Friday, May 30, 2008

Standard-Examiner: Godfrey's Behavior Was "Sneaky"

Rhetorical Question: Will the city council insist on "payback?"

Now Godfrey's administration has unwisely made itself look sneaky -- because it behaved in a way even the most objective individual would have to describe as ... well, sneaky.

Standard-Examiner
'Kumbaya' on ice
May 30, 2008

The Standard-Examiner editorial board finally chimes in this morning, on the topic we thoroughly discussed on Saturday: Boss Godfrey's "stealth" lobbying activities during the final days of the 2008 legislative session. This morning's lead paragraphs set forth the essential facts:

Remember that promising, positive relationship we saw developing between the Ogden City Council and mayor last week? It might already be time for last rites.
Why? Because council members just found out the mayor's administration outmaneuvered them months ago at the Legislature. The city's lobbyist, Rob Jolley, and the administration's management services director, Mark Johnson, convinced Sen. Curtis Bramble, R-Provo, to insert the following amendment into Senate Bill 294:
"The mayor of a municipality operating under a council-mayor form of government ... (a) serves as the executive director of an agency created by the municipality; and (b) exercises the executive powers of the agency."
The law took effect May 5, and it assures that the Ogden City Council can't remove Godfrey as executive director of the city's redevelopment agency (RDA). Ogden's mayor has traditionally served as the RDA's executive director, but it has always been at the pleasure of the RDA board -- which is made up of the city council membership. In the past, certain council/RDA board members have pondered aloud that they could punish the mayor by removing him from his RDA post.
With SB 294, that option is off the table.
The editorial goes on to properly label Godfrey's conduct as "sneaky," and then rhetorically asks whether there will be council "payback."

And from our point of view we think the Std-Ex raises a mighty good question. What, exactly will our new council do about this, we ask? Will the council finally get off its thumbs and assert itself? Or will the council just sit back and docilely take its lumps? If the actions of previous councils provide any instructive guidance on this, we suspect the council might be content to whine a little bit, and then fall back to the posture of ineffectual dupes.

We do see one bright spot that we haven't seen in previous councils for a good number of years however: Councilwoman Amy Wicks. Amy, in our view, is the smartest and most assertive council leader to have emerged as council chair during the three years that we've been attentive council watchers. If Amy has a mind to set things right, and restore the council's position to one of a true co-equal city government branch, we're confident that Amy is the kind of leader who can get the job done.

And now that we're in the pre-2009 budget run-up, we'd suggest that the immediate "canning" of the ethically-challenged city lobbyist, Mr. Jolley, would be a grand place to start. With the passage of Godfrey's SB294, Godfrey's position as RDA executive director is for the time being secure. That doesn't mean, however that the council can't give the back-stabbing Mr. Jolley "the old heave-ho."

And what say our gentle readers about this? Does anyone have any other suggestions about the manner in which the council can treat this matter in the future?

The blogosphere awaits our readers' ever-savvy comments.

24 comments:

D Youngberg said...

The administration also wants to promote honesty and integrity in the Pay For Performance measures of the City employees; I would suggest that they learn to practice those virtues before demanding the same from employees. I believe it’s called lead by example.

Curmudgeon said...

It was a good editorial, even if it tap-danced a bit around the vocabulary ["sneaky" is not really a synonym for "unethical"]. The two major points I hope members of the Council take from this whole sorry incident, and the two major points made by the editorial I think, are these:

(a)The Mayor's word is no good.

(b) When Mayor Godfrey believes he can gain an advantage by acting unethically, he will.

Neither of those points mean the Council can not or should not continue to look for ways to work with the Mayor for the good of the city. Nor do those points mean proposals from the Godfrey administration should be rejected out of hand because they come from the Godfrey administration. But they do mean Administration proposals must be carefully and thoroughly vetted by the council, and that --- sadly --- something substantially more binding that the Mayor's word will have to be arranged before proceeding on his assurances of his own good conduct. I wish that were not true, but as today's SE editorial makes it painfully clear, it is true.

And it also means, I think, that whenever Godfrey abuses his authority over a budget item, like pay for what should be but clearly is not the City's lobbyist [but is instead the Mayor's personal lobbyist], the Council should act to shift responsibility for that budget matter from the Mayor's control to the Council's. If we are to have a lobbyist at SLC, he should be hired by, paid by, and report to the City Council. Now is the time for the Council to act on that.

Little Bird said...

I hate to bring religion into this but when the Mayor is (proud) to be LDS then he brings this on himself. I am under the impression that Mormons are suppose to be "honest" in their dealings with their fellow men. Sorry but being "Sneaky" or as Curm put it "unethical" is very much the opposite of honest! Who sits next to this man and allows him to partake of the LDS's sacred sacrament? How do the leaders sit by and watch their "sheep" behave like this and not reprimand/excommunicate them. I wonder if the "church" has had any communication with their other LDS criminal Val Southwick? And Americans think Islam extremists are the problem. huh. Please forgive me my rant.

Jason W. said...

