Friday, September 12, 2008

Boss Godfrey Caught Red-handed in Another Mayoral Administration Whopper

GRAMA-obtained documents reveal Godfrey's central role in Ogden City's purportedly "independent" Golf Course Committee

By Dan S.

On August 22 I submitted a GRAMA request to the city for all records pertaining to the golf course advisory committee. On September 10 the city provided me with these records, which consist of meeting minutes and agendas, plus a few email messages. Here is a summary of some of the information in these documents. (I apologize for not getting this posted sooner; yesterday was a busy day.)

In an email sent on April 21, Mayor Godfrey asked the city council to provide names of suggested committee members. The email says that he had already asked for names at an earlier work session but hadn't received any names yet. He says names should be sent to Todd Brenkman. The next day, council member Jeske sent an email with a list of names to city council staff, asking staff to submit the names to the mayor. Alan Franke forwarded Jeske's email to Todd Brenkman on June 8, explaining that the list wasn't sent earlier because "the Council was still deliberating regarding the committee."

On May 21, Godfrey sent an email to Kent Petersen, discussing committee logistics and suggesting agenda items for the first meeting. Petersen sent a reply the next day with more detail on these topics as well as a list of committee members and their qualifications.

The committee's first meeting was May 28, in the ninth floor conference room. Members present included Brenkman (by speaker phone), Godfrey, Heiner, Kusina, Mathieu, Nichols, Opheikens, Petersen, Sorenson, and Wadman; Lindquist was excused. Godfrey opened the meeting by saying the golf course "has lost money every year since it opened.... All of the experts we have consulted about Mt. Ogden agree that there are only half as many rounds being played there as are needed and a complete redesign of the golf course will be necessary to attract this number of golfers." Godfrey later reported that the city has consulted with five different experts. Brenkman spoke to the committee by speaker phone, listing the physical shortcomings of the course as well as the need for an upgraded irrigation system (estimated to cost $1 to $1.5 million), more golf carts, and an improved club house. The committee also discussed the concept of having a nonprofit organization operate the course.

The second meeting was June 11, at the golf course. All members were present except Godfrey, Lindquist, and Wadman, who were excused. Brenkman and McFarland took the committee on a tour of the course, pointing out the problems.

The third meeting was June 25, at the golf course. All members were present except Lindquist and Opheikens (but Brenkman is no longer listed as a member). Godfrey named four different golf course consultants that have visited the course (but the names aren't in the minutes), saying that all recommended a complete redesign and all but one recommended relocating the clubhouse.

A tour of the course with Jon Garner took place July 3. There are no minutes from this event.

The fourth meeting was July 9, on the ninth floor. Only five members were present: Kusina, Nichols, Petersen, Sorenson, and Wadman. After discussing the July 3 tour, the committee agrees that its job is to provide the mayor and city council with multiple alternatives; Hoyle Sorenson agrees to put together a subcommittee to develop an alternative to the total redesign.

The fifth meeting was August 6, on the ninth floor. Only four members were present: Heiner, Nichols (acting as chair), Opheikens, and Sorenson. Sorenson reported that on July 11 he organized a subcommittee consisting of Nan Nalder, Larry Nalder, Jeff Smith, Gary Kapp, Mike Vause, Ron Kusina, Don Wilson, and himself. The minutes also include a detailed report of an August 5 phone call between Petersen and Garner. Among the ideas discussed in the call were a land transaction with Weber State, using some of the soccer field for a driving range, and renaming the course.

The emails and meeting minutes summarized above should put all questions to rest regarding Mayor Godfrey's role in organizing this committee and largely controlling its agenda and the flow of information to it. He and Petersen together planned out the committee's membership and agenda. He is listed as a committee member (either present or excused) in all five sets of meeting minutes. The committee's regular meeting place was the conference room immediately outside his office, and the committee was given access to city staff as well as one of the city's supposedly secret golf course consultants.

And yet on August 21, Godfrey told the Standard-Examiner that "the committee operates independently of the city's administration" and "it's unusual for elected officials to serve on such a committee."

33 comments:

one of godfrey's grunts said...

City employees who lie, cheat or steal are subject to disciplinary actions up to and including termination.

Is Godfrey exempt?

Monotreme said...

Well, now we know why Councilwoman Gochnour sent her list to Todd Brenkman: because that's what she was told to do by Mayor Godfrey.

