Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Info on Emerald City's Mysterious Mount Ogden Golf Course "Citizens Committee"

Ace Reporter Schwebke ever so slightly peels back the committee's veil of secrecy

Over the course of the past several weeks, rumors have been circulating about the existence of a mysterious "citizens committee," secretly operating below the public radar screen, with a rumored dual agenda of studying the operations of the glorious Mount Ogden Golf Course, and making recommendations to Boss Godfrey's administration which might improve MOGC's purportedly ailing bottom line.

This morning's Standard-Examiner has an article which now confirms the existence of this committee, and provides a few further details, ratcheting up public awareness of this committee's makeup and agenda a couple of clicks, from "mysterious" to "murky."

Ace Reporter Schwebke's morning story peels back this committee's veil of secrecy ever so slightly, with the following trickle of essential facts:

1) The Committee is chaired by Kent Petersen, who is otherwise lovingly known here on Weber County Forum as "The Skipper", a dyed-in-the-wool Godfrey henchman, and certified, card-carrying Gondolist.
2) MOGC operations research and recommendations are at least part of the committee agenda.
3) The committee purportedly "operates independently of the Godfrey Administration".
4) Boss Godfrey maintains "It’s important that the committee operate without oversight from the administration, so it can provide objective recommendations."
5) Council members Jeske and Gochnour have applied for membership on the committee, so far without success.

However grateful we are for the Std-Ex's confirmation that this committee does indeed exist, (along with a few other meager story details,) we're afraid this morning's Scott Schwebke story is a journalistic "dud," and actually raises more questions than it answers. In this connection, we'll pose the following questions off the top of our head -- just for starters:

1) Has this committee been officially commissioned or sanctioned by the Godfrey Administration; and if so, does it operate under Godfrey's authority... and with his blessing?
2) If this committee is actually an independent citizen investigative and advisory group (as Boss Godfrey insists,) will the Godfrey Administration accord its recommendations any greater weight than any other citizens' committee which might also be formed to study and make recommendations on MOGC issues?
3) Is this committee open to the addition of new members who are interested in MOGC issues?
4) Does this committee conduct its business openly and transparently?
5) Can regular lumpencitizens attend and participate in its meetings?
6) Is The Skipper willing to publicly reveal his current committee membership roster?

So many questions... so few answers.

The floor is open, gentle readers. The world blogosphere anxiously awaits our readers' ever-knowledgeable input. Is there anyone within our WCF readership who can shed more light on the makeup, agenda and operations of this shadowy "citizens committee?"

Weber County Forum is always at its best when we appeal to our readers to ferret out the facts.

Don't let the cat get your tongues.

24 comments:

on the inside 2 said...

Rudi, you ask: “1) Has this committee been officially commissioned or sanctioned by the Godfrey Administration; and if so, does it operate under Godfrey's authority... and with his blessing?” A BIG RESOUNDING YES! At last Thursday’s work meeting, Councilwoman Gochnour asked the Mayor why people whom the Council had recommended were not on the committee. According to Godfrey, the committee members was picked by Kent Peterson. I obtained a copy of the committee members and it is a stacked deck against the golf course. (I would surmise that is why Godfrey picked whom he did to chair it.) There is one bright point though – Hoyal Sorenson is on that committee! And hopefully now two councilwomen.. It will be up to Kent Peterson.

“2) If this committee is actually an independent citizen investigative and advisory group (as Boss Godfrey insists,) will the Godfrey Administration accord its recommendations any greater weight than any other citizens' committee which might also be formed to study and make recommendations on MOGC issues?” It is an independent committee, but not impartial. They are FOMs! Because of that, Hoyal insisted on a sub-committee of regular MOGC players to add credibility to the committee. They have met and studied the golf course and it’s shortcomings. They have a number of recommendations for improving the golf course that don’t cost between $6 and $8 million!

“3) Is this committee open to the addition of new members who are interested in MOGC issues?” That can only be answered by Kent Peterson. But itwill look as though he were hiding something if he doesn’t include the two Councilwomen.

“4) Does this committee conduct its business openly and transparently?” I would say NOT!

“5) Can regular lumpencitizens attend and participate in its meetings?” That would not fit in with Godfrey’s plan and purpose for the committee.

“6) Is The Skipper willing to publicly reveal his current committee membership roster?” Someone needs to call Peterson and ask him the questions that you ask. He is the ONLY one who can answer them. You're the investigative reporter, Rudi.

