Sunday, August 16, 2009

Std-Ex: Let's Avoid Mayor/Council Court Tiff

Good opening proposition followed by bad analysis

By Curmudgeon

The Standard-Examiner has a lead editorial up this morning, calling upon the Council and the Mayor to reach some negotiated settlement regarding the "Marshall White and golf course" matters to avoid having the two sides face off in court.

It makes some good points along the way. Particularly this one:
The mayor says that the original ordinance that he vetoed is illegal. If that's so, we wonder why he took the administrative action of using his veto.... By issuing a veto, Godfrey seemed to adhere to a policy that most observers would cite as being susceptible to an override.
But overall, it is sadly wrong in both its analysis of the problem and its proposed solution.

1. The time for negotiation and discussion between the Council and the Mayor was before the Mayor suddenly announced the terms of the contract for private management of the Marshall White Center, which did not include funding for operating the pool for the full fiscal year --- an announcement the SE editorial board rightly criticized as yet another example of the Mayor's preference for playing "Gotcha!" with the Council.

2. Once that happened, and the Council passed its budget ordinance included full funding for the pool and the Mayor vetoed that funding and the Council over rode the veto and the Mayor said he'd ignore the law, two non-negotiable positions had been staked out. As the editorial notes, when the Mayor cast his veto, he recognized the Council's authority to have passed that ordinance in the first place. Only after the vote didn't go as he expected did he decide the rules didn't apply to him.

3. The editorial calls for a negotiated settlement for the good of the city. That can work only when parties negotiate in good faith --- i.e. when they can be counted on to keep their agreements. The editorial forgets that the Mayor and Council negotiated another disagreement recently. The Mayor agreed that Ogden's paid lobbyist at the legislature would work on legislation that both the Council and Mayor decided he should work on. The Mayor promptly broke that agreement by secretly tasking the city's lobbyist to work on a bill stripping city councils of the power to remove a mayor as head of an RDA. In short, the Mayor demonstrated that his word, given in a negotiated agreement, is no good.

4. At this point it probably is best that the matter be settled in court. It's going to come up again. If the Mayor can, as he contends, veto the language in a budget appropriation specifying what the money is to be used for without vetoing the appropriation itself, he will have the power to use such funds for whatever purpose he wishes. The legality of this breathtaking power grab of the public's money needs to be settled once and for all. Only a court or the legislature can do that.

5. Similarly the Mayor's claim that his power to manage the city, which includes the power to let contracts and to sell city property, trumps all other city authorities also needs to be tested. Can he let contracts and sell property, for example, that violates city policy as established by the Council? That violates the Ogden City General plan ? Are there no limits to his power? So he seems to be claiming. That claim needs to be tested, and it can be settled now only by judicial or legislative action.

The Mayor and Council could negotiate the specific issues involved regarding the MWC pool, perhaps. But the core of the dispute --- the Mayor's claim that his administrative authority trumps all possible limits on it, and that he can vote in appropriations bills the purpose for which the money is granted by the Council while still getting the money to spend, wholly unencumbered --- go to the fundamental nature of city government and cannot be settled now by negotiations. Particularly since the Mayor has demonstrated that he does not consider himself bound by what he's agreed to in previous negotiations with the Council.

31 comments:

wildcat said...

The Standard's editorial today about Council-Mayor communication operates from a faulty assumption. The Standard calls for more meetings between Council leadership and the Mayor as a way to rectify the communication problems. How would more meetings between Council leadership and the Mayor have helped with regards to the Marshall White Center? If the Mayor did not inform Council leadership of his intent to turn the center over to OWCAP in the meetings that they did have, why does the Standard believe that if more meetings had been held the Mayor would have then told council leadership what he was up to. More meetings are not the answer. The Mayor being upfront, open and honest with Council leadership is the answer.

Jim Hutchins said...

I'm not the suing kind -- some of my best friends are attorneys but I have consistenly avoiding hiring one. It's just not in my nature.

Still, I strongly feel that this matter needs to go to court.

What the Mayor has done, as the S-E editorial points out, is veto the provision, tacitly accepting the Council's authority to set broad limits on appropriations, then refused to comply with Council's veto override.

When I get a speeding ticket, it's not legal for me to petulantly refuse to recognize the authority of the police officer. Rather, I have to take the matter to a court of law if I want to challenge it.

