Monday, March 16, 2009

Std-Ex: New Emerald City Program to Reward Employees For Cost Saving Ideas

Post and assemble your budget buttressing ideas right here

Right there at the top of the front page, the Standard-Examiner breathlessly provides the lowdown on a new Emerald City cost savings measure this morning, under the headline banner, "Money saving ideas?" (Regular Weber County Forum readers, of course already knew about this.) Ace reporter Schwebke's lead paragraphs provide the gist:
OGDEN — Innovative city employees could earn significant cash rewards for cost-saving ideas under a new municipal program rolling out in the next two weeks.
The purpose of the program is to provide incentives to workers whose suggestions result in improved, more efficient city operations, said Mark Johnson, Ogden’s management services director.
“Who better to come up with ideas than those people in the trenches?” he said. “They see things that management never sees.”
The maximum monetary award to an employee is 20 percent of the first year’s realized cost savings and 10 percent of the second year’s savings.
The program won’t be funded through new tax payer dollars — rather, Johnson said, awards paid to employees will come from increased revenue or savings to the city. The initiative is patterned after similar employee cost-saving efforts in Oregon, Virginia and Washington.
For our own part, we think this is a danged good idea; and we're delighted to see the Godfrey administration seeking ways to save money, rather than merely to spend it. That's a man bites dog story in itself, we think. Hopefully more than a few of the drones "in the trenches" will reap lucrative financial rewards as a result of this new program. In the wake of municipal departmental budget cuts in recent days, heavens knows many of our hard-working city employees could use an additional financial shot in the arm.

In that connection (and due the fact that's an exceedingly s-l-o-o-o-w news day) we came up with a great idea. How 'bout we, the gentle readers of Weber County Forum, lend our Ogden City employee "trench dwellers" a helping hand? We spend much of our time here on WCF identifying and exposing Godfrey administration cost inefficiencies. This seems an ideal opportunity to put our readers' good ideas to work. WCF readers are all good-hearted and civic minded folks, to the last man-jack. How about the idea of assembling all the clever cost saving ideas that we can come up with and laying them out in one place... namely our lower comments section? Come one come all, submit your budget buttressing ideas.

Here's the operating groundrule: Any reader ideas gleaned by city employees smart enough to read this blog, which are submitted and approved by the administration, will become said employees' sole property. Shaking down city employees for intellectual property royalties would be inelegant at the least, it seems to us.

Please don't hesitate to participate in today's exercise in helpful web-based civic interactivity.

Who will be the first to comment?


althepal said...

Here's an idea: Impeach Boss Godfrey. That idea alone would save $millions.

Here's another: Can the entire economic development department, for another $1 mil in savings. They're not doing anything but sitting on their thumbs anyway.

Glad to help.

Carl H. said...

Open the Salomon Center on Sundays.

OgdenLover said...

Examine the budget for the Mayor's office. Since Matt seems to have lots of discretionary money to spend on starting his harebrained projects, I'm sure he could part with some or all of it.

Anonymous said...

Antone who has ever watched Ogden City employees doing routine maintenance at Mount Ogden Park, as they slouch around the greenery picking up trash at a snails pace, smoking cigarettes in a public park right next to the children's play area, occasionally smoking as they exit city work trucks, and playing grab ass with each other, knows that city employees as a whole could be encouraged to move like they were salaried rather than hourly.

If city park operations were privatized, with competitive bidding and higher standards for the workers, we would expect a cost savings, at least on hourly wages for these "workers".

Out two bits, based on observation.
We love this town.

grab ass said...

Hey RJS, the parks were privatized by your beloved hero a few years back, and the savings were nill, thats why they are back in the hands of City employees again.

Privatiztion doesnt always work for government.

dan s. said...

The city is spending tens of thousands of dollars on legal fees to fight a lawsuit over access to gondola-related records from 2007 and earlier. By now, the city's interest in keeping these records secret is surely minimal. So the city should just settle the lawsuit by releasing the records.

More generally, if the city were less secretive about things, it wouldn't have to process so many GRAMA requests and appeals of denials.

ozboy said...

The biggest single money saver would be getting the city out of the development business where the Godfreyites have proven to be more than incompetent in the mega million dollar hole they have dug for us Ogden tax payers.

Terminating the entire development staff would save over a million per year in their salaries and perks alone - plus untold millions of potential future losses if they continue on like they have. The city could replace them all with a couple of younger MBA's who would be chartered to thoroughly investigate every goof ball business scheme the city is in, weed the Turkeys out, get rid of them and then figure out what to do with the ones worth saving. End objective to get the city out of the business of speculative business and into the business of governing and administering public affairs.

All levels of management and staff making $60,000 per year and above should be terminated ASAP. Manager duties to be assumed, after necessary re-organization, by lower managers that have been properly vetted.

All at will employees terminated immediately, then hired back selectively based on analysis of their value to the smooth and efficient running of the city.