I believe that Godfrey’s plan is to sell the golf course to Chris Peterson. His focus on it and the continued bad publicity he gives it is part of his plan to renege on his promise that he won’t sell it. He is trying to convince the public through this hand-picked committee that it would cost too much to make it an easy, playable course. That would destroy what makes Mt. Ogden the unique course it is and earned it the Four Star rating by Golf Digest. We know that Godfrey hasn’t given up on his idea to have an urban gondola. He told the Council this year that it is imperative to his goal of making Ogden the outdoor recreation mecca in the world. I guess little men have to have big dreams to make them feel important – look at Napoleon, he was going to conquer the world. Godfrey isn’t any different, except it’s the outdoor recreation world he wants to conquer.

dan s. said...

There was so much Godfrey spin in that article, I'm still dizzy from reading it.

ozboy said...

Four star rating from Golf Digest and not one single peep out of Herrr Godfrey and his circle of sycophants! Yet any other minor mention of Ogden in any magazine - big or little - is usually made huge by this same cabal.

Hmmmm, wonder what one could make of that?

Ya just gotta know the little punk is definitely up to some skulduggery and it for sure doesn't have anything to do with the betterment of the citizens of Ogden.

It never fails to amaze me that he comes up with these ridiculous and off the wall rationalizations and explanations for his secret and behind closed door machinations - always with a straight face - and is always surprised when people see through the lies! Pathological liars are like that I guess, they always expect their victims to believe their whoppers, no matter how far fetched, and they always act hurt when their perfidy is exposed.

The whole affair is a sad joke on the good people of Ogden.

JEFF said...

A reminder to meet and greet Bowen Morgan in an open meeting to ask questions and get to know the candidate for the 1st Dist. He is a Seminary Teacher, never been a lobbyist and has a son enlisted in the Air Force. It would be nice to have a represntative who actually has someone on active duty. Come ask questions and show some support from Ogden.
He is against nuclear waste from Italy and will really represent the views of Nortern Utah.

1234 33rd ST, Sat Aug 23 from 4-7 PM

B.S. said...

If Godfrey is breathing, he's probably up to no good.

Fire Chief Mike Mathieu is on the committee, I wonder what his recommendations will be? I am sure he wants to keep his job, so it'll be what the little twerp mayor wants.

Tec Jonson said...

Godfrey doesn't golf, Godfrey doesn't ski, Godfrey doesn't snowboard, Godfrey doesn't surf...

What does this pipsqueak do that qualifies him to be the hi-adventure spokesman for the community.

b.s. said...

Tec..
He breathes hig adventure hot air.

H.s. said...

Mathieu doesnt even live in Ogden City.

what will it costs us said...

How about a citizens committee on the Salomon Center. How much was paid for by taxpayers, what equipment was bought, how much a year are the taxpayers paying to make up for low lease payments.

Also like to know the real cost of the center, how much tax revenue is being generated and why can't it be open on Sunday since it is being backed by RDA funds.
The golf course has been rated high by golf digest, is there a kiddland digest to rate the Center.

Monotreme said...

Dan S.:

That's because it was a high-adventure article.

My fave quote (actually paraphrase):

"Godfrey says it's unusual for elected officials to serve on such a committee." [Emphasis mine.]

And just what sort of committee would that be, Mayor? The kind that you stacked personally, to serve as an echo chamber representing your high-adventure views and none other?

Yes, I can see how that would be "highly unusual".

Curmudgeon said...

If we needed more evidence of the Mayor's weak grasp on the minimal standards of ethical conduct we ought to expect from elected officials, his calling this committee an independent citizen's committee would provide it. How he managed to choke out the following out with a straight face to Mr. Schwebke I do not understand. Must have been a phone call:

"It’s important that the committee operate without oversight from the administration, so it can provide objective recommendations."

Yeah. Right. Sham "independent" committees headed by Godfrey political associates... the head was a Godfrey administration candidate for Council in the last election... and staffed by that associate without public knowledge or participation by, say, the Council, constitute, yet again, a betrayal of the public trust by the Mayor.

Mr. Peterson's committee could conceivably produce an objective, soundly researched and reasoned set of recommendations. But the circumstances of its staffing and the secrecy with which it is conducting its business render whatever recommendations it comes up with suspect even before it delivers them.

Catherine Feeny said...

Comment bumped to top shelf

Hyad Venture said...

This is, truly, a high adventure thread.

danny said...

I suspect the "committee", consisting of The Skipper and hand picked Godfrey cronies (except for one or two others to add credibility) were handed a copy of their committee's eventual "findings", written by Godfrey, at the time the committee was formed.

All that was left to do was let some time pass to give the appearance of "study" before the recommendations are given.

No wonder Jeske and Gochnour want to be on the committee - because they know and suspect it is a fraud, respectively.

So Godfrey has "recommended" to The Skipper that he put the two on the committee. Of course, Skip will decline, citing a need for the committee to be "free from influence."

Godfrey will say that he "tried" to get the council memebers on the committee, but "respects" The Skipper's "independence."

