Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Missed Opportunities: A Standard-Examiner Editorial

A missed opportunity embedded within an editorial on the topic of missed opportunities

Fairly tepid editorial in this morning's Standard-Examiner, noting that 9 Utah cities managed to add their pet projects to the U.S. Conference of Mayors' recently completed "Ready to Go wish-list." From the editorial:

Most Top of Utah cities missed a chance to get on the federal stimulus wish list. Last week nine Utah cities unveiled their hoped-for, “Ready-to-Go” projects in a report issued by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
The report lists 15,000 specific infrastructure projects that total almost $100 billion. The incoming Obama administration plans to seek a stimulus bill of close to $1 trillion after the president-elect’s inauguration. Nine Utah cities are on the wish list. Salt Lake City is requesting $780 million in wish-list projects.
But the only Top of Utah city that made the request list was Brigham City.
Notably, one Utah City, Sugarhouse, somehow managed to place its streetcar project on the list.

Lower in the editorial, the Std-Ex cuts to the chase, more or less:

However, this clearly seems to have been a missed opportunity for some cities to prioritize its needs. [...]
Ogden also needs to make a firm decision on its public transportation needs so it can access assistance.
The Standard-Examiner thus joins the readers of Weber County Forum in questioning, at least obliquely, the wisdom of our gondola-obsessed mayor, who dawdled for three years on our own streetcar project.

Yes, the Std-Ex editorial board could have made a stronger and more pointed statement. Unfortunately, today's editorial is just about as critical of Boss Godfrey as the Gondola-Examiner ever gets. Ironically, we find a missed opportunity embedded within an editorial dealing with missed opportunites on the Std-Ex editorial page this morning. Godfrey screwed up; and we believe that the Std-Ex should have just come out and said that. Instead, our home town newspaper again treats the little feller with kid gloves, relatively speaking.

And what say our gentle readers about all this?


jason w. said...

Ahhh, but Rudi, the Gondola-Examiner clings to proposed THE GONDOLA and its gold-gilded cableways that will make us all rich like GTrain Wilkerson, whose property defiantly displays Lift Ogden YES! signs. No, the Gondola-Examiner's editorial board is led by a bona fide jackass Squirrel Patroller from the Midwest, who thinks proposed THE GONDOLA -- with two stops and which goes exactly nowhere -- is a great idea! "The wow factor is undeniable;" "We support the urban gondola;" "It [non-existent proposal from Wayne Peterson, vest-wearing general of the famed Squirrel Patrol] is impressive." No, the Gondola-Examiner will not allow proposed THE GONDOLA to go down in the annals of Ogden history as the biggest crock of shit since cold fusion. After all, they are complicit and culpible in the mess.


jason w. said...



Bernie Madoff said...

Obama's giving away $1 Trillion?

Where do I sign up for my handout?

Curmudgeon said...

As Dan S. most recently pointed out, as others had before him, [and as the SE editorial hinted at but, sadly, did not say outright], had Hizzonah moved along with the Council on trolley transit after the first study recommending a line between downtown and WSU/McKay Dee as the best option for Ogden, instead of impeding the effort to "save the route" for his gondola obsession, the City might now have had a trolley project ready for inclusion in the stimulus list. We can, I think, all agree on that.

But repeating that over and over, now, seems to me to have limited use. There is no election coming up any time soon. So the question the City Council --- and WCF --- ought to be focusing on, seems to me, is this: where do we go from here? What should Ogden city be doing now, going forward as the pols like to say? Given the current economic environment, what should Ogden city do in the immediate future [considering its available resources]?

ozboy said...


Sugerhouse is not a separate city, but rather part of Salt Lake City.

Twiddling Thumbs said...

"Sugerhouse is not a separate city, but rather part of Salt Lake City."

And your point?

Bill C. said...

Dear Curm," where to go from here?" How about the fact that the Baker study has pretty much identified the most logical corridor and lying little matty's two new preferences continue to drag out any progress. Were he serious, he'd drop 36th all together, this option will be by far the most expensive due to how narrow this corridor all ready is. He should probably drop his Washington to 30th st as well due to it bypasses the majority of Ogden City residents.
The gondola examiner refuses to even question him on these preferences, Schwebke sat and listened to the Council question these as well as his motives for wanting a different corridor, none of his responses were adequate. Lying little matty even resorted to the child like response of bet ya, when asked if there was any expert analysis to back his preference.
Other than Santa Claus, is there anyone keeping track of this guys daily bouts with falsehoods?

Curmudgeon said...


The Alternatives Analysis... the next step required in the process of applying for fed transit funds... is underway. Three years late, but underway. It's results will determine, I think, the question you raise about routes. Until the analysis is complete, there is nothing much the City can do regarding that question. Even presuming funding becomes available, I think we're looking at three years for environmental impact work, right of way matters, etc. before any track gets laid. We can bemoan, yet again, Hizzonah's dragging his feet on this for three years. But that won't achieve much either.

disgusted said...

obviously we are not ready to go on a streetcars proposal but if the feds are dealing out money for infrastructure and not just for streetcars then the city should show the feds our plans for a new water sewer and/or storm drain run off system for our community. lets get the feds to maybe pay for all or part of what the city should have used the bdo money for. the plans are already developed.
or see if the feds will pay to earth quake proof some of our existing schools or pay for some of our fire department needs. i can suggest several more but hopefully our city official can come up with a few themselves and not let this opportunity get away.

Curmudgeon said...


The sewer projects are already funded and underway, much beyond the "plans developed" stage. I doubt federal incentive money will be available, therefore, for those projects, since the goal is to create jobs by funding projects that were canceled, delayed or not otherwise funded.

Earthquake retrofitting is a possibility, if it's not currently being done and can be ramped up quickly. And, given the politics involved, I suspect any truly "green" projects [or ones that can reasonably be called such] might be particularly attractive for federal grantsmen.

But it's these kinds of projects... not currently funded and under way... that city officials are working to prep for "quick start" money if it develops. BTW, why not suggest the several more you have in mind. These are govt. projects, so good ideas should be welcomed from all sources.

ozboy said...

Twiddling T,

put your detective hat on and you may get the point. (Hint, read Rudi's article)

disgusted said...

you are truely an arm chair quarterback. rather than trying to shoot down others suggestions all the time why dont you for a change present a few suggestions if you are all knowing as to what is needed and how the programs work.

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