Tuesday, July 11, 2006

7/11/ City Council Notes -- Business, Bombshells, and an Apology

By Dian Woodhouse

City Council: 7.11.06

If tonight had been a theatrical performance, the reviewer would have said, "...before a small, but attentively appreciative audience." There weren't too many people in attendance tonight, but those there saw a few firsts, for sure.

The Council unanimously passed Ordinance 2006-47, changing the business license procedures in Ogden City. Instead of having all licenses due and payable at the first of the year, all new business licenses will be renewable one year from the date of filing the application. That is the big change.

4,200 business license holders will be unaffected by this--I presume because they are now renewing at the first of the year and will continue to do so.

3,500 rental licenses will be "extended one month." Meaning here is that holders of these will be billed in January and pay in February.

Ogden City, it was said, gets 1.000 new license applications received each year.

Councilman Stephens asked what the delinquent fees were, and the answer was, first 25% of the total license fee, then, if one hasn't paid in 60 days, 75%, and then it continues to go up. Between 15% and 20% of the business license holders are delinquent, and there is an appeals process.

Councilman Stephens then suggested that a sort of customer service letter be sent out with the renewal notices. Business owners could fill these out and critique the process.

In response to some input by Councilman Safsten, the process itself was then gone into. Everything must be done online, and the city staff has run into some problems because of this. The city still sends out a hard copy letter, a 7700 notice, I believe it was called, alerting people of the need to renew, but they are then directed to do this online. This year, about 1,000 people went to the municipal building to renew, being unwilling or unable to do the online process, swamping the staff, and possibly leading to this proposed change.

If one has a computer and printer, but does not wish to pay online, one can print out the remittance page and mail it in with a check. But those who have no printer, for instance, must go to the municipal building. There are computers there one can use, in a sort of pay online on site process. Staff is also there to help out. And they are also thinking about setting up a phone bank, to enable people to renew that way. "Make it simple--make it quick," is what they're trying to accomplish with this.

The motion to approve was made by Councilman Glasmann, and seconded by Councilwoman Jeske.

Then came public comments. Rulon Yorgason spoke first, and first commended the council for passing the business license ordinance. Then, he read a statement, which began:

“Two weeks ago,. our mayor inpugned the integrity of all persons in this council chamber except himself and his staff. In doing so, he bragged that his integrity was virtually unassailable. His diatribe insulted all other persons in the room, including all the members of the council.

Now to the point--The mayor has many choices to try to rectify his enormous blunder.

And three of these choices were: To apologize, to submit to a vote of censure by the council, or to "respect the voters and taxpayers who are really your bosses and resign immediately."

There was of course an anticipatory hush here, but as the council meeting process would not allow apologies, censure, resignation, or anything dealing with this question at this point, the next speaker came to the podium.

This was Sharon Beech, who asked some very timely and pertinent questions, but first----

Mrs. Beech read into the record a post from the Weber County Forum. Yes. A post from Weber County Forum is now in the official record of the Ogden City Council proceedings.

This post was the one by one of our many anonymi that detailed city employees being asked to place Lift Ogden Signs on their lawns. Ms. Beech asked that this be addressed. She also asked:

If Councilwoman Wicks had received the information she had requested pertaining to the amount of money Ogden City had spent on promoting the gondola etc. idea.

How many city employees have memberships in Gold's Gym with the fees being paid by Ogden City?

Where is Larry Miller? Did he sign a contract, and is he going to have a cineplex in downtown Ogden?

Are you working with Utah Power to get West Liberty foods in Ogden?

We were left with yet another cliffhanger, as none of this could be addressed at this point either, and the next speaker approached the podium. This was Virginia Hernandez, who began by commending the City for making the business license process easier, since this had been a problem for some of the people she works with. Ms Hernandez then went on to discuss the question of committee appointments and reappointments.

"I'm not focusing on a certain individual," she began, and went on to say that there are many committees in the city, and the council makes a lot of appointments, and she wished to know why the council continues to put the same individuals in year after year. Is it because of a lack of interest in serving on committees on the part of the public, or is it because the people who are reappointed are doing an exceptional job? "My experience has been that these people do not interact with the community," Ms. Hernandez said, and asked that the practice of reappointing the same people over and over be looked into.

Then came Administrative Comments, and Mayor Godfrey began. He began by apologizing, first to the council, and then to the people in the room. It was not, he said, his wish to offend anyone. He would never wish to do so, and therefore, "I will ask your forgiveness if I have done that."

Then he addressed the WCF post, by stating that "We would not ask city staff (to put up lawn signs.) Said that it did not happen.

(My thought here was that that really wasn't the question, and that some department head could have done this without the Mayor's knowledge--I mean, it would be difficult to know for sure that that did not happen.) Be that as it may...

He then responded to the Gold's gym membership question, and again, did not answer explicitly, (of course, having those numbers present in the forefront of the mind would be difficult and should not have been expected,) but did explain the memberships as being part of the City's "Employee Wellness Program." Participants in this program do not have to go solely to Gold's Gym, either. They can go to Lil Audrey's, or Curves, or wherever they want to go, and it seems that, because of this program, the city does pick up the tab.

Regarding committee appointments, the mayor stated that tonight, in fact, they were making a new one.

Regarding the West Liberty foods question, he stated that actually there were two companies wanting to come in. Efforts had been made to place them at BDO--however, both of them wanted to own their buildings, not lease them.

Regarding Larry Miller, one can drive by the mall site and see crews building on the Larry Miller site.

Then came Council Comments:

Councilman Stephens remarked that in his opinion, there was some public apathy as to serving on committees.

Councilwoman Wicks responded to Sharon Beech's question: "I did receive the answers to my questions this afternoon, but they're incomplete."

