Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"Abuzz" About the Land of Oz - Twice Updated

Report of Ogden City Council Meeting, 20 March 2007
Word from a Realtor of a gondola link from Emerald City to Powder Mountain

Read Council Chair Garcia's prepared statement below

By Curmudgeon

After the usual ceremonies and housekeeping duties [flag salute; approval of minutes], the Council heard a report from the manager of the Golden Hours Center and advisory committee. It included some statistics that might be of some interest. Utah, for example, has the sixth fasted growing segment of population 65 or over among all the states. By 2007, seven Utah counties will have populations that are 15% or more 65 years old or older. Weber is one of them. The Council voted without objection to accept the Center’s report for review.

The Council then moved on to consider the second quarter Budget Report, presented by a Mr. Anderson. Generally, the news was good. Sales tax revenues are now projected to be $1,000,000 more than anticipated in the budget, and building permits are expected now to bring in $100,000 more than was originally budgeted. Most anticipated revenues [by department] are higher than expected, with a few exceptions. One is the amount expected from fines and forfeitures. That figure is currently running $100,000 lower than anticipated. Mr. Anderson attributed the shortfall to slower than anticipated ramping up of the Justice Court, and that as soon as it began operating at full capacity, he expected the shortfall to decline.

But overall, the city seems to have expended, by the end of the second quarter, less than half of its budgeted expenditures, and is looking at, overall, when it is all added up, subtracted and totaled out, an estimated $995,000 in funds in excess of the original budget.

Mr. Anderson discussed in more detail some budget lines. [He used abbreviations and acronyms with which I was not familiar. I think I got the gist of what follows right, but will be happy to be corrected if I did not.] Apparently, the sewer and utilities fees are now anticipated to bring in $350,000 more than was anticipated. Which is good, because the amount the City expected to receive as its share of BDO revenues [the city splits operating profits from BDO with Boyer Co.] is now projected to be $750,000 less than was anticipated. That money is to go to service the bonds for the Rec Center, the first payment on which will be, Mr. Anderson said, about $700,000. Mr. Safsten inquired as to why the shortfall was so large. Mr. Anderson spoke of seasonal factors, and noted that the City expected to have more firm numbers by the end of the third quarter. [I was not clear on whether the anticipated excess in revenues in the general budget could or would be used to make up the shortfall in the BDO anticipated revenues.]

Mr. Anderson also noted there were shortfalls in the budgets of the airport and golf courses, and he said the Administration was preparing a report on how to deal with them. Ms.Van Hooser asked how long the contract with Boyer providing for splitting the BDO operating profits evenly between Boyer and the City was for. Mayor Godfrey replied that it was a fifty year contract.

The Council then voted 6-0 [Mr. Garcia not present] to accept the budget for review.

Then the Council moved on to public comments. There were several.

Ms. Connie Chandler complained about the Code Enforcement office not acting on her complaints, now a year old, about a boarded up restaurant on 25th Street which she thought “is really ugly.” She complained about abandoned shopping carts around the city, the state of repair of sidewalks and gutters on 7th Street, trashy front yards, and the Code Enforcement office concentrating on alleys and ignoring tree-overhang regulations on public streets and walkways. She wanted to know when action would be taken on all the above. And she wanted to know who was responsible for maintaining approaches, curb work in “public alleys partly owned by the city and partly by private owners.” Councilwoman Wicks told Ms. Chandler that she would ask the Administration to reply at the end of the public comments period.

Next was Mr. Bill Spain, CEO of Provident Partners Realty, now a resident of Ogden. He praised the Council for its actions that had led to the “unbelievable change” he’d seen in Ogden over the past ten or twenty years. It was “incredible,” especially over the last couple of years. It’s why he moved here, and his company had already invested millions in Ogden properties. His investors had already bought in excess of 100 homes on the east bench of Ogden, which “we envision as 2nd homes for Scottsdale, AZ residents seeking relief from the heat.” He said the “potential for a world class gondola” to tie Ogden to unmatched recreational opportunities at Powder Mountain and Snow Basin” was the key element in bringing his company and its investments to Ogden. He told the Council that someone from his company would be at every council meeting “for months” to come to reinforce the importance of keeping the momentum going.

Next to speak was Robert A. Becker of Ogden. He said he was delighted that Mr. Spain’s company had come to Ogden, and was investing in Ogden. He was, he said, very happy to have Mr. Spain and his company here. But, he added, Mr. Spain seemed not to understand that the Administration proposed not one gondola for Ogden, but two, “neither of which will connect downtown Ogden with either Powder Mountain or Snow Basin.” Mr. Becker said he hoped Mr. Spain would better inform himself before he chose to address the Council again.

Next up was Ms. Sue Wilkerson, who had sent the Council a letter about the improving business and investment climate in Ogden, and she wanted to reiterate her sentiments expressed in that letter. She said the gondola was an “important component” in Ogden’s continued growth. She asked the Council to please keep and “open mind” and to “not listen to rhetoric at these meetings.” She represented, she said, a group of forward thinkers who were committed to appear at every Council meeting to make sure the true opinions of Ogden City were expressed to the Council. She noted she had bought a house on Jefferson some yeas ago when it was crime ridden and 90% not-owner occupied residences because she had “blind faith” in the Mayor’s vision. That now Jefferson Ave was in her neighborhood over 90% owner occupied and she again recommended the benefits of acting on “blind faith.”

Next up. Gary Nelson of Gold’s Gym spoke. He appreciated, he said, the pro-business attitude of some of the Council members, and he entreated the less-pro business members to call businesses moving to Ogden and tell the owners how glad they were to have them come. He noted there was much competition from surrounding towns like Syracuse to draw businesses away from Ogden, but he thought Ogden was the place to be. He invited all Council members to take a free ride on the wind tunnel in May before it formally opened.

Next, Mr. Abraham Shore [I think. Possible Shreve] was next. My apologies if I got that wrong. He thanked the Council for its work in encouraging the “great movement” in Ogden over recent years. He skis, climbs, now lives in Ogden. He is a local realtor, excited about what’s happening. That he no longer hears from potential clients “anywhere but Ogden.” There’s now “a buzz” about Ogden. He supports “what’s happening here.” This is a moment in history Ogden and the Council must seize. He likened some of the criticism [presumably of the Mayor’s various proposals, he did not specifically say which] to the criticism that surrounded the Rec Center decision. There were complaints that businesses would not come, where was Larry Miller, etc. But the businesses did come and it was, he thought, “exciting” to see the Rec Center buildings going up.

Following the end of public comments, the Mayor replied to two of Ms. Chandler’s points. He noted that the city had a “board up” ordinance, and so long as the property owner paid the proper fee, he could keep the property boarded up. The Mayor agreed it was not the best solution for the city, and he added that he was working hard to attract an investor to buy the property and “get some activity in there.” As for the maintenance of alley ways, the Mayor said the alleys were not jointly owned by the city and private owners. They were wholly owned by private owners; the city possessed only an easement. Repair and maintenance were exclusively the responsibility of the property owners.

