Monday, June 29, 2009

Important Marshall White Center Public Hearing Suddenly On Calendar This Morning

ATTENTION -- All Marshall White Center supporters!
Post Meeting Update: Matthew Godfrey: "Man of the People."

By Brett

Mayor Godfrey will be holding a "Mayor's Administrative Review Meeting" (MARM) this morning, 10:00 AM, in the "9th Floor Conference Room," Municipal Bldg., 2549 Washington Blvd.

The agenda includes: "Public hearing for the consideration of approving and ratifying of the Management Agreement and 2nd Amendment to Lease Agreement for the Marshall White Center building facility and immediately adjacent parking and yard area at 222 28th St."

We would remind Godfrey that the "Management Agreement and 2nd Amendment to Lease Agreement" does not comply with Ogden City policy, and therefore is illegal.

We have more news for Godfrey: The agreement and 2nd Amendment need to be ratified by the Council -- not him.

Is he just testing the Council? This meeting has the potential of being very interesting.

Remember this is a "public hearing" and everyone is invited! It will be interesting to see how he handles the crowd. Mr. Craig Hall, Attorney for the Council, tried to tell Godfrey that his conference room is not appropriate for this public hearing.

We all should be there so that if Godfrey takes the Council to court, this hopelessly late-scheduled "public hearing" will be another point against him.

Update 6/30/09 7:30 a.m. MT: This morning's Standard Examiner carries a Scott Schwebke story, confirming that Boss Godfrey continues to "stay the course" in his effort to turn the MWC over to OWCAP, notwithstanding the formidable public turnout of protesting MWC advocates at yesterday's Administrative Review Meeting, and despite continuing uncertainty about the future of the pool operation:
OWCAP will get center; pool still in limbo
Matthew Godfrey: "Man of the People." The looming Administration-Council showdown reels forward unabated.


Steven R said...


Thanks for the heads up. I did not see a notice for the meeting in the Standard Examiner.

althepal said...

Shouldn't this "public hearing" have been held BEFORE Godfrey signed these documents?

Brett said...

Yes, it should have been. Also Godfrey should have received a Fair Market Assessment before signing the lease agreement. But that's our boy! Take short cuts and hope you don't get caught. The only reason he is holding a public hearing at this late date, is because the Council pointed out to him that the City's code required it.

Curmudgeon said...


Mayor Godfrey's approach to city ordinances as they apply to the Mayor's office seems to be Leona Helmsley's approach to paying taxes: ""We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes ..."

She eventually discovered she was wrong about that. Whether Hizzonah eventually realizes he's wrong in the same way remains to be seen.

The Lovely Jennifer said...

Let them eat cake ... ??

Let Matt eat _____ ...

blackrulon said...

Was this an example of the new state law that has public notices being published on a web site instead of the local newspaper?

Bill C. said...

Actually Blackrulon these administrative reviews hardly qualify as a public hearing and have never been printed in the paper.
I believe that all thats required is posting a notice in the glass notice board in the recorders office 24 hours prior to the meeting.
This has been going on for a very long time and not only does it lack any real effort to notify the public, it's held in the tiny conference room on the 9th floor. The table seats apprx. 8 people and if nessisary some chairs are placed in the foyer where not a word of discussion can be heard.
I should also mention that the administration and City attorneys office occupy almost all of the seating, leaving none for the public.
This needs to be changed.

Monotreme said...

If the Little People are allowed to comment, then they might actually have input into the process, and we can't allow that, now can we?

(Some day, when it's slow around here, I'll tell y'all the story of a letter I got from Leona Helmsley who was in prison at the time.)

Brett said...

I just arrived back from the farce of a meeting. The hearing was only to meet the requirements -- he had already made up his mind. Nothing anyone said made any difference to him.
The seating was as Bill C. described, and sure enough those stuck in the hall complained that they could not hear. There was a lot more there than the ladies from the water aerobics class. We listened for 45 minutes as many poured their hearts out to him -- most were pleading to keep the pool open because those who attended the aerobics classes stayed and worked out in the fitness room and stayed for lunch, socializing with friends. Godfrey doesn't realize that this is a big event for them, because some are stuck at home or can't drive but have managed to find a ride with someone else who does aerobics.

