Monday, April 13, 2009

Std-Ex Letter: Adopt Minimalist Plan and Consider Plan B Later

Good economy or bad, Boss Godfrey's $146 million golf course makeover proposal is a non-starter

Thoughtful letter in this morning's Standard-Examiner by Ogden resident Frank McFarland, arguing in favor of a "minimalist" solution to the Mt. Ogden Golf Course's deferred maintenance problems, and suggesting an application to the Obama administration for federal stimulus funds. We incorporate Mr. McFarland's essential paragraphs below:
This is the perfect opportunity to fall back to the proposal of Hoyle Sorenson in which he proposed doing a minimum amount of repair and upgrading to make the course more playable for the average golfer, thereby increasing income from the facility. His careful estimate was less that $400,000, as I recall.
With the Obama administration begging for anyone to take money, I would think that $400,000 to $500,000 could be obtained from the stimulus plan if the appropriate people took action now. This would certainly be a "shovel ready" project and would provide some immediate employment for a fair number of people. Half a million dollars, at this point in the recovery plan, would be peanuts! This would prove, once and for all, whether this course can be made profitable without destroying it.
It will be years before the economy recovers sufficiently to consider Godfrey's $70 million scheme, or even any plan as presently proposed. By then, we will know if the "minimalist" plan worked and if not, proceed to plan B, whatever that might be.
The half-million dollars spent, will be long forgotten and Ogden can press forward on whatever the city council considers best for the course.
Unfortunately, as to the prospect of obtaining federal stimulus money, Ogden City is probably out of luck. In January, congress reportedly inserted language in the stimulus package bill "to prevent federal stimulus money from being used for zoos, aquariums, golf courses, swimming pools and casinos."

Notwithstanding the probable unavailability of federal financing however, one thing is clear. Boss Godfrey has sadly neglected the golf course throughout his nine years of governance. If the city council is to do anything at all about bringing the course back up to par, it should at least carefully consider the minimalist solution proposed my Mr. Sorenson, even in the absence of prospective federal funding.

As for Boss Godfrey's 4/9/09 Mt. Ogden Golf Course makeover boondoggle, we'll go on record in urging the council to send it back to Boss Godfrey right now, even before he makes his formal proposal, with a paste-it note attached, suggesting that hizzoner put it where the sun doesn't shine. The sheer lunacy of spending $146 million, as a highly speculative cure to a relative chump-change $200 thousand revenue shortfall, ought to be painfully obvious, even to hopelessly obsessive big-spending visionaries like Boss Godfrey. At three times the cost of The Junction project, which has been a $750 thousand/year taxpayer albatross since 2005, (despite Godfrey's earlier promises that it would never put the taxpayers "on the hook,") this plan is plainly a non-starter, good economy or bad.

As an added bonus, we'll also spotlight another reader letter appearing on the Std-Ex live website, which focuses on Godfrey's general public recreation deferred maintenance "blind spot," which is definitely not confined to the Mt. Ogden Golf Course.

And what say our gentle readers about all this?


Curmudgeon said...

Isn't it true that if the city wrote off the money it owed itself [the MOGC construction loan] --- as one of the Mayor's chief advisers recommended some years ago --- the golf course would now be breaking even? Be self-sustaining? That the only reason it's in the red is that it has to keep making interest payments [again, the city paying itself for the money it loaned itself] on the money used to construct the course originally?

Writing off that construction loan [as the city has written off other money owed it fairly recently] would solve the entire problem, wouldn't it? Or damn close to it?

George K. said...

Curmudgeon, "writing-off" the MOGC's loans won't completely solve the problem. A new irrigation system is truly needed, more golf carts are needed, a pavillion or larger club house is needed so as to be able to host competitions and events for their award ceremonies, and the fairways and several holes do need some work done along with the cart paths.

RudiZink's statements in this article make for a great post and right-on observation!

Katy in her post this morning,
(4/13/09) under RudiZink’s blog article, “Boss Godfrey's Dog & Pony Show: Selected Excerpts From The Mayor's 4/9/09 MOGC Development Proposal,” a few days ago, very succinctly wrap up Godfrey’s mode of operation: “The sad part of their disingenuous report is that it is actually vintage Godfrey. There is a pattern our mayor follows very closely in most of his dealings. The pattern is rife with dishonesty and manipulations of the facts and circumstances of whatever proposal he is promoting at the time.
“The mayor and his circle of friends and advisers used these manipulative tactics time and again on the Junction project, the Union Condo project, the River project and virtually everything else they have done or proposed.”

As always Godfrey and his brain-washed golf committee have stated that this scheme “will NOT COST OGDEN TAXPAYERS ANYTHING” because it will be paid for by the condo and resort hotel project. Ogden may have to come up with the money to start the project, but it would be paid back. B.S.! As Katy stated, we have had heard that promise from Godfrey so many times and have had to pay for his “visions” that we know what he’s going to say before he says it, and we are wise to his tactics.

