City cable channel as his personal partisan political play thing --- hypothetically speaking of course --- go after him for it and expose what he's doing.] But these matters, again, would involve his conduct in office, the abuse of his powers for political ends, etc., NOT his personal life.

Absolutely nothing I wrote suggests that those of us should take on Hizzonah "with dainty hankies and pleasant conversation." Nothing whatsoever.

Of course, I realize I am trying to have a resonable and reasoned discussion here with someone who thinks the NY Yankees are "America's Team." But hey, I'm a liberal. I have hope that, with proper treatment, you can be cured. You must never give up hope, that someday, someday you will recover.

Curmudgeon said...

GODFREY ACCUSES SMARTGROWTHOGDEN OF BEING TOO PRECISE ABOUT PETERSON PLAN!

Well, the Standard Examiner front page headline doesn't say that. But the story does.

The mayor is unhappy that SmartGrowthOgden, in a recent flier it produced, included a map, based on the map Peterson supporters, including the Mayor, have been showing around to illustrate what Peterson plans to do with the park land he wants to buy from Ogden.

"What has the Mayor upset is this: “It’s [i.e. the map Peterson and the Mayor have been showing around] a draft map, and they [i.e. SmartGrowthOgden] are trying to bring precision to it. There is a lot of money and study that has to go into it to determine where a hole or home may go.”

OK, let's be clear. The Mayor is saying the the map Mr. Peterson, and he, have been showing around town to illustrate plans for the Peterson development on city parklands is not an accurate map. In fact, it seems, it's not really a map at all. It's apparently just sort of an artist's conception of what things might look like if the city sells Peterson the land. Kinda sorta. Maybe. Or maybe not. And if the map shows a residential street climbing a hill on a 30 degree grade or hiking trails crossing fairways between tees and greens, or a fairway that is 200 feet higher up the mountain on one side than the other, well, he thinks, apparently, we should just chaulk all that up to artistic license.

Apparently, he's annoyed that SmartGrowthOgden took the Peterson "map" [politely so called],which was part of Mr. Peterson's many public presentations about his plans, seriously.

Now I have to agree with the Mayor about this much at least: taking his or Peterson's or Lift Ogden's propaganda about the gondola/real estate deal seriously is a dicey thing to do. Always.

But does the Mayor really want to go on record complaining that Smart Growth Ogden is trying to be more accurate than he is about his and Peterson's plans? Does he really want to argue that "SGO is trying to be more precise than I am trying to be about what I want to do Ogden's park lands."

The curs! Trying to be more accurate than the Mayor about his plans for the city! Have they no shame? Will they stop at nothing!

As I said, I understand why he is upset. The map Peterson presented and the Mayor has been touting has trails crossing fairways on the redesigned golf course in seven places. [I am not a golfer, so I'll need help here: if a golfer tees off on Mr. Peterson's redesigned golf course and hits a trail hiker, will the golfer have to take a penalty stroke, or will hikers be considered natural hazards and the golfer will have to play the ball where it lies?]

So many questions. So few answers.

By the way, the map published along side the story in the SE [provided, the paper says, by Ogden City] also shows trails crossing golf course fairways seven times, just like the map the Mayor complained that Smart Growth Ogden put on its flyer. Imagine that.

The Mayor did add that Mr. Peterson is planning to build overpasses on the property "so major trails around the golf course won’t conflict with roads." Well, I know I'm excited. I can't wait to hike the concrete tunnels and underpasses and streets of Mr. Peterson's gated community on what was once city park land.

It's an interesting, and hugely informative article [though not I suspect in the way Mr. Godfrey might have hoped.]

ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

I didn't feel that you were attacking me, but I can see how TL may have thought so. I think you using Ozboy as the set up, instead of perhaps Dave, is what did it.

I think that these hypothetical politicians you write about should be called for what they are. Just make sure they are what they are before doing so. For some pansy wasted Democrats that crosses the line into bad political dialogue. That pussy part of the party is why the Demo's got a bad name in these parts.