In short, the Mayor is not charged with interpreting Utah Law. The courts are. We shouldn't be surprised that he doesn't believe in anyone's authority but his own. Neither the S-E nor the Mayor seem to understand that government has three constitutionally established branches for a reason.

RWS Joseph Jones said...

Maube, just MAYBE, if Council leadership were to have an occassional meeting with the Mayor, besides those scheduled Thursday Leadership meetings, the Mayor would discuss things with them instead of being so PO's over Wicks & Company NOT meeting with him.

As I once said, I'll bet if her boss asked her to meet, she'd show up. Why not give it a try with the Mayor? Nothing to loose but pride. And she might even learn a little something.

Could be a start of something big. To continue this way, with this dissention so prevalent between the two, IS NOT SERVING THE PEOPLE!

Curmudgeon said...

RWS:

I remind you of the outcome of the last negotiation to settle a disagreement with the Mayor amicably. An agreement was made, and the Mayor promptly violated it, and he did it in secret. His word was worthless. Under those circumstances, I'd be extremely leery of further meetings without a public-record tape recorder running throughout, such as exists at a Council meeting [at which, let us recall, the Mayor insists he may speak about whatever he wishes for as long as he wishes whenever he wishes].

Dorrene Jeske said...

Ogden City Attorney Williams in a letter to the Council, Feb. 27, 2007, further clarified the code: “Simply stated, legislative powers are policy making powers while executive powers are policy execution powers. Legislative power, as distinguished from executive power, is the authority to make laws, but not to enforce them or appoint agents charged with the duty to make such enforcement. The latter executive functions. They are necessary to carry out legislative policies and purposes and are deemed acts of administration. Martindale, 581 P.2d at 1027.”
Craig Hall, Attorney for the Council and former City Attorney for the City of Murray, Utah for 30 years), further enlightens us on the subject: “One year after Martindale, the Legislature added Section 10-3-1219.5 to the Optional Forms of Municipal Government Act, which Section requires that a city council operating under a council-mayor form of government must, by ordinance, ‘provide for the manner in which … municipal property is bought, sold, traded, encumbered, or otherwise transferred….’ (emphasis added). See Senate Bill 33,1979. Furthermore, Section 10-3-1219 of the Act requires the mayor in a council-mayor form of government to ‘enforce the laws and ordinances of the municipality [and] execute the policies adopted by the Council[.]’ See Section 10-3-1219(2)(a) and (b) (emphasis added).”
You judge for yourself, after reading the law and further definition by the attorneys for the city and the council. I believe you will agree that it is Mayor Godfrey who needs to conform to the City’s ordinances. The Council has no desire to usurp his authority to manage the city, but to act in unison with the Mayor for the best interests of the City and citizens. It is the Mayor who has created the contention and discord. You need to remember that the ONLY council that he has been able to work with was the 2001 to 2005 "rubber stamp" council during his almost 10 years as mayor.

Dorrene Jeske said...

Sorry, the first half of my post above was not copied and therefor omitted. I have copied it below. This is really PART 1:
Both Wildcats' and Jim Hutchins' premises are correct. The Mayor is not charged with determining what is legal or not legal, as Jim Hutchins points out. He has only stated his opinion or tried to bluff the Council into thinking that their ordinance, which received input from an outside attorney, is not legal. Curm has a great memory and understands the Council's inadvertent position.

RWS Joseph Jones,
Chair Wicks and Vice Chair Gochnour have and do meet with the Mayor in leadership meetings when their schedules allow it (which is most of the time). It is difficult to meet all the time in summer because of vacations. Chair Wicks has a position of responsibility where she is employed and is requied to attend meetings when her boss notifies her of them. If you can't see that the Mayor is trying to win sympathy for his position and turn popular opinion against the Council, YOU have my sympathy.
I will put forth the State Code 10-3b-204. (2) (a), which states “The mayor in a municipality operating under a council-mayor form of municipal government may veto an ordinance or tax levy or all or any part of an appropriation passed by the council.”
He didn't veto the ordinance or part of an appropriation, he kept the appropriation and vetoed line items of the policy! The law does not give him the authority to cancel a portion, line or a part of the policy set forth by the Council. It is my opinion that his veto and his statement that the ordinance and subsequent override votes are “illegal” will not hold up in a court of law.
Godfrey refers to the Martindale vs Anderson 1978 Court ruling which tried to explain State Code10-3b-202 states: “Mayor in council-mayor form of government.
(1) The mayor in a municipality operating under the council-mayor form of government:
(c)shall:
(ii) execute the policies adopted by the council;” which are clear in stating the mayor’s role. Further clarification is found in: 10-3b-201, passed whereby the Legislature clarifies the roles of the Mayor and Council: Separate branches of government under a council-mayor form of government: The powers of municipal government in a municipality operating under the council-mayor form of government are vested in two separate, independent, and equal branches of municipal government …” Utah State Code 10-3-1219.5 states: “In the council-mayor form of government, the council shall, by ordinance, provide for the manner in which municipal property is bought, sold, traded, encumbered or otherwise transferred; and (1) subdivisions, or annexations are approved, disapproved or otherwise regulated.

