Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Meetings, Meetings, and More Meetings

Council Notes: 11.28.06

By Dian Woodhouse

Those who looked at the agendas in the Standard Examiner this past Sunday will have noted that most of the third column was occupied by Ogden City business. "Ogden Council/Redevelopment Agency, 5 PM work study session" was followed by "Ogden Redevelopment Agency 6 PM work session," which was followed by a 15 point Ogden City Council agenda, followed by a closed executive session. Following this, the Council would reconvene at a Special Redevelopment Agency meeting, one found out tonight, and the newspaper evidently combined the items in that agenda under the 5 PM work session in Sunday's agenda notices. All this not to commend the individuals involved, but instead to say that this is a back-breaking workload. And if I may, I will state as I have before that the RDA should not be made up of Council members, but instead be a separate body of people from the community. And the aforementioned workload is only one of the reasons why.

Editorial comments aside, the Council meeting convened at 6 PM with all members present. Mark Johnson was sitting next to the Mayor and John Patterson was absent. The meeting began with Councilwoman Jeske reading a resolution honoring the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 1481. The list of why this organization should be honored was a lengthy one, and everyone, not just the Council, stood and applauded when the presentation was made.

Next, Bob Bushell accepted a Good Neighbor Award on behalf of Home Depot for the West Ogden Park renovation.

Then the minutes of the Closed Executive Session of October 24th, 2006, were approved on the basis of review by Councilwoman Van Hooser.

Next were three Common Consent Items: Appointments to the Ogden City Arts Committee, an appointment to the Weed and Seed steering committee, and an Honorary Street Name at BDO, such street to be designated "Andrews Way."

This last item was struck from the Common Consent items via a motion by Councilman Stephenson, who informed us that the street to be designated had changed somewhat from the original request, and that therefore this should not be approved at this time. The other two items, however, passed unanimously.

Members of the Ogden City Arts Advisory Board now are: Tami Crowley, Travis Pate, David Wolfgram, Kent Jorgenson, and Richard Scott, all reappointed, and new appointees are: Kate Bruce, Larry Wayne, and Margaret Favero.

Also approved was the appointment of Councilwoman Susan Van Hooser to the Weed and Seed steering committee.

Next were two public hearings, at which no one from the public spoke. The first dealt with moving $360,000 from the Capital Improvements Plan to the Junction Project. This was explained by John Arrington, who stated that this money was appropriated "from potential revenue that will come from BDO." This money was originally designated for CIP on 24th Street, but since that project is not on time, it was decided to instead use that money for The Junction. The street money for it will be used instead for streets in The Junction, as well as sidewalk and curb money with the exception of curb and sidewalk money for sites by schools.

One council member asked if what this did was eliminate the CIP project and put its money in the mall, and it was answered that yes, that was the case for this year. Understood was that next year the 24th Street project could be reinstated.

Proposed Ordinance 2006-73 to move this money to the Junction site was adopted unanimously.

The next public hearing dealt with the medical bonus for the employees outlined in last week's notes. Mr. Arrington noted here that the bonus will be distributed to the employees through the payroll department. Councilman Safsten asked if this were going to be an ongoing thing, and Mark Johnson responded that this was an option, that an agreement could be made with the insurance company to do this. It was also revealed that there were 88 employees who would not be eligible for this, as they had opted out of the insurance program, and there were also some new employees, in whose cases the bonus would be pro-rated.

Councilwoman Jeske stated that the deductible for a family might be too high, and was immediately contradicted by other council members who said that their personal deductibles were higher, that other family deductibles were higher, etc., etc.

Councilwoman Van Hooser requested that if this is indeed to be an ongoing program, the Council should be informed of what was to transpire with it in writing. "...maybe you didn't understand it," Mr. Arrington said, going on to say that the matter had indeed been previously discussed. At this point Chair Garcia stated that having something for the Council in writing, as Councilwoman Van Hooser had suggested, would be a good thing, and the vote began.

