Thursday, August 28, 2008

Secret Golf Course Committee Meeting Postponed

The Skipper is miffed and threatens to quit

By George K.

Scott Schwebke provides another great article about the golf course committee fiasco this morning, headlined “Golf course meeting postponed.”

Oh My! Poor little ole Kent "The Skipper" Petersen says “I might get unhappy and just quit (as chairman of the committee).” Mommy! They hurt my feelings! I don’t want to play any more! Now, we have TWO immature simpletons trying to tell us what to do with the golf course!

It also seems that the committee has met several times without giving proper notification. According to Mayor Godfrey they didn’t think it was necessary because “they were meeting in an informal ad-hoc capacity and hadn’t been established by a city council ordinance.” How long has Godfrey been mayor? Almost nine years and he doesn’t know that state law requires that all government-sponsored committees need to give public notice?! He knew that minutes had to be taken and provided his executive assistant for that. But then it’s the Godfrey way -- to meet and conduct business secretly! Besides he didn’t want city council members and the public to attend; and they might just do that even though they weren’t invited if the meetings were publicized.

Petersen said that he isn’t “happy with the situation. I agreed to chair the committee to take a good honest look at what’s going on.” We wonder if that is really possible, when he made it known during his city council campaign last year, that he thought selling the golf course was a good solution for the City.

We think that maybe Petersen has finally acknowledged that the golf course is an asset, not a total liability, when he now says he favors more corporate-sponsored events to erase the course’s operating losses. Would you also recommend to the Mayor that an adequate number of golf carts need to be purchased for Mount Ogden Golf Course, so that the profit from those events wouldn’t have to be spent on renting and transporting enough golf carts for participants of the events?

I noticed that Mr. Schwebke noted in his article the author of the statement of why the golf course was losing money, instead of making it appear to be fact. Thanks, Scott.

23 comments:

Bill C. said...

It's quite funny that only a week or two after the Chamber of Commerce had the big gala at Wolf Creek, that one of lying little matty's cronies would suggest routing some of these type s of functions to Ogden City's facilities. Let's see, more than twice the money paid as entry fees went into Wolf Creeks pockets, than would have been charged at Mt. Ogden. This was billed as a fund raiser event, I wonder if Harmer realizes that by paying less for the use of the facility more could have gone to the benefactors.
For those of you not up to speed on what's happened up in the valley regarding Wolf Creek, and for a good example of what can be expected when housing is incorporated into an established golf facility, thev've destroyed what was once considered the best nine hole in Utah. The original Patio Springs nine.
What was the closest thing to McKensies (?) type perfection of using the lay of the land to provide a simple and most challenging round, void of gimmickry, has been destroyed to accommidate houses. Some of the best holes on the course altered beyond recognition, and those left in tact narrowed with OB stakes and houses encroaching on the fairways. Some might call this progress, I beg to differ.

Bill C. said...

Addendum to last post.
I confused the crooked Harmers mane when I meant to say Hardman. Sorry.

fore said...

I wonder if Dumb Ass Petersen is pissed because the Mayor set the committe up for scrutiny by violating public meeting laws, or is he pissed that he got caught violaiting laws. Hmmmm

al said...

Did anyone else notice the end of the 5th paragraph where Schwebke indicates the meeting was to take place in "Godfrey's Municipal Building"? I resent that. The taxpayers of Ogden took on a general obligation bond to restore the Municipal Building some years back. It does not belong to the little man on the 9th floor, it belongs to the citizens of Ogden City. Same for the golf courses.

Curmudgeon said...

Without getting into the matters of Mr. Peterson's motives, business practices, etc. [about which topics I know nothing], I'd just note here that Hizzonah has so bungled this "citizens committee" approach to MOGC that he's now embarrassed those on whose support he has to this point been able to count.

When you start embarrassing your own supporters to the point that they begin backing away, as Mr. Peterson seems to be, you've just about qualified for the Olympics of Mismanagement.

fly on the wall said...

Curm, I would say that the Mayor has the most gold medals for mismanagement, and bungling. He has set the worlds record.

Monotreme said...

Al:
I think it's an editing error. The sentence says:

...a conference room outside of Godfrey's Municipal Building.

