Thursday, July 30, 2009

Boss Godfrey Crony John Gullo Comes through with a Cool 63 Grand

Our ethics-challenged mayor receives his much needed Ice Tower misappropriation bailout

Aha! That mysterious anonymous donor is now publicly unmasked. As gentle reader 4inchstelletos already tipped us in yesterday's comments section, Scott Schwebke reports this morning that Godfrey crony John Gullo stepped up yesterday with a $62,949 check, to replace the funds earlier pilfered by the administration from the city's capital improvement funds account:
Gullo covers Ogden ice tower's design with $62,949 check
Conspicuously absent from Mr. Gullo's generous donation, of course, is the additional $8,950 in accrued interest which Ogden was forced to cough up to Weber County, for use of the now disgorged $200 thousand in RAMP grant funds, which were held by the city during the period 2007-08. We suppose we can assume from this that even blind fanatic Godfreyite loyalty only goes so far.

And this still leaves an $8,950 hole in the capital improvements fund books, dunnit?

Who will be the first to comment?

115 comments:

Dream on said...

I can hardly wait for the backstabbing Gullo to ask for his money back in a couple of years.

Dan S. said...

Rudi,

I would assume that the interest paid back to RAMP was exactly the same interest that the RAMP money actually earned while sitting in the city's bank account. Of course, that amount would have been somewhat larger if all the money had remained in the account instead of being borrowed to cover design expenses. But that discrepancy would be quite a bit smaller than $8k.

RudiZink said...

Dan

Can we reasonably assume that even a portion of the $200 K grant was sitting idle in a bank account drawing interest for almost two years? Having been a Godfrey watcher for over four years, and having observed Godfrey as he moves money around and between projects and accounts, I'm not at all sure that this is a reasonable (or even a plausible) assumption, although I do have some appreciation for your point.

I'm from Missouri, dang it!

[wink]

monotreme said...

Ironic that today's S-E contains a story about Hollie Halacy, who stole a similar amount ($72,000) and despite promises to pay it back, was sentenced to jail time.

It truly breeds cynicism and contempt for the system when one class of criminal goes free and even prospers, while the other ends up in jail for the same crime.

blackrulon said...

The questions is why the cost of the ice tower rose from $120,000.00 to $1.8 million dollars. The cost overrun on the union station welcome center increased, a proposed solution to a claimed #300,000.00 golf course shortfall was $146 million dollars. Perhaps a examination of how these massive cost increased occured would be in order. The economic development office and the planning and engineering office might need some retraining. On a side note I noticed that Big Bubbas trailer manufacturing and sales have moved out of Ogden. It was located atthe corner of 12th and Wall where a new grocery store is slated to be built. I understand that they had to move from that location but with all of the vacant space and buildings in Ogden why couldn't someone from the city have convinced them to remain operating in Ogden. Goodbye to their tax dollars for the city.

althepal said...

This story is beginning to resemble an episode of "The Sopranos".

Bill C. said...

Blackrulon, there is nothing high adventure about making or selling trailors.

Dan S. said...

blackrulon,

The short explanation of the escalation of the ice tower cost is that they wanted to operate it in the summer, so they had to design a structure to enclose the climbing wall. The wall itself already exists and is sitting in storage somewhere. Jeff Lowe just wanted to set it up at Big D park at minimal expense. From what I understand, it was the city that decided it had to go downtown and be open year-round.

I don't have any special insight into your broader question about the administration's repeated low-ball cost estimates and subsequent overruns. It's SOP in many government agencies, however.

googlegirl said...

Woman gets year in jail for embezzling $72,000

Dan S. said...

Rudi,

The ice tower ledger that the city gave me in February shows $8950.68 in interest income for that account. Whether this income came from a bank or from some other city account, I have no idea.

RudiZink said...

LOL, Dan. I'll believe it when somebody GRAMAs the actual supporting bank statements.

Dan S. said...

Rudi,

GRAMA away. I share your skepticism, but I've got bigger fish to fry.

Ogden Dem said...

Curious as to whether the check was paid on Gullo's personal bank account or that of the Foundation he runs.

Joe Jones said...

Speculation, guess work and assunption seems to run rampant on this blog.

(1) The City pays back the design funds, plus interest, and there's the usual gripping about how much, there should have been more if ALL the money were sitting in the account, etc. For hell sakes, the interest that was paid back was what the $200k would have earned had it not been used. And that's all of the interest that was necessary--interest only on the principle, not the entire RAMP account. Geez, Dan S (maybe I took your meaning wrong, but you did so damn good with your Junction math/accounting, even changing my mind a little).

Then there's Big Bubba and his move. Anyone ever try to deal with Big Bubba except for buying a trailor? The City attempted to relocate him for over TWO (2) years--that's right, 2 years--because of the Wynco project that was trying to come to town. Wynco is more than a "grocery store," Blackrulon, it is a mega development and will rid the West side of Wall of all the deterioration between 12th & 17th and from Wall to Reeves, stimulating growth on the Northeast corner of 12th & Wall, adding property values to areas North of the Ogden River and increasing the tax base ten fold.
Poor old Bubba could not make the numbers work when the City showed him what was available, places like HURCO, etc. and he had already made plans to rebuild on a piece of personally owned property in Marriot/Slaterville. Alas, that crashed and he settled on another location. So off he goes, and he will be missed as he was a big taxpayer.

But you know what, he rented his 12th & Wall location, which the owner sold to the developer who was touting Wynco (along with all the other area owners).

Also effected, but not in that specific project, is the old cement plant at 17th & Wall, some 20 acreas of vacant, unused property that could stand a clean up and new development.

Comon guys, EVERYTHING isn't some clandestined venture designed just to rile you up. The goal is to rebuild much of Ogden's interior and make some revenue to support the public services.

Do you have any ideas on how to do that, other than complain about everything from the Junction to the "grocery store?"

Monotreme said...

Joe,

I appreciate your comments.

Still, the Godfreyistas miss the essential point over and over and over again.

It's not the outcome that matters (although I sometimes disagree with it), it's the process.

What we are criticizing is not the existence of the Junction, it was the way it was done.

The ice tower may or may not be a good idea. But the funding for the ice tower was not obtained in an open, transparent fashion.

Government should be run in a transparent fashion. You shouldn't have to submit 3 Brazilian GRAMA requests just to get the simplest thing, like an accounting of funds spent.

Dan S. said...

Joe,

I didn't bring up the questions about the interest--Rudi did. As I said, I've got bigger fish to fry.

drewmeister said...

The ends do not justify the means. Wynco will be a lovely addition to Godfrey's wack-a-mole game. I'm sure the Mom & Pop stores are thrilled. Prop up one deteriorated area, while four others just get worse and worse.

I miss Fred Meyer's.

Also, who the hell is John Gullo?

scam said...

John puts on the Hot Rockin 4th of July Celebration at the Ogden Rodeo Grounds.

It is staffed by volunteers, who are then given a portion of the profits for the local charities.

I believe the dollars that the charities recieve are a small amount, whil Good Ol John laughs his fat ass off all the way to the bank.

I guarantee he wouldnt be promoting it if he wasnt making a ton of money. So much for charity and giving to the community.

blackrulon said...

Joe Jones, As I drive through Ogden I see many unused and vacant properties. What is the purpose of the cities economic team if they cannot convince someone who currently operated in the city to remain. As to his alleged being difficult to work with I have no real knowled of the dealings with the owner. Do you? What is your relationship in dealing with him? There have been many people who have spoken about the difficulty dealing with the city on various business proposols. The result is that a business that contributed tax revenue to Ogden has moved out of town. Look at all of the vacant properties that remain empty.

Curmudgeon said...

Mono:

Sorry, but seems to me there is a substantial difference between the embezzlement story in the SE and Godfrey's slight-of-hand with the RAMP funds. The embezzlement was for personal benefit of the embezzler. Using the RAMP funds for ice tower design was using it for a public purpose [however ill-advised that public purpose might have been]. The difference between the two instances matters.

This is not to condone the Mayor's spending funds he was not authorized to spend for his Year Round Outdoor Ice Tower obsession. But it's not the same thing as embezzlement.

I do note that Godfrey's defense against the charge of spending public money [the RAMP funds] he was not authorized to spend is incompetence: that the Administration didn't know it wasn't permitted to use the RAMP funds for planning and design. Just as the Godfrey administration claimed it didn't know it couldn't use BDO funds [while the agreement with the Army was still in force] for non-BDO projects, which it did. [Then too, it had to return the money.] Pleading incompetence as a defense against worse is getting to be a habit with this administration. Hell of a thing....

Dan S. said...

Curm:

Are you plagiarizing comments from that guy flatlander who posts over at the S-E site?

As I said over there:

I don't see why it's worse to steal money for personal use than to steal it for what you call a "public purpose". Suppose I rob a bank so I can buy lab equipment for my students. Perhaps the judge will be a little sympathetic when I'm sentenced, but I very much doubt that the prosecutor will drop the charges. And many of the people who steal for personal use are much needier than my students.

Then there's the fact that mis-allocation of public funds undermines our very form of government, in which the legislative branch is supposed to appropriate funds while the executive branch spends the funds. By disregarding this principle of separation of powers, the Ogden administration has committed an additional crime against society.

When people commit violent crimes for "public" (political) purposes, we call it terrorism.

Curmudgeon said...

Dan S:

Since the SE reply to you covers matters so well, I'll post it here:

Sorry, Dan, but on this I think your analogies go way off the deep end.

First, no where did I suggest that anything anyone defines as a "public purpose" justifies whatever they do to pursue it. I remind you that the Ice Tower Project was (a) supported by RAMP (b) and supported, at least conditionally, by the City Council. I think the year round outdoor downtown ice tower idea is a foolish one, but it clearly was a public project, endorsed by Weber County and by the City Council and by the Godfrey Administration, all legitimate local public authorities. Your analogy to your stealing money to buy student lab supplies or terrorists blowing up buildings a "public purposes" are.... well, lame.

Second: you call the City's mis-application of RAMP funds to tower design "stealing." Again, that seems to me to be pushing the definition too far. Mis-application of funds [for a public project, not private gain], yes, and yes, the Administration should be held to account for doing that, particularly since playing fast and loose with designated funds and applying them to other purposes seems to be a habit with this Administration. RAMP did call the administration on the mis-use, and the City paid the funds back to RAMP with interest. Just as the Army called the Administration to account for is razzle dazzle with BDO funds some years ago. But I doubt very much anyone could win a conviction for theft on those grounds.

Who should call the Mayor to account then? That's the job of the City Council. I doubt it will take the job up. The other body that could "call the Administration to account" for its fiscal malfeasance/incompetence is the electorate. It got the chance to do that a year and a half ago and it decided not to.

Googler said...

John Gullo is the Burger King king of Ogden and the one who whined about remaining campaign donations to one candidate being passed on to another candidate a few months ago.

