Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Council Approves FY2010 Budget With Specific Earmarks For the Marshall White Center and Lorin Farr Swimming Pools

Council Attorney: "Boss Godfrey is obligated to follow City Council policy."

By Bill C.

One very intriguing city council budget session at City Hall. Turned into a showdown; and this time the Council didn't even blink.

As we all know, the Marshall White Center was at the center of all this; and I must say the Council truly shined.

The budget portion opened with Bill Cook giving a presentation that clearly defined the roles of the Mayor and Council in our form of government, with emphasis on the the Council's duty to set City policy. He then explained that the Mayor is obligated to follow all City policy, by statute. Since the budget is an ordinance, the Council included a clear statement of City policy with regards to the funding of the Marshall White Center, including intentions of providing a pool as well as all current levels of service.

As the discussion progressed, the mayor began to filibuster. This included of course his usual assault on Jesse with his claim that the Council had been informed all along the way, for about 20 minutes. Finally Amy impressed on him that in order to get anywhere they must move on. After a couple more interruptions by the mayor the discussion progressed. When the mayor next interrupted, he again made threats and warnings that the Council was heading for a train wreck.

Finally, when the discussion was clearly focused on the legality of what was being discussed, the Council's own lawyer, Craig Hall, came to the podium. Not only did he explain the law regarding the Council's proposed action, he questioned the legality of how the mayor conducted this contract, pointed out how the mayor didn't follow proper procedure and that the city attorney Buck Froerer made mistakes with the contract. Gary Williams couldn't counter, so he proceeded to ask for an opinion on the hypothetical assumption that had everything been done properly, and due to the fact that the contract had already been signed, what takes precedent. "Policy," said the council's attorney... "the mayor is obligated to follow City Council policy."

After more discussion, in which Brandon Stevenson made a complete lackey of himself, the Council voted on the amendment which earmarked full funding to the MWC for the fiscal year 2010. The amendment passed.

For good measure, Caitlin offered another amendment along the same lines for the Lorin Farr pool, also earmarking funds as a matter of policy... it also passed.

You can be very proud of your Council tonight folks.

Two other things of note: Gary Neilson (Golds Gym) spoke about how the city should not compete with the private sector when it come to non essential services. Funny he never offered to extend a deal at a reduced rate to the affected seniors or poor that make up a significant portion of the clientele of the MWC.

And last but not least, I rather doubt Schwebke will mention that the mayor included in his threats, on more than one occasion, how much this will "cost the residents" if the Council goes through with this.

In his narcissistic, egocentric and petulant state of being, he went after the people of Ogden. They'll pay for this, he said.


Update 6/17/09 7:15 a.m. MT: Don't miss Scott Schwebke's own post-meeting writeup over on the Std-Ex live website, which gentle reader WACWB linked in the lower comments section during the wee hours:
Godfrey: Council on collision course / OWCAP to manage Marshall White, to receive $337,450 from Ogden
All in all, we believe that Mr. Schwebke did a pretty good good job of laying out the facts and capturing Boss Godfrey's anger and angst, now that the council has drawn a firm line in the Emerald City political sand. Once again we hope our readers will also mosey on over there to lodge a few savvy remarks.

Update 6/17/09 9:27 a.m. MT: The Deseret News is following this story too:
Ogden Council fully funds Marshall White Community Center, expects veto
Have at it, O Gentle Ones...


Curmudgeon said...


Still not quite sure where this leaves the contract. The Council's attorney seemed to imply it was invalid. That so? Does that mean the NGO will not be handed the keys to the MWC on July 1? Still not clear what the status of the contract now is.

What you reported, though [and thank you very much by the way], is a good illustration of just how poorly the Mayor understands the basics of public administration... how bad he is at it. Following the last election, which he won by the skin of his teeth, any half-way decent administrator would have figured out that it was bridge-building time --- time to work on his people skills, to look for areas of agreement with his critics and the council, to rebuild [or build for the first time] a good working relationship with the Council because he needed their cooperation to effectively manage city affairs.

Instead, he did exactly the reverse and kept to his confrontational, secretive, condescending ways. And now he's evidently lost the trust of a substantial majority of the Council. What the hell did he expect when he renegged on his agreement with the Council regarding the Mayor and Council jointly deciding what the city lobbyist should work on? And he did it secretly, instructing the city lobbyist to get through a law making it impossible for Councils to remove Mayors as RDA heads. He practically took out a bill board on Washington Blvd saying "My Word's No Good!" What the devil did he expect when he insisted the Council could not conduct its own meetings, and the Mayor had absolute authority to interrupt whenever he choose for as long as he chose? Arrogant condescension rarely evokes cooperation. What the hell did he expect?

And it didn't have to be this way. Had all major stakeholders been brought into the MWC negotiations, some workable compromise that would have satisfied all parties involved might have been worked out.

And from his reported choleric rants tonight, it seems unlikely he will learn much from this outcome either. Prediction: the Mayor will respond with some unilateral and arbitrary action that will escalate the current unhappy confrontational atmosphere even more.

Dan S. said...

Bill, many thanks for the report! Sounds like the meeting was something to see, and I wish I had been there.

George K. said...