Councilwoman Jeske was there and voiced concern that the youth who attended the Boys & Girls Club summer program would not have that outlet and activity this summer. She asked about the notice in the paper and said that she had checked the newspaper back to Friday. She was told that the public hearing had to be noticed 10 days prior to the meeting. When others asked questions and expected an answer, the Mayor replied that he would take notes and address all the questions at one time. There were about four men who made comment. A Mr. Kelly who runs some of the programs, said that he was against OWCAP managing MWC.
The Mayor closed by mentioning how successful the Union Station, the Marathon and the Ogden Pioneer Days celebration were since non-profit organizations were managing them. He said that he was doing this to help them and it only created headaches for him. (Poor runt!) Then he approved the contract and ratified it.
Councilwoman Jeske said that he had not addressed the policy and ordinance that the Council had approved on June 16th and that she had mentioned in her remarks. He said that he would (with that evil sneer of his), but that this was not the place.
The meeting adjourned about 11:15 AM, and quite a few of the ladies stayed and asked questions and talked to him.

fitness fanatic said...

The public announcement was in the June 13, 2009 Standard Examiner page 7D.
The meeting was a sham. There were 50-70 attendees. I was by the doorway and could barely hear. It has been clear up until now and continuing today that the mayor had already made up his mind. None of the alternative arrangements that he mentioned came close to dealing with the situation that the crowd was concerned with.
He claimed the pool that the East Central Planning Commission is considering on 22nd Street would replace the two current pools at the high schools in Ogden. (Is this indirectly relevant?)
Mr. Kelly, mentioned by Brett, is Kelly VanNoy, director of the Weber Area Agency on Aging

Curmudgeon said...

Be interesting to see if the SE covers the meeting, and if in its coverage it notes that these meetings are supposed to be held prior to contract signings, and that at today's meeting no accommodation was made to accommodate the large numbers attending [by moving to a larger room]. In short, it will be interesting to see if the story, if one runs, addresses the extraordinary nature of the meeting... or, put another way, it's sham-ness.

runningtoretirement said...

I too was at the meeting. In my opinion, the comments brought up by concerned citizens were not addressed by the Mayor. Particulary his solution by having all the seniors join Gold's Gym. Yeah sure. The monthly fee may be similar, but the amount paid per visit for those who don't go everyday is nowhere near equitable. Plus the difference between doing deep water aerobics in deep water and the same exercise in 6 feet of water is considerable unless you are under 5feet tall. (Which to him would be the same.) I feel the Mayor listened with closed ears and had already made up his mind. Which of course he did because the contract had already been signed.

Anonymous said...

Running to Retirement:

Thank you for your remarks. I am always curious to hear what interested citizens have to say.

OgdenLover said...

Just remember, in Godfrey's own words "this is not a Democracy, it's a Republic." He sees himself not as a representative of the 53% of the voters who barely kept him in office, but as the self-annointed savior who knows what is best for us.

Machman said...

"Just remember, in Godfrey's own words "this is not a Democracy, it's a Republic."

Don't ya think someone ought ta tell Major Godfrey that we "Are a Constitutionally limited Republic based upon democratic principles."

Our local Mayor says the same thing about not being a Democracy. I think they are singing from the same Ward hymnal.

TLJ said...

Someone should say to the mayor:

"Come, come, you talk greasily; your lips grow foul."


TLJ said...

Is this going to be addressed in the council meeting tonight? Is there a council meeting tonight? the website is updated only to April 2009 ... cannot find any information about city council meeting or agenda. New at this part, please help.


Dan S. said...


Yes, there's a council meeting tonight. The main agenda item is a $7 million adjustment to the budget for the fiscal year that ends today. One the many line items is the over-budget train car welcome center.

Curmudgeon said...

The over-budget train car welcome center: speaking of that, last time I came into Ogden on FR, I didn't notice any signage up indicating the train car was Ogden's welcome center and information place. The cafe was open and had signs for it up, and it's nice to have a place to grab some Java while waiting for a train... will be even nicer when winter sets in.

But the main justification for the expenditure was the rr car as an Ogden welcome center and info source for downtown, and I didn't see any sign up informing arriving passengers that that's what it was. [The entrance to the welcome center portion inexplicably faces away from the FR platform.]

Maybe it's changed since last I came in on FR and signage is now up. Will be doing a FR trip this week and will check.

