Tuesday, September 23, 2008

9/23/08 City Council Meeting Results

Sanity prevails on Ogden's Historic 25th Street

By Bill C.
Historic 25th Street wins 5-2. Yes folks, own responsible grown up Council quelled the threat to losing the Historic designation of our only real successful downtown endeavor. The only ones voting in favor of this silly ordinance change being Brandon Anally Stephenson and of course the biggest benefactor of the lying little matty movement to date, Blaine Johnson.

The most remarkable thing about this was the wording of the ordinance, it essentially would have eliminated all future Council oversight, by removing the one restriction that was a zoning issue -- The 45 ft. height restriction. This would have allowed all future infill to be done at the discretion of the Landmarks Committee and the Planning Department. Both of course hand picked mayoral appointments.

Of further insight is the revelation that what these guys had planned for the old Windsor would not have qualified for historic designation, despite the landmarks members' rather disingenuous pleas about their strict adherence to all guidelines, those being of course Bernie and G-train.

All the Council voting in opposition to the ordinance commented that to do so would jeopardize the historic designation, and they weren't willing to do that. Thank your lucky stars that there are mature long range thinkers on our Council.

One other tidbit I picked up from a very credible attendee at tonight's meeting, but I'm still not sure that it is in the Historic District boundaries: the icecicle is over the 45 ft. height restriction. Could it be we've been saved?

The floor is open for further reader comments.

Update 9/24/08 6:54 a.m. MT: Ace Reporter Schwebke chimes in this morning with a pretty decent writeup about last night's meeting:

65 comments:

Annie said...

Sweet mother of all that is holy, way to go Council! That is music to my ears. Were the Geigers brought to tears? How about the developers? What about Scott Brown and the panty waist City Planners and Dave Harmer and the Mayor who are all trying to bring this town down by their short sighted antics? And Bill, the ice tower is over 45 feet. And it is my understanding that the City is attempting to differentiate towers from buildings, thus making the tower exempt from the 45 ft. ordinance. Seems like a stretch to me, but what do I know, after all I'm not a Geiger or Godfrey or Wilkerson or a Harmer or anybody else that matters in this little O-town. Congrat's again to the Council. Rest easy, you did the right thing for Ogden and Ogden's future.

OgdenLover said...

THANK YOU to the 5 Councilmembers who protected Historic 25th Street tonight.

monotreme said...

Thank you, Council.

Bill C. said...

Oh, and Curm, your prediction of the Windsor owners threatening to bail did not materialize. It wouldn't make sense to make a threat before the vote was taken, and remember it was the administration that's on the hook and negotiated the city funding and all the accompaning paperwork. If they default it's on lying little matty, not the Council.

Bill C. said...

Annie, just because the call it a tower doen't dimiss the fact that it's housed in a build, and not a very historic period one at that. That's a stretch it would be fun to hear uncle gregory peccary montgomry try to advocate in a Council work session some day.
Did some one mention a peccary?
A peccary is a little pig with a white collar.

Curmudgeon said...

Bill:

They may not have so threatened at the open meeting. Rumor has it they have to Council members one on one. But it hardly matters now. Be interesting to see if in fact, minus the extra floor, they walk away from the project, and what happens then.

The Council tonight, I think, choose wisely to put the larger interests of the City and the residents, merchants and property owners of Historic 25th Street before the individual profit of a single developer. They done good, except for long time Godfrey sock-puppet Mr. Stephenson, and Godfrey-backed candidate Mr. Johnson. Mr. Stephenson is hopeless, but I have to wonder how long Mr. Johnson will be content to be... well, let's just say "handled"... by Godfrey's ham-fisted management of Council affairs. I have hopes... not great ones, but hopes none the less... that he will realize eventually that when Godfrey treats the Council with arrant contempt, he's treating Mr. Johnson that way as well. We shall see.

Blain Johnson said...

Work session? What work session? Opps. Missed it again. Good thing Matt gets me all the info ahead of time.

zane said...

Bill, I think we all realize the "tower" is much more than a mere tower, but we all know that is how the City will sell it if it means getting by an ordinance.

Curm, it will be interesting if they walk away from the project. However, don't forget they do and always have had other (and better) options. They could scale back the addition by 5 feet so that it meets the current ordinance or they could scale it back even more and possibly receive financial incentives for work on a historic building.

zane said...

Oh, and btw, you rock Council. Wise decision tonight.

Curmudgeon said...

Zane:

I think they've already qualified for some kind of subsidy for historic restoration. And a fairly substantial one. I'm not sure paring the height five feet will work, because they were arguing that to make the project work financially, they had to add a floor to the building [another floor of either rental or condo units]. It may not be possible to add that floor without topping the 45' limit.

It will be interesting to see if, denied the extra height needed for an extra floor,they'll comeback with a renovation/preservation plan that works within existing code limits, and that is nevertheless profitable for the investors.

Hope whoever covered the story for the SE and/or SLTrib got to interview the owners post-meeting to ask about their plans going forward.

Curmudgeon said...

Just chuckling at all the "the council rocks!" sorts of comments. This is the same council, recall, that not too long ago was being denounced here on WCF for being foolish wasters of the public's money and spineless kow-towers to Godfrey foolishness when it approved another $100 conditional grant for the ice tower.