As Bill C. reported Godfrey threw the threat: “If you mean that as policy, there will be a train wreck.” He told the Council if their statement about funding the Marshall White Center’s curremt programs and keeping the pool open was more than a political statement, he would not sit back and let the Council usurp his authority. He accused the Council of trying to set policy for and administer that policy for the city.
Every time Chair Wicks tried to take control of the meeting, he kept saying that he had a right to speak. He was a joke! When the Council’s outside attorney spoke at Chair Wick’s invitation, the Mayor could not refute what he said, and he made the city’s attorney look like the bumbling fool that he is.
It was a long meeting, but far from boring! It’s too bad that Council member Doug Stephens showed his yellow stripe and voted along with Stephenson. I hope the voters remember how when the chips are down, he listens to Godfrey.
The Council was outstanding tonight! They truly conducted themselves as one of the governing bodies for the city. They did better than hold their ground with Godfrey.


You asked where that left the contract. As the Council's attorney pointed out the Council cannot change the contract and he said that with the ordinance the Council passed tonight, OWCAP may want to renegotiate a new contract since the current contract does not comply with the new policy.

Kudos to the Council!!

Wow, a council with balls said...


The Lovely Jennifer said...

Way to go, Amy - and the rest of the council, those who stood their ground and stood up for MWC! I noticed the two dissenting voters are ones who have been excused or absent from past Council meetings - and on such an important issue (i.e. - The Budget), why was Johnson excused (rhetorical) - he should have been there.

I'm glad you called in an outside attorney for objective analysis. Good call!


disgusted said...

i liked godfreys response to a residents comment that "All you care about is OWCAP".
per the se article godfrey responded "I'm willing to take the political road less traveled."
darn tooten, most politicans care about what their constituents think and most politicans seem to have some degree of honesty and integrity.

Steven R. said...

Amy, Caitlin, Dorrene, and Jesse, good on you! The MWC was Godfrey's testing ground. The next bullying acts would have been the 36th water tank project and the Mount Ogden Golf Course.

I was glad to see that you included in the budget ordinance that the city would maintain El Monte as a nine-hole golf course and Mount Ogden as an 18-hole golf course.

You guys are turning out to be an awesome team!

Godfrey is reaping what he has sown by his past actions of deceit, lying and having his way at any expense.

I noticed in Schwebke's article this morning, that he quoted Godfrey as posing the question, "What did he have to gain by the loss of the MWC. A couple of answers are probable: 1) MWC center takes money that he wants for his pet projects, and 2) It takes his time and attention, which probably is a great irritant to him

Keep up the good work! The majority of the City is behind you!

Danny said...

As usually happens with bullies when one stands up to them, one finds they were nothing to be afraid of after all.

It's nice the city council brought in their own attorney. It showed that they don't trust Godfrey or his staff, and it showed why. He is a liar and he forces his staff to lie for him too.

All in all, Godfrey showed he is not even very able. The city council completely outmaneuvered him as well.

Godfrey may find the city council will now actually look forward to his attempts to bully them, and his silly rants, now that they see him for the inept tissue tyrant that he always was.

And so called "business people" will finally see Godfrey as an inept, embarrassing liar. Who wants to be associated with somebody like that, even if he still tries to be the man with the golden taxpayer teats?

drewmeister said...

Three cheers for our city council members! (The ones that aren't pussies, anyway) We are so proud of you Amy, Caitlin, Dorrene & Jesse! THANK YOU for getting an impartial attorney who can actually do his damned job. (I hope this will be a continued trend on your part.) THANK YOU for standing up to the giant-foreheaded bully. THANK YOU for giving me a glimmer of hope for the first time since I bought my house across the street from the Leshamville Arson Project seven years ago. I'm somewhat ashamed I didn't attend the meeting last night to show my support.

"The council is usurping the mayor's executive powers.." Who the fuck is this guy, Dick Cheney? Worthless son of a whore. I am so tired of him, I wish he'd just trip and fall in front of a low-hanging, runaway gondola. I swear he's desperately trying to suffocate Ogden in hopes of reviving it.

But.. (there's always a but(t) when the mayor's involved) watch your back, dot your i's and cross your t's, because Darth Godfrey will be scheming atop the 9th floor to destroy all of you, regardless of loss and detriment to us little people, just to prove a point. I'm convinced he'd bankrupt the treasury just to prove he's king of the hill, like the spoiled, petulant, worthless child he is.

Brett said...

Steven R,

Your assessment of Godfrey is right on! After nine years of conducting his business behind closed doors and the Coouncil's back, his method of operation is transparent if nothing else he does is.

drewmeister said...

We must all remember to not let our guard down, not for a moment. We must all remember, it's not "Mission Accomplished" until the lying sack of shit is run out of this town for good. (Which sadly, will probably only happen when he runs for some statewide office, and god help the state of Utah when he does. But at least we won't be the only ones in his his sights anymore.)

Bill C. said...

One of the most intriguing aspects of the meeting was Doug Stevens' dumbfounder look when Catlin mentioned the Lorin Farr pool.
Despite his uttering hollow words of support for the MWC, this appeared to firmly entrench him into the mayor and Stephansons camp.
One may recall that his only real passion with regards to the City is the Rodeo. I sense that there have been some double secret communications that included future plans for the Lorin Farr pool property. Somebody should inquire of Stevens if thats true and make him go on record. Let's see if unlike the mayor, Stevens values honesty.

