Monday, October 06, 2008

Boss Godfrey's Council Smear Campaign Rolls On

Another Godfreyite nasty anti-council hit piece

Last Tuesday, we posted an article spotlighting this Standard-Examiner story, which reported that Councilwoman Gochnour had thrown out an olive branch to the Landmarks Commission. Ms. Gochnour had graciously apologized to the Landmarks Commission for some ill-considered work session remarks. As our readers will recall, Ms. Gochnour had obliquely suggested that the Commission had "succumbed to threats that forced it to support" a proposed Godfrey administration zoning amendment, which would have broadly ceded council zoning approval authority to the Landmarks and Planning Commissions, within Ogden's Historic 25th Street District. The controversial Boss Godfrey proposal was of course ultimately defeated by a 5-2 council vote.

As long-time Godfrey watchers, we predicted that Ms. Gochnour's display of good manners would result in immediate Godfreyite payback, and that we expected to see "the usual flurry of letters to the Standard-Examiner," blaming the council for the failure of the Windsor Hotel project.

Just like clockwork, we saw the first such predicted Godfreyite attack last week, with this Tami Crowley guest commentary, (which gentle reader Curmudgeon thoroughly shredded in a followup Weber County Forum article.)

And true to form, this morning's Standard-Examiner carries a second Godfreyite broadside, with a thoroughly hyperbolic and truly nasty David Willis letter, illustrating exactly why it's never a good idea for anyone on the City Council ever to apologise to Boss Godfrey or his minions:

Gochnour owes mayor an apology

As all Godfrey watchers know, the general rules of gracious and civil intra-government social behavior have been long suspended by Boss Godfrey during the 8-1/2 years of his administration. Just as we predicted, Ms. Gochnour's gracious apology has been thoroughly misinterpreted and twisted for political purposes this morning. The Godfreyites' council smear campaign rolls on, full steam ahead.

What a shame it is, we think, that our nice little Utah town remains governed by a completely botched little Harrisville feller who never learned how to play well with others.

And what say our gentle readers about all this?

Update 10/6/08 7:39 p.m. MT: Thanks to the efforts of attentive reader googleboy, we're now informed that the crabby author of the above letter, David Willis, is actually a friggin' real estate agent from the G-Train's Terra Ventures real estate office.

Sheesh! We swear nobody could make this stuff up.


curious 1 said...

Who is David Willis and how long has he lived in Ogden? Is he part of the high adventure group that wants more taxpayers funding for their elite projects.

Funny how he mentions the water rates since the monies from BDO were suppose to pay for improvements rather than pay bond payments for the mayors junction friends. When he wants apologies for lying then lets start with the mayor telling us we taxpayers wouldn't be responsible for the Junction/RDA bonds.

The city council is watching out for all the citizens of Ogden, and not just for the few folks who live on Jefferson, or have brought a few management jobs to Ogden.

Again let’s separate the height adjustment for the Windsor, and the ordinance stripping the City Council from future decisions on building requirements.

lemmee see now said...

1) The BDO land was secured by former Mayor Mecham;
2) Mecham and previous councils had earmaarked BDO revenue for water infrastructure repairs;
3) Godfrey's 2005 rubber stamp council diverted and pledged BDO revenues to the wreck Center project;
4) Ogden citizens continued to demand water system repairs;
5) The city council responded with Water Horizons;
6) BDO revenues were unavailable for water system repair funding, so increased fees were the only other option.

And now those "oppressive water fees" are somehow the council's fault?

googleboy said...

David Willis, Buyers Agent, Terra Vantures

what a crock said...

Take away G-Trains exclusive HUD contract.
That might just shut the bitch up.

Curmudgeon said...

Two points:

1. Mr. Willis says, in his letter, that Councilwoman Gochnour admitted that she had "intentionally lied" in her statements regarding administration pressure on the Landmarks Commission. Besides the redundancy [a lie is by definition intentional; you cannot inadvertently lie], Mr.Willis is wrong about the Councilwoman's apology, which contains no admission of dishonesty. [Were I an "eye-for-an-eye" kinda guy with a thin grasp of vocabulary, I could now charge that Mr. Willis had "intentionally lied" about the Councilwoman's statement. But I won't.]

2. Rudi, you wrote: it's never a good idea for anyone on the City Council ever to apologize to Boss Godfrey or his minions.

Sorry, Rudi, but we disagree again. When you do something you think needs apologizing for, then you ought to apologize. What someone else will, driven by anger or partisanship, try to make out of your apology is irrelevant. When you cross a line you think you shouldn't have crossed, an apology is due. Period. Yes, even to Hizzonah.

Bill C. said...

More from idiot gondola lemmings. Are there any real people out there that see this as this poorly attemped spin portrays it? How did they come up with lying? That's their hero's domain. Anyone notice how in following the script this dolt included Amy in the letter? I'm surprized that they haven't accused the Council of fraternizing with known terrorists yet. Perhaps that'll come when geiger augratin writes an op-ed claiming that preservation of any historic edifice in the interest of the whole district is un-American, just as opposition to gondolas is known to be.
The fact remains, if these folks bail on the Windsor and profit to the tune of damn near $300,000 the fault lies with lying little matty and his staff's inability to write contracts that protect the Cities investments. Seems that ecconomic developement in Ogden means raping City coffers for the production of literally nothing.

