Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Std-Ex Water System Rehab Part III: So It's Come to This...

A profound citizen mistrust of the Ogden City Administration is revealed

By Curmudgeon

This morning, the Standard-Examiner ran the last of its interesting 3-part series on water problems in Ogden and the recently adopted Water Horizons plan, engineered by the City Council after many years of administrative neglect. Today's story focuses on the skunky smell of tap water delivered to some Ogden homes last year [the result of an algae bloom the story says at Pineview that could not be entirely filtered out of the water.] Mr. Schwebke's front page story opens this way:

"Ogden --- Carolyn Nebeker initially thought it might be a stunt orchestrated by the city to muster public support of a $52 million water and sewer overhaul.
After all, what other explanation could there be for the foul-smelling water that flowed from her tap last August?
"Maybe the city was trying to convince us we needed to upgrade the water system," said Nebeker... recalling the time she wondered whether the water was intentionally left untreated.
Bad tasting water emerges from taps, and what is the first explanation that came to Ms. Nebeker's mind? "The City government" did it deliberately to convince people to approve more spending. Thus Ogden as we enter the ninth year of Matthew Godfrey's administration. I'm afraid suspicion like that is one of the inevitable casualties of having an administration that regularly pushes the envelop on ethical conduct.

You can read today's Scott Schwebke story here.

[The earlier two stories are linked in yesterday's WCF article.]

To be fair, that's not the whole story, of course. Part of it can be traced to the Utah Right Wing's endless whining that "government is bad, government is the source of problems, not solutions" and so on. [In fact, sometimes it's one, sometimes it's the other.] But still: an Ogden resident's water goes stinky and the first thing she thinks of is "the city government is doing it deliberately for political reasons." Not good. Can't help but wonder if we had an Administration whose pushing of the envelope on ethical matters wasn't the subject of continuing Std-Ex stories and editorials, if that would have been Ms. Nebeker's first choice of explanations.

The story raises another question: I thought Ogden got its drinking water from wells, not from Pineview. So, how could an algae bloom [stirred up by boaters, the story says] result in swampy-smelling and tasting water emerging from Ogden's water taps? Does Pineview's water work its way into the water table locally and so into the wells? Or are some neighborhoods in Ogden drinking treated Pineview water after all? Anyone know for sure?


Monotreme said...


The earlier story (I think Tuesday's) indicated that the city was drinking treated Pineview water, from the treatment plant at the foot of the dam.

I got the impression it was supplemented by well water, but there wasn't anything I saw about the proportion from one source or the other.

RudiZink said...

Thanks for the submission, Curm.

As for your latter question, "What is the source of Ogden City's culinary water[?]", I think I have the answer.

Being the curious type, I phoned the Ogden City water Department this morning, and talked to a nice lady by the name of Chris. Here's what she told me:

Ogden City draws its culinary water from both artesian wells and the Pineview Reservoir itself, depending on user demand. In periods of low demand, the city relies on the artesian wells only. In high demand periods (the summer) Ogden city taps the reservoir.

This goes a long way toward explaining the "swamp water smell" last summer, I think.

Anyone who drove by the arm of Pineview Reservoir adjacent to the spillway during the heat of last summer noticed that the algae bloom had taken on a near flourescent green glow.

Hopefully this resolves the issue.

what will it cost us said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
RudiZink said...

Above comment promoted by administrator to new lead article.

Jason W. said...

Good Old (?) Curmudgeon:

Unfortunately, Mrs. Nebeker is a Godfreyite and distant relative of Wayne Peterson, leader of his own Famed Squirrel Patrol, so her arrow of distrust is likely aimed at the City Council, not Lying Little Matty Gondola Godfrey; he's a teeny-tiny (but blessed with an enormous, alien Divining Rod Forehead) stalwart of the LDS Church, after all, and would never lie or engage in unethical and other scurrilous behavior--his and Wayne's scheme to rob us of our land at pennies on the dollar to finance one-third the cost of THE GONDOLA TO NOWHERE, a predicate for building THE MOUNTAIN GONDOLA that would stretch to a castle in Malan's Basin, constructed without roads, guarded by magical dwarves and absent a sewer, but serviced via shit orbs, was God's Idea.


Jason W. said...

Lying Little Matty Gondola Godfrey and his mindless sheep and doltish Geigerian followers and loyal soldiers in Wayne Peterson's Famed Squirrel Patrol are eerily similar to W. and his ilk. The new Scott McClellan book contains passages that could be written about The Forehead and his minions:

He faults [Godfrey] for a "lack of inquisitiveness" and "a degree of self-deception that may be psychologically necessary to justify the tactics needed to win the political game."

[Godfrey] "convinces himself to believe what suits his needs at the moment," McClellan writes.

Both "leaders" are reportedly men of God, too.


Fly on the wall said...

