Friday, May 09, 2008

Golf Course Update: Boss Godfrey Tips His Big-spending Hand

Big Spender Godfrey opts for $8 million mediocrity

We've had a busy calender today, but we didn't want the day to slip by completely, without putting the spotlight on one interesting story appearing in this morning's Standard-Examiner. Specifically, Ace Reporter Schwebke reports in this morning's edition that Boss Godfrey has finally played his hand, in connection with his proposed "four options" set forth in February, concerning his "vision" for the future of the Mt. Ogden Golf Course. From this morning's story:
OGDEN — Mount Ogden Golf Course must be completely redesigned or significantly modified to make it more playable and ultimately profitable, a city official said Thursday night.
“We’ve got to make changes that are drastic enough so that it really is a new, fresh product,” Todd Brenkman, the city’s golf course division manager, told the city council during a work session. [...].
Brenkman said he has consulted several experts who have concurred “hands down” that Mount Ogden Golf Course should undergo a complete redesign estimated to cost $6 million to $8 million to become profitable.
We don't know what Brenkman's true sentiments are with respect to the future of the MOGC, but it certainly comes as no surprise that he's become Godfrey's designated "point man" in the first publicly revealed step toward dropping another $6-8 million into another Godfreyesque scheme. As golf course division manager, Brenkman occupies a postion equivalent to an Ogden City department head. And we've all seen what happens to Ogden City department heads when they demonstrate the temerity to differ in their opinions with their can-do and visionary Boss Godfrey.

And what say our gentle readers about this? Are there any amongst our readership who may have knowledge of Mr. Brenkman's privately-expressed opinions regarding this matter? Bill C.? Jason W.? Anyone else who regularly plays the course? We don't want to get the poor guy in trouble; but it seems to us that Mr. Brenkman, of all people, would have at least some natural appreciation for the concept of "tightening up" operations, and aggressively promoting the unique qualities of Ogden's most challenging course first, before recommending the kind of drastic action which would turn MOGC into a foothill equivalent of El Monte. And wasn't a tidying up of MOGC operations the cornerstone of Godfrey's "new business plan," which was announced only last week?

We'll add that somehow we still have the uneasy feeling that Godfrey's idea of "high adventure" is something more sensible folks would label "mediocrity."

Don't let the cat get your tongues.


Ogden Resident said...

Does anyone know Mr.Brenkman's credentials when it come to golf course management? Has he been involved in the management of golf courses his whole career or was he a management appointee by the administration?

As I recall Mr. Brenkman is the individual within the city that wrote up the business plan, all 14 pages. This report should have been generated by someone or firm outside the city as I would assume that Mr. Brenkman was already trying his best with the limited resources that he has to make the operation viable. So to speak, his hands may have been tied. An outside firm would be able to come up with suggestions from outside the box and suggestions that would be garnered from experiences with several different courses and locations not just the two in Ogden. If we want to come up with a viable solution, then we need to do this the right way. We need outside experts on golf courses to review our operating plan not the current management to determine if it's being managed properly. It might be that the management is doing everything right but we won't know until someone not affiliated with the facility reviews the operation. They can then come up with suggestions from other experiences.

According to the SE news story Mr. Brenkman consulted with several experts on what was needed at the Mt. Ogden golf course. If anyone was at the meeting I would like to know if he mentioned the names of the individuals that he consulted with, their specific credentials that qualify them to make recommendations relative to the golf course, what specific recommendations that each had to make and does Mr. Brenkman have anything in writing from these experts.

I would hope that the city council would commission an independent firm to do the analysis.


I love to golf, and I really love My Ogden Golf Course, but, I think it should be self sufficient. It really isn’t a service that is necessary to for the well being of a city, nor a service that the city should be marinating to keep its citizens safe like Police, Fire sewer, water, streets, etc.

The other thing that is interesting is that Godfrey would look to raise taxes to help a golf course, yet he won’t even talk about raising taxes to provide the necessities that a City Government is supposed to provide. All of the services the city provides has seen cut backs in service, and the employees are being paid anywhere from 20% to 40% behind market in their jobs. They are struggling to make ends meet to buy groceries, and pay house payments. Water and sewer bills have all gone up, along with gas groceries and the everyday items to raise families, yet the wages and few crumbs provided by the Godfrey administration is below market, and below cost of living.