Form a committee made up of citizens, city rank and file employees, lower level managers and council members to evaluate the requirements to efficiently do the things a city is supposed to do. Inherent in this is of course identifying what the proper role of city government is. Do we want a city government that supplies clean water and working sewers, paved roads that actually get plowed and maintained properly, an efficient fire department and a competent police force; or do we want our city government to act like river boat gamblers and business hustlers that throw millions of our tax payer dollars after every cockamieny idea that occurs to them?

Another Great Idea said...

Ogden City could up revenue quite a bit, I think, by sending out Godfrey's Lawn Nazis to repeatedly "gig" that A-hole Gadi for his fifty or so continuing code violations.

This definitely COULD be an Ogden City cash cow.

Anonymous said...

We were not aware Mayor Godfreyhad attempted this action.

There are few actual services that we would leave to the city; fire and police, and little else.

Certainly no snow removal on residential streets, licensing of businesses and dogs and cats, utilities, education, zoning, welfare, or "development boards".

People who say that mass privatization of city services does not realize savings, perhaps miss the point.

Ogden City workers are as effective as Soviet era workers; four people to dig every hole, all of them over paid.

Along with savings from privatization comes higher work quality. And freedom from governmental interference.

grab ass said...

I resent your statements about over paid, as effective as Soviet era workers. I spent over 25 years in the employment of Ogden City. I can tell you the majority take thier jobs serious, and are under paid.

Anonymous said...

Excuse us for a moment.

Bwahahahahaha hahahahahaha. Bffffft. Snort.
Oh, my hell; snicker.

A city worker! Takes their jobs, "seriously".
Bwahahahahaha hahahahahaha.

Stop it man, you are going to slay us; snort, titter, guffaw, cough, holds sides, bwhahahahahaha.

Oh, my hell. Good one, you got us man, for a minute we thought you were serious.

City employee.
You cant make this stuff up.

Sheesh, whatever.

We love this town.

Curmudgeon said...


In any workforce... public or private... you are going to find hard conscientious workers, you're going to find timeservers who do what they are required to do and make not an iota of effort beyond that, and you're going to find slackers. And no, private industry does not automatically slough off the slackers. Not by a long shot.

To draw conclusions about "city workers" in general from what you've observed on some occasions of some would be about as foolish as me concluding that all of them are gung ho live wires because I know of a few who are. And I do.

[For the record, I do not work for the city; I have never worked for the city; no member of my family now works for the city or has ever worked for the city or is currently seeking employment by the city.]

You also sneeringly, and I think foolishly, discount the whole notion of "public service," which does matter to a lot of people who are engaged in it, and who take the fact that they work for the public seriously. And put more into their work because of it.

You want to sing the praises of leasing out and private industry as being inherently more efficient than public employees, you're going to have to factor into your equation the "Kenny Boy" Lays and Enrons and WorldComs and Bernie Maddoff's and the Chrysler Corporations and the AIG's of this world as well. The incompetent bonus-taking private sector frauds of the latter --- who should be down on their knees everyday thanking whatever god they pray to that they're not swinging from a lampost above cheering throngs who lost their savings or their jobs or whose children's children will be paying off their bailout funds --- have to figure into your equation too.

The sneering assumption that those who work for various government agencies [all levels] are necessarily less competent, less hard working and less dedicated to doing a good job than those who don't is not sustainable on the evidence. Sometimes leasing out pays off for municipalities or other government agencies. Sometimes it does not. The circumstances vary case by case, job by job, and city by city.

Jay Asquith Cavendish said...

I personally believe we should have more gay bathouses in Ogden.

What's your opinion on this, my son?

Anonymous employee said...

RJS-Most Ogden employee's have had one raise in the last six years(except for friends of the mayor who start at top of the pay scale), Expecting people to work hard while treating them like shit-sounds like another sure fire Godfrey success story.

Anonymous employee said...

RJS-Most Ogden employee's have had one raise in the last six years(except for friends of the mayor who start at top of the pay scale), Expecting people to work hard while treating them like shit-sounds like another sure fire Godfrey success story.

Zeke said...

Wouldn't it be great if Weber County offered the same program? It would be worth the price if the County employees came up with JUST ONE idea to improve the lives of the County citizens.

Fireman Joe said...

Godfrey tried to privatize the fire department but there were no takers.

grab ass said...

Your statements about city workers is like saying that all residents of 25th street are douchebags, which I am begining to think is true.
Have another whiff of the dog food plant, assbag.

richard smoker said...

Howell and Schwebke are not gay and never have been gay.

C. More Butts said...

richard smoker,

I hate to break the news to you, but Howell and Schwebke are Gay!!!

Anonymous said...

Our experience was specifically with your Hay Market comrades who maintain Mount Ogden Park.

We have had numerous conversations with the talking out of the side of the mouth-drawling and labored-breathing supervisors of these fellow workers, and got about the answer you would expect to receive from a top-heavy and nepotism laden bureaucracy.

These supers couldn't find work in the real world, so they feed at the public trough, passing time until they retire; giving their well-worn padded chair to the next lackey risen to supervisor status; they who did just enough, without making waves, in order to rise through the blizzard of incompetence that is governmental sloth-work.

