Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Morning News Roundup

Two Standard-Examiner items worthy of note

By Curmudgeon

Two must-read items in Sunday's Standard Examiner. The first is a front page story by Scott Schwebke reporting that the Godfrey Administration's "independent citizen's committee" [politely so called] toured Mount Ogden Golf Course with a representative of Jack Nicklaus's golf course design firm, discussing the possibility of making MOGC and Jack Nicklaus designed course. Mr. Schwebke notes that the Nicklaus representative was doing the walk-over in hopes of getting the re-design job, or as one member of the committee put it, "he was interviewing for the job."

The story also reported that Ogden city has been, for the better part of a year, working with a local design form on a "gentleman's agreement" --- i.e. no fees paid --- but that part of the agreement was a guarantee that the city not reveal the name of the local firm. Godfrey "refused to say" if that firm was Nicklaus'. The eight members of the so-called independent citizens committee were told "in no uncertain terms" not to reveal the name of that firm. The Mayor said he made it "very clear" to all committee members that releasing the name would be a dishonorable and unethical thing to do and would bring "shame on them."

Two points worth noting: first, the Mayor's claim that he was determined to keep hands off the committee's operations so it would not be unduly influenced by the Administration is getting to look more than a little ragged. He met with them first to pitch his ideas. He provides meeting space and staff support. And now we learn that he arranged a walk over with the city's consultants on golf courses, and he's dictating to the committee what it may reveal and what it may not. While piously insisting he's keeping hands off. Uh huh. Right.

Second: we see again this administration's preference for proceeding in secret and for keeping all its minions sworn to secrecy... even its "independent citizen committees." Uh huh.

To be fair, the story does point out that at least one member of the committee is not happy with the Nicklaus "hire us!" recommendations, and is heading up the so-called "sub" committee that is presenting the one million dollar redesign that would keep MOGC as a mountain course. The Nicklaus group wants to make it over into a valley-meadow course like El Monte.

[I pass over in diplomatic silence the rich opportunities for sarcasm inherent in Hizzonah presuming to lecture anyone on what constitutes ethical an honorable conduct in public affairs.]

The second item is a very interesting Charles Trentelman Wasatch Rambler column, reporting a conversation he had with Robert Geiger, in which Mr. Geiger makes it clear he intends to continue to "expose" [so to speak] WSU's alleged "anti-business" attitudes, and in which it becomes clear that Mr. Geiger and his associates absolutely do not intend to let the gondola/gondola scheme drop.

Trentelman's column is worth a careful read. Note how, in it, Mr. Geiger displays the trade-mark arrogance of a Godfrey Gondolista: anyone one or body that does not accept without question his particular ideas about how Ogden should change is, by right of not accepting his ideas, "anti-business" and opposed to Ogden's betterment.

81 comments:

Dan S. said...

Many of us have known for months that the city's secret golf consultant is Jon Garner. His initials were on the plan that Godfrey had on display at the public open house back in March. Just because the SE didn't report it until now doesn't mean it was a secret.

Curmudgeon said...

Dan:

To which I'd note that the Mayor is quoted in the paper today explaining how he swore the committee members to secrecy regarding the consultant. The point being he preferred to operate in secrecy and he insisted his... and I do mean his... committee members operate in secret as well. That the secret slipped out doesn't change that.

dan s. said...

It's more than a little odd for a mayor to order committee members not to divulge a secret that he's already more or less divulged himself. But then, Godfrey isn't your ordinary mayor.

Perhaps I should also point out that a promise of confidentiality cannot be used to circumvent open records laws. I've submitted a GRAMA request for all records pertaining to this committee. I expect a response in about a week. If Garner is named in those records, his name was about to become public anyway.

george k said...

Curmudgeon, you said, “Note how, in it, Mr. Geiger displays the trade-mark arrogance of a Godfrey Gondolista: anyone one or body that does not accept without question his particular ideas about how Ogden should change is, by right of not accepting his ideas, "anti-business" and opposed to Ogden's betterment.” Not only does Bob Geiger exhibit such an intolerant attitude, he has accused those who do not think as he does, people with a low I.Q. and no sense at all. Some of the professors at WSU and members of the Council have been so maligned by this unethical trouble-maker. What he doesn’t realize is that when he points a finger at someone, he has three pointing back at him.

I appreciate your write-up, you did well, and I might say you have more self-control than I. You were too kind towards Godfrey and Geiger.

WhatWardRUin said...

the golf course re-design is just a part of the ploy to show godfrey has done all he can to find a way to save mogc. his solicitation of public input and review committes are a smoke screen. his intention all along has been and continues to be to put mogc in chris petersons hands. chris says very openly he needs three things to make his development work:
1. he needs mogc. godfrey shared his plan to take the sale off the table for the purposes of winning the election. after the election was over godfrey set out to give the impression that we need an immediate solution to mogc's finances. after the secret committee that godfrey had no role in creating makes it's recommendation, godfrey will reveal that turning mogc over to a private operator is the best choice. enter chris peterson. one down two to go.
2. peterson needs access through benkins property in taylor canyon. benkins need the city's water reservoir and related projects for their future development plans. godfrey holds the construction of said water projects up until benkins give peterson what he wants. once the benkins give into petersons demands godfrey will allow the water projects to move forward. two down one to go.
3. peterson needs wsu property. peterson has received and set to exercise quiet title action to close all access to and across his malans basin property, shutting down the east bench trails. pressure from forest service, state parks and rec, weber pathways, and the general public to the board of regents will result in peterson reopening access only after wsu gives chris the property he needs. enter the gondola.
this is not just what if. this is all underway. watch for the trail access to be closed, maybe as soon as october, certainly by next spring. there is no real interest in re-building mogc. the city doesn't have $6-million, they are on the brink of bankruptcy. godfrey is not going to risk his $50-million worth of pet projects to bond for mogc. the next piece of the puzzle will soon fall into place with the coming streetcar study.

dan s. said...

whatwardruin,

Interesting theory. Could you please clarify point 2? Access to what--to Malan's Basin via Taylor Canyon or just to the foothill property immediately to the south of Behnkens' property?

WhatWardRUin said...

construction access to malans basin via benkin property and a ski trail along the south side of taylors that will provide intermediate/beginner terrain from top of malans to petersons lower village.