My my my how opinions do change....

Wonder how many weeks will go by before we again see the Council denounced here for excessive Godfreyness and lack of spine?

Curmudgeon said...

That's $100k, not $100. Sorry.

zane said...

Curm-
Wow, sounds like you actually bought into the developers bull. Plus, I do think the Council rocks. I've always been supportive of the Council. Maybe others on the board don't feel that way, but I do. They put in a lot of hours and work hard and for the most part make good decisions for Ogden.

Brett said...

The Council Chambers were full to almost "standing room only." I didn't count, but the people speaking against the ordinance were equal if not more than those speaking for it. It was an informative and interesting meeting for a Council meeting, and rather hotly contested at times, especially when Ms. Wilkerson took exception to a comment that Councilwoman Jeske made.

Bill C., you must have been talking when Mr. Sheldon, spokesman for Ogden Properties LLC said that they had to have more than an 8' ceiling for the penthouse to make the project work. I noticed after the Council vote he was over in a hudde with Harmer. I'll bet you $10. that we haven't heard the last of needing to increase the height of the Windsor Hotel.

Keep up the good work, Council! That is Chair Wicks, Asst. Chair Stephens and Councilmembers Garcia, Gochnor and Jeske.

ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

Perhaps it was not the same people who are congratulating the council that were blasting them over the $100K deal a while back? There are quite a number of people who visit this blog, and they are not all of the same mind.

As to the $100K deal, I believe the council played it pretty smart on that one by making the city contribution contingent on the hustlers behind the ice tower raising big private money first. That seems like a pretty long shot in today's financial world.

The real financial mess the city is in with all of the Little Lord's screw ball schemes was the work of the old council, not this new one.

From my observations the current council has finally grown a pair and appear to be standing up to the punk and are bringing a little integrity and intelligence back into Ogden city government. We should all be grateful to this council for finally waking up to the true nature on the mayor and to their own constitutionally granted powers as an equal branch of government. Of course the two Godfreyites therein are still clueless, but 5 to 2 is still better than the 2 to 5 of the old rubber stamp crowd that Ogden was saddled with.

Curmudgeon said...

Oz:

You wrote: Perhaps it was not the same people who are congratulating the council that were blasting them over the $100K deal a while back? There are quite a number of people who visit this blog, and they are not all of the same mind.

I know that, Oz. I wasn't aiming my comment at any particular poster. Just noting, a little bemused, that the same Council that was denounced as composed of clueless lackeys of Godfrey not long ago, here, was now being hailed as beacon of independent judgment.

Curmudgeon said...

Zane:

You wrote: Wow, sounds like you actually bought into the developers bull.

Well, Zane, I'm not a building designer. I have no idea whether the extra five feet is necessary for another floor or not. Nor do I know whether that penthouse floor is necessary to make the project profitable for the investors. Merely noted that the investors claimed that, and that that might be so.

You also wrote: Plus, I do think the Council rocks. I've always been supportive of the Council. Maybe others on the board don't feel that way, but I do. They put in a lot of hours and work hard and for the most part make good decisions for Ogden.

Couldn't agree more. And I've taken some heat here over the past few years for suggesting just as you did above, even after the Council has made a decision unpopular with some of our posters. The members are paid, marginally, for doing what is supposed to be a part time job. If they're doing it conscientiously, it is closer I think to a full time job in terms of hours of work required.



September 23, 2008 11:47 PM

zane said...

Curm-
Not to belabor the point, but I am no gondola expert, ice tower expert, riverfront development expert, golf course expert, etc. but I know b.s. when I see it. And I think what we saw last night was b.s. (both on part of the city admin and developers).

Moroni McConkie said...

Molto grazie, vielen dank, mille merci, Ogden City Council!

Curmudgeon said...

Zane:

OK, possibly so. But since I'm not currently in possession of a golden parachute, nor am I so deeply in debt that the Bush administration thinks shunting mega-millions in tax money my way is in the national interest --- though clearly it would be --- I had to work last night and didn't get off until 8:30 so I wasn't there to hear the petitioner's testimony. Not being in possession of any hard information that would counter the investors' claim that they must have the extra 5' to add a storey, and that they must add a storey for the building to be a profitable investment, seemed reasonable... still does... to say their claims might be true. That's all. I try not to make categorical statements for which I don't have good evidence. Don't always succeed, but I try.

JohnLaw said...

hopefully this sends the message to Wilkerson, Sheldon, Fischer, Beddome, etc that the days of using our mayor as their flippin' financial institution and personal bitch are over. the city council showed it will not bend over to these leeches that need to go out and get real jobs. sorry, but these people are pathetic and a shame to their "ethical" profession. the 2 council yays should be just as embarrassed and should realize they are being exposed as nothing more than cheap whores.

Bill C. said...