The only good Democrat is a butt kickin Democrat in my opinion. The only good Republican, any more, is a dead one, also in my opinion. That comes from some one who has for forty years or so somewhat considered himself republican oriented. I mean what was not to like about Ike? Nixon was the first warning sign of things to come in the GOP. Since then they have descente'd into the darkness of the Neo-Con movement, especially in Utah over the last 15 years. They have become the party of the arrogant and heartless as shown by the recent cut in poor folk dental care here in the land of Billion dollar surpluses, and fifteen million dollar garages for politicians. Amen.

To borrow an old phrase: "Oh the poor people of the United States, so close to the Republicans and Democrats, and so far from God". (Originally said about Mexico and the US)

Curmudgeon, you are sounding like some guy that grew up on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. Perhaps this could explain why you are so bright and well written on the political scene, and so totally clueless in your perception of baseball greatness. The Yankee's are America's team, any one with a lick of sense knows that. Just like any one with a lick of sense knows that this whole Godfey/Peterson wealth transfer scheme is a scam. Take a trip out of the country, whata they gonna call you? "Hey Dodger"?, Hi Marlins"? Hell no, they are going to say "Yo Yankee!" That's why the rest of the world calls us Yankees, because of Joltin Joe and other great Yankees down through history. Yankees - America, it means the same thing. If you can't buy into that, you're probably a terrorist, or even worse a NaySayer.

bonnie lee said...

Curmy, you wrote in reply to Luke's post: " God's Party... the Democratic Party of course... "

How right you were. God went to that party. It was great, every one was in one big mass love in. The sacrament wine of holy bonding flowed freely. God drank with enthusiasm of the cup of dillusion served up by the ernest Democrats. The fantasy juices flowed freely in this wonderful political group grope.

Then God woke up with a mighty hangover from indulging in such unatural intoxicating spirits.

From that point forward God knew that the only true path was through reality filtered of dillusions of gondola granduer, and other mind altering concoctions.

At that shinning moment God realized that Matt Godfrey was actually a democrat in disquise.

ARCritic said...

Dian,

I think the 30% retirement might come from the 22.38% that goes to the State Retirement system along with the employer portion of payroll taxes FICA (6.2%) and Medicare (1.45%) for a total of 30.03%.

So that is where the 30% number came from and the fact that part of that is Social Security and Medicare is why they don't technically get all of that.

And you are very welcome.

dian said...

At the risk of causing even more confusion about this map question...

On the Smart Growth website, there is a downloadable map for the hikes Smart Growth has every Saturday at 9 AM.

I took a look at that map, and compared it to the one accompanying today's article, and although the key is different, that map is very similar to the one in today's paper.

As Curmudgeon says, both maps show trails crossing roads, etc.

Is the map in the paper the one the city says is accurate, or is it supposed to be the Smart Growth map?

And underpasses?????? From the article:

There will be some underpasses built so major trails around the golf course won't conflict with roads, and there will also be other realignments of the proposed trail system, Godfrey said.

I am sure that once the location of these underpasses is divulged, Smart Growth will be more than happy to put them on its map and point their location out during the hikes.

By the way, the Smart Growth map referred to above has printed on it:

PLAN PROVIDED
BY OGDEN CITY GIS DEPARTMENT
APRIL 2006

Here's the link so you can see for yourselves----and thank you, arcritic.

Smart Growth hike map

Curmudgeon said...

Dian:

Yes. Underpasses. What's next? Elevators to take golfers the 200 feet up from one side of the fairway to another? This Rube Goldberg scheme just keeps getting better and better.

I wonder if Saturday Night Live would be interested in having the Mayor do some stand-up for them. He'd be a hoot. He could do his classic on secret meetings that aren't secret but that he can't tell anyone about, and the new one about maps that aren't really maps. He'd knock 'em dead.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone really think the firefighters would make the allegation regarding backing the gondola in return for staffing if it were not true and they could not substantiate it ? If Pee Wee and Patterson were being truthful don't you think they would challenge the fire fighters to prove their claim. It is interesting that firefighters and police can be disciplined for being untruthful yet the top leaders in the city routinely lie. Pretty sad commentary on Ogden Cities leadership.

Tar and Feathers to Godfrey said...