He was on the Ogden City School Board until last year and is behind the "Hot Rockin 4th" celebration.

More-

Gullo shares vision with students

googlegirl said...

WCF blog search - keywords: "John Gullo"

4inchstelletos said...

A little birdie told me the dough came from the Hot Rockin 4th funds. But it was just a little bird.

Curmudgeon said...

On Mr. Gullo's and his gift:

Doesn't matter much to me who Mr. Gullo supported in the last municipal election, or what businesses he runs, or what events he promotes, or what he complained about in the paper, or whether he is kind to small dogs and children: his donation has saved the taxpayers from having to pay the $63K of the public's money the administration spent, without authorization to do so, on the Matthew Godfrey Memorial Public Popsicle design. For that, Mr. Gullo merits, in my view, a hearty "thank you!" from the taxpayers of Junction City.

just a humble lumpencitizen said...

"...his donation has saved the taxpayers from having to pay the $63K of the public's money the administration spent..."

Bullcrap!

No it didn't Curm. It saved Godfrey from having to pay it back out of his own pocket, ferchrissakes!

I often wonder, Curmudgeon, not only how a smart Italian guy like you from New York could be such a gullible schmuck, but also which side of the Godfrey/Ogden taxpayer divide you really stand in.

Dontcha know nuttin?

Seriously!

grunion said...

i wish I could have listened in on the phone call where the Mayor tries to get himself off the hook for a grundle of cash by flopping over and asking the owner of what i consider the most disgusting "restaurant" in town for an amount totaling household income of two Ogden families.
or the yearly income of 12 burger king employees.

It sounds like Jeff Lowe should have kept swimming upstream and erected the ice climbing tower out at Dee Sports Park.

We would have a sweet place to climb in the city as an alternate to waterfall canyon, Godfrey would not have to have spent his own money on the failed downtown location, and instead of frying this small fish, we could be frying other, larger fish, from deep in the Mayors ice chest of bad/potentially illegal and smelly projects.

metaphorically. ;>

monotreme said...

Curm:

I'm sorry, I disagree.

As the oft-used saying goes, "we are a nation of laws, not of men".

You could try to argue, as Ms. Halacy's lawyer did, that her crime was less severe because she "only" stole from the State of Utah.

You could try to argue that Jean Valjean wasn't stealing, because the bread was used to feed his starving family.

You could try, but the law doesn't see it that way. Misallocation of funds is subject to the same penalties, regardless of the purpose it's put to.

I would argue that taking funds and putting them towards the Fortress of Mayoral Ego is a personal use. For example, if I ask my department head to buy photographs of me for each of my students, so they can post them in their bedrooms and genuflect to me each night before they go to bed, my department head would most likely refuse.

If I then turned around and shifted departmental funds into the purchase of those photographs without authorization, wouldn't you say I had committed a crime?

Whether or not the money went directly into my bank account or not, deliberately and willfully misappropriating funds is a crime. It's a felony if it's large enough, and $63K is definitely large enough to be a felony.

As the judge said to Ms. Halacy, "$72,000 is a lot of money."

F. Bertagnolli said...

Curmudgeon is NOT a Schmuck, which is an epithet from Jewish culture.

Among us Italians, he's what we'd call a mamaluke.

Try to keep your ethnic terminology straight.

Curmudgeon said...

Just a humble:

This "smart Italian guy... from New York " --- thanks for the compliment, by the way! [and it's Brooklyn, not NY; NY was where Yankee fans, Giants fans and other low types lived] --- has been around the political block often enough to know that expecting the City Atty or the County Atty or the state AG to go after the Mayor for criminal conduct on the RAMP expenditures are probably slim and none, tending toward none.

The Mayor's argument has been that his administration didn't know the RAMP funds couldn't be spent on planning and design. You may consider that a steaming pile of horse manure. Wouldn't blame you. Doubtless, many do. I, however, have become truly impressed by the incompetence of the the Godfrey administration, on display for many years now. And I think it's perfectly believable that they didn't know what they were doing. These are not smart guys.

And as I recall, RAMP altered the language in their grant awards to make it plainer that spending should not be used for planning and design, but only for actual construction. That they changed the language would be offered as evidence that the preceding language was not as clear as it should have been.

Curmudgeon said...

FB:

Thanks...I think?

Dan S. said...

Curmudgeon (and Flatlander):

Look, I honestly thought you were saying that the important distinction was whether the crime was committed for "personal benefit" or for a "public purpose". The point of my "analogies" was simply to show that this distinction is, at best, insufficient. You have now acknowledged that point by bringing in other factors. So let's consider those factors.

I agree that the issue here has nothing to do with whether we personally think the ice tower is a good idea. But it's equally irrelevant that both RAMP and the City Council gave the project some conditional "support". The fact is, in both cases, the funds were authorized only for actual construction of a real, physical ice tower--not for preliminary design work on a hypothetical, otherwise unfunded, ice tower. At no time did either entity authorize spending a penny of public funds on design work.

You're correct to point out that different criminal statutes might apply to the two different situations: perhaps some form of "theft" in one case and some form of "misuse of public funds" in the other. The word "stealing", to me, is not a precise legal term but rather an everyday term that can easily be applied to both. If you'd rather use a different term, that's fine with me.

We're still faced with the question of whether one is worse than the other. Based on what I know, my opinion is that what the Godfrey administration did is actually worse--because it was done by high-ranking public officials who were intentionally deceiving other officials and circumventing the separation of powers in our form of government. As I said over at the S-E site, that's a crime against society that goes beyond the financial harm.

Then there's the question of who holds the mayor accountable when he commits a crime (any crime). Unfortunately, the Utah Municipal Code does not allow for impeachment, so the only option for formal punishment (other than waiting for the next election) is the criminal justice system. However, many of us (city council, newspaper, and ordinary citizens) can help by acknowledging criminal behavior for what it is, and by publicly calling for accountability. Unfortunately, you're not making our job any easier.

Lance B. said...

Im coming a little late to the party, but wasnt it said earlier that an anonymous donor had paid that some time ago instead of just days ago?

Dan S. said...

Curm:

The "argument" that the city administration didn't know about the restrictions on use of RAMP funds may have been valid for the first few months, before RAMP explicitly objected to what they were doing. Then John Patterson wrote RAMP a letter saying the problem had been corrected and wouldn't happen again. That letter was an outright lie. The city kept right on spending the RAMP money for several months more.

So it wasn't just incompetence. It was intentional deception and misuse of funds. Same goes for after they refunded the RAMP grant, when they effectively used the money the city council had said couldn't be spent until after all the matching funds were raised.

Even now, the administration is still in violation of the council-approved appropriation language because the council has not authorized applying Gullo's donation to the ice tower account.

Curmudgeon said...

Dan:

The competent body to deal with the Mayor's ignoring Council-approved appropriations is... the Council. If they won't do the job, no one else will, I'm afraid.

In re: Mr. Patterson's letter. Surely you must be mistaken, for Mr. Patterson is pure of heart. He told us so.

Dan S. said...

Curm:

I assume you are proposing that the council pass some sort of resolution censuring the mayor. That would be purely symbolic but still worthwhile. In any case, they'll be more likely to act if we can all first agree that the administration committed a serious crime.

ernie the attorney said...

You're totally full of it, Curm. Here are the general rules in America, which represent the corpus delicti of the crime of embezzlement in most civilized jurisdictions in America:

Elements common to embezzlement are as follows: (1) the property must belong to a person other than the accused, such as an employer or principal; (2) the property must be converted subsequent to the defendant's original and lawful possession of it; (3) the defendant must be in a position of trust, so that the property is held by him or her pursuant to some fiduciary duty; and (4) the defendant must have an intent to defraud the owner at the time of the conversion.

Notably, the overwhelming body of American law on this subject doesn't seem to create an exception to this crime for those who don't receive personal pecuniary benefit, but who nevertheless steal in their fiducuary capacity for what they deem to be "the public good."

The gravamen of the crime of course, is the intrusion into the lawful owner's property rights... the taxpayers, in the instant case.

I unfortunately haven't been able to find the Utah statute on this, due to the fact that the Utah Code website keeps crashing my computer. And operating out of a different state, I don't have my own resources to look up the applicable Utah code sections.

Nevertheless, I believe it's obvious that Godfrey has committed the crime of embezzlement within the broad context of American jurisprudence.

Godfrey has committed a criminal act, as several other here have already pointed out. And the arrival of "the Italian guy from New York," with a bundle of cash in his briefcase, so to speak, doesn't absolve Godfrey from the crime that he tacitly admits (and the evidence shows) to have been already committed... although it is entertaining local political political theater.

You do however get it right in your last post, so I'll just say that you're not completely soft-headed, Curmudgeon.

Indeed its the council who needs to put Godfrey's feet to the fire on this.

If they don't do this, who will?

Surely not the heavily-conflicted sad sack city attorney Gary williams

How does the money flow said...

If indeed the money came from Hot rockin' fourth, then it also came from Ramp theoretically since Ramp helps fund this event. Now that is not right!

Curmudgeon said...

Ernie:

Two points: (a)from your list above defining embezzlement: "the defendant must have an intent to defraud the owner at the time of the conversion." That intent is what I think it would be difficult to establish against a claim of "innocent error." Spending subsequent to Mr. Pure Heart Patterson's letter might undercut that claim substantially, but I haven't examined the documents involved there or looked into the context/circumstances or who was responsible. Yet.

(b) We live, Ernie The A., in a political world of which prosecutorial discretion is a part. And in most places I've lived, public prosecutors have not been particularly willing to bring criminal charges for mis-application of funds such as occurred in re: the Ramp funds and the Matthew Godfrey Memorial Popcicle. Woulda/coulda/shoulda doesn't matter much. Will does. And, based on past performance [the lessons of the track have many real-life applications] I don't see now, much likelihood of criminal proceedings against Hizzonah on the RAMP funds matter, much willingness on the party of city/county/state attorneys to do it. Wouldn't be the least disappointed to be proven wrong on this, but I don't think it's likely.

Absent the City Council being willing to take legal action, I think it unlikely to happen, and part of the reason is most people, I think, would not consider what happened "theft" or "stealing" because the money didn't go into someone's pocket unearned. It wasn't a political pay-off. It wasn't the result of kickbacks [so far as we know]. No one got paid for doing nothing. The money went to pay for work on a public project endorsed by the County and the City Council and the Mayor's office. Wrong, yes. Criminally wrong in most people's eyes, probably not. That's one of the reasons that I think prosecution is unlikely.

F. Bertagnolli said...

"The money went to pay for work on a public project endorsed by the County and the City Council and the Mayor's office."

Balderdash Curm. The 63 grand submitted by Godfrey's New York Italian bagman, Mr. Gullo, was intended to accomplish one thing, and one thing only... to get the corrupt local political Boss out of an uncomfortable jam.

