Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Vision Meets Reality

Sixteen Godfrey chickens that haven't exactly hatched

By Dan Schroeder

The Standard-Examiner recently published a commentary by Mayor Godfrey, bragging about some of his accomplishments and reminding us of his "high adventure" vision for Ogden's future. In response, I'd like to thank the mayor for giving me this opportunity to publish a little list that I've compiled.

When an elected official has been in office for nearly a decade, I think it's appropriate to judge his visions in light of his record. Mayor Godfrey's record has its bright spots, as he repeatedly reminds us. But to get the full picture, we need to look at what he actually promised once upon a time--and compare those promises to the current reality.

So I offer this modest list as an additional basis for community discussion. I don't claim that the list is complete, or that it fairly represents the mayor's full record. Nor do I mean to give the mayor all the credit for either the original promises or the difficulty in fulfilling them. (In many cases the news media played a significant role in puffing up our expectations.) Still, all of these projects are closely associated with the mayor's "vision" for Ogden, and the list is long enough to refute anyone's contention that these shortcomings are due merely to occasional bad luck, or to the recent economic downturn.

Here, then, are some of the facts that Mayor Godfrey's commentary didn't mention:

ProjectThen...Now...
River Project
"Construction on the ambitious river project, in the works since early 2001,
should begin in 2005, with the recent approval of a developer's agreement between the Ogden Redevelopment Agency and Cottonwood Partners Management LTD." (January 16, 2004)
Except for the Bingham's building, there has been no new construction in this 60-acre area. The residential blocks have been virtually abandoned and plagued by a
series of arsons.
Ernest Health
"Done deal" according to a news article based on statements from the Ogden City administration (June 7, 2008).Ernest missed its deadline to finalize the land purchase; property is back on the market.
Midtown Hotel
"An Orem company plans to begin construction later this year on a $100 million hotel at The Junction downtown development." (January 10, 2008)"Canceled".
Ashton Square
"Construction is slated to begin in August and will last about 14 months." (May 24, 2007)"It's off the table for now and for the foreseeable future."
Earnshaw Building
"Construction on the Earnshaw Building is slated to start within a couple of months and end in about a year." (February 21, 2006)Construction has slowed to a crawl. Signs in the windows promise that the first tenant, Deseret Books, will move in later this summer. The owner owes over $24,000 in delinquent property taxes.
Junction Leases
Lease revenues from Boyer were projected to bring the city over $300,000 annually by 2010. The Ogden City administration was willing to pay Boyer to add two more floors to its office building because they "wouldn't have much difficulty leasing" the space (May 31, 2006).Even at four stories, the office building is mostly unoccupied and its only tenants are those that moved from across the street. Overall, the Boyer properties have generated no lease revenue for the city and "there is not anticipated to be any in the near future."
Junction Property Tax
"In the year 2015 ... the redevelopment district expires and community entities begin receiving the full benefit of the tax income from The Junction." (Newspaper
advertisement from mayor's office
, May 31, 2007.)
At the request of the Ogden City administration, the district's expiration date has been extended for an additional 12 years. Some taxing entities will receive partial "mitigation payments" during this time, but the rest will receive no tax revenue from the Junction.
Windsor Hotel
"Ogden Properties ... is conservatively estimating the project to be finished by spring next year" (June 24, 2007). In a development agreement with the city, the building's owner pledged to comply with all "applicable rules, laws and ordinances".After the city council declined to amend an ordinance to increase the height limit on 25th Street, the owner canceled the project and threatened to demolish the building.
American Can Building
Was to have housed Mt. Ogden Scientific, Fresenius Medical Care, and 1st Contact Technologies (April 23, 2005).None of these "high tech" companies ever moved in. The building has been renovated and a portion is now occupied by Amer Sports, but much of the building remains vacant.
Adam Aircraft
Promised to bring "hundreds of new jobs" (March 16, 2005).The 55 Ogden employees were permanently laid off in January 2008. The company ceased operations soon thereafter, and its taxpayer-subsidized 91,000 square foot building is empty.
Ryan McEuen Amphitheater
"It is hoped that the amphitheater will open in 2008 to coincide with the completion of a commuter rail line... Patterson said." (September 10, 2006)The site is still occupied by a landfill and a portion of it is posted for sale. Patterson says the city is "continuing to work" on the project, but McEuen says there is "no timeline for construction".
Ice Climbing Tower
"It will go up this year", said John Patterson (April 25, 2007).$200,000 RAMP grant had to be returned to the county because matching funds were never raised.
High-Adventure Campground
"Campground for rock climbers may arrive soon in Ogden" (July 23, 2008).Work on the campground began in September 2008 but abruptly ceased soon thereafter and has not resumed after nearly a year.
Velodrome
Mayor Godfrey "is hopeful that fundraising can be completed by the end of next year, enabling construction to be finished in 2011." He predicts that the city's contribution will need to be "more than $100,000". (September 6, 2008)No funds have been raised yet for this $15 million project. The city's $2 million RAMP application was rejected in early 2009. The application promised that the city would contribute $2 million.
Via Ferrata
Supposedly open to the public for a $25 fee (November 18, 2005).Never got a business license from the county.
Malan's Basin Resort
"The next few months will see trail work start on a new ski area entirely on private land at Malan's Basin which will be completed in time for the 2007 season" (Ski Press Magazine, August 19, 2005). Plans for the resort were to be made public by fall 2005.Some ski routes have been cleared of trees and brush, but no other construction has taken place and no plans have been released.

Reader comments are, of course, most welcome. Should other items be added to this list? How can we better understand the difficulties that the mayor has encountered in carrying out his vision? And most importantly, where should Ogden go from here?

82 comments:

Ray Vaughn said...

sure it looks bleak if you insist on actual performance. But there is nothing wrong with dreams. Just look at the river project. Without all of those empty boarded up houses where would the fire department and arson investigators get real experience?

Curmudgeon said...

Wasn't there a downtown indoor water park announced with great fanfare a couple of years ago as well? Now defunct?

Bill C. said...

Curm, the ultra high adventure indoor/outdoor water park was part of the midtown gondola port hotel. Harmer Patterson and Montgomery fully explained how the project failed, only due to miscounting available parking spots behind the jackass center. Had there been a couple hundred extra spots, they assured it would be open by now.
I forget how many million they were trying to commit to this one.

googlegirl said...

Midtown Village

Jennifer Neil said...

Given the current economic situation, I hope these un-finished projects aren't costing a lot to un-maintain. Are they, Dan?

That said, also given the current economic situation, wouldn't it be a good idea to turn aside from ambitious projects such as these and focus on the basics?

Basics = infrastructure, public safety, water issues, streets, homelessness awareness, growing population of un- or under-employed citizens of Ogden, to name a few.

Jennifer Neil

slick nick said...

And...nary a mention of the gondola.

googlegirl said...

"The" Gondola

old timer said...

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Good Job, Dan!

althepal said...

Here's an idea. Why don't we put together a list of Godfrey's accomplishments? Unfortunately I can't think of any right off the top of my head, but as Dan S. suggests, there has to be something positive he's done for Ogden. Nobody's a complete screwup, not even Godfrey, I'm sure.

just for the record said...

The first question I have is how many RDA dollars have been given away to bring companies to town such as Adam Aircraft?