Yet, in his Op-Ed piece, he left the strong impression that she was mistaken in sending the list to Brenkman, that it got lost for several months, and that he acted on it as soon as he had the information.

This offends and angers me. It should offend and anger Councilwoman Gochnour as well.

Curmudgeon said...

Dan:

You nailed 'em. And the SE. Godfrey hoist on his own petard... again.

Curmudgeon said...

And while we're on the topic... occurs to me the SE could as easily have GRAMAed these documents as Dan S. Interesting that, despite fairly extensive reporting on the Mayors Independent [?] Citizens Golf Course Review Committee, and even an editorial chastizing the Mayor for not putting as much distance between the committee's operations and himself as he should have, the SE did not GRAMA the docs.

Given the paper's interest in the story, its reporting on the story and its taking an editorial stand on the story, its failure to GRAMA docs directly related to the story, documents that would have documented Mayor Godfrey's lie [no other word for it] regarding the committee's independence was a serious error. Sometimes, a good paper has to gather the news, and not just wait for it to fall into its lap.

And so the SE lost the chance to break the story about Godfrey's duplicity, and left it [again] to Dan S. and WCF to break the story just as Dan S. and WCF did on Godfrey's attempt to get UTA to pay for a consultant's report on the Peterson proposal. Be interesting to see what, if anything, the SE does with the information now that someone else has --- yet again --- dug it up for them.

And the SE endorsed Godfrey for re-election, remember. Seems to me the paper has some serious apologizing to do to its readers, for its lack of drive and initiative on this story, and for its sadly ill-advised endorsement.

enough!! said...

When are the loyalist Godfrey followers going to realise that the guy is a baffoon, and a liar? What is it going to take to get these peoples attention to see what a true idiot he really is?

The Council needs to do an investigation into the lies and wrong doing of Godfrey and his administration.

2-7-9: COMPLAINTS; FILING AND INVESTIGATION; APPEALS:

A. Filing; Report Of Findings: Complaints concerning the violation of any provision of this Chapter by an appointed or elected officer shall be filed with the Mayor, and shall be investigated by appropriate City personnel or private citizens, as determined by the Mayor. The appointed or elected officer shall be given the opportunity to be heard and respond to the complaint. A written report of the findings, together with the recommendations of the investigating personnel or citizens, shall be filed with the office of the Mayor. The Mayor, unless otherwise required by law, upon finding that the officer has violated this Chapter, may dismiss, suspend or take such other action as may be appropriate in the circumstances with respect to such officer.

B. Appeal: Notwithstanding any other provision of this Chapter, an appointed officer under the Merit or Civil Service System, who is found to have violated any of the provisions of this Chapter, may appeal such determination in accordance with the grievance procedures of such system.

C. Violation By Mayor: Complaints alleging violations of this Chapter by the Mayor shall be filed with and investigated by the City Council.

(1979 Code � 3.50.110; Ord. 94-56, 11-1-1994)

dan s. said...

Let me also remind readers of the mayor's September 4 guest commentary, in which he admits that Councilmember Gochnour sent an email to Brenkman on April 22, suggesting names for the committee. In the commentary, Godfrey claims that he "didn't have any idea that list was submitted" until late August. And yet, in his April 21 email (which I now have in hand), Godfrey specifically tells the council that "if someone has a name please send it to Todd Brenkman."

Brenkman, incidentally, told the city recorder (regarding my GRAMA request) that he has no records regarding the committee, "which I have not been asked to participate [in] at any time." That's a rather startling statement, since he apparently received an email from Gochnour regarding the committee on April 22, he received another email from Alan Franke on June 9, and he participated in two of the committee's meetings.

Fern said...

I think this is just one more incident that demonstrates the City Council does not have their own staff. There have been many incidents over the last few years that show the Council staff has been co-0pted by Godfrey and are loyal to only him.

Franke and Cook ought to be replaced by some one who will be loyal to the Council, not act as spies for the Mayor.

dan s. said...

Obviously there was a breakdown of communication between the mayor and the city council regarding the formation of the golf course committee. And obviously, the mayor is being pretty deceptive in his guest commentary when he tries to put all the blame on the council.

It looks like some of the blame does fall on Franke, for not forwarding Jeske's suggestions in a timely manner. But we're not seeing the whole story here, and it's possible that the council somehow directed Franke to wait until they could develop a unified position on the matter.