I would surmise that he is just trying more tactics to give the course more bad publicity to justify its liquidation. I don’t think that there is really a snowball chance in hell that he will raise taxes for a golf course, unless one of his pals would benefit from it.

Someone who cares about the golf course said...

Fly on the Wall,

You hit the nail on the when you said, “I would surmise that he is just trying more tactics to give the course more bad publicity to justify its liquidation. I don’t think that there is really a snowball chance in hell that he will raise taxes for a golf course, unless one of his pals would benefit from it.”

Godfrey is playing games with the golf course. He isn’t really interested in making the golf course a good golf course that operates in the black. At the meeting last night, it was Godfrey’s words coming out of a much bigger body with the name of Brenkman.

Council members mentioned several good points that would help the golf course operate with a better bottom line. One of these is to buy more golf carts so that customers are not turned away on the weekends and golf courts do not need to rented, thereby eating up the profits. Todd said that the golf course needs to be widened so that golfers don’t lose as many golf balls. This can be done by clearing more oak brush and planting grass. The watering system needs to be replaced and an estimated cost is more than a million dollars because thousands of hours are spent each year repairing it. Councilman Garcia seemed to think that the Council could take some action to help with the debt.

Citizen, Jeff works already on a bare-bones budget. The administration has cut his budget every year since he was hired. Councilwoman Jeske said that she had asked the administration why their budget was continually cut if they were expected to fix things in order to make it financially solvent, and why they were not given enough golf carts in order to meet customer demand. She said it didn’t make sense to operate the golf course in that manner. She said that she had not received an answer to her questions.

But it does seem that there are other options.

danny said...

Godfrey works for his developer cronies, the ones who give him his campaign cash that he then coverts to his own use, ie kickbacks. This is the only thing he does as mayor. He is fully and completely corrupt and useless for any other purpose.

Tec Jonson said...

Godfrey is clearly laying out his setup to liquidate. His solution will produce an outcome that points to all solutions being too expensive and beyond the city's budget. The final solution will be a sale to cover all the debt he has incurred from the rest of his hollow dreams. Council take note of the progression of his initiatives. Neocons are expert at this kind of setup. Create an issue of complexity that the average voter cannot comprehend and eventually produce the simplest of solutions...sell a park.

Jason W. said...

This is bullshit; fight Lying Little Matty Gondola Godfrey and every silly, teeny, weeny thing he or any of his various mouthpieces produces, either from his gargantuan forehead or via surrogate. Oh, and did I tell you the one about Short-deck Geiger and how his GONDOLA activism caused him to fear for his family's safety? Ooopps, got deleted. Bless you though, Rudi.


Jason W. said...

Ahem. (To borrow a phrase from the blogmeister.)

In, re: Geigers. I never did shit to Short-deck or his onion-reeking parent, THE SKI IS BEAUTIFUL BLUE, other than point out their stupidity.

On the contrary, they, via Lift Ogden, did plenty to me and there's more bullshit involved.

I merely repeated a sentiment Short-deck wrote to the Gondola Examiner which he inexplicably CCd to the City Council; he's a whackjob and he's spent five years demonstrating this; he gets no pass from thinking people, no matter how many times he refers to himself in the third person or constructs haughty non sequitors like "digital conversation" to make himself sound intelligent.

But so am I similarly whacked, as many would have you believe. But screw those people, or you, if you are one: In the end, there is truth, and everybody can see it plainly after the shroud of bullshit is removed.

We will not have THE GONDOLA; we will not stand for the firesale of our most valuable public lands. Lying Little Matty Gondola Godfrey needs to go to jail.


Bill C. said...