Mel Kemp got several million for his airport project - isn't that part of the Adam Aircraft deal?

The American Can deal is the stupidest..The State of Utah gave Ogden millions to renovate those buildings.

None of the fine print in the grant was ever complied with.

This is another one of the deals that Dorothy Littrell's group tried to get somebody on the state level to look into.

Instead Godfrey wound up putting most of the American Can property into his Ogden Community Foundation that nobody can touch or get any information on....all with the State Auditor and Governor Huntsman's RDA people saying there was nothing illegal going on.

OgdenLover said...

Accomplishment: Got Larry Miller to open a theater at the Junction.

Result: My guess is that revenue at Newgate's Tinseltown theater is down; Newgate is in Ogden proper so tax revenues just shifted from one venue to another. The Point, a really neat neighborhood theater on 12th closed and is now a 2nd-run theater - Missed Pelham 123? Here's your chance.

Thank you, Mayor Godfrey!

ozboy said...

Another piece of great work Dan. Thanks a lot.

One thing I missed in your fair and balanced report is the incredible number of lies the goodly Mayor has told the citizens over the years with all of these loser deals. Also missing is the uncountable number of secret behind closed door meetings the Mayor has conducted on all of them, and how the only people to ever benefit from these poorly conceived and thought out fiasco's were his cronies.

Waterboy said...

OgdenLover,

Yea, there is the Megaplex 13 (theater) at the Junction, but that is (about) the only thing open on Sunday. I took my family down there this past Sunday. We wanted to eat at the pizza joint and catch a movie. I am sure the kids would have begged (and gotten their way) to play in the arcade. Lo and behold they were not open. So we did not bother to stick around. We went to Layton, did some shopping, had dinner and caught a movie.

How much is Ogden losing in revenue because the Junction is not open on Sundays? Sorry but the only day my family and I have together is on Sunday. My wife and I work opposite schedules and that includes Saturday.

BTW, I think the Newgate's Tinseltown is still open.

lionel said...

What about the Condo project on lower two bit street that only cost the tax payer's of Ogden Two Million in losses before the city had to give away the store to coax people to move into them?

Curmudgeon said...

OK, there have been some accomplishments. Ogden has benefited I think, and clearly so, from Amer Sports arrival and the other outdoor equipment companies too. So that's been good, and it resulted from the Mayor's wise abandonment of his original "Ogden will be the next high-tech Silicon Valley" vision, which died aborning. What followed, recruiting the outdoors companies, benefited the city.

And Hizzonah was an early supporter of the Frontrunner project --- another good thing.

And his administration has, as a rule, been good about expanding and improving the urban trails network --- supporting various cooperative projects with Weber Pathways [underpass at the mouth of Ogden Canyon, new segments of the River Parkway trails, Birdsong Trail, etc.]

No, I don't think all this balances out Mayor Godfrey's very expensive [to the taxpayers] lack of sound judgment that Dan's post painfully illustrates. But it'd be wrong to suggest that his record is entirely devoid of good things done for Ogden. It would not be wrong to conclude that his record overall has not been good for Ogden City.

Moroni McConkie said...

Dan's interesting and helpful presentation (ahem: eat your heart out, Standard-Examiner!) prompts one to speculate on the whereabouts of that most celebrated inner-city savior, Gadi Khashoggi, er, Gadi Leshem.

Hmm. Gadi, Scott Brown, Scrupulous Stu Reid, Tom Moore, Bobby Geiger, Jonny Greiner, John Patterson, Richard McConkie, Val Southwick. The A-Team. I'll say this for Elder Godfrey. He has the same genius for assembling a kitchen cabinet as Richard Nixon or Joseph Smith.

Dr Honeydew said...

Well Dan we owe you one, well done. Jason please come home.

Curmudgeon said...

MM:

You wrote: "Dan's interesting and helpful presentation (ahem: eat your heart out, Standard-Examiner!)"

Exactly. And it illustrates one of the SE's weaknesses: lack of follow-up on stories three months, six months, a year or more after initial publication.

Dan's post is one of the finest examples of a Joe Friday take down of a sitting officeholder I can recall. [Joe Friday of Dragnet: "Just the facts, M'am."]

Marion said...

Curm

You have written here on a number of occasions that Ogden has benefited significantly from the Mayor's efforts to bring these ski companies to Ogden. Could you please elaborate and tell specifically how this is so? I have lived in Ogden my whole life and I have not benefited in any way that I can tell from their presence. I don't know anyone else in Ogden that has either. Just how many employees do these companies employ anyway and what benefit to they bring to us?

I also don't see how the mayor being a supporter of the Frontrunner gives him any credit. This was a project that was way beyond his level in the planning and execution and it would have come to Ogden regardless of who was mayor.

googlegirl said...

Police Sgt. Joe Friday

The Announcer said...

Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to see is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Curmudgeon said...

BC:

The RR posts. Good stuff. Thanks.
You too, Oz.

Curmudgeon said...

Marion:

On the outdoors companies: First, they've brought jobs to Ogden. I don't care how many: ten, twenty, fifty, more, less. However many, it's jobs we would not have had here otherwise, with incomes attached being spent in the area as well. That's good. Hard to see why anyone would think otherwise. [And the Am. Can. building would be absent its major tenant had Amer not come.]

Second, the companies, some of them anyway, have been good citizens: there are bike racks all over town, dozens of them, put up by those companies. I don't ride a bike, but lots of others do. Just because they've done something that benefits others that doesn't benefit me directly, I see no reason not to credit them for it.

The companies have sponsored various public activities, contributed prizes for volunteer groups, and the like. And I think they've played some role in getting the XTERRA competitions to Ogden, and I've enjoyed the downtown elements of those. Some good ink for Ogden, brings some people in, and some good times for the residents. What's not to like?

Frontrunner: no, of course the Mayor doesn't get all the credit or even much of it. But if the Mayors of the towns through which it was going to run had opposed it, it would have been difficult to get it going when it did. It was an issue important to Ogden's future, the building of Frontrunner, and the Mayor was on the right side of it. And he can take a bit of credit for that when people --- some here --- claim they can't think of anything he's done right.

I'm not a fan of Mayor Godfrey. Not by any means. And as I've said here many times, overall his mayoralty has not been good for Ogden City, and we're going to be paying for his bad judgment for decades to come, I'm afraid. But that's no reason to ignore the things he's done right [however few they may be], and the things he's done that have benefited Ogden City [however few etc etc.].

Standard-Ex said...

Live tweets from city council meeting tonight starting at 6 at twitter.com/standardex

beaver said...

Curm:

I agree that any reputable company bringing jobs (regardless of number) and positive community involvement to O-Town is a good thing. And I can think of a lot worse industries to bring here than the outdoors industry.

What I believe concerns people is that companies are being brought here with incentives that cost current citizens much more in the long run than we gain by their presence. I’m not saying that has been the case with those who have relocated here. I’m not privy to the details of those deals.

But, I believe, given the Mayor’s (tunnel) vision, he is susceptible to making offers that end up hurting taxpayers for the sake of the often-quoted “wow” factor.