What an outrage that the safety of the Citizens, and the Fire Fighters would be used as a bargaining chip to further the goals of the corrupt Godfrey Administration. The citizens of Ogden should be up in arms and demand answers. There is no doubt that the Fire Fighters would make such an accusations without evidence. My take is that they are trying to get across to the council what type of bargaining is really going on with the high priced A-Team.

Curmudgeon said...

Anon and Tar and Feathers:

Well, by its nature, this kind of offer was almost certainly made in an aside, a converstation, of which there will be no record other than the memories of those who [allegedly] took part in it, and they are flatly disagreeing with each other. Firemen's negotiator says it happened; mayor's chief assistant says it didn't. He said/she said.

So we are left, either way, with probabilities, not certainties. For myself, I don't find it at all unlikely that it happened as the firemen's negotiator said it did. In fact, if I had to choose, I'd say it was more likely to have happened, than not. But that's not certainty.

But this is certain: the police and firemen are not paid even the average rate for those who do their work in Utah. Turnover is high, and with turnover you inevitably lose experience. And there is, unquestionably, fat in the budget. [Those who wish to argue otherwise need to be prepared to explain how the city can buy a damned Hummer for the use of executive staff, but can cry poverty when asked for a modest COLA for police and firemen. Lotsa luck trying to make that argument work.] And the Council might find a penny or two rattling around in the Mayor's discretionary funds that might perhaps be put to better public use elsewhere.

I hope both the police and firemen get a reasonable portion of what they were asking for when negotiations broke down. I doubt they will though. Particularly since the city's negotiating position seems to have been "my way or the highway." Not known, historically, to be a particularly effective stance in labor negotiations. But we shall see.

dave (the original one) said...

Dave, would you please tell the gentle readers that you are NOT the Dave who has been posting on this blog for the last 5 months?! I don't want anyone to think that I would attack an individual and say libelous things about them. I'd like to see how pure white your past is! "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone."

I was close to the situation, and you can take it to the store, that the firemen told the story straight. But you don't have to take my word for it -- let reason and logic determine who isn't being honest. How many times have we been told something by the Mayor, then in actuality it's totally different. I remember the Mayor telling us that the taxpayers wouldn't be on the hook for the wreck center, and then no public dollars would be spent to build the gondola. Now who is paying for the gondola?! It's the taxpayers with their beautiful Mt. Ogden Golf Course! How can anyone believe anything he tells them?

I've heard Chris Peterson say at his presentations that the development would be WORTH $500,000,000. Now the Mayor and Bob Geiger and everyone else is saying that he is investing $500,000,000. in Ogden. There is a big difference!
Use your own judgement about the gondola and resort development.

I believe the firemen!

Rob Christensen said...

Wow, Bill Hansen for Weber Commissioner. I ran into him at the Chevron station and we talked a bit. He says he’s a democrat. He’s actually more conservative than republicans. He’s against County Officials getting these inflated salaries, car allowances, and special perks. He says no cop should have to beg for the tools of the trade to protect us. Has anyone heard anymore of his issues? I think this man is going to win this COUNTY SEAT.
He’s got my vote.

Curmudgeon said...

Rob:

You wrote of Mr. Hansen, candidate for WC Commission: "He says he’s a democrat. He’s actually more conservative than republicans." As evidence of this, you wrote: "He’s against County Officials getting these inflated salaries, car allowances, and special perks. He says no cop should have to beg for the tools of the trade to protect us."

As a dyed-in-the-wool, life-long card-carrying, Yellow Dog, old-fashioned prarie populist Democrat, I'm curious to know why you think opposing fat in public budgets and over-the-top perks for elected officials as well as decent pay and benefits for labor [yes, even those who work for the public], positions most Democrats I've known in three states would and do loudly support, are, somehow, a "conservative" positions?

I could point out that the Perkmeister, Tom DeLay, and his pals of the Jack Abrahmav Frequent Fliers Club seem to have been overwhelmingly GOPers, and that both historically and at the moment, the party that has worked tirelessly to pass anti-labor legislation is not the Democratic party. But, this being a cool and pleasant mountain morning and I being the tolerant soul that I am, I won't.

One thing I find intersting about Utah politics [only been studying on it four years now, and still learning] is that municipal elections are ostensibly non-partisan, but county elections are not. Why county commissions should be chosen by partisan contests while mayors and city councils are not, I find interesting. And curious. Is there some reason for it, some logic behind making the distinction? Or some history, maybe? Just curious.

dian said...

