Saturday, May 24, 2008

Godfrey Goons Tick Off Council

When will Brandon Stephensen wake up and sniff the coffee?

By Fly On the Wall

Fascinating article in the Standard-Examiner this morning. Godfrey goons tick off the Council again, by adding language to SB294 at the last minute to assure the Mayor cannot be removed as executive director of the RDA board:
OGDEN — Some city council members are angry because they weren’t informed by the administration in advance about new legislation that gives Mayor Matthew Godfrey total executive authority over the Ogden Redevelopment Agency.
Senate Bill 294, sponsored by Sen. Curtis S. Bramble, R-Provo, became law May 5.
The last two lines of the bill contain an amendment requiring the mayor of a municipality operating under a council-mayor form of government to serve as executive director of the local RDA and exercise executive powers.
The Ogden RDA board is made up of city council members.
As usual, Godfrey denies any knowledge of the back room activities of Goon Johnson and paid lobbyist Goon Jolley.

I would have to call "Bullshit" on that one, Godfrey goons don't do anything without the knowledge and blessings of his lordship.

One more reason for the council to cut the funds to pay for a lobbyist that has only the Mayors' interests when persuing legislation.

And as usual Brandon Stephenson thinks the language was good, but he didnt like the trust issue it created.

When is Brandon going to wake up and sniff the coffee?

Update 5/24/08 10:45 a.m. MT: Kristen Moulton also provides a solid writeup in this morning's Salt Lake Tribune.

25 comments:

googleboy said...

Napoleon Complex

only 3.5 years left said...

Besides the council cutting funding to Jolley, the Mayors personal lobbyist, the council should scold Mark Johnson for attending the legislative sessions; he should be at work doing his job instead of playing politics. When he is down at the leg session his duties are not being performed at home.

I thought that the city paid membership fees to the League of Cities and Towns, and other political bodies to do their dirty work at the legislature.

Godfrey is out of control, and is very blatant about it, he needs to be censured, and taken down a notch or two by the council.

city employee said...

In addition to the Napoleon complex that the Mayor suffers from, he is decietful, vindictive, and arrogant. His only concerns are that of his personl agenda. He does'nt care who he setps on, to further his ambitions.

There is onle his way or no way in his mind. He would rather see the safety of the citizens suffer than to pony up and take care of the business that City government is supposed to be providing for the taxpayers.

Curmudgeon said...

It will be interesting to see if, and how, the SE editorial board responds to the latest example of duplicity and unethical conduct on the part of the man it endorsed for re-election. An editorial apology to the voters of Ogden city would not be a bad way to begin.

The claim by the Mayor that this didn't violate his agreement with the Council regarding joint responsibility for Ogden city's lobbyist's activities because it didn't rise to the level of being a "major" matter, is ludicrous on its face and cannot be taken seriously by reasonable people. As is his laughable claim that the main import of the change is to prevent the Council from becoming too powerful.

On this, Godfrey is no more to be believed than Rep. Steve Urquhart, R-St. George, who sponsored the stealth amendment and slipped in at the last moment without debate, committee examination, or I imagine the knowledge of most of the members of the legislature, when he insists that "he didn't expect it to be controversial." Sure. It was so uncontroversial, that he had to smuggle it into a bill, undercover at the last moment so no one would notice what he was doing. In that bit of legislative deceit he had, of course, the willing assistance of Sen. Bramble.

Need I bother to note that both are Republicans? And that both will, I am sure, run for re-election touting their high ethical standards. 'Tis enough to gag a maggot.

Zeroing out the budget for the Mayor's pet lobbyist is something that needs to be done. That should now be beyond question. No more agreements about joint responsibility will do, since it is plain now that the Mayor's word is no good. Even in writing.

Generally speaking, politicians whose word is no good, once it becomes known that it's no good, have a harder time conducting their offices, not an easier one. We shall see.

I noticed neither of the papers got a response from our two new council members. It will be interesting to see what they have to say on this matter, since they have now had their first up close and personal example of Administrative dishonesty. The learning process has [I hope] begun.

Bill C. said...

Duh, Curm, why don't you just break down and acknowlege that he truely is lying little matty, and it's not name calling. It's a very accurate discription of the pinnoccio clone with the malfunctioning forehead devining device.

Jason W. said...