Brett said...

The assessments of Drewmeister and Danny are also correct. It's great to know that others can see how incompentant Godfrey really is and that he's a liar, manipulator, unethical with no scruples at all.

I agree with Drewmeister that Godfrey will stop at nothing to win over the Council. Maybe that is what Bill Cook was referring to when he advised the Council that there would be repercussions to the Council's vote. Hang in there Amy, Caitlin, Dorrene and Jesse. At least you can hold your heads high. We're proud of you!

Steven R. said...

It was clear last night that the citizens believed Council member Garcia's response to Godfrey's attack again on him. When Godfrey called Jesse a liar and having his own agenda, some of the MW users laughed out loud. No one believes Godfrey because he has lied to everyone in the city too many times! Pay back, Mayor!

what will it cost us said...

Independent attorney is a great start for the city council.Now we need an independent fiancial audit of the water department, revenue and expenses. Why do we have to mail our water bill to a Salt Lake address, don't we have competent city employees? Last time I went to the water building one employee was playing computer games while I had to wait for help.

OWCAP seems to want everything just given to them, with no accountability. What is the Marshall White Center and the old water office worth to only garner $100K per year lease?

What are the lease agreements for the Junction, do we get fair value back? If I owned a business in Ogden I would sue the city to get the same lease agreements that Golds Gym has brokered. If people aren't paying to use the I-rock or I-fly maybe the rates are too high.

What is the lease agreement for the train coffe shop and information center that the city re-furbished, with costs overruns? As an aside I noticed it was closed last Saturday at 3:30 PM with a note on the door, seems a waste to close when folks came on Frontrunner for the Ogden Arts festival.

If OWCAP just needs classrooms why can't they use some of the empty old office spaces around the Junction, seems like a better deal and put some life back into these empty spaces.

As a taxpayer are we subsidizing private businesses? Goverments are here to provide services and recreation, and are not suppose to make a profit.

RudiZink said...

Weber County Forum been consistently urging the council to actively embrace its statutory role as the city's policy making body for years.

For unknown reasons, the council has nevertheless deferred on this, until it had its back pushed to the wall in the current Marshall white stalemete.

I don't know what Mr. Hall is earning as the council's outside contract lawyer...

But he's definitely worth every single dime.

Robert Zimmerman said...

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could

I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you blew
Will never buy back your soul

-Masters of War

Wm III said...

"The political road less traveled"

Washington Blvd?

Curmudgeon said...


The Council acted in response to considerable community concern about the future of the MWC and its programs [pool included] expressed over the last month in a variety of ways. That included the SE which, in a recent editorial, cautiously endorsed the idea of leasing provided it included continuing or expanding existing MWC programs, pool included.

However... knew that was coming, didn't you?... it is still not clear to me from the combination of Bill C.', George K's and Mr. Schwebke's accounts what happens now. I gather the contract will be honored by the city, the NGO will get the keys to the MWC on Jualy 1, the city subsidies to them will be paid through December, and grants will be applied for. No change there in what the Mayor had planned for and recommended.

If the grants materialize, then presumably the remaining six months of the fiscal year will play out as the Mayor intended. But what will happen, now, if the grants don't materialize? The city will continue to subsidize the NGO with $30K a month for the last six months of the fiscal year provided it keeps the pool open? Or something else? What if the NGO refuses?

The Mayor's complaints [at least as reported] seemed to center on his claim that the Council is usurping his authority as mayor. If he simply refuses to comply with policy as set by the Council last night, what then? Will the Council have to go to court to settle the matter of where the Mayor's authority ends and its begins? Is that what Mr. Cook was referring, rather elliptically, to last night? I think the suggestion someone made above --- "The city council completely outmaneuvered him as well" --- may be premature.

Kudoes to the four Council members, though, who seem to understand that in Utah's Mayor/Council form of government, authority is to be shared between the two branches, other wise the principles of "separation of powers" and "checks and balances" make no sense whatever when applied to municipal government.

While it's undeniable that the Mayor's ham-fisted bull-in-a-china-shop juvenile "my way or the highway" approach to city management is responsible for a good deal of the climate of suspicion, distrust and confrontation that now exists --- that is sadly largely of the Mayor's creation --- I wish there was less crowing and [rhetorical] victory-dancing going on about what happened last night. This is not over.

Establishing that Ogden has two branches of government, each with significant powers that affect the making of city policy is good for th city. Getting the Mayor to recognize [as he rarely has] that the Council is every bit as much elected to office as he is, and so is every much a reflection of the public will as the Mayor is, would also be good for Ogden City.

But I'm not sure whether the second of those things has in fact happened. And I'm still not clear on exactly what happens now in re: the MWC going forward, or with the disagreement about who has policy making powers for Ogden City.

Good things happened last night at the Council meeting, or at least the beginning of good things. But I wouldn't start pounding the victory drums just yet. We're going to have to see how this all plays out.

That said, this to the four Council members who voted last night to amend the budget: good on 'ya.

And here's hoping the SE will do a little digging into Bill C's question raised above: Does the Mayor have --- secretly of course --- something planned for the LF pool that the rest of us don't know about? If so, when he springs it, shouting "surprise!" [or "Gotcha!"], will he claim that because Mr. Stephens knew part of it at least, that "the Council was fully involved all along?"