Little bird:

Lying Little Matty Gondola Godfrey holds his integrity higher than anyone else in the room; he is a paragon of Mormon virtue. His father-in-law, whose daughter Lying Little Matty Gondola Godfrey slaps around, refers to "the precious character of this young man" when writing about the Lilliputian dork from Harrisville, he has an enormous forehead, inversely proportioned to his teeny-weeny person, and his meeny-miny intellect.

THE SKI IS BEAUTIFUL BLUE

Curmudgeon said...

Little Bird:

I share you unhappiness with the Mayor's conduct, LB, but I don't think his being LDS matters much. Catholics, Baptists, Rastafarians, Muslims, Jews and Snake-Chunkers all charge their communicants to behave ethically and morally.

But I'd go further: in a democratic republic, we have a right to expect, to demand that public officials, regardless of their religious affiliations or lack thereof, behave honorably and ethically in office. The problems with Godfrey's conduct would be precisely the same if he were an atheist, or a member of any faith. I'll grant you that a proudly professing member of a religion living up to [or not] the tenets of his faith is a matter of interest to his co-religionists. But not, I would submit, to the general public and electorate.

I want him to act as an ethical and honorable elected public official. I really couldn't care less if he's a good [or not so good] Mormon, or Catholic, or Baptist or Muslim or Jew or what-have-you.

danny said...

Godfrey can lie all he wants, take all the money he wants, scheme all he wants, slap his wife when he feels like it, and be in good standing in the Mormon Church, so it seems.

But let him dip his noddle in his neighbor's wife's rice bowl and not feel bad about it, and he'd be a goner.

It's not how the scriptures see things, but it's the state of the modern Mormon Church.

I suspect the more sneaky the mayor is, the better he is perceived by some of his Mormon fellows.

Of course, it's harder to prove somebody is crooked than promiscuous. Whether Southwick still has a temple recommend is a good questions.

It used to be "Mormon" meant "honest."

No more.

As one who tries to be an honest Mormon, it bugs me - not the being honest part, but the fact that few Mormons seem to value that as highly as they used to.

Curmudgeon said...

Danny [and I guess Jason]

Two points: first, I've been here six years plus now, and from what I have seen, Mormons are pretty much like Baptists, Catholics, Jews, Muslims and atheists. Some of them are rock solid fine people whose word is their bond. Some are dishonest snakes in the grass. Like everybody else. I've yet to find any religious group that is noticeably more ethical in their public conduct than others. Makes sense, then, to take people one by one, and draw conclusions about whether they are honorable and trustworthy folk from their actions, not from what faith they lay claim to or from whether they claim any faith at all.

Second: personal attacks regarding an office holder's family, marriage, etc. have no place, in my view, in public policy debates. We don't elect congressmen or senators or state legislators or governors or mayors to be Fathers [or Mothers] of the Year, or Husbands [or Wives] Of The Year. We elect them to conduct the publics business wisely, well and honorably. Period. The rest is none the publics business.

If an elected public official is doing his job well, I really don't care if he's stepping out on his wife or is not a good father. And if he's handling the publics business badly, it really doesn't matter to me that he's a grand husband and great father. He needs to go.

Personal attacks centering on family and relatives and private matters [unless they cross into the area of lawbreaking as they did, say, with Gov. Spitzer of NY and Sen. Vitter of Lousiana] are unethical themselves, as well as inevitably distracting attention from what the public ought to be discussing: the official's conduct of his office [not his home life]. How the Mayor or any other elected official gets along with his spouse is absolutely none of my, yours, or the publics business and should play no part in public discussion of policy matters. None.

Little Bird said...

Curm, I do agree that what a politician does in his/her home life is or should be of no concern of the constituents, but if I recall wasn't the entire Clinton impeachment based on the fact that he lied under oath when questioned about his immoral acts as a married man. Or perhaps the issue was that an elected man had sexual relations with an intern? as I wrote I guess I don't know the facts, but in my defense I also was watching nothing but mainstream media back in those days so I probably missed the entire point.

beaver said...

Curm:

So you have no problem with him slapping his wife around as long as he governs the city effectively?

Hail Critchlow!

Curmudgeon said...

Beaver:

I have no knowledge of the Mayor's relations with his family. None. Zero. Nada. I'd be hard put to think of a subject that is less my business --- or yours --- than that one. I've read unsupported allegations like yours posted on-line, but so far as I know, no one has filed any complaints. Generally, when I know absolutely nothing about a matter, I find it prudent not to take a stand on it or voice an opinion about it.

2. If you are alleging criminal activity, as you seem to be, then bring your complaints to the police.

3. Unsupported anonymous allegations of criminal conduct on the part of any public official... or any private person for that matter... have no place in serious public discussion, and no place I my view being posted on blogs.

That clear things up for you?

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

Beaver:

You wrote: "you condescending, self-important blowhard... douchetube."

Ah, Beaver, I bow to the inexorable logic and power of your arguments. Who could fail to be impressed by the weight of such reasoning?

Jason W. said...