The motion to adopt Proposed Ordinance 2006-74 to amend the budget in order to make these medical bonus disbursements possible passed with Councilwoman Van Hooser and Councilman Stephens dissenting. Councilwoman Van Hooser made it clear that she was not "against" city employees, nor was she against giving them money. "I didn't like the way it came down," she said, "Going to the media first and not the Council." Councilman Stevens also made it clear that his vote was not "against" the city employees, but rather that an option had been available to have a portion of the insurance rebate ($150,000) go to the city and a portion ($157,000) go to the employees. Characterizing this option as "a win/win situation," he stated that there were many areas in which that money could have been used beneficially had the city obtained it.

Next, there was a presentation by Greg Montgomery regarding signs, always a hot issue in Ogden. Proposed Ordinance 2006-77, which passed unanimously and had no public comment, will amend Section 18 of the Ogden Municipal Code. "The city must follow state law," Councilman Safsten said, and hoped that "if we have new signs, they are more appropriately placed."

Next, under Administrative Reports, was some departmental reorganization. The background to this was presented as follows by Mr. Binford: In June of 2003, Engineering was moved from Public Works to Community and Economic Development. Building Services was then moved to Engineering. What Proposed Ordinances 2006-78 and 2006-79 will basically do is put things back to the way they were before June of 2003. The Ordinances will also eliminate two positions.

"It's the same people doing the same job reporting to a different person," Mr. Binford said. Also mentioned briefly was the fact that Mr. Harmer "is including the development community," meaning, one assumes, feedback from it, in this reorganization, in order, one assumes again, to ensure that it will be a satisfactory method for that community to work with the city.

"It's important to be always looking for ways to do things more efficiently," Councilman Stephenson said, and the motion to adopt both these ordinances passed unanimously.

The final item under Administrative Reports was Proposed Ordinance 2006-80, which revised fees for the Fire Department Reports that are sent to insurance companies. It will be $15 for a normal report and $25 for an investigative one, and it was mentioned that these fees had not been raised in thirteen years. The ordinance passed unanimously.

Under New Business, it was brought up that the Council might wish to consider canceling its regularly scheduled meeting which fell on December 26th, 2006. This the Council did, considering and canceling in record time.

There were no public comments, but there were some from Administration, Staff, and Council.

Mayor Godfrey addressed the mention of the perception that Ogden was a business unfriendly city. "We are not satisfied with the perceptions that are out there," he said, and went on to state that he did not wish people to think that Ogden was unfriendly to business. On the contrary, he wished Ogden to be a leader in facilitating businesses, and the reorganization of the departments mentioned above was a step in that direction.

Council Executive Director Bill Cook made mention of the passing of John Wolf, a former Ogden City Council Member.

Councilman Stephens spoke in favor of the reorganization, stating that it "shows we have an innovative city." He also wished to pay tribute to those who organized the Christmas Parade, stating that our ushering in of the holiday season was one of the top in the state.

Councilwoman Jeske agreed with this last, and also wished to commend the staff who put lights on the trees and made the municipal gardens look so beautiful.

The meeting then adjourned into Closed Executive Session.

Not having stayed through this to attend the subsequent Special RDA meeting, I shall post its salient agenda items here:

Mall Parking Structure Phase II. Proposed Resolution #2006-18 approving the Planning Commission recommendations for Phase II of the Ogden Entertainment Center Parking Structure. (...roll call vote.)

Mall Plaza Design. Resolution #2006-20 approving the design of the Ogden Entertainment Center Plaza. (...roll call vote.)

Public Hearing: Budget Opening for Mall Parking Structure and Plaza. Proposed Resolution 2006-17 amending the budget for the Fiscal Year July 1 2006 to June 20, 2007, by increasing the anticipated revenues and transfers for gross increases of $14,810,213.00 from sources as detailed in the body of this resolution, and increasing ther appropriations for a gross increase of $14,810,213.00 as detailed in the body of this resolution. (...roll call vote.)

Public Comments, etc.

Perhaps someone will write in and tell us how that went.

Update 11/29/06 9:55 a.m. MT: Scott Schwebke writes in with his 2¢.

48 comments:

sharon said...

Thanx, Dian, for sitting thru that meeting and for your excellent write-up.

I agree with you 100% that the RDA and City Council should be SEPARATE members. Also, Godfrey should not 'head' the RDA.

