Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oddball Standard-Examiner Editorial: Say No to Lobbyists

Query: Does the Standard-Examiner Editorial Board actually read their own newspaper?

By Curmudgeon

A newspaper's editorials are, plainly, expressions of opinion, and in the nature of things, the SE will publish, now and then, editorials with which sensible, sober readers will disagree. That is to be expected. But this morning, the Standard-Examiner editorial board has embarrassed itself, the paper, and, sadly, the city it serves with a lead editorial that leaves me wondering if the Editorial Board reads their own newspaper. It's going to take them a while to live this one down:
OUR VIEW: Say no to lobbyists
The editorial considers the Council's plan to hire its own lobbyist. The SE does not like that idea. It rightly finds the origins of the idea in the Mayor's tasking the lobbyist he pays, Mr. Jolley, to work for legislation to give Mayor Matthew Godfrey "firm control over the Ogden Redevelopment Agency." Council members, the editorial explains, "said the action was taken without their knowledge or approval." No. The action was taken without their knowledge or approval. The Mayor didn't deny it. He said he didn't have time to let them know. This was reported in the SE. So there is no "he said/she said" element to this. It was done without the Council's knowledge or approval. I read it in The Standard Examiner.

So, what is the SE's solution to the problem? That Ogden should have no paid lobbyist at the legislature. That City officials should represent Ogden before the legislature, and that Mr. Jolley should be let go at a savings of $40K a year to the city. What the editorial dos not so much as mention is that this is precisely the solution advocated by the Council last budget year when it zeroed out the budget line for Mr. Jolley's pay. Cut it out entirely. At which point the Mayor hired him again anyway, paying him out of the the Mayor's discretionary funds. The Council adopted the SE's solution; the Mayor ignored it and unilaterally decided to keep his personal lobbyist on the city payroll. I know that happened. I read it in The Standard Examiner. The editorial board must have skipped that issue.

But it gets worse. [Hard to believe, I know. But it does.] The editorial suggests that Ogden will "look ridiculous" if it has two lobbyists working at cross purposes, and that the Mayor and Council should agree on what they want to lobby the legislature for. Well, first of all, the Mayor and Council did agree that Mr. Jolley would work only on matters both the Council and Mayor agreed he should work on. The Mayor promptly violated that agreement to, as the editorial puts it, give himself "firm control over the Ogden Redevelopment Agency."

So, the Council endorsed the idea of no lobbyist, and it agreed with the Mayor to joint lobbying goals --- note, precisely what the editorial calls for. The Mayor ignored the "no lobbyist" idea by re-hiring Mr. Jolley when the Council cut funds to do that, and by ignoring the council when giving Mr. Jolley his marching orders. But does the editorial then conclude that the problem is the Mayor? It does not.

As for Ogden "looking ridiculous" if the Council and Mayor disagree before the legislature? Nonsense. If they disagree about proposed legislation, the legislators need to know that so they don't assume Mayor Godfrey's personal wishes represent the views of Ogden City Government. The founders embraced the principles of "separation of powers" and "checks and balances" for good reasons. The SE Editorial Board seems unfamiliar with either concept. Either they all slept through high school civics, or a majority of the board was raised in Brigham City and had Rob Bishop for a history teacher. That would explain the Editorial Board's appalling ignorance of these fundamental principles of American government. It would not excuse it.

42 comments:

disgusted said...

curm

you should send this post to the se as a guest commentator. in the printed version rather than the online version.

good points.

Salty said...

Great suggestion dis, however the gutless bastards would never print it.

Blaine Carl said...

Here we go again--the Mayor has a $40,000 a year lobbyist, that money OK'd by the CC in budget sessions, and now the Council wants to hire a $10,000 a year lobbyist to aid its interests. Yep, I too think that that would make Ogden City appear that it's a rudderless ship, down on the Hill.

I believe that myself and others have advocated peace talks between the CC and Administration for some time now. My suggestions have most often been met by "guffaws," highlighted by the "mayor's a liar" and "such meetings would serve nothing as they are already underway in scheduled Mayor/Leadership sessions."

My premise has been that this Council/Administrative war serves not the people but rather takes away precious time that should be spent doing City business and maybe even performing (shutter) DUE DILIGENCE, a nice catch phrase used by many who post here.