After a brief delay during which it was impressed upon Ms. Chandler that public comments were over and she would have to take up further discussion with the Mayor at another time, several Council members commented on the proceedings of the evening. Mr. Stephenson was pleased by the positive comments of the three business owners who had spoken. Mr. Safsten was surprised, and very pleased, to learn that Ms. Wilkerson’s Jefferson Avenue neighborhood had swung from ten percent owner-occupied dwellings to ninety percent in so short a time. Mr. Stephens noted two positives from the evening: the generally optimistic report of the Golden Hours Center, and the positive comments of the business representatives who spoke.

The Council then adjourned.

Update 3/21/07 7:59 p.m. MT: The Salt Lake Tribune confirms this afternoon what most of us in the Emerald City activist community already knew or suspected: Council Chair Jesse Garcia will NOT be running for Mayor in the upcoming municipal election.

Update 3/22/07 3:35 p.m. MT: One of our gentle readers has this afternoon forwarded to us Council Chairman Garcia's eloquent and statesmanlike prepared statement, delivered at yesterday's press conference. Be sure to read it here. We are fortunate in Emerald City, we think, to have a man of Chairman Garcia's grace and quality serving us on the council. A Weber County Forum Tip o' the Hat goes to Councilman Garcia this afternoon!

76 comments:

Curmudgeon said...

I had some comments about tonight's Council meeting, which I wanted to keep separate from the report of the meeting [trying to do straight reporting, sans comments there.]

So, for what they may be worth, here they are:

It was a very interesting meeting. The Lift Ogden Amen Chorus was there, represented by three Realtors who did a kind of karioke lip-synching from the Godfrey Gondola hymn book, with Choirmaster K. Geiger watching proudly from the back row.

The comments of Mr. Spain I found particularly interesting. His company, he said, has already bought 100 plus homes on the east Bench which he intends to sell as second homes for the wealthy of Scottsdale, AZ seeking relief from the summer heat. And Mr. Spain made it plain his company was continuing to invest in that way. What I wondered [and no Council member commented on it] was this: what will be the impact on the bench neighborhoods of having hundreds of homes occupied only intermittently, largely in the summer months? Is this a kind of residential development the City wants to encourage in established neighborhoods? Are the consequences of extended ‘vacation home’ ownership in established neighborhoods being thought about? Planned for? Are there significant consequences to shifting so many units from “owner occupied” to “seasonal residences”? I don’t know. Haven’t thought it through. But I hope somebody who knows more about urban demographics than I do is thinking about it.

It seems clear the Lift Ogden Amen Chorus and Realtors Benevolent Association intends to have spokespersons at every Council meeting between now and the election to sing from the Lift Ogden Song Book. Perhaps those who do not share Ms. Wilkerson’s “blind faith” in the Mayor’s vision need to consider organizing to get their views on the record as well.

It is now very plain that among the strategies the Mayor and his LO Apologists intend to keep following is to keep referring to “the gondola” [singular], to conceal the fact that two are envisioned and both have to succeed in order for the city built gondola to succeed [and in fact the golf course development and Malan’s Development has to succeed too]. But doubtless if people realize the City has to hit this Trifecta in order to even have a chance of breaking even on its 35 to 50 million dollar flatland gondola, they may be less willing to toss Ogden’s future, and theirs, to Godfrey/Peterson on “blind faith” alone, so the tactic is to refer, ever and always, to “the gondola.” And to imply, whenever they can get away with it, that it will somehow, magically, link downtown Ogden to Snow Basin.

And I suspect Ms. Wilkerson hit another note tonight we can expect to hear again and again when she urged the council not to be swayed by "rhetoric" from those who do not share her "blind faith" in the Mayor's vision. Note, her comments, and those of her fellows in the Realotors Benevolent Association, she did not think were "rhetoric." Only the comments of those who disagreed with her were.

Ah, huckmeisters at work. If there weren't so much at stake, it would be almost fun to watch.

Sharon said...

Mr Curmudgeon...

Excellent reporting! I had to leave just before the budget report was completed. Sounds like I missed quite a concert from the Amen Choir.

Mr. Becker's rejoinder to Mr. Spain is delicious.

Anyone recall how I and others who DARED to approach the podium and speak up were always branded as 'negative,.. naysayers, ..against Ogden's rejuvenation,..the reason Ogden is a dying dump of a town.. backward CAVE people"??

The mayor and Filiaga were particularly vocal and most insulting in their remarks.

Now, they have the LO's actually telegraphing their strategy to the Council. And the administration (who knew it all along anyway).

It would appear from Curm's report that neither the mayor, Stephenson, Stephens, Wicks, Van Hooser or Safsten found any of the LO Choir off-key!

Tell me this, Curm...were you able to look up from your scribe duties and note whether or not the 3 cheerleaders were talking into 'dead eyes'?

Ms Wilkerson came loaded for bear, did she not? Wasn't she terribly disappointed that she didn't have to combat that awful 'rhetoric' she just KNEW would be spouted tonight?

I suppose you came closest, Curm, when you challenged Spain to educate himself!

Just where are these homes that Spain has purchased for the over-heated Arizonans? Won't these homes that will sit empty for long periods be targets of vandalism?

Couldn't these unoccupied homes look mighty appealing to crack heads looking for a place to cook up a little or a lot of meth?

I have faith, but it ain't in the Godfrey/Peterson/Geiger 'visions'.

Thanx for a most enlightening report!! YOU ARE DA MAN!!!

Keira said...

Wow! Take a look at this footnote in Curm's first link:

Ed: Note: Sue Wilkerson's real estate brokerage, Terra Venture Real Estate, is the sole contracted agent for Ogden City to sell HUD homes in Ogden. She's making a bundle by being a FOM*, which material personal financial interest she wholly neglects and fails to disclose, either in the above letter, or in her 3/20/07 council comments.

*Friend of Matt (Godfrey)


Did she disclose this to the council tonight?

These gondolists don't even have the slightest sense of ethics.

Scary.

Carl said...

Don't know who you are, Keira, but it would be a public service if you would come next week to the Council meeting and make a full disclosure about Ms. Wilkerson.

She and her other FOM's have already stated in print and over the dias that THEY will be there every week!

Curmudgeon said...

There is nothing wrong with Ms. Wilkerson having the contract for HUD homes in Ogden unless someone is alleging favoritism in its granting, which so far no one has alleged.

And I don't know if granting of HUD contracts such as her business holds is done via the City administration or HUD without city input. If the former, a respect for the concept of full disclosure I think should have impelled her to state that fact prior to her comments, as it should have impelled her to reveal up front any other business dealings or connections she might have been, or be involved in, if any such there be, with either the Mayor or the City of Ogden. Nothing necessarily wrong with having such business relationships, but if they do exist, then Ms. Wilkerson's remarks cannot be taken simply as those of a public-spirited but disinterested and therefor wholly objective Citizen, and must be considered instead as the remarks of someone who has signficant business relationships with the makers of administrative policy.