I'm appalled at the juggling of finances and the dipping into other departments for monies that are earmarked for necessities to the city.

Oh well, as Curm has scolded me on the other thread, 'done is done' or something similar.

Curmudgeon said...

Sharon:

Not scolding, just noting something about which we disagree, that's all.

As for the RDA/Council/Mayor connection, not having thought about this at all, I have no opinion. Going to have to think it over for a bit. Not sure cutting out all elected representation in RDA management would be a good idea. But I need to think on this some, ask around a little for how RDA's are run elsewhere, maybe, and see what others think and why.

Operating city government is a lot more complex, though, I now understand, than it seemed when I was just an occasional grouser grumbling over my morning coffee about something the Council did that I probably didn't understand the reason for.

And one thing getting involved in watching City governance more closely this past year and a half, attending Council work sessions, and meetings occasionally, and Planning Commission work sessions and meetings, and reading Dian's reports faithfully, has led to is this: I have a great deal more respect for those to take on the burdens of public City office --- Council members, members of volunteer boards and commissions like the Planning Commission, etc. --- than I had before. Even for the ones I tend to disagree with often. I had no inkling of the amount of time they put in week in and week out as Council members and [for no pay] as Planning Commission or other commission members. Gave me a whole new understanding of what "public service" means at the city level. It's been an education.

Curmudgeon said...

For Eminent Domain Fans:

Here's a meaty one to chew on. It's from a NY Times review of Michael Crichton's new medical thriller novel called Next which deals with cloning and gene splicing and such like. In it he draws on real events around which to weave his story. This one caught my eye:

“Next” draws upon a courtroom case in which U.C.L.A. was accused of covertly using tissue from a leukemia patient to develop and patent a lucrative cell line; the court ruled that the man had no property rights to his discarded tissue, and that the university, as a government institution, could claim this material under the doctrine of eminent domain.

Full review here.

sharon said...

Curm...I believe RDA/Council bodies are comprised of the SAME people thruout the state.

But, does one have to know that, and ask around to have an opinion?

My opinion is that we aren't well served when the same 7 persons comprise the two bodies making all the decisions affecting our city. Throw into the mix, Mayor Godfrey, and I'm 'agin' it.

ArmySarge said...

Teh State of Utah has given Ogden City money SPECIFICALLY for use on roads; the city has no chosen to use that money elsewhere. It seem sto me that this would not be legal. Does anyoen know how we can find out?

Concerned said...

My hope is that all this "off budget" spending required to complete the Godfrey Center will serve as an example to the Council of how this irresponsible mayor, his minions, and his handful of hackneyed supporters do business. They can file it with the $5 million legal settlement to Woodbury, under “bush league incompetence,” and it will not be the last time our road and other tax money is called upon to be sucked off to pay for Godfrey’s endless attempts at imitating Donald Trump.

There will be many more “unexpected” costs for Godfrey’s socialist visions, pitched from a high-paid city team that considers almost nothing correctly.

Hopefully the Council has heard the saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Let this be the last ill-conceived “government-private-partnership” project they approve until Godfrey is voted out. The current long list of Godfrey’s present projects that we will be paying on for the next 30 years, are enough.

dian said...

Really, Curmudgeon. Property rights to one's discarded tissue have always passed on to one's heirs. Am surprised that Crichton got away with this.

Regarding the separation of RDA and City Council, I remember reading years
ago, (maybe as many as four,) about the successful redevelopment efforts in downtown Boise, Idaho. In that article, (which I have been unable to find but will keep looking,) someone from Boise was quoted as stating that redevelopment there did not get off the ground until the Council quit being the RDA. Blocks of Boise's downtown area were leveled for 20 years, I read here, Eye on Boise, while the city tried to get a mega mall off the ground, and then they ultimately abandoned that concept for mixed use.


What they have now there is the Capital City Development Corporation.

The Capital City Development Corporation is a public agency that administers urban redevelopment ...CCDC is legally and financially separate from the City of Boise. CCDC has a nine-member Board of Commissioners appointed and confirmed by the Mayor of Boise and the Boise City Council.

Haven't looked at Boise in awhile, and the above seems to have interesting links we can go through.