Brett, I heard the guy state that adding the 4th floor would make this project more profitable, but the Council, perhaps more than most in attendance, stayed more focused on the issue. As Bernie opened the comments and Dave Smith so pointedly reminded at the close, this wasn't about the Windsor Hotel per se, it was about changing the ordinance, basically removing the Council from the area they still hold control, zoning.
Many of the proponants seemed to have not understood that, directing all their comments to the Council under the intention of this particular project, which as funny as it seemed, it was not.
These guys should have been very well informed of what they were required to adhere to when they purchased the property, afterall, Scott Brown is their consultant and much of their plan was vetted during the hearing to grant tax dollars to aid in the restoration.
This new request leads me to believe that they were misled by the administration (Harmer and Montgomery) about what they would be able to get away with down the road. And as always with this administration, there's probably a whole lot of other motivations behind this particular manure, oh I meant to say maneuver.

Jason W. said...

But I thought Blaine Johnson, BIG & bold obersturmfuhrer in Wayne Peterson's famed Squirrel Patrol, was "his own man" who is not going to be led around on a high-adventure leash (with seven or eight Descente and DNA decals) by a five-foot-four dork from Harrisville named Lying Little Matty Gondola Godfrey. At least that's what the Gondola-Examiner would have had us believe when they endorsed the sycophantic twit. Johnson has proven to be every bit a Gondola Godfrey shill as Brandon "Cavendish's fave" Stephenson. It's not surprising, though; these people operate from a divine dictum and they heed no moral or ethical conscience as they seek what they deem to be the "right" end: a town filled with circus rides, having a bankrupt treasury, populated with high-adventure douchewads who plaster their vehicles with stickers, feast on all varieties of onions, loudly denounce predication & common sense, cheerlead silliness, spout high-adventure nonsense and self-righteously puff up their chests at their efforts to save our poor, boarded-up OTown with THE GONDOLA, an ice dildo, a covered bike track and a stinking campground.

THE SKI IS BEAUTIFUL BLUE

Bill C. said...

Jason, have you been visiting Anally stephenson's website again?
All of the characterizations seem to parallel the objectives on his site. Including his most firmly stated belief that an urban gondola is the true savior of Ogden.

danny said...

The wise Bill C. once again sees all.

It appears the Windsor folks, after ripping the hotel off its previous owner and getting handed $300,000 cash for their trouble, may have been told by the Godfrey machine at the time that they'd have their desire for a re-zone taken care of later, at the ever-timely eleventh hour in Godfrey's upside down netherworld.

So Godfrey conned them, they bought it, and are now left stinging. After the meeting, there was nothing left for them to do but go to Harmer and say, Whaaaaa?

For those who've been on a ship with rats, the only joy of it comes when they start fighting with each other. Perhaps as the water rises, the Godfreyites will entertain even more in this fashion.

George K said...

Bill C,

Thanks for reminding us that “Dave Smith so pointedly reminded at the close, this wasn't about the Windsor Hotel per se, it was about changing the ordinance, basically removing the Council from the area they still hold control, zoning.” He is very astute and caught that point when Councilwoman Jeske pointed out that the presentation by Montgomery had played up the enhanced roles of the LandMarks Commission and the Planning Commission in the new ordinance, and she pointed out that the Council would be removed from any consideration of future developments on Historic 25th. Montgomery and Councilmember Johnson tried to downplay that point because it really was a key issue that was masterfully masked in the ordinance. My hat is off to Mr. Smith and Ms. Jeske for picking that up. Blain Johnson is a nothing but a dorky honky for Godfrey as is Brandon Stephenson.

I agree with Brett that we have not seen the last of the issue to put a penthouse on the 4th floor of the Windsor Hotel. I understand from an inside source that the administration, with Harmer at the lead, and Scott Brown are involved in this up to their corrupt eyeballs. They probably have their heads huddled together as I write this, planning on how they can overcome the damage done to their schemes to take the Ogden taxpayaers for another ride by last night’s Council vote.

Councilmember Stephens very emphatically pointed out that millions of federal grant dollars could potentially be jeopardized if modifications that did not meet state and federal guidelines were allowed to change the historic buildings within Ogden’s Historic District which he pointed out that not all cities were as fortunate as Ogden to have a historic district. He said that designation was fragile and had to be preserved.

You did well, Council! It was obvious that you had studied all sides of the issue and you were united in your concern for the preservation of Ogden’s historic gems as well as its economic future (except for the two Godfrey-owned dorks).

al said...

Has anyone had the chance to view the www.ogdenpropertiesllc.com website? This is the group that is involved in the Windsor Hotel project and several others downtown. The slideshow on the home page states "One day the gondola will take you from your home downtown to THAT mountain"

In the marketing info outlining the amenities for the Brownstone, Windsor Hotel and Grand projects...the website states that the building is one block to the proposed gondola.

What gondola?

There are also drawings of the proposed fourth floor addition to the Windsor Hotel on the website. The exterior study shows a large sloping glass and steel structure perched atop the historic Windsor Hotel.
According to whois.net records, the website was last updated on May 21, 2008. Long after the election when Godfrey supposedly took the gondola off the table in order to garner enough votes for his unfortunate re-election.

Curmudgeon said...

Al:

Nice catch on the ogprops website.

One correction. You wrote: According to whois.net records, the website was last updated on May 21, 2008. Long after the election when Godfrey supposedly took the gondola off the table in order to garner enough votes for his unfortunate re-election.