He'd been tapping the public till... and got caught red handed.

Don't be a mamaluke, il mio fratello italiano.

hotfoot said...

another item that the council must hold the mayors feet to the fire. another? i cant believe what this guy gets away with.

Curmudgeon said...

FB:

We're talking about different funds. My comments you quoted above described what the Administration spent the RAMP funds on, not to Mr. Gullo's donation. The RAMP money did go to "pay for work on a public project endorsed by the County and the City Council and the Mayor's office."

You want to argue that Mr. Gullo's donation was intended primarily to bail out a political crony of his from an embarrassing bind, and [possibly but not likely] a legal one, you won't get an argument from me. But it wasn't Mr. Gullo's donation I was talking about in the words you quoted.

blackrulon said...

I am wondering? Does this mean Mr. Gullo also has a pureheart similar to Mr. Patterson

Dan S. said...

Curm:

Please explain in more detail what action you feel the council should take, if it takes any action regarding this incident. You alluded to "legal action" above. But the council cannot initiate a criminal action, and any civil action at this point would probably be moot because of Gullo's donation. (What remedy would the council seek through the courts?) That's why I assumed earlier that you were merely thinking the council might pass a (purely symbolic) resolution censuring the administration. In any case, please enlighten me as to your thoughts.

Joe Jones said...

"Of course, that amount would have been somewaht larger if all the money had remained in the account instead of being borrowed to cover design expenses." Dan S, that is your quote, not Rudi's, from the second post on this log. I'm still not sure what your logic is, but it's YOUR logic and YOUR statement.

Mono, I totally agree: it'sthe process and it should be transparent. I think what bothers me are all the hypotheticals, like Blackrulon and his "grocery store" assumption and the implied suggestion that Big Bubba was just asked to leave to make way for said "grocery store." Believe me, it doesn't, and didn't, work that way. The City went to the extreme trying to relocate Bubba in town. Unfortunately, that didn't work because of several factors, and out of respect for those involved, I can't get into many of those. But as for the business end of things, Bubba was treated very well and the numbers flat didn't crunch. It was not a metter of of simply having many vacant buildings, it was size, location, flooring, the room to show and store the trailors, and the manufacturing thereof. Ya'll wouldn't be able to accomplish that in the old China Night building or on the East side of Washington. Developing is hard ball, and it takes more to do than simply driving around Ogden and spotting vacant buildings.

John Gullo--the first I heard of him was when he rented the vacant land in the old Mall/present Junction site, to put on some 2 or 3 day western concert between the 4th of July and the 24th of July. He had sod brought in, erected staging for his outside show, gave away tickets from here to Wyoming and Idaho, and wound up loosing about $550K. Not a good idea to put something on in this town between those dates, for people only have some many dollars to spend.

This concert morphed into the Hot Rocking 4th, which is benefit type affair. Gullo was, and I think still is, a seated member of the Ogden City School Board. He does much in the way of contributing money to our town, mostly backs the mayor, and seems to be a fairly reasonable guy.

Wynco, like many other giants, will have an effect on "Mom & Pop" stores, but the reality is a city with a budget like Ogden is hard pressed to rely on those alone.

Anyway, this is damn good dialogue and so far I haven't read any personalized attacks on anyone, which goes a long ways toward working our problems out.

Thanks for the informative posts.

Bill C. said...

Hey guys, Gullo aint the devil. As upsetting as it is to see a good person affiliate himself with lying scum like godfrey, Gullo is a good man, sincere in what he does and actually charitable to the core at heart. This aint no Val Southwick.
I gotta go with Curm on that one, good on Gullo.
But I'm with Dan on the need to acknowlege the real criminality of lying little matty's transgressions. This is not his first offense and it's high time all elected officials understand the serious responsibilty that comes with doing the peoples business. Throw the book at him.
And did I all ready inquire as to why the City has Gary Williams as council? Is he inept or just totally crooked?

Googleboy said...

Here ya go, Ernie.

Amazingly, Utah has no embezzlement statute per se. Ironic that the state that most needs such a thing is without one.

Googleboy discovered this by Googling, then paying $3.95 for, an archived reprint of an editorial in the Jan 10 2006 St. George Spectrum which reads, in part,

Part of the problem lies in Utah not having an embezzlement statute. Therefore, the crime is charged under a theft law that charges a person who's embezzled $5,000 or more with a second-degree felony with a maximum sentence of one to 15 years.

One problem is that the people who are convicted of these crimes rarely are forced to serve anything other than minimal penalties. Plea bargains are often offered for decreased charges in exchange for full reimbursements given upfront.

Reducing criminal charges and prison sentences for individuals who have the financial means to compensate for their theft is not justice when the principle is not applied to people without the resources to repay stolen money in a lump sum.

If a bank robber steals $50,000 and is caught, and all the money recovered instantly, is the thief's felony automatically decreased? Because embezzlement and theft are equal in the state of Utah, the consequences should be handled in the same manner, but they are not because embezzlement is considered a white-collar crime.


Still, embezzlement cases are prosecuted as theft, oftentimes theft of services.

Googleboy thinks this statute, "Wrongful Appropriation," is most relevant.

The above supports Mr. Howell's alarming assertion, over at the S-E website, that embezzlement in Utah is "a-ok" as long as one pays the money back. However, it puts the lie to his further assertion that "this is the way it's done everywhere". Googleboy has lived other places, and it most assuredly is NOT okay to embezzle "as long as you pay it back", wink, wink.

blackrulon said...

Joe Jones, I am not a economic development specialist but I can see all of the vacant property in Ogden. It seems to me that all emphasis is on the big score and not the small business that are the lifeblood of any community I do not know how hard anyone worked for Big Bubbas but I have a concern. What about all of the otherbusiness that has left Ogden in the past few years. Were all of them also difficult to please? All of the sunny projections of future business that would move to Ogden and use all of the vacant commercial space in downtown Ogden have not come about. I don't know how hard the economic team works but they are not very successful. Why not ask Riverdale or Layton what they did to be a success. How about letting people know why businesses are leaving. They all could not have been hard to please could they. You asked what ideas people had to bring business to Ogden, well it seems like the current team has failed. Lets bring in some new people and new ideas. The current team has failed. Lets get in some people who have been successful. Yes As I drive around the city I see more and more vacancies. That seems to be a clear indication of a failed approach. But then again I am only a taxpayer who pays his taxes and sees a increasing loss of city services.

Dan S. said...

Joe,

The discussion of the $8950 in interest was started by Rudi, on the front page. The line of mine that you quoted, and the line immediately before it which you did not quote, were written in response to what Rudi said on the front page.

disgusted said...

4inchstelletos

you got it right. hat off to you.

cheaper isnt better said...

Bill C:
And did I all ready inquire as to why the City has Gary Williams as council? Is he inept or just totally crooked?

Low Bid. Need I say more?

Curmudgeon said...

Dan:

I wouldn't begin to try to unravel the continually [to me] surprising twists of Utah municipal law. But I seem to recall in a previous discussion here at Internet Free Ogden [aka WCF] that the City Council had investigative powers of some sort. I presume the results of such an investigation could [depending on what they were] establish grounds for criminal charges and would as well provide some pressure [if properly publicized] on competent authorities to act. The conclusions of an investigation by the Ogden City Council of Godfrey Administrative actions would certainly be newsworthy. Even for the SE.

But have to tell you, I am continually surprised at what Utah municipal law permits, and what it doesn't. Utah, le state different.

disgusted said...

Joe Jones,

what happens to the stop and shop on 12th and washington when the wynco opens.

how will the walmart super store effect wynco being only 8 blocks away.

also why did the city fund the clean up for 1 million dollars at 12th and wall for the developer. is the developer underfunded and if so what does that mean for the success of the project.

the city is supposed to be paid back if their legal dept can collect and how much of the residents money will be expended to collect.

im not the fan of the 12th street and wall development that you are i guess. to me i see another closed store like fred meyers only this time it will be 12th and washington.

makes as much sense to me as moving wells fargo to a new building and now having a vacant building. please help me with my logic.

monotreme said...

Curm:

A citizen stood up in the public comments section on April 21 and asked for a City Council investigation of FNURE and the 36th Street water tank fiasco.

The power of investigation is given by Utah Code as mentioned in this city council document. (This document has mysteriously vanished from the revamped city website.)

Nothing happened.

leslie said...

i am sickened by this mayors incompetence. i can only wonder what next week will bring.

Curmudgeon said...

Mono:

As I said up thread a ways, I didn't expect the City Council to take on the job. But it can, apparently, if it wants to. Thanks for the link and reference.

Danny said...

Joe Jones and Blackrulon,

The discussion ignores the central element that it should not be up to the government who buys and sells and what business goes where.

The idea of how well the city worked with Big Bubba's ignores the fact that the city should not have been deciding they would move in the first place.

This city has lost manufacturing left and right because it was not "trendy" to have where it was. Now there is nothing. Either way, the city screwed it up like the incompetents that they always are and always have been.

They should not be treating all of us like pawns on their chess board, which is how they treat us.

That is why so many have left and will leave. That is the central issue. How come I always have to be the one pointing that out?

It appears Americans do not deserve the freedoms they have. After all these years, they still don't understand it.

Dan S. said...

Curm:

In the case of FNURE, a city council investigation could potentially uncover facts that are not currently known. But such an investigation would be politically difficult when one of the accused is a sitting council member. It would also be expensive, since they'd need a lot of legal assistance to get subpoenas and depositions and such.

In the case of the ice tower spending, I think everyone knows all the relevant facts. So an "investigation" would be merely for show. Easier and cheaper to dispense with the investigation and just pass a resolution saying the administration was bad.

In both instances, the council would have no authority whatsoever to initiate any criminal prosecution. But it could keep the issue in the news and might prompt someone to prosecute nevertheless.

Curmudgeon said...

Dan:

You wrote: by investigating the Mayor's unauthorized spending of taxpayer money for his downtown year round outdoor popsicle project, the Council "could keep the issue in the news and might prompt someone to prosecute nevertheless." That seems to be pretty much what I said too, que no?

Danny said...

Dan and Curm,

Sadly, I feel the council views such activity as being "contentious" and that "contention is of the devil" or "is not productive" or something like that.

They are still largely are oblivious to the fact that to keep such things in the spotlight through a formal investigation has a valid public purpose. That being the same purpose as keeping area lights on at night - it discourages the bad people.

They should investigate the expenditure of money for the never-approved ice tombstone, as well as Envision Ogden, the Ogden Community Foundation, the money that goes to the Geigers and to Sue Wilkerson and every other odious activity of the mayor. This would discourage such activity and encourage ethical behavior, which is a valid public purpose.

Godfrey's view is the same as that of many children. If people let him get away with it, then they have no right to complain about it. As bizarre as it seems, many people's view of morality boils down to nothing more than that.