Our guess is it takes about 25 years.

John Galt, you were right.

boo radley said...


How similar it is to our present-day situation. Atlas has shrugged. If only we had a John Galt.

RudiZink said...


Atlas has already shrugged at the mere sight of the botched socialist BIG Government Schemer Boss Godfrey.

John Galt is even now living in anonymity with a few of his non-socialist friends in a little mountain town in Colorado.

The task of building your little socialist heaven on earth with somebody else's money is now left to little utopians like you.

Enjoy beating your head against the wall, as the world economy sinks deeper into recession.

Above all, have a nice day.

Curmudgeon said...

John Galt is currently a derivatives trader at AIG. He'd respond for himself, but he's cashing his bonus check just now.

Anonymous said...

Well then, he is a winner.
He saw something that was legal and selves benefiting, and jumped on it.
Hit the bricks early, even.

No different than someone who can find a legal loophole in the tax code, and takes advantage of it.

Wouldn't you?
Of course you would.

Rarely in our lifetimes have we seen so much jealousy by the low-brow peasantry directed towards the elite doers and creators.

Like it is suddenly a crime to succeed.

We love this town.

Curmudgeon said...


Interesting way to define success: being paid millions of dollars in bonuses for having run your company into bankruptcy through your incompetence. But hey, I suppose there are those who like it. The management of AIG for one, and Bernie Maddoff and Val Southwick for another. Have to admit, I've never particularly understood the Randian ideal to involve highly rewarding incompetence.

grab ass said...

you go Curm

Anonymous said...

Bernie Madoff pled guilty to numerous crimes, and will be punished; we are without further comment.

The people who are getting burned in this economic adjustment purchased their own gasoline, by and large.

We cant even begin to share how sickening to our ears the current whining by those who had their speculative assets revalued sounds.

No one "lost" anything. If one actually had anything to start with, it is still there.

Everyone plays the financial game.
For one to trade a derivative, one needs someone to trade with.
Two words: Buyer Beware.

We hear people who were overextended on their credit moaning about AIG. We hear people who bought homes that cost more than they would make in their remaining years, complaining about their payments being more than their homes are now worth.

News flash: you are an idiot.

Don't blame those who won in monopoly, when you have to mortgage Marvin's Gardens to pay for your toys.

Humans have been acting like children, when it comes to personal responsibility; now the bill is due.

Rational selves interest says, " Drive the corporation into the ground, take a big bonus, and start a new corp tomorrow".
Corporations are not sacrosanct, they come and go, with the market.

There are persons making a killing in this economy. Its called foresight and luck.

Worship success, kids; don't disparage it.

RudiZink said...

No, Curm. John Galt was Rand's fictional American industrialist from the 1950's (not a banker) who shut down US operations along with his other industrialist buddies, causing the economy to collapse.

Rand was quite prophetic, I think.

That's EXACTLY what happened during the past two decades, when U.S. industrialists moved their operations off-shore.

Order and read the book. This is something you probably won't find at Sam Weller's.

Curmudgeon said...

If you truly think you can't find Ayn Rand's books at Wellers, you need to get out more.

September of My Years said...

I'm a very competitive person as well but life isn't just about making money and although money may be one measure of success in a capitalist economy it is not the only thing that adds value to an individual and if that is how you view your success then you are a shallow individual that I feel sorry for.
As I said it is one measure, but not by the only measure. You may be more successful than others financially (and I would guess that you are not ever going to have as much money as you want) but how do you measure in the areas of compassion for your fellow man or in leaving the world a better place for those that follow after you?
The fact that someone finds a legal way, but an unethical way or a way that they know will have a long term negative effects on others, to make money is the exact reason that we as a nation are in the position that we are in today. Personal greed at any cost.

Bill C. said...

RJ, shouldn't you acknowlege how beneficial your mom's trust fund has been? Is a misplaced spoon considered a birth defect?
Rudi, the real John Galt was a Scottish poet/novelist. Died in 1839.

disgusted said...

i have a lot more respect for the city emplyees than obviously some on this blog. ive seen several hard working employees and i appreciate their efforts. i know that many are working under less than ideal conditions because of the way the city is run.

not all of the people that work at mt ogden are city employees. many people volunteer in an effort to make the course a better place to golf. for example most of the carts are maintained by people working for free. and if there are lesss than effective city workers who should be at blame. i would point my finger at the management which are godfrey appointees. maybe management changes at the top are the real problem.

drewmeister said...

Ahh, the compassion of pompous douchebag libertarianism. Reminds me of a line from the movie Airplane!, where they do a fast montage of parodied media analysis of the crisis that befalls the jumbo jet:

"They bought their plane tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say, 'Let 'em crash!'"

That guy was definitely an Ayn Rand fan.

Anonymous said...

Our precise thoughts during that droll scene, as well.

ozboy said...


Amen brother, sounds like you been paying attention in this earth school.

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