Somewhat surprisingly, given his Judge Byron "Whizzer" White-esque penchant for fairness, it's Good Old (?) Curmudgeon with the day's most cogent insight: What, pray does the Gondola-Examiner's Editorial Board think of Lying Little Matty's latest escapade into Nixonian nonsense, and, for Christ's Own Sake, why did they endorse him and his Gargantuan -- in direct inverse proportion to his teeny-weeny self -- Divining Rod Forehead when the board's members bore witness to this kind of bull shit for eight years? That's what so infuriating about the Gondola-Examiner and (list numerous, gratuitous, ad-hominem invectives) its Editorial Page Editor who sold out his public responsibility: they are the fourth estate, entrusted to expose the nefarious dealings of the Godless Godfreyites and editorialize against such behavior, not rationalize that bringing about 200 aholes who work for "ski industries" to town to go about campaigning for the theft of our public assets to finance one-eighth the cost of a childish pipedream, featuring sewerless castles, shit orbs, THE GONDOLA TO NOWHERE, magical dwarves and, of course, onions. Have they or will they ever take a curious, newspaperman-like look at anything that emanates from the Forehead of Lying Little Matty and pertaining to his quest to remake OTown into a Mormon-friendly amusement park? Who knows. But, according to a brave soldier in Wayne Peterson's Famed Squirrel Patrol, whose antics are reminiscent of one Senator McCarthy, the Gondola-Examiner -- because it actually covered in a news sense the shenanigans of Lying Little Matty and his Geigerian cadre of fools and kissasses -- capitulated to the Squirrel Patrol and started giving him favorable NEWS coverage prior to the election because they were actually doing their job, i.e., writing about the five-foot-five farce that is Lying Little Matty Gondola Godfrey. Then they endorsed the weiner. And they play nicey-nice and accomodate the threats and maliciousness of pikers like the Geigers. But there is a bird, a bird that sings the song of hope, only in Ogden.

THE SKI IS BEAUTIFUL BLUE

Anonymous said...

Potty-mouth post removed by blog administrator

Bill C. said...

In some monasteries and chapels Gregorian chants fill the air. On the 9th floor it's geigarian wailing and drivel.

Curmudgeon said...

Jason:

You wrote: Somewhat surprisingly, given his Judge Byron "Whizzer" White-esque penchant for fairness, it's Good Old (?) Curmudgeon with the day's most cogent insight.

Thanks, but let me point out again that attempting fairness is in no way inconstant with either cogency or with calling a spade a spade. Never has been.

danny said...

Godfrey knows -

Why not be a lying, self-serving, self-dealing cheat when there is no price to be paid?

Godfrey continues to be funded for all his cronies, lobbyists, pet projects, for his propaganda Channel 17, and for his political hit men like Harmer, Patterson, and personal lobbyist Jolley by the city council.

His is lauded by the paper.

He is a member in the best of standing in his church, the LDS church.

His bank accounts are padded with campaign cash paid by people to whom they admit he steered millions in business - in any other state it would be called kickbacks. And nothing happens.

It sounds to me like he's doing exactly what the paper, the church, the people and the council want him to do, since he gets what he wants.

Watch the council, after they whine in the paper, vote for his ice tower financial black hole with no documentation and nothing but another room full of his lies floating in the air.

There have always been bad people like Godfrey. Where are the good people who say, "Enough."

Curmudgeon said...

Just re-reading the two stories and I think I noticed a difference in them. In the SE story, Godfrey's denial that he had anything to do with it is printed and comment suggesting otherwise comes only from those angered by what happened --- e.g. Councilman Garcia for example. In the SLT story, the implication that the expansion of his power was done at the Mayor's behest. E.G. it quotes Mr. Johnson, who is not a critic of Hizzonah, saying Mayor Godfrey wanted this particular change made, and noting that he'd been crusading for the council to expand his power as RDA exec for years, and the Council had not complied.

Am I reading too much into the SLT story, or is there in fact a clear difference between the accounts in the different papers?

Monotreme said...

Curm:

That was my reading, as well.

Also significant in the SLTrib story was Stephenson being described as "a Godfrey ally", an apt and accurate description but one you won't find in the S-E.

I did think it significant that Stephenson was willing to say something even slightly negative about the underhanded deal that was done.