Councilwoman Jeske addressed the question of reappointments by stating that the council had recently approved two, and one person had served for nineteen years and the other for twenty-one. She stated that she was considering bringing up in a council work session the possibility that term limits could be imposed on these appointments, because there are many people qualified to serve.

Councilman Glasmann said: "I would be very skeptical of putting too much credence in somebody under the veil of anonymity on a blog."

The Council then went into Closed Executive Session to discuss and presumably make appointments and reappointments.

As always, those of you who were there, please feel free to add or correct. Especially in the case of the Mayor's comments, because there was a bit of crosstalk going on there.

And those of you who weren't there--what can I say? You missed a good one.

50 comments:

Ned said...

Apparently Councilman Glasmann has not heard of the Federalist Papers. He no doubt does not know that "Publius" was the 1700's equivalent of "Anonymous", and that some of the greatest men in American History published under the name in that era's "blogs" - flyers and hand outs.

Not too surprising I guess. I have observed him on several occasions at city council meetings and he certainly doesn't seem to be very bright or tuned in.

How did he ever get on the city council?

sharon said...

well, when I introduced the posting by Anonymous, I prefaced my remarks by saying that this woman identified herself as Anonymous for a reason that will be obvious. Duh

I was interested in the mayor's response to Rulon's statements. First, he and John Patterson looked at one another all agog!

Wasn't John there to hear the mayor two weeks ago?

The mayor said that he didn't mean to be offensive but, "I don't recall saying that."

Honestly, he apologized IF he had been insulting, but just couldn't recall doing such a thing.

Sometimes our integrity is so large it just befuddles our memories.

I spoke with Rick Safsten after the meeting. I said that mayor had not completely answered my question about the paid memberships. He gives bits of answers by saying that employees are free to go anywhere they wish.

Rick defends this practice by saying it's part of the city's Wellness Program, as Dian stated.

Well, you know what? One can go online and find myriad programs for being fit...diet, meal planning, exercise, handling stress, etc. FREE.

It occurs to me that the administration could have monthly nutrition, exercise, 'wellness' meetings for staff conducted by someone qualified from McKay Dee Hosp. Biannual weigh-ins could be held to keep weight in check.
How about a 5K run now and then??

The monies saved could surely go to our police and firefighters...couldn't it?

At least two and possibly 3 cops are planning on moving on....going elsewhere to work.

Our police have a starting salary of just over $15.00 an hour!! And for this they are involved in shoot outs, carbon monoxide poisoning, meth poisoning, fights with creeps on the street, domestic violence calls that can turn deadly in an instant and so on.
Let's not forget the ticket quotas.

And for all this, our mayor and administration, and apparently, their police chief thinks FIFTEEN BUCKS AN HOUR IS ADEQUATE PAY FOR PERSONS WHO MAY DIE IN THE LINE OF DUTY ON ANY GIVEN DAY!!!

Their chief never stood before the council and praised his men and women and asked for the right thing to be done by them.

Instead, he called them 'whiners'.

Shame!

Well, Amy Wicks had a respone to her query. An 'incomplete one'.

Now we know that Larry Miller has 'signed' and construction has begun on the movie theatre.

If after 2--3 weeks of gathering data pertaining to city monies used for gondola pushing, and the report is still 'incomplete', it's easy to see why NO answers have been forthcoming on feasibilty studies and where those wild figures come from about tourists, new businesses, and 1200 jobs.

Have we ever learned where 1200 persons will be employed?

Yep, as Dian stated, 'you shoulda been there!'

Monotreme said...

Sharon:

What's happened to your Smart Growth Ogden sign? Don't tell me it's been stolen, or paintballed.

I'm hoping Schwebke ferrets out (heh) Amy Wicks' figures and publishes them in tomorrow's paper.

sharon said...

Well Neighbor (?).
,

The strong winds, coupled with those who yanked the sign up couple weeks ago, have caused the sign to fall apart.

Threfore, we will try to wire it back together. Do you have an extra??

I hope Scwebke prints everything that was said tonight. Hah

sharon said...

I would like to add that it is refreshing to hear the council members, most of them, comment and question politely and in depth, those who make prsentations to the council.

We didn't see that with the 'old' council.

This council is trying to represnt the citizens and doing their due diligence in these meetings.

Bill Glassman said he is feeling better. (I asked).

So, kudos to the council. they were complimented by all 3 of us who addressed the council tonight.

Curmudgeon said...

Dian:

Thanks again for the update on the meeting and the fast post.

Now, for the comments.... First, Ned's comment on Mr. Glassman warning against putting too much credence in anonymous posts on blogs. The problem is, Mr. Glassman is right. Anybody can post anything on an open blog under the name "anonymous." May contain fact, may not. No way, really, to tell. The question raised by the anonymous blogger was put directly to the mayor, and he replied that it did not happen, that he did not ask and would not ask city employees to post Lift Ogden signs. Unless someone comes forward and identifies themselves and provides more information, it pretty much lies there: an anonymous charge, a denial by the mayor. Absent any real evidence, judgement [at this point] goes to Mr. Godfrey by default. Subject to revision if any further information comes to light. But more "anonymous" posts won't do the job. I know folks are angry at the Mayor, but that does not justify automatically accepting critical anonymous charges as truthful [without supporting evidence] merely because they attack him.

As for the crack about Glassman never having heard of the Federalist Papers by "Publius", and Publius being the equivalent of a modern "anonymous." Cheap shot. The Federalist essays are stand-alone arguments for the ratification of the Constitution. You can read the full argument in each one and accept or reject its logic and its evidence. What was read out at the Council tonight was an anonymous charge of specific behavior [actions] by the Mayor. There is no way for those present to check what "anonymous" alleged. There is virtually no parallel with the Publius "Federalist" essays. As I said, cheap shot.

And, Ned, Mr. Glassman got on the Council in the usual way. He was elected.