Due Diligence is an interesting phenomina: it spins in all directions, from the Mayor (who really lacked in his performance when he took Leshem aboard) to the City Council (who needs to study and research the agenda moreso than it does prior to voting on the propossed Initiatives), to those of you who criticize the BD personnel (not once have I read any real due diligence facts; I read only opinion that the BD is loaded with incompetant guys).

So, while this turf war rages on at City Hall, fed and supplied by the many here who complain about the Administration, the BD and the projects they perform, the residents of Ogden sit, wait and suffer. When the bulk of the business at hand is trying to best the other side to a territorial claim, the REAL stuff gets put on the back burner and comes to a halt.

What say you (you don't need to yell as I already can hear you coming)?

Jim Hutchins said...

Blaine Carl:

Nice sentiments. However, it's a well-known fact (even among businesspeople) that the only way a negotiation of any sort can take place is if both parties are acting in good faith.

City Council has made some mistakes, and like any organization, they've done some stupid things. However, I think you'd have a hard time arguing that they act in bad faith consistently.

On the other hand, we have the Mayor. If I start to list here all the times he's acted in bad faith -- willfully and deliberately -- you'll accuse me of being a "hater". Let's just stipulate that he has acted in bad faith, repeatedly, because he's admitted to it on a number of occasions.

Therefore, while your words are pretty, and the sentiment is wonderful, it's not going to happen. You wouldn't try to negotiate the price of a cow with a drunken sailor, and you can't negotiate with Mayor Godfrey. I'm sad that this is so, but it's true.

old timer said...

Some of you have come late to the Ogden political scene if you think there will ever be any negotiating done by Lord Mayor Godfrey.

It is Godfrey's way or else!

tom said...

Comment to Standard

Good editorial for sure and I whole heartedly agree with your main premise that the city has no business hiring any friggen lobbyists, let alone two.

It is interesting how this fine piece also is indicative of the Standard's dual personality as it relates to Ogden City Gummint.

On the one hand the paper can see disfunction between the two branches of city government - yet is apparently blind to the imperialistic, arrogant and dismissive Mayor Godfrey and that the real root of the problem layeth there.

Curmudgeon said...

BC:

Sometime, BC, you're going to have to deal with the following facts to make your "peace conference" plan seem even marginally plausible:

1. The Council and Mayor, after a tussle about what the city lobbyist should work on, agreed that in the future, he would work only on matters both the Council and Mayor agreed he should work on.

2. The Mayor then, without notifying the Council, directed the city lobbyist to work for passage of a law removing the Council's authority to replace him as head of the RDA board. In plain English, he violated the agreement.

3. Given those facts, I'm hard put to see how the Council, or anyone else, can be expected to negotiate much of anything with the Mayor, since he's proven he does not feel bound to keep his word if he subsequently finds it convenient not to.

Until you can deal with that, the "can't we all get along" pleas aren't going to resonate much. How do you negotiate agreements with a man who's demonstrated that his word is no good?

Bill C. said...

Well Curm, you're consistent, you again have avoided using the accurate word regarding the mayor.
I'll use it for you. He is a liar.
You and blain have that in common, the difference being you know it and use another way to say it. He knows it but refuses to acknowlege it at all.
Come to think of it, he should speak better of gadi, all his marbles are in gadi's sack, and if some sanity returns here gadi might be able to hook him up with a BD job in Gaza, there will be lots of opportunity there eventually.

OgdenLover said...

Blain Carl wrote: -the Mayor has a $40,000 a year lobbyist, that money OK'd by the CC in budget sessions...

Did you even read what Curm wrote? Here, I'll save you from having to search for it. What the editorial dos not so much as mention is that this is precisely the solution advocated by the Council last budget year when it zeroed out the budget line for Mr. Jolley's pay. Cut it out entirely. At which point the Mayor hired him again anyway, paying him out of the the Mayor's discretionary funds.

Good grief! It's like trying to talk sense to Mayor Godfrey.

Danny said...

The reason the city council wants its own lobbyist is not only did Godfrey use his lobbyist without consulting with the council, he used his lobbyist to pass legislation that enhanced his own power vis-a-vis the council.

This was clear to 6 of 7 councilmembers, who voted to remove funding for Godfrey's lobbyist.

Jim Hutchins nails the issue. One cannot negotiate unless BOTH PARTIES are acting in good faith. Boy, set those words in the sky.