The city council not only should investigate Godfrey, they are not fulfilling their responsibility to their constituents when they pass on investigating him.

R Grant said...

Godfrey prays at night about the decsiions he makes regarding his responsibilities as Mayor of Ogden. He takes into consideration the law of the land, his constituents opinions, the regional financial situation, and any other pertinent information.
But ultimately any elected representartive who is also a faithful Latterday Saint, he follows the word of his prophet and the promptings of the spirit first and formost.
This is a preview of the type of management that the nation would experience with a Mormon president.
Think about it.

Curmudgeon said...

Danny:

The problem with the very broad investigation you are urging on the Council is that such unfocused investigations (a) take forever (b) often bog down and never get completed at all, and (c) because they involve so many issues, people who disagree with any part of the investigation often dismiss the entire thing as unfounded.

What usually works better is a more limited and better focused investigation looking into one matter only. The RAMP funds issue would be a good one for the Council to look into. It's a direct matter, easily understood, there is much evidence on the record easily gotten to, it could be completed relatively quickly, and could become the basis for a new ordinances [the rationale for legislative investigations, generally]. Shotgunning an inquiry all over the place looking at multiple issues at the same time is not likely to succeed at the Council level even if it agreed to do it, which it won't.

But a look at the RAMP funds matter it might well take up, since it relates directly to the allocation of funds [the Council's role in which is at issue in Tuesday night's vote on the MWC]. Current,topical, focused. Something good might come of it.

Dan S. said...

Curm:

I still don't understand what there is to "investigate" in the ice tower matter. What questions would the council ask that we don't already know the answers to?

Top of Utah said...

The city council should look towards changing city policy to ensure that in the future, no matter who is at the wheel of this crazy clown car called Ogden City Government, this sort of malfeasance is difficult, prosecutable, and unheard of.

Short of that occurring, the future administrations, no matter how well meaning, will fall prey to their own egos and agendas.

Blaine Carl said...

I don't understand why YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND, Danny! It wasn't the City that decided Bubba should move; Bubba was FORCED to move when the guy who ownde the property Big Bubba's Trailors sold the land. Bubba HAD to move, pal, and the City had nothing to do with it.

Incidentally, the developer bought many of the adjoining parcels and combined them together in order to try and produce a mega-development. That is still in the works (Wynco, etc.).

So, like you say, I don't know why you have to keep pointing these things out, but on this one you're flat wrong. Do your research beofre you make a bunch of scurilous accusations.

what will it cost us said...

If the developer had the money to buy the parcels why did the city have to pay $1M for the clean up when an empty building sits across the street with a huge parking lot?

This $1M could of gone to fixing the streets and sewer instead they raise ever home ownres rates. When will Ogden city residents start crying about their bills with ever rate increase caused by the mayors follies?

A small strip mall could of gone in there and take up less space than a large market.

go after the money makers said...

Yes Blaine Carl, but the city coughed up a cool million for hazardous waste clean up on the property owned by Gary Baur who bought it for around 250K some 15-20 years ago and sold it to the developer for around 4.5 million.
During his ownership Baur has profited immensley from rents, and dividing up the property.

Why isnt he responsible for the clean up? and why the heck does the city have to pay? I would think that all of the past owners would be responsible for the cost of clean up, Baur even owns or owned a Haz_Mat clean up business, called Lincoln Envrionmental. Who knows, his business may be responsible for disposing their cleaned up spills and dumping them on the property.

It seems like Baur ought to be paying the costs, not the taxpayers.

Curmudgeon said...

Dan:

Because "what everybody knows" is not sufficient grounds to accomplish anything. An examination to establish a time line, how the decision was made to use the RAMP funds, who was involved in the decision, whether was any notice given to any Council member, and to see if payments were made subsequent to the Pure Heart letter to RAMP, who authorized them, and [possibly] more. A systematic look, with a report laying it out, might -- not necessarily would, but might -- clarify matters for non-wonks, generate press coverage, and form the basis of revised ordinances. "What everybody knows" isn't sufficient grounds, as a rule, to accomplish any of that.

Dan S. said...

Curm:

I apologize for using the word "everyone" ambiguously. I meant "everyone on the council who cares".

I certainly agree that it would be good for the council to make some noise about this, write a report, maybe even interrogate Patterson in a public meeting. Now: What can we do to push them toward that action?

Blaine Carl said...

There are times, when a private developer begins a project, and one of the first steps is to go through the environmental process, that a city, to assist the developer, will bear some of those costs--and then be repaid as the project moves forth.

The same can be said about the relocation of various businesses in the development area--the city will pay the initial fees and then either be reimbursed or get it's money back from the various taxes involved (sales, property).

I believe the the CED makes those calls and that department exists to aid in eliminating depressed properties by replacing them with viable properties.

Maybe that's why the City is helping with the 12th and Wall clean up. As for a vacant store on 12th and Washington, are you refering to the fact that Wynco's maybe locating on Wall will effect Stop and Shop to closure?

I don't know how to answer many of these questions about the effects of development in Ogden, but it happens here, just as in other cities, and much of the time the outcome is positive. Nobody likes to see a new, mega-complex run a local out of business, but how do we deal with Target, WalMart, and the other giants that come in? We can't blame it all on the Administration or the Council, and the City does need the revenue to apy for the public services.

Any ideas?

disgusted said...

Blaine Carl

what a bunch of fluff. you nether answered the questions as to how it would effect existing businesses nor provided a legitimate reason for why the city spent the first million on something where the city may never get their money back. sales tax and property tax my foot.

Picard said...

Blaine,

You are correct as regards municipal policy nation wide, giving free land and tax free land to businesses who might agree to bring higher paying jobs to the community and make exemptions on various zoning requirements in order to allow a business to become profitable sooner to increase the tax base.
This is a trend that, not coincidentally, coincided with the largest redistribution of wealth from private citizenry towards mega nationals over the last 20 years. And no, no one who lives in Weber County is really wealthy at all; so it was lose-lose.
There was no "trickling down" sound to be heard.

This giveaway, in hindsight statistically, has turned out to have far-reaching and long term negative consequences for the communities that were duped by promises that never materialized, jobs that payed far less than promised, empty large structures that used to house a PETCO and "insert vacuous brand here", and mom and pop stores run out of business by stores that raise their prices as soon as that mom and pop close shop.

If you want a truly free market, which seems to be some sort of a mantra to those who forget company towns and feudalism, please, at least have businesses pay their own business start up expenses.

The tax payer has had enough of giving private enterprises their money. And don't let them threaten the citizenry with simply relocating to Harrisville or Boise.

I think you will find the same cost benefit analysis occurring all across the west.

Persons dollars are welcome if they come here flush to run their own business.
Otherwise, the door is right over there.

Blaine Carl said...

Disgusted--why is it fluff because I admit I can't answer the questions of "effect," except that the big conglomerates that move in often do put much stress on the small, local stores. Why be ticked at me because that's what happens. Why not give us your idea, since you know so damn much?

And what the hell do you know about re-payment plans for environmental cleanups or the City's ability to get that "million dollars" through Federal Grants, etc.?

Any of this work it's way through your fluff filled pea brain, pal?

You're just another definitive example of someone who spouts off because he feels he knows everything but in fact knows very little. Your "handle" (name you post under) gives you away.

Blaine Carl said...

Absolutely right on, Picard. A couple of considerations to add to your comments: (1) the municipalities are more prone to help a private developer, who buys and then improves (environmentals, infrastructure, etc.) at his own risk, then either sells or builds out to or for the mega=store; (occassionally, but rarely, will a municipality do the same if the mega-store is the developer (such as the case with WalMart on 20th & Wall). Pur old pal, Gadi, took the developmental risk, and after all was in place, such as the purchase, environmentals, improvements, City zoning, UDOT requirements, all at Gadi's nickle, by the by, WalMart BOYGHT the land from him and away Gadi went.

The City helped Gadi acquire the land through Options and some testings, but the dollars were paid back and absorbed by Gadi and the risk was ultimately his and his alone.

I'm not extolling Leshem's virtues; I'm merely using this as an example (maybe even old Disgusted can take something away from this but I doubt it--he knows too much to learn anything).

Anyway, thanks for your astute comments. Thought provoking and on point.

disgusted said...

Blaine Carl

first not ticked at you but your logic. a zero net gain is a zero net gain except in this case its even less than zero in that the residents are out their fearless leaders contribution from our pockets. and as for giving my thoughts as to what should be done you must be new to this blog because im not shy on my comments or suggestions. i believe it was you that asked what should we do going forward at the junction and if you go back to that article you will see where i made two recommendations. granted neither would be what godfrey or his minions or mostly you would like.

as for the clean up you better get your facts straight before you post here. the city is expecting to get its reimbursement not from any federal grant program but from the former owner of the property which was a dairy company.

and as calling me a pea brain werent you just a while ago railing everyone on the blog for doing just that. i.e. talking about people that spout off about things they dont have all the facts on and resorting to name calling. you are you own worst hypocrite. i see lots of people come to this blog to defend their icon mayor but it almost always ends up with them attacking everyone based on an emotional arguments rather than objectivity and facts.

good luck man because without logic or knowledge youre left to being a follower. and you know what they say about that. i.e. the view never changes.

disgusted said...

Blaine Carl

ah yes good old gadi. once again the city did not do their due diligence on the guy or else wed surely have picked a better partner. as for him taking all the risk here again you should check you facts because the last word i had was the city still had some of the land options that were not paid for by gadi so the city was still out the money. of course since you seem to know more than anyone else so you could bring us up to date as to how many of those options the city still has.

and again you miss the bigger picture in that fact that the city strong armed people into selling thier property and in one case forced a business that wanted to be part of the transformation of that area out of business because he was not a fom. im sorry but thats not the rules that i expect out leaders to play by nor the way to run a city.

and where has this gotten us. well now were told the property and most but not all of the options are in the hands of a group of unknown investors and we dont know who they are or what their financial capability is to complete the project or when they will even start it and we dont have the ability to do due diligence on them either. so because of the outstanding contracting of the citys bd department we are in limbo. once again contracting with the assumption that nothing can go wrong and not incorporating contract language to protect the residents in case something does go wrong. when will these people that are supposed to be looking after the business aspect of this city ever learn.

Blaine Carl said...

Well Disgusted, you've really taken me to task, haven't you? And, believe it or not, I agree--with some of what you've given me the old razor strap for.

(1) My apologies for calling you a peabrain (emtions ran a bit high when you called my comments a "bunch of fluff" and accussed me of not answering some questions that my prior post said I didn't have the answer to). So often, I read on this blog these personalized attacks on the Mayor, et al, as being the answer instead of the answer being fact based. I thought, as I drank my first morning coffee, that you were one of these guys; but as I read your posts, it's obvious you know much, not everything, but much. At least we didn't trade barbs such as "steaming pile of excrement" and "scum sucker," terms that do little to further the poster's message. Anyway, my apologies. I'm learning to get a grip on my emotions over this.