In Re: Sharon's comment on the wellness program. Many cities, many companies, have health club memberships as paid benefits for employees. There are studies [often by insureres] showing they save the cities/companies money by promoting employee health, resulting in lower absentee rates, higher productivity, less health-plan usage, etc. I would have some doubts about this if the benefit could be used at only one vendor [health club], but since apparently City employees can use the benefit at the club of their choice, it seems unexceptionable to me.

I am no fan of Mr. Godfrey's management of the city's affairs. And I think his gondola/gondola real estate specualtion scheme bids fair to involve the city in a hugely expensive failed development scheme. But I also think that unsubstantiated charges leveled at him by anonymous sources at Council meetings not only do little to hold him to account for his actions, they actually help him by branding those critical of him as unreasonable zealots.

Not being a businessman who needs to renew permits, the most interesting thing at tonight's meeting for me was I learning that the Mayor has, according to Councilwoman Wicks, still not responded fully to her question about how much the city has spent promoting Chris Peterson's real estate speculations. That is interesting. I look forward to learning the details of what he has told her, and what he has not.

RudiZink said...

Balderdash, Curmudgeon.

Anonymous posting lets people speak out when they might otherwise remain silent. Statements of anonynous posters need not be judged on their own credibility

Although an anonymous poster can't be readily judged by his/her own reputation for truth and veracity, anonymous posters can be effective whistle blowers, who can focus on issues or problems that might not be revealed by people who would otherwise suffer retribution when posting under their own names.

Once purported facts and philosophies are revealed by anonymous posters, verifying facts becomes a relatively simple matter.

That's what the collective "Publius" did at the time of our nation's founding; and that's what other founders did under other anonymous names during their time, in the context of government repression.

That's also what our anonymous whistleblowers do today under similar circumstances.

It's ridiculous to attack the credibility of any statement made by an anonymous poster, unless and until you've expended the time and energy to ascertain the true facts.

dan s. said...

Curm and Rudi:

You're both right (mostly) about anonymous posts. In the case of a "whistleblower" post, though, it would be helpful if the whistleblower could at least hint at how we might independently verify the allegation. Or if Rudi is well enough connected to verify such allegations without further hints, perhaps he should share his findings (and the evidence that supports them) with the rest of us.

On a completely (well almost) different subject:

I hope everyone saw Provost Vaughan's column in Tuesday's Standard-Examiner. (If at first it appears to be irrelevant to local politics, keep reading.)

Concerned citizen said...

Doug Croft resigns his Weber County Recorder elected post!
That’s what we should be reading in the Standard Examiner and here on the Weber Forum; but we don’t live in a perfect world. So I say to all, go get a copy of your land deed and see if it’s still yours, because with his track record of being the most qualified candidate!!!
Your land deed, maybe in his or his wife’s name now! This guy can’t be trusted his last 6 months on the job.

dian said...

This might be splitting hairs, but I did not take the response to the Larry Miller question as indicating that Mr. Miller himself had signed a contract with Ogden City.

It was said that crews were building on the Miller site.

As I recall the provisions in the Ogden/BDO contract, it was stated that BDO had until May to sign Miller--otherwise, it had to come up with someone else for a cinema complex.

I think that's how it went.

I would think that a signed deal would be newsworthy, and Miller would be interviewed and give his timeline, etc., etc. Instead, there has been nothing about this, leading me to think that he has not signed, but BDO is going ahead with construction of a complex anyway because a complex there is part of the Master Plan.

I would think that a simple---Yes, he's in--or something like that would be what the response to Sharon's question would be if Miller were truly in. But maybe not--styles of communication do differ. I prefer the direct kind, myself.

Curmudgeon said...

Rudi:

I didn't suggest anon. posts should be ignorned, merely that, absent supporting evidence or some way to check their claims, there is no way to know whether an anonymous charge is valid or not, comes from someone who actually knows what they are reporting to be so or some zealot out to embarass whoever by levelling false charges. We cannot tell, absent some kind of confirmation. That's all.

As for the Federalist essays: once again, Publius did not say "I saw antifederalists take bribes from the British during the revolution; they are all traitors." Publius [Hamilton, Madison and John Jay] did make arguments, in each of the essays, they presented their reasoning and their evidence, and it was all there for readers to judge and agree with or dissent from. To suggest that the anonymous post we are discussing here did the same thing, in any way, that Hamilton, Madison and Jay did in the Federalist essays is... well, it's just wrong.

Curmudgeon said...

Dian:

On Miller. You are right. Our Mayor has mastered the "non-denial denial" as Woodward and Bernstein put it in "All the President's Men." The skill of appearing to say something when in fact he hasn't.

This really should be the simplest of questions for the administration to answer. But getting any hard information out of this administration regarding its actions is like pulling teeth. Had the Mayor simply replied [if this is true, that is]: "Mr. Miller has signed a contract with Boyer. I'll have confirmation of that faxed to you in the morning if you'll give me your fax number after the meeting" the matter would be concluded. But as you point out, as it is, we still don't know.

His refusal to give simple answers to simple questions, coupled with his penchant for peddling false and misleading information when he thinks it suits his purposes [e.g. the gondola will take people to Snow Basin Ski resort; Weber Pathways board is the same group as Smart Growth Ogden, etc. etc. ]just naturally raises suspicions about what he claims, however vaguely, to be so. Look for example at his footdraging response to Councilwoman Wicks simple question: how much money has the administration spent so far promoting the gondola plan and Mr. Peterson's real estate speculations?

Try for example to get out of the Mayor's office or the planning office an estimate of how many cubic feet of sewage they expect to bring down from the sewage treatment plant they want to build at Mr. Peterson's proposed Malan's Basin development each night on the gondola cars. How many cublic feet of sewage do they expect to transfer to trucks at the 36th Street base station for transport to city sewage facilities each night? Lots of luck. What I've gotten when I've asked is silence or [from the planning staff] "we have no idea."