It also seems that some of the blame should fall on Brenkman for apparently ignoring Gochnour's suggestions. But it's now pretty clear that Godfrey, not Brenkman, is the one who got the committee going. This raises the question of why Godfrey told the council to send their suggestions to Brenkman, and whether Godfrey ever told Brenkman what to do with any suggestions that were submitted. Finally, why did the administration ignore Jeske's suggestions even after they received them in early June?

No matter how you look at it, I think the buck stops with the mayor.

Jason W. said...

The Gondola-Examiner will not report this lie of Lying Little Matty Gondola Godfrey's. The Gondola-Examiner will never question why the Skipper, an $8 million loser in the financial game, heads a committee to "fix" MOGC's revenue problem. Cavendish refuses to explain his dalliances with 11th graders. The world is as it seems, and so it goes. But we have the truth, goddamnit, and it means a lot.

THE SKI IS BEAUTIFUL BLUE

follow_the_ratz said...

Why?? People.....this man has an agenda...and its playing out exactly as he's hoped. He does seem to frequently (and I mean FREQUENTLY) forget which lie was told last and exactly how. But in the end, you watch. He will have his gondola, the golf course will be owned by CP, and WSU and (?) dog food owner family will have been basically extorted (such a word?) out of their property to make it happen. This is a game of chess. The question is, what do you do when you are the city taxpayers..and you get to the point when Forehead clearly states...and no lie this time..."check-mate" ????

danny said...

Reading over today's posts in the two main articles was interesting.

1. Dan S. once again scores a direct hit, and once again scoops the paper (together with WCF.) Will the paper report this blockbuster news to their readers now that it has been handed to them? Will the Trib? Dan, please make sure both periodicals have the GRAMA documents.

2. People are pointing out that Hitzig's and Geiger's letters were intended to soften up the university.

3. Dan's information reveals that the mayor handed the Skipper the phony committee's findings the day the thing began.

But 2 and 3 should not be a surprise, because I stated these very things specifically some time ago.

Curm denies that Godfrey is Machiavellian. Yet, Godfrey is not only perfectly Machiavellian, he is perfectly, predictably Machiavellian, as I have shown. And Godfrey is not just a liar. He is reliably a liar. If there are two paths to his goal and one is lying, then that is the one he will choose because he is evil. This has been clear to me for some time, but surely this is becoming clear to everyone.

It should also be obvious to everyone that Godfrey is not an intellgent man, and neither is Brenkman. Both men sat in meetings where they knew a secretary was taking notes, and had noted their attendance, then they both said they had no involvement at the meetings. These are bad men, but not smart men.

Were it not for their Machiavellian ways, we might have to conclude they are stupid men. But Godfrey is not completely stupid, he is dangerous.

WhatWardRUin said...

it may be just a coincidence, but godfrey fired that same note-taking secretary two weeks ago. could it be that she failed to follow the mayor's instructions to ensure the minutes did not reflect his presence at the committee meetings that he has no involvement in? she was there one day gone the next; no explanation.

godfrey is trying to establish a precedence with wsu by hoping they will sell property to the city to save them from the financial ruin that mogc has caused. with the right amount of pressure in the right places that could very well happen. wsu has stated publicly recently that they have no plans for the property and it will be "generations" before anything is even considered. enter chris peterson. "you sold property to ogden; if you don't sell property to me i will shut down all access to and across my property, trails and all". godfrey gets the property for the golf course, wsu buckles under pressure from state parks and rec, weber pathways, governor and general public and sells property to peterson. two new holes don't save mogc so godfrey turns operation, maybe even ownership, over to a private concessionaire; chris peterson. new street car alignments and udot restrictions make all traditional transit unafforable so here comes the gondola. Standard-Examiner proclaims godfrey hits a grand-slam and we all sit here wondering how this could have happened. after all, we complain daily on the blog; someone should have stopped godfrey. if he isn't stopped the golf course and wsu property will belong to chris peterson and you will be looking at gondola cars not street cars.

Curmudgeon said...

Follow the Ratz:

You wrote: .this man has an agenda...and its playing out exactly as he's hoped.

Hardly. If it had played out exactly as he'd hoped, the silly flatland gondola would now be under construction, Mt. Ogden Park would be littered with foundations for vacation villas, and Lift Ogden would be a major force in Ogden instead of one guy with a rancid attitude and a keyboard. It has NOT played out as he'd hoped.

