Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Appointments, Water Rate Fixes, and a Godfreyite Council Assault

City Council Notes - 10/7/08

By George K.

Chair Wicks was excused from the Council meeting.

The Council approved a number of entities recommended by the Arts Council to receive a portion of the $35,000. grant from the Council. These entities enrich the community through their artistic endeavors from the Childrens Treehouse Museum to the Foursite Theater group.

The Council appointed Dustin Chapman to the Board of Adjustments with a 5 to 1 vote with Councilwoman Jeske casting the dissenting vote.

Bill Cook explained the purpose of the water, sewer and storm sewer rate increases and briefly reviewed the process the Council used to determine what the rates should be. Then Laura Lewis went into more detail. John Patterson concluded by presenting the current rate structure developed by the administration stating that the $5.00 surcharge would be eliminated and the top tier removed, so that the $2.30 per 1,000 gallons surcharge for non-secondary water customers would take effect at 70,000 gallons of water used. A $2.00 per gallon surcharge for secondary water users would begin at 20,000 gallons. After listening to a number of concerned citizens, Bill Cook read a list of concerns and issues that the Council wished to address at a later time when more information was available with the new water software that the City had purchased to handle the water billing and information system. It was noted that only about two percent of Ogden residents would receive either a refund or credit for the huge bills that they had received.

After public input, Vice Chair Stephens told patrons their input was appreciated and thanked them for their input and suggestions and said it was this sharing and communicating of concerns that problems were solved. Councilwoman Jeske asked Bill Cook to add lot size consideration to the list of issues to be considered. She also asked that a way be developed to inform senior citizens and low income residents that the City allowed some relief for them. Vice Chairman Stephens noted that challenges of the new water program had been addressed by both the administration and the council with citizen input and it was this cooperative effort that had allowed for a satisfactory outcome for all concerned.

A number of 25th Street business owners and some members of the Landmarks Commission addressed the Council with all of them requesting that the Council reconsider their vote on the height ordinance. Several said that the Council was playing politics and really wasn’t concerned with the historic district designation. There were four speakers who did not request the Council to reconsider, with three stating the importance of preserving the Historic District.

Councilwoman Jeske was rebuked for not apologizing for her comments by Sue Wilkerson, Bernie Allen and Dorie Mosher, and for operating behind closed doors. Referring to the flashlights that Councilwoman Jeske had given to each Council member when she was sworn in as a token that the Council would operate in the open and shine a light on city government, Ms. Mosher gave Councilwoman Jeske a couple of batteries since apparently the light had gone out in her flashlight.

The Mayor, in his comments, said that he wanted the city government to conduct business in the open, and he encouraged communication at any time because his door was always, but he said that Mrs. Jeske had made the statement that she didn’t want to work with the administration. Then Councilmember Brandon Stephenson stated that he felt it necessary in order for the city to continue to grow the council and mayor had to work together. He mentioned that there are no joint goals for the city because the council would not work with the administration and come to a compromise. He faulted Council Leadership with failing to work with the administration and communicating with the mayor.

Council member Jesse Garcia, defended the Council and their decisions. Then Council member Stephenson said that he guessed that he wasn’t through with his comments, and further stated his disappointment with his fellow council members. Council member Garcia gave a short rebuttal. Councilwoman Jeske spoke up and said, “This isn’t the place to do our dirty laundry,” and made the motion to close the meeting. Vice Chair Stephens said that he wasn’t ready and made a few comments.

The meeting adjourned about 9:15 PM. with no action taken to reconsider the vote taken regarding the height amendment ordinance.

Update 10/08/08 6:32 a.m. MT: Ace reporter Schwebke offers his own version of last night's council meeting hijinks in this morning's Standard-Examiner, with typical Std-Ex pro-Godfrey spin.

26 comments:

Bill C. said...