(2) You're right, a dairy group (the DFA) is the bunch that might be paying for some of the clean-up on 12th & Wall--not the entire site, but their property. Contamination can migrate, and if it does and it effects a neighbor, then THAT has to be proven in court. But, as it stands, the DFA probably has to foot a portion of the bill. From my information, this is under negotiation and has yet to be decided. I doubt nobody wants to accept the blame for contamination, for that blame spreads and the acceptor therefore owns much of what else is found.

(2a) There are various grants that a municipality can acquire that will help pay and/or defray the environmental mitigation. There's also a little know number that, if the municipality OWNS the property, the Feds or State will clean it up for them. If not, the municipality can look at the increase in Sales Tax and/or Property Tax that will offset said clean-up costs. That is what I meant when I introduced the "tax" thing into my dialogue. A pretty good trade off, especially when one considers the other business that decide to locate in the area of a mega-complex.

(3) Mr. Disgusted, I don't claim to "know more than anybody else," but having had some experience in this area, I thought that sharing such information would further the discussion.

(4) As for Gadi, your partially correct--there are some parcels that the City still has options on and that Gadi/Ogden haven't as of yet flipped. But ALL parcels effecting WalMart have been, and those are the ones, along with the others that will need to be improved before they can become part of this complete scenario, will be Gadi's responsibility.

Me thinks we're but 2 rams butting heads over some wording volleyball. I'm not an blinder wearing apologogist for the Mayor but I do think there is more to many of these deals than many people know and that meets the eye--especially those who would crucify him were he to pull them from a burning house because he happened to be in that vicinity instead of a council meeting.

Hope this buries the hatchet and we can have civil discourse in the future. You present good argument.

disgusted said...

Blaine Carl

i merely pointed out some of the comments that you made were not accurate and yet you presented them as if they were.

with regards to soil contamination the partys responsibility does not end at their property line as you would suggest and usually the only time the government steps in is if that responsible party is not financially capable of performing the task. i.e. insolvent. you mention that drf is probably responsible for only part of the bill which would suggest that if you know what youre talking about that not all of the contamination would have been caused by drf but also by an unknown previous tenants and/or landowners. you also mention negotiations with drf which usually means an out of court settlements which usually means less that 100 cents on the dollar.

but that is exactly to my point. without knowing all the responsible parties the city will be on the hook to mount a legal search to locate those parties or the federal government will try before they expend their money and all of this will require our legal department to spend large amounts of time and money developing this effort not to mention that most parties will fight to keep themselves excluded from the responsibilty. this means time and a lot of it and in the mean time the city is out the money and the time value of the money until they get what ever they are going to get and all of the legal costs. the city should not have taken up this role in the first place but rather the developer or land owner should have. this action by the city did not speed up or facilitate the development it simple cost the residents a lot of money.

but here again you miss the big picture. what is the city doing in the first place assisting the developing of this property when its development has a very good chance of driving out of business another similar business that generates sales tax revenues and pays property taxes. taxes that might actually be higher because washington property is more valuable that wall property. this is my point the administration does not think about the ramifications of their actions. they simple think that new is better. if this turns out to be a zero net gain on sales tax revenue and property taxes paid because this development causes another to close have we gained anything. and if we as a city invested a million dollars to end up right where we are now on total income revenues was that a smart decision.

as far as other businesses establishing there are you sure that will happen. maybe a few small strip mall businesses but if you are think of a real contributor i don’t see it. i think winco is even going to have a hard time trying to buy its way into the market when you think that a super walmart will only be 8 blocks to the south and two other grocery stores are 10 blocks to the north and stop and shop is 3 blocks to the east. in my option the city would have been far better served had the administration up those dollars that it spent on this clean up into getting someone into the old fred meyer building. that way we would still have the trailer company revenues which was a major contributor to the city revenues and we wouldn’t have a boarded up building diagonally across the street from this location.

disgusted said...

Blaine Carl

you state “having had some experience in this area, I thought that sharing such information would further the discussion”. im not sure that i buy that explanation but i do think you believe it.

now moving on to the river project you say im partially correct for saying that the city still owns some of the property options. a comment that i made regarding the city still being out money on this project because the city still owns property rights. hum that sounds to me that you are admitting i am right. or else you believe there is such a thing as being partially pregnant.

and there you go again not seeing the big picture. as i stated before gadi was not thoroughly vetted. and the administration in their haste to do a deal gave away the store in the development agreement and an agreement that even gave gadi the exclusive rights to development. so here we are now with gadi in control of the project when it should be in the hands of the city but our fine bd department didn’t think something like this could happen. total incompetence. the city even had the area redistricted and rezoned so they could come up with new regulations that were more flexible for the developer than in other parts of the city. i went to the city planning commission and the city council to warn them that if they signed it as it was that the city would have no ability to maneuver. but they signed it anyway under pressure from the administration.

doesn’t it scare you even a little that gadi is now determining who takes over his contract for our citys prime development location instead of the city calling the shots itself or the city determining who will develop it or when it will happen. whoever master minded this contract should be fire immediately but that was probably our mayor.

im not a blind antagonist to the mayor except when he does things without thinking of the cost or consequence to other businesses or to the quality of life of the residents of odgen. unfortunately for the residents that most of the time.

Blaine Carl stop defending this guy and start seeing the big picture. none of us here are anti-government or anti-development were just about doing it wisely fairly and openly.

ozboy said...

BC

You say that Gadi took all this risk and put all this money up to package the deal for a Wall Mart, and it seems to me that you are implying that he did this all on the come in arms length transactions. The good old American way otherwise.

But, what if Gadi's involvement was not arms length? What if he was doing this with strong insider info and cooperation from the Mayor's office? What if there wasn't really much risk in his involvement?
I don't know, but considering the history of WallMart, the area and the city's involvement with both, I rather suspect all is not as you think it is with Gadi and that deal.

Just curious, but what do you really think Gadi put into this deal - out of his pocket - and how much of it was really at risk?

I'm of the opinion that none of the inner circle of the Godfreyites ever has much personal skin in any of the myriad of projects they have enlisted the tax payers into. The sad part is that most of them are first in line for any possible profits, or they profit handsomely from the doing of the deals.

Dan S. said...

Folks, regarding Leshem's properties, let's distinguish between the west side of Wall Avenue and the east.

On the west side of wall I'm not aware of the city being involved in any options. However, the city did rezone the property for Leshem's benefit, before telling anyone that he planned to sell most of it to Walmart. That saved him the hassle of petitioning the city for a rezone and being questioned by the Planning Commission and City Council.

On the east side the city bought a bunch of options and transferred them to Leshem. This is the River Project area where the arsons are occurring. Redevelopment of this area seems to be totally stalled.

Blaine Carl said...

Part I

Dan S pretty much cleared up the Gadi/option deal. Gadi was optioning and closing properties, through a realtor, on the West side of Wall long before he and the City got together in their quest to lure WalMart back to town. If you remember, after the original site was tossed out, due to public protests and disention, West Haven landed Ogden's then to be WalMart. The WalMart project was then moved North a couple of blocks. Gadi put up MUCH of the money for Options, Contracts, Closings and land improvements, the City jumped and helped with some financing, and was then paid back when Gadi sold the improved land to WalMart. There remains some parcels that run along the South bank of Ogden River that are still in the works, including, I believe, the Northern Exposure. Those parcels are NOT part of the WalMart Complex, but I think are part of the River Wal/Renaissance Village development.

Also, the City, as Dan S. says, is currently holding some options east of Wall, in the River Project, the area ya'll refer to as Gadiville, along with Gadi and some LLCs. It's anyones guess how that will resolve, and I'm not the one to predict such resolution. I'm merely offering my opinion on some unknown factors and stating the facts, as I know them, on some of the business dealings that went down.

So "Digusted," I think I do see the big picture and I'm simply commenting on it, even though I admit that I don't know how it will be fixed. You seem to jump feet first into the fray, with criticisms aimed at those who offer opinion AND fact, so here's a question for one who comes across as knowing it all and chastising those who have a disenting view: Do you know how to fix it? Granted, I do agree that much was not done according to Hoile (sp?), but that's history. And no, there was a lot left to be disired with the Due Diligence, or lack of. But again, that history and it ain't my fault. But don't get on my ass because I share some factual information for the blogs consideration. Just because I bring my thoughts to light shouldn't cause you to go nuclear on me.

Blaine Carl said...

Part II

Also, I'm quite sure your version of events, laws, situations and the like, is not 100% on the money either--in fact, I know it isn't.

Point:
I'll bet the ranch that everything you post is not 100% accurate, just as your statements regarding the "drf," as you call it, is completely inaccurate. The name of the organization you refer to, the same organization that we've been talking about and whose flipping some of the bill to mitigate the contamination on the Wynco site, is the "DFA," pal, not the "dfr." The DFA stands for the Dairy Farmers of America); but you know what, you made a mistake and I'm not going to suggest, like you ridiculed me, that you lack the "big picture." You made a mistake, even though you try to come across as knowing everything (sound familiar), and I'll let that pass because we all aren't perfect. We're simply having a discussion that could be better served without the barbs.

Point:
When contamination migrates from one property to another, finding the source can be extremely difficult and then very hard to prove whose responsibility it really is. Is it the present owner's? Is it a past owner's )if so, which past owner--these things go back to the turn of the century, especially in that part of town)? What kind of contamination is it--carbon, petroleum, or what? When did the contamination occur? How did the contamination occur? Once that's determined, usually through geo-probes and then lab analysis (very costly, very, very costly), how has this contamination wound up where it has? Has it followed an aquafer from the original source for years? Or did it originate where it is from past owners? And what then happens if that original source is now defunct, out of business, gone like dust in the wind. You, Mr. Disgusted, indicate that I suggest only the DFA is responsible for the Wynco site contamination, but I believe you missed my point here. I mentioned that environmental situations often end up in court, wherein what I explained above would be ferreted out. Also, as many former businesses make up the Wynco site, it's really just plain damn obvious that some of them may have been contamination contributors. I didn't think I needed to point that out to someone who proclaims such intelect as you--I thought that that would have been an understood, that you would have been able to grasp such and comment on it reasonably instead of shooting a warning shot over my bow.

I absolutely have "experience" in these environmental situations, whether you believe it or not, or I would not have posted such and placed myself in a position for someone like you to chastize me. By now, after tossing you an olive branch that looks like it wound up in your fireplace, your opinion of my opinion matters not to me. What it suggests is that you don't know any more than you feel I know. In fact, when it comes to the above details, I think your basically lacking in the facts and many fundamentals. But, let's move on.

I think you're so pissed off about what happened in the past, with the Godfreyites, Gadi and that gang, that anyone who offers a thought that's contrary to yours will be brought to task and told he or she is considered either a fool or bullshitter.

