Monday, February 09, 2009

SL Trib: Ogden is Not Making Waves

The Boss Godfrey Administration: Living in a blissful world of "alternate reality"

By Curmudgeon

The Salt Lake Tribune this morning has an article on Ogden's flowrider problems with the wonderfully sardonic headline "Ogden Not Making Waves." Adds some interesting detail to the story the SE ran on the same topic a while ago.

From the story:
Patterson prefers to view the repairs as an upgrade, rather than an expense. The city's portion of the funding for the work will come from revenues generated by the municipality's industrial park, Business Depot Ogden. But City Councilwoman Amy Wicks said planners had been warned that the heating and air-conditioning system at Flowrider was inadequate.
"Some bad decisions were made. It's unfortunate that it wasn't done right in the first place," she said. "But the city's project manager at the time was intent on keeping costs low." She said the funds needed to repair Flowrider could have better been spent on city infrastructure, such as roads, sidewalks and park upgrades.
At this point, however, Ogden has no other choice but to proceed with repairs, according to City Councilman Jesse Garcia. "Yes, it would be nice to spend the money on other things. But we can't not have the Flowrider operating properly," he said. "It would mean a significant loss of revenue."
And from further down:
The Salomon Center's popularity has exceeded expectations, Patterson said. He predicts that its popularity will increase. "Every aspect of the Salomon Center has been excellent," he said.
Wicks, on the other hand, said she isn't convinced that is true. The administration's visitation reports have been "vague," she said.
Interesting additions to the SE story in several ways. First, it points out [via Councilman Garcia] that the $308,000 in repair bills Ogden is now having to pay should have been available for other things more beneficial to the citizenry. Second, the story makes it clear that the screw up --- the bad decisions that have now required a very expensive retrofix --- was made by the City's project manager, who was trying to keep reported costs low [just before an election, though the story doesn't mention that]. Yet another Inspector Clouseau moment from Godfrey & Co. And third: Councilwoman Wicks' questioning the administration's figures regarding the popularity of the Salomon Center is an excellent example of what happens when an Administration --- like Godfrey's --- has dissembled and proven its word to be no good so often that other public officials can no longer trust what the administration says. Yet another example of the Godfrey administration shooting itself in the foot by its arrogance and contempt for the public, the council and the facts.

I also thought Patterson's comment was telling. He "prefers to think" of the repair costs as in upgrade, not a cost. Just as no doubt he and his boss "preferred to think" Ogden City would never have to make payments on the construction bonds for the Junction. But it did. Just as he and his boss doubtless "preferred to think" the RAMP grant could be used for Ice Tower prep costs. But it couldn't. Just as they "prefer to think" Mr. Lesham's legal and financial problems will in not affect is River Project plans.

So it should be clear now how the Godfrey administration makes its plans and decides its actions: not in the cold light of fact and reality-based analysis, but instead on the basis of what they "prefer to think." Hell, I'd prefer to think my income this year will double my income last year. But it won't. I prefer to think John Huntsman and the Republican Utah legislature were telling the truth when they insisted Huntsman's Flat Tax For The Very Wealthy [e.g. his base] would not result in my taxes going up. But my taxes did.

Godfrey and Patterson may live in the world of what they'd "prefer to think positively" Unfortunately, the rest of us live in and have to deal with the real world. Happily, we seem to have a Council majority... though a slim one... that stopped drinking the Godfrey Administration Kool-Aid some time ago.

At least, that's what I'd prefer to think....

15 comments:

althepal said...

"...the screw up --- the bad decisions that have now required a very expensive retrofix --- was made by the City's project manager..."

AHA! Maybe that's why Ogden City is picking up most of the repair tab itself, rather than making a claim against the errors & omissions insurance carrier of the architects and/or designers. (The contractor is picking up a minor portion.)

It was mainly an Ogden City Administration screwup.

Figures.

cut patterson some slack said...

As to the flowrider, it's perfectly plausible for John Patterson to regard the repairs as an upgrade, rather than an expense. In order to get the project bonded, the Godfrey Administration probably had to cut initial project costs to the bone. They probably knew full well that the original installation would fail, but that they could later go back to the public trough (BDO revenue) to patch up the mess after the project was up and running, and claim it was all an unanticipated screwup.

