Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Down the Drain: Spotlight on a Standard-Examiner Three-part Series

The Standard-Examiner digs in on the topic of water infrastructure rehab

We'd like to put the focus this morning on a three-part Scott Schwebke article series now running in the Standard-Examiner. As most regular readers should be aware, Ogden City is now in the process of launching a comprehensive $52 million water system rehabiliation project, designed to correct water infrastructure problems our readers have been griping about for years.

Yesterday's article, "Ogden's water rehabilitation", is a fine piece of Ace Reporter Schwebke work. It provides a thorough overview of the existing problems with our dilapidated water infrastructure, along with a robust summary of the funding and fixes which are part of the city council-sponsored game plan.

Today's article, "Ogden residents eager for better water pressure," deals with the problems which are particular to citizens of Ogden's east bench.

We're pressed for time this morning, so we'll forego a lengthy analysis. There is however a segment of text from yesterday's article upon which we'd like to put the spotlight:

Jesse Garcia said that during his 15 years on the city council, no city administration has ever presented a comprehensive financial plan for addressing the most serious infrastructure needs.
About a year ago, the council decided to launch its own public input process, dubbed Water Horizons, which led to the rate study and ultimately funding for improvements, Garcia said.
“It was time to tackle this monster because if we didn’t do it now, the price tag would get bigger,” he said.
A Weber County Forum Tip O' the Hat to the Ogden City Council for finally getting the ball rolling on this. While the Godfrey administration sat on its thumbs, the council commissioned a study, held public hearings and forcefully brought this project to fruition.

And there's a lesson for the city council in this, we think. Rather than sit back and wait for admininstration proposals, as our council has done in the past, the council has demonstrated that it has the power and the collective will to manage its own agenda, and find solutions to pressing Emerald City problems -- even when the administration is dragging its feet.

This bodes well for the future of other long overdue public projects, we think -- such as public transit.

And what say our gentle readers about this?


Curmudgeon said...

Rudi, did you notice that, the Council finally having put money in the budget to get the facts, and launch a procedure to prioritize the needed changes, float bonds and pay for them with an altered water rate table, and provide as well for substantial public comment and input before the key decisions were made, the Mayor immediately insisted that his Administration's failure to address the water problems were the Council's fault, and besides, he had the idea first anyway?

He's going to have a hard time establishing his claim. We all know what happens when the Mayor thinks something is really imporant and makes it a priority of his. Like the gondola scheme. What happens is he holds after hours by invitation only meetings for groups of citizens... many such meetings... at which he pitches his idea and urges attendees to press their council members to go along. And he encourages citizens groups to form, like "Lift Ogden" to hold rallies and bring in speakers to push the idea even further. And he arranges staged "interviews" of supporters of the plan to run... and run... and run... on his personal [city-owned] TV station. That's what happens when he gets serious about a major project.

Anybody remember by invitation only meetings for citizens at which the Mayor urged support for bonds to fix the water problems? Anybody remember the Mayor's encouraging a group --- maybe called "Flush Ogden!" [sorry... couldn't resist] --- to bring in speakers and harass helpless families at the summer family films at the amphitheater about the need for new sewers? Or to hold noisy rallies outside the Council chambers demanding water bonds? Anyone recall a Geiger interview touting the need for immediate action on the water system, running over and over and over on Channel 17 for week after week?

No? Neither do I. Imagine that....

Jason W. said...

Good Old (?) Curmudgeon:

Flush Ogden YES! is the preferred nomenclature.


Monotreme said...


Let me be the first to say it. You're either a naysayer, or you're on the S**t Orb train. Get on the S.O.-train.

If we had funded the S.O. system, then we wouldn't need money for sewer upgrades, would we? Maybe that's what the Mayor is thinking about when he says he budgeted for water and sewer upgrades in previous years. Bottled Dasani going uphill, orbs coming down.

In the immortal words of Sue Wilkerson herself (only slightly altered here):

Be prepared to flush - the silent majority will stay silent no more. You all have a choice in your tenure - to be heroes or zeros. To be supportive of the biggest positive change since the 1800's is the path for heroes... to be closed-minded and opposed to positive change is the path for zeros. I will leave it to you to decide which direction you're headed. For the sake of the future of Ogden, I encourage you to get on board the SO-Train.

Curmudgeon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Monotreme said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
RudiZink said...

Administrator's Note: The two above comments were moved to today's new front page article.

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