Saturday, May 23, 2009

Marshall White Center: The Very Dumbest Story to Hit the Standard-Examiner Front Page Within Memory

Unless and until a firm and binding written Marshall White Center proposal is presented for examination by the council and the lumpencitizens, Mr. Godfrey's accusations that some conscientious folks are "flip-flopping" is entirely without rational merit

This morning we'll call our readers' attention to what in our ever humble opinion could be the very dumbest story to hit the Standard-Examiner front page within memory. Ace Reporter Schebke's lead paragraphs provide the thoroughly amusing setup:
OGDEN — Mayor Matthew Godfrey is challenging City Councilman Jesse Garcia’s questioning of the administration’s negotiations with Ogden-Weber Community Action Partnership to operate the Marshall White Community Center.
Godfrey said in a letter that Garcia is familiar with OWCAP’s plans for the center because he has been privy to the proposal from the outset.
“You have known all about OWCAP’s proposal from the beginning. In fact, you knew about it before I did,” Godfrey wrote to Garcia in a letter obtained by the Standard-Examiner. “I have been told on multiple occasions that you have expressed your support for their proposal at Marshall White. I have spoken to you twice about this and on both occasions you indicated you were supportive. Why are you now pretending you don’t know anything about it and are not supportive?
“We involved you very early on in order to find an arrangement that was better for everyone. You agreed (to) work with the community and the council regarding what was happening and why.
“Instead, you decided to rally people against this before an agreement was reached with OWCAP and as far as we have heard you have never brought this up to your fellow council members.”
With his inimitable straightforward style, and in classic west side Ogden vernacular, Councilman Garcia characterises this latest Boss Godfrey screed as exactly what it is:
Garcia said he isn’t surprised by the tone of Godfrey’s letter and described it as a “cover your butt” attempt by the mayor because the administration left the council out of the loop in its negotiations with OWCAP.
Rather than get drawn into the he said/she said catfight that seems to be forming up on the pages of our home town newspaper, we'll just get back to basics.

We spoke with Councilman Garcia this morning, and here's what he told us:
• Although Garcia was generally aware that the Godfrey administration was engaged in ongoing negotiations with the non-profit Ogden-Weber Community Action Partnership (OWCAP), he was never directly involved in negotiations himself, and was therefore not privy to the details of such negotiations. Nor has he ever seen any written proposal;
• Although Garcia had indicated to the administration his general open-mindedness to considering an OWCAP management takeover in concept, his ultimate support would depend of course upon the nature of the proposal which would ultimately emerge from the negotiations. In essense, Mr. Garcia's posture closely resembled that of the Standard-Examiner Editorial Board;
• Garcia felt completely blindsided by Godfrey's proposed 2010 budget, in which Godfrey had removed funding from the Marshall White Center. It was at this point that Mr. Garcia apparently came to the conclusion that he was being double-crossed; and it was then that Garcia decided to publicly speak out.
What should be painfully obvious to even the most rabid Godfrey supporter is that Godfrey's accusation that Garcia was "familiar with OWCAP’s plans for the center because he has been privy to the proposal from the outset" is rubbish. Even Godfrey admits that a final agreement with OWCAP has not yet been reached. At present, a firm, enforceable and publicly-transparent written proposal does not exist, except in vague, Godfreyesque, ephemeral conceptual form. As always, "the devil's in the details," innit?

Keep your eyes on the ball, people. Unless and until a firm and binding written proposal is presented for examination by the council and the lumpencitizens, Mr. Godfrey's accusations that some conscientious folks are flip-flopping is entirely without rational merit.


danny said...

Good writeup, Rudi.

The point of entry for the council, as with all things involving Matthew Godfrey, needs to be with the full assurance that Godfrey is a LIAR.

The council, and everyone, must always operate on that basis. Godfrey's consistent lying and use of deception is his defining characteristic.

Curmudgeon said...


Couple of points:

1. Not sure why you consider the story "the dumbest" to appear on the SE front page in memory. I found it informative and timely. I'm glad I got to see the Mayor's letter, and Councilman Garcia's reaction, and to see it on the front page where I think the story belonged. Why was the story dumb?

2. Here is Mr. Godfrey's problem regarding his long and self-serving letter to Councilman Garcia: given the Mayor's past performance on matters of disclosure, he has zero credibility on this matter. [Remember the Bootjack matter in which his administration told the council it had no right to ask who the Mayor wanted to sell city land to, even though the sale needed Council approval. Remember the email's Dan S. turned up by GRAMA in which an administration official spoke of how important it was to keep the Council from learning the administration's plans to use federal grant money, laundered through UTA, to pay for a gondola study. Remember how the city refused to supply public documents under GRAMA laws to the Sierra Club, forcing the club to sue the city to get access to public documents... and to date, the court has sided with the Club not the city? Remember the Mayor secretly instructing the city lobbyist to get a law passed preventing the Council from removing him as head of the Redevelopment Board --- and doing it in violation of his agreement with the Council that the city lobbyist's assignments would be jointly agreed upon by Mayor and Council? The list goes on and on and on.]

So, on any matter regarding disclosure or transparency or keeping the Council informed which turns into a he said/she said contest, the Mayor and his administration have no credibility left to draw on. None. Zero. Zip. Nada.

OgdenLover said...

How on earth did the SE ever get a copy of Godfrey's letter? OH- silly me! He probably cc'd it to them?
Why didn't the SE get the same feedback from Councilman Garcia that you did, Rudi? Perhaps they couldn't pick up a phone?

Curmudgeon said...


The SE did get feedback from Garcia... note the "cover your butt" comment. And they highlighted and boxed it on the front page. So, OL, it does seem they "picked up a phone." Cheap shot.

As for how the SE got the letter, I can think of several possibilities, your suggestion being the most likely. Since Councilman Garcia's letter to Godfrey hit the papers, this disagreement has been fought out in no small way in the arena of public opinion. If I were Mayor engaged in this kind of very public policy fight with a Council member, I'd have made damn sure the press got a copy of my letter. And nothing wrong with that. Garcia's letter to Godfrey made it into the public prints. And so Godfrey's letter to Garcia should have as well.

liar liar pants on fire said...

liar liar pants on fire smoken pole in the midnight oil thats me little matty ha ha

lionel said...

Garcia has served the public for a very long time without any significant scandal or impeachment of his character. That is why it is so interesting for a low life, lying through his teeth and scandal ridden scum bag like Godfrey to get in a public pissing match with him!

charles trentleman said...

Honestly, I think we should just trust our mayor in every decision he makes and should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens.

Ozboy said...

I would bet a million to one that Trentleman did not write the above post even though it seems to reflect his sentiment on the subject.

RudiZink said...

You'd doubtlessly be a winner on that bet, Oz. It's likely, I think that Trentelman actually knows how to correctly spell his own name.

Bob the Builder said...

We love this town.

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