Mayor Godfrey did not take the gondola off the table in the election. He took the sale of Mt. Ogden Park to Chris Peterson as a way to raise money for the gondola off the table. But he absolutely did not take the gondola itself off the table. Folks assumed, I think, that the gondola plan died with the park sale plan. I fervently hope it did. But Hizzonah didn't think so did then, doesn't think so now.

Q. Cannon said...

A point that seems to have been overlooked on the reporting of last night’s Council meeting is that the Godfrey stacked LandMarks Commission was at odds in their conclusion of the impact of a fourth floor on the Windsor Hotel with the determinations of the Utah State Historic Foundation and the federal historic preservation agency. The Weber County Heritage Foundation was concerned that a fourth floor would have a negative impact on the hotel’s historic designation. One must ask, “How credible and reliable are the decisions of the LandMarks Commission since its integrity has been comprised by Godfrey’s putting his preferred, untrained people on it and removing trained, experienced members who had years to still serve remaining.

A real eye-opener to Godfrey’s manipulations and devious mishandling of this commission was revealed when Bernie Allen spoke and said that he has been on the LandMarks Commission for more than 20 years! Bernie Allen is the brother of Godfrey’s father-in-law! He’s family! Is that why he has been allowed to stay on the LandMarks Commission when everyone else who has served on a committee/commission 10 years or more have been removed. Why is Bernie Allen still on the LandMarks Commission?! Another slap in the face to the citizens of Ogden by Godfrey! What a hypocrite!! Can’t he be removed from office for unethical behavior?! He has even corrupted a once prestigious and honorable LandMarks Commission and compromised its integrity and credibility.

Libby N. said...

Apparently Bernie Allen spent some time yesterday going to all the business owners on 25th street to try to garner support for raising the height limits. If that is not a conflict of interest, I don't know what is. He should not be on the LandMarks Commission (or Sue Wilkerson for that matter) if he isn't supporting the preservation of the only remaining historic business district in Utah.

al said...

The Landmarks Commission should be concerned with historic preservation, not business development.

Bernie Allen was appointed to the Landmarks Commission in May of 1985. When the Mayor cleaned house of all volunteers with over 10 years of service on city committees earlier this year, why was Bernie not included?

He serves in the capacity of filling the attorney position on the Landmarks Commission- I have a hard time believing Ogden City cannot find someone from the legal field to serve.

Curmudgeon said...

Libby and al:

1) Libby, you wrote: Apparently Bernie Allen spent some time yesterday going to all the business owners on 25th street to try to garner support for raising the height limits. If that is not a conflict of interest, I don't know what is. He should not be on the LandMarks Commission (or Sue Wilkerson for that matter) if he isn't supporting the preservation of the only remaining historic business district in Utah.

The Landmarks Commission recommended approval of the change in height limits, so Mr. Allen was representing, as he walked around, the position taken by the Landmarks Commission. I think the Commission was wrong to have voted as it did, but given that that was the vote, I'm hard put to see any conflict of interest involved there, unless you can show that Mr. Allen stood to gain directly and financially from the change. No one has alleged that.

2) Al, you wrote: Bernie Allen was appointed to the Landmarks Commission in May of 1985. When the Mayor cleaned house of all volunteers with over 10 years of service on city committees earlier this year, why was Bernie not included?

Good question. One possible answer is obvious and I think true: the "cleaning house" was in fact a purge of commission members whose loyalty to Godfrey was not deemed sufficient to guarantee their voting the Mayor's way on anything controversial that might come before them, like changing the height limits on Historic 25th Street to accommodate Administration-favored investors. But there is another possible answer. Are the members appointed to staggered terms so they don't all come up for reappointment [or purging] at the same time? If so, was Mr. Allen's appointment up earlier this year when the purging occurred? If not, then that may explain why he is still on the Landmarks Commission. Anyone know for sure about the terms of Commissioners?

John N said...

curmudgeon,

It's one thing to be on a committee that approves an ordinance change. It's quite another to actively campaign for it. This is VERY MUCH a conflict of interest. One doesn't need to know whatever specific kickbacks a person is getting to know that person is getting some benefit by proactively trying to garner support for something they're supposed to be objectively considering. Combine that with the fact that the approval itself was a travesty and it shows the Landmarks Commission is at worst corrupt, and at best incompetent. They have lost all credibility now and I hope the council gives no weight to their votes so long as Godfrey is stuffing Landmarks with his yes-people.

Curmudgeon said...

John N:

You wrote: It's one thing to be on a committee that approves an ordinance change. It's quite another to actively campaign for it. This is VERY MUCH a conflict of interest.... trying to garner support for something they're supposed to be objectively considering

Well, on this, we disagree. The vote was over. The Landmarks Commission [by a narrow vote, and unwisely, we both agree] recommended the change. From that point on, they're not "objectively considering" the matter. They'd already [ostensibly] done that. A Committee member, following the vote, going to the property and business owners in the Historic District involved to explain and defend the Committee's recommendation [already made] does not on its face seem to me to involve a conflict of interest.

You wrote: One doesn't need to know whatever specific kickbacks a person is getting to know that person is getting some benefit by proactively trying to garner support for something they're supposed to be objectively considering.