Curmudgeon said...

Dorrene:

Thanks for the clarifications.

As for this: "remember that the ONLY council that he has been able to work with was the 2001 to 2005 "rubber stamp" council during his almost 10 years as mayor."

He couldn't always work well even with that compliant Council when, on very rare occasions, it told him "no." Recall the roll-away-seats for the Amphitheater he asked that Council to buy. The Council told him no, that it was a tight budget year, the seats were very expensive, and there wasn't money to do it just then. The Mayor promptly had the City buy them anyway. [And the Council did nothing.]

So his record of crashing around like a bull in a china shop or petulant child when he doesn't get his way extends even to years he served with a Council that agreed to very nearly all he wanted.

disgusted said...

Dorrene,

bang on.

and as for RWS Joseph Jones comment i think curm nailed it on the head.
from what ive heard the mayors meetngs with council leadership are more about him telling city council what he is going to do whether they like it or not.
if council leadership sees things differently there is never room for compromise from the mayor. they are then viewed by the mayor as being against him and he labels them as being unyielding. go figure when he is the one that wont bend.
why would anyone attend a meeting like that. why cant the mayor just bring up his thoughts during regular city meetings with the city council and where the entire process is public.

Rockford J. said...

I think the mayor is exhibiting classic signs of the acquired personality disorder Hubris Syndrome.
Madness is power, to some extent. History is rife with tales of those who were thrust, usually in one way or another undeservedly, into power, and there the Folly of Man true were exposed writ large, on a stage bright for all to see.
History is littered with this, I say.

This Godfrey is starting to seem reminiscent of Nixon's final days.

Because Godfrey imagines his power, his madness is both impotence and omnipotence. It requires outside power to control it. His self-image has paper walls, ultimately, because his power base is wealthier than he is.
Although in the Mayor it was not slow in presenting, this Lackey`ism has obviously increasingly aggravated an already unstable mind.

Threatening the normal structures of his self authority, his insanity while in civic-power engages him in an endless dialogue—a monomaniacal monologue. He should be watched for giving erratic orders, for identifying enemies where there are none.

This rarely ends well.

Ray Vaughn said...

RWS Joseph Jones, Amy Wicks is not an employee under the control of the mayor. She, as chair of the city council, is equal to the mayor in many areas and responsibilities. Perhaps if the mayor would realize that simple fact we could begin to work out some solutions. The city council is not subservient to the mayor.

Biker Babe said...

RV

We all know that, the council knows that ... its the mayor that doesn't seem to get it.

Anybody got a BFH to hammer it into his thick-forehead sckull?

just sayin

BB

Curmudgeon said...

BTW, there's another good piece in today's SE: Charles Trentelman's "Wasatch Rambler" column. It's about how the legislature claims it has not raised taxes when, in effect, it has. The legislature seines money out of state agency budgets, leaving the agencies to institute fees for services they performed without them before, or to raise, and sometimes double, the fees they already collect, to make the money up. Nice piece of digging and explaining, which I can't recall anyone else doing when the last state budget passed. Worth tracking down.

Joe Jones, your Rt. Wing Socialist said...

Dorenne, et al:

I understand what you're saying about the Mayor playing politics with the Council Leadership and Council as a whole. But, isn't the same true as it applies to you and the Council maybe playing a little politics with him?

It seems to me that there's a big disconnect between the CC and the Mayor/Administration, and all of this lining up on one side against the other is getting no one anywhere....least of all the citizens of Ogden. It is we who suffer from this "battle," more than the participants. Too many stand-offs; too many threats of "pending legal actions;" too much time wasted on this infighting, time that could be better spent on the City's business.