Like all other lying little matty initiatives, this Windsor/ordinance change thing has really gotten convoluted and twisted around. The folks raising hell and siding with lying little matty seem to be coming from a direction that is opposed to their position that is supposed to loan credibility for them to make an argument.
G-train is speaking from the position of chair of the landmarks commission, yet she's touting something that's diametricly opposed to what her duties in that capacity are. She fails to see that if the action she's advocating were to come to fruition the results could wipe out everything her predecessors have worked so hard to accomplish, that being a National model of preserving a historic district. The more she advocates the more she shows that she's not fit for the chair of the Landmarks Commission.
These new gondola convert arrivals that have written letters to the paper have no idea what the real point is, the integrety of the 25th st Historic Disrict. The comparison of the San Antonio River Walk to lying little matty's objectives is beyond comprehension. Is this guy coming from a historic point of view or tourism draw? Yes, the Alamo Mission is near the River Walk, but the River Walk is not a historic district. San Antonio is the 8th largest city in the country, of course they have more tourism, as a funtion of size, not to mention being surrounded with military establishments. Is this dolt saying that we need to abandon this historical preservation and erect lying little matty's monument to stupidity, a gondola to exactly nowhere, so we can be mentioned along with San Antonio for having some unique attraction to draw tourists and shoppers from all over the world? Wow.
As for brandon Anally stephenson suggesting that the Council needs to compromise with the administration, check his website, he's suggesting that we knuckle under and allow insanity and stupidity because he for one, is all for it.

George K said...

In his article this morning "Public calls for new vote on Windsor," reporter Scott Schwebke inaccurately reported John Patterson's comment when he said that after the vote was taken, he was sitting next to a council member whom he heard say, "This is payback."

I am really surprised at Schwebke's inaccurate quote being attributed to Jeske. Usually he is more conscientious and accurate in his reporting. It looks like he joined the "bash Jeske" night.
In this person's opinion, Schwebke lost his "star reporter" status for his inaccurate account.

what will it cost us said...

This mornings 2 news had another house fire on Kiesel. Looks suspicious said the fire captain. When is the city going to demand Lesham clean up this area. I'm tired of our fire dept. being used as a demolition crew for a developer.
Hey pay them for the training and then invite the outher communities fire departments to burn them all down.

Curmudgeon said...

I hate to keep beating this same drum, but I think it's important. According the SE report, and GK's above, Ms. Wilkerson did not address the question of whether changing the zoning on 25th Street would endanger its status as a Historic District. Her new mantra now seems to be "the Council doesn't like the Mayor." I notice the Mayor too thinks it's not really about historic preservation, that it's all about him: "The Council doesn't like me."

Whether members of the Council like the Mayor or not is irrelevant. The question is: would changing the zoning endanger the street's Historic District designation? The Council received testimony from several sources with a great deal of credibility and experience in historic preservation that changing the zoning would do just that. And the response from Ms. Wilkerson and others so far has been "they don't like the Mayor."

Have they offered expert opinion by people similarly well-qualified to speak on the matter that changing the zoning would not endanger 25th Streets Historic District status? They have not. They've merely replied "the Council doesn't like the Mayor." That does not answer the question that needs to be answered if the Council is to reconsider its decision.

At this point, I have to wonder, as I think does everyone who is not a card-carrying member of the Matthew Godfrey Cult of Personality [Motto: the Mayor can do no wrong!]whether the reason they are not addressing the main question is because they cannot address it. That they have no credible evidence to refute the claim that changed zoning will endanger the street's Historic District designation.

If I were involved in this dispute, and I wanted the Council to reconsider its vote, I'd have gone after that --- the fears of losing historic district status --- hammer and tongs, in the press and one on one with the Council, with everything I had. Because that's the main impediment to the Council reversing its decision.

But Wilkerson and the others haven't done that. Can't help but wonder why....

Bill C. said...

Curm, G-train can't make the argument you're requesting based on the Windsor Hotel, because those guys have no intention of complying with all the restoration guidelines. It's just realestate to them. That's why bernie was so specific about separating the Windsor from the ordinance.
I don't doubt that the Windsor folks were looking to bail prior to this anyway, this halabaloo might just be a smokescreen thrown up by the lying little matty consortium of high adventure fools because nothing has come about that's tangible in the high adventure arena. Nothing, the emperors new clothes, if you catch my drift. People aren't totally blind, they are starting to question the lying little matty hyperbolic claims that barley got him re-elected. We can't lose all this momentum. yeah.
The river project is a fire trap, worse now than before it got started. The high adventure Walmart couldn't get off the drawing board. No outdoor recreation companies have come for years. Washington Blvd. is still a disaster and there's no gondola in the immediate future. Oh, I forgot, the jackass center and surrounding developement is taking millions of BDO revenues.
Is it a wonder that he's turned his sights on the one area that has been a success since long before his arrival? The one place that actually has foot traffic and is appealing to future business? Why not take a stab at messing it up, that's all he does. Midas, in reverse.

Curmudgeon said...

Bill:

That the developers know what they're proposing for the Windsor would make it a non-conforming building [e.g. a building in a Historic District that does not conform to historic structure guidelines for renovation and rehab] is not really in doubt. The question is, would the Windsor's shifting from a conforming to a non-conforming status, and the raising of the height limit in the 25th Street Historic District endanger the street's Historic District status?