Also, take into account the aggressively vocal support of unpopular initiatives (gondola/open space plundering) by principal players in some of these companies. Not to mention the divisive propaganda and electioneering introduced by the same, and I think you might find people who feel their addition to the community is a negative, regardless of economics.

Moroni McConkie said...

I agree with Marion that Elder Godfrey, to whatever extent he claims credit for the now-magnificent presence of the FrontRunner service in Ogden, is whistling Dixie. What mayor in her right mind would have snarled at the millions in federal largesse it represented?

Worse yet, now that it's here I can't detect any consciousness on the Ninth Floor of what the FrontRunner could do for Ogden's economic and population growth if propertly marketed. Tourists who ride the trains here with full intention of spending money still have a hard time figuring out which way to walk and what to do. Could Vegas ever have mushroomed if its tourists had been greeted with such studious silence? Thus far, whatever value the FrontRunner has added to Ogden's economy has been by dumb luck, not because of a shrewd campaign to capitalize on it.

Danny said...

Very nice work, Dan S.

You're a real community asset.

Curmudgeon said...

Beaver:

You wrote: "But, I believe, given the Mayor’s (tunnel) vision, he is susceptible to making offers that end up hurting taxpayers for the sake of the often-quoted “wow” factor."

No argument from me on that.

As for this: Also, take into account the aggressively vocal support of unpopular initiatives (gondola/open space plundering) by principal players in some of these companies. Not to mention the divisive propaganda and electioneering introduced by the same, and I think you might find people who feel their addition to the community is a negative, regardless of economics.

I think in re: the gondola nonsense, mostly you're talking about Mr. Geiger -- a major mover in the now [please god!] defunct "Lift Ogden" organization, of whom I have been a critic here on that matter for several years. But I haven't noticed the spokespersons of the other companies being drum-beaters for the "sell the park to build a flatland tourist ride downtown" for the most part. A few were occasionally shortly after arrival, but they seem to have got their feet on the ground and understood the nonsense for the nonsense it was pretty quickly. I wouldn't extend Mr. Geiger's gondola obsession to the rest.

As for the politics: well, Beaver, new residents are as much citizens of Ogden as old ones, and as entitled to campaign for and support whomever they wish. That's one of the great strengths and characteristics of the US: if you move to a new state and city, you're a citizen on arrival, and generally a voting citizen within 90 days. Can't criticize folks for electioneering, since all of us who are politically active engage in the same.

About the divisive propaganda... again, mostly I think you're referring to the activities of the Geigers, particularly Geiger the Younger. And again, I wouldn't extend their activities to the spokespersons for the rest of the companies. I don't recall any of them circulating hyperventilations disguised as emails, for example, during the campaigns.

We're not far apart, I think, Beaver. And I understand why some disagree with me on this. I just think they're wrong about it.

drewmeister said...

I. Love. You. Dan. Seriously, I've never met you but you are indeed my uber-hero!!

Curmudgeon said...

MM:

1. You wrote: "What mayor in her right mind would have snarled at the millions in federal largesse it represented?" Agreed. Which of course does not change in any way what I said: that he supported the Frontrunner and was right to do so. Said to counter the claims of some here that he's never gotten anything right. He got the Frontrunner right. That he'd have been a damn fool not to doesn't change that fact at all.

2. As for this: Worse yet, now that it's here I can't detect any consciousness on the Ninth Floor of what the FrontRunner could do for Ogden's economic and population growth if propertly marketed. Tourists who ride the trains here with full intention of spending money still have a hard time figuring out which way to walk and what to do

Well, MM, early along in FR's life, I rode it and ran into tourists coming to Ogden asking "Where is historic 25th Street?" as they exited the train, and I began posting here about the shortsightedness of the city's business leaders and Mayor, who with two years notice, arranged not so much as a poster map at the station showing people where they were and how to find things in downtown Ogden. So you won't get an argument from me on this.

Of course, things are very much different now. Detraining passengers are met with a huge and garish sign [think Vegas!] over a diner by the station, announcing it to be an "Ogden Welcome Center." If they believe the sign, why they'll find way over in one corner of the diner a rack with tourist brochures. Surely you can't reasonably expect Ogden's Mayor and Chamber of Commerce to have arranged more than that after three years and I think it was $200K dollars expenditure, could you? You are so unreasonable.

And as you walk off the train platform, there is still no visible map saying "You are here!" and indicating the way to Historic 25th Street.

And the beat goes on....

Ray Vaughn said...

It is wonderful to give Mayor Godfrey credit for realizing the potential of Frontrunner. He had little to do with the idea or work on the project. When it was his chance to help Ogden with a welcome center/kiosk he took a cost estimate to build the welcome center and nearly tripled the cost of construction. It seems that he really cannot do anything at low cost or complete it in a timely manner.

Dan S. said...

All: Thanks for all the thank-yous. This article/list is something that I put together, a little at a time, over a period of many months. It's nice to see such a project published and appreciated by readers.

Curm: You've precisely articulated my vague thoughts about the "welcome center". I actually considered adding it to the list, and I even have some decent photos of it, but I wasn't exactly sure what to say and I still haven't done the research to document what promises were made about it. Perhaps it's time to start work on "Vision Meets Reality Volume 2".

Bill C. said...

So, as read the lying little mayors op-ed am I to assume that this is what he means when he states we need to continue to develope downtown in keeping with his high adventure outdoor/indoor, and totally artificial recreation theme?

Dan S. said...

For those who are wondering, here are what I consider some of the successes of Mayor Godfrey's decade in office. Some are only partial successes, and Godfrey's role in most of them could be debated. Still, here you go:

* Extending the Ogden/Weber River Parkway
* Acquiring the right-of-way that allowed construction of the Birdsong Trail
* Development and expansion of IRS offices downtown (this may have been in the works before Godfrey took office)
* Colonial Court apartments (this may also have been in the works before Godfrey took office, and I don't think the city played any direct role in any case)
* Union Square and adjacent retail on 25th Street
* New downtown events including Farmer's Market and Ogden Marathon
* Municipal Amphitheater
* Some aspects of the Junction, in terms of bringing more people downtown to live, dine, and be entertained
* Recruiting Amer Sports and other outdoor companies

I hasten to add that this list isn't particularly long for someone who has been in office nearly a decade. It would be easy to come up with a similar list for Mayor Mecham's eight years in office, and probably for the eight years before that. And for any time period you could also come up with a list of outright setbacks, such as businesses leaving Ogden. My goal here is not to arrive at some bottom-line quantitative measure of Godfrey's accomplishments as mayor. I just want to document the wide gap between what was promised and what was delivered, to encourage a little more skepticism about the next round of promises.

Danny said...

Dan S.,

Looking at your photos, it appears that Mayor Godfrey is a friend of open space after all, if unwittingly. Quiet, empty, vacant, open, are all descriptors of what Godfrey has left behind.

Moreover, he has depleted city coffers to the point there is little left to do but make debt payments now.

In their efforts to destroy Ogden and sell it for their own gain, the Godfreyites may have saved it from the kind of appalling development and sprawl that has destroyed so many places.

Let us take a moment to be grateful for the monumental incompetence that has preserved tranquility and open space in Ogden once again.

beaver said...