Regarding Kevin Hoffmann's statement about being offered staffing in return for the firefighters' support of the gondola project, two things come to mind. First,an offer like that would indicate that money was indeed available from the city for the department for this "staffing," and although it wasn't mentioned how many individuals or how much it would cost, still, this would communicate that the City could afford to do more for the department than it had been doing previously.

Secondly, the idea of such an offer makes one wonder about similar offers being made to other individuals and groups, and conversely, whether negative statements have been made to individuals and groups who are against the project.

Were this to be the case, it would taint the entire process, because the statistics of those for or against the project would be based not on the notion of whether or not the project would be good for Ogden, but instead on what certain groups and individuals were getting in return for their support or non-support, be it positive or negative in tone.

Curmudgeon said...

Dian:

Bingo! Right. If the Godfrey administration made the offer, then, clearly, it knew where to find money in the budget to make it happen. Talk about missing the obvious. [But I did.] This is where my kids would have said "Duh!"

Nice pointer. TY.

Anonymous said...

yep. the rumors are true about this blog. Looks like smart growth ogden is making some big steps for economic growth. Nay Say Away

Anonymous said...

Long live the gondola!!

toadhall said...

Of course everyone who is against the gondola is a naysayer!!

They (gondola supporters) are not naysayers... nay... they simply try to tell us that this city is in such dire straits that we must immediately commit seppuku (hara-kiri) unless we immediately adopt a gondola/development/pie-in-the-sky "plan". They say, "Our city missed the last thirty years of growth." They say, "Descente doesn't care. I don't care... I am happy with my lower overhead costs." (Curt Geiger - Gondola meeting.) This seems a bit like naysaying to me. In some cases it borders on diagnosable, schizoid paranoia.

Yet, somehow and from somewhere, Godfrey managed to find enough money to fund a two-story addition to a building in the Junction, the Junction itself, Riverfront development property, a lobbyist, Stuart Reid, GIS studies, transit corridor studies, car allowances, several overpriced thugs, "fact-finding" plane tickets to Europe, gondola promotional materials, channel 17 productions, and a miriad of other "tiny" expenditures... and our city, in spite of having a destroyed downtown (please reference mall site development which is still beleaguered by delay and administration meddling), still posted a 3% growth percentage last year.

A thousand here, sixty thousand there, $19 million here, $2.5 million there and, pretty soon, you're spending some real money.

Umm... wait... one thing that is truly mystifying to me is the way that people who like to see hard numbers and facts backing a proposal are naysayers. The people that see how the money could be spent on real infrastructure, real city services (fire and police), real transportation (trolley), real development (trolley and accompanying development - provable), and real quality of life (trails and mixed use development) are "naysayers". We aren't pessimistic about Ogden, we are just pessimistic about the Little Lizard's spending habits. For that I will be called a naysayer... any day.

walmart can do this said...

Hey if there is anybody out there reading this, has anyone considered the Idea of having walmart build there super store on malans basin. look at all the people that would ride the gondola up there and it would be used round the clock. look at all the tax revenue that that would bring into our city and we wouldn't need to sale off the golf course to do it. all the city council wound have to do is call this a blighted area and wha laa! now we could use rda money for this grand sceam of things how about it little mayor this is a great idea now is'nt it. Oh I forgot you didn't think of it so maybe this really is a great idea.

Anonymous said...

Dave,

Libel = written
Slander = spoken

dian said...

On the Ogden City Website, it says on the opening page:

The news of a proposed gondola/resort project is generating a lot of interest throughout our community...

The words "proposed gondola/resort project" are highlighted. If you click on them, you will be taken immediately to the downloadable panel presentation about this project.

On page 12 of this presentation is the map that the city calls: "Mount Ogden Golf Course Redevelopment." There are very few trails on this map, and, as I said before, it looks very similar to the Smart Growth map to me.

But at least now we have the two maps and can compare them and see whether or not this might be that big of a problem. At least partially. Kristen's article mentions the Smart Growth hike map, which we can get online, and the Schwebke article mentions "a flier," which I don't know if is the same or a different thing.

