Monday, August 24, 2009

More Grist For the 36th/46th Street Water Tank Discussion Mill

Reprise of a great Std-Ex letter; and an alternate plan to save the lumpencizens over $5 million in taxpayer bucks

We're delighted to note that David Smith's August 18, 2009 letter to the editor, which we previewed on Weber County Forum last week, has made the Standard-Examiner editor's cut, and landed on the Std-Ex editorial page this morning. It's a danged good letter, so we'll give it a well-deserved reprise here:
Godfrey uses one outrage to pay for another
The Std-Ex's comment section is a mite light on comments so far however, so we'll encourage our readers to visit the Std-Ex site, to throw in your own 2¢.

And David's letter, which pulls no punches in condemning Boss Godfrey's outrageous attempt to hijack the City Council's Water Horizons plan, provides the ideal leadup to what we have to offer next:

Added bonus: So while we're now once again back on the subject of the 36th/46th street water tanks, and David Smith has properly set the mood, we have an added bonus for our readers this morning. Ogden resident Rob Garner has sent us a copy of his alternatative S.E. bench water system proposal, the same proposal he unavailingly presented to the planning commission earlier in the summer. Needless to say, Godfrey's in-house engineers gave this proposal a cool reception, in that it provided a relatively cost effective method to achieve the goals of the City Council's Water Horizons plan, without the "necessity" of expending millions of extra dollars for the installation of Boss Godfrey's latest pet project... the 36th street water tank boondoggle.

Here's how Mr. Garner sums it up in the conclusion to his most excellent article:
The alternative system that I proposed above will not only meet all of the original project objectives but will also save the city at least $5 million dollars in construction costs. Additionally it will give the city’s water system more flexibility and an opportunity to actually offset some of its cost through the sale of city surplus water.
This proposed amendment which you are being asked to approve is a deviation from the original proposed CIP budgeted project. In fact it actually fails to accomplish the intentions of the approved Water Horizon project by not addressing the immediate needs within the southeastern part of the city and then some time in the future when these needs are addressed it will be at additional costs over the original proposal. Please do not find this amendment to be in compliance with the general plan.
For those who'd like to read on, we'll just say that it's with great pleasure that we invite our readers to check out Mr. Garner's full text article:
Alternative S.E. Bench Water System Proposal
Looks like a great plan to us. Needless to say, we especially liked the part about saving five million bucks.

Hopefully the council will hire their own independent engineer to evaluate the various proposals which are on the table, Mr. Garner's included, and be loaded for bear when they again meet to discuss the issue on September 22d.

With a little extra effort on the council's part, we believe Godfrey's effort to hijack the Water Horizons plan can be thwarted, and Ogden City can save millions of dollars in the process.

Amazing what can happen when the talents of interested and well-informed lumpencitizens are tapped, innit? Boss Godfrey should write that down so he doesn't forget it... but sadly... we know that he won't.

Take it away, O' Gentle Ones.


Citizen said...

Awaiting Blaine Carl and his defense of all things Godfrey. He is always asking for other ideas and suggestions. What will he find wrong with this alternate proposal?

Blaind Carl said...

"Honestly, I think we should just trust our mayor in every decision that he makes and we should just support that."

Rafiki said...

Pretty nice roads they have put in up by 9th street. Looks like some new houses will be going in there soon.

The road going up Taylors Canyon is also comming along nicely. A good driver could almost take a semi up it.

Probably be houses up there oh within 5 years. Enjoy the trails while we still can - cause a times they are a changin!

Curmudgeon said...

Gotta tell ya, guys, I am absolutely incompetent to judge between the merits of two engineering reports on the water tanks matter. So I can't join the chorus pronouncing the alternate plan to be clearly better.

I suspect most voters are similarly incompetent to judge.

So, how to resolve the matter? Since I don't think most of the city council is especially well versed in fluid dynamics either, and since the alternate proposal comes from a credible source, and purports to (a) do a better job of meeting system goals and (b) save the public $5 million or more in construction costs, seems to me the Council might be well advised to invest a little of the public's money into having both plans evaluated by an outside source which does not have a dog in this fight, with particular emphasis on (a) which plan bodes best to meet the stated goals of the Water Horizons plan and (b) which plan will cost the least to execute? Both those must figure in the final assessment. [Choosing a cheaper option that did not meet system needs would not be wise, for example.]