Curm:

You wrote "As for the politics: well, Beaver, new residents are as much citizens of Ogden as old ones, and as entitled to campaign for and support whomever they wish"

I couldn't agree more. I guess I was referring more to their tactics (attempts at intimidation over the phone, door-to-door, even at the voting locations--not to mention the all-important ward house.) I should have been clearer.

Say what you want about the "naysayers", but I don't think they've stooped so low.

And, yes, the individual you mention is in a league of his own.

Dan S. said...

Danny,

Your observation is not only astute but also timely, with an open-space planning meeting coming up this Thursday night! Perhaps I should bring some of my photos to the meeting...

Jennifer Neil said...

Dan, I don't know where this would fit in your list accomplishments or un-hatched eggs -- maybe neither.

Mr. Godfrey took away the Street Festival. I have spoken with several business owners who have shared with me the losses incurred when the Festival went away - some, or most in the 5-figure range, and that is just added (then taken away) revenue for the one day!

Jennifer Neil

Jennifer Neil said...

Interesting item found on the wall in City Council Chambers (no, it was not a fly):

A framed poster proclaiming "Ogden City Vision"

A creative functional community
An aesthetically pleasing City
Quality activities accessible to all
Diverse safe & attractive neighborhoods
A thriving and broad based economy
A treasured natural environment

Might this fit in with this thread and possibly raise some questions?

Another interesting note: the location of the "Vision" statement is right behind where the mayor sits during council meetings.

Jennifer Neil

Curmudgeon said...

Nice catch, JN. Nice catch!

Dan S. said...

The vision statement dates from the Mecham Administration, though I believe the city council was behind it. Along with the short version quoted above, there was a longer document that elaborated on each of the ideas. I remember when the trails committee was asked to comment on some of the language in that document.

But even then, I was cynical about the vision statement because it didn't seem to have any teeth. City officials can use it however they wish, or simply choose to ignore it.

The document that's supposed to have teeth is the city's General Plan. That also was developed through an inclusive, consensus-building process, and contains lots of good visionary language. But it's an actual ordinance, adopted by the council and binding upon the administration. For example, the Planning Commission isn't supposed to grant conditional use permits or recommend changes in zoning that are in conflict with the general plan. Unfortunately, the Planning Commission interprets the General Plan pretty loosely and often finds projects to be consistent when most of us would say they're not.

Godfrey simply ignores both the vision statement and the General Plan. He has his own personal vision and that's the one that drives his policy decisions. All too often, his administration seems to forget that the city even has a General Plan that carries the weight of law. For example, Godfrey regularly expends city resources to pursue and promote projects that are in direct conflict with the General Plan. That should be illegal, but he does it all the time.

This Thursday we'll begin the process of drafting an open space plan, to be incorporated into the General Plan. That's all well and good, and I plan to participate. But the whole General Plan will be a lot more effective if everyone keeps reminding Godfrey that we expect him to follow it.

Moroni McConkie said...

Danny: A most interesting observation, that Elder Godfrey "has depleted city coffers to the point there is little left to do but make debt payments now."

How very Reaganesque! "Starve the beast!"

I despair of voting him out of office in '11. He continues to hold a temple recommend, which is the only qualification the majority of Ogden voters respects. Mormons don't vote for common sense, they vote to get even. It doesn't matter that they own and operate the state. It's the twenty-first century, but they still vote to avenge the blood of the prophets.

Dan S. said...

Moroni,

I've become sympathetic to the "starve the beast" approach myself lately. But unfortunately, from this perspective, the Taxing Entity Committee just handed Godfrey a cool $12 million to use however he likes.

Waterboy said...

Jennifer Neil, thank you for bringing up the street festival. I was reading through the posts here and remembered the festival and was going to post it, but you beat me to it.

The street festival was insanely popular. I still have friends who live outside of Ogden asking me when the street festival is this year. And it has been gone for years. If they don't ask when it is they will mention that they miss it and how much they loved it.

I never was sure why the Mayor shut it down. Unless it was the whole "beer" issues. I did not understand what the problems were with the beer sales. Even when they created the beer garden in the later years the festival was still successful. Yea some of the beer drinkers grumbled about having to drink only in the garden or the bars. But I can not think of any problems at the festival related to beer consumption.

Just my $.02

Curmudgeon said...

Waterboy:

You are so judgmental. Remember, Mayor Godfrey didn't actually shut the festival down straight out of the gate. He just crippled it so badly it collapsed. Remember how he did it. He decreed that the wildly popular but godless satanic arm-wrestling contests would be replaced by... face painting for kids. He so restricted or eliminated the events that drew throngs to Ogden that the beer companies, which had provided thousands of dollars subsidizing promotion and advertising for the festival, pulled out and dropped their sponsorships. Inexplicably, they didn't think face-painting booths were going to draw sufficient numbers of beer-drinkers to make participating worth their while. Who could have known?

As a result, the Last Ogden Summer Festival didn't draw flies, and it never ran again. It's not necessary, Hizzonah understood, to outright ban something. You can pretend you want to "improve it," then restrict and alter it to the point that it is no longer viable, and then pretend sadness that it has lost its popularity and so cannot be staged again. Which is pretty much what he did.

Waterboy said...

Curm, you are correct (as you frequently are). As I remember of the street festival in it's heyday the city would block Washington Blvd from 22nd Street (to include the Ogden City Mall (see Junktion now)) to 26th Street and 25th Street from Washington to Wall Ave. There were some great 3 on 3 basketball tournaments, all sorts of games (like arm wrestling), crafts, food, and much more that I can not think of right now. The streets would be filled with people all day long. Also if I remember correctly they also had the railroad hand cart races to bring in the railroad aspect into the festival. I had family who participated in those. There was even a petting zoo that I can remember.

I am sure the city could gain a ton of money by holding the festival again. Yes there would need to be some city resources there like police and medical personnel for emergencies. Street crews for cleanup afterwards. But in the end it would more than pay for itself. Provided that it was not crippled by asinine restrictions like beer sales.

Look around the country at similar events. They are very successful. And they have beer or wine sales as part of the event. I dont think that the children who go to the events are permanently damaged because someone is having a beer. Who really cares if the beer companies help advertise the events?

Sorry Dan, did not mean to take your most excellent article off topic. Thanks for the article it is fascinating. I also respect the fact that you did point out that there have been some (albeit few) successes.

As a city employee it is difficult to keep a positive outlook when the Mayor continually drops the ball. Then for him to turn around and deny everyone raises this year even though the performance was achieved (pay for performance) is a difficult pill to swallow.

Blaine Carl said...

Part I

This was a very informative article that Dan S. wrote. Over simplified, maybe, but it did make for a good read and some mind recall. I was going to put my two cents worth into each and every failed, or stalled, project that Dan S. mentioned, but after reading some of the posts, I'll have to divide my comments between posters and the article.

Bill C., again you blame Harmer, et al for the Midtown Project collapsing, due to parking spaces. Yes, there was a miscount in the beginning, but the parking spaces were available after the BD found property East of Washington that would accomodate the missing 275 spots, and a deal was in the works. That deal, and it can be resurrected, was put on hold AFTER Midtown went broke due to over-extension and the current economic slide that swept the nation. You just have to understand that that is what happened....it wasn't due to your supposition regarding a lack of parking. You need to play the tape to the end so that you can gather ALL the facts when you report on such matters.