That would not [if such business relationships exist, and I don't know that they do] justify discounting her remarks, nor would it make her opinions invalid. But it would mean, were I on the Council, that I would take them as coming from someone, as they like to say back on the bayou, "who has a dog in this fight."

ham and grits said...

On the bayou, all y'all would have a gator in the swamp.

ozboy said...

Is this guy with the over heated Arizona fat cat dream just shilling for the Peterson proposal which promotes the notion that rich folks are going to buy seasonal mansions in Ogden? How coincidental they share the same vision! Maybe they can do time shares where Peterson's customers come in the winter and this other dude's come in the summer - to escape the heat.
Then we would never have the problem of empty mansions having our poor inner city kids crawling around in them

Coming to Ogden to escape the summer heat incidently seems like a pretty bizzar notion by itself.

Is the $750,000.00 shortfall from BDO because of that money being required for bond service on the mall, or is it because of lower revenue? Huge difference in implication on this.

How smart could this Mr. Spain be if he has been investing millions in a city that doesn't have a Gondola? How tuned in could he possibly be if those millions were being risked on the premise that there would be a Gondola to POWDER MOUNTAIN and Snow Basin. I do not recall even the most rabid Gondolista claiming the thing would go to Powder Mountain, and this guy is investing millions on it? Ah, real estate hustlers, ya just gotta love their pointed little heads and never ending, meaningless but enthusiastic bull shit!

And what can you say about Mz. Wilkerson? She occupies a prime spot at the mayor's trough, she is swilling up the slop, both thanks to Ogden's gracious tax payers, and she is defending her apparently pretty lucky position therein. Very lucky consider she got it by her total blind faith in a pale midget.

What kind of person would conduct their life on blind faith anyway?

Ah, and then we have my favorite pig at the trough! The fat guy from the gym with his hand out praising the fine works of his masters who are greasing said hand on a large scale. This is the guy who will be the reciepient of about $140,000 per month subsidy on the Rec Center. Yes, I said per month!

That is over a million bucks a year the tax payers are going to be subsidize this business to occupy our publicly owned Rec Center. The rent, in the normal business world, on a $20 million dollar building would be $200 thousand per month. The fat one and his partners are getting our $20 million buck building for $55,000 per month - if they can even pay that. No wonder he is glad he came to Ogden, no wonder he sings Godfrey's praises. Whats not to love about a little guy that gives you big bucks for free?

And please please please Dorrene, don't take him up on the free wind tunnel offer. It is a trick!!

As to the other big talking real estate dealster, I would be very interested in what Mr. Shore can tell us about what the "buzz" in Ogden is saying about the tenant situation at the Mall? He said business has committed to the mall, who are they? Are they all still a major secret except Miller?

Anonymous said...

Curmudgeon

The city did a deal last year where it bought up all the HUD homes in Ogden. Hud gave them a huge discount and credit to boot. The idea was to renovate them and sell them at a profit. Yes, Ogden Incorporated is also in the old junk house renovating and speculating business. We are a very diversified company!

This move screwed over a number of people and companies around here that were making a business out of buying - at market - HUD homes and then fixing them up and flipping them. The city cornered that market and ran them out of the game!

Mz. Wilkinson serves at the plesure of the Mayor. He can have her head on a platter at any time just as he can with all of his Marrionettes.

Southsider said...

As a long time Ogden resident looking to downsize my home (at least get rid of the yard work), I've been wondering why there haven't been any east side condos on the market for the last six months. Apparently Mr. Spain has cornered the market for out-of-towners. Maybe we should move out of town!

Curmudgeon said...

Ozboy:

To be fair, Mr. Spain did not say specifically that a gondola would go to Powder Mt. He did, as he wound up with enthusiasm, say the gondola was a key element in connecting Ogden to major outdoor recreation sites like Powder Mt. and Snow Basin. I took the Powder Mt. part to be a little real estate promoter excess mid-pitch. The Snow Basin part however.... Well, let's just say I keep, even now, running into people who think there is one gondola planned, and it will take them from downtown to Snow Basin, or from WSU to Snow Basin. I wonder where they could have gotten that idea.... From the City's website, maybe? Or the Lift Ogden-informed FAQs the Mayor had sent home with the water bills last year? Ya think?

Curmudgeon said...

Anon 12:27

Do you have a source on that? ON the HUD clearance sale? Website maybe? If so, pls post. Thanks.

Curmudgeon said...

On the BDO budget:

Mr. Schwebke has a report on the BDO revenue shortfall on the front page of the Top of Utah section in today's SE. [Have to rush off so cannot link.]

Second, the financial report was given to the Council last night by Finance Manager John Arrington, not Anderson. My bad.

jill said...

Anon-
The HUD programs are good programs for Ogden. You're up in night if you haven't seen their positive impact. I live in an older neighborhood in Ogden and have seen the positive impact the Own-in-Ogden and Home Sweet Home programs have had (instead of several renters living in homes trashing the places, we now have families owning and taking care of them). Apparently you are one of the scum slumlords who has taken advantage of Ogden's low real estate values over the past several years. I don't give a damn about flippers and realtors and speculators. Greed has destroyed our communities over the years, including Ogden. We need to invest positively in Ogden's downtown and older inner-city neighborhoods if this City is ever going to turn around (for they are the heart of the City), and the HUD programs have done that at a very low cost to taxpayers. We need families actually living in these places, thus stabilizing them. The greatest error Ogden has made over the past 30 years is zoning all of the once single-family homes and neighborhoods to multi-family. What were are planners thinking? Then again, what are they thinking today? Those zoning problems has led infinite problems the City is now grappling with and trying to overcome. And although I like the HUD programs and what they are doing for Ogden, I do wholeheartedly agree that using Sue Wilkerson as their sole agent is a mistake. I question whether she has Ogden's best interests in mind or her bank account's. Maybe a non-profit housing organization should be contracted to handle these transactions. Once again, we need to rebuild our inner city and revitalize it. An East Central study was completed a few years ago that laid things out quite nicely (http://www.fallcreekconsultants.com/documents/East%20Central%20Neighborhood-Ogden.pdf). And, no, a gondola was not part of the solution. Ogden has many planning and zoning issues facing it that could help make or break the City over the next several decades, it is unfortunate all of the talk has been centered around a gondola rather than real issues.

Curmudgeon said...

Jill:

You wrote: Ogden has many planning and zoning issues facing it that could help make or break the City over the next several decades, it is unfortunate all of the talk has been centered around a gondola rather than real issues.

Could not agree more.

If you have not done so already, may I suggest that you convey your points as you did above to the members of the Council? Perhaps briefly at public comments time at a meeting [along with a longer written statement handed to the Council at the same time]? You make I think good points and you make them well. I think the Council needs to hear from you if it has not already.

curt geiger said...

I wanted to take a minute to express my appreciation to Sue Wilkerson for her comments last night. Her home can be seen 2563 Jefferson Ave and her business at 795 24th Street both of which have Lift Ogden signs in the windows. You can find out more about her at suewilkerson.com. Her stated blind faith in the mayor’s vision is exactly what is needed. Some of you may not know, but her business, Terra Venture Real Estate is on the brink of bankruptcy now, thanks to certain people on the city council not voting for everything the mayor wants. As a result my company is considering her for an executive position. I wanted you to have a copy of the questionnaire we give our female applicants for corporate positions at our headquarters in Japan.