This sentence makes no sense as written. I think they left off the word "office" just before the period. There are no conference rooms outside of the building that I know of. It is a pretty telling Freudian slip on someone's part, though.

My interpretation of Mr. Petersen's reaction (shared by others here, I think) is that he was angry at Mayor Godfrey. The implication of the story is that the meeting was cancelled, and he was the only one who had not picked up his message and therefore was not notified.

He is also quoted as being surprised at the committee's lack of independence.

I think he has just come face-to-face with the Mayor's characteristic (mis)management style.

Welcome to Reality Ogden, Mr. Petersen. It's a nice place, although some of the residents are a little testy. You can probably understand why that is, now that you're awake.

dan s. said...

How many other secret Ogden City committees are there, violating Utah's open meetings law?

I confess that I'm not familiar with the law on open meetings. The basic statute is here (and in the following sections), but there seems to be some ambiguity that perhaps the courts have interpreted.

Godfrey will probably claim that the golf course committee and others like it are not created by any formal "resolution", and therefore aren't covered by the law. But obviously the city attorney has a different opinion.

Full disclosure: I was on an informal city committee myself during the first half of 2007. But that one included representatives from the city council as well as the administration.

RudiZink said...

Scott Schwebke is an interesting reporter phenomenon.

He's a 'just the facts, ma'am' reporter," guy for starters. Not a hint of Hunter S. Thompsen in his style.

He serves as a Godfrey administration apologist far too many times when he's being journalistly lazy.

Yet... when he gets his teeth into a story like the "secret MOGC council meetings," he becomes the rabid reportorial pitbull.

Here's an earlier case in point:

The Secret Boss Godfrey "Gondola Study"

So far, Ace Reporter Schwebke is doggedly onto another similar story, wethinks; i.e., Godfrey's heretofor secret MOGC committee meetings

Go, Schwebke, go!, we say.

Thanks, Ace Reporter Schwebke, for at leastr mentionig that "Blessed Boss Godfey" has already broken "broken" Utah's Open Meetings law several times.

We hope Std-Ex [Gondolist] publisher (Suits from Sanduskey)will continue to keep the the Std-Ex bulldog reporter Schwebke "Off leash."

Our motto at Weber County Forum is "More."

Keep on digging and publishing, Mr. Schwebke, we say.

george k said...

Dan S.,
The thought of how many other City meetings are meeting secretly also crossed my mind. It woould be interesting to find out, but I'm sure the administration will cover their butt before giving an answer.

Here are excerpts of the law that governs committee meetings:
52-4-102. Declaration of public policy.
(1) The Legislature finds and declares that the state, its agencies and political subdivisions, exist to aid in the conduct of the people's business.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that the state, its agencies, and its political subdivisions:
(a) take their actions openly; and
(b) conduct their deliberations openly.
52-4-201. Meetings open to the public -- Exceptions.
(1) A meeting is open to the public unless closed under Sections 52-4-204, 52-4-205, and 52-4-206.
(2) (a) A meeting that is open to the public includes a workshop or an executive session of a public body in which a quorum is present, unless closed in accordance with this chapter.
.
52-4-202. Public notice of meetings -- Emergency meetings.
(1) A public body shall give not less than 24 hours public notice of each meeting including the meeting:
(a) agenda;
(b) date;
(c) time; and
(d) place.
(2) (a) In addition to the requirements under Subsection (1), a public body which holds regular meetings that are scheduled in advance over the course of a year shall give public notice at least once each year of its annual meeting schedule as provided in this section.
(b) The public notice under Subsection (2)(a) shall specify the date, time, and place of the scheduled meetings.
(3)(a)(ii) by providing notice to a newspaper or local media correspondent under the provisions of Subsection 63F-1-701(4)(d).
52-4-203. Minutes of open meetings -- Public records -- Recording of meetings.
(1) Except as provided under Subsection (8), written minutes and a recording shall be kept of all open meetings.
or recording.
(3) A recording of an open meeting shall:
(a) be a complete and unedited record of all open portions of the meeting from the commencement of the meeting through adjournment of the meeting; and
(b) be properly labeled or identified with the date, time, and place of the meeting.
(4) (a) The minutes and recordings of an open meeting are public records and shall be available within a reasonable time after the meeting.
(7) Written minutes and recordings of open meetings are public records under Title 63G, Chapter 2, Government Records Access and Management Act, but written minutes shall be the official record of action taken at the meeting.
(8) Either written minutes or a recording shall be kept of:
(a) an open meeting that is a site visit or a traveling tour.