Althepal, Union Square, after admittedly a rough start, is sold out and viable and Phase II is ready to go, once David Allen is ready to go (again, the economics played a key role here). Phase II ground was found to have some contamination but it was cleaned up by the DEQ because of efforts of the BD. The clean-up didn't cost the City one cent. Through the BD, the State got grant money for that job. Damn, those BD guys just don't do their jobs, do they?

Fresenius expanded on 12th Street, because the City purchased the Weber School District's Bus & Maintenance Facility and then re-sold it to Freseneius. It was nearly a simultaneous Closing and the City used the money to purchase land wherein the new Weber School District Facility would be located (part of the deal that got the District to move the Facility). The City then relocated the Facilty to West Haven, even though West Haven Mayor Malaney (sp?) was against it because school districts don't pay property taxes. The BD found a nice piece of property that West Haven had earmarked for its "Gateway Commercial Development" area, but talked West Haven and the property owner into the project regardless. West Haven, the Utah Railroad, UDOT, Amalgamated Sugar and a local canal company needed to be on board in order that this project fly. If not, the Facility stays on 12th, Ogden gets no taxes, and Fresenius expansion goes to New Orleans or Atlanta. And the project is now complete, put togehter by those "incompetants" in the BD. Now, will receive millions in tax revenues over the years from Fresenius, and the non tax paying Weber School District Facility is considered a cornerstone for commercial building in West Haven. The Facility is more centrally located to provide for the Weber School
District's needs, is modernized and stands as a monument to perseverance and community/business cooperation. It is a testament for being a big win-win for both Cities,the Weber School District, and Fresenius.

Blaine Carl said...

Part II

Then there's WalMart and WinCo, both contributing to blite clean-up and the modernization of the Wall Avenue Corridor, not to mention the forthcoming revenue from these projects; American Foods, Northeast of the Airport; AND the American Can (even though ya'll have a hard time with the lack of tech businesses locating there); the Junction build-out (even though there's a bit of a stumbling block for the time being, much of that due to the economy [and I'm not a fan of the bonding, either]); and the new State Court House that will replace the blited businesses, NOT the Pingree residences, at 20th and Wall. Most, if not all, the product of the leadership and efforts of the BD personnel.

As for the River Project, I'm not an expert in real estate, but I don't think one can force Gadi to sell his ownership in those houses he bought, except through “condemnation” (Eminent Domain-but that might be a stretch here). Is he holding Ogden hostage? Maybe so....he needs to make some money for his legal problems in L.A. But there have been approaches for him to sell, however, at this particular time, he won't.

The Earnest deal was thwarted (rightfully so) by the City Council over the fact that Earnest was over extended and their unanswered financing and committment questions, two facts that seems to have vindicated the CC and it's "tough questioning."

American First will build a Credit Union on the North West corner of the River project, and there were at least two developers that walked out on the project, after having put under contract all the lots to the West of Bingham's. This was due to the nation's economic downturn.

Yes, Godfrey and his BD have accomplished much for the City and yes, the economy has stiffled many projects, whether ya'll like this or not.

I could go on, but I'm sure I'll catch enough hell for just this little slice of fact. That, and on another thread, I said I'd be "brief."

RudiZink said...

"The Earnest deal was thwarted (rightfully so) by the City Council over the fact that Earnest was over extended and their unanswered financing and committment questions, two facts that seems to have vindicated the CC and it's "tough questioning."

Glad you brought that up, Carl. As it turned out the council (and Bill Glasmann) were indeed vindicated, just as I've always alwaays argued they should have been.

Bill C. said...

You get so defensive when hairspray comes into the picture, the public took the parking space excuse as a joke, due to the fact that Midtowns bubble had burst in Orem, and the dike was cracking severely in Clearfield. All of this was known to the public when Harmer did his 180 and mentioned the parking, the weeks leading up to this 180 he was advocating quickly coming up with the cash to seal the deal with Midtown. Those millions would have been lost, most likely to creditors in Utah County. It could very well be argued that Midtowns project in Orem was not a victim of the ecconomic downturn, but of thier own incompetence and over-reaching, in the best of times what they had in mind might easily fail.

Curmudgeon said...

BC:

Thanks for some of the detail on BD actions I wasn't much aware of.

You need to consider, and the BD people do as well, that they have a problem with public perception of the job they are doing. Some of the problem is not of their making. They're saddled with the fallout from the Mayor's poor business sense, one illustration of which was his selecting Mr. Lesham as the central developer for the River Project, which turned out to have been a mistake it looks like of the first order. All those BD people touting the River Project and then it goes belly up for the most part when Lesham's legal and business problems emerged. and BD tarred by association.

Second: have to tell you BC, sometimes the BD people shoot themselves in the foot. The explanation we got from the BD folks for the hotel project going under -- that the city had somehow lost/misplaced/miscounted 250 or so parking spaces --- beggars belief. Seemed to me then, seems to me now, that either truly impressive incompetence was at work [how the hell do you miscount/lose/misplace over 200 parking spaces?], or we were being fed a truly whopping stretcher as an explanation for the Administration having [yet again] lashed itself, its project and the Junction's future to a financially iffy [at best] developer. Confidence is not built of such actions.

ozboy said...

To those above who consider the Union Square condo deal a success I would like to remind you that the tax payers of Ogden lost a cool two million dollars on a four million dollar project. Then most of the people in there now were lured there by further sweet heart give aways by the city that cost another pile of money. In any other place but the rabbit hole that is Godfrey's imagination this project would be considered a total and complete failure. Losing 50% of a projects costs do not constitute a success any way you dice it.

Bill C. said...

Ozboy!! Look at the list, losing only half is awesome for a lying little matty deal. We usually lose all or more, like the jackass center. Now with the extention we'll be paying more than triple, one should cheer after only losing half of 4 million after this tiny tarnished privaricating rodent has touched it.

RudiZink said...

Excellent post Curm; and I'll expand with my interpretation of the problem with these "big time developers" whom Godfrey constantly trots out.

Most of these four-flushers march into the BD department puffing out their chests, and telling Godfrey what bigshots they are. Unfortunately the BD department makes no effort to "vet" them. And Godfrey of course is always impressed with four-flushers who arrive for meetings in limousines.

Looking back, it was obvious that Gadi's financial ship was sinking even before Godfrey brokered Gadi into the ownership of no less than 51 real estate parcels.

It was even more so with this hopeless financial incompetent Larry Mylar. If the BD department had checked his background even as early as 2006, they'd have been able to have determined that he was a financial accident waiting to happen.

Yes, Curm: "...sometimes the BD people shoot themselves in the foot." In fact, this happens more often than not.

I'll suggest, Curm, that this is more of a constant, than an inadvertent aberration.

Would Ogden City like to save a quick 1 million bucks? The obvious solution is to cut the $2.2 million BD department payroll in half.

This joke of a department isn't doing much of anything anyway these days.

Time for the C&ED department to get a "hair cut."

Ray Vaughn said...

Based on the success record and the mayors and BD ability to judge or forecast the probability of a project being good for Ogden is not something to take pride in. I guess one could claim that the empty & vacant buildings and lots are actually the mayors vision of open space. The only way it could have been a bigger financial disaster for the tazpaying citizens of Ogden was to trade for magic beans.