OgdenLover said...

Who was the City Project Manager who made these initial decisions?

Another Ogden Employee who Reads WCF said...

In answer to your probing qestion, OgdenLover. The city's "Project Manager" at the time was... accoring to recently-received information... drumroll... Scott Brown.

Louis said...

When did the Geiger wife become the Junktion overseer? I think that is the position us tax payers are giving her $68 grand or so a year to fulfill.
Could she have been the one that was responsible for this fiasco?

Draper Correctional Officer said...

It's Scott Brown, of course. I can't wait to frisk the little shit daily in his orange suit right here in Draper after he's convicted for his lies and subterfuge.

RJ Svengali said...

We like Kool Aide. There was a time we could not get enough of it.
Rather than state the obvious, we would just like to repeat what the author of the above piece concluded with:

"Happily, we seem to have a Council majority... though a slim one... that stopped drinking the Godfrey Administration Kool-Aid some time ago."

Local politics are the crux of living in a democracy. Municipal elections are important, as evidenced by our city council.

We love this town.

RudiZink said...

"Local politics are the crux of living in a democracy."

So right, Svengali.

Or to invoke the much quoted (Tip O'Neil) phrase:

"All politics is local."

If local communities like Ogden can, through citizen activism, sooner or later get it right... the benefits of an active and pro-democracy citizenry can't fail to ultimately "trickle up" to Washington."

Brown is Out said...

Good luck getting Brown to Draper. He has left his beloved O-Town to sail!

althepal said...

For Brown, hiding out in the South Pacific until all statutes of limitation have run seems like a damned good idea.

Looks like the rats are fleeing the sinking ship alright.

Bill C. said...

Well if Brown's jumped ship,(no pun) are we to assume that the most creative sneaky underhanded self dealing idea machine of lying little matty's is now gone?
If that be the case, I offer a little bit of creative above board input, free of charge.
If anyone truely believes this velodrome thing viable, and being fostered by private interest try this.
Before begging the City Council to put up a million bucks, demonstrate the truth and worhtiness of such an undertaking.
The old Fred Meyer building has been sitting vacant for years. It has tons of open space, heating, cooling, ample parking and very high ceilings. You could rent it for a song.
There's lots of room for roll away bleachers and the amount of space would accomidate even more silly things than what you have planned.
It will be near the future high adventure Walmart so folks could buy Bicycles and helmets there and save tons of cash by not shopping at Binghams, and I'm sure the new HIGH ADVENTURE WALMART would consider the incorporation of an archery department, in keeping with the local flavor.
After 4-5 years of continuous operation you might be able to make a case for aid in relocating, but if lying little matty was right, you'll be rolling in dough and in no need of public funding.
Oh pragmatism, so refreshing.

JOHN SPENCER said...

As a long time semi regular here, "Brown is Out", can I assume you're talking about Scott Brown, who set up the loan shark bonding for the Rec center, and also choreographed the Windsor Hotel rehab disaster?

Inquiring minds need to know.

Bill C. said...

Sort of late news for you gondola faithful, Whistler Mountain opened their peak to peak gondola in Dec.
It's the worlds highest gondola and has a couple of other remarkable features. It has the longest span between towers, 1.88 miles and the halfway point is 1427 ft above the ground. Oh and it directional point to point is dead straight. Sorry if I find it silly to think those folks would marvel at an urban above ground veiw,(about 30 ft.) of Ogden. Oh, and the cost was 52 million. Just in time for their hosting the Olympics, and the games corporate sponsor Nortel is filing for Bankruptcy. I wonder if they tried to sell advertizing on the cars? I doubt they could be seen from 1427 ft up.

Brown is Out said...

Yes, I was talking about Scott Brown. He has bought a boat. Maybe he can use it on the flowrider if he ever comes back!

Curmudgeon said...

Brown In Out:

Perhaps he's planning to buy a waterfront condo, with dock, at Mr. Lesham's "Ogden Shores" development.

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