Viktor said...

Geiger -vs- Trentelman

Possibly the greatest mismatch in Ogden's history. If Trentelman isn't careful he just might get charged with idiot abuse, or at least un-sportsman like conduct for matching wits with a nitwit. Bob Gieger is completely innocent of course because he is too stupid to really know just how stupid he is, where Tretelman surely does. (know how stupid Geiger & company is)

So cummon Charley, pick on someone your own intellectual size and leave these hair brained scam artists alone. You remind me of a cat playing with a mouse.

dan s. said...

whatwardruin,

What about the Forest Service? It would be very difficult to get from the Behnken property to Malan's Basin without going through National Forest.

WhatWardRUin said...

dan s.

not where benkin property touches peterson property. peterson has development plans in morgan county that the forest service is very interested in. can you say land trade?

dan s. said...

whatwardruin,

Exactly what land in Morgan County would that be?

testing my memory said...

This is a call to old timers to give us the history about the upgrade to Mount Ogden Gold Course. How about it Bill Critchlow?

Please critique my following comments about what I think I remember regarding the design of the original course.

It was supposed to have been designed by golfer Billy Casper at no cost because he was somebody's buddy in Ogden. He did a hurry up job and the completed course had problems so he was called back in to correct those problems.

The corrections cost Ogden City around $300,000.00 back in the 80's which was paid to the guy who messed it up for what was supposed to have been a gratis job.. So much for letting someone's buddy design the course.

Now it sounds like we have somebody's buddy named Jon Garner looking at a redesign. Jon Garner is supposedly a member of the Jack Nicklaus Design team. Nicklaus no longer designs anything. And Garner probably hasn't either except in Ogden.

Jon Garner, an Ogden Golf and County Club member, did the redesign of part of the golf course at the OGCC within the last couple of years. The redesign cost a very large sum of money and OGCC members have seen their assessments rise because of it.

Some of the members were not at all pleased but there was the core governing group that putted ahead and did it.

Just because someone is a member of a big name design outfit does not mean they have the best concept of what should be done at Mt. Ogden.

Why doesn't someone just call Jack Behnken's son who runs the dog food operation and ask him what is going on? Jack Behnken is the one who gave the land.

WhatWardRUin said...

dan s.

adjacent to snowbasin. peterson is planning a large development on private land that f.s. would like to see not happen. peterson will trade part of that development for land in taylors. this is not new news.

WhatWardRUin said...

testing my memory

it would be interesting to learn what contact benkin family has had with city.

dan s. said...

whatwardruin,

What are the section numbers of Peterson's land near Snowbasin?

wnats integrity in the mayor said...

Maybe that's why Godfrey rehired Scott Brown -- he's the dirtiest player in the world. He makes the godfather look like a pussycat! You know whatever Godfrey does with the golf course has to be underhanded since he promised he wouldn't sell it.

WhatWardRUin said...

dan s.

you are a clever guy with lots of resources. think i'll let you take it from here. you won't be disappointed.

dan s. said...

whatwardruin,

Your refusal to answer puts your whole story in doubt. Besides, I have a day job that leaves me little time to go looking up plat maps in Morgan County.

wondering said...

Has anyone verified that Jon Garner is a boni fide representative of the Nicklas org.?

Of course, by going "pro bono" on the design fee Garner/Nicklas or whomever,has a fast track to the construction contract and the real money.

Bye-bye once again to the competetive bid process.

WhatWardRUin said...

dan s.

typical school teacher. get somebody else to do all the work and you grade it based upon your view of the universe. your 18 hour a week day job must be exhausting.

caddyhack said...

Nice work Curmudgeon

testing my...,

Once upon a time, an old pro told me that Billy Casper merely flew over the Mount Ogden Golf Course property, prior to designing the course. Casper never walked it. That's one of the reasons the golf course is hard to walk and was, originally, extremely difficult to play. The old pro also told me that Casper and the city rejected an excellent design that was produced by George Von Elm (another US Open winner), who had actually walked the property.

The course was built cheaply, especially the watering system, and there were additional problems due to mismanagement by an early superintendent. In the beginning, there were no bathrooms or water fountains on MOGC. That lasted for a year or two. Everybody, ladies included, had to use the bushes. Good times. The course has improved with age and a great superintendent. The club house is a design disaster that was poorly built by the low bidder from SLC. Check it out during a rain storm sometime, especially if the wind is blowing.

The club house should be at the top of the course, not the bottom. The snack shop should be on the lower level for easier access. The pro shop needs more security and less water leakage. More carts would be helpful. The driving range, which should be a money maker, is a money loser, due to it's short distance and lack of revenue. Mount Ogden Golf Course got off to a poor start, due to the way it was designed and built. It has been shamelessly neglected by the city for years.

One huge mistake, is not promoting the golf course. Mr. Godfrey has sucked at that. There used to be a nice flyer, printed by the city, that trumpeted MOGC and it's Golf Digest rating. Mr. Godfrey may have ordered them removed and the originals destroyed. What’s really odd is that Mr. Godfrey has never promoted the golf course, in spite of the fact that it’s a definite outdoor adventure experience. Mr. Godfrey has cut funding to the golf course, and trashed it (talk-wise) repeatedly. If you are familiar with the term “starving the beast,” it may be apropos.

Jon Garner has successfully designed and built numerous golf courses as a member of the Jack Nicklaus Group. He graduated from Utah State University with a Masters Degree, I believe, related to golf course design. He worked at El Monte Golf Course as the assistant manager, I believe, for a number of years, while he attended Utah State. He’s a good man. Bill C. has issues with Mr. Brinkman and Mr. Garner, but he obviously knows a lot about MOGC and undoubtedly wants to protect it, as do I.

I could go on, but I already wrote too much, too quickly. There was a giant hail/rainstorm followed by a mighty flash flood...

danny said...

Great stuff.

Schwebke is on a roll.

Dan S. (above) and whatward illustrate the local knowledge and activism that make Godfrey's scams more difficult to pull.

Trentleman is doing what he does so well.

Gieger is looking like the fringe kook and lightweight that he has always really been.

Dorrene is "on the case" as always.

Rudi provides a place to talk about it in front of everyone.