He's not given up hope. That's clear. But his batting average on gondola/gondola related stuff is pretty damn low.

Curmudgeon said...

Danny:

You wrote: Curm denies that Godfrey is Machiavellian.

I do? When? Maybe, but I don't recall saying that. He is manipulative. He does scheme and conspire to get his way. Off hand the only context in which I think I'd deny that his governing style [politely so called] is Machiavellian-like is this one: Machiavellians are competent at intrigue and manipulation. Hizzonah has bungled so much, so often, that I don't think the Machiavellians would want to claim him as one of the brotherhood.

Curmudgeon said...

Althepal:

Sigh.

One more time...

I criticize Hizzonah when I think he's wrong. Which is often.

However, he is mayor, made so by the vote of the people. And he will continue to be mayor for another three years, whether you and I like it or not.

His job as Mayor means his administration will, necessarily, be involved in projects, proposals, and policy changes over the next three years. In many of those cases, he'll be addressing things that need to be addressed for the good of the city. And so no, ATP, I don't think its a good idea to automatically assume that everything he proposes necessarily is a bad idea and involves duplicity. He's supported some good things. Frontrunner. Trails expansion and improvement. Weber Pathways Projects. And some others.

What I said above was that on anything relating to the gondola/gondola/Peterson project, he's now proven himself so dishonest, dissembling and biased that we've got no choice, really, but to presume any future statements or suggestions he makes on those topics are not reliable. Normally I give elected officials the benefit of the doubt and require that their dissembling and dishonesty be proven on an issue, not assumed. Until such has been proven so often... as it has now with Godfrey on gondola/gondola/Peterson related matters... that it would be foolish to assume otherwise.

That's not the same as saying anything he proposes or supports about any topic should be treated the same way. He's still going to be the lynchpin in running Ogden city for the next three years. Who knows? Perhaps he will figure out, after nine years in office, that he can accomplish more of what he wants to do through honest administration, cooperation with the council, open governing, and a willingness to compromise than he can by the arrogance, and the bull-in-a-china-shop ham-fisted style he's adopted so far.

Miracles do happen. The Mets won the Series in '69.

follow_the_ratz said...

Curm,
With all due respect, just because the gondola, et al, isn't there doesn't mean it won't be.
If I were a betting man, I'd love to place a wager.
How many goals have you set in your life that didn't go exactly the way you had mapped it out, but still the end result was what you wanted? I can't, off hand, think of any plans in my life that went perfect to my design. But for the most part, I've achieved the end results.
You are right, however. There is no gondola. The park is not "littered" yet. Nor any new villa in place there. No, it has NOT played out to his exact plan. But don't kid yourself into thinking he hasn't got several "Plan B's" to keep moving this all forward. It's like a magic show. Keep 'em all so interested in watching something going on "over here" while mr. magician's other hand has something else sneakily going on "over there"....

WhatWardRUin said...

curm;

while your praising godfrey for supporting the frontrunner don't forget that hitler gave us the volkswagon. it doesn't have to be absolute evil to be evil.

Curmudgeon said...

Well, WWRUI, I don't think Hitler references much lead to useful points vis a vis American mayors. Not even Hizzonah. He's not a particularly good Mayor. But he's worlds away from being a mass murderer.

What really angers me about him is that government matters. It's important. And it's important that it be done well. When it's bungled and done badly, as Hizzonah generally does it, it not only leads to unhappy immediate consequences, it does far worse. It makes people cynical and distrustful of all government, and leads people to adopt the right wing [and completely false] Ronald Reagan conclusion that "government isn't the solution, it's the problem." Said, you will note, during Reagan's campaign to become head of the government.

Effective democracy cannot forever survive complete cynicism in the electorate. When we get government leaders [excuse the expression] like Godfrey... or Bush, for that matter, or Chaney or McCain or Spitzer or now, Charlie Wrangle... the steady drip drip drip of cynicism erodes the democratic [small "d" please note] base of the US a little bit more each time. That's not only unfortunate; over the long term, it's dangerous.

Which is why, the specifics of his ham-fisted bungling aside [e.g. the silly flatland gondola], Hizzonah's unethical conduct in the mismanagement of Ogden's affairs makes me so mad. He has a responsibility not to do that. He has an obligation, laid upon him by the majority that elected him, to govern honorably, ethically and well. And he's not fulfilling that obligation.

