Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ogden CAO Patterson Admits He's an Idiot

This comes as no surprise for sentient Emerald City Citizens, of course

Noteworthy story in this morning's Standard-Examiner, concerning Boss Godfrey's yet to be completed dining car/tourist information center project, located at the downtown intermodal hub. Like all Godfrey projects, this one is ill-conceived and financially suspect. In the wake of considerable rumor and speculation that this project has seriously "blown its budget," Ace Reporter Schwebke provides this:
OGDEN -- The city council is questioning why the administration's conversion of an old railroad dining car into a tourist information center downtown is about $80,000 over budget.
Last year the council allocated $34,501 in capital improvement funds to renovate the car, which is located adjacent to the FrontRunner commuter rail station at the intermodal hub at 23rd Street and Wall Avenue.
John Patterson, the city's chief administrative officer, said site preparation work and renovations to the rail car's interior pushed the project's cost to nearly $115 Thousand.
There are several aspects of this story which ought to raise the eyebrows of Emerald City lumpencitizens, even though Schwebke's contribution of the day is what we'll characterise as "investigative journalism lite." We have a tight calender today, so we'll be brief:

Mr. Schwebke reports that John Patterson admits to breaking the law (on behalf of the Godfrey administration,) by dipping into "an internal services fund account within the city's Fleet and Facilities Department" to the tune of an extra $80 thousand, and spending these funds on the Dining Car/Tourist Info Center overages:
The administration paid for the rail car cost overruns from an internal services fund account within the city's Fleet and Facilities Department, said Patterson.
More evidence that Boss Godfrey is juggling the books, and "robbing Peter to pay Paul."
Keep in mind, people, the mayor is not entitled to distribute city revenue at his own discretion. He's required by Utah law to have ALL expenditures of city revenue approved by the City Council. Patterson intends to fix the problem however, by going to the Council, hat in hand, after lying to them and repeatedly breaking the law, to persuade the council to ratify the Godfrey administration's most recent impetuous and illegal acts. This is seriously TOO FUNNY:
It's proper to use the funds [which have so far been illegally expended], provided they are first funneled through the city council's capital improvement project process, because the rail car information center is considered a permanent facility and not equipment, said Patterson.
As a result, the administration will submit to the council a capital improvement amendment and budget opening request within the next few weeks to properly transfer the UTA lease funds, said Patterson.
Our old Pal "Chief" Jon Greiner says he'd like to "bite down on crime" in Ogden.

If he's serious... several Godfreyite folks will be frogmarched out of City Hall in handcuffs and leg irons.


no longer shocked said...

The legality issue aside (although I don't think it ought to really be pushed aside) but how incompentent do you have to be to go to Council initially and say you need $34000 for a project and come back later and say "ooops," I actually needed 130% more than I originally requested. Now of course that may have been the plan all along. More evidence of how the Godfrey admin does not speak the truth. But I'm sure he'll find some way to say that all this was do to Council not being open and communicative with him.

Curious 1 said...

How many homes have an internal services fund that can be dipped into at will? How much of taxpayers funds are located in this fund and why didn't the City Council know about this sooner? What other internal funds does the mayor have to spend on pet projects? What is the return on investment or is this another sweetheart deal for a friend to now lease the rail car with the city paying the bulk for a subsidized donut, deli car.

How can the city council hold them accountable for this latest boondogle? The managers would be fired if this was a real company run by an inept CEO as the mayor likes to think of himself. Just another in the long list of spending taxpayers money then asking for permission after the fact. Especially now when the economy is so tight.

monotreme said...

So, you can legally spend the people's money on capital equipment that has not been authorized, and then retroactively go back and ask for the funds? Gee whiz, in 30 years of working with government funds, I never tried this. If I had only known, it would've made things a lot easier.

Bill C. said...

Is the mystery fund in actuality the money charged to all other departments from fleet as replacement costs, built into all the other departments leases?
I recall that although fleet collects these monies, none is ever available when the time comes for replacement.
Schwebke still owes us a follow-up on the money illegally spent on the icicle, and supposed anonymous donor? Replacing the money, still does not make the spending legal.
I suppose Arrington will assure us that all the books are clean, tidy and all practices certified by an outside auditor. How can some guys sleep at night?

marvin said...

The council is also complicit in Godfrey's incompetence. Whenever Godfrey pulls a stunt like this, the council always comes back with its rubber stamp.

If the council doesn't finally come to its senses, sanction Godfrey and order a complete accounting of Godfrey's accounts and expenditures, it's equally culpable and deserving of removal in the next election.

Godfrey has learned he can behave like this, due to a pattern of council timidity.

business as usual said...

If the past history means anything, nothing will happen.

The only thing that will happens is it gives ua an opportunity to bitch.

Rafiki said...