Curmudgeon said...

dian:

Thanks for the links. I am a big fan of city government [and state government] when contemplating something new, asking around to see if other cities or states have tried it, how they tried it, and if they did, what worked and what didn't. Sometimes a state might be first pioneering some new procedure, process, arrangment, etc and that's fine. But if there is a lot of experience out there with other ways of doing things, why not look them over to see what worked and what didn't before rushing ahead.

Case in point: the PC is considering a brand new "mixed use zone" ordinance. I wonder if the planning staff has provided them with examples of successful mixed use ordinances from other cities where the results have been good as templates against which to hold up the one the planning staff [and apparently Mr. Peterson's atty and the Mayor] are recommending. Maybe the answer to that question is "yes." I certainly hope it is.

As for the eminnent domain item aobve: according to the NY Times reviewer, it summarizes a real case which Crichton drew on. It is not part of the fiction he wrote, but fact on which he drew. Or so the Times says.

Curmudgeon said...

Concerned:

I know it is fashionable for some to denounce politicians they don't like as "socialists" just as it is fashionable for others to denounce them as "nazis." [I note Mayor Godfrey has been called both on this site.] But I have to admit I'm a little puzzled at a scheme which [they tell us] will bring a 5 Star hotel to downtown Ogden along with a Prada shop and the Paris Hilton entourage to shop in it being, somehow, a "socialist" vision for Ogden. A Motel 6 and a tractor store, maybe. But a five star hotel and a Prada shop? A socialist vision? I don't think so.....

RudiZink said...

The term "socialism" has a broad definition in most of the civilized world.

Only in America is the definition restricted to 50's concepts involving the tug-of war between pristine Adam Smith capitalism -- and the Commie Welfare State

In civilized parts of the world the term describes any government activity designed to thwart actual market forces and to impose "central planning" through government coercion.

We can use the less heavily emotionally-loaded term "statism," for our purposes of this discussion, if you like.

Planned communities are doomed to failure, at the government level, so long as they fail to consider natural market forces.

Interesting that you brought up the Nazis. Hitler's Democratic Socialist party experience is a fine example of right-wing statist socialism at its most logical extreme.

We've had a preview of that under George Bush. When will we ever learn the lessons of history, we ask?

Democracies cannot be run on the "efficient" business model.

Here's a useful (but lengthy) link on this subject:

Should government be run like a business?

Keisha said...

I'm just wondering.

Did George Bush actually attend Kem Lay's funeral?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any idea as to whether the downtown mall development project is on budget or not?

I keep thinking that we will see numbers that would tell us how we're doing relative to our budget and I'm getting a little concerned with all the silence.

Anonymous said...

I thought that bush has been in morning since nov. 7th and he didn't fill like going to ken lay's funeral.

dian said...

ArmySarge,

That's an interesting point. My understanding of it, and this is just an impression from the presentation, is that there exists a redevelopment area on 24th Street. Within that redevelopment area, roads, sidewalks, and curbs were to be built, presumably with money allocated for redeveloping that area.

I italicize presumably because nobody came right out and said that this street money was redevelopment money. But the implication was that it was money from the 24th Street project that was going to be transferred to the mall project, and the sentence I remember hearing went something like---The money for roads in the 24th Street project will be used for roads at the mall site, sidewalks for sidewalks at the mall site, etc. This was when a question was asked if the decision to move this money would deprive a school in the 24th street area of needed curb and sidewalk and the answer was no, it wouldn't.

So I really don't know exactly where the money for the streets was coming from, but to me, the presentation implied that it was part of RDA funds.

Dorothy Littrell said...

Utah Code 17B-4-203 (1) states that the governing body of an agency is a board consisting of the current members of the legislative body of of the community that created the agency which is Ogden City.

Dorothy Littrell said...

The Redevelopment Code 17B created a secondary level of government with powers to buy, sell, encumber and do anything the board desires without any control by the citizen taxpayer.

The whole concept is unconstitutional and removes the right of citizens to vote on anything that is done by the RDA.

I consider it taxation without representation.

One recourse is to remove the Ogden City Council members from office and that takes years. In the meantime, the debts get bigger and more idiotic.

The other recourse is to bring a suit against Ogden City and the Ogden City RDA with a big pile of dough and a great deal of patience.