This newspaper has documented time and again how it is pointless to negotiate with Godfrey, because Godfrey speaks with words that are often, intended to deceive the listener.

BTW, did the column mean to refer to Godfrey in one place as "Mayor Matthew"? Is the paper really that familiar with him?

"...but we believe Mayor Matthew and city administrators would do a perfectly fine job..."

Danny said...

BTW, another fine piece of work by Grondahl. Love it.

One of the Children said...

Did anyone else read Mark Saal's article today in the SE about the Administration's and Council’s "irreconcilable differences?" What great satire! He compared it to a couple getting a divorce and the residents of Ogden are the children. Much of his article is cleverly done tongue-in-cheek. He does mention that the disagreements have been going on for years (9 1/2 years to be exact). We can draw only one conclusion from that, and it is the mayor is like a cantankerous old codger who can't get along with anyone, and has a string of ex-wives to his credit or discredit in this case. We draw that conclusion from the fact that council membership changes about every two to four years, so in this analogy, the old codger gets a new wife every two to four years. But he isn’t to blame – it’s the ex-wives (all of them) who are difficult to live with – they don’t communicate and disagree with the old codger no matter the issue! The family shouldn't expose the whole world to their disagreements (how embarrassing to do the dirty laundary in public!) The wife should remain silent and made to look dumkoff because it is embarrassing to the old codger if the rest of the world learns that he is abusive, lies, cheats and is an out-and-out scoundrel. Oh! It just wouldn't do, if others knew that the wife could think for herself and disagrees with the "master of the house!"
Mr. Saal says that he will not say that it is anybody’s fault or point a finger because “two hands aren’t nearly enough.” My, isn’t he generous?! Almost as generous as the mayor. But then it wouldn’t do to be an ungrateful child when one parent is so big-hearted, lavish and effusive with taxpayer money and provides so well for that child’s state-of-the-art, expansive and luxurious accommodations. Mustn’t bite the hand that is so magnanimous and accommodating with his FOM childen. The fact that the old codger can’t be trusted and seldom tells the truth are not a part of the “irreconcilable differences.” No one must look at the string of ex-wives and or his past history of divorces that really tell the “rest of the story.”

You just gotta love it.. said...

Let's look at Mayor Godfrey a little differently for a change...

His Honor the Mayor of Ogden apparently believes:

Ogden residents do not need public swimming pools like the Marshall White offers. Let'em bathe in the riverfront project.

They deserve to pay private golf green fees without City funded subsidies.

Residents deserve all manner of outdoor sporting and recreational activities; ice climbing, sky diving, skiing equipment, even gondolas, more empty hotels and motels, condos and apartments. Malls with extended tax payer bailouts like the Junction. Fancy bowling alleys and day-glow miniture golf with gaudy arcades for 22 Million.

Businesses deserve more restrictions except for the Redevelopment Development Agency folks - his scofflaws.

Citizens deserve the highest total taxes of any city in all of Utah.

They deserve untimed stop lights and frustrations from stop lights which remain uncoordinated to maximize pollution and gasoline consumption.

Ogden deserves policing using a quota sysem to insure little ole ladies and residents of all ages get expensive tickets without just cause.

All Ogden City deserves a Mayor who has been trained since birth that paternalistic attitudes, arrogance and above all Sainthood trumps the will of the people in all things. Father Godfrey Knows Best.

A Mayor who believes it is OK (even normal and the right thing to do) to lie if he can rationalize anything he says such that he believes he is doing it for the good of Ogden.

Bottom line; "The end justifies all means." Being a liar is expected of a politician, after all.

Ray Vaughn said...

Blaine Carl; If the mayor spends $40,000 on a lobbyist and the city council can find a lobbyist for $10,000 why not fire the expensive lobbyist, hire the other lobbyist and save $30,000? Why not take the $100,000 employee away from the golf course, put him back in BD and save the course money? That alone would cut the alleged loss by 33%.

Tony said...

Ray,

Since we want to save money, I have a better idea -- why don't we get rid of Godfrey and his A-Team altogether? They're such incompetents making over a $100K each, we could save $1 million right off the bat. Let's go back to the other form of government that doesn't breed corruption like we have now!

Blaine Carl said...

Hey Ray, WHAT 100K a year golf course employee? Who makes that kind of money at the golf course? My point on the 40k vs. 10K between the 2 lobbyists is that the Mayor will probably get a lot bigger bang for his 40,000 buck than the Council will for their 10,000 buck.