Curmudgon, I also understand that the Mayor is not the Chairperson's boss, and my analogy of Ms. Wicks attending a meeting her boss might call is probably not a good one in this case. But hell, why not get together for one of these private little meetings to hear what each other has to say? I'm sure neither would really tip his or her hand over strategy, future plans, etc.; each knows the other's political position on just about ANY & ALL items that might arise, so neither would get over on the other one in that case; most likely, neither trusts the other so each one would take the other's views and such with a grain of salt. But what would it hurt to maybe just meet up for a little while and chat? It they would LISTEN (L-I-S-T-E-N) to what the other had to say, there might be some headway made, ya? Ya know, Obama's going to talk with Mujinihad or Mahjinibad (however you pronounce that guy's name); so why can't Amy talk with Matt?

It could be the start of something big but if it didn't work out, what would have been lost except a lunch hour? Seems a small price for something that COULD begin to clear the air? Heavens knows that Ogden needs it. There's way too much time spent plotting, attacking, etc. when cooperation between the 2 branches is what's needed now.

Curmudgeon said...

JJ:

Councilwoman Jeske says those private leadership meetings [Council chair and asst. chair with the Mayor] do happen with some regularity. Whether they are productive, I couldn't say. It seems not. But apparently they do happen.

Hell, JJ, I'm all for talking with practically anybody with whom I disagree, and it's absolutely true that Ogden City would be better off if there were regular exchanges of opinion, ideas, plans, policies and discussions about same between the legislative body of city government and the executive. On that we agree.

The problem is, distrust may now have reached such a point that fruitful conversations are no long possible. And the second problem is, the extent of the Mayor's claims to unchecked power [he can ignore veto overrides if he wants to; he can veto enabling language in appropriation ordinances without vetoing the appropriation itself; his management authority, insofar as it involves letting contracts and selling city property, is unchecked and uncheckable by any other city authority --- the Council, Council policy decisions, ordinances, the City's general plan] are such that, if allowed to stand, they would render the Council a largely meaningless body. I'm not sure that kind of thing can be settled by conversation and the kind of horse-trading that political compromise usually involves.

It's possibly though, and if Hizzonah's attorney's convince him he stands a good chance of losing if those matters go before the courts, he may be willing to dicker. [If he thinks there's a serious risk he would lose the case, it would be to his advantage to settle short of court. He'd benefit by leaving the matters fuzzy and unclear instead of having them resolved in ways he does not want them resolved.] Maybe something like that will happen. I doubt it, but it's possible.

ozboy said...

Dorrene

Thanks for your above explanations, and thank you for such a fine job you have done representing all of the citizens and taxpayers of Ogden these past four years. You are a true Ogden treasure.

I have a question about the council's legislative given powers to control city property. This is a situation that has been bothering me for several years now.

The rubber stamp council of several years ago took their power to control city property and passed an ordinance that in turn gave the power to the mayor.

I remember advocating that the council which followed the rubber stampers rescind that ordinance and at the time they did not do so. Has any subsequent council changed that give away of power that the rubber stampers enacted? If not, doesn't the mayor indeed have the authority to do pretty much anything he wants with city property based on that ridiculous ordinance?

If it is still on the books, has the current council considered rescinding that ill advised ordinance passed by that ill advised rubber stamp council of yesteryear?

It has been a long time coming, but with the the council finally standing up for the citizens against the incompetent and dishonest mayor it gives the tax payers of Ogden hope that honesty, sensibility and justice will finally prevail after these long dark years of the mayor's incompetence, dishonesty and rampant insider dealings with his cronies.

Biker Babe said...

Mother, can I trust the government?

-- Pink Floyd, The Wall


just sayin

BB

Ray Vaughn said...

Joe Jones, The mayor does not really want to speak with the city council. He wishes to "speak at the council" Respecting the opinions of others is not his strong point. His constant assertion that he can speak as often and as long as he wishes at council meetings is how he seems to regard dissenting oopinions. The city council overrode his veto because of a strong outpouring of public opinion on the disputed items.

Neil Hansen said...

Did any of know that any of the city council members could take the city's ordinance that was just past, and ask the A. G. Office for a legal opinion. They would have to give one on sound constitutional law. This would not cost the taxpayer a dime. This would end the debate on Godfrey's part of the expense. Let's get a ruling and then go from there.

Dorrene Jeske said...

Representtive Hansen,

Thank you for that valuable piece of information. Action will be taken either by the majority of the Council or I will make the request.