In the words of the immortal Yogi, "it ain't over 'til the fat lady sings." She's getting to her feet,maybe, but she hasn't started warbling just yet.

snore.. said...

That was a really, really long way of saying, "Good job city council, but be careful!" ;-)

Curmudgeon said...


Sorry, Snore. I'm old fashioned. I don't think all comments and questions can be or should be limited to sound bite or twitter length.

Let the truth be known said...

I think that the mayor has risen to the level of incompetency. He contracts out the venues that are losing money under his administration and then he want to blame the council for it's failings. He lost money on the golf course for the last ten years but yet he thinks if we tear it apart it will make money. Godfrey show us how you and with all the wisdom you have that you can turn a profit and then change things. But as for now you have shown us how incompetent you are.

Bill C. said...

Curm, the Councils action last night wasn't intended to thwart the contract, it's just established City policy regarding the pool and recreational activities at the center. They backed it up with full funding to enable owcap to proceed in a mannor that accomidates the policy. This funding goes beyond January, it's the whole fiscal year.
This allows for owcap and the mayor to make good on their future promises of owcap having the ability to raise funding.
The beauty in how this looks is that in January the contract is to be reviewed, it's up to the mayor and owcap now as to how this will play out.
Before the policy expires they must show their true intentions.

Danny said...

Are there two people who post as "Curmudgeon"?

One interesting? One so very, very boring?

Almost 700 words above, to say, "There will be more to come." Whew.

I would like to rebut by saying,

"Well duh."

"When is the battle with evil ever over?"

"But the city council did very, very well last night, and they won. Godfrey is staggering and greatly diminished this morning. In other words, he is seen much more clearly by all today. The council did all they could to properly serve their constituents and so today is a very good day for Ogden."

(Keep Curm's post above for fast, effective relief from occasional insomnia.)

history tells all said...

Every time the mayor contracts services out. He should take a pay decrease because then there is less accountability that he has to do to us taxpayers. Does he not get it? He is the mayor hired by the people to do a job and then he contracts his job out to others. What a dis-service to the taxpayer that pay his wages. Wake up mayor and do your job or get out of the job the taxpayers ire you to do.

Curmudgeon said...


Here's what I don't quite understand, Bill. OWCAP signed the contract with the intent of building Headstart Classrooms in the space now occupied by the pool. Come January, if no grants have materialized allowing it to build those classrooms elsewhere, it intends to move on the pool, as the contract permits it to do. So, what happens come January if, no grants having materialized, OWCAP closes the pool and starts installing classrooms, which is in accord with its contract. What then? What if it chooses not to re-negotiate, and Hizzonah says "gee, guys, I tried to get them to renegotiate their contract, but they said no. Nothing I could do." What recourse wold the Council or the City have in that case? Any? None?

Curmudgeon said...


Noticed you read it and are still awake enough to type a reply. [grin]

Bill C. said...

Curm, thats up to owcap. I'm sure that as soon as any destruction activities stat there will be court involvement. This will open the door for a legal review of how the mayor went about this and quite possibly could terminate or void the contract.
I would hope that the public could muster up enough pressure on owcap and their board to impress upon them their image and acceptance is at stake. If they refuse to follow the will of the people in a genuine effort how will that reflect on them.

Danny said...

Godfrey's position on separation of powers:

City council gives him money and he does as he pleases.

Actual Ogden council-mayor form of government:

City council sets policy. Mayor carries out city council's policy.

Keeping the pool open is now policy. Godfrey will comply. Simple. Done. (Other than that Godfrey will continue to use city resources, as he always does, as his personal property without regard for law or morality.)

Lastly, it's too bad the Trib reporter only quoted Godfrey and his stooge, Stephenson. Schwebke and the Standard E article was much more balanced and informative, and with about as many words, and Scott got his article in very quickly. Kudos go to the SE this morning too.

OgdenLover said...

I posted the following comment on the Des News website. It will be interesting to see if it stays or is pulled. During Vangate I tried several times to post comments and they all disappeared. I do not consider this comment to be in violation of their posting rules, but we'll just have to see.
"Missing from this story is an explanation that the Mayor had signed a contract with OWCAP behind everyone's back. The Council was not informed that all funding for the MWC was removed from the City Budget until the last minute. Saying that grants will be applied for is not the way to ensure long-term funding for this much-used facility. Grants are not necessarily funded and even if they are now, there is no guarantee funding will continue into the future.

Godfrey just wants to get the MWC off the City books."

OgdenLover said...

While I was posting to WCF my Des News comment was removed.

Anonymous said...

An epic win for the representational democracy.
Lets keep this snowball rolling.

blackrulon said...

I noticed that the mayor said "This is a collision course that is going to cost people money" I appreciate Mayor Godfrey stating the known truth. He is beginning to acknowledge that many of his decisions have cost the citizens of Ogden money. He previously only seemed concerned when his developer friends had money problems. Thanks for beginning to accept the financial burden your decisions have on the citizens of Ogden.

Anonymous said...

Sorry; forgot to add: We love this town.

Southsider said...


Your DesNews comment is there now (10:38 am)

Danny said...

I suppose the next step is to lobby Doug Stephens who will be the swing vote responding to Godfrey's inevitable veto.