Jan I. Tor said...

Why are the payments to the Junction considered vital and necessary($1.6 millon)and the subsidy to the golf course($300,000) considered bad? With all of the brilliant minds in the BD department surely they can come up with a solution at less than $123-146million dollars) Either one could be considered a mere business ioncentive and a cost well worth the cost to the city for the value it adds to quality of life.

Blaine Carl said...

I thought I might take a little heat for my posts earlier, but I found the comments to be mostly dignified response through some well put logic. I still think that you do not give the BD it's just due. Most feel that it's the BD that comes up with these "give-away" terms, or the Mayor/Administration, something I call "negotiations." Such is common practice within the business community, and when a business comes to our area, it brings with it its own list of "needs" that help it to make up its mind in which municipality to locate. You people really don't think that these businesses only look at Ogden, do you?

These businesses will have gone to Roy, South Ogden, cities throughout Davis County and Southern Box Elder County and so on, looking for that one city that can give them the best deal. They talk with the State taxing entities, the various cities, the counties, and they make their choice by calculating the bottom line that is best given by a certain town. The BD then aids in that enterprise, brokering some of the Administrations desires and abidding by the RDA Board or City Council. The BD is not just a bunch of crazy, give-away artists running loose. They HAVE to follow City Ordinance, which has been a passed by a CC vote.

Keep in mind that there's a BIG difference between the Rhead/Brown CED/BD and the Harmer/Waterfall/Christopulos Business Development people. Today, the BD is administered by ethical professionals who have Ogden's best interest at heart. Yesterday, well maybe that's everyone's problem, but that's history.

The Reverend Billy Bob said...

Today, the BD is administered by ethical professionals who have Ogden's best interest at heart."

What a steaming load. There's nobody in the Ogden BD department who would qualify for a mid-tier job in even non Fortune 500 private industry. And ethics?; fuggeduboudit.

These idiots work for government only because they're unqualified to work in the private sector.

Please peddle your B.S. somewhere else, B.C.

Looking at the most recent evidence of their gross and serial incompetence, I doubt anyone here is buying your line of bull.

Let's get down to brass tacks:

Be honest for once in your life, Bill.

For you personally, Bill... it's a hard rain a-gonna fall.

Your first step toward redemption will be to throw over the Godfrey B.S., and admit you made a major mistake in your life, and that you've been cuddling up with some thoroughly rotten people.

Why not start now? You're not getting any younger; and soon you'll your time will run out.

End of sermon.

Ray Vaughn said...

Blaine Carl. Despite your wonderful ability to rationalize your and the BD actions people are catching on. Please no more talk of how we do not understand and need to take lessons on BD practices. Visual imagery is pretty damming evidence to the results of trying to lure business. I think the mayor and his enablers are similar to compulsive/degenerate gamblers. A little early success has given you the fever. With subsuquent actions that fail, the compulsion is to increase the bet, double down so to speak, for the next big score that will get you even or ahead. The actions of the mayor,previous city council and BD have plunged us into a tremendous debt. City services have been scaled back or eliminated. Trying to sell, give away or eliminate things which help make the city more liveable and attractive to its citizens is a sign of desperation and failure. I ask this question, is Ogden a better or worse place than it was 10 years ago? Enough of this disaster. I find it amusing that you say the BD has to follow city ordinances which were passed by the city council while the Mayor has said he will not follow city council votes and veto overrides. I love this city and am sicken by the consequences of Godfreys inept leadership.

Dan S. said...

Blaine Carl,

Your detailed explanations of the reasons for some of the failures are interesting, but the fact remains that the administration promised more than it could deliver. My primary criticism is that this administration routinely counts chickens before they have hatched.

You've also mentioned some additional successes: Fresenius, Walmart, Winco, and a promised credit union. Of these, Fresenius is the only one that's already here. I'd be interested to see some statistics on how many jobs they've created, relative to the number that were promised.

Your other successes don't exist yet, so I ain't gonna count 'em until they hatch. In addition, I'd point out that big box retailers and strip malls are more or less ubiquitous in America these days, so luring them can't be especially difficult. And a credit union branch office isn't a big enough deal to show up on my radar. Sorry.

Bill C. said...

You know that this Winco thing could actually be like the Adams deal. Many suspect that the clean-up million was actually just a back door means of benefitting gadi.
You'll recall when the high adventure Walmart first hit the radar that the gondola examiner quoted a couple of property owners with holdings critical to it's success. One of the holdouts just happens to own the property that this expenditure for cleanup has gone to.
Whether or not this Winco grocery/ strip mall comes into being, the property owner has benefitted to the tune of a million added bucks added to his property.
And since gadi has officially (?) sealed the deal with Walmart, there must be no more holdouts.
This was discussed at the time here on WCF, I'm not sure what heading Rudi gave the thread, we refered to it as the high adventure Walmart with strippers and beer.
Blain, wouldn't it be more prudent to work with the actual business that's coming, rather than granting all the cash to the potential landlord?
In the Adams case, Adams would get nothing, Kemp did. In the winco case they get nothing, just the landlord.

Curmudgeon said...

BC:

In re: your "it was the old BD guys, not the new BD guys" argument [ok, ok, oversimplified, but you get the idea]:

Granting for the moment that there may be something to it, then we should have started seeing a noticeable difference in BD performance once the new team came in. As Dan notes, so far, we haven't. I'll be happy to consider your argument if/when substantial evidence arises to support it, which, so far, it has not.

As far as towns [or states] "bidding" for factories, businesses to move in: several studies show that overall, it does not much improve the business climate, jobs or prosperity of the "winning" towns or states. As Dan notes, businesses that are more or less ubiquitous across the country [strip malls, department stores, big box retailers, credit union or bank branches] hardly have to be lured in with fat benefits packages.

And the very large employers lured to states have very often not produced the jobs promised, or the pay levels promised, and are often eager to move to a new location when a better offer arises, or to use a better offer to coerce more concessions to get them to stay after the initial benefits period has expired --- i.e. the point at which their tax exemptions are to end, etc. Several states in the SE --- Alabama, Louisiana --- lost big time when they granted huge concessions to companies to move to their respective states, only to have them jump ship once the benefits period expired. And they did not, even while there, produce the jobs or payroll promised.

The studies suggest that every state/city would benefit if all of them stopped the bidding war. Which of course, driven by local politicians and state politicians eager to show at the next election that they've brought jobs home, the states and cities will not do. And the big companies continue to play them for suckers again and again.

Understand me, BC: I'm not necessarily opposed to relatively small, very short term help limited to assisting with start up costs for newly arriving businesses --- particularly new small businesses and mid-sized ones at most, but the kind of huge long term concessions [usually tax concessions] states, and cities, hand out to draw businesses end up in most cases not producing either the jobs or the payrolls or the prosperity promised.

ozboy said...

BC

You may be right in your implication that there is an improvement in the ethics department within the BD's leadership. Sure hope so, that would be refreshing dontcha know.

However, the new, improved and hopefully honorable leadership still toil under the direction of the same evil and incompetent prince of darkness. Ain't much any one can do with that regardless of what straight shooters they may be.