Ray Jones and RWS,
I and the other council members have tried to work with the Mayor on a number of occasions. We have taken him at his word to work out a compromise, only to have him go behind our backs and negotiate a deal with another entity, totaling ignoring our input and making the Council look like fools by doing as he requested. It is a slap in the face and shows his disrespect and contempt for the Council. As far as I know, all members of the Council would like to work with the Mayor and we have tried. But it does take both sides cooperating to make such efforts work effectively. I know the Mayor puts all the blame on the Council. As evidenced last fall, we were told by the Mayor that former mayor and council member, Cliff Goff had volunteered to meet with individual council members to try to build bridges by which we could work together. To me that is like a married couple who are having marital problems and the one spouse tells the other one to go see a marriage counselor because he/she is to blame for their problems. You can tell by the first spouse’s attitude that at least 60% or 75% of the problem is due to them. hat way. Problems are created by two people and it takes those two people working together, making honest and sincere concessions to one another to achieve any degree of resolution. Both Mr. Goff and I suffered some severe health problems that kept us from meeting. But I felt that the wrong people were meeting. The Mayor was part of the problem and should have been the one meeting with council members. I know that would have been difficult because many bridges had been burned and there was a definite lack of trust that existed between the council and mayor.
Curmudgeon, the incident of the bleachers for the amphitheater did not happen with the 2001 – 2005 council. The reason that I am sure of that is because a close friend of mine, serving as the council chair, told me about the incident and how frustrated he and other council members were. He did not run for re-election for the 2000 – 2004 term.
Oz Boy, I spent over three months (full time, Nov. Dec. & Jan.) trying to come up with an ordinance that restored some of the council’s power that had been lost under the previous RDA/ Council board. I contacted some business men with greater business and contractual knowledge than I. Attorney Williams met with me and some Council staff members. He told me that if I presented my amendment to the ordinance on property disposition, he would announce that it was illegal. I made some changes to the part to which he objected and had Bill Cook ask Gary and Craig Hall for their written assessments. The responses from attorneys Williams and Hall were to which I have referred, were the result of my efforts. The other Council members didn’t seem interested in addressing the suggestions that Mr. Hall offered. In fact, one of them said, “Dorrene, are they your suggestions?” in a very disparaging tone. When they were not interested in amending the ordinance and require that the Mayor give us 30 days notice prior to a major sale of property, I saw no future in pursing the matter. I did ask Mr. Cook to bring Mr. Hall’s suggestions forward at a later date. So far the subject has not been approached again.
One Council member can try to make a change, but unless at least three other Council members agree that a change is needed, nothing will happen.
I did try.

RV,

You might say that the Mayor does not wish to speak to the Council -- period! Thank's to Schwebke's article about a possible hotel being built at the Junction, the Council learned that there is a pre-devopment agreement (public document)signed by the Mayor May 28,2009. Proves both yours and our points on trying to work with the Mayor.

disgusted said...

Dorrene

ive compared the dollar amount of this so called revenue refunding bond to other bonds that are outstanding. this exceeds any of those bond amounts that are outstanding relative to the junction. this is for a larger amount. is the adminstration going to refinance the junction bonds and at the same time take out additional bond money i.e. debt.

sure looks like it to me. i hope the council has the guts to only allow the refunding of the now reduced bond debt and nothing else. i say now reduced because weve been paying on the debt for some time and the principal amount should be less that the original note. now is not the time to be taking on more debt. please convince the other council members to say no to adding to our debt load.

disgusted said...

what other project does the mayor plan to build with our money if he get the added bond money

Blaine Carl said...

Well, I guess that about covers the private meeting possibilities between Council Leadership and the Mayor. Looks as if it ain't gonna happen. Too bad, this distrust and lack of harmony between the two bodies needs to be defused. But I'm beginning to understand the reasoning behind this situation. I do however, go along with Mr. RWS Jones: "this isn't good for the citizens of Ogden."

Hopefully, it can be resolved.

Disgusted, we kind of left our discussion open with some questions about "where do we go from here?" The more I read on this blog, the less of an answer I have, except to maybe say it might to time for the people to mobilize. After all, isn't this a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people?" Seems to me the answer is right there in front of you....whatever changes are to happen MUST first begin with the PEOPLE. And I think it takes more than mere voting. It takes ACTION.

Remember the 60s and 70s? Hell, the people mobilized, stopped the ward, forced Nixon from office, re-kindled Civil Rights, and so on. The only problem was that once the people had put a stop to the so-called "establishment," they didn't quite know what to do. It took another generation of folk to figure out where to go from there. Reminds me of Redford's classic line in "The Candidate," after he won the Californai Senate Seat election: "NOW WHAT?"