WhatWardRUin said...

Are you people serious? You honestly believe Godfrey cares what the community, or the city council, or some stacked special interest committee thinks about MOGC? Do you for one minute think that excercise to collect public input on ideas to save or not save MOGC was ever intended to lead to a solution? How can you not see that once we all tire of Godfrey's feeble attempts to save the jewel of the east bench, he will finally share his revalation. The only thing that will save MOGC is to have an independant party own or lease it and operate it as a private business. Who, you ask? WAKE UP! Chris Peterson. Godfrey vowed not to sell the golf course to win votes. He has spent the entire time since devising a scheme to put MOGC in to Chris Peterson's hands. Please don't tell me you belive Chris' project or the gondola are dead? What a bunch of rubes. Why else would the Mayor and his staff of henchmen be meeting, secretly, with Chris twice a month regular as clock work? They ain't talking about last Sunday's Elder's Quorum meeting. There is so much more to this. Get busy and dig. Ask where the east bench infrastructure projects are?

disgusted said...

i think the committee will continue to function or at least the faithful amoung them and they will still meet in private going forward. im sure all that godfrey thinks now is that loose lips sink ships. this specific meeting just got too much attention. they will be more secretive in the future and maybe with less members. keep in mind that he prevented the less than one million dollar cost plan from getting out. godfrey will yet get his desired recommendation from the committee that he will try to shove down the residents throats.

disgusted said...

i can confirm that whatwardruin is right about the new city water infrastructure projects.
they have lines all marked out to provide water to the east bench above the golf course. prelimenary storm water pipelines laid out by the city a year and a half ago were to accomodate growth up there as well.
all at ogden residents expense and all for the exclusive benefit of who ever owns the land up there. i.e.peterson
as whatwardruin say - dig

WhatWardRUin said...

the committee is a hoax. it is only to add to the appearance that godfrey is trying to find a solution. he has made up his mind. he will find a way, that does not require council approval, to give mogc to chris peterson. it's all in the timing, and you all are just falling into his plan. when you wake up some morning and the local rag delivers godfrey's great plan to have mogc blended into chris peterson's project and it's a done deal, remember where you heard it first. see you in church.

pointypoopkickers said...

Wow! Is this type of secrecy (sp?) rampant in every city? I'm new here, but not real sure this was the best move. How can the average-everyday-basic-jon/jane doe overtaxed payer "dig" for more info? I want to know, because this affects some family (elderly) that I have here. and the income they have does not go up, but the taxes they pay sure do. Ive been to mogc a few times since i got here, and i dont understand why any mayor or person in charge would want to change it or give it away or sell it, especially to put homes there? No way! How stupid is that? Sorry, new here, but I will try to catch up, and get on board here, be more in the know. For now, please be patient with me. I don't like this godfry character at all. I"m sorry.

disgusted said...

i agree with whatwardruin.
but i think gogfrey wants the city residents to pay for the redesign and relocation of the club house before he hands it over to peterson on a lease purchase or lease with a purchase option. the sale price being set at obviously a below market based on undeveloped land or establish a purchase option price in a depressed real estate market so that peterson can then leverage off the difference from his purchase price option and the market price when he starts his project. pulling the difference out as equity to begin his development plus he bot a newly designed course with the club house where he wanted it to support his other projects for pennies on the dollar. here again all financed by the residents of ogden.