Ogden is a great place. If only Sue had beaten Godfrey. Maybe she will run against Godfreyite Blaine Johnson next year for her old council seat. Sue, think of the good times with Dorrene, Caitlin and Amy. The four of you could have a lot of fun with Godfrey and do a lot of good that would last for generations.

danny said...

One quibble:

Dan and Whatward -

Your discussion indicates that Peterson is planning to develop Malan's and other million dollar projects.

My impression of Peterson is that he is actually a fraud - a juvenile man-boy who is spending his share of Holding's money and acting important. He has little ability or means other than for passing Holding's name around.

The gondola and golf course deal was really about getting him some options on valuable real estate so he could flip them fast and cheap. Am I wrong about that? I value your thoughts.

dan s. said...

whatwardruin,

Resorting to personal attacks undermines your credibility even further.

danny,

I don't think Peterson set out to commit fraud. But it often happens that people say or do foolish things, then engage in deception as they try to cover up their foolishness.

WhatWardRUin said...

dan s.

this has nothing to do with my "personal attacks". you do what you want with the information i provide. if you are too busy to do your own follow up, don't expect me to do it for you. either way doesn't change the facts; only your willingness to accept them or reject them is what matters. i'm not just floating conspiracy theories.

danny said...

Dan S.

To clarify, I suggested Peterson IS a fraud - i.e. he is not what he represents himself to be.

His plans were all a sham from the beginning.

If he didn't COMMIT fraud, it's only because he's never really done much of anything at all. It's difficult for a relatively inert object to commit fraud or to commit anything else for that matter.

Whatward,

Appreciate that Dan S. gets tired of always doing leg work. I think he has a right to remind people that he too has a day job. I for one appreciate any info you or anyone else can bring to the table and I thank all such persons for it.

WhatWardRUin said...

danny

i'm not opposed to doing leg work. the info i've provided didn't just fall into my lap. what i am opposed to is validating my work to someone elses satisfaction. you all have to do that yourself. for the record i also have a day job (40+ hours a week), a family, a church calling, volunteer work and a hobby or two.

Bill C. said...

Sorry about coming late to the party. Micro burst, large trees nolonger standing.
The original course design was to have been Casper. I doubt it was pro bono, because he walked away without finishing the job over money. Bill Neff, took over and finished the course. Neff is a local course designer who did Eagle Mountain in Brigham right after he finished at Mt. Ogden.
He also did Gladstan down in Payson, what a fun place that is.
There is nothing wrong with the design of our course. Any flaws that one may find are most likely the result of a couple of issues.
The fact that the project was started by one person and another had to step in and finish. And the city 's cutting funding during the finishing.
All that is water under the bridge now. With the constant attention to corrections over 25 years and the course maturing, we now have a beautiful challenging course. Many of the most ardent complainers about our facility haven't set foot on the property for 25 years, and alot of folks seem to blame their inability to hit a shot on the course.
As for the clubhouse, it is a poorly designed facility, but it's location is exactly right where it should be with regards to walkability. The major uphill portions of both the front and back nines are the first four holes, the player is still fresh, then the last five holes are basically downhill.
Placing the clubhouse on top at 36th st. would mean the player is trying to finish his round in a state of near exaustion, not the best condition to hit a shot in, and in all probability finnish his round on a very bad note.
As for Mr. Garner, this plan is hardly new. He drew this up right after the city refused to renew Wathen's contract. It's 4 or 5 years old. It was secret then too.
The original proposal was that Niclaus would make and pay for the changes, then assume management of the facility and pay the city a token amount, keeping the profits. I suppose they think folks will pay a premium for the name. Personally only Johnny Miller surpasses Nicklaus in the area of worst course designer in history. They both suck, but I digress.
The players that have used this course , and supported it to the tune of tens of thousand of dollars each since it's opening, love it. No one has inquired of us or sought our participation in this discussion.
We now have the best person possible in our stable in Jeff McFarland. If any changes or alteration need be looked at it should be under Jeff's supervision, these are very few in number and size, and can easily be accomplished over time without disrupting the recreation opportunity of the people of Ogden. All of this could be accomplished thru RAMP funding, which are tax dollars all ready collected. These suggestions along with eliminating the bogus debt would result in a much healthier recreational opportunity to all the residents of Ogden.
I should also point out to all of those inclined to look at munincipal golf as a business, that's not the purpose of munincipal golf courses, they exsist to provide an opportunity to all resident from all backgrounds an affordable way to play the game. Breaking even is the real objective.
The only real changes needed imediately are a new irrigation system and giving Jeff an adequate budget so he can do his job. Valley Veiw, Birch Creek and Bountiful Ridge spend four to five times more maintaining their courses, Brinkman and the mayor are quick to cite their annual rounds played but nary a word on what they have to spend to acheive them.

pointypoopkickers said...

A most heartfelt and gracious THANK YOU to Mr. Brenkman for all his efforts and extraordinarily hard work (not to mention IRREPLACEABLE LOST FAMILY TIME) in managing two incredible golf courses, while not being granted any extra funds in his budget to do so (through no fault of his own, but rather, due to orders from the King of Ogden with LittleManSyndrome), but instead having his needs overlooked by the powers that be (Kings and pawns....Kings and pawns...). His needs, and many other Ogden Citizen taxpayer rights/needs have been dismissed or should we say, robbed peter to pay paul....to make what ever effort possible to fund UNREALISTIC and OVERPRICED and UNWARRANTED AT THIS TIME projects that MIGHT make Mr. King look like he's some superhero for the city!
I am finding it doesn't take much at all to dig up so much dirt in this town....and then to read that you people are BLAMING the very people who, in my digging I have found, are making every effort to preserve and do right! Regardless of any bread or butter issue previously and coldly mentioned.
Mr. Brenkman, I haven't been here long, but I have very much enjoyed playing golf at both El Monte and MoTog and hope they CONTINUE to grow and prosper and CONTINUE to bring in revenue for the City...even if Mr. Godfry chooses to put those funds elsewhere, in lost or hopeless projects, hoping it will somehow "prove" the golf course is a lost cause, so he can sell it out from under Ogden.
What a shame. But thank you for all YOU do, Mr. Brenkman!!
It was a pleasure meeting you in person, by the way.
I'm certain that bill c. is clearly absent of the facts regarding the golf course budgets, and who is the actual responsible party for demanding it's low level, and for what reasons!!

dan s. said...

whatwardruin,

The problem is that your claim about the land in Morgan County is probably too vague to substantiate--or to refute. Even if you don't know section numbers, you should at least be able to describe the land more clearly. Does Peterson really own this land or is he merely hoping to inherit it from his father in law? (I'd hate to make a trip to Morgan merely to learn that all the land adjacent to the National Forest is owned by Sinclair Oil.) Who in the Forest Service doesn't want this land developed?