I trust Godfrey and his henchmen will be lobbying Stephens. Those who can should call Doug too. And get ready for a very fun veto override city council meeting with more of Godfrey making himself look foolish.

Danny said...

One wonders - will the mayor veto, or will he do the wise thing and stop the political bleeding this has cost him and let this go?

Is Godfrey a liar, an incompetent, and also a fool, or only two out of three?

monotreme said...

I am no expert, but it seems to me that there is no provision for a line-item veto.

So, if the Mayor is to veto, he would have to veto the entire budget. Is that correct?

Alternatively, he could take legal action, suing Council. That would get interesting, inasmuch as he's already demonstrated that the local judiciary is supportive of him. I suppose it depends on how far the Council is willing to go.

Isn't Councilman Stephens up for re-election this year? If I were he, I'd be careful what alliances I make. The voters of Ogden have demonstrated, in 2005 and 2007, that they are not amused by the shenanigans of Godfrey's Winged Monkeys. Both Godfrey and Johnson won extremely narrow victories, presumably because of campaign finance violations and voter intimidation. If that's what it takes for them to win, then their position is actually quite weak.

Dorrene Jeske said...


The State legislature has defined the separation of powers in Mayor-Council form of government and established their responsibilities. Briefly the information I obtained is listed below.

In 2007 I visited the Library of Historical Records in Salt Lake City to research the history and reasoning behind Utah State Code 10-2-1219.5, regarding separation of powers in the Council/Mayor form of government. I listened to the actual recording of legislative sessions. Senator Bullen said that the council-mayor form of government was no longer to be called the “strong mayor-council” form of government. It was to establish that the COUNCIL is the authority in establishing policy in which city-owned property is bought, sold, traded, encumbered or otherwise transferred.

The history of that bill is as follows:

Senate Bill 33, sponsored by Sen. Charles W. Bullen, Co-Spons. in House by Rep. Snow

Jan. 30, 1979, Read second time and amended Pg 1, lines 28 -33 and pg 2 lines 1-4 after numbers 10-3-1210.5: delete sub sections
beginning with line 28 and continuing to end of bill. Insert in lieu thereof the following subsection 10-3-1219.5 “(1) In the council-mayor form of government the council shall by ordinance provide for the manner in which:
(a) Municipal property is bought, sold, traded, encumbered or otherwise transferred; and
(b) Subdivisions are approved, disapproved or otherwise regulated.

Page 1, lines 10 and 11: in title of bill, after “Government” add a period and delete “Prescribing and limiting the powers of the mayor.”
Page 1, lines 16 and 17: after “vests” delete “subject to the provisions of sections 10-3-1219 and 10-3-1219.5.
Signed by Karl N. Snow, Committee Chair
Action: “Out favorably as amended.”

Feb. 8, 1979, Senate Bill 33, Council-Mayor Form of Government

Senate concurred and passed as amended by House. “Aye” votes – 24, Absent – 5
Sent to House Signed by Governor February 23, 1979 Effective: May 8, 1979

Session Laws, Chapter 39: Amend 10-3-1209 and enacts 10-3-1219.5:
“Clarifies the Optional forms of Municipal Government Act to require the council in the council-mayor form to enact ordinances to provide for municipal property transfers and for subdivisions and annexation approval.”

(Continued in next message)

Dorrene Jeske said...

(contined from previous comment)

UTAH STATE CODE 10-3-1219.5, Council-mayor form

“Utah State Code 10-3-1219.5. Council-mayor form – Ordinances on transfer of municipal property and regulation of subdivisions or annexations.

“In the council-mayor form of government, the council shall, by ordinance, provide for the manner in which municipal property is bought, sold, traded, encumbered or otherwise transferred; and (1) subdivisions, or annexations are approved, disapproved or otherwise regulated.”

Enacted by Chapter 39, 1979 General Session

You ask what happens with the contract. Our attorney pointed out some problems with it last night. The Mayor did not follow State Codes in the process of negotiating the contract in a timely manner: 1) He did not obtain a fair value market analysis, and 2) holding a public hearing. Both of these were or are scheduled to take place AFTER the contract was signed.

The Mayor has a couple of options as Montreme noted:
1. He can veto the budget and budget ordinance which isn’t wise, because it would put the City in a bad situation with no budget approved by the State required date of June 22. I’m not sure of the consequences of doing that would be. It may reflect poorly on the City’s bonding ability or at least a verbal reprimand from the State.

2. He can take the Council to Court which he implied with his statement that it would cost Ogden taxpayers. (I find this ironic since he cost Ogden taxpayers around $7 million when he refused to meet with the Woodbury Corp. over the city demolishing its building. $5 million for the resulting law suit judgement plus the interest on that $5 million loan to pay off the law suit.

Of course this isn't the only time the Mayor has had the taxpayerss foot his bill for his decisions and actions.

As it stands right now, the OWCAP contract is not in compliance with City policy. There is money in the budget for FY2010 to keep the pool open, so it should be able to stay open for at least a year. It will be up to the next Council to decide what they will do for the MWC in the next FY.

I asked theMayor what would happen if OWCAP were not able to obtain the grants to keep the pool open and current programs going, and he replied that they could walk out of the contract and the City would have to resume operation of the MWC or they could amend the contract.