1. Which statement best describes your preferences?

I insist on taking things straight on.
I am willing to take a back door approach.

2. Which statement do you most agree with?

I like to stay on top of things.
I like to get to the bottom of things.

3. Which of the following adjectives describes you best?

Well-rounded
Firm
Pointed
Droopy

4. This question is about color perception. You appear not to be a natural blonde. What is your natural color? Describe. _________________________________________

5. What about downtown?

6. Are you willing to believe everything you’re told?

Send completed questionnaire to:
Descente International Corporate Recruiting
13 Ping Pong Lane
Ding Dong, Japan, RUXE2

greiner said...

well curt,
It looks like your company does not have much depth to it. does everyone in you company think that not every one is a natural blonde or do they just assume everything in all situations?

Anonymous said...

Greiner:
So you get freedom of speech; but Matt Jones doesn't!

Anonymous said...

Folks, Chief Greiner's on vacation. That ain't him. Matt Jones is on vacation as well, but of another kind.

mamasan said...

I wanna go, I wanna go! Pick me, pick me!

I have blind faith and I'm also deaf...spent too much time under the cables at Telluride.

I LOVE Japanese kimonos. Can I wear them to work?

I'm just a little droopy, but I get the point, if you get mine.

I also like rice.

dan s. said...

Just read the Sue Wilkerson letter. Talk about blind. Is she aware of the fact that Peterson has not yet submitted a proposal to either the city or the university? If she wants to see his project move forward, I'm afraid she's barking up the wrong tree. She should be telling Peterson to show us the plans that he promised a year and a half ago. While blind faith may be enough for Wilkerson, the Council cannot blindly approve a project that has not yet been proposed.

Jason W. said...

No one cannot quantify the value of that Wilkerson letter; not only was its comedic content unparalleled -- heroes or zeros! get on board the G-Train...! Amer support rally and dinner! (at $120 a head) -- but it superbly demonstrated the intelligence and savvy of the gondola freaks. I could not ask for more. Bravo!

pastor paul said...

How many televangelists can you name who pounded the pulpit for 'blind faith' while filling the evangelists' pockets?

How many of those televangelists who led a 'double' life screwing just about everyone are now defrocked?
(Come ot think of it...a mayor and a governor too)

Miz Wilkerson is slurping at the trough and her blind faith and stuffed up snout keep her from light and truth.

These choir members only sing, "Don't confuse me With Facts" and "Lead Blindly On".

Matty loves me, this I know
For Mark Johnson tells me so.

I just follow where he say
Cause I'll get a huge payday!

mercy said...

Bravo is right, Jason.

I cringed at her hubris...and how insulting and threatening to Ann Milner:

If Ann doesn't get on board the gondola car..she chooses to be a hero or a zero! And we all know that being a zero is....welll....nothing.

OgdenLover said...

Curt (if that is you),
Congratulations on figuring out how to not be anonymous any longer.

Now, for my question: Did you think your employment questionnaire was funny? It wasn't. It simply made you look like an asinine boor.

RudiZink said...

Ahem... Ogden Lover. The foregoing exchange, including various Emerald City imposters is what's known in the cyber-world as a "spoof."

Experienced web-surfers already know about that.

Keep in mind that blogging is partly about entertainment.

I hear music... said...

Fearured Songs and Artists Appearing in the Ampitheatre

Sycophant Shuffle..

Minions Mamba

Ledgerbook Limbo

Bad, Bad Scotty Brown

Mattie Godfrey, Why Yo L'il Head so Haaard?

She My woman (and her, and her, and her, but I'll Share) by Brown and Ball

Take the Money and Run...Stuart Reid

Show Me the Money! Godfrey Goons

Gimmee Land...Lotsa LAND...Tom & Chris

I Ain't Got No Money...Chrissy P.

I Can Dream, Can't I? M. Goofrey

I'll Do it MY Way!..Matt and the Egos

Brought to you by: How Do You Spell Relief??

N E W M A Y O R

Curmudgeon said...

On Ms. Wilkerson's presentation to the Council:


She did note that her leap of blind faith in the Mayor that took her to Jefferson Avenue was made without "having all the facts." In fact, her "blind faith" in Godfrey's vision, she says, is what made it possible for her to take the leap in the absence of the facts.

Blind faith may be a sufficient reason to undergo a religious epiphany. It may also serve as a practical plan of action when one's spouse arrives home, slightly tipsy with lipstick on his collar claiming a young woman unexpectedly bumped into him on a crowded bus.

It can even be the basis of a risky gamble taken by someone putting at risk his or her own money. And if it worked for her, I am glad.

But "blind faith" is no basis on which to derive public policy for a city, nor is it a basis on which to risk 35 to 50 million dollars of the public's money [not Ms. Wilkerson's], nor is it a sound basis for selling off the city's largest park and last remaining public openspace on the benchlands in hopes that, somehow, it will all pay off in the end. Especially since, as others have noted, we have yet seen no plan, no feasibility studies, no marketing studies... in fact nothing beyond Lift Ogden's second PR and Marketing Campaign [now running at a City Council meeting near you... good seats still available!] since the first one evidently did not work out as they had expected.

be generous said...

Give Sue Wilkerson a break.

She stated that she had resigned as prez of the Junior League to devote full time to promoting Godfrey's agenda which also just happens to be hers since she is the exclusive HUD agent.

Remember that the Junior League is a volunteer training organization for young women to learn about philanthropy and rules of business conduct and Roberts Rules of Order for meetings.

It is obvious that she hasn't completed the training courses or she would have become much better informed.

A long time ago, but within recent memory, the Junior League would not admit Jewish women because it was made up of the exclusive socially elite in the community and Jews were not allowed to belong. I know because my grandmother could not join. You had to be invited to join and she could never get invited.

So you see, the League has come a long way. Sue will too after she learns the facts of Godfrey's agenda.

ozboy said...

Isn't blind faith what took all those folks to Guiana a few years back and got them all drinkin that KoolAid?

Yes indeed, it seems to me that was old Jim Jones' main mantra back a few years ago - "follow me with blind faith" and "drink the pretty KoolAid, common now people drink it up, it will set you free!"

Perhaps Mz. Wilkinson missed her connections to Guiana and is now just trying to make up for lost time?

jest wonderin' said...

Mrs Senator/Po..leece Chief Greiner is in the Jr. League.

How old do you have to be before you get into the Sr League, or is that Golden Hours?

be generous said...

You are kicked out of the Junior League after a certain age which used to be in a woman's early forties.

She can then become a senior counselor or whatever their name is.

I think all of us qualify for Senior Citizen status at age 55 in some groups and 65 in others.

greiner, the whiner said...