Bill C. said...

What facts do you wan't to argue? Your defense of Brenkman shows your total ignorance to whats transpired over the last four years, let alone the last 30.
I'm also well aware of the intimidation factor felt by all city sub level managers, but they all don't sacrifice their own professional credibility willingly to accomidate one idiotic ego packed so tightly in a tiny package. One can easily tell you were not present at the City Council work session on the golf course. Is your handle per chance a reference to manly footwear?

pointypoopkickers said...

No bill c.
I actually really like your golf balls you leave all over the course with "Godfrey Sucks" written all over them. Now that's IS impressive.
You have no idea what meetings I've been to, or what info I'm able to obtain. You are wrong. Is YOUR handle perhaps the fact that you no longer get FREE GOLF at your leisure at MoTog when you had it for so long...are you upset that YOU aren't being offered the opportunity to buy up the course by the King??

WhatWardRUin said...

don't foget petersons wife is also sinclair oil. i don't know whos name the land is in. i just know what i heard peterson say, in some detail. he has development plans adjacent to snowbasin. he hopes to leverage that against his development desires on our side of the mountain. you all act as if he is stupid. he is a first class bafoon but knows what he wants and more than one way to get it. don't under-estimate him. i apologize for my earlier unflattering remarks. it was unbecoming and uncalled for.

disgusted said...

to whatwardruin

godfrey may have achieved goal two that you mention with his plans to develop a water well at the top of 27th street. along with that water well he plans to put a water tank up higher on the mountain in taylor canyon. a tank that is not needed nor is the well needed for that matter. but there will be a need for an access road built to that tank. godfrey will give peterson use of that road that will cross the property that belongs to benkins.
godfrey is putting in the tank to provide water service for petersons east bench development and maybe for benkins though i hear that the family is in no hurry to develop.
that why goal three is underway. peterson has not taken his eye off the mount ogden project nor godfrey.

also bill c is absoluely right about the location of the club house. needs attention but the location is perfect.

WhatWardRUin said...

the benkins have submitted numerous development plans over the years. each time the city has required a water reservoir to ensure fire flows and adequate pressure. they are poised to re-submit as soon as the city installs all of that water infrastructure. they are definitely eager. godfrey knows that and will hold off on the water projects until benkins give in to petersons demands.

david s said...

Dan S.

On this subject, you asked on this blog some time ago what law gives the city council the right to approve land sales.

Let me cite this one:
___

10-3-1219.5. Council-mayor form -- Ordinances on transfer of municipal property and regulation of subdivisions or annexations.

In the council-mayor form of government, the council shall, by ordinance, provide for the manner in which:
(1) municipal property is bought, sold, traded, encumbered, or otherwise transferred; and
(2) subdivisions, or annexations are approved, disapproved or otherwise regulated.

Enacted by Chapter 39, 1979 General Session
----

I suspect you are ahead of me on this issue, but does this not grant the city council the right to write into city code the requirement that they approve land sales, if not in fact, then at least in effect?

The thread above shows why this is still an issue.

Personally, I would like to see the city council get out in front of Godfrey on the issue of preserving 27th Street access point to Taylor Canyon and other open space issues.

Dorrene, it will be my delight to call upon you in the near future to ask your feelings on this issue.

Bill C. said...

Well manly footwear, you are wrong on all counts. I never have gotten free golf and I have never inscribed godfrey sucks on any of my golf balls, though I have seen and play with some who have.(plural)
Your blind defense of Brenkman gives me pause though, please tell us what we've missed regarding Brinkmans doing right by us and the people of Ogden. Perhaps we can't see the forest for the trees.
I feel no need to hide behind an alias, I stand by what I say, and if you can prove me wrong, I'm not above acknowleging it. What's your reason for hiding?

late to the party said...

Has anyone talked to Mark Ballif who designed and owned Sherwood Golf Course for years and may still own it?

I would like to hear his opinions on Mount Ogden.

Anonymous said...

For a poltical light weight, Robert Geiger has sure received a lot of play. I haven't seen a time when a Viewpoints article received a response from the Chairman of the Board of Trustees from WSU and two consecutive sunday mornign articles from Charles Trentlemen.

An interesting issue to watch play out. For sure.

pointypoopkickers said...

bill c, sir.
I "hide" as you call it because having my ID stolen once in my lifetime was quite enough, thank you. So now I tend to leave true ID bits off the web. Sorry. Once bitten twice shy...let alone the cost, stress and aggravation of repairing the damage that caused. There, does that answer your question?
I wonder, however, if would you address me in a more respectful manner if I had chosen the name... "4inchstrappysandals" ???
Who cares what my name is on here? What does that have to do with golf courses and gondolas??

I would suggest the word "never" is quite finite. Interesting you would choose that word. Hmmm...
I KNOW! LET'S ASK THE PEOPLE THAT WORK THERE!?? Yea...maybe there might be some truth there after all!!

His name, sir, is Mr. Brenkman. Rather than my having to defend him more, maybe you should take some time to get to know him, and what he stands for before you belittle him on and on, when you obviously have no clue what his position is in all of this is. Now there's a strange concept, huh?

My question to you is why do you hate him so much, and attach him to the mayor as if they were one in the same? Where lies your proof? How can you do this with such ignorance, and yet appear to take such joy and pride in it??

Sir, if you managed a business, regardless what it was, wouldn't you think it would be quite difficult to keep your business out of ruin if you just gave your products away simply because your customers had been coming to you for years and they expected such gratuity? And then, if you failed to give in to their whining and demands, they slammed your name, you personally for it??? Is that really fair?