Geez Jason

I thought the same exact thing when I read excerpts from the Scott McClellan book.

Bob Geiger said...

Concerning the validity of the claim of "profound distrust"....

Close Friend of Carolyn Nebeker -

"Carolyn Nebeker just called me and is NOT AMUSED.

She spoke to the newspaper interviewer who wrote this article. SHE HAS BEEN MISQUOTED AND IS FURIOUS THAT THE PAPER TOOK HER COMMENT OUT OF CONTEXT

She said that she invites the newspaper interviewer to call her back so she can tear a strip off him.

He agreed to call her back because she knew he would take her comments out of context. He did not call her.

She is fully supportive of the Mayor and is furious the paper would put her comments down in a light that questions the City Administration's motives.

She just called me from Bear Lake and asked me to make it very clear that the article DOES NOT PRESENT HER COMMENTS OR INTENT ACCURATELY, AND SHE IS NOT AMUSED."

Bob Geiger said...

Was it a "lack of inquisitiveness" and "a degree of self-deception that may be psychologically necessary to justify the tactics needed to win the political game..." that made the folks here jump on an innocent comment made by Carolyn Nebeker in order to malign the character of our Mayor. Especially from Curmudgeon, who is considered on this site to be the objective teller of truth.

A little inquisitiveness would have revealed that your premise here is 100% false. Justification of your tactics against the Mayor in order to win the political game isn't the right thing to do.

Consider the level of self-deception necessary to continue justifying the tactic of misusing Carolyn Nebeker's good name and statements in order to malign the Mayor.

Consider the lack of inquisitiveness here given the fact that Carolyn Nebeker stood in front of a massive crowd, in her honor, at the Eccles Conference Center, and proclaimed her support for the Mayor and what he has done for the city. Certainly comments like that indicate that it is likely that Mrs. Nebeker never doubted the Mayor's integrity. Even a tiny bit of inquisitiveness should have motivated you to inquire directly with Ms. Nebeker regarding her feelings toward the city admistration given her clear, previous public support for the Mayor.

Try to think about it.

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

Mr. Geiger:

(1) If Ms. N. was misquoted with respect to her first suspicions when her water went stinky, she needs to take the matter up with the SE. I can easily believe she may not be happy with the comments her statement resulted in. I find it much less likely that the reporter completely fabricated her statement. That she may now regret having said it is beside the point.

(2) Angry claims from third parties --- i.e. you --- that someone else was misquoted need to be verified before they can be taken as fact. Particularly when the angry third party has a dog in the fight, so to speak. As you do.

(3) I do not know Ms. N. and my original comments were based on the SE story, which led with her suspicions about the water. The point I raised seemed to me a reasonable point to raise, if people, as Ms. N was reported to have done, were assuming skulduggery on the part of the city as a first explanation for the failure of a public utility.

(4) Absent the Godfrey administration's repeated ethical difficulties [reneging on its agreement with the Council regarding the city lobbyist's activities; arranging an under-the-table termination bonus agreement with an Administration appointee that was unknown to the Council, and which violated the spirit if not the letter of the city's ordinances and rules regarding appointees voluntarily leaving office so grossly, the Council quickly tightened the regulations to prevent the Mayor's doing it again; refusing to inform the Council, when asked, who it was selling the Bootjack property to, which resulted in the Council unanimously altering RDA rules to make sure Hizzonah couldn't do that again; attempting to hide from the Council, press and public administration attempts to launder federal grant money through UTA to pay off a consultant for work done on the Peterson proposal --- see the Dan. S. uncovered emails; acting as purchasing agent for Mr. Lesham's options on River Project properties, without informing the Ogden residents it was negotiating with of that fact, or the Council; and so on], I would have had no cause whatever to wonder about the reasons for Ms. N's suspicions. The Administration's thin grasp on what the public has a right to expect in terms of ethical conduct and integrity on the part of its elected officials is the root cause of my speculations about Ms. N's complaint which seem to have upset you.

I would love to have no ethical lapses on the part of the Administration to complain about or refer to. You being an established Godfrey crony, why don't you do us all, and him, a favor and see if you can arrange it going forward from here. It would make a very refreshing change.

Jason W. said...


Since you know so well. Does Mrs. Nebeker -- who is NOT AMUSED -- move her grandkids' beds away from windows because she loves THE GONDOLA and Lying Little Matty Gondola Godfrey and fears the actions of GONDOLA haters? Does she dwell in the same haze of fear, tension, and apprehension as you do? Booo! GONDOLA haters are after you, especially since your truck is riddled with GONDOLA decals, you 10th grader. How is Daddy? Is Daddy mad? Will Daddy dock your pay? Why does Daddy have such a lax dress code: jeans, loafers, no socks, a Tneck and a blazer. THAT'S IT, THAT'S FINAL.


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