Well now that I'm on vacation, it was just ruined by one cell phone call from Mr. Patterson, he told me that Garcia is not running for mayor, and that the mayor's plans didn't work on getting him to run. Now I guess it will be up to Brandon Stevenson to run now and try to keep Godfrey in office. Either that or I'll have to brown nose Hansen to keep my job. I guess I should have voted for the ticket quota bill.
Now what should I do? oh no!!

jest wonderin' said...

Can we believe Greiner the Whiner? Did Garcia announce that he is NOT running for mayor?He can be a good leader on the Council...just ask questions and demand those answers!

Mary Hall would be a great mayor!
What do the rest of you think?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The comments about the BDO deficit are more disturbing than the city is letting on.

First this represents ½ of this year’s projected income from BDO. This means that for the whole year in which the BDO was projected to earn $2.4 million (according to the paper), that the city’s receipts will be about $1.3 million less than the city budgeted to receive. This means that the BDO can only cover about 40% of what we have pledged these assets to cover in the way of collateral for the Rec Center.

If the BDO revenue stream is called on to cover any short fall from the Rec Center and it is only able to cover 40% of what it’s supposed to cover, them Ogden residents will be required to make up the short fall out of our general fund, in other words our taxes will go up or our services will be cut, (read the auditor’s report in our annual report on page 50 that points out that the city is financially responsible for the RDA.

Link

We could also find that the underwriters of the bonds that were issued against the Rec Center may require that the city commit other sources of income from within the city to cover their exposure if it is determined that the BDO is not providing their guaranteed coverage.

Also worth noting is that revenues last year were some $990,587 less than the year before according to the city annual report. They had a good excuse for this but they always have a good excuse.

If these new dollar amount figures are more reflective of our actual go forward anticipated receipts, should we not be readjusting our budgets to more conservatively reflect what our future revenues stream will be? This short fall will not just affect the BDO but it will also affect the city general budget as well.

What all of this means is that the administration looks to have been too optimistic in its projections as to the benefits of “tax increment financing” that it is receiving from the BDO. If this is case, then one has to ask how many of the other RDA projects are based on inflated projected returns that will ultimately fall on the residents of Ogden to pay for.

It points out the risks and potential abuses of RDA financing.

danny said...

With respect to the BDO shortfall and having to make up for the loss with general fund money:

It’s nice to know about, but what else is new?

It’s a drop in the bucket. Godfrey's entire "renaissance" is based on this sort of financing. Wait until the next recession and it all falls apart, leaving taxpayers to hold the bag.

That’s why in the last election his two cronies on the council were voted off, and Garcia was kept. The public is much more aware and smarter than you might think, and the new council has been more responsible.

It’s happened lots of places: Some flake gets in as mayor and a bunch of parasites take him for a ride, not because they think he’s Mr. Wonderful, but because they think they’ve found a fool with lots of other people’s money. Curt, Gadi, come over here, I’d like you to meet Matt Godfrey.

RudiZink said...

We've just updated the above article with this afternoon's Salt Lake Tribune story:

Garcia announces he will not run for Ogden Mayor

Once again, the gang that can't shoot straight has been firing its slime artillery in the wrong direction.

Too funny.

curt geiger said...

Folks, I made a huge mistake today. They just called me from Dingdong province where they are just opening for the day. They are flooded with applications. DO NOT SEND IN ANY MORE APPLICATIONS FOR THE EXECUTIVE OPENING.

They have already filled the position, and they told me they are getting rid of that application altogether since everyone has seen it. They said they were originally going to give the job to Sue Wilkerson, who had a perfect score, until they discovered she had not been fully candid.

Bob was able to find out the answers, so for those of you might be looking at a possible executive position with Descente in the future, here are they are:

1. B
2. B
3. B
4. Blonde
5. Same
6. Why not?

Bob will also be announcing in the near future, a new training center for potential Descente executives. We will be holding it in the Terra Venture building which we hope to buy when it comes on the market.

Curmudgeon said...

Garcia Announcement:

I notice that Councilman Garcia seems, at his announcement news conference, to have satisfied himself with declaring he will not run, and with denying, frimly but civily, the allegations made against him by two Godfrey administration appointees. No angry charges, no emotional intemperant rants, no wild allegations. A statement, and a strong but civil denial of wrongdoing. Dare we hope that the Mayor and his staff were taking notes on how these things should be done? Perhaps Mr. Brown could be shown a tape? With quiz to follow?

This was Mr. Garcia's call. For myself, I am pleased that he will continue on the Council since he seems to be one of that body who understands the importance of the Council's oversight role in a strong-mayor form of municipal government, which Ogden has. I have not agreed with all of his actions. I don't expect to agree with all of his votes in the future. But on balance, I am very glad he was re-elected the last time he ran and that he will continue to serve Ogden as a Councilman.

Anonymous said...

Danny,

What's new is the the mayor and his chorus (the Blind Faith group) have been telling the people of Ogden that the RDA financing is non-recourse to the people of Ogden.

That there is no downside to this RDA activity.

Proof is that there is downside and they will now have a hard time denying it now.

If all of the mayor's pet projects are as inflated in their financial expectations as the BDO then we all could be screwed for the next 50 years.

RudiZink said...

Good point anonymous!

In this connection we now reprise this great Dilbert cartoon.

Anonymous said...

I think that Susan Van Hooser would be the best Mayor Ogden gas seen in many years, make that at least seven. How about it Susy? Please bring some sanity to the chaos that Matt the Midget has brought to the position.

Go Neil Go said...

This is the time that we all get behind Neil Hansen and really start showing the Godfrey administration that it is time for a change in the mayors office, His way of doing things is just what the city needs and we don't need to look under ever rock to water down the process. I know that Gofrey would really like to have as many people run just to water down the votes, and then he will win like last time. So every one should you want a change, Rep. Hansen is the one to make it happen.

Little Lola said...

I'm just a girl looking for a good time...but if I'm going to be screwed for fifty years....can you even imagine it? I want to be wined, dined and kissed first.

About Susan Van Hooser? She's brand new on the Council...is only learning her job...and would not, in my little ol' me opinion...be a good mayor.

someone on here asked about Mary Hall.
Ms. Hall is attractive, and has lots of experience on the Council.

she's really smart and knows a lot about this town.

But first...Mr. Mayor and your friends.....take me out to dinner.

sharon said...

Rudi,
The Dilbert Cartoon is right on!

We all need a good laugh in the midst of this ongoing madness.

I'm pleased that Garcia is staying on the Council. His expertise is needed. His experience is invaluable.

Jesse...you conducted yourself like the gentleman you are... With honor and integrity as you dismissed those vulgar slurs against your character.

I, like Curm, have not always agreed with your decisions, but I respect you and know you have Ogden's best interests as your own.

Curmudgeon said...

More Good Ink for Ogden

This morning, the SL Trib reports that a 21 year-old WSU undergraduate student named Michael Malmrose has discovered a new star while taking part in an undergraduate research project at Weber State, directed by Asst Prof. of Physics, Stacey Palen.