Mr. Brenkman is doing right by the City of Ogden, and both golf courses he manages, by ensuring the visitors play and pay, and trying to give them the best courses he can, not to mention his every effort to keep the equipment from being abused the best he can, next to camping out 24/7. Give the man a break. Good grief. I know for a fact he wants nothing more than for both courses to be successful and fun for all visitors! And I, as a golfer, think he's doing a great job with the few broken tools he's been given by the mayor and his meager budget. If you don't agree, that's your choice, certainly. But you are mistaken, I tell you.

4inchStilettos said...

bill c,
changed my name just 4 you. ;)
Gotta keep it a bit lighter in here, yes?

Bill C. said...

First off, there's no need to address me as sir. As for getting to know Brenkman, I've known him since he was the little red headed kid constantly hanging out at El Monte. There's a whole lot I know about Todd, but I needn't go into it.
As for your questioning my understanding of how he feels on these issues I'll just say I've spent hours talking, arguing and literally fighting with him both at El Monte and Mt. Ogden. Always in private. Todd doesn't question my sincerity when it comes to these things nor my motivation. Todd and I know eachother quite well, and have for a long time. So on that one you are speaking from ignorance.
As for your other observation, do you truely believe that 10,000 plus rounds were the result of not collecting and giving away free golf. Todd doesn't , why do you?
From an earlier post I noticed you question the wisdom of bulldozing our golf course, well, that's exactly what Todd reccommended to the City Council, and that's the real crux of the biscuit.
Now you may have some dislike of something about me for whatever reason, but you're only a fool if you question my involvement in this, and my motives. All banter aside, just what do you think is driving me to file all these gramas, attend all these council meetings and work sessions and spend so much time talking to individual Council members?

Bill C. said...

Oh, and that's pretty weak, the identity theft bit, your social security number is not one of Rudi's requirements. Maybe you'll be wearing a mask next time you see me at the golf course and we could discuss it there.
Oh, and I can't help it if things related to folks dislike of lying little matty get attributed me, it comes with the territory.

dorrene jeske said...

David S,
I spent more than two months the first year I was on the Council writing amendments to the State Code that you posted above that gave the council some say in the disposition of land. Both Gary Williams and the Council's outside attorney essentially said the same thing and that was that I ignored the separation of powers and infringed on the mayor's power of management. However, the Council's attorney gave us a suggestion that I am trying to convince the other council members to discuss, but since Susie is no longer on the council, I don't have much support to do that.

Danny, you know me too well. I appreciate your kind comments, but it's driving me crazy trying to figure out who you are. If you don't feel put upon and uncomfortable with letting me know, I really would appreciate it if you would either email me or call me. I hesitate to ask that of you, but it is driving me crazy. I'll understand if you don't tell me.

dorrene jeske said...

David S.,
I would love to have you stop by any time to discuss any issue. It is always so great to talk with you.

disgusted said...

whatwardruin

i may have been misinformed about the benkins land as i was informed that by the administrations personel but the point i made about the road and the access it will give peterson is still valid.


david s

as i recall that is exactly the language that dorrene was suggusting the council use to limit the powers of the mayor but the administration claimed that such use of that clause would be in effect stripping him of his executive power and thus it was not legal. council consulted with their outside council a member the league of citys and countys and a pro development guy and he concurned with the city mayor as the potential use of the ordinance or revision of the ordinance would have been against a development project. dorrene even went to SLC legislature to review the law and it was apparent there that the citys attonery was not properly understanding of the law and that in deeed the council should be using that clause in the ordinance to limit the powers of the mayor but the rest of the city council would not go along because of the comments of the biased outside council. The outside council is a wolf in sheeps clothing and will never help the council as he supports the mayors visions. council needs to find new outside legal council.

disgusted said...

if anyone supports bill c comments as i do that the golf course in our city should be accessable and affordable to all in the community then they should think about what is generally charged to play golf on a professionally designed course by jack nicklaus. more than likely it will cost at least 75 to 125 dollars per round. well out of the reach for the average local weekend warrior. once again we will be providing a service to those rich outside our community and not to the peple that live here or pay taxes here.

david s. said...

Dorrene,

I was under the impression that the code I cited is perfectly clear. If the city council has a lawyer that is telling them it says something other than what it says, they should fire that lawyer. Lawyers very often work for interests other than their clients. That's why they have the reputation they have. People should know that you are the only one pushing this vital issue on the council.

Dan S., I'd still like to know what you think about the code I cited. I may call you anyway. Since it's raining today I won't be able to ride my motorcycle through the land you want to make a wilderness area or go hiking through the land you have helped preserve from both development and motorcycles so I will need something else to do. Or perhaps I'll just fix stuff around the house as usual.

4inchStilettos said...

bill c,
You are just an outright mean-spirited person. How do you have any clue about my ID issues? And with that, I'm supposed to believe YOU?? Right.
I'll be happy to ask "Todd" about his wonderful life-long happy experiences he's had with you since he was a little red-head. Can't wait to hear what HE has to say about YOU, but far too kind to post it all here.
No need to reply to me. I'm done with your pointless "look at me, everyone...LOOK AT ME" crap. You just like to argue. End of story.
P.S. As you make jokes about Todd's hair as a child (opening that door was YOUR call), maybe you could take a quick look in the mirror at your old-man, salt-n-peppa shaggy-top rag you have going on...and get a real man's haircut. Maybe you'd be taken a bit more seriously IN PERSON. Bye bill.

PointyPoopKickers said...

disgusted,

I agree that upping the cost to $70-$125 for a round of golf would def be too high for the local weekenders to pay to play! That would be horrible!

I wouldn't think that that would be part of the plan for MOGC, tho. Not as a City (taxpayer) owned place to play. I CAN, however, see that being the case if it got sold out to a private owner or manager....one out to make a killing off the land.
That idea would make sense, totally.

PPK

WhatWardRUin said...

dorrene

might make for interesting conversation for the council to inquire of the administration why they are holding up the construction of the taylor canyon water projects. the plans are done and ready to bid but godfrey won't let it out. godfrey has had two city managers negotiating with benkins but still hasn't gotten what peterson wants. we on the east bench are looking forward to the clean water and good pressure the taylor canyon projects are supposed to provide. how much longer do we have to wait?

danny said...

Maybe I can add the the new "who are you" thread we're sliding into here.