Hope my prclivity for words hasn't overwhelmed Ozboy and the gang. Just trying to share some thoughts, etc. and not give a history lesson or such (wink).

disgusted said...

so just how do you suggest that people mobilize. come on get real.

i was hoping that you had some thoughts as to where the city should focus their efforts not some flip suggestion that we start a revoulution.

youre disappointing me.

ozboy said...

disgusted

It starts by defying authority and eating the rich. At least that's what we did, or advocated, in the 60's. Incidentally, they taste a lot better sauteed in butter. Too bad that after feasting we all toked up and forgot what to do next!

I know you and Blaine C got off to a bad start, but maybe you can bury the hatchet and follow the sage advice of the great Rodney King and just get along? I think you both make a lot of sense and contribute greatly to the intellectual content of this blog.

Unfortunately I don't think the lessons of revolt from the 60's apply in Zion. It is not in our dominant religion's make up to revolt against authority. Too bad, cause best as I recall it was a lot of fun and dem rich folks were pretty tasty.

Blaine Carl said...

Disgusted,

My friend, you HAVE TO think outside of the box and
CONSIDER my words. I don't advocate a revolution. Like I said, that was the 60s (and it was some fun) but this is the Millenium. I'm advocating a MOVEMENT!

It's kind of like showbiz....you have to get your word, or idea, out to the people. Get some publicity. It's YOU who advocate change, not Godfrey, my friend. He's completely satisfied with the staus quo. But if you get some people, like old Mitch did at his buddy's bowling alley one snowy, Saturday evening, publicized it, drew a few people, and moved on from there, that little ditty morphed into a movement that STOPPED WalMart from locating on that residential patch of property just West of the Sundowners house.

Don't be disappointed in FUNDAMENTALS. All change begins at ground level, even in politics with those pre-election grass roots neighborhood meetings. But you need a CAUSE, then you need to get out the word, have people join in the cause, get in publicized, and move forward with press coverage and people on board. It will grow and pretty soon you might have something that has so damn much interest, it takes seed and makes petition then ballot.

Comon man, it's you who are disappointing. This is basic stuff. Figure out change, DON'T expect the City to change with a couple of phone calls or blog posts. GET OUT THERE, DUDE and go to work.

Again....showbiz and fundamentals.

disgusted said...

Blaine Carl

so i can expect you to lead the charge. tell me what your platform is.

Blaine Carl said...

Disgusted, you're up as late as I am. And I've been thinkng: we're not too far apart, but it seems like everytime we kind of close the gap, something happens and we start a sparring session. Example: near the final posts of the WinCo discussion, we both wound things up be asking "where do we go from here." So today, I posted the 60s movement idea, you took it as a "revolution" idea, and we wound up crossing swords....again. Probably getting quite boring for most everyone else, although our friend and gentle reader Ozboy, in his usual perceptive and thoughtful manner, tried to throw a little water on the fire and calm things down.

So, what's our disconnect? From the WinCo posts, along with some of the other topics, I have learned a great deal about why most of you distrust the Mayor; I now understand the difference between what I call a City investing in itself and most of you call it gambling with the tax payers' money; and so forth.

Now, that being said, I still support the WinCo project AND the 750K the City has put toward the site clean-up; I'm still an advocate of the CED/BD; and I still feel that a City should use TIF and CIF "PROPERLY" in order to help fund certain worthy projects less those projects get away from us if they don't get some help.

From reading your posts, along with some others, and trying my best to understand your messages, I think I'm in the minority here and I take many of my positions opposite of the way you take them. Then, when you ask me where I think the City should focus, I'm thinking you already know where I think the City should focus. Therefore, I'm not about to make suggestions that will help change initiatives or proposals that I believe in and would then run contrary to my philospophy. But I can give you a suggestion of what my perception is on how to make "change," and that is through a "movement by the people." It's simple. It's fundamental. And I've even given you two examples: the huge movement of the 60s and the smaller movement by that guy named Mitch. Different in tiem and size, but both yielding similar results....CHANGE!

Therefore, I'm at a loss as to why you're disappointed and, it seems, kind of PO'd at me for daring to suggest something akin to a REVOLUTION. Damn, Disgusted, I was just tossing out a basic political concept that's been one of the basic root movements of democracy since the founding of our system of democracy.