Good Old (?) Curmudgeon:

You refuse to acknowledge your own arrogance in making listed bullet-point arguments that are not germane to what someone has posted in request of your own, so-so-so important opinion; further, you are blind to your own Geigerian fait accompli. I do cherish you, but you're acting like a "self-important" Geiger. Don't be a Geiger. And you are extremely condescending. Moreover, you are voting for Addled Ed Allen: you've lost your credibility.

THE SKI IS BEAUTIFUL BLUE

Curmudgeon said...

Jason:

Well, we disagree about whether what I wrote was germane to his post or not. It was put up, recall, as part of a discussion about whether attacks on a politician via his or her family had a legitimate place in public discussion. So, we'll have to agree to disagree about that one... as we often have about other matters.

And I don't think arguing a strongly held opinion is arrogant ---though I think replying to an argument by screaming "douchtube" and such like is arrogant. In spades. Nor is arguing strongly for a strongly held view "geigerian". [Low blow, Jason. Low blow.] But we can disagree about that too.

caddyhack said...

>>It used to be "Mormon" meant "honest."<<

Whatever happened to the "Golden Rule" the LDS used to preach? I think Mitt Romney, and his ilk, may have re-defined it. He made tons of ethically questionable money and then became a proponent of torture. What would Jesus say about that?

Bill C. said...

Curm, I need some clairification. When a sadist slaps his masochistic partner, has an assault been committed? Or is it only criminal if the slappee bring charges? You seem to have jumped to the conclussion that by refering to the well documented incident of lying little matty slapping his wife around, folks are implying criminality, look at it the way you have discussed lying little matty total lack of ethics.

caddyhack said...

Gee whiz, since Mayor Godfrey got caught doing something sneaky I sure hope he doesn't do something unethical like promote no-bid contracts to his cronies.

Curmudgeon said...

Bill:

I have, I repeat, no information about the Mayor's family relationships. None. Zip. Nada. Nor am I interested in the subject. It's none of my damn business. Hizzonah's actions in his capacity as Mayor are fair game. His home life is not. And so I am not going to get drawn into a discussion of "what ifs" and hypotheticals regarding the Mayor's home life --- or the governor's or the president's. Such matters do not belong in disputes about public policy for many reasons, the most important of which is they are irrelevant to whether a particular policy or program [gondolas, ice towers, trails, trolleys or what have you] are good ideas the city would be wise to adopt, or bad ones it would be wise to reject.

If I were to run for office --- relax, Bill. Don't start hyperventilating. I'm not going to --- I would consider my family relationships to be absolutely out of bounds for campaigning or public discussion. Absolutely. Mayor Godfrey and every other public officeholder or candidate deserves, I think, the same courtesy.

caddyhack said...

"Hizzonah's actions in his capacity as Mayor are fair game. His home life is not."

I agree with you Curm, but it's hard not to continuously poke a guy who brags, to his constituents, that he has, "more integrity than anyone in the room."

Curmudgeon said...

caddy:

Aw, Caddy, it's just the Mayor's inherent humility talkin'....

caddyhack said...

Curm,

The Mayor's inherent humility is on par with his outdoor adventure promotion of Mount Ogden Golf Course.

beaver said...

Curm:

You bore me to tears.

And "condesending, self-important blowhard" and "douchetube" aren't arguments. They're opinions. Ones I stand by.

Now go to GFC and tell everyone in earshot how intelligent and important you are. You know, your normal morning routine.

Godfreyites have Bobby, we've got you. It's going take all my limited brainpower to conclude who's got it worse.

caddyhack said...

Beaver,

Don't hold back. Go ahead and say what you really mean.

disgusted said...

curm
two comments on godfreys family.
first ive never seen any politician at this level of government work the crowd so hard with the help of relatives and the likes of the giegers. you hear from uncles brothers his mother father in law wife and of course his adopted family members the giegers. his own actions of bringing in all these family members into the arena makse several of his family members fair targets.
second if you go to 25th street to the store front across the street from the kocomo private club you will find a copy of a police report that is posted in the store window. the report explains the violent actions that godfrey took upon his wife. this isnt hear say its a police report. as i recall wsu had a great basketball coach that was reported to have beaten his wife. the action was deemed deplorable enough by the administration of wsu that the coach was let go. i agreed with the wsu administration that some actions even though they involve the individuals personal family life are significant enough to spill over into their public life. in my opinion godfreys actions were one of those events.
everyone is free to factor in any amount of what this report says of the caliber of the man in their opinion of the man as it is public fact. godfrey can not deny it as it is documented and is public record. if the subject keeps coming up its because of his actions and he is personally responsible for its continued mention. those that mention it are more likely to consider this a personality flaw that others that feel that his personal actions and family life is off limits.
my personal feelings are that it is irrelevant to the discussion of the character of the man. he continues to deny facts he has no conscious about lying or hurting people that he feels are in his way he wield his power as a weapon rather than as a tool and he clandestinely takes actions to circumvent safe guard rules and regulations to promote his agendas. his actions both personal and public seem consistent. he has no regard for others personal or public and as such i feel that his actions in his personal life are relevant as they validate the consistency of his lack of character.

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