Yeah, well, John N., I'm a lot more reluctant than you are to allege kickbacks and payoffs to explain a vote by a commissioner that I don't approve of. Those are serious charges. If you have something to back up the allegation, I'd be glad to hear it. But not liking Mr. Allen's vote on the matter [as I do not like it], and not liking his trying to explain and generate support for the Commission's recommendation [which doesn't bother me and involves nothing so far as can see that is unethical conduct] is way way short of evidence for having taken a kickback.

I think Allen and the Commission was wrong in endorsing the change. I think the Utah Heritage article pointing out that the change would... or even might... put at risk the Historic designation for 25th Street Historic District [costing the city a great deal in tax breaks for restoration and preservation work, at the least] should have decided the matter. There was way too much at risk to accommodate the plans of one investor group to increase their margins on a particular project.

But unless someone has some evidence, something more than dislike for the decision and annoyance that a commission member would dare to explain and defend the decision to property owners in the historic district most affected, the charges of "conflict of interest" you're making don't seem convincing to me.

frank said...

Why don't these Godfrey sycophants just build the fourth floor within the height limits? They could make a nifty little four foot high penthouse that fit the Little Lord perfectly, then he and the equally small in stature as well as integrity, Geiger the Head Butter could move in together. Stu might have a little heart burn over having his time beat by little bobby but that would be a small price to pay to resolve this problem.

(PS - see and hear Randy Newmans song: "Short People" for further clarification)

george k said...

In retrospect, this attempt to highjack the Council’s zoning approval power on Historic 25th St., and the height adjustment ordinance are another Godfrey fiasco! Thanks to the Council’s insight and foresight and courage to vote for the best interests of Ogden. This 25th St. fiasco is just the latest in a string of Godfrey fiascos, i.e. the secret golf course committee and meetings, and the UTA email fiasco. The golf course committee fiasco was exposed because of citizens, and we learned of the deceit of Godfrey through the GRAMA request of Dan Schroeder and the Sierra Club.

Maybe there is hope after all for Ogden! It looks like Godfrey is beginning to not get his way in his corrupt schemes to undermine and eventually destroy Ogden by bankrupting it with his stupid schemes.

John N said...

Curmudgeon,

My point wasn't to accuse anyone of kickbacks, but to point out the conflict of interest, or at the very least the appearance of such.

As far as I know Landmarks didn't appoint Mr. Allen to run door to door to businesses on 25th street to explain their vote. He did this of his own volition. And not to explain the vote, but to encourage them to support it.

You don't do something like that unless you're a supporter of the ordinance change. Who knows exactly why, but nonetheless he is a supporter of it actively campaigning for its passage. That isn't the kind of person who should be making an "objective" vote on it.

BTW I understand where you're coming from. I agree people need to keep a level head and not let emotions and conspiracy theories run wild in their heads over these things. You have a partner in that kind of thinking.

Bill C. said...

Curm, I think you're overlooking the fact that the landmarks commission was led to this by none other than uncle gregory peccary montgomery, he was instructed by both harmer and lying little matty.
Just as with the planning commission, all the insight and direction they get is from this one source. It takes a very dedicated and committed commissioner to research and explore the issues on their own and those with the expertize are the ones that fell in the purge.
You can rationalize bernies' exsistence on this all you want, but this commission is truely a farce at this point. Since 1989 this commission and these guidelines have served Ogden so well in the Historic preservation arena, that as those in attendance last night heard the Expert, from the historical foundation say that Ogden was in the top echelon countrywide. Our rivals being cities like New Orleans.
Campaining against what has proven to be an exellent approach to date strickly for the financial desires of the owners of one building, and jepordizing the whole enchilada is unconscionable. Their arguments went over like a dead balloon and caused Anally Stevenson to actually substitute a different option when he finally made his motion, which should have died right there for lack of a second. But Noooooo, Mr. conflicked was there, Blaine Johnson provided the second, and I sense this strategy was discussed prior as a fall back if any resistence was felt. I'm not so convinced that anally possesses the capacity to think on his feet, check his website.
Did I mention that a peccary is a little pig, with a white collar?

Curmudgeon said...

Bill C:

You wrote: you can rationalize bernies' existence on this all you want, but this commission is truly a farce at this point. Since 1989 this commission and these guidelines have served Ogden so well in the Historic preservation arena, that as those in attendance last night heard the Expert, from the historical foundation say that Ogden was in the top echelon countrywide.

Ah, Bill: Mr. Allen has been on the Landmarks C. since I think 1985? He was part of the Commission when it established the historic districts and did all the preliminary and good work to bring us to the point we are now at, and that is getting respect nationwide. I think he was very wrong on this issue, for reasons we'd doubtless agree on. But I don't think you can dismiss out of hand his service on the committee that began, what? 15 years before Hizzonah became Mayor?

I don't think the committee is a farce, now, by any means. Recall the vote on this was 4-3 with at least one member not present. Hardly a landslide. And the committee is required to have one member who lives in each of the four Ogden Historic Districts, and one member who is experienced in historic preservation. And another is from the Weber County Heritage Foundation. So the committee does not get all of its information from the Mayor's minions. Losing one vote... albeit an important one... by one vote with the full membership not there hardly justifies, I think, dismissing the committee as "a farce." They were wrong on this, but narrowly so. And they didn't prevail in the end. Be a mistake I think... and a tactical error... to just assume the Commission is in Godfrey's pocket and is nothing more than a farce. A year from now, they may have taken many more unfortunate decisions and I might agree with you. But dismissing the whole body, which has a history of doing very good work for Ogden [while Allen was on the committee, please note] as a farce because one vote narrowly went the wrong way doesn't seem justified to me.

