Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Standard-Examiner: "Work together, Ogden"

More gentle begging from our home town newspaper

Talk about a tin ear for politics. We’ve said more than once in this space over the past eight-plus years that Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey can be his own worst enemy. He’s proving it again with an “advisory” committee charged with making suggestions about how to deal with the Mount Ogden Golf Course’s annual deficits.

Standard-Examiner Editorial
Work together, Ogden
September 2, 2008

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein
The Quotations Page
1879 - 1955

Once again the Standard-Examiner comes out this morning with an editorial, criticising our esteemed mayor, Boss Godfrey, for the same traits he's consistently demonstrated for 8-1/2 years, i.e., mendacity, obsessive secrecy and inability to play well with others.

This time Godfrey's botched Mount Ogden Golf Course (secret) citizens committee is the pressure point du jour, and the Std-Ex editors do a pretty fair job through most of the editorial, setting forth a few of Godfey's many MOGC committee blunders, in this latest episode of mayoral hubris, which mayoral gaffes we'll attempt to enumerate one by one:

• Ignoring all city council input;
• Alienating the council;
• Forming a committee mainly of stooges, and labeling it "independent;"
• Failing to pass on the council's committee nominations to "The Skipper";
• Generally shooting himself in the political foot.

Today's editorial starts out appearing to be a harsh indictment of Godfrey's misbehavior in this latest transaction; and we were sitting on the edge of our seats, waiting for a strong finish. Unfortunately, the Std-Ex editors went soft in the knees... and closed out their closing paragraph with this dazzling piece of milquetoast editorial advice:

"Talk to each other, work together, debate, disagree and compromise. Move the city forward. It’s a simple philosophy, but it works. Ask most other cities, they’ll confirm that we’re right."

Sheesh! Godfrey operates with a style of governance which would make a Chinese warlord blush, and the Std-Ex editors believe the problem is that everyone (including the council and public, we suppose) isn't talking to each other?

The Std-Ex editors mention that today's editorial is not the first time they've admonished Boss Godfrey about his well-demonstrated inability to "play well with others." A quick Google search reveals the two most recent of these editorials:

Kumbaya on Ice - 3/28/08
Hunkering down, Doing the job - 5/30/08

If memory serves, the Std-Ex editors have also published numerous other similar editorials over the past few years. These editorials all have one thing in common, it seems to us. They all start out with "fire in the editorial belly," and wind up with the Std-Ex editors essentially on bended knee, begging Boss Godfrey to "play nice."

It's time for the Standard-Examiner to change its tone, we believe. After all, Boss Godfrey is the Std-Ex's "pet project;" and their November endorsement was no doubt at least partly to blame for Godfrey's razor-thin 449 vote victory margin in the 2007 municipal election. Time for the Std-Ex to exhibit a little tough love. They owe this to their readership, we believe.

We suppose it would be too much to ask, for the Standard-Examiner to actually call for Godfrey's resignation. But it would be nice, we think, if the Std-Ex editors pinned the blame in the next Godfrey fiasco squarely where it belongs, rather than "parceling it out" to un-named "others."

Einstein was right. The Std-Ex editors need to try a more forceful approach. The current milquetoast tactic (8 years of gentle begging) makes them look worse than just plain dumb.

That's our take on today's editorial; and what say our gentle readers about all this?


dan s. said...

Even before the weak ending, the editorial goes soft by using a euphamism ("strains credibility") to describe how our mayor told an outright lie.

But I suppose we should be happy with what we get from these folks who endorsed him.

Curmudgeon said...


You got it exactly right. Good editorial that went mushy at the end. The evidence presented in the editorial itself makes it painfully clear that the members of the Council were talking to the Mayor. The problem was, he wasn't listening. As usual. However limp the editorial went as it ended, I think that point got across pretty well.

I imagine the editorial was written before the latest evidence of the Mayor's Secret Independent Golf Course Investigatory Committee's ephemeral "independence" came to light: that Hizzonah had arranged a walk over of MOGC with his pet golf course consultant [who he's been working with, Mr. Schwebke reported, for the better part of a year], and that Hizzonah presumed to tell the members of his "independent" Secret Golf Course Investigatory Committee what information they may reveal and what information they may not. [The committee was admonished, on pain of displeasing Hizzonah greatly, not to reveal the name of the Mayor's pet golf course consultant or the firm he works for, though it seems that by the time he ordered the committee not to reveal that information, it was fairly widely known already.]

Only question left, really, is this: did the members of the Mayor's Secret Independent Golf Course Investigatory Committee submit to having collars and leashes fitted before they began their Independent work, or had they already been trained well enough that they sat up, rolled over and fetched on command so that leashes and collars were unnecessary?