I agree that Council should find all legal means to punish this misdeed, starting with zeroing the budget for the lobbyist but perhaps also scrutinizing the budget for the RDA in general.

make things happen said...

Why doesn't the council just back Godfrey salary down to a $1.00 a month and then lets see him stay in the mayors office until the legislature gives him a raise. This would be a neat thing to see happen.

lies lies and more lies said...

I agree with Curm, the council needs to find a way to remind the Mayor to get along with the council.

Last week he was bragging about Kumbaya the whole time he knew that he had stabbed them in the back.

He has no integrity, and can not be trusted.

The council should consider slashing the Mayors budget, and eliminate the funding for the Mayors personal lobbyist to start .

Curmudgeon said...

Make:

The Mayor's pay cannot, I think, be cut from the level it was at his election. Nor should it be. Resolving disputes by cutting pay mid-term of officeholders is not good public policy and it probably isn't legally possible in any case.

A better way to go would be to target abuses of executive power specifically. Mayor Godfrey's reneging on his agreement with the Council regarding the lobbyist's activities, for example, clearly justifies either eliminating compensation for the lobbyist, or moving the lobbyist's pay to the Council's budget, rather than the Mayor's. Making the lobbyist Council staff, in effect.

And perhaps the Council should as well look at revising the RDA ordinances to restrict the ExDir's ability to make commitments without prior RDA [Council] approval. The extent of the Mayor's ability to do that now seems to be unclear. The check on his abusing that power was always the possibility that he might be removed as ExDir of the RDA. His Republican co-conspirators have removed that legislative check on abuse of his executive authority, and so the Council might build in some new checks via a revised RDA ordinance.

In Utah, the Mayor/Council form of government provides for an inherently very strong Mayor and relatively weak Council. Which is what makes Hizzonah's claim that the legislators [or at least his co-ethics-challenged Republican NeoCon crony, Sen. Bramble] acted to prevent the Council's grabbing "all" the power ludicrous.

Southsider said...

Less then two months ago the SE editorial pointed out the need for the mayor and council to work together.

The Standard-Examiner Experiences a True Rodney King Moment

What will they say now?

Curmudgeon said...

Southsider:

And the SE did criticize the Mayor for the Bootjack matter, in which his administration refused to tell the Council who it wanted to sell downtown RDA land to. As a result of that, the council unanimously voted to change RDA rules so he could not do that again. Unanimously. Mr. Stephenson, the most consistent supporter of the Godfrey administration on the Council voting "aye" as well, and criticizing the administration for its arrogant lack of respect for the Council.

It seems Mr. Stephenson is not pleased with the Mayor's duplicitous arrogance this time either. I will be interested to see how Mr. Johnson, who it appears was elected with financial support from the Godfrey machine, will react to all this. The point is, even supporters of the Administration are elected public officials, and however much they may share the Mayor's vision [such as it is], they too are likely to react badly when the administration makes its contempt and lack of respect for the Council obvious, as it now has done yet again. Any member of the Council who takes his or her election, office and responsibilities seriously, cannot help but be insulted when they and the office to which they were elected are treated with arrogant contempt.

Seems to me, they mayor's breaking his agreement with the Council regarding joint involvement in the the city's lobbyist projects is likely, in the long run, to create some serious problems for Hizzonah on the Council. He has certainly made it much more difficult for his allies there to recommend cooperation. The question will now arise, repeatedly, every time the Administration wants to arrange an agreement with the Council on some contested matter: "But how can we trust him? His word's no good. We had an agreement with him regarding the city lobbyist and he flat ignored it."

I imagine Mr. Stephenson... and I hope Mr. Johnson... are asking themselves that very question. And will keep on asking it.

These matters involve the Mayor's ethical conduct [politely so-called]. But there is more. Serious questions about his business judgment seem to be looming larger every day. We had the Mayor's guarantee that the City would not be on the hook for the Rec Center construction bonds, but the city is now making payments on those bonds because of "construction delays and changes" we are told. The eyesore of Lesham City continues unchanged, and the Mayor has confessed that, even after he had the city act [secretely] as Mr. Lesham's purchasing agent to scoop up options on those and other properties, he cannot get Mr. Lesham to do anything about his deteriorating properties in the Lesham City neighborhood.