The Godfrey administration, and in particular its shameless shilling for Mr. Peterson's real estate speculations, and its use of city funds [to produce maps for him to use in pitching his plan for example] is, well, just plain embarassing. With this kind of [you should excuse the expression] "leadership" it's hard to see how serious developers of major projects backed by sound research and with a good chance of succeeding would be attracted to Ogden and its Keystone Kops managent team.

But hey, maybe I'm being too harsh. I mean, look at the way the Mayor improved Ogden's summer fest, which used to bring tens of thousands in from outside the city for an event on 25th Street. Look how much better it is today than it used to be.

Oh. Wait. The Mayor's "improvements" killed the summer fest and it never ran again after one year of the Godfrey "improved version." Never mind.....

Anonymous said...

I think that godfrey need glasses to see in that crystal ball of his. because what he see's is pretty blurry when all is said and DONE!!!

dian said...

...But getting any hard information out of this administration regarding its actions is like pulling teeth...

I know I personally have a hard time with these kinds of answers when writing things for the blog. The issue will be mentioned, but the part of the issue in question is many times ignored.

For example, the law enforcement officer who questioned the integrity of the administration did so after alleging that agreements the OPD had had with the city had not been honored, and ended with, "I question the integrity of this administration."

As we know, this last became a hot topic. But there was not a word about what led up to the officer's remark about integrity-- the supposedly violated agreements--which in my opinion is the crux of the issue and which has not really been addressed or rectified (if need be,) by the city.

This is one of the more frustrating parts of dealing with this style of communicating, at least for me. I imagine it is for the law enforcement people also, if their activities as of late are any indication.

Anonymous said...

To Everybody:
Thanks, Dan, for the link to the op-ed piece. I looked at the header for that article, and promptly ignored it in the paper...boy did I miss out!
So....the question is, do they teach "reading between the lines" in schools here in by-god-Utah?
I have noticed a couple of things about the "controversy" of the gondola.
SGO plays the part of the rational sceptic, asking relevant questions designed to appeal to the intellect. This is to be expected of intellectuals.
LO uses the "Big Lie" strategy(famously coined by A. Hitler, who said if you're going to lie, make it a big one so people will beleive you, and no, I am not comparing LO to German Nationalist Socialists or Fascism!) and is adept at staying on message. 1200 jobs, 500 million dollars, etc. They never stop to defend any numbers, because they are on the offensive. These arguments appeal to emotion rather than intellect. This is what salespeople do, and, if you've noticed, that's the occupation of many LO cadre and supporters.
So the question is who wins? Of course, if the power that is has his choice, we won't have a say in who wins. In general, it is really hard to trump emotion among the general populace.

OPD Officer said... said...

I would like to address the point Dian made about the police officer questioning the Administration’s integrity. Let me first tell you about the officer in question. He is a veteran Officer who has volunteered as a member of the SWAT Team and as a Field Training Officer for many years. I have known him for ten years and he has, in my opinion, unapproachable ethics and integrity.

To address the issue of which agreements the City has violated. Let’s start with Joint Resolution 99-5, (99-5). It states in section 3 c:

“The basis for a merit increases for master officers in the conditional ranges, and the basis for step increases for officers and sergeants is recommended as follows:

For officers and sergeants: A minimum 60% (An average of a 3) score on the evaluation will be required to authorize a step increase. If an employee in these categories does not earn a 60% on an annual evaluation, department management may permit a second evaluation in not more than 90 days, at which time a step increase may be allowed if the score is 60% or greater.”

The violation has occurred 3 out of the six years this City Administration has been in office. It was not violated in the year 2000, the employee negotiations were conducted under Mayor Mecham’s Administration. This year it wasn’t only not honored, but both the City Administration and the City Council voted to arbitrarily void it as part of a punishment package for the Public Safety Employees.

Also violated in JR 99-5, was section 4 c, which states:

Figures for the surveyed agencies, (Murray, West Jordan, Sandy, Bountiful, Provo, Layton, South Salt Lake, Orem, West Valley and Salt Lake City), will consist of the lowest entry level salary and highest salary for a non-supervisory police officer, and then the midpoint between these two figures will be used for comparative purposes among all of the jurisdictions and Ogden. The median of all the midpoints will be used to compare to Ogden’s midpoint.”

This establishes a comparison between 10 agencies called the Wasatch Compensation Group Study, which independently establishes wage and benefit packages for the aforementioned law enforcement agencies and ranks them 1 to 10. This agreement was signed by The City Council, the Mayor and the City Recorder. This agreement, 99-5, sets that the Ogden Officers will maintain a midpoint, or the rank of 5, in this study. Ogden Officers are currently ranked at #10. This is why there are so many experienced and trained officers leaving Ogden for other agencies.

In JR 2002-5 section 6 it states:

“Renegotiation: The City and the Association agree to meet and confer again in the October and November 2002 period for purposes of discussing the following issues:

a. Additional market adjustments for officers and sergeants to bring them in line with the Wasatch Compensation Study, which adjustments were unable to fund during this negotiation period.
b. Cost of living adjustments for FY2004
c. The adoption of a long term plan for officers and sergeants to reach a higher level of compensation parity than the median of surveyed agencies.”

The above agreement was signed by Mayor Godfrey, the City Council Chair and the City Recorder. The City refused to meet with the Police Association in October or November 2002 and no adjustments have ever been made to bring us even close to the midpoint of the Wasatch Compensation Study.