Curmudgeon said...

I wish I could say I was surprised by the following from Hizzonah in Mr. Schwebke's story:

He went on to say that some at the public hearing may resent his decision. "You may leave this room and continue to hate me," Godfrey said. "I understand that and know that. But I'm willing to pay the price."

He's willing to pay the price? It's not the Mayor who will be paying the price of the closed pool and reduced MWC programs if the grants don't come through. It's the people of Ogden who use the MWC. But the Mayor believes he's the one making a sacrifice.

I was skeptical for a long time about those who posted here who claimed to know the Mayor, or to work for him, who argued that his take on everything was "it's really about him." My apologies to all of you. You were right.

BAT_girl said...

According to the managers of the Choo-Choo Kafe & Deli (train car cafe) they were supposed to receive a rack that would be stuffed, and re-filled regularly, with information on all aspects of tourism in OGDEN/ WEBER. I assume that would be the job of someone at the Ogden/ Weber.cvb, to see that the Choo-Choo get a rack and that it is stocked regularly with brochures and fliers on all Ogden/ Weber has to offer.

The C-C K & D knew when they opened that the metal Sculpture would go up. AND it did. A much greater feat than the delivery of an info rack and a SIGN facing the FR.

Curmudgeon said...

Bat Girl:

That's it? A rack of brochures? When this was first pitched, the idea was that part of the train car would be an Ogden Welcome Center. With much more than a rack. A desk, staffed, we were told, by WSU students getting credit for course work in business, etc.

All that money from the city, and the total impact for arriving travelers is a rack stuffed with brochures inside a cafe? That was not, BG, how the Administration pitched this to the citizens or the Council. It was to be a welcome center, staffed, with a cafe attached. Not a cafe with a welcome center attached, consisting of a rack of brochures.

Something is not adding up. Which is not unusual for the Godfrey administration.

BAT_girl said...

Hey, Curm, I do not take responsibility for ANYTHING the ADMINISTRATION OF OGDEN CITY or OGDEN CITY COUNCIL does. I do not live in Ogden; I cannot VOTE in Ogden.

I am only reporting what I was told by the owners of Choo-Choo Kafe and Deli. Who rent the space. THEY are not responsible for what OGDEN CITY said it was going to do. OR what OGDEN CITY or the CVB does or does NOT DO. I did not read all the articles on what the TRAIN CAR WELCOME CENTER was supposed to be.

Time for some OGDEN CITY RESIDENTS to do something about it. I am just the MESSENGER.

Curmudgeon said...


My comment wasn't aimed at you, or the RR cafe owner, and I'm sorry if it gave the impression it was. I was commenting [in re: the Administration] on what you reported. That's all.

This was a project sold to the Council with a very low ball estimate of what it would cost, and sold as a premier information center for arriving train passengers. A rack in a shop was not what we and the Council were told would result from the we now know high expenditure of public funds. The mis-information came from the Administration when it asked for funds for the project.

Again, my apologies if it seemed I was rounding on you or the merchant. I was not.

Al said...

Patterson also promised restroom facilities for Front Runner users. Apparently the business owner didn't get the memo and keeps the restroom facilities built with taxpayer dollars available to patrons only.

Looks like integrity-ridden Patterson has LIED to the Council yet again.

Cost- way over budget

Function as a welcome center- quite marginal

Staffed as promised- nope

Restrooms- available only if you buy something from this friend of administration in her taxpayer $$$ built facility

Oh, and by the way, the place was closed a few Saturdays back during the Ogden Arts Festival. What a joke.

Inquiring Mind said...

So what was the cost to date dollar amount that was presented to the council to build that welcome center/sandwich shop?

And are all the costs actually in yet?

I noticed two weeks ago the asphalt that was removed to put in the utility lines from the street to the building still hadn't been repaved in the parking lot. My guess is that will add another 10 to 20 grand to whatever the other costs are to date.

Curmudgeon said...


Came in on FR to Ogden this AM and it was as I suspected: there is nothing as you exit the platform to indicate that the RR car is a downtown Ogden information/welcome site. At least none that I could see. The only thing that looked like someplace to pick up, say, a walking map of Historic 25th Street was the old red wagon kiosk the train car was supposed to replace. The red wagon kiosk is still there.

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