The River Project was to be a major boon to Ogden city's revival. We are now over five years into it. And it seems to be stalled. One, count 'em, one business has opened in the River Project Area. One. The Pave To The Bank Line Bingham Bikelery, Bakery and Bistro. One. [Another restaurant would have opened by now, but the Administration threw so many obstacles in the owner's path that he is now selling out]. At this rate, five years from now, we can hope to have two businesses open. It's a Renaissance!

The much-touted indoor water park seems to be stalled, as is the much ballyhooed Five Star Gondola View Hotel, allegedly because the city misplaced 275 parking spaces it had promised to lease to the hotel builder... which builder, by the way, can't pay his bills on a similar project in Provo I think it was, and who has suspended construction there, with most of the plan condos unsold.

The purpose of the Council in the Utah Mayor/Council form of government is largely to check excesses and unwise actions by a powerful executive... however annoying or inconvenient that executive finds that. Let us hope the Council members... all of them... keep that role firmly in mind, along with the fact that the Mayor's work to them is no good, and the fact that he has contempt for them and the offices they hold, as they continue their work.

blcc said...

Let's all just vote for Ed Allen. The we won't need a lobbyist and Godfrey will be able to sneak in anything under the wire that he wishes.

hmmm said...

Interesting to see the votes on the bill in the senate and house.
All senators voted yea, with the exception of one nay.

In the House, Hansen and Shurtliff voted nay.

On the inside said...

Curmudgeon,

You said, “These matters involve the Mayor's ethical conduct [politely so-called].” I wonder what happened to Councilwoman Jeske’s efforts for the Council to adopt a code of ethics? This latest action of the Mayor definitely proves that one is desperately needed. You also stated, “But there is more. Serious questions about his business judgment seem to be looming larger every day. We had the Mayor's guarantee that the City would not be on the hook for the Rec Center construction bonds, but the city is now making payments on those bonds because of "construction delays and changes" we are told.” Mr. Arrington told the Council that the payment on the bonds is about $1.5 million, and that a similar payment will probably have to made next year! In spite of the few businesses that Godfrey claims to have brought to Ogden, he has cost the Ogden taxpayers a lot! There is the $6 million lawsuit that Woodbury, plus hundreds of thousands of dollars of interest, filed because Godfrey was too proud and cocky to talk to them, but told them to talk to his attorney. Isn’t that some attitude for a mayor?! Among gaining some ethics and integrity, he needs to grow up!

You know that the taxpayers will end up paying the maintenance and most of the construction costs for the ice tower. He hasn’t shown the Council a business plan for it nor the contract with Jeff Lowe! Another lie!! Let’s hope the Council recalls all the times he’s lied to them and made promises that he hasn’t kept! GODFREY IS NOT TRUSTWORTHY!! It makes one wonder how the Council can work with him!

You also wrote, “Am I reading too much into the SLT story, or is there in fact a clear difference between the accounts in the different papers? It quotes Mr. Johnson, who is not a critic of Hizzonah, saying Mayor Godfrey wanted this particular change made, and noting that he'd been crusading for the council to expand his power as RDA exec for years, and the Council had not complied.” I guess Johnson received his information by meeting privately with the Mayor. During the last two or so years, Godfrey has NOT asked the Council/Board to give him more power as the RDA executive director. He presented a contract to the Council/Board after Stephenson was elected that gave him more power and authority than other RDA executive directors had. But with his Napoleonic syndrome, he has to have total control!

Monotreme, your are so right when you say, “I agree that Council should find all legal means to punish this misdeed, starting with zeroing the budget for the lobbyist but perhaps also scrutinizing the budget for the RDA in general.” I wholeheartedly agree with you that the Council must strip Godfrey’s budget to the bare bones! I understand that that is the only way the Council can deal with this power-hungry pint-sized, immature imitation of a man.

Curmudgeon, You told “Make It Happen” that the Mayor’s salary couldn’t be cut. I thought that you might be interested to know that when he was first elected, he went to “Payroll” and told them that his starting salary was the same as Mayor Mecham’s after 8 years as mayor. He was supposed to start at a much lower salary than he did, but the Council did not discover his greed until he was in office a year.