As long as I have been on the Council and before, the Mayor has tried to get out from under the MWC. He also put no maintenance money in the budget for Union Station which the Council had to remedy.

Curmudgeon said...


Thanks very much for clearing up much of what I didn't understand, and about the options now facing the mayor and council. I too wondered what would happen if he vetoes the budget, and the Council fails to over-ride. The City continues to operate under last year's budget? Beats me. We may be about to find out.

And thanks especially for reporting on your research of the legislative intent in the last revision of the Mayor-Council municipal government statute. And particularly for this:

Senator Bullen said that the council-mayor form of government was no longer to be called the “strong mayor-council” form of government. It was to establish that the COUNCIL is the authority in establishing policy in which city-owned property is bought, sold, traded, encumbered or otherwise transferred.

Isn't it interesting what a little research can turn up?

Thanks again, Dorrene. For everything you do.

blackrulon said...

"If the council is the authority in establishing which city-owned property is bought,sold,traded,encumbered or otherwise transferred" why was the mayor allowed to sell property to a lower bidder or give away the 21st pond?

Danny said...

Curm, Blackrulon,

Right now, Godfrey can buy and sell property at will, thanks to an ordinance passed by a former, more compliant city council.

Dorrene tried to get things back to what they should be with a new ordinance saying that the council must approve land sales. But the city attorney said the city council can't do that, and the city council bought it.

What we need is for Dorrene's ordnance to be worked over by the council's staff lawyer, then have it brought up and voted.

What Dorrene has researched is good, but right now Ogden City ordinances say that Godfrey can do what he wants with buying and selling city property. That ordinance may be what Godfrey is leaning on with regard to his power to unilaterally make contracts involving city property.

Jim Hutchins said...

Here is the law. To be honest with you, I have a difficult time finding anything in here that supports Mayor Godfrey's interpretation of the statute.


10-3-702. Extent of power exercised by ordinance.

The governing body may pass any ordinance to regulate, require, prohibit, govern, control or supervise any activity, business, conduct or condition authorized by this act or any other provision of law...

10-3b-203. Council in a council-mayor form of government.
(1) The council in a municipality operating under a council-mayor form of government:
(a) shall:
(i) by ordinance, provide for the manner in which:
(A) municipal property is bought, sold, traded, encumbered, or otherwise transferred; and
(B) a subdivision or annexation is approved, disapproved, or otherwise regulated;
(ii) pass ordinances, appropriate funds, and review municipal administration;
(iii) perform all duties that the law imposes on the council; and
(iv) elect one of its members to be the chair of the council;
(b) may:
(i) adopt an ordinance, to be known as the municipal administrative code:
(A) dividing the municipality's administrative service into departments, divisions, and bureaus; and
(B) defining the functions and duties of each department, division, and bureau;
(ii) adopt an ordinance:
(A) creating, consolidating, or abolishing departments, divisions, and bureaus; and
(B) defining or altering the functions and duties of each department, division, and bureau;
(iii) notwithstanding Subsection (1)(c)(iii), make suggestions or recommendations to a subordinate of the mayor;
(iv) (A) notwithstanding Subsection (1)(c), appoint a committee of council members or citizens to conduct an investigation into:
(I) an officer, department, or agency of the municipality; or
(II) any other matter relating to the welfare of the municipality; and
(B) delegate to an appointed committee powers of inquiry that the council considers necessary;
(v) make and enforce any additional rule or regulation for the government of the council, the preservation of order, and the transaction of the council's business that the council considers necessary; and
(vi) take any action allowed under Section 10-8-84; and
(c) may not:
(i) direct or request, other than in writing, the appointment of a person to or the removal of a person from an executive municipal office;
(ii) interfere in any way with an executive officer's performance of the officer's duties; or
(iii) publicly or privately give orders to a subordinate of the mayor.
(2) A member of a council in a municipality operating under the council-mayor form of government may not have any other compensated employment with the municipality.

Ozboy said...

I agree with Mr. Curmudgeon's long response up thread a ways.

I think it is way too early to be celebrating Ogden's liberation from the tyrant Godfrey.

He is extremely aggressive and Machiavellian in his approach to governance.

He has proven time and time again that he can outfox the council and/or beat them into submission.

He has repeatedly shown his contempt for the council and citizens of Ogden.

He definitely believes he has a mandate from God in doing whatever he wants with Ogden.

His ego is bigger than Mt. Ogden.

His hubris knows no bounds.

His disdain for the poor, downtrodden and dark skinned among us is well proven.

He never quits regardless of how right or wrong he is.

He is a dangerous snake in the grass and this public rebuke by the council will only rile him up and make him more determined than ever to get his way with the MWC and reaffirm his mastery over the council.

In spite of the above, the little moral reprobate, on his very best day, wouldn't make a pimple on the butt of the late and great Marshall White - who I knew and feared in my youth.

The four brave council members who made a stand last night for democracy and the citizens of Ogden better be watching their backs. They certainly have big targets on them.

As to Stevens - a very big disappointment for sure. The citizens of Ogden have come to expect sycophantic behavior from Stephenson and Johnson, but not Doug. I really regret having donated to his campaign and will not make that mistake again.

And speaking of Johnson, is it my imagination or is he missing a lot of council meetings since his corruptness in the Envision Ogden/FANURE fiasco became public knowledge?