The rot comes from the top in politics and business. If the powers that be are incompetent, dishonest and arrogant there is not much any of the guys down stairs can do but hope for a change of power. The sad part is that if that happened the new guys would brand them with the dreaded Godfreyite label, rounded up and shipped off to one of these top secret FEMA prisons and then herded into cattle cars and shipped to extermination camps. See this link to see what I'm talking about here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HtqItvG1Ds&feature=related

Unfortunately for your BD guys, even if they are as pure of heart as you say, they will still carry the mark of Godfrey. Their future reputations will be determined by the ultimate success or failures of the Godfreyite experiments. I would sure as hell hate to have my future hang in that particular balance, wouldn't you?

While I appreciate the interesting information you bring to this slugfest, I must agree with Dan in that I think you may be premature in calling victory in these projects he mentioned.

drewmeister said...

I have an idea. What if I pretend I'm an out-of-town developer, act like I'm interested to move my thriving business to Ogden, and contact the BD (Bullshit Departm.. err, Business Development) and the Chamber of Commerce to see if I can get some handouts? Maybe after they're done falling over themselves begging me to come here, I can then set up shop as a local business and actually get a fair shot? Maybe a couple-thou donation to the Mayor's re-election campaign would help. I wonder if it would work..?

disgusted said...

gosh i leave town for a couple of days and you guys let Blaine Carl really lay on the manure.

please all knowing tell the rest of the story by finishing the explanation on these projects with an answer to the following questions.

please tell us what union square cost the city.

please tell us when all the dust settled what it cost us to relocate and replace the bus & maintenance facility.

please tell us what the city will contribute financially to build those 275 parking stalls. and why the administration gave away a like quantity of parking stalls for free not one block away.

please finish your story by mentioning to everyone what these successes cost the residents.

Blaine Carl said...

Disgusted, do you really expect the City to do business at no expense? If so, bottle that formula and sell it to both government and private enterprise and you and your family will NEVER have to work again.

You keep carping on the "Big Picture," and the big picture is that IN THE BUDGET ARE EARMARKED FUNDS FOR BRINGING BUSINESS AND AIDING BUSINESS TO LOCATE IN OGDEN. To think otherwise is naive.

I'm sure these projects cost some money, but what they bring in return is something you don't seem to, or will, consider. I'd like to do a little business with you and see how things shake out using your formula.

But if you want these answers, they have to be a matter of public record. Why not go check it out or attend the work sessions that these balances are presented at?

Hope you had a nice trip. Were you recruiting some business for Ogden?

Ray Vaughn said...

Those who have solid financial support and have a good business sense and vision become wealthy developers. Those who have no financial support but have a business vision become financial instructors. Those who have no financial support or business vision work in the BD department of Ogden city.

disgusted said...

well stated Ray Vaughn

disgusted said...

Blaine Carl

everyone of the projects that i asked questions about and that you are defending are either financial failures or had significant cost over runs relative to what you guys in bd indicated.

had the actually risk or cost been known by the city council most likely they would have not wisely have approved the expenditures. if it werent for the bd departments lack of qualifications for the job they wouldnt ever get a project off the ground. hell you guys cant even determine what a project costs let alone whether its a good investment.

disgusted said...

you state "IN THE BUDGET ARE EARMARKED FUNDS FOR BRINGING BUSINESS AND AIDING BUSINESS TO LOCATE IN OGDEN." this is not the big picture and the fact is that all you know how to do is throw money at what ever developer or land owner that comes in the door.

i think the city should cut the bd budget and employees and let free enterprise work. the city needs to get some people in there that actually know what their doing instead of the bozos that are there now.

disgusted said...

i support wise spending for well thought out projects that have been vetted for their financial viability and where there is a minimum of risk to the city. plans that are consistent with the citys general plan for the area where the project is to take place and that have been presented to the residents first for their input and approval.

this is not what is happening today and im sick and tired of hearing that something has a wow factor instead of actual financial viability. let me tell you that if a projects developer is underfunded or if the project is on the bubble the dollars that city injects will NOT make the difference. if the numbers are that close the city should not be putting the residents money at risk. just because there is money in the budget doesnt mean that you have to spend it if there isnt a worthy project. the bd department doesnt get that.

to tell us that we will get our up front money back in property tax and sales tax is more than a little double dipping or double counting or double talk.

it is in fact the sales tax and the property tax where we are expecting to see growth in the city coffers when the project gets off the ground but when that money i.e. the sales tax and property tax instead simply is having to be used to reimburse the city for the up front loan to the project i ask where is the gain. were simply being paid back. and if the project under performs or fails we may never get our money back. the junction case in point. as a resident im tired of giving loans to all of the fom.

disgusted said...

Blaine Carl

ill tell you what. since you think what the bd department is doing is such a great job with our money why dont you let me invest your money the same way. you personally give me $50,000 dollars cash tomorrow and i will invest it in the stock market (trust me i know what im doing just like all the projects the bd department is investing in) and if i make a money on your money i will pay your back your money rateably over the next 20 years. so your $50,000 dollars will all be returned to you in whole by me in the year 2030. if i make enough money of course.

ill only make this offer to you once so you better act fast.

Jim Hutchins said...

Blaine Carl:

You sorta kinda ignored my point earlier, so let me make it again more explicitly.

Ogden already has, within city boundaries, an economic engine that has been proven to drive development, jobs, and innovation. It's called a University.

Yet, Mayor Godfrey and his BD department have, over and over again, not only ignored Weber State but have "dissed" it, every chance they get.

Explain.

Blaine Carl said...

Just a couple of thoughts, Mr, Disgusted:

1-You'll have to mobilize the people to mobilize the CC and get the budget changed so there WILL BE NO MORE money expended toward improving Ogden's growth;

2-You'll need to perform better due diligence on the individuals who work for the BD than you have, for what I glean from your irrascable writings shows NO due diligence except for that which is merely your OPINION. I just can't take that to the bank. How do you know the background of each BD employee to the degree that you can honestly say that they are not qualified to perform their jobs?

3-You're beginning to sound like Wayne Ogden or Val Southwick, asking me to invest money with a guy named "Disgusted," whom I do not know nor do I agree with, and who promises huge profits within a very short time.

I think the main problem here, Disgusted, and with many others of your ilk, is that you are so consumed with rage over the Mayor and some of his antics, methods and means, that your allow for a collateralization of departmental damage and then sulley the work well intentioned people in various City departments. That shows me that it is you who lacks the ability to perform due diligence and possesses little or no latitude for anyone but yourself, just because you have this burr under your saddle for the Mayor. You elevate yourself into this position of "look at me--what a GREAT job I could do," yet nobody knows what your qualifications are. And you continue to scorn well meaning others.

So sad.

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.

disgusted said...

Blaine Carl

1. i did not say No money. what i said was "i support wise spending for well thought out projects that have been vetted for their financial viability and where there is a minimum of risk to the city. plans that are consistent with the citys general plan for the area where the project is to take place and that have been presented to the residents first for their input and approval." you might want to stop trying to read between the lines youre proving to not be very good at it.

2. i can tell whether a bd guy is any good by their results. i dont care where their education comes from or where they worked before coming to ogden. i care about their results on the job and those results speak for themselves. these guys stink.