Inquiring minds want to know....

RudiZink said...

You're both right, Dan and Curm.

But just once, I'd like to see the Std-Ex editors conclude a Godfrey-critical editorial that's built up a head of steam with that final knockout punch.

Val Southwick said...

Godfrey is a good man. We need more like him in city governments across Utah, especially in the Utah Attorney General's office.

mr. nash said...

Amen, Rudi. Great article.

Get with it Std-Ex.

hey, how you comming on that novel? said...

Maybe it's time for Stuart Reid to come out from behind the Wizard of Oz curtain, Godfrey seams to blunders every one of Reid's plans and schemes.

I think it's a pretty safe bet Reid is running the City, just like the wizard, but the controls for the stupid scarecrow are mal-functioning.

ozboy said...

Maybe the Standard is ball-less on the Godfrey subject because they are barely clinging to life and are not in a position to piss off any advertisers that may still be on the "G" train to nowhere?

Can't blame them if this be the case. Any one that is even half paying attention knows the perfidy of Godfrey and his circle of empty suits without the Standard's reminders. I would hate to see the final nail driven in the Standard's coffin because they played rough with the punk by "exposing" his true stripes to a public who for the most part already knows the truth about the liar. By now any one that doesn't know what a snake the mayor is just simply is not paying attention or doesn't want to accept the truth about him.

The Standard is in a tough position on this one as there are most likely a number of regular advertisers that are still in the Little Lords camp and under his clumsy thumb and evil eye.

The Standard may be more lame than not, but they are the only paper we got and without them this blog would struggle for the red meat the carnivores who read it crave. They ain't the courageous paper they used to be, I wish they were and I believe they would be more successful if they were, but they ain't but we're stuck with them anyway so let's empathize with their plight and keep cutting them the slack like Mr. Curmudgeon always councils us to do.

debbie dew said...

hhycomotn, I think it's Scott Brown who is running the City -- not Reid. That's why Godfrey had to hire him back. Everything has to be done so underhandedly and Brown is the author of all "secret combinations!"

Godfrey failed the course in Public Relations. For someone who is supposedly so brilliant, he doesn't learn very fast. Nine years and he still doesn't know how to communicate with the council! He's a pathalogical liar so it's just as well he doesn't communicate with the council -- they wouldn't be able to believe him any way.

Because of their biased opinion and support of Godfrey, the SE also falls into the "can't believe what you read" category. A very sad legacy for a newspaper.

Elder Benson said...

Once again, Elder Godfrey is revealed as a profligate liar.

When, oh when will the LDS church assert jurisdiction over this bald-faced lier Godfrey?

The little liar and dissembler is an embarrasement to everyone in the LDS Church.

Curmudgeon said...


DD, you wrote: Because of their biased opinion and support of Godfrey, the SE also falls into the "can't believe what you read" category. A very sad legacy for a newspaper.

Sorry, DD, but I don't think you can sustain those claims based on the stories and editorials that have been appearing in the SE over the last year. True, today's editorial didn't, in the end, reach the conclusion I think its own internal evidence should have led it to, but there is no way today's editorial could be taken as "pro Godfrey" --- or even neutral.

Yes, the paper's editorial board endorsed him for re=election... unwisely as we both agree. But that fact makes recent editorials [like the one on the Lesham Village slum properties and today's] all the more significant. They are coming from people who supported him not too long ago. Criticism from your own former supporters strikes me as particularly compelling... maybe more so than continuing criticism from the likes of you and me and Rudi and Bill and.... well, you get the idea.

shade tree mechanic said...

I will use an analogy here. If you have a spark plug in your car that is not firing and your car is sputtering because of it, you try to locate the spark plug that is not firing. You listen very carefully and then you replace the spark plug you suspect. You then restart the car and listen to the engine to see if the problem has been solved. It the car is still missing then it must be one of the other spark plugs. So your reinstall the old spark plug and you try one of the other spark plugs until you get the mis-firing spark plug replaced.

Seems to me that with the on going lack of communication between the Mayor and the City Council, that the problem should be obvious to everyone including the paper. There have been enough changes within the City Council over the last eight plus years and the communication still hasn’t improved.

Shame on the paper for not singling out the mis-firing spark plug.

OgdenLover said...

I'd feel better if the editorial didn't end (as usual) with a plea for both sides to communicate. As far as I know, the Council has repeatedly tried to communicate with the Mayor, but after a while being snubbed and lied to gets old.

bum buddy said...

quit,.your belly achen, standard ex.

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