Nothing is going to change by bringing a suit in District Court because those judges have been told by the Utah Supreme Court that they can not rule on a constitutional issue because "it is presumed that the Utah legislature passes only constitutional law".

Even the district judges roll their eyes about that statement.

Anonymous said...

So Dorothy is talking about suing somebody again. When's the last time you won a lawsuit? You've never got one right, yet. Learn a little more about the law before you dive into another lawsuit fiasco and embarrass yourself again.

sharon said...

Comment promoted to front page by blog administrator.

RudiZink said...

Too funny, anonymous. The last time Dorothy filed a lawsuit, it became the catalyst for the Utah legislature's banning of eminent domain by Utah RDAs, legislation that has become a model for similar laws in dozens of states across the country.

Her case was on appeal at the time of the 2005 legislation, which rendered her lawsuit moot.

Not a bad result, all-in-all.

Try to keep up.

Anonymous said...

Uh,...Sharon...hello! Don't forget the people he and the city are being sued for killing.

sharon said...

Matt is being sued for killing....??

I'm not with you, anonymous....talk a little s l o w e r, eh?

Oliver Wendell Holmes said...

Dorthy --
Taxation without representation was a nice war cry 250 years ago, but your entire post was non-sensical.

First, you post a state statute that requires the RDA to be elected officials and then say that you didn't elect them. You are voting for the RDA when you vote for the city's legislative branch -- the city council.

Second, your solution is to run to the system that you criticize. If you want to file suit, I'm sure it will take a big pile of cash, because what attorney in his right mind would want to waste his time and look silly without getting paid handsomely -- a nice retainer makes even dumb cases look brilliant.

Third, you show some ignorance of the law when you reference a presumption of constitutionality as if it makes litigation meaningless. In the law a presumption simply determines who has the burden of proof. In this case, if you are going to challenge the constitutionality of a state statute, you would have the burden to prove it was unconstitutional. The legislature doesn't have that burden. The logic of that arrangement is obvious.

Fourth, if you are going into Court with that attitude, it isn't the Supreme Court who the judge is rolling his eyes at.

Yours in Justice,

O.W. Holmes

RudiZink said...

Anonymous seems to be referring to this plainly bogus lawsuit, wherein some shyster lawyer is trying to stick Matt, Troy Burnett and Emerald City with liability for two deaths caused by the reckless acts of a fleeing Emerald City crankster.

Anonymous said...

Mr Godfrey, go to this link and click on executive summary and read pages 8 and 9. Then go back and click the link on the sidebar, "Why local businesses support USTAR Economic Development Initiative and read page 5. You need not worry your pretty little head anymore about scaring away business from Ogden. This new initiative has the needs of the entire state at heart, and originates from the Governor's office - with an outreach center to be located right here in Ogden, to enable the people who live here to learn about how to make a LIVING wage and possibly have their children and grandchildren stick around because they too can earn a LIVING wage right here in Ogden - e.g. a head of household income that would more than adequately support a family.

This new initiative will bring in money to help research and business keep up with the rest of the world in the fields of technology - not just the ski industry, which employs warehouse, production and service workers. We need to attract business that would employ managers, people in marketing, analysis, and a broad spectrum of the workforce that is needed to support the kind of successful research and innovation that is already taking place in our state.

O.W. Holmes said...

Hey, please Rudi -- let us remember due process. This is why we have our Courts -- the Constitution, due process, no deprivation without due process of law. One difficulty with being in a Constitutional system is you have to wait to find out the validity of cases.

SECOND DISTRICT COURT - OGDEN

WEBER COUNTY, STATE OF UTAH


WONZIE BARRIENTOS vs. MATT JONES

CASE NUMBER 060905807
Wrongful Death

4th juror said...

Is that you, Bernie?

RudiZink said...

Give us a break Wendell. You and we both know this bogus lawsuit is just a shabby "shake-down," aimed at the only parties in the transaction with actual insurance coverage.

Having said that, we're not saying that the plaintiffs' shyster won't manage to squeaze out some settlement $$$s from the city's insurance carrier. That's how the insurance system works.

