Friday, June 05, 2009

Godfrey Tries in Vain to Displace Sewer Rate Hike Blame

Boss Godfrey dons a cheesy tri-cornered hat and screeches: "The environmentalists are coming!"

By Curmudgeon

The Friday Standard Examiner leads off with a front page story headlined in bold black type only slightly smaller than might be used to announce the imminent end of the world: "Godfrey deflects sewer rate hike blame." The way the SE treats the story [from its slightly inaccurate headline ---Godfrey is trying to displace blame --- to its front page placement] raises serious questions about the editors' news judgment.

Facing mounting public payments for the Saloman Center's construction bonds [which Godfrey assured the city it would never have to pay], facing serious questions about his diverting, without authorization, money from the newly adopted Water Horizons plan to build instead a water tank located to service his friends still-dreamed of condo development partly on city and WSU property, facing eroding support in the business community and the continue revelation of his poor business judgment [costing the city and its taxpayers millions], facing community complaints about his plans to shutter programs at the Marshall White Center, Hizzonah has retreated to the time-honored tactic of Red State Republican knuckle-draggers: he's donned a tri-cornered hat, mounted an aging nag and gone screaming off across the media shouting "the environmentalists are coming! The environmentalists are coming!" And the SE news editors have enlisted in his campaign.

The Mayor's decided the way to deflect public scrutiny of his failing administration, and the consequences for us all, is to concentrate on required federal limits on copper in treated sewage, and to blame the recent increase of sewer treatment rates in Ogden on them, and of course on "the environmentalists." You have to read way way down in the story to discover that the up-grade on the sewage treatment plant will increase its capacity about 40% to accommodate population growth in the area since it was built, and anticipated population growth in the near to medium term future. [Must be all those damned environmentalists breeding like rabbits who ran the population up so the water treatment plant would have to expand. Clever bastards! Thank God Hizzonah has found them out!]

Why, a story this important --- I know I've been rendered sleepless many a night of late worrying about environmentalists and their evil scheme to force us all to breath clean air and drink [and fish in and kayak on] clean water --- the bastards! --- certainly should have been the morning-after Council meeting main story, should it not? Not the trivial one about the Marshall White Center and the Mayor's attempts to shut down key programs there, or his failure --- yet again --- to keep the Council [and public] informed about what he was doing.

And so Hizzonah's little kabuki dance designed to deflect attention from his failures continues, with an able assist from what the SE editors laughing call their "news judgment." If this fails, as it will, we'll be hearing from Hizzonah shortly about how the sewage fee hikes are the fault of "the socialists" and their evil scheme to have sewage treatment plants publicly owned.

And the SE will doubtless assist with screaming front page headlines again.

Update 6/5/09 7:48 a.m. MT: Don't miss this topically related letter to the editor, in which SE reader Andrew Checketts puts his finger on the real problem here, e.g., Boss Godfrey's fiscally imprudent 2005 diversion of BDO lease revenue to his pet financial albatross, the Junction Money Pit.

18 comments:

taxpayer said...

Mayor Godfrey is the hypocrit. He preaches about the blue sky power program, natural gas operated city vehicles, hybrid vehicles.
He robs money from BDO funds that are designated for infrastructure, to pay debt on the Junction which he told everyone in his campaign for mayor would not cost taxpayer any money.

Who is the hypocrit?

Curious 1 said...

In reading comments from 2005 I see the same issues. More public access on channel 17, why does the city buy HUD homes and spend city money to fix them up thus taking them off the tax roles instead of private businesses taking them over like most cities.

As an Outdoor Recreation City blaming environmentalist will alienate those that are trying to be green. Our trail system and parks bring people from all over the county to use. Upgrading the sewer and the capacity for future growth seems like a worthy cause. My complaint is users rates going up every year with taxpayers monies from BDO going to pay off bonds for private businesses with leases not even re-couping building costs. A first year business student at Weber could write better contracts than Ogden city suits.

The City Council should have an independent audit of all departments since we keep hearing about secret slush funds in the administaration. They seem to come up with money for the mayors ideas and we need to know what services are cut. What was the final cost to refurbish the train car for the information station, and will the lease paymenets for the restaurant pay for the cities investment, what was the cost over run? What is water and trash revenue compared to actual cost?

althepal said...

If nothing else, you have to appreciate the irony of Godfrey, of all people, complaining about over-reaching government.

Too funny.

wildcat said...

Looking back through the comments from Nov 2005 that Rudi linked (2005 diversion of BDO lease revenue) I found this gem from someone quoting Godfrey.
In fact, during the final moments of Tuesday's meetings, he stated that over half of the old mall site has been committed to outside developers and that an infussion of some $100,000,000 is reasonable to expect.

ssw said...

What is not mentioned is that when the existing plant was built there were 2 or so contaminates that were required to be monitored.

That has changed in the past 50 years, after science has revealed that we need to do more to reduce discharge of contaminates if we are to have healthy rivers and steams. Two dozen or so contaminates are now monitored and our waterways are better for it.

Sewer board members, including the mayor are very well compensated for their time, they should be doing a better job at educating the public about sewer related issues instead of attacking sensible environmental requirements.

Base rates for water and sewer could be lower for Ogden citizens if BDO lease revenues were not pledged to pet projects. The 21% fee increase is unavoidable, but rates could certainly be lower if Ogden's finances were managed differently.