It's all really very obvious.

Matt, you don't even try anymore.

Viktor said...

You sure got that one right Danny! The little peckerhead has got lazy on us and the quality of his lies and scams have definitely gone down hill.

OgdenLover said...

I'm surprised that Godfrey didn't put Chris Peterson on the committee.

Empty Patagonia Vest said...

Ogdenlover:

How do you know he didn't?

Ogden Resident said...

Ogden Resident said...
It’s been intriguing to watch Godfrey reposition. In order to stay in office he was forced to commit to the residents of Ogden that he would not sell the golf course. This has hamstrung him in his effort to let Peterson have our east bench. Godfrey has to find a way to convince the people of Ogden to change their minds about the sale of the golf course while at the same time keeping Peterson’s interest up and moving the project forward. Either that or he needs to build the course to suit, i.e. meeting Peterson’s standards, and then lease it to Peterson while freeing up the surrounding land for Peterson development.

His original attempt to convince the residents to sell failed. His intent was to make the course appear to be a money pit to the city. The residents though didn’t think the drain on the city was large enough to justify the sale.

So now it appears he wants to accomplish two goals at the same time (from his hamstrung position), that of increasing the drain on the city coffers by redesigning the course at a cost of 6 mil, above its already inflated costs on the books while concurrently moving the Peterson project forward by moving the club house to the top of 36th Street. He must thinks that the increased red ink, from his continued mismanagement, added renovation costs and creative book keeping, will soften the residents resolve to retain the course. At which point, his white knight, Peterson, will graciously take the course off our hands if we let him develop around the course on the undeveloped land to the east. Or lease the course to Peterson to manage as he sees fit at a very low cost (after the residents have paid for the improvements, which Godfrey will write off) and sell him the adjacent unused land east of the course (or he may lease the course at reasonable rates at first and sell the land cheap). Gone then is the golf course and gone then are the trail networks, unless you call sidewalks trails.

Geiger’s rant in the paper today either indicates the start of a new push or an effort to keep what’s already in motion alive. Obviously Geiger has pointed out that Peterson and Godfrey still want the WSU land. Godfrey has no integrity of his word to the people or of his intent to the people and sorry Geiger but you and I have a different view about Ogden. I moved here for what is here not what I can change here.

There are many parts of Ogden that I personally do not want to see changed. Just to mention a few, the golf course and the trail networks.

July 31, 2008 9:58 PM

Brett said...

Ogden Resident,

You are right on the mark! I am glad to see that others can see what Godfrey is up to.

I hope everyone realizes that the chair of the golf course committee is the same Kent Peterson who when he was a candidate for the City Council said that he was ready to get rid of the golf course. Which also makes quite obvious what Godfrey expects the recommendation to be. He didn't need anyone from the administration on the committee -- he has Kent Peterson!

spade caller said...

"The committee operates independently of the city's administration... Godfrey said."

"Godfrey said it's unusual for elected officials to serve on such a committee."

Let's quit mincing words. Both of these statements are outright lies.

Merle said...

Spade Caller

-Well, his lips were moving after all, so what did you expect?

Bill C. said...

Well, here are some very good reasons for the Council to dismiss anything that comes from this farcical committee hand picked by lying little matty.
1. Not one member of this committee has any standing, credibility or recognition in the top of Utah Golf community.
2. None of these committee members represent, or come from the ranks of the golfers that have supported and loved this facility for 25 years. The real stakeholders have not even been approached or considered.
3. On who's credible written opinion is this premice that something is wrong with the golf course based on? So far all the public has seen is hearsay from the lips of the inculcating lying little mayor or one of his close mouth pieces. This committee represents nothing more than a bunch of unqualified folks with no expertice whatsoever attempting to fix some non exsistant problem conjured up in the mind of a narcissistic very dishonest self proclaimed expert on everything, who knows nothing. I'd wager that not one of these committee members even knows the rules of the game.

annie mae said...

Spade Caller, I just learned today that Godfrey attended the first meeting of the committee and told them about the assessments made by professional golf engineers. He is behaving in his usual deceitful manner! Saying one thing and doing what he condemns. What a charlatan! You know Godfrey well.

old guy said...

bill c.

No doubt, your observations are on the mark. The problem is, if you ask twenty-five MOGC regulars about what needs fixing you'll get that many different opinions and if those who know the course best wait for an invitation to serve on a committee, any committee, you'll have a helluva long wait. Obviously G. and Co. arent looking for sensible answers in the first place, but those who have the answers need to get together and find a way to get the word out to the public and the City Council. The current subject is MOGC but nothing has changed on the ninth floor the same old BS from the same old cast. If you want to have a good golf course to play -now is the time to get busy!

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