The bottom line is that the Police Officer’s Association has met with a representative of the Godfrey administration, the last few years it has been Mark Johnson, in a good faith effort to negotiate. In the earlier years the Mayor Godfrey has led us on, making promises to reach the levels of the previously negotiated midpoint in the Wasatch Compensations Study, but he has not once made and effort to follow through on it. Ogden has never reached the level agreed upon while Mayor Godfrey has been in Office. This has led to a level of distrust that resulted in the employee negotiation impasse this year. If you negotiate and come to an agreement, sign said agreement, and year after year one of the parties involved does not even make an effort to stick to any agreements, would not your confidence be shattered? This shows that Mayor Godfrey cannot and will not stick to what he has agreed to. He has showed this with his own employees year after year, what do you think he will do to any business deals he has agreed to?

Anony Mouse said...

Some posting on this blog as "anonymous" are apparently not to bright or on message. Some are just the opposite.

Most posting here are under false names - ie: "curmudgeon".

What is the difference? It is the message that counts, not the messanger.

All comments on this blog have to stand on their own merits, just like the Federalist papers did. In that time, some thought the papers to be brilliant, others thought them to be garbage and treason.

I didn't interprit Ed's equating "Anonymous" and "Publius" to equating entries on this blog to the Federalist Papers. That seems to be a bit of an LO "diversion" tactic, not one normally expected from the enlightened one known as Curmudgeon.

Love your posts Curmudgeon, but sometimes you do let your unrealistic, Yellow Dog Democrat idealist, deal hang out there a little far. This ain't Brooklyn, and some time these arrogant and heartless Repubs hereabouts like to clip those dangling idealistic appendages off you liberals and stuff them in your shirt pocket.

Anony Mouse said...

Some posting on this blog as "anonymous" are apparently not to bright or on message. Some are just the opposite.

Most posting here are under false names - ie: "curmudgeon".

What is the difference? It is the message that counts, not the messanger.

All comments on this blog have to stand on their own merits, just like the Federalist papers did. In that time, some thought the papers to be brilliant, others thought them to be garbage and treason.

I didn't interprit Ed's equating "Anonymous" and "Publius" to equating entries on this blog to the Federalist Papers. That seems to be a bit of an LO "diversion" tactic, not one normally expected from the enlightened one known as Curmudgeon.

Love your posts Curmudgeon, but sometimes you do let your unrealistic, Yellow Dog Democrat idealist, deal hang out there a little far. This ain't Brooklyn, and some time these arrogant and heartless Repubs hereabouts like to clip those dangling idealistic appendages off you liberals and stuff them in your shirt pocket.

OG said...

The City Wellness Program is a great deal for the employees if used correctly. But why are the police officers the only ones that are required to have a pass or be fired policy on fitness? As stated earlier in the comments about insurance costs, why are the police the only ones required to keep the insurance cost down? Why aren’t officers given time to work out on duty? Oh, sorry they have tickets to write to pay for the gondola. But have you seen some of the other city employees they are obese and a lot of them smoke? They are a walking health hazard. If the City wants to save on insurance costs make all city employees take a pass or be fired fitness test every year like the police.

As for the broken promises to the police they are to numerous to address separately. But the Mayor says the City’s agreements are only good for one year. I would like to see that in writing from someone other then within the City. But that still doesn’t answer why most of the agreements were not even implemented in the year of the agreement. The Mayor always has money for his projects but never for the police or fireman. He has cheated the employees every year by claiming city poverty.

I would also like to thank Ali Thomas who wrote a letter to the editor the other day in the Standard, questioning the Police Chiefs “whiners” comments. Good for you. At least a hundred others would have said the same but they would have had to be “Anonymous” for fear of their jobs. There is no respect for the men and women of the police and fire departments from within, top to bottom. Some may not like the blue flu nor the tickets written but what other options do they have to get the attention needed to correct this issue? They can’t strike or afford to quit. They have begged the City Council for help and they were shunned and ridiculed. The majority of the citizens of Ogden don’t care either unless they get a ticket. The police and fireman need your help.

Support your locale policeman and fireman!

Curmudgeon said...

Anony Mouse:

Requiring that public discussion of public affairs, like the Mayor's performance in office, be based on fact, on evidence, is not a "dangling idealistic appendage." It's the minimum requirementfor representative government to work. At least this Yellow Dog Democrat think so. Can't speak for our Republican Mayor on this point though.

sharon said...

Anonymous,

We have so many anonymi posting here, I get confused. So easy for me to be.

How about Anon # 1, # 2, etc...

Emotion does play a big part in schmoozing the populace. Generating excitement and the idea that we 'will be the first in the country to have a high adventure center and BOWLING ALLEY as 'anchors in our mall'....'first university to have access to a ski resort'....'first city in country to have a gondola connecting downtown to a university'....'we will have 300,000 tourists leaving I-15 on their way to Jackson just to ride our gondola!'....and on, and on, and on, ad infinitum.

Oh the excitement! The pride in being 'the first', the glory of being 'progressive'....you got it, Anon.

IF the Anon wife who wrote about the signs, had used her name or any other identifying aspects of her experience....her husband's job would be in jeopardy.

I do know that an employee of the city was NOT approached to take and display a sign on his yard. However, and I pointed this out last nite, he lives in another town!!!

About the Wellness Program: The mayor stated to my question that one is free to go to Gold's, Curves, L'il Audreys, or any other gym. He did not anwer my question of how many use this 'benefit'.

Do all employees use a gym? by the look of many of them, I would say NOT! By the look of the food brot in for the council on work meeting nites, I would say that nutrition is not a big factor.

I just got off the phone with Audrey of L'il Audrey's. When the city held their first Health Fair last year..she was not informed nor invited to attend.

A female city employee who likes Audrey informed her. When Audrey called to ask about the fair she was informed that 'we're in a meeting now and can't talk to you.'

Audrey informed them that they could call her at her attorney's as she was on her way there now.

She did receive a call at the attorney's and after he talked to whomever was in charge, Audrey was invited to the Fair.

Curves had a video there, Gold's was touted, and not a word about Audrey's gym as a place to have a membership.

Audrey stood and told them about herself and her L'il audrey's Spa for Women.

