Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Big Meeting Today At Noon: Will the Ogden RDA Taxing Entity Committee Roll Over, and Become Willing Investors In The Floundering Junction Project?

Time to test the Taxing Entity Committee's ethical mettle

Here's another quick reminder of today's upcoming event. The Ogden RDA Taxing Entity Committee (TEC) meets today at noon, on the third floor of the Ogden City Municipal Building, to consider whether they'll go along with the Godfrey administration's proposal to extend The Junction’s tax increment district, and allow Ogden City to to continue exploiting 100% of the project's tax increment until the year 2026.

During the last TEC meeting, the mayor's proposal was met with a cool reception, and the committee voted 7-1 to table the proposal and look for other alternatives. In the interim since the last meeting however, the Godfrey administration has been fiercely lobbying, and spreading a little money around, so it's anybody's guess how this matter will turn out if it's put to a vote this afternoon.

We've already gone on record in strong opposition to this knuckleheaded plan of course, which if approved by the TEC, would place all these taxing entities in the posture of voluntary investors in the Junction project, a position which would be in direct conflict with their proper role of service providers for the taxpayers, whom these government entities are designed to serve. As we've already pointed out, a vote in favor of this proposal by any TEC member would be adverse to the economic interests of the taxing entities whom such committee members represent. Time to test the TEC's ethical mettle, we suppose.

For those who'd like to bone up on the subject pre-meeting, we invite you to check out Dan's most excellent Special Reports.

We'll now open this article for immediate reader comments; and we'd likewise welcome any post-meeting reports from those WCF readers who may attend today's event.

Don't let the cat get your tongues.

Oh, My! apparently, and according to the most recent report, the "Brothers in Ogden" have bent down and decided to serve "Blessed Boss Godfrey."

Update 8/19/09 3:00 p.m. MT: We just received this update from one of our most reliable sources within city hall. The TEC committee did indeed roll over in spades this afternoon, and adopted Boss Godfrey's flawed bailout plan whole hog:
The Taxing Entity Committee approved the extension of the mall RDA with a 6-2 vote – Weber County did not support the extension but also did not raise concerns. The Board will be seeing an action item on this in the near future.
Chalk this up as another big win for the "good ole boyz network" in Ogden. We all know who they are.

Shame on the Ogden School District representatives, by the way. They should be looking after their already underfunded school district... but apparently real revenue isn't their top priority these days.

We obviously still have a lot of work to do in Emerald City, fellow lumpencitizens, in our ongoing effort to root out the Godfreyite trash.

Sad, very sad.

8/20/09 9:46 a..m. MT: Scott Schwebke his writeup in today's Standard-Examiner:
Ogden RDA extends Junction tax increment district by 12 years
It's a sad commentary indeed, about the poor quality of the taxpayers' representatives on the Taxing Entity Committee.

25 comments:

althepal said...

Exactly right, Rudi. For example, it's the mosquito abatement district's job to abate mosquitoes; and it's the sewer district's job to move and treat sewage. Nowhere within these districts' charged roles is there an obligation to bail out Godfrey's money losing Junction project, especially at the expense of these districts' own future revenue.

And don't get me going on the proper role of the Ogden School District.

I can't come up with any good reason that any of these taxing entities would go along with this clearly lame bailout.

Maybe some of your gentle readers can?

dave said...

Al

It is called the old boys club of Utah. Most positions of political, legal and administrative power in Utah are occupied by these mutual back rubbers. Honesty, integrity and the well being of the citizens are usually pretty far down their lists of priorities. Mayor Godfrey is a charter member of this insidious group. Until the sheeple of Utah start looking past the "R" in their campaign literature we can expect no change in this.

Blaine Carl said...

This morning, I read where the City Council spent much of its time last night discussing "feral cats." I'm sure that this delighted PETA, and I am an animal rights kind of guy (although I'd rather harpoon a Bull Shark than jump in the water and hand feed one a Blue Fin and if I spotted a rattlesnake or bear moving about my backyard, I'd be more apt to take a shot at one or the other than try to become Jeff Corwin and relocate the animal, alive, somewhere up in the moutains).

I'm wondering, however, why the CC isn't spending more time on the real pressing issues of City business, such as the revocation of our Letter of Credit by the Bank of New York; the disencumberance of the BDO revenue which will now free up those funds, making them available to maintain the Ice Tower if it's ever built, etc.; the reissuance of The Junction bonds; or the build-out of the Wall Avenue corridor, with the aid of our tax dollars (which incidentally, I support)?

Where's the CC coming from and whose responsibilbe for the agendas and the initiaves/proposals/subjects that go before the Council for public discussion and consideration. I think that responsibility lies on the shoulders of Bill Cook, Executive Director and/or Alan Franke, Policy Analyst. Is the Council getting all on agenda that it asks for?