Reported the Trib: The physics major in January 2004 started working with Stacy Palen, an assistant physics professor, and other students in analyzing Australian data from the Large Magellanic Cloud, a galaxy neighboring the Milky Way, to identify previously undiscovered stars. The first method used wasn't working properly, so Malmrose wrote computer programming last summer to process the data in a new way.
The program worked.


The Trib continued: What makes Palen proudest of her student is that he's an undergraduate doing graduate-level research.
"The coolest thing about it is that we're at this point now with all this new technology with data acquisitions, undergraduates can do really meaningful stuff," she said. "They can use their brains to add to the sum total of human knowledge."
Malmrose, who wants to one day become a professor and researcher, likely in the field of astrophysics, said he values the ability to do something new.
"Usually you're working on textbook problems that have been solved by everyone who has taken a physics class," he said. "With this, I got to work on a problem no one has worked on before and I got to be the first one to know the answer to the question."


Cutting edge research, being done by undergraduates at Weber State University as part of their regular studies. And Mr. Malmrose chose WSU as his undergraduate university even though there is no gondola to whisk him up to Malan's Basin on his lunch breaks. Whatever was he thinking when he enrolled?

Amidst all the flackery and real estate hucksterism promoting Ogden as the New Aspen [or Park City or whathaveyou], amid all the accolades for wind tunnel rides and wave pools not yet open as attractors of new residents, tucked in the middle of all the blather about how the world will line up for the privilege of living and playing in Ogden if only we build a flatland gondola with one end downtown, we might just occasionally remember that one of the major elements businesses looking for new locations consider is the quality of educational opportunities that will be available for the children of their key staff if they make the move. We ought not to forget that at WSU Ogden already has a substantial asset that can be, should be, not only part, but an important part, of the pitch Ogden makes to businesses and people thinking of relocating here.

At Tuesday's Council Meeting, one of the team of realtors present to sing from the Godfrey Gondola praise book reported that he was pasting up all the recent "buzz" newspaper reports on Ogden, such as the recent one in the Wall Street Journal, in his office windows, so potential clients could see what was happening in Ogden. I hope tomorrow morning the SL Trib article will be up in his window as well.

The quality of education WSU offers, illustrated nicely by today's story, is a key asset for Ogden City and our more perceptive leaders understand that. Less perceptive ones instead seem to spend their time trying to convince voters that what WSU really needs is a gondola so that students will want to go there. Got a flash for them. Students want to go there now. Very very good ones.

Congratulations to Mr. Malmrose and Professor Palen. And to WSU's administrative leaders for creating and supporting undergraduate research programs. WSU is an exciting place to learn, and to work and an important element for those looking at Ogden as a place to live and work, rather than merely a place to escape the Arizona heat now and then.

You can find the full story here.

Curmudgeon said...

Having finally struggled to the front door to get this morning's Standard Examiner, I found the same story frontpaged. The SE has the story on its free website. You can find it here.

jill said...

And Mr. Malmrose is wearing a Grift Ogden shirt to boot.
And about the gondola. What is past is prologue. I think that it is worth noting that this is not the first time in Ogden’s history that this type of “booming” by realtors, politicos, developers, businessmen, etc. that this has occurred (or gondola peddling for that matter). (Granted it has been while since this level of ridiculous fervor has been seen.) And I can guarantee you, just as the sun will rise tomorrow, that this too will pass (and hopefully w/out too much damage to Ogden’s economy, environment, and reputation).

Don’t get me wrong, Ogden does have assets worth promoting (recreational op’s, affordability, unique architecture, diverse population, a great university, fascinating history, etc.); however, let’s be real about how we approach our future and not build it on false and empty hopes.

monotreme said...

Curm:

Better yet, not one but two people pictured on the S-E's front page today are wearing anti-gondola t-shirts.

If you look closely at Mr. Malmrose's picture, you'll see he's wearing a "Grift Ogden" t-shirt.

I guess he's just another one of those Weber State "zeroes" when he could have been a "hero" if he had only gotten behind the Mayor's vision like Ms. Wilkerson.

Curmudgeon said...

Jill and Mono:

Nice catch on the tee shirt. I missed it completely.

Gee, we do draw sharp students, don't we?

[grin]

dan s. said...

Quick notice: Last night at its work session, the Planning Commission reviewed the first actual draft of the Mt. Ogden Community Plan. An updated draft of the plan will be posted on the city's web site next week, and a public hearing on the plan will be held at the PC meeting on Wednesday, April 4 (not in May as was previously announced).

I'll try to post more information about this later.

Curmudgeon said...

Dan:
Thanks. Any sense in general that it followed pretty closely the gist of the public input? Or did the Administration via Mr. Montgomery's influence manage to graft its own vision for the Mt. Ogden Community on it instead?

Anonymous said...

will someome please link the jesse poll in the standard e to the blogg so we can see what the people are thinking.

dan s. said...

Curm:

For the most part, yes, the draft plan does follow the community's input. Of special interest will be the good sections on parks and open space. I might add that the planning staff (mostly Jeff Sanders, I think) did a great job in organizing all the detailed ideas into a coherent whole.

Some improvements are still needed, though (in my opinion). One area of concern is 36th Street. The draft plan suggests widening the street, allowing WSU to expand into the residential areas between 36th and Edvalson, and relocating the golf course clubhouse to the top of 36th. I don't think there was a consensus for any of this among the residents who participated in the planning process. There was a consensus for adding sidewalks to 36th, and personally I'd like to see bike lanes if possible, but not extra lanes for vehicles. And I just don't see how the clubhouse relocation could work without creating a host of new problems such as parking conflicts with WSU and impacts to the trail system. Not to mention the tremendous cost.

A second area of concern, at least for me, is that the plan needs to incorporate the proposed transit corridor improvement on Harrison Blvd. (streetcar or bus rapid transit), with its increased frequency of service and nice boarding platforms with live display of arrival times. I was on the subcommittee that dealt with transportation issues and I repeatedly brought this up but Mr. Montgomery would always change the subject. The plan does discuss minor improvements to bus stops, but we need more than that.

I'm sure that others will also find details in the draft plan that could be improved. But they are truly details; I think the community will be happy with the broad outline of what's there.

Curmudgeon said...

Dan:

Glad to hear it. Good news. Thanks for the update.

Will be interesting to see the plan details when they are posted and to take part in the community meeting on it. Thanks again for the update and summary.

Jason W. said...

The golf course clubhouse relocation is predicated solely on the sale of the property to Wayne Peterson; based on the neighborhood's and course's existing configurations -- as well as current economics -- it makes no sense. Little Matty's got to get his tiny hands in there somewhere and it's getting to the point where it's sickening. Really. Also, what these real estate speculation clowns from Arizona fail to mention is that they bought up a bunch of single-family homes on the east bench, which they will lease for a year or two, allowing the properties to suffer moderate deterioration through neglect and renter abuse, then they sell them to each other for about $75K more than they paid. Then they'll wait one more year and sell off all the homes when the entire neighborhood catches up in value. Problem is, they'll have priced out the young families who would live there permanently, and my 'hood becomes a gentrified pile of crap, with out-of-state owners coming in during the summer and a rift of empty winter dwellings that become havens for problems and break-ins. Just another debillitating side effect of Little Matty Godfrey's glorious "vision" for Ogden.

dan s. said...