Curmudgeon, I love your comment: “It will be interesting to see if, and how, the SE editorial board responds to the latest example of duplicity and unethical conduct on the part of the man it endorsed for re-election. An editorial apology to the voters of Ogden city would not be a bad way to begin. The claim by the Mayor that this didn't violate his agreement with the Council regarding joint responsibility for Ogden city's lobbyist's activities because it didn't rise to the level of being a ‘major’ matter, is ludicrous on its face and cannot be taken seriously by reasonable people. As is his laughable claim that the main import of the change is to prevent the Council from becoming too powerful.” He knows he was wrong, and he he can’t come up with a decent justification for his deceitful and underhanded action. Let’s hope the Council lets him know that his behavior is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated.

Curmudgeon said...

On the Inside:

We're in general agreement. Three points.

(a) You wrote: "He hasn’t shown the Council a business plan for it nor the contract with Jeff Lowe! " At a recent work session, one of our new council members asked the Mayor had seen a business plan for the ice tower, noting she had not seen one yet. He said he had, and agreed that he would provide the Councilwoman with it. What, if anything, has happened since then --- the work session occurred a month ago --- I don't know. A polite query to the councilwoman might be in order.

When a city council is working with a mayor whose word is good, and who can be relied on to conscientiously do what he [or she] has agreed to do --- and that is the kind of working relationship all city residents deserve in their governing bodies --- following up on a Mayor's promises would not be necessary. Sadly, in Ogden's case, the council members must follow up. The council's agenda is so crowded, they are responsible for so many things, an the time requirements of their jobs are so demanding most of the time [if they are serious about doing their jobs well], that it is an occasionally effective tactic on the administration's part to reply to a question at a work session by promising to do something or provide some information, expecting that the promise will be lost in the press of business down the line. One way to counter this tendency, is for citizens to, politely, inquire of their council members what ever happened to the promised business plan for the ice tower, etc?

(b) You wrote: I thought that you might be interested to know that when he was first elected, he went to “Payroll” and told them that his starting salary was the same as Mayor Mecham’s after 8 years as mayor. He was supposed to start at a much lower salary than he did, but the Council did not discover his greed until he was in office a year.

I was not in Ogden then, and have no direct knowledge of what happened at the time. But if it went down as you say, it's the council's screw up. They do the budget every year. I find it hard to believe the council was unaware of what the Mayor was being paid. If they were ignorant of that, seems to me there's a good chance it was a willful ignorance. As for cutting the Mayor's pay, which I think would not be a good idea [vindictive legislation rarely is], I don't think that's possible mid-term. It might be possible for the Council in advance of the next election to lower pay for the next mayoral term, but not for this one. I do know there was at least one under-the-table handshake deal between the Mayor and one of his appointees regarding separation pay, of which the Council was neither informed nor aware, and that the Council promptly changed the ordinances governing compensation/separation pay when it learned of them. But those monies would not have appeared on the budget reports until after the employee left and got his separation bonus. That's not true of the Mayor's pay, of which I think the Council had to be aware from the git-go. Or should have been.

(c)You wrote: I wholeheartedly agree with you that the Council must strip Godfrey’s budget to the bare bones! On this, we disagree. Godfrey is the duly elected Mayor of Ogden, and as such, is the CEO of the City. That position requires that he have considerable executive authority over the expenditure of public funds. [Not unchecked authority,but considerable authority.] Launching a fiscal nuclear strike on that authority would not serve Ogden well. Tightening legislative [Council] oversight over his use of that power would serve Ogden well, as would removing from his budget powers authority he has abused... such as his turning Ogden's legislative lobbyist into his pet Secret Agent... his kind of private Maxwell Smart/James Bond wannabe, reporting to no one but him or his henchmen, and deceiving the Council about his actions. "You abuse a budget line, you lose it" would be the standard to establish. Broadly stripping his fiscal authority would not. He his mayor. He [with council oversight] has to run the city. Crippling his authority to do that would not serve Ogden well. Reigning it in in those instances when he abuses that authority would.

On the inside said...

Curmudgeon,

You make a very good point about residents reminding council members about information that they have requested. Just one correction: It was Councilwoman Jeske who asked the Mayor for the business plan and a copy of the contract with Jeff owe during the work meeting that the Mayor attended. It was at a later work meeting that Councilwoman Gochnour reminded the administration that the Council had not seen those two documents.