And Ogdenlover, you're absolutely correct. I mis-spoke on the budget item. Slipped my mind that the Maoyor pays Jolley out of his funds, which are in the budget, but the old Lobbyist item has been stricken. After posting, I remembered that and I appreciate you pointing it out. The money the Mayor gets in his discretionary fund, however, is a budget item which is approved by the CC and can be spent any way the Mayor sees fit. In this case, he pays Jolley and Jolley is therefore more prone to do his bidding than adhering to the desires or wants of the CC. It's quite the mess and I'm not sure how the hiring of a Council Lobbyist rep will help to resolve the problem.

And Billie Boy, I still have to ask you to learn to read. In paragraph 4 of my earlier post, I believe I ackowledged that the Mayor was folley in his due diligence of Leshem (you know, that's Gadi's last name) and I've stated repeatedly that ALL that;s Gadi's done has not been in our best interests. Comon Mr. Golfer, you even contradict yourself when you tell me I should speak better of Gadi. Ya see, Bill C, the difference is I talk facts (and I'll make a mistake here and there doing so) while you take it all so personal you rely on acquiesence and character assassination.

But then again, it takes all kinds to make the world go round and pulling your chain is kinda fun at times cause you ALWAYS rise to the bait. Where would we be without guys like you?

And Curmudgeon, I'm in about total agreement with you today. You wrote a fine article to begin and your posts were superb and, as always, logical and articulate. Debate and discourse with you is always a pleasure. My thanks.

history tells all said...

Why, Oh why, is the council and the mayor spending money for a lobbyist? When they have given both Bill Cook and Mark Johnson big 100 thousand plus pay checks and neither one of them know how to do their jobs. Which is to go to the capitol and do lobbing. I see them every year at the capitol on Fridays and yet they need to pay someone else to do the job that they should be doing? Give me a break. Let's throw all the bums out and get some people in there that know what their duties are and quit wasting all of our tax dollars.

Here is why we should not have government paid lobbyist and this goes on in local and national politics.
The government doles out 50,000 or more bucks for a lobbyist a year, the lobbyist then works about 20 hours, for that money, the elected official is then up for re- election, the candidate then calls lobbyist for a donation, and tells them to call all his contacts for more donations, or he will not get the contract next time and wo la the elected official has now become corrupt to the money that was ours as taxpayers. end of story and that is why politics is so corrupt today.
Just ask the mayor or any number of republicans in office. I would say call a democrat but there aren't any.

Jared B said...

Tony,

I'm with you -- let's get rid of that expensive A-Team who don't earn their salaries and give it to the Police and Firemen! Godfrey couldn't stand to be just a member of the council and not God so he would not run again and we'd be rid of the whole worthless lot!

Bill C. said...

Blindest blain, what facts? You have yet to lay one accurate thing out here in how many weeks?
I mentioned gadi only because you have suddenly tried to distance yourself from this guy. And I'll say it so your handler won't blame you, gadi has done nothing for this City. His only real contribution came as 10,000 bucks to lying little matty, and of course a Christmas e-mail.
As far as character assassination goes, nobody could possibly do more damage to your benevolent visionary braintrust than he inflicks upon himself. Godfrey being godfrey is suicide.
Care to take another shot at listing any good brought forth by your dishonest tiny little leader? Something thats actually turned out good with no ulterior benefactors other than the people.

Ray Vaughn said...

Blaine Carl; it is interesting to note that you supported keeping the more expensive lobbyist($40,000) over the more reasonable lobbyist($10,000) The fact that the more expensive one only reports to the mayor was not a factor was it? The expensive golf course employee is Reed Waterfall=Business Development Director-$107,544-listed under Public Services/Golf Course. The information is in thge public record. The mayor is trying to run up costs at the golf course or Mr. Waterfall is not doing a very good job at making the golf course profitable.That would be a savings of over 33% of projected losses at the golf course. Do you not know who the director of your department?

Bland Carl said...

Honestly, I think we should just trust our mayor in every decision he makes and should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens.

Blaine Carl said...