Herein lies, Mr. Disgusted, an opportunity for one of those "peoples' movements" that I mentioned in another thread, a movement that you scoffed, deamed to be a "revolution," and seemed very disappointed in me for suggesting.

For some reason, you and I seem to wind up at sword's point over something I write and at which you snear at and minimize-like my example of the 60s movement as it might apply to what I mistakenly called the Mitch/WalMart movement. Now, for "Set the Record Straight's" comfort, you, Mr. Set, were right....to a point: Mitch's movement was against the climbing wall and bowling alley, NOT WalMart. WalMart was Dorothy Litrell's, who was ONE of many major players. Dorothy even went to court, and lost, then kind of disappeared from that scene while Mitch railed against the climbing wall and recreation center in CC meeting after CC meeting. WalMart, due to the gathering storm of the "peoples' movement," wound up having to re-locate; but the recreation was built (the Solomon Center, clibing wall and all), and today, the rest is history.

But regardless of the names and movements, a "peoples' movement" is nothing to laugh at and such movements have saved many a day and forced many a change, from creating our nation to stopping a war to removing a President and to the relocation of Ogden's proposed WalMart, which allowed people to keep their homes. This is a fundamental action based on the concept of a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Disgusted, you should look at the Big Picture and stop with the insults and minimizing of ideas that float through the blog.

You asked for my focus on the City, which I should think you'd already know: I'm for TIF and CIF, if done properly; I'm for the City subsidizing certain projects and for investing in itself, so I can't give you an answer to "where do we go from here?" that is in opposition to my positions.

But I can present you with and idea that suits your agenda, if you'd but read between these lines. You should be able to pick up on it rather than to constantly disparage my thoughts because they don't fit with yours.

Good luck.

At the meeting said...

BC-

It was after 8:30 pm when the Ogden City Council started discussion of the feral cat issue. Why Mr. Schwebke decided to focus on that and not changes to the bond parameters resolution that were a bulk of the time spent in both the RDA and Council meetings last night really does not make sense to me.

The Ogden City Council has already allocated funds to build the ice tower. If you recall, $100,000 was set aside for the ice tower with the stipulation that this money may not be spent until all other needed funding is in place. That money should still be in the account waiting. BDO funds should be used for building capital improvement projects, not ongoing maintenance. If citizens really want to see the ice tower project come to fruition, they should talk to foundations they may have influence with or make an individual donation for the project.

and that's a fact! said...

See interesting comments under Tuesday's post "Dunning Reminder:Ogden---" for some basic reasons numerous Ogden residents have dropped out of the fight to bring good government to Ogden -

It is a proven fact that no citizen complaint can get any investigation from any Utah governmental agency all the way from the courts and the Utah Attorney General down to the County Attorney back up to the Governor and State Auditor to investigate the charges of what has been going on in Ogden for several years-

You can't keep fighting the old boys club (Mormon old boys club) when citizen recourse is completely blocked by the "ins" in Utah government.

Remember this when Shurtliff asks you to vote him in for the U.S. Senate.

Blaine Carl said...

The ice tower was, of course, tongue in cheek, something I think is a pretty stupid idea.

Probably this Disgusted and myself should "twitter," instead of taking up valuable space on the blog for our sparing sessions. Hopefully, these something can be gleaned from these trysts of ours.

Schwebeke really NEVER makes much sense, does he? Hope that someday he lets the REAL cat out of the bag. Thanks for all the updates, but think about the items that certain council members have spoken about but we yet to have seen on the agenda. Why is that?

remembering the good old days said...

Youre right, Mr. Carl. Council Director Bill Cook, who has the mammalian reflexes of a rabbit, is exactly the wrong fellow to be advising the council with his milquetoast ways in current times. While Boss Godfrey is making war against the city council, the inherently cowardice-ridden Bill Cook stills seems to be inclined to avoid conflict at any cost. If the council needs somebody to "watch its back," it certainly would never be Bill Cook.

Look up "wimp" in the dictionary and you'll find Mr. Cook's portrait there, right above the definition of the word, which accrding to this online authority means this:

1. a weak, ineffectual, timid person.

The Ogden City Council was much better served in the pre Bill Cook days, it would seem, when they had a highly effective firebrand council director, in the extremely effective Pat Comerill (sp?).

Ms. Comerill was never reticent to "dive in to the fray and mix it up." And when she did... she always kicked butt.

It surely would be nice to hire her back and shitcan Mr. Cook.

That would be another giant step forward for the council, in its effort to re-established itself as a co-equal branch of city government.