Granted, Hizzonah has undercut public perception of the Committee's independence by purging a member who had just been appointed, and who the city sent off to some costly historic preservation training. And it was a purge. But in doing that, I suspect he undercut the Committee's standing with the Council, rather than enhanced it. Another example of how his ham-fisted manipulation --- same thing we saw on the Ogden Trails Committee and Independent[?] Citizens Advisory Committee on MOGC --- which was in no way subtle and was painfully obvious to all made it in the end less likely that the manipulated committees' recommendations would be taken seriously by the Council and public, rather than more so.

If he was a halfway competent public administrator, he'd really be dangerous. Happily, he isn't.

disgusted said...

face it curmudeon you like bernie allen because he is related to ed allen. ed is a democratic candidate for office and you only vote a democratic ticket because your dad only voted a democratic ticket and you know your dad was never wrong just like you.
makes as much logic as some of your arguements above.
mellow out

jenn said...

Just returned home from the East Central community meeting. Good meeting overall. You'll like this Curm. Your pal Bernie Allen's sidekick, Sue Wilkerson, sure knows a thing or two about irony. One of her suggestions at the meeting was that the Cit create some kind of design review process for new construction within East Central (which is an enormous neighborhood). Yet, she, as the Chairperson of the Landmarks Commission (from what I have been told), cannot even make a good (and easy) call on a single historic building (the Windsor) on 25th Street. HaHaHa

Bernie Allen said...

All 25th Street business and building owners should be aware I'm tracking your responses.

However next time you come to a Landmarks Commission meeting for my approval to paint your building a new color, add awnings or make other changes your decision to support or dissent on this issue will have no bearing on my decision.

I'm sure our prior conversations and my requests to have you lobby to raise height limits I established won't make you uncomfortable at all. I'm only the member of the Landmarks Commission that no one can get to shut up and stop rattling on until I sway the rest of the commission to my side.

Don't worry -- no conflict of interest here Crum.

Bill C. said...

Curm, the vote was 5-3, and the 3 all voted for the option that anally stephenson included in his motion. So, as g-train so stated to the Council, in her best lift ogden arrogance, this change has the unanimous support of the Landmarks Commission and city planning as well. Curm, this point was repeated to the Council numerous times by bernies brigade, some, which will come as no surprize, stated they were going to be starting businesses on 25th some time in the future. Like the guy who was going to buy and refurbish the Berthana if we got the gondola. Yea.

Curmudgeon said...

Disgusted, Jenn and Bill:

1. Disgusted: you wrote: face it curmudeon you like bernie allen because he is related to ed allen. ed is a democratic candidate for office.

I neither like nor dislike Mr. Allen. I think I've met him twice in my life. Possibly three times, at most. I'm supporting his election to the House because I think neither the state, nor the district, nor Ogden, will be better off by swelling the Curtis/Bramble/Butters Wing Nut Party's vote in the Utah House by one more. I have no idea what party Bernie Allen belongs to, if any, nor do I care. Appointment to the Landmarks Commission is non-partisan [or it's supposed to be]. And I do know Mr. Allen has been on that committee for a long time, and done good work for the city on it, or so people who've been here a lot longer than I have, and who are interested in historic preservation in Ogden, tell me. Sorry, Disgusted, but you're suggestion that whatever I have to say about Mr. Bernie Allen results from his being related to Mr. Ed Allen is... well, just plain silly. Coupled with, in case you hadn't noticed, I didn't and don't agree with his vote on this matter. All I said was that, once the Commission's vote was taken, I saw nothing wrong with his visiting Historic 25th Street to talk with property owners there about the Commissions vote and to convince them it was a wise one. [Which, we agree, it wasn't.] I saw nothing unethical in his doing that. If I were on the Landmarks Commission, and we'd taken a vote on a controversial matter, I wouldn't have any problem visiting the affected Historic District to explain the Commissions decision, and the reasons for it, and to try to convince people it was a wise one. So I see no problem in Mr. Allen doing the same.

2. Jenn: You wrote: YYour pal Bernie Allen's sidekick, Sue Wilkerson....

Where to start? First, I've never met "my pal" Bernie Allen in my life, so far as I know. Nor have I, so far as I can recall, ever spoken to him. As for Ms. Wilkerson, you'll have trouble finding much support from me for her in the WCF archives. On one occasion, possibly two, I spoke before the City Council in opposition to her testimony on the same issue.

I am, though, very interested in what happened at the community meeting tonight. If you were there, why don't you do a report and put it up on WCF so we can all get some firsthand information about what happened?

3. Bill: sorry if I got the vote total wrong. I'll have to go back and check. I thought it was 4-3. Thought it was reported that way in the SE. But as I said, I'll have to go back and check. Not sure exactly what you mean about the Stephenson option before the Landmarks Commission. Hadn't seen anything about that, not in the SE, not in your report on the Council meeting. Finally, see note above to Jenn regarding where I've stood on Ms. Wilkerson's appearances before the Council.