It's a truism in business that you have to spend a little, sometimes, to make a lot. And sometimes, in city management, you need to spend a little to see if you can save a lot. This looks like it might be one of those times.

RudiZink said...

Um Curm. You don't have to be an expert in the physics of hydralulics to understand and appreciate the most excellent material that Mr. Garner has offered.

Did you ever design your own lawn sprinkling system?

It's the same concept, although on a larger scale.

Curmudgeon said...


You ask: "Did you ever design your own lawn sprinkling system?"

No. In Louisiana, the problem was more often trying to get water off the lawn rather than on to it.

And second, no, designing a water distribution system for a city is I think really not the same. even in concept, as designing a lawn sprinkler system. You need, for example, redundancy built into one, but not the other. The consequences of failure for one are far far greater than for the other, so safety is a much greater concern. So is the sheer volume of water you have to store, and move, on demand, and the pressures it generates while moving, etc etc etc.

So I'm afraid we're going to disagree on this one. Designing a water storage and delivery system that will maintain necessary at-the-tap-and-hydrant pressures, safely, and has built in redundancy and earthquake resistance is as far beyond designing a sprinkler system as understanding how anti-ABM systems work is beyond understand how a shotgun can bring down a duck.

The fluid dynamics of an urban water system are highly complex, and managing them competently involves considerable expertise and [for most folks] arcane knowledge. So no, I wouldn't feel competent to judge between them even if I did design my lawn sprinkler system. Which I didn't.

BAT_girl said...


WHERE: Ogden Megaplex @ Junction on 2nd FL: 2351 Kiesel Avenue
PURPOSE: To gather public input on Ogden City Open Space remaining, by Ogden City Planners

Bill Murray said...

Um Curm. You don't have to be an expert in the physics of hydralaulics to understand and appreciate the most excellent material that Mr. Garner has offered.

Did you ever design your own lawn sprinkling system? Ordinary people do this successfully every day through advice from Home Depot. In the instant case, it's merely a slightly larger project, that's all.

It's the same concept, although on a larger scale.

Try not wilfully try to be such a nerd, Curmudgeon. You have a good brain. Use it.

Setting up a reliable water system ain't really rocket science, by the way.

And rodents and rattlesnakes ain't really no problem at all!

All it takes is to do a few simple water pressure calculations, to make sure that the existing tanks, which are made of steel, and can always be cheaply repaired, are left in the latest repair job,

And water pumps are capable of doing what they're designed to do. And water pumps are relatively cheap and easily replaceable.

And of course, in order to preserve our parklands, we need to put the political pressure on the rodent vermin who would destroy our special parklands, such as The Divine & Blessed Matthew Godfrey.

Godfrey is a very sick man, I believe.

Curmudgeon said...


As for this --- "Did you ever design your own lawn sprinkling system? Ordinary people do this successfully every day through advice from Home Depot. In the instant case, it's merely a slightly larger project, that's all." --- see reply to Rudi above.

And you don't have to convince me of the un-trustworthiness of Hizzonah. That is, unfortunately, why I think it would be wise for the City Council to seek an outside evaluation of the two redesign proposals --- precisely because the Mayor has, by his behavior in office, demonstrated that his word is no good, that he is ethically challenged [as they say], and that his judgment is often unsound. [His going behind the Council and public's back to order the tank moved by fiat is a good example of his lack of trustworthiness.]

It's sad, really. If the Mayor had behaved in office in an upright and forthright manner in his dealings with the public and the Council, if he had established in his nearly nine years in office that his word was his bond, his recommendations might be acceptable on their face. But he has not. Quite the opposite, I'm afraid.

And so, on matters requiring expert knowledge we cannot take his word for it that he's had his people look at it, and this is the best way to go. Nor, on such matters, can we reject his recommendation merely because it's him that's making it.

This is just such a matter, seems to me, and so getting a skilled, knowledgeable and outside evaluation by a wholly disinterested and expert party seems like the course of wisdom to me. If it's nerdy to be prudent before spending millions of the public's money to be as certain as we can that it's being spent wisely, so be it.