The case will undoubtedly "settle," and $$$s will no doubt be paid out, with no admissions or judicial findings of liability on the part of any of parties involved in the event -- with the possible exception of the real tortfeasor -- the fleeing crankster. The insurance carrier will refuse to "defend," and will "bend over," and pass the settlement costs on to the rest of the insureds in the carrier's insurance pool, thus setting the stage for the next equally frivolous claim, lawsuit and payoff.

Due process has nothing to do with it at all. It's all about the legal game of putting the squeeze on the "deep pockets," and dividing the cash with a few lawyers.

Yours in Reality,

Rudi

Bored said...

Oliver Wendell --

You use a lot of words but they don't make much sense.

May be you impress yourself.

curious nellie said...

I am impressedd that Littrell is getting credit for so many lawsuits against Ogden.

She only filed one which she did pro se and it was in appeal as Rudi says when the Utah governor signed the eminent domain bill into law.

How come she gets so much credit for being a troublemaker?

OgdenLover said...

Did anyone else read about "Ogden's Green Team" on page 3D (the Ogden City Update) of today's SE?

"Mayor Matthew Godfrey has implemented a "green Team" named the Sustainable Ogden Committee. The vision of this committee is to have a community commitment toward clear air, water and preserving open space so that Ogden can receive international recognition as the high adventure recreation capital. The new committed is tasked with the responsibility of advising the Mayor on policies and practices that will sustain our high adventure recreation quality of life for the next generation.

The Sustainable Ogden Committee is comprised of individuals representing a variety of interests and backgrounds, including utility companies, trail experts and evnironmentalists, the ski industry and other entities that are committed to Ogden and preserving our excellent quality of life.

The Committee held its first meeting on November 29th and explored ideas and programs that will keep Ogden environmentally friendly. The group will research other successful programs that can be implemented in Ogden and make proposals and recommendations to the Ogden City Administration on current practices that need to be changed. Several new programs agreed upon at the first meeting will be implemented early in 2007."


I can make some guesses as to the Committee membership but wonder if anyone knows?

impressed as hell said...

ANYONE in this burg who shakes rattles and rolls, either get credit or blame.

Celebrity or INfamy, Famous or Notoriety......choose one or several.

Dorothy isn't afraid to 'get out there' and make things happen!

This burg needs a lot of Dorothy's!

sharon said...

NO names for the public! We can guess who the ski experts are. I HOPE Dan Schroeder and Don Wilson are on that committee....if not..it's bogus, IMHO. Godfrey now has a "Green Team"...hope it's more effective than his "A-Team".

dian said...

Dorothy Littrell said...

Utah Code 17B-4-203 (1) states that the governing body of an agency is a board consisting of the current members of the legislative body of of the community that created the agency which is Ogden City.


Dorothy, where are you getting this? It's not that I doubt you, but the Utah Code I have been accessing does not include a 17B-4. Only a 17B-2.

RudiZink said...

Here's the correct citation:

Utah Code Section17C-1-203. Agency board -- Quorum.

dan s. said...

Thanks for your endorsement, Sharon, but I'm afraid I'm not on the mayor's "Green Team". I did see a partial list of team members a while ago, and perhaps by now a more complete list is available. Meanwhile, I continue to sit on the Ogden Trails Network Committee.

I'm glad the mayor has put together a Green Team. Beyond that, I should probably keep my mouth shut about it for a while and give them a chance to do their work before passing judgment. But the cynic in me can't resist pointing out a couple of facts.

First, the city administration is under no obligation to take the advice of its advisory committees, or even to keep them informed of relevant proposals. The Trails Committee was about the last entity in the city to be briefed on the Peterson proposal. (We did get a briefing from John Patterson the day after the big WSU dog & pony show last April, and we finally got to meet with Peterson in July.) Similarly, in 1998, the previous administration never consulted the Trails Committee about its proposal to put a tram up Taylor Canyon. Typically, advisory committees get consulted on the little decisions but not on the big ones.