More on last night's Planning Commission work session...

After finishing their two-hour-plus discussion of the Mt. Ogden Community Plan, the commissioners discussed a couple of procedural matters.

The first of these was the problem of meetings running too late. The commissioners agreed that this was partly because they all talk too much--and they spent about half an hour discussing this fact.

Then the commissioners discussed policies and procedures for what's called "ex parte communication"--basically any discussion of commission business outside of a public meeting. With the advice of Mr. Montgomery and Assistant City Attorney Joe Linford, the commissioners agreed that essentially all ex parte communication is inappropriate. This would include discussing an agenda item with anyone--another commissioner, a city staff member, or a member of the public--before voting on that item at a public meeting. If a commissioner gets a phone call from an interested citizen about an upcoming agenda item, then Mr. Montgomery suggested cutting off the conversation by saying that if they discuss the item with the public, they then won't be allowed to vote on the item. Written communications (including emails) from the public are still encouraged, but need to be shared with the entire commission.

After the meeting I discussed this issue with my own attorney, who was previously unaware of any such stringent restrictions on planning commissioners. It would be interesting to know whether a court has ever invalidated a planning commissioner's vote merely because the commissioner discussed the matter with an interested citizen before the meeting. Of course, even if there's no such legal requirement, I suppose it's up to the commission to decide whether to adopt such a policy. I find it troubling that there is no opportunity for two-way discussion between the public and the Planning Commission. I take some consolation in the fact that the city administration (even Mr. Montgomery himself!) and developers are subject to the same restrictions (outside of meetings) as the public. But the city staff always get the last word at the meetings themselves, where members of the public are restricted to two-minute statements.

It's also important to remember that there are no such restrictions on communications between the public and City Council members. The big decisions on planning and zoning are ultimately made by the Council, after receiving the recommendation of the Planning Commission.

observer 1 said...

Jason...

I'm sorry to say that I think your predictions about these Arizona buyers is on the ball.

Renting out these homes is a sure gauarantee that SOME will deteriorate. Who gets to define blight?

Remember that the Governor has signed the ED bill...'for private development'. Is that scary enough?

Coupled with the idea of 'gentrifying' (your word) of the neighborhood AND moving the clubhouse should send shivers up all our spines.

I don't see one trustworthy person at the City Building, nor among any of the mayor's new best friends.

Are the new best friends and CP best buds too? Colussion perhaps?

sharon said...

Dan,

This is troubling.

It's true that the 'big decisions are made by the Council'...but the Council is receiving recommendations from a PC that has had only 2 minute input from the citizens.

Another thing to consider is this: MANY people do not have computers! This ruling, endorsed by Mr. Montgomery, appears on its face, to shut out the public's right to know.

Those conversations that any private citizens would have are to inform both sides...the citizen AND the PC member! The PC is there to look after the public's interests.

This is not a good way to do it.

Will your own atty, Dan, research this?

Thank you for all your insights that you willingly share with us.

RudiZink said...

The ULCT has a helpful primer on this subject, Sharon, which we link here for our readers' general information.

Indeed, the council "has the final say."

sharon said...

Thanx, Rudi...I read that link. Interesting, but didn't answer nor address the question raised by Dan.

dan s. said...

Sharon,

Given the policy discussed last night, I'd say the best way for the public to give input to the Planning Commission is through written comments, submitted to the commissioners at least a day in advance of the meeting. Admittedly, this isn't easy. Normally the agenda and staff reports are not available to the public until a couple of days before the meeting. Even if you could speed-read this material and compose your comments within 24 hours, that wouldn't leave enough time to send a snail mail to every commissioner. You could deliver your comments to the planning staff, but then all they'd do is hand copies to the commissioners as they arrive at 5:00 for the meeting--leaving no time for the commissioners to actually read your comments. So at least for those who have email, I think email is the best option--followed by a quick verbal summary in your two-minute slot at the meeting itself.

I don't think this is a matter of the public's "right to know". The public does have access to all the written materials (staff reports, etc.), that the commissioners themselves get. However, often this material isn't made available to the public until the last minute. Again, there's very little time to compose comments.

What's most troubling to me is the lack of any opportunity for two-way discussion with commissioners.

It's possible that my attorney will do a bit of research on this, but I'm not getting my hopes up for a definitive answer. It's probably not worth the trouble, since the commission almost certainly has the right to adopt such a policy even without a legal requirement to do so.

Curmudgeon said...

Dan:

I am of course, not an atty, but it would be interesting to see if the the Commission's rule is an enforceable one. [Let me say, though, straight off, that the work load commissioner's carry as unpaid volunteers would stun an ox. I'm glad they are willing to do it. I would not be. And so I sympathize with their attempts to shorten the marathon meetings.]

However, I suspect the effect of the new rule may be to lengthen the meetings, for it means in effect the only window for direct public input [not on paper] is the public comment window at meetings. With no other way to discuss something with a commissioner, more people may feel they have no option but to show up and take their two or three minutes.

The other part that concerns me is that the rule is absolutely unenforceable. The matters the commission routinely discusses are, often, matters of great public interest. So, if a commissioner bellies up to a bar some night, and hears an issue before them discussed, he or she has to recuse themselves? They have to avoid coffee shops where people at the next table may be debating an issue before them? They can't talk with their families about these matters? They are restricted from seeking information on their own about large matters coming before them? On a matter like, say, just to be hypothetical, a proposal to rezone Mt. Ogden Park and adjacent lands for residential development, they'd have to be sequestered to avoid hearing any outside comment.

I sympathize with their desire to shorten meetings. I truly do. But the rule they've adopted seems to me to be wholly unworkable as a practical matter. And if the Mayor of Ogden [any mayor] wanted to call up a PC member to discuss a pending issue, he or she can't? Pardon me, but that seems to me just plain nuts and not good governance.

dan s. said...

Curm:

Good points. I wonder whether the mayor is aware of this policy, and whether he has ever encouraged a commissioner to violate it, by bringing up commission business in the course of a conversation. And I'm troubled that in most cases, there's no way to know whether the policy is being obeyed. Although I have great respect for the moral fortitude of our nine planning commissioners, I fear that in many instances the temptation to violate the policy will simply be too great. As you say, they are presumably prohibited even from calling an expert (such as a city staff member, or an engineer or a geologist) on the phone to get input on some technical matter that bears on an upcoming decision.

Perhaps someone should formally ask the city to provide a copy of the relevant policy, in writing, so we can see what it actually is.

sharon said...

If they want to shorten the meeting time...then as they suggested among themselves FOR ANOTHER HALF HOUR...stop gabbing among themselves so much.

At the marathon meeting we all attended last year, the chair and others really did engage in some back and forth conversation with a couple attendees. They were the ones upset about the multiple dwellings and no parking. So, it IS possible, 'permissible'? for the members/chair to have some give and take to allow for points to be expanded on and understood.