Sorry if this post put you to sleep, but at least it isn't as long as Mr. Curmudgeons was :-)

Tom said...


You are right as far as the state laws go. However, what Danny says is also correct - a former council, acting under the state laws you refer to, enacted a city ordinance that essentially gave all power over city property to the mayor.

blackrulon said...

If a previous more trusting city council could enact a ordinance giving power over city property to the mayor can it be changed? Why not repeal or rewrite the ordinance to give this power back to the city council? What is the council able to do to restore some type of balance to the mayor-city council seperation of power.

Danny said...


As I said, the city council can repeal the former ordinance or enact a new one, returning things to the intent of state law. It would be EASY! (Although Godfrey could veto it and it would then require 5 votes, ie Doug Stephens.)

Councilmember Dorrene Jeske tried to get the council to do it a few years back, but Godfrey's lackey city attorney told the council they couldn't do it!

Please write to the city council citing the law Jim Hutchins quotes above, and ask them to do it. It's time for a new way of doing things in Ogden.

history tells all said...

I think that douggies days are numbered and there will be a candidate that will run against him if he votes to up hold the veto.

Not Pessimistic, just realistic said...

Off subject a bit, I find it interesting that Gary Neilson is bitching that government shouldn't compete with the private sector when it comes to nonessential services.

The only reason why he is where he is is because Godfrey decided that government should compete with the private sector in noessential services by developing The Junction. Who built the Soloman Center and paid and is still paying for it? Ogden City. Were there other gyms, bowling alleys, restaurants, movie theaters and penny arcades in Ogden City before the Soloman Center? Yes there were. Lil Audrey's Gym, Ben Lomond Lanes, the movie theater on 12th, numerous restaurants, too many to name.

Now he has a problem with government running what he calls non-essential services. I don't see how the MWC is a non-essential service. Apparently someone along the way thought it was and people now still believe it is an essential service, just not to the people Neilson wants to see in his facility. Is Gary concerned that those underprivilaged citizens will migrate to his location and hang out and cause problems because there is no where else for them to go? Remember idol hands are the devil's playground.

Will Ogden City see an increase in gang activity and membership because those kids who do go to the MWC will no longer have anywhere to go to help keep them out of trouble? Something to think about. Is it possible that Godfrey wants to get rid of the MWC in an attempt to push more business to the Soloman Center and The Junction because it is failing in addition to the fact that it would take it off of the books of Ogden City? Why isn't OWCAP trying to keep the services already there to assist the public?

If I had the money I would open a business exactly like the Soloman Center and The Junction and make it free to the citizens of Ogden City. I would make sure it addressed the needs of the poor and elderly by including the services they require now. Then when The Junction went under, like it is going to anyways, I would redevelop it into something that would truly benefit Ogden City.

I'm really curious as to how removing the programs that currently serve the under privilaged youth will affect the crime rate and gang rate in Ogden City. This is more than a swimming pool issue and I wonder if anyone has looked at how much this will truly affect Ogden City.

Jim Hutchins said...

Comment bumped to front page

Bruce Carl said...

I always have to smile at guys like Curmudgeon who say "and he won the election by a very narrow margin-ONLY about 400 votes."

Hey, 400 votes or 4000 votes, duh....HE WON! He's Mayor.

What will it costs us said...

If the city budget for 2010 is $120M and the city is in debt of $100M how would any bank, bond holder take a chance on Ogden? With tight money lest finish the projects already started.

Curmudgeon said...


Yes, he did, as I've noted here repeatedly: he is the duly elected Mayor of Ogden --- chosen by the people. And that needs to be respected, by the Council as an institution, and by the Mayor's critics. He holds what power he does by right of his election by the people. That is no small thing.

But so were the members of the Council elected by the people as their representatives, and so too do the Council members have responsibilities and exercise powers put into their hands by the people by election. The Mayor seems not to understand that. Based on his performance in office, I don't think he's ever understood it. [Think back to the amphitheater seats incident.]

And as a practical matter, most successful politicians I've known who won re-election narrowly in hotly contested races look upon the period following their narrow escape as a time for fence mending, a time for building bridges to their former opponents by looking for areas of agreement, and for ways to minimize confrontations. Our Mayor did not do that. He did the reverse: continued his ham-fisted in-your-face, behind closed doors attempts to bring about by decree what he wanted to happen. He is now, to some extent, reaping the rewards of his truly impressive inability to manage the city's affairs efficiently and his breathtaking inability to foster a working cooperative relationship with the Council.

I am still puzzled by this: he's treated the Council with such contempt and lack of respect for so long [there are many examples: renegging on his agreement with the council regarding the city lobbyist; the emails from his administration discussing how important it was to keep the Council from finding out how he wanted to finance a gondola study; the Bootjack matter, and many others], that I do not understand why he's surprised, as he seems to be, at the Council's unwillingness to trust his word or grant him, any longer, the benefit of the doubt. Is he dim?

He really is not good at the basics of public administration. If he was, he would never have permitted the present atmosphere of suspicion, distrust and resentment on the Council to have reached its present levels. He hole he finds himself in now is largely --- not entirely, but largely --- of his own digging.

What will it cost us said...

Lets add how he uses blackberries rather than e-mails for city business so it won't be traced back to his inner circle.