Danny said...

This was a nice write up from Curm.

People have talked about how the business community is backing away from Godfrey because he makes a fool out of himself, like he's done several times this week.

But I disagree with this theory. The business community, aka the Chamber of Commerce, is a pack of fools, for which Godfrey is a bird of a feather.

The business community is losing interest in Godfrey because his taxpayer money teats are drying up, and the business community parasites are drifting away, like flies leaving a drying piece of feces.

The city council is no longer bankrolling Godfrey's giveaways, so Godfrey's friends must go in search of a new host.

Bill C. said...

Due to the downed economy, maybe lying little matty should set up a swap-meet every weekend at the Junction, just east of the jackass center on the dirt lot that was going to be the gondola/water park hotel. It would actually be more effective in luring folks downtown than any of his previous schemes, his favored taco venders could realize more profits, and of course it would establish his firm standing as an enviromentalist. REDUCE, RE-USE and RE-CYCLE.
Perhaps the large Sunday crowds would encourage Neilson to open on Sundays.

Anonymous employee said...

Wildcat-I'm sure he meant that we have expect to infuse $100,000,000 in public money to show a commitment before all the private money starts rolling in-right? It's too bad that all those empty suits downtown don't have to live up to the no pay for performance program they dumped on the rest of us.

monotreme said...

You all need to just relax and go spend a half-hour in the iFly. Sure, it'll set you back a couple of hundred, but you'll be so happy from the High Adventure Experience free of the meddling environmentalists that you won't notice the bills piling up.

Comrade Ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

You sir are nothing but a damn naysayer.

Anyone with half a brain knows that the honorable Mayor Godfrey is a towering figure in the business world. His genius is undisputed in the halls of all the great western business colleges, his deal making feats are legendary amongst the top entrepreneurs of the civilized world. All great figures like our dear comrade Mayor are maligned by you effete so called intellectuals with your unreasonable demands for logic, honesty and competence in our leaders.

I was once a doubter like you, but fortunately I am saved. After sitting down with dear comrade Godfrey's top commissar and partaking in the delicious and healing kool aid, I have become convinced of the infallibility of the top leadership circles of the Godfreyite movement.

So ye of little faith, take a sip, you will like it and your life will change for the better. You will never again have to be burdened with the demands of that damnable rational thought again. You will be free at last.

George K said...

I was at the Council meeting Tuesday, and witnessed Godfrey’s loss of composure. His comments about the sewer rate increase were at first shocking until you looked at the whole picture. His actions and comments were those of a very desperate person who saw his house of cards and power tumbling before his eyes.
His comments about the sewer rate increase followed Mr. Schroeder’s comments. Mr. Schroeder must have hit a nerve in pointing out truthfully that the fault for the total fee by the Weber Central Sewer District being passed on to Ogden property owners because he had taken BDO funds which could have helped mitigate some of the cost and used them for HIS Salomon Center project. Why else would the Mayor feel the need to strike back at him?
The Mayor’s attack on Mr. Garcia was due in part to being caught in his lies and to divert attention from the way he sold the Marshall White Center out and away from himself to Mr. Garcia. His little kingdom is falling apart and he is scared!

Dan S. said...

George,

To clarify, I need to point out that I never brought up BDO in my comments, or made any attempt at all to place blame for our rising sewer rates. My only recommendation was that the council try to limit increases in water rates by refraining from building new water tanks that we don't need.

After reading today's article, however, I'm very much getting the impression that Ogden's sewer customers are being forced to subsidize growth in other parts of the county.

BAT_girl said...

OFF SUBJECT:
YES IT IS FRIDAY NIGHT.......almost
SO......do not miss the JOE MCQUEEN SHOW, at Universe City Gallery tonight. From 5pm-9pm. I posted the info here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/glasmann/3597753431/

That is in case you did not get, yet, your issue of JUNE 2009 OGDEN INDEPENDENT.

Caril & Ben Jennings always have great snacks and wine at their FIRST FRI NIGHT ART STROLL @ Universe City Gallery. So come on down and support the home team.

From the AD Sales TEAM of OGDENindie.com

Not FNURE said...

Dan Schroeder for Mayor in 2011!!!

Dan S. said...

Rudi, you're slipping! Plenty of red meat in today's paper yet nothing on WCF as of 8:15!

blackrulon said...

The diversion the mayor created does not answer my question. My combined water/sewer/refuse bill has increased +99% from April 2002 to May 2009. I recycle with the city, use the greenwaste program and onserve water(never exceed miminum amount). My services have not increased +99%. We have even lost the yearly citywide cleanup program. What have I gained with the huge price increase? This does not even include the new $3.92 to be on my new statement.

democrat said...

Does anybody believe this guy?

3 wheeler said...

Hey all. On a completely different topic: what a car show! I came downtown expecting to see a few cars, and some few dozen people, but the street was mostly packed.
It went until 9 easy, and a great time was had by everyone. I however missed the J McQueen show. I wish Ogden had an all in one location for all entertainment news and info. Is that the Independent now? I could have used Mrs. and Mr. Carol & Ben Jennings wine and cheese after the burgers and fries at the two bit street eatery. I have heard stories about the "upstairs private party" and the goings on with the teenagers up there. I should go check that out.

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