In your second point, I was not suggesting that his salary be cut, but was providing you information that a councilmember who was serving on the council when Godfrey took office, supplied to me. You wrote: “But if it went down as you say, it's the council's screw up. They do the budget every year. I find it hard to believe the council was unaware of what the Mayor was being paid. If they were ignorant of that, seems to me there's a good chance it was a willful ignorance.” I can see how the Mayor managed it. The Council did approve the budget with the Mayor’s salary being set at the entry level. As was explained to me, they were not aware that the Mayor had gone to the payroll department and instructed them to pay him at the same salary as Glenn Mecham was receiving when he left office. (We know that Godfrey is very good at finding the money he wants for his projects without going through approved channels.) They had had no previous dealings with him, or anyone as devious and underhanded as he is, so had no reason to watch his actions. You are totally off base in your assumption and remarks.

In your third point, I was addressing Monotreme and his posting about cutting the Mayor’s budget. I suggested cutting it “TO THE BARE BONES.” That action would make him more responsible and prudent with taxpayer monies. An attribute which he definitely needs to acquire! The only tool the Council has to censor the Mayor to administer the City’s programs and needs is the budget. They are the checks and balances, but when he operates in secret behind their backs, they don’t have the opportunity to discuss things before he does things and embarrasses them. Controlling the budget is the only weapon that they have.

You seem to misinterpret people's comments in order to pick their comments apart, and take the attention away from the points that someone is trying to make.

Curmudgeon said...

On the Inside:

You wrote: It was Councilwoman Jeske who asked the Mayor for the business plan and a copy of the contract with Jeff owe during the work meeting that the Mayor attended. It was at a later work meeting that Councilwoman Gochnour reminded the administration that the Council had not seen those two documents.

Thanks. I didn't know that the request I heard at the work session was the second request from a Council member to see the business plan. Appreciate the information.

On the Mayor's pay: Again, I have no direct knowledge of this, not being an Ogden resident at the time, but in my experience, most elected officials' pay is set at a fixed amount. They don't get, as a rule, merit raises or longevity raises. Ogden may be different in that regard. I don't know. In any case, if the Mayor's pay was set in the budget at a certain amount, Hizzonah had no, repeat no, authority to order payroll or anyone else to increase it. If the Council permitted his arbitrarily raising his pay outside the amount set in the budget when they found out about it, then, I'm afraid, the Council concurred in his action by their inaction. And they may have. He had, as I recall, a very compliant council his first few years in office. If they agreed to let him get away with it, then they in effect approved of what he did by their inaction. So I don't think I was "totally off base" in my remarks. We'll have to agree to disagree on this one I'm afraid.

As for cutting his pay mid-term, others here have suggested it, and it seemed you were suggesting something similar. Sorry if I misread your intent on that point.

And we are going to have to disagree about "cutting the budget to the bare bones" as an effective tactic. You are right that budget approval is the Council's most important tool for reining in a runaway executive. And you are also right that the Council has not exercised that power as fully and as often as it should have over the past eight years. We could probably both cite several examples in addition to those already mentioned. But I think cutting the executive budget "the the bare bones" would not be an effective tactic, while removing budget lines he abuses would be. That's all.

As for this: You seem to misinterpret people's comments in order to pick their comments apart, and take the attention away from the points that someone is trying to make.

Nonsense. I occasionally read something into a post that the poster did not intend, as apparently I did with one of your points above. [People occasionally mis-read my posts, too, which usually happens when I haven't been as clear making a point as I should have been.] When I do misread a post, I'm happy to be corrected, and apologize for the misreading.

However, beyond the misreading you pointed out above regarding a mid-term pay cut, I don't think I mis-read or misinterpreted anything. I disagreed with your conclusions and recommendations in a couple of places, and said so. As I noted when we started this conversation, you and I are in substantial agreement in re: Hizzonah and his unhappily very weak grasp of what ethical conduct requires of an elected official. We disagree, some [but not much] on how best to deal with that problem. None of that disagreement involved my deliberately misreading anything you posted in order to "take away from" the points you were making. What it did involve was pointing out where we disagree, and why I [on those particular points] I think differently. That's all.

Bill C. said...