Ignoring GRAMMA requests from the public he is sworn to serve, insulting and name calling during council meetings. Acting like Ogden is his kingdom rather than as a leader.

Driving businesses out of Ogden to bring a Kiddyland and closed on Sunday businnesses which bring in less revenue. Offering cheap leases to businesses if they move into city property competing with other private property owners.
Modifying Washington Blvd without state approval then having to re-do the work. Hiring friends and supporters for city jobs who don't have a clue how to be productive.

I could go on and on but you get the idea.

Bruce Carl said...

The thrust of your response is quite logical, Curmudgeon. However, your argument, sound as it is, meanders away from my very simple premise that, regardless of the narrowness of his victory, MG still was elected Mayor. The number of votes, the disputes with the CC, seem to me to be but mere rationals for the comfort of those who oppose him.

My observation is but a simple premise that needs no historical explanation in an attempt to justify the folley of the continuation of bringing the 400+ votes to light.

With or without fence mending, I doubt he'll run for another term.

Brett said...

Bruce and Curmudgeon,

I and a lot of voters have to disagree with you that Godfrey won the last election. There is a big question about the validity of that election because of the illegal aspects that have come to light, but were ignored by Weber County's election crew and even the ACLU. They found that there were a lot of things done that did not meet election laws, but they were committed by his campaign committee, not by Godfrey. A lot of registered legal voters were deprived of their constitutional right to vote because of Godfrey's poll watchers who were "helping" the many new election judges serving at the polls. ONE poll watcher is allowed per candidate per polling place and they are instructed not to speak and be away from the voting judges, the voting booths and the voting area. At the Dee Event Center, Godfrey had THREE poll watchers who did not follow voting laws. One poll watcher was sitting at the Judges table asking people their name when they approached the table. Voters had to step over her long legs (on her lap were campaign brochures that said "Re-Elect Matthew Godfrey") in order to obtain their electronic voting key. Another poll watcher was sitting behind the Judges table scanning voters names. The other judge is a well-known supporter of the Mayor watching over everything. It was a very intimidating circumstance that voters found themselves in. At the close Taylor Elementary School, the Mayor had his brother, Jason Godfrey, in a very confined polling area, greeting everyone when he was not to speak. With the electronic voting machines, there is no secrecy, so he could see how everyone voted. He also had a scanner and was making notes. Another very intimidating situation for voters. More than 1,100 voters were given "Concitional Ballots" and half of those were not allowed due to errors in completing them.

You can not convince me that Godfrey won that election although Weber County officials declared him Mayor. There were too many questionable incidents that were allowed by Weber County election people that for any other candidate would not have been allowed. They even let him have his campaign posters on City owned (public) property!

Nope! He did NOT become mayor fair and square!

Observer of Godfrey's Antics said...

I did not mean to infer that poll watchers stopped people from voting. Rather it was a member of Godfrey's campaign committee who presented to Weber County election people a list of more than 150 anti-Godfrey voters who were challenged by election judges.

Another mistake that I made was to say "The other judge is a well-known supporter of the Mayor." I meant to say the third poll watcher instead of judge.

Because of all the voters who were turned away and not allowed to vote, the voters who had their "conditional ballots" discarded and all the other infractions of the election laws that were ignored, I am still upset that Godfrey was allowed to take office.

Curmudgeon said...


Well, Brett, whether you or I or anyone else thinks he was elected fair and square or not, the fact is, he was elected. We can dissect the election, the challenges, and all the rest 'til the cows come home. Won't change a thing, and constitutes, at this point I think, a distraction. Like it or not, and I don't particularly, Godfrey won, narrowly, and was duly installed for his third term. No one has been able to show that voting irregularities were so massive as to have overcome a 400 plus vote lead if rectified.

It's over, Brett. Didn't come out the way I wanted it to. But it's over.

Bruce Carl said...

A fine post, Mr. Curmudgeon. Even though I sometimes feel you ramble on and encompass much more information et al than is necessary to get your point across, you present your case well through logically tying in the facts, as you see them. I've noticed that you refute most generalizations and impassioned ramblings calling for someone's head because of interpretation of the blogger.

You are to be commended for your positions, even those that I disagree with, for you usually present all sides of an issue wrapped in sensibility.

Too bad the nuclei (sp?) of this blog can't see their way to do the same

the board nuclei said...

Hump off, dopey!

Ozboy said...

Ya Mr. Curmudgeon, just tell us like it is and forget the long winded proofs and rationales. Hey, we're Utanians, we don't need to know why, we just need some one higher in the food chain to tell us what it is. "Don't worry, be happy"

Steven R. said...

I noticed that Bruce Carl had no comeback to Brett's response to Bruce Carl's post about how smart the Child-Mayor is. It's too bad that Godfrey doesn't behave in accordance to the needs of his position. It would be nice to have a mature adult as mayor rather than a spoiled immature child.

Grow Up Godfrey said...

Right on, Steven. I can hear Boss Godfrey concerning the budget and ordinance that the Council approved,"Waaa! Waaa! Waaa! The Council wants to share responsibility for the City -- they won't let me be the big boss! I'll show them! No matter what it takes or who it hurts, I'll show them that I'm the boss! I don't care if the public did elect them -- they don't know what they're doing. I'm the only smart one in the city!"

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