The idea of using a handle is anonymity. It seems to me if somebody uses one, it's because they don't want to use their name. And in my experience, the best way to keep a secret is not to tell anybody myself!

On the other hand, because of my appreciation for this blog and for Dorrene, I might be willing to send Rudi a few biographical snippets that some might find interesting on slow news days. Folks seemed to like my Salomon Center review so they might like this too.

I do respect when somebody wishes to remain anonymous and of course I respect the great Bill C.

disgusted said...

i too have had more than one experience with todd. one time in particular that typifies my experience though that i will point out.
i showed up at el monte to see if i could play a round of golf during the work week about 2 oclock in the afternoon. the number one tee box was empty and no one was on the fairway. i asked if a twosome could tee off. he stated that we could not because he had two foresomes signed up to play at that time. i said no one was there to tee off and that no one was up in the parking lot getting ready to play or for that matter was anyone up there. i stayed around for 15 minutes thinking he might decide to let us play but no. during that time no one showed up and no one did a re-round on the course. i asked one more time if we could go out and he got an atitude with us this time and told us to go find another course to play on.
you say what you want about bill c but my experiences with todd are not good either.

PointyPoopKickers said...

danny,
Thank you. Well said. Respect for ALL who want the best for Ogden City!! Named or otherwise. :)

Yes, I'd love to read up about on your "slow news days" snippets!!

PPK

WhatWardRUin said...

dorrene

my water bill has already gone up substantially to help pay for these projects. i was at the city council meeting when you all approved the new rates and the new water projects. why is godfrey hijacking the process? if you aren't going to give us what we are paying for then i want my money back. how long would you make mortgage payments on a house that was ready to move in to but the doors were bolted shut?

PointyPoopKickers said...

disgusted,
I'm sorry for your experience. I appreciate your comment, and I even can appreciate bill c's if his weren't so blatantly rude.
All I can say is that Todd has always treated me and my family and my friends with the best respect and kindness. No, we are not family with him. No, we are not his neighbors. We only know if because of the golf courses. When I have needed help with anything, he's been right on it to take care of my issues....crappy drive...bad iron shots...etc. I can not give reasons for your example, nor for bill's, nor you for mine. But as strongly as a few on here seem to have issues with Todd to the negative, I am equally there to his defense. With no less respect for your opinion. All I ask is that we try to keep Todd and the mayor as two totally separate and distinct individuals. Todd is not a Godfrey. But he IS under a lot of pressure...
Thanks for you input.

PPK

Ogden Resident said...

Whatwardruin,

Ogden could solve the water problems in your neighborhood without building the Taylor Canyon water project. The administration though has decided to drag their feet until they can build a project that incorporates the improvements that will enables development above and to the east of the existing homes. This will accommodate Peterson's development plans for the bench and possibly Benkin's if they play along with the administration.
The city is NOT pursuing the most cost effective or expedient method to solve the water pressure and water purity issues. They are also compromising other parts of the water system build out to accomplish their goal for Peterson. The resident little by little (or should I say big by big) are funding Godfrey’s vision for that part of the city.

Bill C. said...

Well, now that you've accomplished your task of attacking me, for what ever reason, that's your problem.How about some real discussion.
None of my statements about Brenkman have been of a personal nature, unlike your shots at me. My issues are with what we, the loyal supporters of Ogden City golf, for the last 40+ years expect out of person in his job. It's about the job.
You speak of intense pressure he's under, maybe you could enlighten us? By your reference to this pressure are we supposed to disregard what he's said about our course and all he's reccommended?
Are we supposed to overlook the absence of key functions he was supposed to be responsible for since the departure of Kip 4 years ago? Please give us some substance.

caddyhack said...

Disgusted and Bill C.,

I agree, adamantly, that municipal golf should be accessible and affordable. However, please elaborate further on why you believe the location of the club house is perfect.

Walking straight uphill, as per the first hole at MOGC, is not conducive to warming up. It's not healthy for regular exercise, so how could it be healthy for a challenging golf game? It's not as bad if your body is conditioned, but is the average golfer in great shape? What about newcomers and tourists who play the course for the first time? The back nine starts off with a decent warm-up hole, if you can hit it straight.

The starters and managers are unable to view what's happening on most of the course. There's a killer view from the top of the course, and it should be utilized for maximum effect, from all of the clubhouse. That outstanding view should become part of Ogden’s “brand.” I believe the cafĂ© at El Monte does a lot more business that Mount Ogden’s, certainly more so when there is a tournament. Compare the views from both clubhouses, upstairs and downstairs. The view, and the El Monte clubhouse, certainly enhances the El Monte golf experience.

MOGC could be promoted as a spectacular tournament venue. Hosting the Utah Open should be considered. Why not host the Western Open? Shucks, the Pioneer Days Rodeo and Mount Ogden Shoot Out could happen.

And Bill, you might mention that Todd Brenkman has done an excellent job at El Monte. He did more that hang out there as a “little red-headed kid,” but you already know that. Todd may have a few warts, but so do you (and so do I).

Keep fighting the good fight.

dan s. said...

David,

The meaning of that statute comes down to how you interpret the word "manner". The prevailing interpretation is that this means the council can impose things like notice requirements but can't have any direct control over whether or not a real estate transaction is carried out. Other interpretations are obviously possible, but probably can't be implemented without a fight that would go all the way to the Utah Supreme Court.

The Sierra Club's Wilderness proposal for the mountains above Ogden wouldn't close any trails to motorcycles that are currently open.

dan s. said...

I've never been inside the current clubhouse, but I much prefer the view from its location (looking up toward the cliffs) than the view from the top of 36th Street.

A bigger driving range ain't gonna happen. There's no room.

I have no personal opinion of Mr. Brenkman, but I do think he should be asked to explain why, under his watch, use at Mt. Ogden declined while use at El Monte increased. I also think it's his job to promote the course, not to tell the newspaper how bad it is.

Bill C. said...