Second, one has to wonder why the mayor is suddenly putting together a Green Team after he's been in office seven years. I've tried to follow his environmental record during those seven years, and one example that's particularly relevant to the Green Team's resource conservation mission comes to mind. In spring 2001, a year and a half after Godfrey took office, a curbside recycling proposal came before the City Council. I don't know the full story behind the proposal but my impression is that it had been in the works for quite a while, because I remember discussing it with mayoral candidates in 1999. When the proposal came before the Council, the recommendation from the Godfrey administration was that it be an "opt in" program, so residents would have to request the service and pay a few dollars extra for it each month. The Council, however, decided to make the service universal. At the same time, the Council added an option for a smaller trash barrel at a lower cost, reasoning that anyone who recycles won't need such a large trash barrel. The bottom line was that if you opted for the smaller trash barrel, the monthly cost of the recycling ended up being about 50 cents instead of several dollars. And, of course, the program has diverted a much larger fraction of the waste stream away from the landfill and into the recycling program. My point is that Mayor Godfrey was not much of a leader in this initiative, and his overall record on resource conservation matters is not particularly good. The Green Team is a welcome, but belated, move in the right direction.

dian said...

Thanks, Rudi. I'd never read that before.

I think it should be changed, myself. The difference in jobs--whom one would want on the legislative body as opposed to whom one would want to develop property is not just a difference, but a gulf. People qualified in both areas would be really hard to find.

And those positions do need qualified people. It's not just a question of "wearing different hats," as they so fondly like to put it.

Curmudgeon said...

Thanks to Ogdenlover for the pointer to the "Green Team" article in the SE which I managed to miss finding this morning. And to Dan for the origins of recycling in Ogden. New information for relative newcomer me, all of it.

Anonymous said...

Dian,

I am a little confused by your post above. You reference "Those wanting to develop property..." inferring those wanting to be on the RDA board. Are you saying that only developers should be on the RDA board? They are the ones "wanting to develop property."

dian said...

To clarify, Anon,

If I am voting for people to comprise the Ogden City Council, I will be looking for a certain skill set in those people. If those people are also going to be involved in land development, that involves yet another skill set.

I didn't say, "Those wanting to develop property," but "whom one would want to develop property." In other words, who do we want in positions which dictate how our tax dollars will be spent on land development, and who do we want to legislate for our community, and where do we find people who are equally proficient at both things?

That's what we as voters have to do if it is mandated by law that municipal councils and RDA's are formed of the same body of individuals.

O.W. Holmes said...

Rudi,

I guess I need to take exception with your characterization of Dorthy being responsible for the changing of the state statute relating to eminent domain. The change took place as a result of Senate Bill 184, which was sponsored by the Association of Counties, the Utah Taxpayers Association and the Association of Utah School Boards. You can find the oral arguments in the Senate and the House here.

One of the main motivating factors for state's passing those laws across the country was Justice Stevens of the United States Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Decision in Kelo v. New London, June 23, 2005

The Supreme Court ruling spawned state legislation across the country on this issue. You need to give credit where credit is due.

P.S. Tort law reform probably requires its own separate thread, but I'm not denying the economic elements of the legal allocation of risk. In fact the ability to allocate risk is an important and necessary aspect of the law. The tort laws and system you criticize has a long and storied tradition which I put in my excellent book which you can download here -- for free no less.

RudiZink said...

Quit griping Wen-DELL!

Dorothy's "press" is the political "oomph" that plainly got the "pro-property-rights" legislative juices flowing in the Utah legislature during the 2005 legislative session.

ALL the Utah media were hammering Dorothy's points on live TeeVee at the time, for days on end.

Shame on you for trying to diminish Dorothy's contributions.

You right-wing socialist bastids got hit upside the head with a property-rights tsunami, propelled by our own Dorothy Littrell.

If you had an ounce of political decency, you'd at least give Dorothy a hat tip, for beating you at your own game.

dan s. said...

O. W.,

I can understand how at your age you'd get your chronology a little confused.

Utah Senate Bill 184 signed into law: 17 March 2005
Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. New London: 23 June 2005

Assuming that time travel wasn't involved, I don't see how the decision could have "spawned" the bill.

RudiZink said...

OK wen-DELL... I've downloaded your book.

Given that, it's only fair that I require that you read a reference book of my own suggestion:

Abuse of Power, by Steven Greenut

We'll be happy to debate you, once we've each read each others' primary sources.