Bill C. said...

Curm, as you know, when it comes to reporting, I'm no schwebke. I failed to give the full details of the 2+ hour portion of the ordinance hearing last night. Just for you I'll explain this part in a little more detail.
During the course of discussion, Johnson must have realized that the case for the prefered ordinance change was too weak for the rest of the Council to swallow.He asked montgomery for the page no. in the notes that listed the 3 options the planners had drafted for the Landmarks committee to choose from.(sound familiar? Typical lying little matty ploy. The appearence of choices, none of them good.) After some seaching the option was found. This option sounded a little more detailed as far as some requirements to be followed, but also would have taken the Council out of the picture. When anally finally made his motion he chose the alternative option that the 3 committee members had voted for. He gave a very dispassionate speach on how the landmarks folks and city planners were more than qualified to make these determinations and some bs about ecconomic growth, progress, compromize and the need for change. So, the short take on this is the motion was not the ordinance that the meeting was called to address, but an alternative pulled right out of their asses. Their objective would still be in tact, eliminating the Council from the whole deal. Fortunately the majority of the Council has been around the block and rejected it, soundly.
Curm, I know you like to assume all people want to be good at heart and deserve the benefit of doubt, how you still hold that view with your Brooklyn and weezeanna background is beyond me, but, here in Utah some folks are just plain bad to the core.( Think Bramble, Buttars, Bennet, Hatch and Bishop) We have a few right here in O-Town.

Bill C. said...

Curmudgeon, I never accused you of having any sort of fondness for g-train, that would be akin to calling you a geiger. And you know I'd never do that, not even in jest, we love you.

disgusted said...

curm youre a piece of work. do you ever listen to yourself or do you just like to talk and talk and talk. you made the following remarkes about ed allen.
I'm supporting his election to the House because I think neither the state, nor the district, nor Ogden, will be better off by swelling the Curtis/Bramble/Butters Wing Nut Party's vote in the Utah House by one more.
over the last month youve been telling everyone not to associate your hopeful electee mr ed with his son in law because one is not reponsible for the other just because of blood relationship. yet you are voting for mr ed because of his opponents relationship to a party.
does anyone else kind of say tilt.

jenn said...

Curm-
The City Council vote was 5-2 if that's what you're referring to.

As far as the East Central meeting (general kickoff meeting for the EC Neighborhood Plan) last night, it was a great success. The gymnasium at James Madison Elem was filled w/ residents. People had a lot to say, and if time limits weren't set we would probably still be there talking about issues. Planner John Mayer and Bill C's pal Greg Montgomery led the meeting. The meeting and the process to update the EC plan is way overdue, as was evident by the many comments last night. A lot was discussed - the history of the community, the wonderful architecture, tree-lined streets, the parks, absentee landlords, zoning issues, the IGA block, sense of community in the neighborhood, etc. The streetcar was also discussed! Great meeting, glad I attended.

Bill C. said...

Jenn, the vote we were refering to was a vote of the Landmarks commission to select options offered by the City planners for getting rid of the height restriction. The were offered 3 options and even the landmarks commission was split on these.

jenn said...

Bill,
That would be interesting to know. I heard the Planning Commission unanimously rejected the proposed revised height ordinance the first 2 times it was brought before them. The 3rd time they voted 5-3 in favor. But, then again, you probably already knew that. You guys are a wealth of info on this board.

Curmudgeon said...

Bill:

You wrote: Curm, I know you like to assume all people want to be good at heart and deserve the benefit of doubt....

I assume no such thing. Hell, Bill, I'm a historian. I'd have to be blind... or a Republican congressman... to have studied American History and come away with that conclusion. Besides, one of my grandfather's was a cop in Boss Hague's Jersey City. I don't own rose colored glasses.

What you're confused about, and are confusing with a Pollyanna approach to public officials, is I think a combination of two things. First, being a democrat [and a Democrat], I think we have to respect the decision of the voters, whether we think they choose wisely or not. This applies to Hizzonah, and to all members of the Council [though Hizzonah likes to pretend only he represents the will of the people. He conveniently forgets the elected Council does too]. And second: I try to avoid assuming, on thin evidence, that everything a Council member who votes for a Godfrey proposal I don't particularly like is necessarily in the Mayor's pocket or an idiot. People on this Council, and previous Council's disagree on public matters --- and even disagree with me --- without being either corrupt of dumb. It's the assumption, often expressed here, that whenever a Council member votes in a way the gaggle does not like, he or she is stupid or a sycophant of the mayor. That's all.

Curmudgeon said...

Disgusted:

You wrote: you made the following remarkes about ed allen.
I'm supporting his election to the House because I think neither the state, nor the district, nor Ogden, will be better off by swelling the Curtis/Bramble/Butters Wing Nut Party's vote in the Utah House by one more.
over the last month youve been telling everyone not to associate your hopeful electee mr ed with his son in law because one is not reponsible for the other just because of blood relationship. yet you are voting for mr ed because of his opponents relationship to a party. Does anyone else kind of say tilt.