I HATE to see some rule put into writing...we SHOULD be able to talk to the commissioners, as they have time, and discuss their views and how they see a problem before them. After all, they do represent our interests, don't they?

dan s. said...

Sharon,

I think the answer to your last question is negative. The planning commissioners are appointed by the mayor, not elected, so I don't think there's any presumption that they represent the interests of the citizens, except indirectly through our election of the mayor (and of the city council, which must approve the appointments).

More importantly, much of the business of the Planning Commission isn't really a matter of opinion--their job is often merely to understand the applicable ordinances and then judge whether a proposed project is in compliance with the ordinances.

They also, however, make recommendations to the Council on land use ordinances and zoning decisions. In these situations I'm not sure whom they're expected to represent, if anyone. Some commissioners might simply vote according to their personal opinions on the matter. Others, I suppose, might treat these recommendations like the more routine business and always vote yes unless they see some technical or legal problem with the proposal--even if they personally think the proposal is a bad idea.

The Council, of course, is under no obligation to accept the recommendations of the Planning Commission. I still remember the first PC and Council meetings I attended in Ogden, when the PC voted unanimously to do one thing and the Council voted unanimously to overturn the PC recommendation. In that case the PC was right and the Council was wrong, by the way. But a well-organized special interest group put a great deal of pressure on the Council, and they caved in.

monotreme said...

I agree with our Fearless Moderator, Rudi.

Hats off to Councilman Jesse Garcia. You're a true gentleman, and while we don't always agree, I know you have the best interests of the city and your constituents at heart.

Tec Jonson said...

The investor's from Arizona are certainly welcome to invest in Ogden. Taking a hundred homes off of the market is good for values temporarily. I wonder if they, too, have been recruited. The unfortunate result of the timing of their speculation is that the good people of AmerSports will be paying considerably more for their homes and the selection is now picked over. If I were from Amer I would have liked been given a head's up several months previous. Not a great welcome to Ogden to find that one of the mayor's top cheerleaders just bought up many of the homes just week's before your arrival forcing prices up on the rest of the local inventory. While Spain and Wilkerson sing the praises of Ogden and buy up the local gems, 200 recruited employees of AmerSports, who will actually live here, get left in the dust and may have to locate elsewhere. Sad deal indeed. I wonder if Spain's zeal for the mayor's plans included hijacking the mayor's best recruited company for an extra million in property value. Spain bragged that they have focused on the East Bench, exactly where Curt Geiger said Amer relocatees would be buying. I wonder if Curt encouraged Provident to wring some quick bucks out of our new residents.

OgdenLover said...

Rudi,
Thank you for posting the link to Jesse Garcia's press statement. (Second update to main post.) What a gracious gentleman!

Can you imagine what Ogden would be like if we had a Mayor of similar caliber working with Jesse as CC Chair?

mercy said...

That's exactly what we're all hoping for, Og Lover.

Anonymous said...

to Tec,

The Amer people will get to Ogden, see how expensive the houses are in the parts of town that they would want to live in and say no.

They'll move out to the West, South and North or even Ogden valley. It will be because they can't afford the houses in town.

Why, because our mayor encouraged every speculator within 1500 miles into our city before he allowed the new businesses he attracted to town to get their own people located here first.

Way to go Godfrey!

Anonymous said...

I guess people that run from the snow are called snowbirds and so people that run from the sun would probably be called sunbirds.

What ever the case, these sunbirds are not going to be supporting our downtown business for half the year so how is this going to help Ogden business?

I also don't see these sunbirds as being the types that would be riding the wind tunnel nor the surf wave.

Once again the mayor is coordinating his business development plans with out using his head.

OgdenLover said...

How many sunbirds will want to buy or rent houses on the East Bench when they find they have yellow water?

Curmudgeon said...

An awful lot of predicting goin' on.

Probably best at the moment to sit back and see what develops. Some of the Amer people have already bought east bench homes. In a short while, we'll know where most of them settled.

Have to admit, I wonder too about the effect of turning hundreds of family homes in living east bench neighborhoods into seasonally occupied houses. I wonder if there is any information about how this has worked elsewhere. Has it happened much elsewhere? I don't know.

I can see up sides and down sides. [Up sides, the properties pay taxes, but for much of the year owners are not here to use city services; not driving the roads, so traffic congestion and pollution declines; not putting kids in schools, etc. Down sides: vacant homes for extended periods, unoccupied dwellings seem to be attractors of crime. I recall Mr. Peterson explaining that purchasers of his vacation villas on the Mt. Ogden property would be nervous about leaving their properties unoccupied for months at a time, and need the security of a gated community to counter that. Well, the properties Spain is buying for second home seasonal use will be among the occupied neighborhoods we have now, not in a gated community. How will that work? These owners will not play any role in the civic life of Ogden either, and I'm not sure that's a good thing. And since these are presumably relatively upscale properties, normally occupied by upper middle class families who tend to eat out in restaurants etc. fairly often, that business would be absent for the months the houses are unoccupied. When closed for the season, the owners would be contributing nothing but property tax revenues to the city, it seems. No other purchases either [food, hardware, etc.], so no multiplier effect rolling through the local economy. And so on.]

I don't know if, on balance, looking only at the economics of the situation, it would work out well for Ogden or not. If anyone knows of any study of this sort of thing elsewhere, please post. I'll ask around if I can find some urban geographers or demographers, and post anything they point me to. Kind of an interesting question, given Mr. Spain's statement to the Council.

But absent, so far, any hard information, I'd be reluctant to make predictions at this point. Need more information.

monotreme said...

Driving by Terra Venture Real Estate's offices at 24th and Monroe this afternoon, I couldn't help but notice an illicit Soviet-red "Lift Ogden" sign in the second-floor window.

Good to know that heroes are still bravely posting their LO signs (against the hive mind's explicit orders), while us zeroes are still opposing the brain-dead flatland gondola scheme.

The Lovely Jennifer said...

I wonder if the following will explain any or some of what is happening with our (local or otherwise) administration and why there is so much Buzz in the papers and on the blogs (Dan S., you are the physicist - maybe you can shed some light)

The recent hurricanes and gasoline issues are proof of the existence of a
new chemical element. A major research institution has recently announced
the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element
has been named Governmentium. Governmentium (Gv) has one neutron, 25
assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons,
giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by
forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like
particles called peons. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert;
however, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it
comes into contact.

A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally
take less than a second to take over four days to complete. Governmentium
has a normal half-life of 4 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes
a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy
neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium's Mass will actually
increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to
become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that
Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration.
This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass. When
catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that
radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many
peons but twice as many morons.

(*author's note: the final characteristic of the catalyzation with money (e.g. CP, C&BG, etc) might explain alot about what goes on around here, methinks.)

Curm, thank you for the council meting notes and your diligence in keeping us informed.

Curmudgeon said...

TLJ:

The Governmentium piece reminds me of a wonder [and, alas, long dead now] publication called "The Journal of Irreproducible Results." The piece you posted is just the sort of thing it loved to print, dead pan straight and so howlingly funny. Thanks for the memories....

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