Ray, I thought you were coming along better. NOWHERE, if you'd but READ by first post, did I support either Lobbyist. Again, my premise was that hiring one more Lobbyist, for 10K per year, when we have one already being paid 40K, would not only make Ogden look rather foolish but would cost the residents some 50K per year--for what? Answer: this foolish turf war that Curmudgeon so eloquently wrote about. Like most, I feel Lobbyists usually avail us nothing, but Jolley has done his flat best to aid the Mayor, as you all know. But this is not necessarily in the best interest of the people. As I mentioned, the Mayor pays Jolley's salary and thus the Mayor gets his bidding done. Those are my thoughts and I don't like seeing Jolley doing this any more than anyone else--except for the Administration. You guys just have to turn the words into the message, not just spin 'em in your own direction. READ, don't just look, please.

I guess Billie the Goofer just can't get it. I laid out several accomplishments that the BD performed on the fine story that Dan S wrote late last week. This just goes to show that for this Bill C clown, it's a personal thing, and factual issues are unknown to him. Trying to have a mature discussion with him is like playing jacks. Enough said.

I'm still puzzled. Who the hell is Reed Waterfall? There's a Scott Waterfall (maybe Reed is his middle name or something) who took over Harmer's position as Director of the CED, but I'm unaware of a Reed Waterfall. Todd Brinkman is tosay's Wathen, overseeing both El Monte and MOGC, but I don't think he makes 100K per year. Please, enlighten me--or get your facts straight on personnel/position. And for the record, BD and CD are both departments in the CED, both with managers who answer to Scott Waterfall. It's, as you say, a matter of public record, but you gotta read it and understand it to get it. Hope that wasn't too verbose.

Enjoy your day, people.

turncoat said...

Thanks again for setting the record straight Bill Glassman, I mean Blaine Carl.
We idiots that live and vote, and work in Ogden are so much better off with your enlightenments.

Ray Vaughn said...

Blaine Carl; The mayor does not pay lobbyist Jolleys salary. He pays it from taxpayer money. Unless he has a second job or outside source of income it is tax payer money to the tune of $40,000 The information on Reed Waterfall is found out the web site "Utah's Right To Know/UtahsRight.com" According to you we are not smart enough to understand your spin but thankfully just able enough to pay my taxes. Now quit playing on the internet and get back to work.

OgdenLover said...

From Utah's Right to Know:

It looks to me like Godfrey has put a lot of non-golf course people on the golf course budget. No wonder MOGC loses (on paper) lots of money each year!

Reed Waterfall - Business Development Director - Public Services/Golf Course - $107,544
Richard Mcconkie - Bus. Dev. Deputy Dir. - Public Services/Golf Course - $95,568
Thomas Christopulos - Business Devel. Manager - Public Services/Golf Course - $88,992
Todd Brenkman - Golf Course Division Manager - Public Services/Golf Course - $83,385
Kamie Geiger - Senior Project Coordinator - Public Services/Golf Course - $67,033
Jeff Mcfarland - Golf Course Supervisor - Public Services/Golf Course - $64,043
Brandon Cooper - Senior Project Coordinator - Public Services/Golf Course - $58,374
Jeanne Harris - Senior Project Coordinator - Public Services/Golf Course - $58,374
Carolyn Brierley - Special Events Coordinator - Public Services/Golf Course - $58,374

And then to the real people earning real people salaries:
Sharonn Erickson Administrative Assistant Public Services/Golf Course - $36,796

ozboy said...

OL

Seems to me that the "Public Services/Golf Course" biz refers to two departments. I didn't read it to mean that the big pile of empty suits making big bucks at the city's public trough were all being charged to the Golf Course budget.
seems as though maybe you did?

It does make one wonder why the city bean counters break it out this way - if they do. (I haven't read the city budget on it so I'm assuming that is the case based on your post)

Given Mayor Godfrey's proclivity for telling naughty little lies all the time, and some frequent real whoppers to boot, it makes a citizen wonder what he might be up to with this accounting breakdown. Does the published city budget have further info and accounting breakdown that shows these two departments separately?

And by the way Blaine - how do you explain and reconcile the mayor's well known reputation for being a pretty big fibber? Do you think he is getting a bum rap? Do you recognize that this reputation is city wide, not just on the WFC? And finally Mr. Carl, what's your take on ethics in general and where and when do you think the Godfreyite movement has got sideways ethically - if at all? Hey, you could even name names if you really wanted to educate us hoi polloi!

Know BG & JP Well said...

