Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Std-Ex: Council Teeters Over $2.2M Boss Godfrey "Toy List"

Council grownups square off against our developmentally disabled "kid" Mayor re proper Capital Improvement Project funding priorities

I consider those things ($2.2.M in proposed recreation projects) toys. We need to have a frank discussion about whether it’s wise to use public funds on things like that, particularly with the (current) economic situation.

City Council Chairwoman Amy Wicks
Council teeters over $2.2M in recreation funding
January 27, 2008

On the heels of last Friday's enlightening George K. article, Scott Schwebke digs in, and provides further information this morning on the council's efforts to prioritize items on the Ogden City Capital Improvements Project List. Predictably, a battle royal is plainly heating up between the grownups on the city council, and our ever-visionary Mayor Matthew "Boss" Godfrey, who seems oblivious to the ever-deepening U.S. recession and clings unyieldingly to his dream, come hell or high water, of converting Ogden City into one giant kiddie playland.

If you'd like to read up, you can do it here:
Council teeters over $2.2M in recreation funding
We'll dispense with our usual expansive editorial comments, and express our reaction to the Mayor's single-minded tenacity in one word: "Sheesh."

We'll leave it to our gentle readers to fill in the rest.


Curmudgeon said...

There was one paragraph in this interesting story I found puzzling. This one:

Although approval of the plan wouldn't represent a financial commitment, it would demonstrate the city council's endorsement of the projects in concept, said Sue Zampedri, a policy analyst for the council.

I'm not clear why putting the project on the capital projects list would not "represent a financial commitment." Can some one out there with a better knowledge of the budget ordinances than I have clear this up for me? Why would substituting these projects for ones now on the list not "represent a financial commitment?"

Curmudgeon said...

You wrote "Scott Schwebke digs in, and provides further information this morning on the council's efforts to prioritize items on the Ogden City Capital Improvements Project List."

On that very topic --- private vs. public-financed development --- there are two other interesting stories [one here] in this morning's SE. One, by Mr. Schwebke, reports more problems for Mr. Lesham's floor covering business [Home Depot, his major customer, is trying to cut its ties with him]. The second story, also by Mr. Schwebke [not available on the free SE website] reports [the headline] "Godfrey's Confidence in Lesham Solid". But just in case, Hizzonah's staff are contemplaing a plan B. Schwebke reports that Mr. Richard McConkie, Ogden's deputy community and economic development director, wants to the River Project properties sold to a single buyer to keep the development realty package together in one piece. He said neither Ogden nor its RDA wants to buy the properties, because neither has the money and because, he says in the story, "The RDA is a developer of last resort," adding "There is no reason for us to do what the private sector can do."

There is no reason for Ogden to take on the expense and risk of doing what the private sector can do? Huh? This from the administration that committed the city to pay the construction bonds for the Junction development? This from the administration that pushed to have, at city expense, two additional floors added to The Junction office building? This from the administration that acted v-e-r-y q-u-i-e-t-l-y as the purchasing agent for the now troubled Lesham's acquisition of properties in the River Project Area?

Has Mr. McConkie and the Administration had a sudden epiphany regarding the Magic of the Marketplace? Has the administration truly changed directions regarding city involvement in the financing of private development projects? Or is this just some more obfuscatory smoke-blowing because the administration sees some momentary PR advantage in claiming to see the benefits of purely private development of privately owned projects?

'Tis a puzzlement....

OgdenLover said...

Thank you, Amy!

ozboy said...

Just as the Lil Lord clings to his untenable fantasies of turning the land of Oz into Lagoon Lite, I cling to my opinion that he is a bat shit crazy, arrogant and incompetent punk.

The city crumbles beneath his feet and his response is to put forth even more stupid and loser ideas of velodromes and urban horse trails. Kind of like Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

Alexandria said...

A cool million here, 300K there, another million over there. What is going on? How out of touch is the mayor and administration of my City? We're in a deep recession and live in a City that has serious public service and infrastructure needs and this is where the priorities are being placed. I am absolutely stunned. In light of our current economic status, shouldn't priorities be adjusted? Wow.

Did anyone on this forum go to any of the CBD planning or other CBD-related meetings. Does anybody know if these types of projects are what the new CBD plan promotes? Just curious (and confused).

Moroni McConkie said...

How can the mayor characterize his support of Gadi as "solid" and maintain a straight face? This is the schlemiel who told the court that Southwick ought not to go to jail!

What will it cost us said...

The mayor wants a development on the bootjack land so the city can buy it back from Peterson at inflated price so he can then build his resort in Malan Basin.

Lets not forget the Junction who is bleeding the city coffers, more repairs scheduled down the road I'm sure.

The River Project which will not be developed for years since no funding can be borrowed. The mayor will be out of office before any new structures are built there, more will burn down.

If Lesham is still awash in funds why hasn't he and his family paid the proprty tax? His wife was also arrested with him on the fraud scheme, guess it runs in the family. Lesham's IRS bill keeps running up interest daily.

And todays paper with pictures shows me 2 grinning schemers with large foreheads. Their grins make me cringe.

lionel said...


I'm with you on Gadi and the Mayor. I think they are both crooks.

However, it was not Gadi's wife that was arrested with him. Those arrested on the California scheme were Gadi, his Accountant and his accountant's wife. For all we know Gadi's wife is as pure as the driven snow we just had yesterday. Her only crime to date may very well be her poor taste in men.

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