Ah, Disgusted? His opponent's "relationship to a party" is this: his opponent is a Republican and will swell the Republican majority in the house by one by taking a seat formerly held by a Democrat. Mr. Allen is a Democrat. There are substantive political differences on major policy issues between the two parties in Utah, so of course I'm supporting the Democrat for this seat over the Republican. Your argument makes little sense.

It would make sense if I was arguing that people should vote for Mr. Allen because his opponent is related by marriage to Curtis or Bramble or Buttars. But I am not arguing anything like that, I've never argued anything like that, nor would I ever argue anything like that.

ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

Just what has Mr. Allen's opponent said or done that makes you so sure that he would be part of the Bramble/Valentine right wing nut case Neo-Con regime? Is it only because he is running on the "R" ticket?

I think there is plenty of evidence to link Allen to the Godfreyite program, and there is loads of examples that tie Godfrey in with the Bramble/Valentine cartel.

I do not see Allen as a traditional Democrat, but rather a true Neo-Con just like Bramble, Valentine and Godfrey. I have no doubt if he is elected he will do everything he can to further the Godfreyite agenda - including the Gondola scam. After all, Allen is the true modern day originator of the stupid idea that his son in law has so fervently embraced.

Curmudgeon said...

ozboy:

You wrote: there is loads of examples that tie Godfrey in with the Bramble/Valentine cartel.

Well, of course there is. Godfrey is a Republican, just like Bramble and Curtis and Valentine and Buttars. Of course they're taking care of their own in the Mayor's office. And you think increasing their majority by one will make that less likely?

You ask: Just what has Mr. Allen's opponent said or done that makes you so sure that he would be part of the Bramble/Valentine right wing nut case Neo-Con regime? Is it only because he is running on the "R" ticket?

Oz, he may actually be a sane Utah Republican, though in my experience, they are not thick upon the ground in these parts. [Witness Mr. Bishop.] But even presuming him to be such, the fact is the Utah Republican Party is led by, and its leaders in both houses of the legislatures are part of, the Whacko-Wing-Nut-Neo-Con Right. That is undeniable, it seems to me. And Mr. Allen's opponent, should we be so foolish as to give him Lou's seat in the House, will be obliged... in most cases, he will have no choice...to follow the leaders' agenda, and support on most, if not all, occasions the bills they champion, because they have the power.. the exclusive power... to bring bills to the floor or prevent them from coming to the floor. So yes, even in the event that he's a sane, rational Utah Republican legislative candidate... and I agree there are a few..., he will still be obliged on most votes to follow the House leadership of his party... who are not sane, rational Utah Republicans. And yes, it matters that their majority will grow if he wins.

You wrote: I do not see Allen as a traditional Democrat, but rather a true Neo-Con just like Bramble, Valentine and Godfrey.

Oz, what possible reason can you offer for thinking Allen is a "true Neo-Con just like Bramble and Valentine?" Does he stand where they did on vouchers. [He does not.] Does he stand where they do on nuclear waste in Utah? [He does not.] Does he stand where they do on health care for children? [He does not.] But you made the claim. What grounds have you for thinking that?

I suspect your real grounds are reduced to one: Allen supported Godfrey's gondola obsession. Probably still does. That, Oz, I think is it. That is your sole ground for lumping Allen in as Neo Con wingnut like Bramble and Curtis. To which, once again, I say: (a)Allen is wrong about the Gondola and the mayor. (b)If Allen were running for City Council, I'd campaign for his opponent (c) But he's running for state legislature, and for a seat now in Democratic hands, and in this state, at this time, the City, the County and the State have more to lose from further entrenching the Wing Nut Right in its control of the House than it does from electing to the House of Representatives a man who disagrees with us about Ogden city politics and policies and who is an in law of the mayor.

Allen a Neo Con like Bramble and Curtis? Jeez, Oz, you don't like him and don't intend to vote for him because of his son in law. OK, fair enough... but trying to justify that vote by claiming Allen, who had a solid Democratic record in the Senate until he was purged by Republican gerrymandering, is a Neo Con is ridiculous.

disgusted said...

curm
you do just like to talk.
if you dont believe that blood is thicker than water you are even more naieve than i think you are.
if you judge a man running for office simply by his party rather than by his platform then you are a biggot.
you must be one of those that just votes the straight ticket regardless of the candidates position on issues. thats a really educated vote.

googlegirl said...

Yellow dog Democrat

Curmudgeon said...

Disgusted:

You wrote: if you judge a man running for office simply by his party rather than by his platform then you are a biggot.

Incase you havent' noticed, D, the parties have platforms. And they differ substantially. Unless you believe that there is absolutely no significant difference between the parties regarding many public policies, your statement makes little sense.

I think there are significant differences between the two parties, particularly in Utah, and given that, of course --- absent other information --- I'll choose to vote for a candidate of the party whose ideas I find most appealing over the candidate of the party whose ideas I find [often] repellent.

And now I'm checking out of this particular discussion. Don't quite know how to carry on a discussion that means much with someone who thinks that a Democrat who chooses to vote for Democrats over Republicans, or a Republican who chooses to vote for Republicans over Democrats, is therefor a bigot.

Have a nice day, D.

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RudiZink said...

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