Those of you who think that Blaine Carl is Bill Glasmann, need to guess again. Bill Glasmann retired from the City three or four months ago, besides I don't think that he was privy to the information that Blaine Carl has posted on this blog.

My guess is that Blaine Carl is John Patterson. Yes, it is a guess, but the way he delights in rubbing people's noses in HS makes me think even more that it is JP. Do you know anyone else who has all the information available to him?

leopards never change their spots said...

I cant imagine John the filanderer Pureheart Patterson even looking at this web site. I would think that he spends most of his time checking out big tatas on the old www. and learning how to look sincere when he's lying, kind o like a little puppey that was just beaten.

Bill C. said...

Pussyfoot blind blain, as you recall, nothing you claimed for the mayar or yourself was;
accomplished yet or done by him or considered benficial by any other reader.
I offered you another stab at it and obviously you defer.
I 'll remind you that what you called IRS phase III, is just in house BD lingo to satify the wife of potato nose because he was duped into bying that old rat infested building on that very premice as backup to his real hope of an urban gondola wizzing by.
I pointed out that the gondola examiner inquired about this very nomenclature with the head of this IRS operation and reported he had never heard of it, nor had they any plans for more expantion.
You should stick to tiddlywinks, your mental dexterity is the shits.
Just what are the qualifications to work in the BD, looking at the hodgepodge makeup, one wonders?

Bill C. said...

If blind blain were Patterson, you would have to way anything he's posted very carefully. Despite all the juicy sexual details provided thru the SLC media surrounding his firering at West Valley City and his well documented history of lying past and up to the last Council meeting, he was fired for using his government position to benefit another person. Something this current administration appears to think is it's purpose.
In the case of West Valley City, there was a law and they didn't just ignore it, what's with Ogden?

Bill C. said...

That should be weigh as opposed to way in the last post.

Blaine Carl said...

Ray, again--we almost had it but now you're acting like that Bill C clown and playing verbal volleyball. I KNOW the Mayor doesn't pay Jolley out of his pocket (for hell sakes man, give a guy some crdit). Jolley is paid through the Mayor's discretionary funds, those funds CC approved and put into the budget, but I'm sure the check is cut by someone else other than the Mayor.

Are we going to joust over crap like this or can we stick to the issues. I think we're basically on the same page here, but man oh man, you do make it tough sometimes.

And I thought you, at least, dealt in common sense where guys like Bill C dealt in LOOKING at words and making of them what he wants to read into them. Discourse with that guy is a total waste of time. But I felt better about you, until you started to play with your computer. Now, you're relegating yourself to the level of Disgusted and Bill C, and that's a shame.

And Bill C, in your first sentence in your last paragraph above, the word "way" should be spelled W-E-I-G-H (weigh). I understand "typos;" we all make 'em. But Gooferm try to get it right, from the mechanics of grammer to the message. I know it's tough, but T-R-Y!

One other thing--do you believe EVERYTHING you read in the Standard Examiner? Here you go calling it the Gondola Examiner, casting dispersions, and now you use it as a source to refute the real IRS deal which you know absolutely NOTHING about. If you did, you would have checked out who sold what property to whom for Phase III. Ya fool.

And Ogdenlover, maybe you're right. Maybe those salaries that have been attached to the golf course are part of the reason it's in arrears each year. Whatever, MOGC should not be closed.

Ray Vaughn said...

Blaine Carl: It is interesting to note that the CC budgets money to the mayor on hus discrentionary fund to spend as he see fit. But when the CC budgets money for a specific purpose the mayor does not mind diverting the funds to what he considers important. If talking about the mayor you are defending the undefensable and explaining the unexplainable. I would imagine that many people who post here voted for Matthew Godfrey at one time or another. After nearly 10 years the curtain has been lifted from the publics eyes. He plans and dreams are mostly a failure and he has made the city a worse place. After continually watching the mayor misrepresent his plans and/or plain ignore the wishes of the CC he must be curtailed. The S_E is not the greatest paper but its all we have. I have come to the conclusion that Matthew Godfrey cannot be trusted to keep his word or simply follow the laws, rules and regulations that he does not agree with. Its a shame because Ogden can be a wonderful place but we need to return honesty and trusty to the mayors office.

Blaine Carl said...

Ray, I pretty much agree. My position has always been that nobody, not even the Mayor, does everything wrong but now again they'll do something right. And I tried to bring that to light.