WhatWardRUin said...

dan s. asked if there are other city committees. my home teacher works at uta. he said godfrey has been putting the pressure on the uta brass to expedite the next phase of the streetcar study. he said godfrey sent an email saying absolutly no city council on the steering committee. the word is he has picked mike dowse, local businessman; curt gieger, community leader; and mark johnson, city official to be on the committee. godfrey also claims the state won't allow a streetcar on harrison north of 36th street. he wants the route to go down washington to 36th, up 36th to harrison and on to the hospital. i'm told that is almost twice the cost because of issues on 36th. remember, godfrey told the city council less than a year ago his number one priority is the gondola. why would he be in such a hurry to study a streetcar that may prove unaffordable? why is he pushing a steering committee with two gondola freaks and a spineless godfrey yes-man? why did uta leave a pad at the ogden frontrunner stop for a gondola station? it's marked that way on the plans. how can charlie t. be so blind as to believe the gondola is dead? i'm not a golfer so i don't care much about mogc, but i live in ogden and i use transit so naturally i'd love to see more. but not a gondola.

one more tidbit. my ht said there is a flier at work for an ogden city golf tournament at mogc on september 8th for "friends of the city". free golf, food and prizes for about 100 of godfrey's closest friends. this is what our tax dollars is being used for? guess i better learn to play golf.

WhatWardRUin said...

i just heard that the city golf tournament is invitation only. any ideas on how to get a look at the invitation list?

dan s. said...

whatwardruin,

You asked how one might get a look at the golf tournament invitation list.

You can submit a request for any Ogden City records (which includes any documents held by the city) at the City Recorder's office on the second floor of the municipal building. The city has 10 business days to respond. They can withhold certain categories of records, but I don't think the list would fall into any of those categories.

disgusted said...

bet chris peterson is on that list

Wants integrity in City govt said...

whatwardruin,

You could also consider running for the City Council next year. Four council seats will be up for grabs -- Jesse Garcia, Ward 1 inner city and West Ogden, Doug Stephens, Ward 3, mostly east side of Ogden from 9th St to north side of 25th St., Blain Johnson and Dorrene Jeske are both seat-wide seats and anyone in the City can run. The City Council makeup really changed when Stephens, Glasmann and Jeske were elected. The Council before was known has Godfrey's "rubber stamp," because they approved everything he proposed except Wicks and Garcia. Now we have Council members who represent the people and research the things the administration presents. Most of them are not taken in by the b.s. and lies from the administration. They have proven that a person can really make a difference in the City. So give it a thought!

george k said...

Whatwardruin said: “He has spent the entire time since devising a scheme to put MOGC in to Chris Peterson's hands. Please don't tell me you belive Chris' project or the gondola are dead? What a bunch of rubes.” Several on this blog have been trying for several months to let everyone know that the gondola is the administrations’ No. 1 goal! Glad to see you’ve joined us.

“He has made up his mind. he will find a way, that does not require council approval, to give mogc to chris peterson. it's all in the timing, and you all are just falling into his plan. when you wake up some morning and the local rag delivers godfrey's great plan to have mogc blended into chris peterson's project and it's a done deal.” You are so right! I’m convinced that is the reason that Godfrey had the Legislature change the authority and power from the RDA Board (Council members) and give it to the mayor. Curmudgeon indicated that the Legislature is going to reconsider SB294 during the next session; we all need to contact our representatives and senators to recind the amendment to that bill so that the power is returned to the Council so that they can provide a check and balance in city government. No ONE person should have the power to sell important parcels of land.

george k said...

pointypoopkickers: “Ive been to mogc a few times since i got here, and i dont understand why any mayor or person in charge would want to change it or give it away or sell it, especially to put homes there? No way! How stupid is that?”

You have to realize that 1) the Mayor doesn’t play golf, 2) The Mayor is selfish and self-centered. He won’t consider the feelings or ideas of others (no one is as smart as he is), 3) Keeping the golf course does not fit in his plans – he and Chris Peterson have a deal to make Chris Peterson a multi-millionaire (at Ogden’s expense). We’re not sure what Godfrey’s pay off is when he is out of office, but there for sure is one!

Mt Ogden Golf Course just received Golf Digest’s four star rating in the 2008-2009 edition of Golf Digest's “Best Places to Play”. This year’s “Best Places to Play” rates nearly 6,000 courses in North America and the Islands which is a significant achievement, and the fact that the courses were evaluated by 20,000 Golf Digest readers on a five point scale is pretty impressive. Mount Ogden is the jewel of Ogden surrounded by a park and open space, but Godfrey is too blind to see that.

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