Curm, what's so wrong with cutting his disretionary spending? You recall Amy's request for City expenditures on the gondola to nowhere? Never answered. It may also be wise to directly inquire the same regarding the silly artificial icecicle. Someone has paid Salerno for his drawings, the ones with the nice 3 sided pyramid on top. The City bought the property from Key Bank, I believe.
And while it's on my mind, recall how lying little matty didn't even know the number of police on the force last year? They were fifteen short and he inflated that number by fifteen for a total of thiry more than the actual number. Well as gang season picks up does anyone have an accurate number?
And one more question I have to ask. Do those 375 parking stalls all have to be in the same location or can they be scattered around within a 2 block radius?

Curmudgeon said...

Bill:

Nothing's wrong with restraining his discretionary spending. I've been suggesting that with respect to his abusing that spending since the council years ago told him the city did not have the money to spend on expensive roll-away seating for the amphitheater when he asked for funds to buy them, and he went ahead an bought them anyway. That was a mayor whose discretionary funds budget was way too high. The council did nothing.

Ditto his spending on his pet TV station, which he made sure was available only for his own political purposes, and not for those who opposed him. [Example: his going on Channel 17 to oppose a school bonding issue, and refusing to allow proponents of the bonding to appear on what was laughingly called "Ogden's Community Channel." ]
Again, for years, the council did nothing.

And now the lobbyist. He's abused that trust as well, his word to the Council on joint responsibility for what the lobbyist would work on turned out to be no good. The Council should either zero out funding for the lobbyist altogether, or if they think the position valuable to the city, they should shift the funding for the position to the Council's budget, making the lobbyist part of the Council's staff. Based on past performance, the Council will do neither.

But cutting the Mayor's budget to a bare-bones level would not be a good idea. Again, he is the duly elected mayor, and that office requires sufficient funds for him to carry out his responsibilities. When he abuses the public trust [as he did with the amphitheater seats and the TV station's use and now the lobbyist matter] funds for those purposes should be cut or moved beyond his control. I've been arguing that for a long time.

But it would be wrong and bad for the city to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and so cripple the mayor's funds that it became difficult for him to carry out his functions as Mayor. And he is Mayor, Bill, however much you or I or anyone else may not like it. He was elected, by the people. That's a fact and not an unimportant one.

What he seems not to understand is that the members of the Council are much elected officials, and expressive of the public will as he is. Hence his lack of respect, bordering on contempt, for the Council, its members, and its responsibilities.

As for "the icicle," I thought Key bank donated that bit of its property, but I could be wrong. As for the drawings, who knows if they were paid for, and if so by who, or if the labor and talent to make them were donated. I have no idea. I don't think it matters much.

But have to tell you, if it turns out the mayor's office used some public funds [relatively limited amount] in pursuit of a project he believes would be wise addition to the city, I don't have a problem with that. Promoting projects that are in his view, doing the initial PR spadework for them, is well within his responsibilities as Mayor. The fact that you and I may think a particular project a very bad idea doesn't change that.

Now that can, I agree, get out of hand. It did on the gondola/gondola/golf course sale scheme. And he knows it, which is why he has not, to this day, answered Councilwoman Wicks' question regarding what the city spent to promote it. Which is why he tried to get UTA to front for him for hiring a consultant to flack the project.

But I really couldn't criticize him for, say, paying for an architect's rendering of the ice project he is trying to sell to the Council and the public. You can question his judgment in doing that, I think. Fair enough. So do I. But I don't think he's overstepping his authority as Mayor.

Some of the complaints about him involving small amounts and the use of his staff's time on promotion of projects he thinks important seem to me attempts to undo the results of the recent election. Can't do that, Bill. The voters made him mayor again. And certain powers and funds at his disposal properly came with that election.

As for the number of vacancies on the police force last year.... Bill, it really doesn't matter much any more. That was pre-election. After that gaffe, which wasn't much of one, and gave rise to a lot of "gotcha!' politicking, which I don't much like anyway, he was re-elected.

Election's over, Bill. Godfrey won. We know [we have evidence in his behavior] that he does not understand, or does not give a damn about, the ethical conduct we have a right to expect in public figures, and so we know he must be watched carefully and constantly. We know his business judgment is, at best, mixed, and so his proposals must be vetted carefully. We know from his actions on the water projects and the gondola and park sale plans that he prefers to act first, and think later, that he storms ahead when he gets excited, without fear and without research, and so the Council must step up to make sure city policy is well researched first, and examined thoroughly before adoption --- as it did on the Water Horizons plan.

But he is mayor. We, the people, elected him.

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