I understand why not many trust this guy and I'm not "suddenly" distancing myself from him. I'm just saying that he has had his successes along with his failures; and some of the reason has to do with the CC which, like it or not, is an equal branch of the government. If it isn't, after all these years, then shame on them for letting things go as far as they have.

Bush got tied up trying to say the following:

"The first time you take me down, shame on you; the secopnd time you take me down, shame on me."

Well, now what we have is this turf war, a man in office who has apparently seized control through whatever means necessary, and a group of 7 people who have fallen prey to his biddings.

Ogden can be a wonderful place, as wonderful as it once was, but there has to be harmony exuding from the higher tiers of municipal government. I wonder if that's possible here? From the looks of things, not with any of thse crews.

Ray Vaughn said...

blaine Carl; The problem lies mainly with the mayor. He is the one who failed to keep his promises to the council. He is the one who has had problems with every city council since the first one. He is not a trustworthy or honorable man. Ogden will begin its journey back when he is out of office.

Blaine Carl said...

Ozboy, thanks for bringing some sanity to this blog. Your way with words allows you to disagree yet still begs the other guy to answer instead of jousting. We did share some thoughts with the RR articles but I appreciate the opportunity to share some dialogue with you now.

I agree with your reference to the "empty suits" (not the people but the hyperbole) and also didn't think that they were charged to the golf course budgets. Making sense out of the pages of the City Budget is herculean, but I'll bet that John Arington could answer some questions--and also explain some things. Maybe this OL person is onto something and part of these salaries are tied to the over 300K per year golf couse deficeit. But honestly, I don't think MO has ever made a profit since its inception in the early 1980s. How could it? Play's too slow and not enough people play there now because they know about the course and its irregularities. Tough on the average or lady golfer, but I like it, even with the occassional snake or hiker strolling through the fairways.

As for the "bean counters"--why this break down also puzzles me. I'm at a loss to understand why the Community Development people, like Ward Ogden, Keith Morey and his bunch on floor 1 aren't included in this "Public Services/Golf Courses" itemization. Hell, the CD is under Waterfall, just as the BD on floor 4 is. Also, Enforcement is under the CED, which is also Waterfall's baby (I guess the guy's given name is Reed, but this is a surprise to me).

I think that most monies can be moved from one account to another, if Cook allows this request (a Budget Opening, I believe it's called) to be put on agenda. Once there, it's explained as to why the necessity of the move and then the CC votes on it and approves or disapproves it (haven't seen much disapproval, though). It's really not much different than what we as individuals do--sometimes we let one bill slide this month, because of an unexpected expense that occured, and then catch up on it later down the pike. I'm pretty sure that hearing this will irrate some people on the blog, but its a fairly common practice, from the Feds to the State to the Cities.

Blaine Carl--Part II said...

Part II

Now we come to Godfrey. What is this, his 10th year in office? 2 1/2 terms now, winning his first election in or about 1998 and beginning his office term in Jan., 99? Give or take a year. I think that that's the same year good old Stuart Rhead ran for Mayor of SLC and was beaten by the woman, Deani Coradini? Stuart looses, Godfrey wins then shows up downtown and probably can't find his way to the Men's Room on 9 (I really don't think that Suzy van Hoosier could either, although I'm sure she'd be looking for the Woman's Room-don't want to give anybody the wrong impression here). So Godfrey, who doesn't know the first thing about being Mayor, or running a city, hires Rhead as CED Director, and then Rhead teaches him the ropes. Makes some sense, cause that allows Rhead to really run the show for awhile. Rhead, of course, being a street wise, tough-ass politician from SLC, knows his way around, from SLC to the Hill, and how to get things done, and Godfrey falls in line. And it's been that way ever since. If one looks at the parallels, one would probably draw that conclussion.

BUT, I could be wrong. This is merely my opinion. I'm somewhat at a loss, however, when it comes to the predominant religion, for I doubt that they like to read or hear the negative things said about one of their own, especially one who is a high profile public figure. That I can't figure out. But mine is not to question why. I'm only tossing out supposition here, trying to answer your questions.

How long this will go on is anybody's guess. I know much of what Godfrey's done has been secretive, etc. But what I do believe is that if he had used the same philosophy and criteria he did to get elected the first time out, he probably could have sold much of his agenda openly (transparency) and not been so reviled for doing things the way he did. Again, only opinion. Remember, he beat Bob Hunter, former City Manager, fine Weber County politician with many friends in real high places, served with Walthius, Dirks, Sneddon and Goff--but the people wanted change and tossed him out and put Godfrey in. Interesting, huh?