She now has NINE memberships from the city!!! The city GIVES their employees $200.00 a month to attend a gym of their choice.

Audrey is hurting.

I still say that personal responsibily for one's health is key to be being fit.

Intermountain Health (MCKay Dee Hosp) does NOT give money to their employees to join a gym. The hospital has 'brown bag' Lite Lunch Series...in which an expert in fitness, nutrition, stress, diseases, etc will give a lecture and employees are invited to attend.

Employees and volunteers, retired persons, seniors, may obtain a DISCOUNT at participating gyms and businesses. The hospital does NOT pay the difference to the gym or business. Their family members may also use the discount.

This is good advertising for the business and increases their membership, shoppers, etc.

I don't see any accountability with the city employees receiving their monthly stipend to attend a gym. Have you taken a good look at some of them...very overweight and out of shape!

I think teaching nurtition and fitness programs and then encourage employees to get healthy as their PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY is a more productive way to approach WELLNESS.

The money saved should go to the police and firefighters in their paychecks!

This administration spends money in such a reckless manner that a CPA's head would spin off the neck!

Administration does NOT deserve car allowances in hundreds of dollars! Use their own cars, be paid for gasoline used, and the IRS car allowance. Period!!!

Most governments are run that way. Godfrey is an elitist and he's taught his A Team to think of themselves as deserving of every perk he can come up with for them.

Hummers? SUV's? A Sgt in the police force in Ogden is still driving a '92 car. I would guess that many are praying their cars hold together.

I learned that 2, possibly 3 officers are leaving the Ogden Police for better pay in other towns.

This hurts all of us. It puts the cops in harm's way because we will have to train new cops and rookies aren't up to speed.

This runaway mayor and his A Team must learn accountibility and stand as role models for the city employees and citizens.

$200. bucks a month to go to a gym without accountability is unconscionable. And, it appears by their appearance many are not going!!

There are so many websites available to teach dieting, nutrtion, meal planning. One can buy a video and do aerobics, etc at home! Dancing to the Oldies with Richard Simmons is a blast!

I get so bloody mad at this reackless spending and stiffing the police and firefighters that I hope we will demand a change and ferpetessake start bringing forth candidates for mayor!!!

PS Dian...I'm not 100% sure that MILLER has signed and it's HIS theatre being built at the site.

Curm...Please refrain from clling Godfrey a Republican. He registered as such to be a delegate one year. No one has seen him since at a Repub. caucus. He's a Democrat just like his father-in-law. 'Anything goes expediency' is your democrat mayor's style. sorry, but you have Godfrey, Allen, Hillary, Dean, Murtha and sooo many others to be ashamed of in your party.

dan s. said...

anonymous:

You're absolutely right about the difference between SGO and LO. Who wins? Probably depends on how the players themselves choose to define winning. I think a lot of non-intellectuals are more than savvy enough to see through the LO sales pitch. On the other hand, if the sale of park land to Peterson were really up for a popular vote, I imagine that LO would outspend SGO 10 to 1 in a campaign, and history shows that in such cases, the big spender usually wins.

But there's another consideration. With all the campaigning and lawn signs, it's easy for people to forget that this proposal is not entirely political. It's fundamentally an engineering project. At some point, engineers are going to have to scrutinize the plans and reconfigure them into something that can actually be built. Then someone has to calculate the actual costs and figure out how much of the project is financially viable. There's an excellent chance that at that point, the project will be reduced to merely building a couple hundred new houses in the foothills. No gondolas, no Malan's Basin resort, no golf course fairways on 35% slopes. People who favor development for its own sake, or who don't think the public should own land, or who care only about short-term boosts to the construction industry or the tax base, will still support the project. But the gondolists and downtown boosters (are you out there, Bernie?) will be horribly disappointed by the bait-and-switch. The big question is, will the land sale already have been approved by the time the switch occurs? I have no idea.

mother, baseball and apple pie said...

Sharon,
I just thought youshould know that the mayor has been and always willbe a republican, he registered this year to be a delegate to the republican convetion and is listed as a delegate on the rep. web site. so take your lumps like every on else.

sharon said...

Dear Mother,

EXPEDIENCY. EXPEDIENCY, EPEDIENCY

I can envision that a wheeler dealer like your mayor would register and present himself as a Republican in a mostly Republican state with Republican business people.

He knows how to play the game.

However, he doesn't display the morality, veracity, and compassion of a true Republican.

Have fun with that, mama

RudiZink said...

Just to make the record clear, Boss Godfrey is NOT a 2005-06 delegate to the State Republican Conventions.

Although elected to that position in 2004 at his local Ogden Precinct 23, he was NOT re-elected in 2006.

We're linking here the 2005-06 state delegates list, via the Weber County Republican website.

As you can see, Boss Godfrey's name does NOT appear on this list.

True Republican said...

A true Republican wouldn't screw over the guys who need help. the firefighters and police!

Godfrey is a registered republican to be a delegate?? Well, sure. But, not this year.

He wanted to be sure that Greiner wins his senate race.

didn't the mayor put Griener up for the job? Reid or Greiner. Seems like the mayor will have his shill down there either way.

The chief of police is already learning how to be a Godfrey senator by screwing over his own men.

He sure didn't go to bat for these officers over their raises and pay, did he?

Real Republicans are holding a wake.

reader said...

We're still being told by the Lift Ogden website that you fly into the international airport and take the FrontRunner to ......Ogden and the slopes.

Don't they ever correct their propaganda?

Or is it propaganda because it isn't truthful?

whitlow said...

Sharon,
I think the $200.00 for memberships is an annual fee.

The last info I had from a GRAMA request was that the City was paying for 192 memberships for city employees to Gold's Gym which totals not quite $40 grand a year.

Regardless of the amount it is still putting the City in the position of benefitting one gym over another...especially when the City is building Gold's a new turn-key facility complete with furnishings which no other gym got the opportunity to bid on.

sharon said...