Caddy, like all mountain courses, walking is the exception, not the rule. I don't believe Wasatch Mountain's mountain course ever sees walkers. Rarely does the gold course at Soldier Hollow.
The site of our clubhouse is well established and utilized by much of the community. Both the restrooms and snackbar.
As for the success of the snack bar, Mt. Ogden's consessins have all ways exeeded El Montes. This year due our changes it's far ahead. Plus as we found out during the Mt. Ogden community plan meetings, the residents like it being there. It's a good location for the Ogden High Golf teams, it's their home course, and the current location doesn't infringe on the folks that use the trail system. Moving it to the higher location would bring a cluster of activity to that area, possibly destroying the value to those that use the trails. It would also add to a very conjested area due to WSU. The result of which would be neither good for students or golfers.
I've personally been fighting with Brenkman for an Open golf tournement for 4 years. There is always some excuse offered, but I sense that the success from this would greatly dampen the mayor's agenda and thats the true reluctence.

david s. said...

Dan S.

You refer to the "prevailing interpretation" of the statement that "the council shall, by ordinance, provide for the manner in which:
(1) municipal property is bought, sold, traded, encumbered, or otherwise transferred"

What "prevailing interpretation" do you refer to?

It appears to me the word "shall" not only allows, but requires, the CC to describe the manner in which it is done. On the other hand, where in the world does it say the mayor has all the say?

Personally, I don't need a lawyer to read plain, clear English.

What other "prevailing interpretation" is there??

caddyhack said...

>>I've never been inside the current clubhouse, but I much prefer the view from its location (looking up toward the cliffs) than the view from the top of 36th Street.>>

Why not utilize the best of both views? Perhaps the top of 36th isn't the best location.

Are you sure there isn't room for a bigger driving range? How much has anyone explored all the possible alternatives from reputable design professionals?

Todd Brenkman could explain the declines and increases of player rounds. If he feels the golf course has problems, his opinion, backed up with factual information, has merit. He's the manager.

dan s. said...

david,

By "prevailing interpretation" I simply meant the interpretation of most Utah attorneys who specialize in municipal law. You and I might have other interpretations, and we can always point out that most of these municipal law specialists are biased. But it's simply a fact that no city council is going to overcome this interpretation without a very big fight.

david s. said...

Dan S.

Well then as a minimum, they can, as Bill Cook suggested, make the rules so that large assets require a very, very clear and extensive review process that must be cleared BEFORE land is sold.

They pass the ordinance. Who is gonna sue the CC? Godfrey? The ordinance will stand as written. What's to overcome?

disgusted said...

caddyhack

ive played several flat land courses and mountain course. in no case unless there is a lack of trees and shrubs is there much visabilty beyond the first and last holes on the front and back 9. basically what is present at mt ogden today.

if the city puts 6 million dollars into the course it will for sure cost much more for golfers to use the course. with that much more money in the course it will certainly achieve what godfrey wants. that of making the course more of a financial drain on the city at current or close to current rates thus a reason to sell or lease to someone. if godfrey says it takes double the current usage rates in rounds to make the course break even today how many rounds would need to be played to support the extra 6 million of debt. he either raises rates substancially in which case the residents of ogden lose affordability or he makes the case to get rid of it in which case we lose again.
we should hear from those who have suggestions on how to improve the course for less dollars but it does not appear that godfrey wants us to hear that. also we should do more advertising rather than running down the course.
additionally we should properly staff the course so that the course can be properly maintained to ensure its desireable and to make it as user friendly as possible which is more possible with adequate staffing. staffing today is minimal even relative to el monte let alone compared to other courses. vegetation clearing to keep the course user friendly is not possible with the current number of employees.
a self fufuilly profacy from godfreys point of view. run the course down and no one will want to play it and it will lose money. remarkable though with all his withholding of resources to the operation the staff does a superb job.

disgusted said...

david s

i agree with your stand. council should pass a revision to the ordinance that places more conditions on the mayor for such transactions and let godfrey take them to court.
it will all come down to two issues. the strength of the arguments presented in court not to what is precieved as a prevailing interpretation.
and to the intent of the ordinance not the language and clearly the intent was to allow the council power to set conditions.
council just needs to have the bigger dog in the fight and NOT the current outside council.

RudiZink said...

"Personally, I don't need a lawyer to read plain, clear English."

Exactly right, David. The statute which you cited above, seems clear and UN-ambiguous:

"10-3-1219.5. Council-mayor form -- Ordinances on transfer of municipal property and regulation of subdivisions or annexations.

In the council-mayor form of government, the council shall, by ordinance, provide for the manner in which:
(1) municipal property is bought, sold, traded, encumbered, or otherwise transferred; and
(2) subdivisions, or annexations are approved, disapproved or otherwise regulated.

Enacted by Chapter 39, 1979 General Session"


The rule for statutory interpretation in Utah has been made clear, per Johnson v. Utah State Retirement Board, 770 P.2d 93, 95 (Utah 1988). The Utah Supreme Court stated in that leading case that the best indicator of legislative intent is the "plain language of the statute."

The above rule follows the American rule re statutory interpretation of course, the "plain meaning rule," which essentially dictates that judical inquiry into legislative intent must come to an abrupt halt, when the plain meaning of the statute is clear and unambiguous.

Yes... the word "manner" is broad. But sheer breadth does not by itself require further interpretation.

I agree with you. The council has gotten one-sided advice on this; and second opinions remain in order.

And there's more;

Statutes are to be interpreted in such a manner as to avoid absurd results. Nelson v. Stoker, 669 P.2d 390, 396 (Utah 1983). What result could be more absurd, we ask, than adopting an interpretation which would permit the mayor to turn over a substantial chunk of Ogden real estate to his crony Peterson, even over the objections of our city council?

I've been hammering the council on this issue on and off since late 2006; and so far I believe the council has received very poor (or overly conservative) legal advice. It's my suggestion that they do further shopping for legal counsel, before Boss Godfrey brings this situation to a head.

dorrene jeske said...

Whatwardruin,

Thank you for the info. Apparently there are some of you on this blog who have access to information that the council does not. I would like more information and some details before I bring up the subject of the proposed water project on the east bench to the administration so that I am prepared to counter their responses. Anyone with information about it, please email me with it at jeske4ogden@comcast.net.

I am also very concerned about more housing developments above the ones we have now. I feel the increase in our tax base should come from retail downtown, not more housing on the east bench. Please give me the information I need to help keep our open spaces on the hillside.

Danny,

I do respect your privacy and hope you’ll forgive me for asking who you are.

dorrene jeske said...