In fact, Ogden taxpayers are paying for this last scheme of his regarding the MOGC, since he has taken the CIP and water tank bond money that was to be used on the
46th Street water tanks and is spending it on underground 5 million gallon and 1.5 million gallon water tanks at the top of
36th St. without Council knowledge and approvalso he can move the club house! And to make it worse, John Arrington, the city’s comptroller, has said the city doesn’t even have to do an amendment to their ordinance for the CIP! Man! Something is VERY rotten in Ogden! The Council should be brave and strong enough to call for an investigation by the State Attorney General’s Office into this misappropriation of funds. In other words – malfeasance under Godfrey’s watch! How about it, Chair Wicks? Of course, you will have the two or three Godfreyites on the council who will oppose such an action so that you don’t have unanimous support and it won’t happen. It looks like it’s up to some of Ogden’s activists to file a complaint!

ozboy said...


The problem with "it’s up to some of Ogden’s activists to file a complaint!" is - who do you file it with?

There has been numerous occasions in the past few years wherein groups of upright citizens have indeed filed complaints with the county and state attorney offices as well as the grand jury screening panel. All to no avail. These three offices that are supposed to protect the citizens of Weber County and Utah are complicit in the Godfreyite perfidy. They have refused to take action each and every time they have received complaints. Sometimes they just sweep complaints under the rug and ignore them. On other occasions they pretend to "investigate" and then they sweep it under the rug. On one occasion an extremely detailed and well researched complaint was filed with the state attorney general. His response was to assign a para-legal in his office to "look into it". He would not even afford these tax paying citizens the courtesy of having an actual attorney investigate! He has a whole passel of attorneys on staff, yet he wouldn't even go as far as having a trained legal expert look at the charges. A total and complete white wash by a lowly para-legal was the only action he took. To date there has never been an actual legitimate investigation into the criminal cabal known as the Godfreyite movement.

Even the Democrat DeCaria repeatedly ignored legitimate complaints about criminal wrong doing in the republican Godfrey administration. Of course his reward was being appointed to a cushy life time position on the judicial bench. In my opinion the man is an embarrassment to the legal profession and now judicial branch of state government and is no more than a go along to get along hack in the tight knit circle of Utah officials.

Unless someone can bring this to the attention of the Feds, and unless the Feds can somehow enforce city and state laws, and/or find federal statutes that apply to this kind of local "official" criminal conduct, then in fact the citizens of Ogden have no remedy under the law. Hopefully Utah will get a new US Attorney soon and with any luck that office will look into the numerous alleged crimes committed by Godfrey and his gang of incompetents.

Oh, by the way, I also believe the Standard, the only paper in town, is also complicit in these low brow high dollar criminal affairs being perpetrated on their Ogden subscribers.

George K. said...


I know, but we can't give up! Maybe our next course of action would be to forward a copy of the many complaints with corresponding documentation to our Utah delegation in Washington,D.C. about the inaction of the AG's office as well as Weber County's DA. Let them know that we are at our wit's end and want to know who to contact who will do something about these latest infringements of unethical behavior and thequestionable legalatity of them. Also send a carbon copy to the AG's office and the DA. Williams'unethical if not illegal ruling on the white-washing of Johnson's and Eccles' campaign finances also needs to be reported to the Utah State Bar. They do look into complaints! And they do take action!

Ogden politians are due for a house cleaning!

George K. said...

Add the Utah Grand Jury to that list of "do nothings."

ozboy said...


Again, great ideas. However, the Utah delegation in DC is 4 republicans and 1 democrat. Unfortunately the lone democrat doesn't represent Ogden and the other 4 could give a squat about their own little republican runs things in Ogden.

It could be worth a try to see if Matheson would get involved, but again, it is not his district and he has his plate full dealing with the evil republican tricks in his own jurisdiction.

Good luck, and I am willing to sign on to anything that makes sense and is an honest appraisal of what is really going on in Ogden.

George K. said...

Thanks OzBoy,

I might have some influence with Bishop and Hatch -- sort of friends with Bishop and I;ve known and contacted Hatch quite a few times with all but one favorable response and I've known him since he took office -- now THAT is a long time! Bennett thinks he is above the common people so I agree that it would be a waste of time to contact him.

blackrulon said...

How much of the 146 million dollar plan for the golf course is going to the redesign of the actual golf course? It seems that the emphasis is on hotel/motel construction and relocating the club house plus a 1/2 pipe attraction. What will it cost to improve the golf course? Can we improve the course without major construction? If gondola stations are supposed to bring business with it wouldn't fixing the gold course accomplish the same thing?
Why not let the private sector come and build if it seems to make good business sense.

Lionel said...


Your use of the words "it seems to make good business sense" is the key to a lot of the Godfrey mystery.

Making good business sense is completely foreign to Godfrey and his gang. Nothing he has ever proposed actually made good business sense. He is not about that at all, but rather he is really driven by his own hubris, sense of entitlement and grandiose dreams of greatness. Bottom line is that he is a complete loser who surrounds himself with yes men who are also losers. There is absolutely nothing in his past or present that indicates any sort of business acumen or success.

blackrulon said...

If Val Southwick were free coulf he help arrange private financing for this project? If it is built will Gedi Leesham get the carpet contract? What will happen to the old clubhouse if a new one is built at the top of 36th street? Having driven 36th to the top it will take dramatic improvements to keep the road passable during the winter months.

OgdenLover said...

While people don't play golf in the winter, in order to get to the hotel, condos, half pipe, etc. when the cars start sliding backward on 36th street, what will we need? A gondola, of course!

Excuse me while I vomit.

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