CORRECTION THE CITY EMPLOYEES ARE GIVEN 200. A YR FOR THEIR MEMBERSHIPS TO A GYM. My error.

I called the city offices, but no one seemed to know how many use that perk.

Perhaps I can get that answer tomorrow.

However, my suggestion that this be stopped and personal accountability and responsibility be instituted still stands!

Intermountain Health has the right idea.

sharon said...

Thanx, Whitlow.

I corrected myself. But, you have the number of participants which I was unable to obtain. Still a big chunk of change, huh?

More than a year's salary for some of our bravest!

Yes, Audrey's was put at adisadvantage.

However, employees and volunteers at McKay Dee, seniors, retirees and their families may obtain a discount card at the hosp to use at patrticipating establishments.'
Nice, eh?

Also, the hosp and websites offer soooo much if people are serious about being healthy.

Insulated said...

Dan S,
Yes, you are correct as far as this being more than just a political proposal. As far as the engineering goes, the plans and pretty sketches that have been presented so far are clearly going to have to be revamped. I was hiking around Malan's Basin last Saturday and am baffled at how this year round resort will be able to be built at the scale that has been proposed, especially w/out roads leading to it. This is going to take a major effort, no doubt. And that is just the mountain resort. The housing development appears to have more potential issues and the urban gondola and mountain gondola stretches will present problems as well.

dian said...

OPD Officer:

Thank you for writing that post. Things like the ones you mentioned are things the public should be aware of. It puts a different slant on the Blue Flu when it is found that it has had a three to six year incubation period.

I still believe very strongly that when a group like the Council has blundered, it is very possible to back out of this and take steps to remedy things. Process and procedure are meant to facilitate business being done, not stop it, and from what you say, enough procedure has been violated already so as to make the fear of violating it a rather weak reason for not re-opening the issue, in my opinion.

At this point, I'm pretty sure that it is the Council that has to do this if it is to be done, and I have no idea what kind of support there is in that body for re-opening the issue. But I do think it's possible.

Anonymous said...

howdie,

I thought I would redress what a true republican is hope that every one agrees on this.


I wish you all would re-frame from bashing us Republicans.
After all we are the “Righteous Political Party”. Many LDS church leaders have made that clear way back in the 1970's I still believe it. After all we are not for gun control and abortions, nor for flag burning or gay marriages.

That is why I will continue to vote straight Republican ticket, after all I don’t want to burn in Hell. That is why there are many LDS church sponsored radio station that have people like Sean Hennity, Rush Limba, and all the others. Get a clue....Mayor Godfrey and his family from Harrisville are very close friends of my family. They are definitely Republicans...
That is why Richard Richards help with his campaign to get him elected as Mayor of Ogden. (After all he was Mayor Glenn Mecham law partner.)

I believe those COPS are still lucky to have a job. After all they are all a bunch of fat lazy officers that camp out at donut shops day in and day out. It would be very easy to replace these people with Private Security Officers and their wages are a whole lot less money per hour than that of city COPS. I agree with Mayor Godfrey wanting to fire everyone of these not fit for duty COPS. I also agree that the fire department of Ogden needs to be converted to a volunteer Fire Department. That would save the tax payers of Ogden a HUGH chunk of change.

I agree that Mark Johnson should drive a Hummer. That was rude of The Standard Examiner to pick on him because, he is a very high up dignitary in the Mayor Godfrey’s administration. He really needs to have a vehicle of that type for the residents of Ogden to see that he carries a lot of weight and can make things happen.

I also understand that Mark Johnson is a very religious man, once a Bishop and also Stake President of the Ogden Utah Stake, and a very strong Republican as well. After all we need to take care of our dignitaries.

We are the Patriotic political party. Unlike those ungodly Democrats. If they were God’s political party then why don’t that have a chance in Utah to gain any more political elected offices with us righteous Mormons?

Curmudgeon said...

To Various Posters:

I understand, believe me, guys, I do, I really do, why Republicans are desperate to pretend Hizzonah Mayor Godfrey is not one of them. However, there is no way around it, folks. He's one of yours. You can tap dance around it all you like. You can join hands and chant together "he's not a REAL Republican" til the cows come home. The simple fact is, however much it embarasses you, Ogden has a Republican mayor. And is paying the price of that.

Have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

Troll flame removed by administrator

ozboy said...

Curmudgeon

Your Yeller Dog Demo smugness is galling.

I am comforted only by the secure knowledge that 95% of Utah's Republicans are arrogant d**k heads, and 72% of the state's Democrats live in a clueless fog.

Besides, who could possibly be a proud democrat in Utah with a pompous loser and the architect of the Godfreyite's greatest fiascos, like Reid on their ticket?

Curmudgeon said...

Sharon:

Great catch on the Audrey's situation... her business being somehow left out of the event designed to let city workers know where they could use their health club benefits. Excellent work. Amazing what a little digging can turn up. And a good example of how ferreting out facts is the best way to expose what's going on in the smoke-and-mirrors world of the Godfrey Administration.

caddyhack said...

Sharon,

Why do you think anybody should be ashamed of Mr. Murtha? Inquiring minds want to know.

I love Nixon said...

hey Anonynous....such creativity in picking names. What are your children called, Anonymous, Anonymous, Anonymous Foreman? Just like George Foreman named all his boys?

You forgot that true republicans have stake presidents scold their flock in the newspaper. Makes it easier for the ones who just stay home.

sharon said...

Thank you for the compliment, Curm.

Anonymous said...