Curmudgeon said...


It would be no more right to try to intimidate Ms. Wilkerson for her views on civic affairs in general, or on 25th Street in particular by threatening to take away city business from her than it would be for the Administration to threaten a businessperson with retaliation for opposing the Mayor. Wrong in both cases. Ms. Wilkerson has as much right to make her views known to the Council and to the public through the SE as you or I do, Crock. And she shouldn't have her livelihood threatened because she exercises that right.

If anyone has evidence that she's not handling the city's HUD properties properly, by all means bring it forward and go after her contracts on those grounds. No one has. Similarly, if anyone has evidence that the contract to handle Ogden's HUD properties was awarded to her improperly and in violation of ordinances, by all means bring it forward and go after the contract on those grounds. No one has.

But it's wrong to threaten her city business because she's spoken out in favor of something you don't like. It's a free country for the Godfrey Gaggle too, Crock.

Curious 1 said...

Another "G Train" realtor Jeremy Peterson with Terra Venture is running against Neil Hansen in the 9th. So they are trying to stack the legislature with more friends of the mayor. Think it might be a veiled grudge match since Neil ran against the mayor.

I also question the zoning on her property on 25th across from the old Weber Club. How could the planning commission approve homes that share the same driveway? Is she getting special treatment reguarding her developments when other business especially along 25th are hamstringed by the planning dept.

I also question the cost of the fake brickwork on the street for Eccles and Van Buren. Both G Train and Canvandish have properties that benefited from the cost of this improvement.

And Curm, she is going after Neil Hansens position/job so it does seem fair to question her exclusive monopoly and being refered to as the cities realtor. Were any other realtor considered for the position, and will her contract ever expire?
I don't question her free speach, unless it is harassing like the Geigers.

Curmudgeon said...


Asking if the city's HUD properties management should be awarded in a different way than it now is is a fair question. As it would be about any city contracting. Are we doing it in the best way possible for the city, etc. My objection to Crock's post was that he wanted to go after the contract in order to "shut her up." That was wrong.

What Hizzonah does not seem to understand, though, is that Ms. Wilkerson's managing the city's HUD properties and her prominent and outspoken membership in the Godfrey Gondola Gaggle necessarily raise questions about her independence on advisory committees like the Landmarks Commission. Ms. Wilkerson's work on that commission may be rock solid, and her interest in historic preservation bone deep and of long standing. But her business dealings with the city via the administration and her outspoken partisanship on behalf of the Mayor, taken together, raise questions about the independence of her judgment that, I would think, the Mayor would be better off not having raised. He doesn't seem, even yet, to understand that he benefits, or could, from having advisory committees of unquestioned independence. As I've said before, he really does not have a very good grasp on the fundamentals of effective public administration.

ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

I disagree with you in that some lies can be un-intended. If someone is mistaken and lies when they think they are telling the truth, isn't that an un-intentional lie? If there is such a thing as an un-intentional lie, then doesn't it follow that there also can be intentional lies? For instance, once, before I knew much about Godfrey, I actually told some one that he appeared to be competent and honest! Well now, that for sure was an un-intentional lie!

As to lying, there are a number of different levels. Unfortunately our mayor is an absolute master at all of them!

RudiZink said...

"Sorry, Rudi, but we disagree again. When you do something you think needs apologizing for, then you ought to apologize."

Well excuse me Curm... But Councilwoman Gochour had no political reason to apologize to anyone in the first place. Her apology merely reflected her classy upbringing.

We already know that Libby Norvell departed the Landmark Commision because Boss godfrey stacked th LC with own lackeys (Check out uncle Bernie and the Ogden version of the high adventure Sasquatch, Sue Wilkerson.)

We all know there havve been threats, direct and implied.

With the new Landmark Committe appointments, and the purging of the most knowlegeable Landmarks commission members in
January, Boss Godfrey has set up a hostile work enviroment for those LC members who would otherwise take their appointmnets sseriously, without all the Wilkesrson bullwshit.

just wondering said...

Let's see now. One of Sue Wilkerson's employees has maliciously attacked and libelled the various members of the City Council.

What will Ogden City's ex-truckdriver Landmark Committee 25th Street Chair non-Godrey-affiliated lackey do next?


Perhaps this Godfreyite should simply declare her conflict, and resign her Landmarks commission seat. This is definitely a "no brainer."

And what say our fellow gentle readers?


Gotta say this cracks me up

Curmudgeon said...


No, I don't think you can unintentionally lie. If you convey false information which you believe to be accurate, you are not lying. Lying by definition implies an intent to convey information you know to be false. If I subsequently discover that what I said was not so, I'm obliged to say "I was wrong" [which I've had to do an embarrassing number of times], meaning I was mistaken. I would would not say, "Sorry. I lied."