He should have submitted the "job" for federal stimulus money - then he wouldn't have to go beggin the council.

disgusted said...

marvin is spot on.
if council wants to do the job we elected them to do then they should see a final budget numbers on these types of projects rather than a preliminary budget before they approve anything. final budgets should be within 10% of actual cost. also should require the administration to come back to the council before they spend one dime more than what was authorized.
from what ive seen of the project the council can expect a later request for even more money as well. what wasnt mentioned in the article was the tearing up of the parking lot asphalt to lay electrical sewer and water lines and the cost of those repairs. plus the building still has a ways to go on the inside.
city council this would be a good project to draw a line in the sand on with the adminstration before the next request for more funds. ask the adminsrtation for a final budget before you approve any more funds. tell the mayor that in order to get those funds he must accept the conditions that if the project then over runs the budget his people have present to the council that any overruns will come out of his departments budget. if he is threatened with any cost over runs coming out of his own departments budget thus potentially cutting back his decretionary spending i assure you he will get his people to get the final budget numbers right when he brings them to the council.

Mayor Grodfey said...

When are we ever suppose to call into question the kings doing. It is legal and therefore ethical? Right Nixon! Don't any one of you ever forget that. This is my office and no one or any one will ever tell me how to run things. I am the boss and don't you ever forget that. I wish that all you frigging stupid people would be as smart as I am because I can run the 5 min. mile and that is only when I'm trying to find my wife when she run off. after all she runs the mile in 3 min flat. and she is good at hiding also.

Benson said...

I don't know Neil Hansen, but I've got a feeling we'd get along.

Hansen is a legislator from Ogden, and yesterday when members of the Utah House of Representatives voted 72-1 in favor of giving themselves a 10 percent pay cut, he was the 1.

At last, an honest politician.

Of 73 people voting, Hansen is the only one who, when asked, "Are you in favor of reducing your salary?" answered, "No."

Obviously, the legislators who voted to voluntarily reduce their paychecks figure it will play well in the public arena, improve their popularity and help them get re-elected, particularly when the Dow Jones is falling so fast they now just call it the Dow.

And I'm sure they're right. The public loves a long-suffering politician. Look at the mileage the newly elected Jason Chaffetz is getting out of sleeping on a cot in his office during his first term in Washington. Even though it isn't saving the taxpayers a dime and it makes no sense. For one thing, we the taxpayers are now paying for his lodging. And for another thing, the way to turn around the economy is for people to start spending more, not less.

Lionel said...

At what point does a "simple miscalculation" go beyond incompetence and become a crime?

Does a 300% mistake like this one qualify?

Would any manager in private enterprise be able to hold his job if he couldn't estimate a simple project any better than this?

Is there any one in Utah that has the integrity, position and balls to shine a light on this criminal enterprise that has control of Ogden City?

Is there any legal authority in these parts that has the integrity to actually pursue and prosecute these "official" criminals?

Is the reason DeCaria steadfastly refused to investigate and prosecute the many "official" criminal acts of the Godfreyites because doing so may have screwed up his chances to become a judge?

Is the loss of justice for all Ogden citizens the cost for this new judge?

Could the citizens of Ogden ever expect to get justice from a judge like this who repeatedly overlooked official criminal conduct right under his nose?

Will the criminal conduct of Ogden's top elected official have to become an international scandal before the naybobs in State government finally take some action?

When O when will some one pull the curtain back and expose the Wizard for what he is - a lying, cheating and incompetent little man with an outsized ego?

Mayors assistant said...

Interesting statements Oz, about if the City were a business, Patterson and the Ilk’s would be kicking horse turds down the road.

Interesting, because Godfrey, Patterson, Johnson, and Lard Ass Gary Willaims all have said that the city is no different than a business trying to succeed in the business world, and that the city is being run like a business attempting to run a profitable enterprise.

But, they speak out of two different sides of their mouths; do as I say, not as I do. The rules only apply to the grunt workers, and taxpayers.

Breaking laws and lying, cheating are all fine if your are a member of Ogden's "A" Team.

But if employees or taxpayers are found to have lied, cheated or stolen, they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

What the hell did we elect?

Business as usual!

constitutional rights said...

Here is a Question for all of you attorneys. In the Utah state Constitution, it say and We should take it at it's words.

Article IV, Section 8. [Ballot to be secret.]
All elections shall be by secret ballot. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the use of any machine or mechanical contrivance for the purpose of receiving and registering the votes cast at any election: Provided, That secrecy in voting be preserved.

The key word in this, IS ELECTION.
so define that in the dictionary, and see if it does not fit in to how the legislature does it's business.

If all of the elected officials have been sworn to uphold and sustain the constitution, then why are all of their votes made public and open to ridicule and intimidation? We know that is how the legislature is done and I'm sure this is how city councils and county commissions work also.

Rudi, What would be your take on this fine discovery.

I was just up on the hill and some have been talking about this and I think that the legislature is breaking the constitution.

dan s. said...

constitutional rights,

Yeah, sure. And by Section 2 of the same article, every citizen over 18 who has lived in Utah at least 30 days has a right to vote in said "election".

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