Caddyshack,
If I may speak on Sharon's behalf, as I am daily surrounded by others of her ilk...Murtha is apparently a "traitor" because he was painted as one by Fox news and also the other White House news outlet, the spokesman. He is a traitor because he said the same thing that G.B. said two days later. He is also a traitor because he served honorably in the Marine Corps in combat, unlike GB, Carl R., D. Cheney, D. Rumsfeld, etc. See, to folks like Sharon, who I'm going to guess is not a veteran of a foreign war, traitors are people like myself, J. Kerrey, and others who are not republicans. See, it's simple. Limbaugh and his anal cysts (his reason for being defered for Vietnam)are true patriots. I've been enjoying her posts for some time now, especially her patriotic diatribe against liberals which she posted on the fourth of July open thread. Sharon is, in my opinion, and I'm only a traitorous liberal disabled veteran democrat, fairly misguided. But she's against the Boondogola, so I'll forgive her. Let's see how long this post lasts!

caddyhack said...

Anonymous,

I would prefer to here Sharon’s response regarding Mr. Murtha, but it’s good to hear from you. Thank you for your military service. I’m very sorry for your loss and hopeful that you are receiving adequate compensation.

I also read Sharon’s rant against liberals on the 4th of July. It’s unfortunate that there was so little factual information and so much pontificating. Isn‘t our Constitution wonderful?

Numerous liberals have enlisted, or were drafted, in order to protect Sharon’s right to pontificate. I wonder how many liberals Sharon has thanked? Do you think Sharon would thank George McGovern for his service? Do you think Sharon is thankful and proud of Mr. Bush’s, and Mr. Cheney’s, Vietnam record?

caddyhack also said...

Anonymous,

I’m glad Sharon is against the Boondogola, like us. We can all share “common ground.”

sharon said...

Caddy and (another) Anon:

Boys, boys, boys of the Left.
It's wonderful to know that you are watching Fox News!!!

Am sure some of the truth will rub off on you. Even closed doors let in a little light around the edges.

I'm fascinated at your ability to know one's core beliefs and background. You are astounding.

I'm grateful for every veteran...and especially those who who served in the horrors of battle.

I appreciate your service. I'm sorry that you were disabled in defending my rights and your own.

As you've read here, my brother's life was ended in a MASH hospital in Korea. My late husband suffered many wounds there also...and another brother was a Marine veteran of Viet Nam.

I don't like anyone, and especially those in Congress, who undermine our troops.

Surely, you two must know how important support is...to be thanked, to be appreciated, to have your sacrifices mean something.

IF you read and listen closely to someone other than one another, you'd see that our troops are doing good things for a country that was in the hellish throes of a sadistic dictator.

Argue the merits with one another...I find it wearisome.

However, as far as SERVICE and SACRIFICE goes, I can't thank you, the troops and their families enough.

What would any of us do in the name of prosperity, liberty and world peace if WE occupied the Oval Office for a day or a week?

I doubt that we'd be efective. But, thank God, it is our American right to gripe and even snipe, eh?

And because Murtha was a decorated, horribly injured Marine doesn't give him a free pass to bad mouth the military leaders and second guess their decisions to every TV camera. Wellll....it does give him a free pass to be an ass.

Poetically and zoologically speaking.

I'll be thinking of y'all when I'm watching Fox News and envisioning you foaming at the mouth.

Loves,

PS O'Reilly is on at 6 AND 9 pm!!!

Daryl said...

One thing I learned in spades during my 13 months in Nam and Stateside over the next few years after that:

Never trust anybody that tells you how smart they are, how rich they are, how rightous they are, how honest they are, and most of all how patriotic they are.

If they are any or all of the above then it goes without saying.

caddyhack said...

Sharon,

Try leaving your comfort zone on Fox and read this article from the Washington Post. If you have enough integrity to read the complete article, you will understand why Mr. Murtha is so outspoken and disgusted with the incompetence of the administration.

P.S. Sorry to destroy your fantasy, but the only foam in my mouth is from cold beer.

sharon said...

Caddy,

I read the entire piece. Thank you.

My heart aches. I can't defend incompetence.

I can applaud resourcefulness of those young soldiers.

When General George Washington's men were ragged and without shoes, they were overjoyed to receive a long awaited shipment.

Think of the heartbreak to find they had been sent a shipment of children's shoes!

They boiled the shoes and drank the broth for nourishment.

As one of those quoted in the article said, 'armies have been going to war ill equipped thru every war.' Paraphrased.

What can I say or offer that could possibly make a diference?

Our leaders and troops and their families are in our prayers daily. I'm sure they are in your's.

I suppose Darryl is attempting to insult me by lumping me in with those who are untrustworthy....I don't think of myself as being righteous, smart and I'm sure as heck not 'rich'...I love America, so does that mean I'm an untrustworthy patriot?

No, I can't defend, nor would I want to, incompetence...at any level.

sharon said...

Caddy,

Just wanted to add that people who suffer unbelievable pain and sorrow are to be admired for using that deep searing pain as a catalyst to change policies, instigate research, advocate for a better way to do something, and in the process find a measure of solace for themselves.

rick said...

hey man do you remember that hot chick in school with those nice big beautuful roumd eyes you could fallinlove with.

no, she poked me in the eye earl, how'd you know about it. She was your sister.

don't tell red, prmise!!!!

another anonymous poster said...

Rarely does anyone post here under a real name. Even the guy who operates this local blog goes by Ridizink. I believe the point about being skeptical of a posting on a blog by "anonymous" is to take it with a grain of salt. There may be truths in it; there may be distortions; there may be any number of flasehoods aimed at character assasination or furthering one's own agenda.

Rudizink syas one can research the posts. I for one don't have the time to research everything written here, especially by those who post under anonymity or any other name other than their own. Who does.

This is mostly entertainment and the bulk of the postings come from the same group of people that some refer to a "the rest of the gang." Anyone can write anything and it most often gets posted unless it's too much of a "flame job," whatever that means.

Just sit back and enjoy. This is not modern day version of the Federalist Papers nor is it so profound that we should take everything here verbatum.

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