Biker Babe said...


You prudey nerd, you !

just sayin


Machster said...

Credibility is something intangible and very tough to loose.

It is like saying F__k infront of your Mother. You can't get it back.

Godfrey has never understood this simple concept. He thinks the truth is what he says it is. And like "Slick Willie" and many politicians, he could probably even pass a lie detector test lying the whole time.

Curm probably did not design a ditch and drain system for his Lousiana lawn either. Too damn hot and humid to work down yonder.

I believe the best systems engineering is the simplest and cheapest. The worst...the most complex and expensive.

For example a shotgun to bring down a duck. Simple and cheap.


Blaine Carl said...

"Citizen" and "Blaind" need to rush back to school (it started today) and take a course in "learning To Read." If they did know how to read, they would find that I don't support EVERYTHING Godfrey, that I ask for alternatives instead of criticisms, and that I do find some of Godfrey's proposals preposterous.

It's a shame that there are still a few who would rather "flame" than to read what my message is, but ah well, kids'll be kids--and there's nothing anyone can do with 'em except to smile and put up with thier antics.

Also, had they READ, and understood, my position on this water tank situation, they would have realized that I'm against a golf course redesign to that the clubhouse can be moved to allow for such and some developer can proceed with building houses, etc. and a gondola to a foolhearty ski resort in Malan's Basin.

Some never learn.

However, it is a good debate between the City Engineer and Rob Garner. I'm all ears for both gentlemen's views.

Ray Vaughn said...

Blaine Carl, why should anyone give a alternative on this site. Lets see some cash. Everything else this administration does requires a exchange of funds prior to anything being allowed to happen. Campaign money for allowing use of the Solomon center for a event. City cleanup money before construction is discussed or begins. We have to pay people to come to Ogden to w0rk or play in the city. Hire me for the BD department. I'll even bring in the morning paper at no charge. I am certain I can easily come up with lots of expensive solutions.

Blaine Carl said...

Hey Ray, I was just firing back at Citizen and Blaind for their poor posts, not debating this particular subjects. I'm sure you'd be a fine addition to the BD, but I'll bet, if given a job there, you wind up learning a little something about how many of these projects are put together, and they all don't have the Mayor's stamp of approval. But, as they say, your's is good debate and I do enjoy our discussions, probably because MOST of the time, you come forth with mature and dignified comments. Even though we disagree, much of the time.

As for this Blaind character, hey dude, if you're gonna quote me, then quote me. Don't come forth with some juvenile, made up crap or plagarism, bring forth the right words. Again, time for you to head back to school to learn something if you expect to get a decent reply. So far, what I've read from you is weak to the popint that a response would just fall on deaf ears and onto a mind that wouldn't understand what's been said.

RudiZink said...


PURPOSE: To gather public input on Ogden City Open Space remaining, by Ogden City Planners"

Wrong, batgirl. This major initiative is being driven by the City Council.

Credit where credit's due.

Thankfully,Ogden City planners are vigorously helping out.

Credit where it's due, after all.

And what's with you Batgirl? You told us you'd never come back to Weber County Forum after you falsely accused one of our un-named readers of torpedoing Stacy Ogden on Facebook, and I subsequently deleted your jagged and completely unfounded accusatory post.

Never mind... we already know... if you want to spark citizen activism, Weber County Forum is definitely the place to do it.

And Facebook, where the usual conversation generally revolves around what various members had for breakfast in the morning, definitely isn't.

If you want to raise a steely-eyed crowd of angry lumpencitizens to storm a castle, burning torches and pitchfork in hand... WCF is the obvious go-to place to spread the message.

Welcome back, Batgirl; and thanks for the reminder.

We'll let bygones be just that.

ozboy said...

I sure hope some one is writing a book about the Godfreyite era. It will surely be a page turner what with the constant intrigue, manipulations, lies, power struggles and incompetence in elected officials. In the prologue we can even get the necessary sex chapters with the Pure Heart Patterson story.

momba said...

I know someone at Weber State is looking for a playwright to mine the Forum for material. Ogden need's its own "Saturday's Voyuer" and we have so much to work with.

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