3. if you read my comments about me investing your money you will see that i in fact did not offer you a good return but one similar to what the bd department is offering to the residents of ogden. i suggest that you understand what you read before you write about what youve read. i see no way you could have come to the conclusions that you came to in what i wrote. i can conclude thought from what you wrote that you did not think i was offering a good or safe investment. and that is exactly what i am accusing the bd department of providing the residents of ogden. so you must then be agreeing with me that the bd department sucks.

as for you comparing me to wayne and val all i can say is that i think in your effort to defend the bd department you subconsciously found a parallel. the parallel being that these guys actions in the operation of a ponzi scheme where they took money from new investors and then used that money to pay old investors. you must have seen a similar action with in the city’s bd department where by the city is using new money (property and sales tax receipts) to pay off old money (the up front investment made by the city). like all ponzi schemes it only works as long as you have new investor funds. the same is true with the requirement for increased property and sales tax receipts by the city to keep the scheme going. but in the citys case since all tax receipts are being required to pay back the original up front investment then there is no new revenue stream except to tap the residents again or by cutting our services. wayne and val thought that they could keep it going too. in reality the the only thing that really works are good investments something that wayne or val and the city bd department seem to be having a problem comprehending.

disgusted said...

Blaine Carl

as for you thoughts that i have so much hatred for the mayor that it carries over to all of the departments within the city youre wrong. there are several great departments within the city. the bd department though is not one of them. and to blame it all on the mayor is wrong too because if these guys knew what they were doing they could easily show with numbers and due diligence to the mayor that the project does not pencil out and then leave it up to him to try and force the project through. that is not happening.

Ray Vaughn said...

Blaine Carl, perhaps you could give some examples of sucess the BD has acheived. Most people have no real objection to expending money to improve Ogden. What the objection is that the money has not shown any real improvement. The performance of the BD as a group is nothing to really brag about. I am certain that many try hard but the results are lacking. The mayor and BD are similar to Val Southwick, no real results from the last promised business but more citizens money is requested or diverted from its intended purpose. Be careful invoking the name of Val Southwick. That is the man the mayor invested his personal funds with. You know, the mayor, the man who is giving guidance to the BD. The mayor, in his judgement, asked for Mr. Southwick not to serve jail time. The mayor, for nearly 10 years, has asked Ogden taxpayers to give him money to invest for them. What qualifications does the mayor have that makes you think that he as CEO of Ogden City has any qualifications that make his judgement exempt from being criticized? The mayor is fond of talking about how the private sector can do a better job on many city functions that the city. Well then lets contract out the BD. Would the due dilegence you tyalk about be the same dilegance that lead to G. Leesham and the riverfront project or to Ernest Health not being able to raise funds for their project. Results count and the money the Junction costs is the result of trusting and believing what Matthew Godfrey has to say.

Blaine Carl said...

Mr. Vaughan, didn't you just invoke the name of Val Southwick in your above post by saying "the mayor and BD are similar to Val Southwick"? Heed your own words, Ray, and be careful. I only mentioned Southwick as a retort to some inane offer that Disgusted proposed, which is a far cry from what you did above: comparing the mayor and BD to that criminal.

Anyway, enough of the verbal volleyball. The BD marches to the beat of the mayor;s drum, but it goes about getting the results in its own way. It is not told how to accomplish these tasks, just to accomplish them. For you and others to claim the BD is loeaded with such incompetance if folley--it tells me you have NOT done your due diligence on those who serve in their positions.

This, I'm afraid, goes to what I've read about some (most?) on this blog, and that is that you're you're so damned absorbed by the mayor and his shenanigans and consumed by rage over him that this spills over onto other well meaning departments and personnel who are just trying to do their jobs.

Remember, the City Council DOES have a say in all of this, and if these projects that this blog despises so much gets approved by the CC, then maybe you should be accusing that august body of failing to perform its due diligence. I wonder how many of the CC members really do research these projects other than simply glancing at the packets that contain the upcoming agenda and staff remarks?

I'm both thrilled and ammused that you people have discovered a one sided coin. It's a miracle and I'm glad that it's no longer a secret. Too bad you didn't let the cat out of the bag earlier.

Ray Vaughn said...

While I usually do not believe in guilt by association the fact is that the mayor is your boss. One of the real problems is that the mayor often refuses or ignores the wishes of the city council. He is talented in diverting money to his own pet projects. The mayor might not be at every meeting but he does make his wishes known. His own judgement was to trust Val Southwick. He believed in Southwick enough to ask that he not be sent to jail. You and the others in the BD can keep on defending the mayor but the enormous cost will remain for generations. When will we see results? How many more foolish risks will we have to put up with? Get some business to the Junction, it has a bigger subsidy that the golf course. You might be trying in the BD but your history of failure will always be yours. It is nice to hear your old tired refrain, we do not known how BD works, we have not done due diligence. I am forced to rely on results not promises. Perhaps you should reread or read for the first time the commentary by Dan S. According to you the CC is at fault because they believe what the mayor cherry picks to give them. When they object (Ernest Health) the mayor complains to all who will listen that they thwart his plans. But it was nice of you to respond on your time off instead of during your work hours.

disgusted said...

Blaine Carl

youre a great straight man. in the league of loral and hardy or abbott and costello or george and gracey. youve missed your calling.

just a couple of posts ago you told us about the tireless efforts of the bd department to find deals and then above you state "The BD marches to the beat of the mayor;s drum". so which is it. do they sit around and wait for instructions from the mayor or the phone to ring or the mayor to stroll down arm in arm with his latest fom or are they out there turning over ever rock in the business world for projects.

then you state in regards to the bd department that “It is not told how to accomplish these tasks, just to accomplish them.” so regardly of the fact that the dog don’t hunt so to speak about the project the guys in bd put something together hun. who do you guys think you ultimately work for. how about a wake up call its the residents of ogden. and with a change in administration i think a lot in that department will be out of a job.

frankly i believe you finally fessed up to the fact that the guys in bd are actually just the mayors lackeys. hey youre slowly coming around.

the bd guys are following a guy whos claim to fame before becoming the mayor was being a darn good pizza delivery boy and a guy whos idea of the road to financial success was to without money in the bank charged up $18,000 on his credit cards to buy slumlord rental property. i tell you you follow a guy with great credentials. and since hes been in office he hasnt stopped charging either. just look at ogdens increased debt load.

once again i offer you the opportunity to invest with me (i promise you that you might break even) because its apparent you will follow anyone advice or leadership or invest city money in anything that the mayor tells you to make it happen.

one last point. its disappointing that the city council has now learned that they do need to do their own due diligence on projects presented to them by the city because they cant trust the product that comes out of the citys bd department.

gosh i love you man. good straight men are tough to come by.

Bill C. said...

Blain, you never answered my question, why does this money seem to go to the FOM, not the folks that are going to be running the new business? Kemp got millions, Baur(?) gets a million, Fisher fets 70 to 90 thou. If the incentives were done right the City's backside could be partially covered. Money after they come and open.
Oh I forgot about the big tom Moore benefit, Windsor joke. The way that went down they got a free building.
I understand it might be difficult to be so creative when you have to disguise such large handouts of public money to buddies of your boss while attempting to persuade the Council and public that something legitimate is taking place, but it's hard to see how you take pride in it.
Is it just the job and damn the public?

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