This is not necessarily a simple question to answer, but it can be answered. Three people in the state representing organizations with a long record and much credibility in the area of historic preservation, have told the Council that such changes may endanger the street's Historic District status. So what Wilkerson and Godfrey and their supporters need to do is establish, on the evidence, by offering the experience of other cities for example, other Historic Districts, and by finding expert credible testimony to establish that the Council's concerns on this matter are unwarranted. Unless they do that, and until they do that --- and they haven't yet begun to do it --- the Council should stand fast and not reconsider the vote.

But, Bill, if they can successfully challenge the claim that rehabbing the Windsor as the developer wants to, and changing the height limit will endanger 25th Street's Historic District status, then I'd argue the Council should look again at its vote.

But not until then.

Bill C. said...

Curm, I forgot to add the critical point to my last post, lying little matty is once again trying to place the blame for all his shortcomings(no pun) on the Council, "it's their fault none of my crooked stupid deals have panned out".

Jason W. said...

Geiger, Geiger, Geiger, Geiger, Geiger, Geiger, Geiger, Geiger, Geiger, Geiger...

Bill C. said...

Curm, I think you meant to say, "will not endanger ", it's so much fun to catch the professor making a booboo.
Jason, is that augratin or chives?

danny said...

I was trying to figure out what the godfreyites sound and fury were all about over the past few days.

1. Curm's comments are true, if obvious, and and worth reading on the subject.
2. The Windsor deal is dead vis-a-vis Ogden Properties. Given the council didn't give away its zoning authority and risk 25th's historical status under threat of OP leaving, as the Godfrey-Wilkerson con hoped they would, then why would the council do so now?

It doesn't make sense. I figured all that is going on now is Wilkerson is just trying to save her job and maintain some shred of legitimacy for Godfrey's political arm, the Landmarks Commission.

But Bill C. is probably right, as usual. Now that another Godfrey scheme has crashed (haven't they all, lately) the job now is to transfer blame to the council.

Perhaps the city council should consider whether Godfrey's expensive staff is worth the money, given that all they do lately is throw together inept, screwy deals that fall apart, then try to blame the council later. It sounds like a good place for budget cuts, which they will need lots of in the coming year.

Jason W. said...

Why did the council approve the appointment of Dustin "Zingers" Chapman to the Board of Adjustment? Weren't they aware they were "treading on dangerous waters" and tacitly endorsing mixed metaphors? Did they disregard being called "you guys"? Why cower in the vapor of onion-reeking THE GONDOLA idiocy? Why are the Lying Little Matty Gondola Godfreyites and brave soldiers in Wayne Peterson's famed Squirrel Patrol, including Obersturmbannfuehrer THE SKI IS BEAUTIFUL BLUE -- onions! --Cavendish, and poor, unfortunate, fall-on-the-sword-for-jerkoffs truck driver GTrain blaming their moronic failures on the council? Why did OTown vote for Lying Little Matty Gondola Godfrey three times? Why is our town run by eighth-grade high-adventure clowns?

THE SKI IS BEAUTIFUL BLUE

Ed J said...

thanks for report george k. just a couple of questions. you say " a number of 25th street owners". how many is that? 2? 3? 4? are you counting their employees, spouses, brothers, sisters? you should be assured the rest of the 25th street owners and more importantly, 25th street building owners, are solidly ensconsced with the city council.

what will it costs us said...

I would think most of the business owners on 25th say the support the mayor in fear of retaliation, when in fact they are behind the City Council.

When will Wal-Mart be built, what other promises have not come to be built. Didn't Lesham give up the options on that property. I think the Council is doing their duty to the city in wanting to know the finances of these companies that want to move here and how stable are they. I would question and have the City County Attorney read any future contracts before any RDA, grants or taxpayers money is given away, and any loop holes closed.

whatwill it costs us said...

Sorry I meant the City Council's Attorney that was recently hired, rather than the mayors attorney.

Southsider said...

Did Godfrey really think the council would transfer their powers to him? Or, perhaps, he just put out a proposal he knew the council would have to reject, so that he can now start the 2009 council campaign as "vote the obstructionists out!"

As Bill mentioned above,"I don't doubt that the Windsor folks were looking to bail prior to this anyway", so Godfrey can scapegoat the council by giving them an offer they can't accept.

Merle said...

Southsider

You are way to hip to the machinations of the of the Godfreyites!