David S.,

Dan S. is right about that ordinance. He has researched it thoroughly. Also, I went to my Orientation Manual, Chapter 4, pp 8-9,Council-Mayor Form of Government. Section 1. Property: “Purchase, sale or management. Acting by virtue of his/her executive powers, the mayor has broad ability to deal with specific pieces of property such as the purchase or sale of particular pieces of real or personal property. In addition, property management is the mayor’s province. (Martindale v. Anderson supra) [Note: The Utah Supreme Court, in the Martindale v. Anderson, 581 P.2d 1022 (1978) reviewing the Logan City council-mayor government, further clarified this “separation” concept. . .]
“However, while the mayor has the above-stated powers, s/he can be restrained by the council’s power to prescribe by ordinance general rules to be followed by the mayor, such as setting forth the manner and conditions pertaining to purchase, sale or management. (Martindale v. Anderson, supra, and Section 10-3-1219.5. U.C.A. 1979) [An interesting item: our manual had the year for the U.C.A. as 1953, indicating that the code was adopted first and the Supreme Court ruling came later, when in reality, it was reversed. When I went to the Utah State Archives to research the Legislature’s intent when it adopted the code, I discovered the discrepancy.] There were many interpretations of the ruling so the Legislature passed this legislation which was meant to clarify the Utah Supreme Court ruling in Martindale v. Anderson the year before. But as you can see, the administrative branch interprets it one way, and most every one else takes the code as stated. I did, but it seems that the other city governments have accepted the interpretation that both our legal counsels have.

RudiZink said...

For those readers who'd like to read the full text of Martindale, which councilwoman Jeske mentions above, I've uploaded a pdf version to our WCF storage site:

Martindale v. Anderson

(Scroll down through the cover pages. The official case report begins at page 3.)

david s. said...

Dorrene,

Everything you have said shows that the council CAN control land sales.

The Martindale v. Anderson ruling was BEFORE the law that I and Rudi cited, therefore the law supersedes.

Moreover, even the ruling states that the council CAN exercise control.

(I write this here only so everyone can see all the work you have done for the city.)

Of course, the administration and city governments "interpret" in their favor. Since when does a party not interpret things in their favor?

But it is so very, very clear that you, Amy, Caitlin, Jesse, Doug, and the other two can exercise oversight regarding land sales. As you know, the question is can you override a Godfrey veto?

(Everyone note why this priceless woman must be re-elected.)

WhatWardRUin said...

dorrene

i'm afraid my communication with you will have to be limited to this blog for privacy purposes. i can tell you i do have access to information that the council does not. i will not post conspiracy theories or unfounded rumors. what i post here is based on fact. you can count on two things;
1. i will tell the truth.
2. godfrey will lie.
this will require a lot of trust. i want you to be heard and be successful.

danny said...

Whatward:

While I respect your desire for privacy, I must point out that you could give Dorrene information anonymously by a variety of means:

1. Email from an ad-hoc account you set up that does not show your name or instead shows an alias.
2. A random mailing to Dorrene.
3. Either method giving the info to Rudi to publish here.

If you decline to do so we would have to conclude that you either:

1. Don't really have such information and are just tossing around speculation (like me sometimes) or,
2. May have blockbuster info, by aren't much use because you don't use it effectively.

Some might even think you are a pretender, like the Giegers, or that you are a Geiger.

You can't expect Dorrene to go charging off on the basis of unfounded statements. She is a person of responsibility, you know.

Please, if you have actual information, do convey it to Dorrene or Rudi, while preserving your privacy if you must.

WhatWardRUin said...

i certainly don't want to be thought of as a geiger. i also don't want to be thought of as just tossing around speculation. i will ask my computer geek to help me set up someway to communicate with dorrene in a direct way. she needs to know what i know.

PPK said...

Hey Rudi...how'd you get your "photo" on here?

caddyhack said...

disgusted and bill c.

Thank you for your responses. I haven't been around MOGC as much as I used to be, and your input has been informative.

ozboy said...

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I seem to recall that our very own Little Lord was given the power over property purchases and sales by the old gang of five. (That being the four stooges on the old council and their hero/leader Nero hisself).

By the way, this gang of five is the same cabal that snuck through the law that created the great white elephant known as PeeWee's playhouse AKA High Tech Rec Center that will end up costing Ogden's tax payers 25 or so million dollars. These sleaze balls did this as a final defiant going away present in their last meeting as a lame duck council after the voters of Ogden threw two of them out on their worthless butts and replaced them with Jeske and Glasmann who ran on a "control Godfrey and stop the damn rubber stamping" platform.

It was not long before the bums well deserved departure that they gave PeeWee the keys to the kingdom via the Ogden city law they passed that gave him power over property disposition. They made the law that gave the little bastard this power and they can take this power back - if they had the courage to do so. The council giveth and the council can taketh on this matter. The state law is pretty straight forward as it is written.

There were several of us that lobbied the council to in fact take this power back - to no avail as the Little Lord had instilled the fear of God in them at that time through his collaboration with the Standard when they whipped the new councilor's butts with the bogus attack over their asking the hospital guys for their credentials and references.

So why doesn't this council just rescind the law that was passed by the old council that give this important power away to the dark side?

danny said...

Oz,

. . .and yet, this vital issue is only a priority with Dorrene. . .

ozboy said...

Danny

Ya, I know that about Jeske. I still can't figure out why the other councilors are so afraid of the arrogant prick. Seems to me that there is only one true blue dyed in the wool Godfreyite, and maybe another one or two that might be, on this current council. Based on that, one just has to wonder why they don't take definitive action on behalf of the tax payers and voters of Ogden and shorten the little mongrel's leash.

By the way, at the same time, a couple of years ago, that a group of us were trying to get the council to take back the property disposition power, we were also lobbying the council to remove the punk as executive director of the RDA and hire an honest and competent professional to run this hundred million dollar public owned corporation. They certainly had the power to do so, but alas, once again they didn't have the guts to act and protect the interests of the public. Now, thanks to other evil operators in the state legislature they have had this avenue cut off. One thing for sure, The Little Lord is a far superior chess player than all of the council combined (except the lone ranger Jeske of course). He has boxed their ears at every turn, they are like fish in his own private barrel and he takes great delight in shooting them at his pleasure.

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