Curmudgeon said...


You wrote: But Councilwoman Gochnour had no political reason to apologize to anyone in the first place. No political reason, but she evidently thought she had an ethical obligation to apologize, and so she did. Which is all I said. Speaks well of her.

When someone, anyone, decides they've crossed some line they think they should not have crossed, they're obliged to apologize. Doesn't matter a hill of beans whether other people think they should apologize, or other people think they shouldn't. This applies, even if the apologee [is that a word? If it isn't, it should be.] is the Mayor of Ogden.

RudiZink said...


The Mother Theresa of politics.


Go to com if you want to date a 39 year old Godfreyite said...

This Willis twit is from California. He bought a house in east central Ogden less than 2 years ago

danny said...

I don't get all the fuss.

The Landmarks Commission is by definition, a bunch of Godfrey partisans, since Godfrey hand picked them after he won re-election, jettisoning all who gave any indication of independence from him. Does anyone even question this?

The council voted down an appalling power grab that also would have jeopardized a valuable historical status. The ordinance was opposed by both the local and stage historical societies, both of which were sufficiently concerned to send representatives to the CC meeting.

Gochnour, in researching the issue, consulted these societies.

Godfrey's supporters are now bashing the CC for doing something other than Godfrey's bidding, I suppose, to prove how independent they are??

So what is the big issue? Is there something surprising about any of this?

not surprised said...

Mr Curmudgeon,

You mentioned above that you thought the Mayor doesn't understand. I think you're wrong. I think he, and his supporters, cronies, and assorted hangers-on understand just fine. They just don't CARE!

Curmudgeon said...


And it's not working very well for him, is it? Which was my point. If he was good at public administration, he'd be able to get more of what he wanted. But he's not.

ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

I still have a problem with your simplistic approach to lying. You seem to take the position that if some one lies inadvertently then it simply is not a lie but simply a mistake. I think what is missing here is that a lie always involves a teller and a listener. If the teller makes a mistake and inadvertently lies but the listener believes the information then what is the difference? The teller of the lie made a mistake but the listener is still victimized by the false information, que no? So was a lie told or wasn't it? Your position seems to create a dichotomy wherein one person didn't lie but the other person was lied to?

Curmudgeon said...


The difference is intent. To lie you must intend to say something you know is not true. To use your example, there is no dichotomy: the speaker [saying something he believed to be true that was in fact not true] was mistaken. The listener was misinformed. Nobody lied and nobody was lied to.

It's the intent to deceive that makes something a lie.

ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

your explanation is accurate as per the strict definition of the word "lie".

So, in the real world of Ogden, do you think the mayor lies, or does he simply misinform? Does he intend to mislead, or does he believe his own bull shit? Is he just stupid, or is he a pathological liar?

curious 1 said...

Another developer can't get financing, Craig Mecham who tore down an older section of Sugarhouse and complains when he has to lansdscape and fence the hole he has left.
He claims last year he had banks calling to finance his condo/retail seven story building, now he can't get financing.

Show me the money when we get these wild claims to add millions to Ogden, add to the tax base, new jobs, and lower our taxes. This looks like a good project for a thesis on business. How many jobs have been added to the city downtown with the boarded up storefronts that left. I keep hearing from folks that Ogden needs retal shops to bring shoppers downtown, not small boutique shops selling high adventure.

what will it cost us said...

Another letter in Tuesday's paper against the city council, praising all of the mayors plans for the city and chastizing the city council. Are they all working for "G" train and her point of view? How long have these guys lived in Ogden and do they really believe in changing 25th street to look like Sacramento, San Antonio or Fort Worth. Does she have a test before they can work for her and the mayor?

Unless the mayor thinks it is his idea then it won't progress in his city. I applaude the city council not to give away their responability to have some control over the building requests, and not to have last minute changes after public funds have been given to restore a building. I would hate to see just the Landmarks Commitee and the city planning department have total control of the historic areas.

I do agree that election time is coming and the voters will work things out. By the way the mayor did win, but by a slim margin. And the mayors friends who have gained financially are his biggest boosters. Lets see some of the promised money used to clean up the river project and improve the over all looks of the city.

drewmeister said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Curmudgeon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Curmudgeon said...


You ask: So, in the real world of Ogden, do you think the mayor lies, or does he simply misinform? Does he intend to mislead, or does he believe his own bull shit?

I'd say it's a mixture of both. From what I can see, he's drunk deep of the Kool Aid on the flatland gondola to WSU nonsense. He is, regarding that, clearly in the grip of an irrational obsession. He is a True Believer, just like those who are sure The Mother Ship is hiding behind whatever comet is currently approaching Earth, and is coming to take them Home. On other matters, he's been caught in a stretcher or two. Or more. So I'd say the answer is "both."

RudiZink said...

two reader comments moved to main article

Post a Comment

© 2005 - 2014 Weber County Forum™ -- All Rights Reserved