I agree with you, this whole bit of theater last night was orchestrated by Godfrey to cover the economy driven bail out of his buddies in the Windsor deal. Sad part is that all the so called protesters are oblivious to being used by the puppet master Godfrey.

Godfrey is an idiot said...

Godfrey is a total loser.

His "High adventure 'vision'" is now costimg ogden taxpayers $millions.

There's little that Godfrey has done within the past 8-1/2 years...Except to increase Ogden City's debt.

In the process the little shit has drastically decreased Ogden City's ability to borrow in the future!

Who will be the first from Godfrey's LDS base to admit that the little LYING shite doesn't represent your "prudent" LDS Values?

Would the totally botched godfreyite Joy Wood like to step up and explain how she fell in love with the little BIG GOVERNMENT BITCH?

curious 1 said...

How can the Ogden PD post no trespassing on private property? How much energy and costs were associated with the Lesham property since these signs are on his property or has the city taken back the property. I noticed on channel 2 news these signs and checked them out for myself today.
How many more will burn down under suspicious circumstances. Maybe a city vehicle will be seen driving away when these fires start.

ozboy said...

An interesting development reported on KSL. Seems the Utah Supremes have decided that important issues effecting the citizens are in fact subject to voter approval - at least as it pertains to a proposed power plant down south.

See the story here: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=4469842

It would be interesting to hear some of our more legally educated minds here on the WCF analyze this situation and educate us about how far reaching this might be and how it might just free the voters from the self dealings of our incompetent and immoral state legislature.

Curmudgeon said...

Oz:

Excellent news. Thanks for the pointer.

disgusted said...

curm is right this isnt about the variance its about the fact that the council didnt do what he wanted but actually they did.
he knew they wouldnt vote his way because of the added wording that stripped decision making powers away from the council. this was planned out to get the council to vote no so he could then put the blame on them for the developer pulling out of the project.
i agree with others here that godfrey is pointing the finger at the city council to deflect the fact that he and his people entered into a very bad contract that cost the residents $288k.
a contract that allowed the developer to walk away with the city money whether he renovated or not. godfrey doesnt care about the city money he just cares about not loosing face for having an incompetent bd department or having to himself take the blame.
godfrey just likes the guy enough he is willing to write off the city money rather than loose his good buddy.
his actions allow him to keep face and keep his buddy. as far as he is concerned screw the city council.

Bill C. said...

I went to the Council meeting when they granted the money to the Windsor folks. I seem to recall the way it was discussed was the City placed a dealine on the completion of the project, if it wasn't done by then the City retained the option to purchase back the property. If that's the case, but Harmer didn't convey the Council stipulations in the contract, could this be why he split? What was gary williams doing instead of providing oversight?

gary is an ooaf said...

Bill, I believe Gary Williams might have been eating a donut when he should have been paying attention to details.

UtahTeacher said...

Orem City, various investors, and several unpaid construction companies are all vying to get the money owed them by another favorite developer, Larry Myler.

http://www.heraldextra.com/content/view/283861/18/

George K said...

Ed J you asked: “just a couple of questions. you say " a number of 25th street owners". how many is that? 2? 3? 4? are you counting their employees, spouses, brothers, sisters?” There were about 15 people who said that they owned property on 25th St. who spoke during the “Comments” section. They were all adult and you’re guess is as good as mine as to the answer to your second question. When Godfrey’s behind it who knows?

Merle you said: “this whole bit of theater last night was orchestrated by Godfrey to cover the economy driven bail out of his buddies in the Windsor deal.” You are so right on!! No one provided any evidence that the Historic District designation would not be lost if that ordinance was passed. The pictures of the Windsor 4th floor penthouse, leaves a person speechless. It looks like a big modern two-story glass front on top of this old 3-story building. The addition looks so out of place that it really defies description. It’s beyond me how anyone in their right mind would approve such an addition. There’s only one logical reason – political pressure. Sue Wilkerson and her bunch can say what they want, which really hasn’t been much so far, but I’m convinced the mayor is calling in one of his favors on that hotel.

Lionel said...

One thing that seems to have been lost in all of this is that the Mayor's little porn watching, numbers crunching, self dealing buddy Scott Brown is in the middle of the so called developers.

Loyalty to his cronies has always taken precedence over the good of the citizens in all of the Mayor's actions. This case is no exception. Brown and his partners in this scheme have already had a big $288,000 payday - thanks to the citizens of Ogden. The market for this sort of real estate project has dried up and it is the perfect time for them to bail out with their pockets full of tax payer money.

Once again the tax payers of Ogden are taking it in the shorts to enrich the Friends of Matt.

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