Ah well, it takes all kinds to make the world go round--so while you sit here ridiculing and parsing words and ideas, the beat goes on and Ogden marches forward, albeit not as you'd like to see. Get over it and try not to be quite as antagonistic and disagreeable as you are.

One other thing: take a look at the businesses that located around the Harrisville WalMart. Ya think the same thing will happen on 20th & Wall, or maybe at Wynco if Wynco is the mega-complex that does indeed build there?

disgusted said...

Blaine Carl

part 1

contrary to your comment. you have offered no opinions or suggestions as to how to move forward only some facts and excuses for the citys actions with regards to the river project that i referred to. that being east of wall. but you did provided some misinformation that i cleared up.

i still don’t think you see the big picture but ill give you credit for knowing some of the details. a big difference. the city should when ever it looks at a development by its own written procedures be considering the effects of such development on the other business in the area and the effect on the residents as specified in the general plan and the specific community plan. none of this happens and as such we are building buildings and simply moving tenants from across the street from older building into newer building or replacing existing businesses with new businesses. net zero gain. new is not necessarily more money. or we are scrapping community plans in favor of a development in the name of progress when that isn’t the motivation at all. the administration forgets that the city is about the residents not the developers.

you asked once what should be done to improve things around to city and i made the following suggestions. that the city should stop any further involvement in any new bd projects that aren’t already in construction. second the city should reduce the bd department to a skeleton staff thus saving the money to pay for other projects already on the books that are not performing as anticipated. its the right thing to do for the city. be honest the bd department has done a terrible job and the city is way over staffed in that department in this economy. that department alone has a budget of over a million dollars and is controlling several million dollars of city money. reducing the size and activity of this one department could go a long way toward solving other city monetary issues.

disgusted said...

Blaine Carl

part 2

as to dfr verses dfa. let me just say that theres a big difference in a spelling error and a factual error. i am guilty of the first and you are guilty of the second. end of that point.

and as for the contamination issue youre my best support for the comment that i made that the city had no business stepping into the middle of this. the city did the clean up and is now supposed to untangle all of the stuff you mentioned in order to get paid. this could take years and cost large amounts of money and at the end of the day we may not ever get paid in full. how smart was that. read the last paragraphs of the previous post above as to what i really think of the citys bd department. oh and as to your experience in the environmental arena i think that’s great but so do i and i cant stand the stuff so im glad you like it because it not the area i want to work in even though im forced to at times.

to date all that has happened at 12th and wall is the city has spent a million dollars to clean up a piece of property that the city does not own. winco is still not committed to the location as last i heard. do you know differently. if winco does not build there what is the process for the city to get repaid or has the city just made the land owner a wealthy man with the city looking to someone other than him to get reimbursed. since youre in the know possibly you could let us in on how this might unfold. big picture again though i mentioned that the city would have been better off spending the money to get someone into the old fred meyer location and build a megaplex around that building. what are your thought on my idea.

am i upset with some of the past decisions by our administration. yes they have cost me and other residents a lot of money. have i put an effort into trying to figure out whats going on. yes because their spending our money and effecting our lifestyle. and when i see the city making the same mistakes over and over again do i get vocal. yes because doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is insane. am i upset at the world or ogden. no. am i disagreeable. only when i hear misinformation or blind faith or unsound judgments that effects others.

i love being in the process even more than blogging and i love ogden. how about you.

disgusted said...

Blaine Carl

youre right i don’t know everything about what goes on in the city but im always on a quest to know more. maybe you can help me and others know more on some issues that you know more than i or we don’t know as much as we would like to if you know.

for example im confused as to the total ownership issue on the river project east of wall by recent statements in the paper by gadi. in the paper a while back gadi said that he had just accumulated the property for others and the se said that the others had the mortgages held at the centennial bank here in town but the bank wouldn’t identify the owners of the mortgages. do you know who those entities or individuals are and how many of the properties they hold.

also i think the friday july 31 blog attached video raises the same concerns that i have for the current situation going on at the location. the se created video suggests forced enforcement of the citys code on property management at that location. do you agree.

Blaine Carl said...

Ah--civility. Mucho gracias (now, please gentle readers, don't take that as being in any way a racial comment-I've said and heard it said for years by my non-Spanish friends).

OK, then, here we go. Nice response, Disgusted, but we still have a difference of, what, semantics, probably more than facts.

(1) I'm not a big fan of doing environmentals, but I've done my share, due to job duties, and therefore, I know something about which I speak. As you know, the work is hard and expensive.

(2) If the City has really popped for the Wynco, it will have only been for the DFA portion, and the developer will get stuck with the bill I'd THINK. I know the developer, his company has a tremendous reputation, has started and completed many developments, and I'm sure he'll stand by the improvement expenses (isn't that how these guys make their money?) And if they don't land Wynco, there are others waiting in the wings-not champing at the bit-but waiting in the wings.

(3) There is some real movement on the old Fred Myers, regardless of whether Wynco or whoever locates across the street. The City (BD) has invested both time and money attempting to locate a tenant for that building/complex. But, in today's economy, there are not many majors relocating or opening new stores, but BD continues on working toward that end (I don't know how transparent "work in progress" is, but maybe you should check out what's being done in that regard-I do know this, that if a BD representative approaches a property owner about acquiring his or her property, the owner suddenly sees "deep pockets" and the price sky-rockets; so some things, because of the money and business involved, may not be part of the record until they become part of the record). Don't be surprised to see a tenant announced soon. Keep in mind, however, that most majors would rather build a new floor plan than convert an older one-this has proven to be a big problem at Fred's.

(4) Whether you think so or not, I see the big picture. I'm not justifying any of the ill-gotten ways that some of these Wall Avenue developments, or others, have moved forward. And yes, it's a cry shame that new developments effect "Mom & Pop," but development happens, it always has SOME negative effect on SOMEBODY, and I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT THAT, but it happens. The only way to prevent this would be to stop new development and hope the natives can should the tax burden that pays for our Public Services. Maybe you'd rather see a property tax increase or something, huh?

Now, you keep chastising me about the above answer and I keep telling you I don't have it. Rather, simply presenting some alternatives as to why and how things might have happened that are not Godfrey's personal fault. As for the answer to your question about what now, and in the future, to do about these kinds of things: I haven't the foggiest- do you? I believe I asked you that a couple of posts ago but so far you haven't answered except to say that a City shouldn't get involved (paraphrased and summarized).

As for Ogden, I'm a native, I love the City and have stayed here, instead of spending my life on the beach. I have gotten involved in civic affairs and given back to a city I feel has had a tremendous past and hopefully a tremendous future.

Blaine Carl said...

One other thing, Disgusted--you might want to check out the BD budget and then let everyone know who these millions in payroll dollars are going to.

I'll tell you this: one, good, solid development that the BD puts together, one like, say Fresenius, will pay the BD payroll for years to come, not to mention the millions that it will put in the General Fund.

Don't be too hard on the City departments--they all have jobs to do and do them quite well--besides paying for themselves.

Blaine Carl said...

Ozboy, I have no idea how much money Gadi put into the WalMart project. I do know that, via a "fly on the wall," that many of the businesses the City approached to talk Option with (and once optioned, those Options would be assigned to Gadi, along with contacts obligating Gadi would repay the option consideration and execute the option terms therein), had already been approached by Gadi to either Option them or purchase them. Gadi had already either optioned or contracted many of those properties, from that white, deteriorating warehouse on the NW corner of 20th & Wall (the one with the black moose in front) to the junk car lots that abounded that area near and along the Ogden River, and he'd done so with the help of a realtor and with his own money, long before the City got involved.

But to answer your question, I don't know the dollar amount he spent or he made when he sold the improved land to WalMart. I do know that a similar circumstance presented itself with the River Project, east of Wall. Once Gadi got in trouble, with the California Worker's Comp Fund, things there ground to a halt. From what I hear, there are things in the work that will transfer those properties to another owner/optionee and then maybe, I stress MAYBE, that project will move forward. And hasn't Obama's stimulus package thrown a million or so into some initial river clean-up costs?

I want to state that I am not an apologist or an excuser for either the Mayor or Gadi, but there are some facts that seem to be overlooked on this blog. Many on this blog prejudiced toward both. Livid, would be a better word, and in some cases, there's good reason to be justifably so. But, there's also other circumstances that come into play that can't, or won't, be seen by those who are just absolutely rabidly sure that every deal and or pitfall is due to the Mayor and his cronies putting things together in smoke filled, back rooms.

As for BD, which Disgusted seems to want eliminated, if that were to happen, what then? Who would some board chairman, who wants to relocate in Ogden, call for guidance and help? All business aren't Descente and the like--nope, many are huge, major leaguers wanting to reap the benefits of a growing and expanding city like Ogden. Progress is going to happen, like it or not, and a municipality needs a CED/BD. That department does an invaluable service to our community, and the personel are both business oriented and ethical (some exceptionsfrom the past being duley noted but the names won't be used to protect the guilty--although, they did get some things done, at a cost).

During the good old RR days, due to its residents, Ogden had a pretty damn good name: banking/Eccles; railroad/Bills; news media/Glassman; arms & munitions/Browning; beer & beverages/Becker & Scocroft; finance & construction/the Dees and Goddards; clothing & mills/the Buehlers & Binghams; slavage/Smith; sugar & grains/Benning; along with many other accomplished families and individuals who turned heads for real. Maybe some of our past has not been forgotten by those outside of our fine city and now they might be encouraged to see the beginning of Ogden's restoration and rebirth and feel that this might be a good place to do business again.

Hope I won't be crucified for daring to suggest some of my thoughts for the blog's gentle readers' consideration, but if I am please use a carbon fiber cross. We need the wood for our Winter fires.

ozboy said...

BC

It would be interesting to see if any or all of those august families you mentioned gained their wealth through tax payer financed ventures, or did they do it the old fashioned way by hard work, smart work and private financing. It seems that these days all the Ogden deal makers are looking for the government to take all the risk in their ventures.

Take Boyer as an example. They own at least 50% of Ogden's significant business action yet I am of the opinion that they have nothing at risk in any of the several deals they have going here. I have read several of the contracts between the city and Boyer and the only common theme seems to be that the tax payers are most at risk.

Now I assume you will come back on that and say that Boyer is responsible for all the buildings at the Junction and therefore they are at risk. I don't know for sure, but I strongly suspect that all of those buildings were built with OPM (other people's money) which if true still means that Boyer themselves are not at risk. All of their project costs, including loan interests and carrying costs on the buildings, are guaranteed out of first moneys before the city ever sees a dime out of the junction. All of their building financing comes off the top which means the partnership between them and the city pays for the buildings, not Boyer alone. Like Gadi, Boyer may not really "own" any of the buildings! Smart guys for sure, but are they really good for Ogden citizens like the Eccles, Glassmans, Brownings, etc were?