What say you?

Shall we meet here one week hence, to challenge each other's debating skills?

Consider the gauntlet thrown down, Wen-DELL!

RudiZink said...

Indeed, Dan.

We're sure Hon. Justice Holmes is "twirlung in his grave" over this latest "Oliver Wendell Holmes" pretender.

RudiZink said...

LOL. I just read most of the first Chapter of wen-DELL's "book."

It's a work preserved on project Gutenberg.

It's an original Justice Holmes work, preserved on Gutenberg Press.

SHEESH!

Next week's debate is now off, wen-DELL.

The only debate remaining is whether you should be sedated by Melaril or Thorazine, or merely wrapped-up in a straight-jacket...

Back to the locked ward for you, wenDELL!

O. W. Holmes said...

Now, now Rudi, I'm a calm, rational dead man -- besides I thought this was an "An Open Public Forum." I don't think I need drugs, but thanks for offering. Oh and I've never been called a "right wing socialist bastid" before and those that know my political slant will find that characterization hilarious, so thanks for the chuckle.


I only had two main beefs with previous posts and I will spell them out clearly so that you will understand where I am coming from and the debate -- to the extent you still dare or that it is necessary -- is at least well formulated, so that it is productive.

1. Eminent Domain:

I don't doubt that the issues in Ogden, as illustrated by Dorthy's lawsuit, had some impact on the public mind. I also don't begrudge Dorthy her right to litigate and applaud her for sticking to her guns.

I actually had a conversation with Stuart Reid a few years ago and was disturbed and amazed at his rather callous disregard of property rights. I disagreed then and still do with using eminent domain for private development. Maybe we don't disagree as much as you thought.

My point and the reason I posted the oral arguments from the Senate on Bill 184 was to illustrate that the driving force behind this bill was not Dorthy's lawsuit. The first thing Senator Bramble addressed in his argument (SB0184S02 Senate Day 40 in the oral arguments) before the Senate was the pending Supreme Court case I also cited. I was under the impression that the purpose of this Forum is to improve our community through dialogue. I've also heard pleas on occasion to back up arguments with facts. I applaud Dan for pointing out the date discrepancy between the Kelo decision and Utah's legislation -- I should have been more clear on that point. The fact remains though that Senator Bramble knew about the pending Supreme Court case, cited it in his debate on the bill and used it to get almost unanimous support from the Counties, the Utah League of Cities and Towns and the school crowd. The power was in the legislative branch of the State Government and failing to praise the source of the solution is to misguide the efforts of concerned citizens.

In a nutshell-- talk to your State Senator and Representatives on issues you care about.

2. Tort law.

I don't know Matt Jones, but to call the wrongful death suit "plainly bogus" is wrong. If you read the first chapter of the book, you would have read this quote:

"The object of this book is to present a general view of the
Common Law. To accomplish the task, other tools are needed
besides logic. It is something to show that the consistency of a
system requires a particular result, but it is not all. The life
of the law has not been logic: it has been experience."

The experience in this case and the reason the lawsuit isn't bogus is Jessica Nelson, the girl who died. The question our community needs answered is what is a reasonable policy for chasing non-violent felons at high speeds through the city?

Maybe the answer to the question is that as a community we think it is alright for our police officers to pursue felons at high speeds, even though there is a risk that innocent people like Jessica might die. If the lawsuit is bogus, what location do you propose Rudi for making that determination? Your blog? You were quick to sing Dorthy's litigation praises, why not Jessica's relatives?

I prefer consistency over ideology.

I'll debate you anytime, Rudi -- if you don't mind tangling with a dead man.

Curmudgeon said...

o.w.holmes:

Many cities have changed police proedures to ban high-speed chases because of the danger they pose to other drivers and passengers. So the first question would be, now, what is Ogden's rule for its law enforcement officers on this? Are high-speed pursuits banned or not? I don't know.

dian said...

Have been a bit fuzzy as to the meaning of the word "tort." As in tort law, tort reform, etc. Found a definition on Wikipedia which implies that it is the body of civil law as opposed to the body of criminal law. Is that accurate, all you attorneys here?

Here's the definition: Tort Law

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