[sigh]

Ray Vaughn said...

Blaine Carl, you attack Mr. Cook for being ineffictive. Yet you seem anxious to argue with people on this site who take a aggresswive position that you disagree with. I seem to recall the mayor asking everyone to tone down the rhetoric and work together. There have been stories about the mayor taking a adversial position against the council on most of his proposals. Most people are hoping that calmer heads will prevail and issues and differences can be worked out. It seems that anyone expressing concern or raising questions that differ from the mayors is attacked. It will be interesting to see how the mayor works with the council if he loses his supporters on the council following the fall election. The mayor has a loyal cadre of toadies, lackies, and syncophants to do his bidding and attack anyone who does not share his vision. It will be nice to see what really happened at last nights city council meeting when it is finally rebroadcast on channel 17. Mr. Schwebke has a deadline for his story. A followup will occur on other items discussed last evening.

Jennifer Neil said...

To "and that's a fact!"

you said "for some basic reasons numerous Ogden residents have dropped out of the fight to bring good government to Ogden ..."

it may be for just some of these basic reasons of which you speak that I am in the race for City Council At Large Seat B.

Don't lump all the lumpencitizens in your "dropping out of the fight" group.

From The Grassy Knoll said...

Schwebke covered the bond parameters pretty thoroughly in the story in Tuesday's paper. So the council changed the parameters by $1 million over the life of the bonds. Where is the skulduggery there? And Wells Fargo has asked for the change in collateral of franchise tax proceeds and to drop BDO lease revenue. People here are always whining about the use of BDO lease revenues and when its no longer used they complain about that. More conspiracies abound. This should be the Oliver Stone blog.
Like it or not from what I understand there were quite a few cat lovers at the meeting Tuesday who actually addressed the council and no one stood up to talk about the bond parameters. The end result- bond parameters old news, cat controversy new news.

so funny I forgot to laugh said...

I got news for you, grassy knoll: Changing the bond parameters from 32 to 31 mil makes virtually no difference in this new financing at all. The upfront costs of substituting Wells Fargo as the new letter if credit issuer will still cost the taxpayers upwards of $1 million extra dollars in origination fees, commissions,and other "gotcha costs," as Dorothy Littrel clearly outlined in an earlier comments post. Dorothy is a retired bank examiner, among other things. When will the people of Ogden City actually listen to people like Dorothy who actually know what they're talking about?

And here's the upshot! The new Wells Fargo agreement is set to be in effect for a mere two years. After that, Ogden City will probably find itself in the same predicament as now, trying to again make a deal with another letter of credit issuer, with another $1 million or so of lender "gotcha" fees staring Ogden city in the face.

Repeat this after me. 1,2,3 GO!

"That's another fine mess you've gotten us into, Boss Godfrey!"

Where's that idiot who keeps saying Godfrey is a financial genius, anyways?

Bend over Ogdenites. You're about to be repeatedly reamed.

fed up said...

"Shame on the Ogden School District representatives, by the way. They should be looking after their already underfunded school district... but apparently real revenue isn't their top priority these days."

I'm sure it'll be all smiles at all the local wardhouses this weekend.

Jennifer Neil said...

The Tax Increment Mitigation Payments are going back to the OCSD - to offset the Tax Increment they would not be getting because of the extended Tax Increment period.

Note that the Mitigation Pmts. are probably less than half of what they would get THIS year from that missed TI portion .. and next year the margin increases, and so on and so on and so on ...

(Note that it is the size of the Mitigation Pmts that I have issue with -- I just don't feel it is enough)

After 12 years the $300K might only be 10% of the missed-out-on TI portion - it most certainly won't buy the OCSD near as much as it would today!

The OCSD is also getting the old Naval Reserve Building (and lot?) free and clear, to mitigate the lost TI revenue. But in order to do anything beneficial with the property, the OCSD needs $$$ to build, upgrade, remodel or whatever .... again begs the question, is $300K enough?

They say everyone needs to sacrifice in order for progress and growth to happen, but why sacrifice our children's education? The children in the OCSD for the next 12 years are OUR FUTURE -- The salomon center and the junction will still be there ... and someone might actually build apartments there when we come out of the recession. The revenue will eventually be coming in for the city.

Did I miss something here? I sacrifice everyday for my own children -- and would hope that others would do the same, especially those with such stewardship as the State Board of Ed and the Ogden City School District has for ALL of our children.

Ray Vaughn said...

What will the OSD do with the old reserve center? Sell it, the city could have done that. It is not feasible to remodel it into a school. The city is closing schools in that part of Ogden. It is merely taking the easy way out of a political fight. The school district offices are 2 blocks away. Lorin Farr elementary was closed and demolished several years ago. Taylor elementery is closed. Lets just take the easy way out. No need to fight the power. Let Matthew (449 mandate) have his way.