If the junction fails, and I certainly hope it doesn't, but if it does the only real losers are going to be the tax payers of Ogden. Can the same be said for any of the ventures of any of those families from the past?

We are already apparently taking it in the shorts for many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, on the Junction and yet the Godfreyites are claiming it as a success. Of course they also claimed the Union Square condo deal a success even though it lost around two million dollars for the city. It seems to me that the whole Godfreyite movement feeds on self delusion so I guess I shouldn't be surprised at their definition of "success".

I also would like to take exception to another point you made earlier. That is where you repeated the old idea that the only option to a city becoming active participants in risky development would be for the citizens to foot higher tax bills. That if the city didn't become a business the tax payers would have to suffer big time. (I don't mean to put words in your mouth, but this is how I read your statement)
I think this idea is faulty and is somewhat responsible for the mess so many cities and governments are in today. In Ogden's case it appears to me that the citizens are much worse off now with Ogden City the business empire than we were before with Ogden City the municipality. In other words, I think Mayor Godfey and his insider brain trust have created a huge business mess and that politician make pretty poor business tycoons in general. If those hundreds of thousands, certainly destined to be millions, that tax payers of Ogden are going to eat on the junction were spent on infrastructure, like the BDO money was supposed to do, then the citizens of Ogden would be one heck of a lot better off than they are now and most likely would be paying less in city taxes to boot.

So anyway BC, you are a refreshing new presence on the WCF in my opinion. Hope you hang around with us flame throwers and grenadiers for awhile, we need a little new and intelligent input.

Monotreme said...

Blaine Carl:

Pardon my cynicism, but given the Godfrey Administration's track record of gross incompetence [Curm's version] or malfeasance [my version, possibly Dan's as well] on grants administration, I would not hold any great hopes for the $1M in River Project money to come through or be properly used.

In any case, here's the link. The money is given from the Feds to the State, and the State administers the grant and monitors compliance -- just like they did with the American Can grant which was to be used to fund a high-tech educational center. You do know that Amer Sports is a high-tech education provider, don't you?

There are about a half-dozen other examples of Mayor Godfrey botching grants administration, and I won't even mention except in passing Hatch Act compliance, but Curm and Andy Howell would have you believe it's all a big misunderstanding. There's nothing wrong with what they're doing, Mayor Godfrey and Mr. Patterson are just a mite bewildered about ethics and the law.

disgusted said...

Blaine Carl

you state that it is not godfreys fault which then leads me to assume that the bd department must be the responsible party.

i must have hit a nerve when i said reduce the bd budget. and i didn’t say eliminate it just significantly reduce it. i know of multi-billion dollar public companies not 100 million dollar cities that have smaller bd budgets than ogden city and get a heck of a lot more good work done. i don’t expect you to come up with better ideas or even different ideas because yours are already on the table. but also don’t get philosophical with us when your plans go way off course because the money youre play with belongs to us residents.

as for the bd departments payroll budget go to the state logs of ogden city employee pay that was posted here a week or two ago and add up the salaries of the individuals with titles listed as reporting to the bd department and then add in a few administrative people and a little over head and see what number you come up with or better yet go look at the 2009-2010 budget that was recently presented to the city council and look at the numbers there. the budget is out of control.

but more importantly is their lack of effectiveness and their lack of competence. some one once told me that its never to hard to sell a gallon of gasoline for two dollars a gallon when everyone else is selling it for two and a half dollars a gallon. that is in effect exactly what the bd department has done for the last 5 years and apparently is still trying to do. this department has a terrible track record for putting together good deals. they don’t know when they are in a buyers market or when they have a sellers market. its all the same to them. they cant anticipate anything and the constantly give away the store. they make the same mistakes over and over and over. they never construct contracts that provide outs for the city should the other party not perform as promised and they never plan for anything other than total success in the project . in short no plan b. they always put the residents money up front and the residents money being the first at risk.

the city would be smart to let most of the department go and form a new smaller department staffed with individuals that have a better handle on what they are doing. i know you don’t want to consider this option because pretty sure that it might have a personal effect on you. sorry if i hurt you feeling.

Marion said...

disgusted

You sure got that right! The two Boyer contracts, BDO and Junction, are so completely one sided they would be laughable if I were not on the hook along with all the citizens of Ogden. I was originally in favor of the Junction especially as the mayor repeatedly told us that we would not be financially responsible no matter what happened. Sadly as it turns out he and the business development office lied to us about that and a number of other important issues. The more I look at the past performance of that office and the mayor, the more I am in agreement with your evaluation of them.

Blaine Carl said...

Osboy, Mono, Disgusted, et al, here we go again--Mayor Godfrey this, Mayor Godfrey that, and in many cases absolutely, deservedly so. But my point is, are there not other factors that enter into the equation of failed and or stalled projects that should be considered? I believe there are, even though they probably don't carry the negative weight of some of the Godfrey Administration antics that ya'll so despise. Here again, please don't take me for an apologist or a defender of the Mayor or his bunch, even though some of my wording might suggest otherwise. I'm merely pointing out that more items than some of Godfrey's machinations have to be considered.

Also, I don't advocate a City turning itself into a venture capitalist or a business developer. My premise is that if the big boys don't come to town, then how do we increase our City revenue? Through an increase in property taxes, sales taxes, assessments, etc? Some way we have to raise the dollars in order to pay for these public services and infrastructure that Ogden and other cities so direly need. And if some mega-conglomerates locate here, even if it hurts the occassional "Mom & Pop" (which nobody likes to see), then that's one way to raise. No one likes the negative effects that the big boys coming to town puts on some of the locals, but its going to happen and there's not much we can do about it except to keep supporting the little guys. I do....I buy locally as much as possible (Grounds & The Daily Risen not Starbucks, for example).

As for those august families I mentioned, there's no doubt in my mind that they earned their money the old fashioned way. Through hard work and community relations. I simply brought them up because I feel that through their efforts, they did much to put Ogden on the map. From its inception through the 60s, Ogden was a well known city, both statewide and nationally. But like so many other towns, Ogden stagnated in or around the 70s. Once the RR left, it stopped growing and began an economic decline. This once proud bastion of growth, politics and economic progress, progress born and bred through the businesses run by those afore mentioned families and the work ethic of its citizens, began to sink into a state of economic and environmental obsolesence. Swift and Park Meats left, the 2nd Street Arsenal closed, the Ogden Yards, which was a huge national hub (handling the Sp, the Up, the D&RG by the Ogden Union Railway & Depot Company)declined, First Security and Thiokol moved their headquarters out of town, Commercial Security Bank closed, Marquart disappeared, along with White Trucking and others. Ogden became like so many other cities--this once, thriving and well known city was now set upon by economic and urban decay, a city that, due to those august families and its citizenry, had once been a moving, intoxicating and thriving city on the move.

And so it sat, a couple of decades of stagnation. But now, the city seems to be in a renaissance. The Eccles Center, the Egyptian (too bad they didn't keep the Orpheum), Lindquist Field and the Raptors, the revitalization of 25th Street, the Union Station. Damn, things seem to be happening.

My hope is that, because at one time Ogden had been so fondly looked upon because of the doings of the people, the RR hub, those families and others, some of the big time conglomerates might just want to give us another shot because of the past and the things that are happening in the present.

Well, it's late and my time today has come. I've truely enjoyed the dialogue, the ideas and thoughts you've presented, and Disgusted, if ya don't mind, we can maybe discuss the BD manana.

Nite all. Hope we can move Ogden forward.

Monotreme said...

Blaine Carl:

I can't speak for the others, but as far as grants administration goes, Mayor Godfrey is the chief executive officer and John Patterson is the chief administrative officer of Ogden City, as they both like to remind us constantly.

In that role, they are each responsible for the receipt and disbursement of grant monies in a fashion consistent with the guidelines in place at the time the grant is issued.

End of story.

Bill C. said...

Blind blain, I seem to detect that you admit that lying little matty and the rest of his henchmen are dishonest and have had many crooked dealings. That said, if you have any integrety, how can you go to such great lengths to constantly defend them?
At some point don't you see that as a reflection on yourself?

disgusted said...

Blaine Carl

in your second paragraph you once again state your mantra that small mom and pops operations are casualties of economics. don’t disagree but its disheartening to think that the community that you helped build is the one that through subsidies helps your new competition drive you out of business. ive never stated an opposition to the mega stores that are coming or the thought that they are particularly bad but you keep harping on the point as thought that is my issue. you need to read what is written not what you want to take out of what is written.

but your underlying suggestion that a strong big bd department is needed to attract big business is naïve. do you think the city of corrine utah had even one bd guy when the folks of walmart decided to build a distribution warehouse out there or do you think it was the smooth talking of the ogden bd department that convinced flying j to move from brigham city to ogden or do you think that lazy boy or Nucor steel set up shop in brigham city because of the huge efforts of a large bd department in brigham city. companies do their own due diligence and their own needs play more of a role in their selection of the location where they are going to open up shop. its only when it comes down to the hair splitting of a couple of locations that the bd department should be getting into the process. in ogden we are chasing and not just the pretty ones but the city rather acts like its closing time.

also the bd department is too quick to blame the lack of success of their projects on the slow economy but totally ignore or acknowledge the fact that many of the projects that were initiated in ogden fell into their laps during the good times with little or no real effort on their part. the department was too busy patting themselves on their backs to even do the due diligence. case in point adams aircraft. unfortunately for the residents of ogden the bd department assumed the good times would role on forever so they didn’t write in any safe guards into any of the contracts or even weed out the weak projects or developers. pure naivety and/or incompetence.

RudiZink said...

"...in ogden we are chasing and not just the pretty ones but the city rather acts like its closing time."

Brilliant.

Wish I'd been the one to come up with that.

Blaine Carl said...

Mono, you're right. Godfrey is the CEO and Patterson is the CAO. Sorry for the typo. And, any Grant money should be used for its designated purpose. As I've said, I'm not a Godfrey defender, I'm just introducing other factors that play various roles in some of these projects and are rarely, if ever, considered on this blog due to the anti-bias (is there such a word/phrase) toward the Mayor.

Mr. Zink--don't we all "cherry pick" at times?

And now for Mr. Bill "the golfer" C, who continuously refers to me as "blind blaine." Billy m'boy, I think it's you who can't see. You are wearing blinders, son, that allow you to view only that that you want to see. If you could see, you would have been able to read that I'm neither an apologist nor a defender of the illegalities perpetrated by Godfrey or some of his bunch. You'd also come to read that I don't condone such transgressions. I don't know how many times I've had to write that on this blog, but I'm finished explaining myself to a clown like you. You have no idea of the integrity of which you speak, for if you did, your posts would reflect civility and dignity rather than the causticity that is always present.

And guess what..your facts ain't always 100% right either. I doubt you know as much about Harmer as you claim. If you did, you'd eat your words for men like Harmer are rare indeed. Their stand up guys and don't crawl out of the woodwork as people like yourself do.