Perhaps the Blogmeister can find a way to put the city's map and the Smart Growth trails map side by side--I can't.

Smart Growth hike map page

dian said...

Do you think it in any way significant that, whenever I try to link the Ogden City web page to this blog, the link doesn't show up?

This is the second time this has happened--you will have to get to the Ogden City Webpage on your own.

ozboy said...

Dave & Anonymous

The perfect defence for Slander or Libel is the truth. Are we going to see a dueling Dave segment here on the WCF?

It seem to me that the "original Dave", and the pissed off at Glasmann Dave, do agree on the madness and lack of basic morality inherent in the City Government under Mayor Godfrey.

I think that this blog does a great public service by providing a forum for concerned citizens to discuss and explore these vital public issues. It is obvious that the Mayor, and the Council as a whole, are not interested in public discourse of this kind.

Nothing against the Mormons, but I think it is a culture thing from the Church that bleeds over into government and discourages any opinions or ideas that conflict with the leadership. The people of the Mormon faith are taught from their earliest days that the leaders are "called" by God to their positions, that they are to be sustained in all things, and that it is evil to contest them on any subject. This works great in an organization like the LDS Church which is based on faith, wisdom, truth and personal morality. It doesn't work very well in government. That is why we had a revolution and established Democracy on these shores.

Anonymous too said...

Dian, discussing the Ogden City website, said:
"The words "proposed gondola/resort project" are highlighted. If you click on them, you will be taken immediately to the downloadable panel presentation about this project.

On page 12 of this presentation is the map that the city calls: "Mount Ogden Golf Course Redevelopment." ...[snip]... at least now we have the two maps and can compare them and see whether or not this might be that big of a problem."

NOT ANYMORE, YOU CAN'T!

It doesn't come up and hasn't since I started looking for the City's map last night. I even tried two different browsers.

I wonder if they've scooped up all the brochures from Newgate Mall. I believe there was a map in those.

Southsider said...

Took a while for http://www.ogdencity.com/img/mayor/presentationpanels.pdf to load (2.58 mb), but I was able to see it.

anonymous too said...

http://www.ogdencity.com/img/mayor/
presentationpanels.pdf

Thanks Southsider, but as of 6/13 that doesn't come up either. I'm not trying to be difficult, but feel I must point out yet another example of the little king's machinations.

Or, maybe it was inappropriate to include a private developer's propaganda on a municipal website?

Nah!!!

Anonymous said...

I have an Idea,

This idea will settle this argument once and for all. We all know that the project costs of the gondola is about $20 million, however we seen that the mayor projects are only half of what it really costs. (Look at the J.P. Court build from $1 million to $2 million. His own office of mayor budget is off about 200%) so with that as a track record. Lets look at the real cost of $40 million....now since the mayor is against government and wants to privatize everything that is government. I have a compromise,
While he and his little band of followers just leave up taxpayers out of it. Create a corporation, sell stock in that corporation for the purpose of funding the gondola.

Then after counting in the full page add that was run in the Ogden Standard Examiner.
I calculated that there is about 770 names on the published list. (I maybe off a few names).

Well the point is to let these people who dearly believe in this project, to ante up the money. Let the ones that have their names boldly printed double the amount of the others. That would come to roughly $52 thousand dollars each.... (to most of Mayor Godfrey’s rich friends this is only chump change). You know the ones that donated lots and lots of money to see this little Fuehrer get re-elected.

This way they can leave the golf course totally out of the picture. Weber State out of the picture and the only property they would need to worry about is Chris Peterson the forest service and Earl Holding.

In Other words, all of you that allowed for your names to be printed and published, for the support of this project please put your money where your mouth is....and if by chance this thing really hits it big, more power to you and you become rich, however if this thing goes bust, then the taxpayers would loose not a red cent. Do not have the taxpayers money nor having the city attorney do your battle for you which is payed for by the taxpayers. In other words use your own money and hire your own dam lawyer.

Then all of the tourist that want a ride over the ghetto of Ogden, which some of it is owned by the slum landlord mayor of Ogden can enjoy this very unusual scenic view that they would never any were else in the world can see from any gondola. Only in Ogden.

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