Well, enough space taken up. Ozboy, it's been my pleasure. Posting this way certainly beats the vulgarity and obnoxious methods of some of the others. My compliments to you and those like you.

Trevor Hansen said...

I find it interesting that prior to this editorial being published I voiced my opinion via press release to the three major print outlets in the valley only to have in now become a major issue of discussion.

I would hope that current city council members and/or candidates running for city office would take a firm stance on this and other issues plaguing Ogden City, such as: (Smart) Development, Crime, Public Services, etc.

This is a time for CHANGE!!

Curmudgeon said...

Trevor:

Post links to your releases?

Trevor Hansen said...

I pulled this from my sent folder out of my email.

Enjoy


From: maxwellsmart44@hotmail.com
To: twalch@desnews.com; news@sltrib.com; cityed@standard.net
Subject:
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2009 22:55:29 -0600

Here is the attachment.

Trevor Hansen

This is the attached letter...

Press Release
Aug 27, 2009
As announced by the Ogden City Council recently, talk has surfaced as to whether they should hire a lobbyist or not. Seeing how the City of Ogden has already hired a lobbyist and claims to have joint resolution with the council to see that the needs are being met but I question whose needs are being met, in my opinion, not the taxpayers. As a native of Ogden, for many reasons like this is why I, Trevor Hansen, am running for city council.
I understand the legislative process and the demands of what the city needs. With having such knowledge obtained through a recent legislative internship, I feel this would be an added advantage to the taxpayers with no additional salary given for such a public service. I highly believe that public servants need to be active in doing something FOR the public not TO the public.
Obviously a lack of communication exists between the council, administration and taxpayers. Another reason as to why I’m running. I, myself have had grave concerns about the public service being rendered and feel there is a greater need for such services to be readily available when needed by the taxpayer.
It seems strange to me that the council wants to hire their own lobbyist when the city already has one. I think council members should be talking to their local legislators to ensure city needs are being met
My campaign motto is “Nothing Strange, just a change!” I will promise to my constituents, should I be elected, to strive for further transparency in government to ensure the taxpayers know what they are getting for their tax dollars.
Trevor Hansen

disgusted said...

Blaine Carl and ozboy

ive been involved in enough big companies to know that they all assign a certain amount of the cost of operating of the company to the various departments. i.e. corp overhead or dept overhead. i think it is highly likely that the city does the same thing. as a matter of fact i know they do because ive seen it in budget numbers relative to it costs.

to keep things straight most companies will list employees with joint titles or their lines of acountability to the departments where their respective salaries are drawn from. i think this is the case with the individuals mentioned above within the city in the web site "Utah's Right To Know/UtahsRight.com. its very consistent with the way this information is presented. not all of each individuals salary is applied to the golf course but a percentage of each. and where the total of those salaries is between 6 & 700,000 im convident that at least 100,000 is being aplied to the golf course.

in support of that belief of mine is the fact that the golf course had a pretty good year last year as far as usage i.e. rounds of golf played and yet the city said it lost the most amount of money in that year ever. i dont buy it. someone cooked the books and by adding overhead is the best way a bean counter can do it.

ive watched the manipulations of the golf course budget every year now for 5 years. its truely a case of the city wanting to make this asset to look bad.

godfrey has been trying to justify his desire to do something else with the course for sometime now and has never been able to find a reason to attack that course other than to try and show that it is a drain on the city coffers. he has continually increased the city costs to the course in order to raise the losses. now a portion of the bd departments salaries are showing up on the golf course operating costs and bingo the course is now loosing an additional 100,000 per year.

hate to disagree but i do feel that the bd department activities are now being charged to the golf course to the tune of about a 100,000 dollars per year. this now on top of all of the other bs the city has piled on the course.

ozboy said...

Disgusted

If that be true, it truly is disgusting!

Is there any where in the city's accounting and reporting where there is an actual cash flow or cost summary for the golf course?

Surely any well run city would have a complete, and understandable, accounting of each and every department - wouldn't they?

Perhaps that is a dumb question considering the Godfrey proclivity for secrecy and sneaky dealings. Any one here with an understanding of the city books that could enlighten us?

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