It was sad and yet funny to witness Brenkman give his best PT Barnum imatation on behalf of lying little matty, could be that parts were rehearsed with the pint sized prevaricator himself.
As for consultation with experts, only one would or could be concidered an expert. David Mclay Kidd was brought here in the dead of winter2 years ago by the thorazine addled patagonia vest sporting peterson. The purpose of that visit was to look at all the property WSU land included and comment on the original bogus plan petewrson and lying little matty unveiled at the first dog and pony show for the gondola held at WSU. His purpose for coming was not to evaluate or even concider the present layout. Kidd specializes in very high end resort course developement. He had been in Sun Valley and had a free day, they only were at the course a couple of hours.That short discussion would have been almost totally about the project the guy paying for his time brought him in for.
Expert #2, Forsgren and Associates, (earl kemp). In many opinions the biggest joke in Utah Golf history. According to many PGA proffessionals this guy has destroyed several munincipal golf operations around the State. He was most likely the producer of that first plan that lying little matty so proudly stood by at WSU. This was the one that included holes spanning Waterfall and Strongs canyons, with greens on 50% slopes, one even on the face of a cliff.
Old earl wound up doing 3 or 4 different drafts, all of which were soundly trashed by the folks in the golf dept. Finally the boys had to take lying little matty himself up to the 13th tee box at the course and spread out the plans to show him how ridiculous and un do able old earls plans were.
The Council received from me, and should still have references (not) from PGA proffessionals that had dealings with earl.
The last un named expert, is a local guy that is one of Brenkmans freinds. Actually we've known him alot longer than Tod has and unfortunately possible future money in his pocket has caused him to ignore us. This leads to the other oh yeh realization, if these guys told Todd anything it was because he represented potential money in their pockets, and it was what Todd and lying little matty were begging to hear. Remember the case for the gondola lied (layed) out by lying little matty? Most were invented in short deck's fractional mind.
End Part 1 of work session PT Barnum style. Got to feed and water the animals. Stay Tuned to WCF for more.

Bill C. said...

Well, in part 1 we discovered that there is no expert reveiw reccommending the total destruction of what Golf Digest just recently named the best facility in the region. Only lying little matty and his new understudy from the golf department. No wonder this reccommendation was orally presented, with no documentation.
Any true evaluation would include multiple rounds played by a varying degree of skill levels. How else could they evaluate the difficulty of individual holes and identify areas that might require attention? Would the leading industry publication reccommend something destined for the trash heap? Bull dozer in this case.
Any independant outside reveiw would conclude this facility the most beautifull and one of the best courses regionally for developing the skills required to play the game properly.It may be the only course around that you would use all 14 clubs in your bag playing.
As for the new business plan, I read portions of that as trying to shift blame on the good employees for any percieved shortcomings. Did they give away $250,000 bucks worth of free golf? Not likely. As for Todd's going forward portion of the business plan, he's been in charge since 2005, hiding in his comfort zone at El Monte. All of these things he should have been doing since 2005. The one big question that needs answering is his justification for El Monte's maintainence budget to be comparable to Mt. Ogdens and why does El MOnte have the new fleet of carts if carts have been a constant in loss of revenue at Mt. Ogden. One can only conclude that Todd's not up to the challenge of putting forth the effort to build the business that used to be easily attainnable for the first 15 years of operation, or his boss won't let him.
Animal feeding time, more latter.

Bill C said...

Let's see, in parts 1 & 2 we learned that there are no expert opinions favoring destruction of our beautifull golf course, and that Mr. Brenkman has totally neglected his responsibility since at least 2005.
At this time it might be helpfull to explain how a golf professional is critical to the success of a munincipal golf facility. His carisma, playing and teaching ability, love of the game and people all are requirements for building a good facility. It's through his efforts that playing demand increases. It's his job to establish and build the player associations, men, women and jr. golf. These orginazations are critical for the overall success and bottom line of the facility.
With the exception of our small core mens association, all this has been non exsistant since 2005, when Mr. Brenkman took over. He now realizes this and has mentioned this in his new business plan. I hope the Council also noticed that his commitment to this wasn't personal, " I'm goint to", no it was " there will", implying that he can delagate the most important aspects of his profession to some one under him. Why you may wonder does that bother me and my fellow group of core supporters of this facility since it's opening? The responsible party in the operation has all ready declared the course needs to be demollished, he hasn't the passion we share and has predetermind that it can't be done. We need a pro that is confident in his own abilities, committed to the job at hand and has a passion for and appreciation of this facility.
We all ready have a potential candidate in our golf division that has all the tools, but needs to be given the job full time if the responsibility is going to be his.
I wonder if it's dawned on the powers that be that with Brenkman over both courses the management aspects of golf have come full circle to what they were before lying little matty terminated the contract of our favored local pro, Steve.
There is one huge bright spot that's come through all this, Jeff Macfarlane, our course superintendant. For those who weren't in attendance at the work session, Jeff never advocated bull dozing the facility.
Animals are hungry, peace, out.

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