Bill C. said...

Curm, I'm surprized that you seemed to have overlooked the verbage in the Gondola Examinar article today.
This information was obtained from minutes of the committee meetings.
How do you suppose they got them, same way as Dan? Grama?
I'm accustomed to just accept the fact that every time someone produces factual proof of his lying or questions anything lying little matty spews off the top of his enormous forehead, they take the sleazy,(by design) way out. Rather than validate that he has indeed lied, they resort to simply providing the "mayor said" knowing full well he's lying. This occured so many times during the election it became sickening.
Squirrel patrol trooper carter and his underlings must not realize that by reporting, this way, knowing he's lied, makes them just as dishonest as him.
Two very easy examples are, the crime stats, Mono had no problem seeing the truth, and the often published quote of lying little matty's, still used this week, that the golf course has lost money ever since the day it opened. Patently false, and easily documented. I submit that they do this quite often, and in my estimation, that makes them liars.

Bill C. said...

Oh sorry, I forgot the most blatent one to date, debt is not debt. Remember that great one about Ogden City not being responsible for it's own debt? Every time the Coucil has to fork over a couple million to pay for the bond, the gondola examinar suffer severe amnesia.

Jason W. said...

Well, I being the most cynical of all, I will say this: there will never be THE GONDOLA in Ogden: they ain't got no money, they ain't got no plan, and they ain't got no brains. Nonetheless: Geiger, Geiger, Geiger, Geiger, Geiger, Geiger...

danny said...

. . . but the Geigers do have something. To see what it is, watch again the video of Brad Geiger carefully looking over this jump, then almost killing himself.

Click here to watch Godfrey business contest winner Brad Geiger.

Is this the same Brad Geiger we know? So what is it the Godfrey loving Geigers have a great deal of?

danny said...

Another video of Brad Geiger.

Click Here

Listen for his mother at 1:19, yelling "Go Brad. Whooooo!" in the background.

Yes, with his "business contest" win, Brad joins his mom, becoming another Geiger family parasite on our tax dollars.

It's late.

Jason W. said...

Well, thank you, Danny, for the homoerotica. I may just sprint out to Sports Authority and purchase some DNA gear*.

*May not be true.

THE SKI IS BEAUTIFUL BLUE

disgusted said...

danny
was that brad that won or the other guy

Anonymous said...

That Garner from Nicklas Golf made the Ogden County Club so tough average and elderly golfers can't get out of the sand traps or get on the four pars in two shots. Just what Mt. Ogden needs.

PPK said...

Videos: LOL
Nice jump. Well, not really. Just trying to be nice.

I want to watch lil' G and a fighter named Parris get after it! Parris would kick G's (Geiger, not Godfrey, gondola, etc) @$$! Although he COULD smash all 3 butts at the same time, I'm sure.
Thanks, danny! Very enjoyable vid links.

Curmudgeon said...

Sorry, guys, but I don't see what videos of someone taking a spill doing ski jumps has to do with... well, with much of anything. Does it mean his business proposal is a poor one? No. A good one? No. Does it say anything at all about anything the public has a reason to be interested in? No.

All this "wooo! wooo! look at him blow the jump!" seems pretty petty to me.

ppk said...

Curm....
Chill out.
It's just funny.
Who cares.
Geez.
It would be funny if ANY of us bit it. It's the weekend. Take a deep breath and enjoy the beautiful day.
Lighten up.

danny said...

Curm, You miss the point.

RE: Brad Geiger and the first video.

One word: Imprudent.

Another word: Relevant.

Another word: Funny.

Three more words: Funny always relevent.

Disclosure: Circumstantial evidence indicates first vid is indeed Ogden's Brad G., but second vid, I don't know.

disgusted said...

curm

maybe its like a guilty pleasure or maybe its a reflection of where this individual intellectually comes from.
someone thats always taking high risks and participates in high risk activites is most likely to carry over those traits to other actions in their life. thats their personal choice and they suffer the personal damage.
it only matters to me when they put others in danger by their actions.
but their failures or damage to their bodies that they suffer at some point should be a lesson to them in itself. those slow to listen to those lessons being taught to them shows the the rest of us a lack of ability to figure things out or in other words intellengence.

disgusted said...

can you say potential future darwin award winner

RudiZink said...

Three reader comments moved to new top article

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