RudiZink said...

Thanks for the update Jennifer. Although there'd been some scuttlebutt, and recent Std-Ex reporting, concerning Boss Godfrey's sweetening of the pot with real estate for the Ogden School District, in exchange for their rolling over on today's TEC Committee bailout vote, your comment is the first to confirm the actual real estate parcel which Godfrey has used as a "pot sweetener" (shall we say) in exchange for the Ogden school District's support.

Thanks again for the update.

And for those readers who may be unaware, everyone should take note of the fact that Jennifer is running for Dorrene Jeske's At Large "B" seat in the upcoming municipal election.

For those who'd like to learn more about Jennifer Neil, you can view Jennifer's WCF candidate page here, and her campaign blogsite here.

While we're nowhere near the point of picking our favorites in the 2009 council races, let us just say that its encouraging to observe Jennifer getting involved in our pre-election WCF discussions, and demonstrating her interest in grasping and mastering the issues which are important to all of us.

Frankly, we're not seeing any noticeable action at all from ANY of the other council candidates, so jennifer's post strike us as a breath of fresh air.

Nuff said, at this point, wethinks.

Fireman Joe said...

In our last training at the Naval Reserve we were told to be very careful about causing any damage-the school district was buying it for offices.

sign me disgusted said...

OK. So Godfrey has now handed off yet another piece of valuable Ogden City property to a political crony in exchange for a political favor. Where and when will this grossly unethical behavior ever stop?

Will the city council do anything to thwart this flagrantly unethical behavior?

I won't hold my breath.

After 8+ years in office, the city council has taught Godfrey that he can do pretty much of anything he wants.

Blaine Carl said...

A couple of thoughts to get the day going:

I suppose the old Naval Reserve compound COULD be considered valuable. But the formula would be the appraised or market value LESS demolition equals WORTH. Can you imagine what the renovation costs to that old building would be? To make the property effective, it has to be demolished and re-built.

Mr. Vaughn, I'm not attacking Bill Cook, I'm simply saying that every now and then I read where a Council Member has wanted to initiate a proposal or bring an old item back for consideration, something that the Council Member would best serve the people. But, after confering with Cook or Franke, it seems that that particular issue doesn't get to the agenda and the Council Member voices his or her concern about why not. I merely pose the same question: why not? Who is responsibile for what gets on agenda and what doesn't? It just seems strange to me that this happens a bit more frequently than I'd think it should.

Now, if I'm wrong here, so be it. But if I'm right, doesn't it make sense that this situation be looked at and either explained or resolved?

Again, no attack--just a question.

And maybe if we're lucky, besides feral cats we can accumlate a couple of packs of feral dogs. They've been in the news lately and the news has been anything but positive. Lewt's not let any bonds or malls or developments get in the way of the PETA folk. There are whales to be saved, for hell sakes, along with the chirping 3 horned mini-owl. Good council business, but I admit, it should be publicly discussed and be the lead story about council action on Wednesday mornings.

disgusted said...

sign me disgusted is not me.

ozboy said...

then that poses the question of just who is more disgusted, disgusted or sign me disgusted? And if disgusted is in fact more disgusted than sign me disgusted then is disgusted and sign me disgusted more disgusted than the average disgusted citizen?

A friend said...

This is a gorgeous use of wording, Ozboy....it exceeds even yourself, if it's possible for one to exceed oneself (and I'm not trying to do a play on words here).

I understand there are some medical concerns within some close to you and my thoughts and prayers are with you and yours. May all things go well.

just heard a good (confirmed) rumor said...

just heard a good (confirmed) rumor that Godfrey sent a poisoned pill letter to the bond commission that killed the funding for DaVinci's schools renovations. Rumor has it, he said it's not a viable organization. Was this to appease the Ogden City Schools?

This will probably get deleted by the blogmeister, but WTH!

RudiZink said...

I'm at a complete loss regarding your accusation that I would quash a rumor like this.

Please explain your reasoning, if any.

Thanks in advance.

Jest wonderin said...

JHAG(C)R

Bond Commission?

Whatsthat?

Ogden Dem said...

To Rumor mill - Jest wonderin has a good question, what is the bond commission? Since DaVinci is a charter school most of the funding (salaries, building, supplies,...) comes to them from the state so how could Godfrey kill any funding for them?
Since charters are state schools (or at least most of them are) what would be the appeasement toward Ogden School District and Godfrey? Godfrey is not a supporter of traditional public ed, as his kids go to the charter schools.
Sounds like your good (confirmed) rumor is just a rumor.

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