I hate to do this, but maybe I need to go to Part II because of my fear of the blog eater and I'd like to finish my thought. I'll be brief, however.

setting the record straight said...

Blaine:

"Mitch" is an idiot. He's never been the center of any public movement that I know of, although he is indeed a political narcissist. If you want to identify a single central activist in the 2005 anti-WalMart movement, by the way, think Dorothy Littrell. She's the one who stood out at that time. She's the one who recruited the Institute for Justice to provide legal advice, signs and banners. She's the one who attracted the press coverage. She's the one who received national recognition (and an IOJ award) for her efforts.

And while in truth there were many others involved in "the movement," (myself included), I don't recall "Mitch" appearing at any of the numerous meetings, rallies and marches at the time.

Let's give credit where it's due.

I hope this helps to set the record straight.

Blaine Carl said...

Part II

The following COULD BE an example of A focus for you.

This battle that's brewing between the Mayor and City Council seems to be taking up much time, time that could be used for the peoples' business. Why is it happening? Most of you seem to feel that it's caused by the Mayor and his scurilous ways. Maybe you're right; but could it be a lack of Council direction, direction that comes from the staff?

Bill Cook is the Executive Director and Alan Franke is the Policy Analyst. Are these two gentlemen guiding the Council down the right path? Are they showing the Council and advising the Council in ways that allows the Council to perform and ply itself legislatively?

I don't know; Dorrenne Jeske, Caitlin, Johnson, et al would be better equiped to answer that than I would be. But some of the things I've read in the newspaper, and I'll be the first to admit that everything one reads in the Standard or Tribune ain't gospel, seems to suggest a kind of wavering when it comes to some Council Member's ideas and desires. It doesn't feel that these ideas and or proposals make it to the agendas at either the Work Sessions or the Council Meetings. To me, and this is merely my opinion, there doesn't always seem to be the same blend between what some Council Members advocate and what then happens in those meetings. I could be wrong here, but I believe that the Council takes much of its direction from Cook and Franke before going public.

If so, and I caution that this is a really big "IF,", then what's the reason? Are the ideas presented by Council Members being deflected by the staff? Are the Council Members being talked out of their ideas or having a hard time getting them on Agenda, etc? I don't know, but if so, maybe someone should take a look at the staff and if so, advocate some kind of change.

I believe the Executive Director and Policy Analyst can only be removed by the Council itself, but if this is so, and it's found out that there's somewhat of a disconnect between staff and Council, then how does one go about making a change?

Answer: by creating a public movement that has a large enough voice that the Council Members would listen, study it, then go from there.

Now this is not a suggestion, Disgusted, it is but an example of what I think a "movement" would or could be.

Personally, I think that both Cook and Franke do a good job, but I do sense some frustration by some Council Members that have voiced wanting to initiate some proposals or Ordinance re-calls but then having those initiatives not getting in front of the Council where they could be reviewed.

Just a thought of how change could come about, beginning with a peoples' movement and then forcing some action. Stranger things have happened. If Nixon were alive, you could ask him about that.

Blaine Carl said...

Setting the Record....yeah, I remember some of what you say. Didn't Dorothy go to court over some action? And I do believe she attended some City Council Meetings and voiced her opinion, etc.

But, I believe this whole movement was begun at a bowling alley in Roy, held by Mitch, then in more meetings held at the Weber County Library that were called by Mitch and one of his professor friends from the college.

But, hold on, on second thought this all might have been the climbing wall, now Soloman Center/Recreation Center thing. I believe you're right.

But whatever, the point was that PEOPLE can make change by mobilization, regardless of what the initiative is....from stopping WalMart to removing a President.

Sorry about the confusion.

Marion B. said...

To"Setting the record straight"

If you are going to be so presumptuous as to "set the record straight" the least you could do is get it accurate, which you didn't.

For starters, Mitch is not an idiot. He is perhaps bumbling sometimes but he is sincere and tireless in working for the betterment of Ogden.

While Dorothy Littrell was active early in the attempt by WallMart and Ogden redevelopment people to take people's home and property for another super center, she was not by any means the leader or the "single central activist" in that successful effort. Bill Glassmann and Tom Owens were the organizers of the rally and news coverage, and it was Owens who made the contact and coordinated the involvement of the Institute of Justice. It was Owens (Ozboy?) who was invited to attend the Institute of Justice confab in Washington and who passed that honor onto Dorothy who attended.

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