Disgusted, I have a.m. work to do today, but I surely want to discuss the BD with you. Hope it can wait until later..Maybe this Bill C guy will be taking his afternoon nap and won't wade in on an important discussion (wink).

ozboy said...

Well, being an old member of the 101st I just had to weigh in - again - and make the 101st comment on this thread!

Blain, you are not the only one on this blog who occasionally defends the mayor and his circle. Mr. Curmudgeon, the "Mother Teressa of the WCF" as defined by the late great Jason W., does it all the time. He of course also smacks the clowns down when he thinks they deserve it. I would do the same, but I just don't have the stomach for blowing kisses to evil and corrupt people - even when they do occasionally stop and help an old lady across the street.

Keep em coming BC, if nothing else you are provocative and informative. Maybe with enough time on the WCF you can learn the finer points of flame throwing. Try it, you might like it!

Joe Jones said...

Well said Ozboy....who-ya!

I've been reading these former dust-ups between BC and the others and they do make for good reads. It seems, except for this Bill C character, who laces his comments with insulting remarks instead of provacative debate, the others, like yourself, Monotreme, Mother Teressa, understand the objective is to present civil discourse.

Go Army!

RudiZink said...

Good point, Joe Jones. I'll add that I've been monitoring the posts on this and other WCF threads with some trepidation. And I agree. It's high time for all WCF posters, newcomers and long-term alike, to start recognising that Blaine Carl has become a "regular" here on Weber County Forum.

Accordingly, I'll strongly suggest that all posters here avoid flaming Mister Carl, whom we'll now regard as a "regular."

"Regulars" of course, are always accorded special respect and protection here at Weber County Forum.

Let's ditch the cheap slams, name calling and epithets, people. Let's accord Mr. Carl the same courtesies which we extend to all other WCF "regulars."

It's possible to graciously "agree to disagree," by the way, "without being disagreeable..."

Food for thought.

Just a little "heads-up" from your ever-harried blogmeister.

Blaine Carl said...

I appreciate your comments, Rudi. This seems like a fine blog, a good place to share and debate ideas without the "flame jobs," as thery're called, simply because somebody disagrees with one's premise.

Quality response, rather than insulting remarks, seem to further the dialogue and give those the respect due.

Hey, I'm just another guy going bald, but I have some thoughts I'd like to share and then hear a well worded discussion about what I've portrayed rather than taking a bullet from some guy I don't even know but whose obviously prejudiced against anything positive written about the Administration.

So, to continue:

Disgusted and Ozboy responded to one of my posts about the "skin" Boyer has, or has not, in the Junction. I think, think mind you, that Boyer is on the hook for some of the costs of the build out of many of the buildings. I do recall that the City would have had to fork over the money necessary to add floorsa 5 & 6 to the Wells Fargo building, and in hindsight that would have been a disaster. But as for how much skin, I really don't know. I do recall reading that the lease is heavily weighted in Boyer's favor, but those things happen. Good business on Boyer's end; not so good on Ogden.

Now, the IRS is a different story. When the IRS selects a city in which to build its offices, it comes up with various sites where those offices will be located. The building of those offices, the site selection, the improvements, the interior and exterior of the building are extremely specific, and the construction, etc. is governed by what's called an SRO or SFO. This publication even instructs the builder on what material to use and where to position the water fountains. The IRS also has a caveate: a developer MUST pay for and own the complex, so the municipality can collect the property taxes. The IRS leases the place, but, even though it may insist on the complex having 300,000 sq. ft., it will only commit to leasing 100,000 sq. ft. Therein lies the risk. The City can't afford to take this risk so the City tries to find a developer who will. This is usually not difficult, as the first 100,000 (and I use these figures for arguments sake) is gauanteed by the IRS--and the IRS will most often come in and lease the remaining square footage in the future.

But this might answer Ozboys's and Disgusted's questions about what project has the City been involved with but does not own? Well, It's the IRS Phases I & II (the Boyer Company is the landlord/owner) and Phase III has yet to be decided.

I should run this by Bill C to ensure that I both know my facts and am not lying, but I'll let this one speak for itself. Sorry, I couldn't resist and I'll refrain from taking anymore shots at those who shoot at me.

PEACE!

BC said...

One other thought: all of the above is done by the Department of Business Development. That is the liason between the City and the IRS.

ozboy said...

BC

I still think that Boyer has no risk in the Junction. I have read the contracts between the city and Boyer on this project, in fact I just reviewed them again the other day when I was talking to Dan S about them. Dan was skeptical about this very aspect of those agreements (yes plural, there are two of them that cover different aspects of the project), so reviewed them and pointed out to Dan the sections that said any loans Boyer incurs for buildings will be payer for by the partnership, not Boyer. I also pointed out where Boyer can put the underlying RDA (citizen owned) land up as collateral on any loans they unilaterally take out for buildings.

So I guess my take on that is - why in hell would Boyer, a very smart group of people, put any of their own money in the deal, or take any individual risk, is they could lay that off on the partnership?

disgusted said...

Blaine Carl

so you came up with one example in the irs building and by your own description the irs came did their own selection of what city to place the buildings in. it was not the work of the bd department.

but what about the 10 fold other projects where the city not only made the introduction but also put the first dollars and first dollars at risk into the project. residents dollars i might add and not small dollars either. for example the buildings that boyer built at the junction as pointed out by ozboy. i could name many others but you know what im talking about besides the fact that weve already talked about several of these types of other projects.

in your option are projects that put major amounts of residents money at risk the type of projects the city should be involved in and should these high risk ventures be thought of as a positive reflection of the administration.

ozboy said...

I think this IRS angle, and the context it is being discussed in here might be a little wrong? Not for sure on this.

It occurs to me that the IRS already had a very long term presence in Ogden City going back to when Godfrey was still in diapers, maybe even before he was born, and that their move closer to town was merely an expansion of their existing facility. I was also under the impression that this move within the city was worked out under the previous administration.

If any of my impressions are true, then it seems like the so called business development department of Ogden City didn't have much impact on it one way or the other.

I'm also under the impression that the Godfreyites have a long history of taking credit for things that they didn't necessarily have anything to do with. I remember having this debate on the State Senate web site with that rubber stamper Jorgenson a few years ago wherein he was basically claiming a large and ridiculous number of Godfrey "successes" and when challenged on them folded his tent and skulked off without providing any proof of his claims. By the way, the moderator of that neocon republican site had to chastise the councilman for being such a bad sport during those exchanges!

RudiZink said...

Special note to Mr. Carl and Disgusted:

The current article will be automatically falling off the front page tomorrow morning, due to our blog setting which automaticly displays an article on the front page for only seven days.

You guys have been engaged in a useful and lively discussion which many of our readers have been watching however; so the last thing that we'd like to see would be the killing off of this great discussion.

In that connection, please be advised that I've embeddeed this article in our right sidebar "Hot Topics" module, under the title "John Gullo Bailout."

If you're inclined to carry on your most interesting conversation (and I hope you are), this comments thread will remain easily accessible there.

Blaine Carl said...

Disgusted, you must have read my post wrong. I did say that the IRS makes the selection of the city, and then that's it. THE REST falls to the City (the BD in this case) to complete, under, of course, the SRO guidlines. Also of note, The Solomen (sp?) Center is one of few buildings the City actually owns and has such a stake in. Most other large scale projects are completed by developers, many of who the BD digs up.

One other point, Ozboy, the IRS doesn't "merely expand." Yes, the former administration began the IRS shift from 12th Street to Wall, but again, that came only after Ogden was selected among other cities that ALSO had IRS Centers (Sacramento and Fresno, for example), an extremely lengthy process. The IRS Phases I, II, & III are not just a couple of buildings but rather a complex that will encompass 2 to 3 city blocks.

The discussion of the BD is to follow, Disgusted. You keep saying you know what you're talking about, seem to question the fact that I often don't (or hide behind ONE example), yet I don't see anything, really, that supports your claims, either. Are we still in the semantic stages or will we somehow able to have a discourse without all this assumptive fingerpointing?

See ya on the "side bar." Thanks, Mr. Zink for the opportunity to be read.

tom said...

BC

I have been interested the last couple of days as to what the real story was behind the IRS building a larger presence in Ogden, so I called a politico I know who is definitely in the know on the subject as she was very highly placed in Utah GOP politics and worked in Washington for one of our congressmen.

Her take on the whole thing, which she is very firm on, is that the reason the IRS has such a presence in Ogden is directly attributable to former Congressman James V. Hansen (he is the one that the big building on 25th and Kiesel is named after) and Brent Scowcroft (former Ogden boy made who made good on the national GOP stage) both of whom wanted it to happen and in fact pretty much made it happen.

Makes sense to me.

BC said...

I'm sure she's right....but after the selection was made, and Hansen/Scowcroft made their marks, the trench work was still done by the City's BD Dept, which is what Disgusted and I are dicing over.

disgusted said...

Blaine Carl

im not going to go on and on around the bush with you. i think you missed your calling if youre not thinking politics. youve mastered the art of not answering questions directly. i will though not hesitate to correct you in the future for any misinformation or straighten out the facts that you post. or point out when you are simply echoing the administrations point of view on a subject that i disagree with the mayor on. i hope that some day you can see the big picture.

i will to provide balance in the information out there on subjects and subject matters that i know something about. i have confidence that people can reason out the truth if provided with accurate and balanced information.

seems to me that you are to closely tied to the bd department to view its role impartially or objectively and i will never be convinced that the department as it exists today understands what its function should be or that it can perform its function competently.

i will just assume that we will never see eye to eye on the bd department.

Blaine Carl said...

That's an interesting final post, Disgusted. YOU are going to correct ME and "straighten out the facts: that I post. Hmmm. Who died and left you boss or the consumate expert on things? What is your expertise that allows for that? You ask me these questions, so now I'll ask you. So far, you've only provided conjecture; your facts and evidence seem quite lacking. I do know something about the City, the BD and other departments, along with some of the personel. From my experience it seems that your input doesn;t quiet have the umphh necessary to convince me that you really know as much as you tend to suggest you do.

What I've been attempting to do is provide balance, something that's been terribly lacking from many posts and especially yours as it pertains to the machinations of the BD.

Paul "Bear" Bryant, former Alabama great, once said, "He who assumes, looses." I too will leave it at that and not attempt to encourage you to try a little latitude.

However, somewhere down the line, I'll post a little something about the CED/BD. It will be interesting whether or not you respond and if you do how you do.

It's been a pleasure, Disgusted. Your name does seem quite apropro, if I do say so myself.

Adios.

disgusted said...

Blaine Carl


i dont claim to be an expert but i do dig a little deeper to get to the truth and know the facts from the company line.

and its specifically the bd department that caused me to adopt the name.

i would expect no less of a response from someone that is trying to protect his job.

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