Monday, September 21, 2009

Mysterious Golf Course "Pollster" Is Unmasked

The serially mendacious Boss Godfrey presents the results of his secret independent study group "survey" to the council on Tuesday

Interesting development on the Mount Ogden Golf Course front, where it's now revealed that the ever-indefatigable Mayor Godfrey still feverishly pursues his crackpot obsession to bulldozed the golf course and build his "gargantuan hotel/condo project" at the top of Ogden's 36th Street.

Regular WCF readers will recall the article we published 0n 9/12/09, wherein gentle reader Becky McShane tipped us off to a then-ongoing "telephone survey," which was polling Ogden residents with the laughably "loaded question," of whether they'd be willing to accept an increase in city taxes, to fund a pre-supposed $250 thousand MOGC annual revenue shortfall.

At the time of the publication of this earlier article, the identity of the person or persons who'd commissioned this suspicious "survey" remained a mystery. Although our alert reader did inquire at the time as to the true identity of the pollster, the only information which she received was "an
independent research group."

Well... nine days hence, the identity of the independent research group no longer remains a mystery. According to a well-placed and reliable source at City Hall with whom we spoke a few moments ago, the "mystery person" who commissioned this poll is none other than... (drumroll)... Boss Godfrey hisself.

We invite our readers to check out
the published public notice in Sunday's Standard-Examiner, where you'll find this interesting council agenda item:
Receive golf course survey results.
This plainly bogus "poll" must have worked out well for Boss Godfrey, we guess. What other reason could possibly explain why he's now put it on the council agenda?

We'll set up a separate Ogden City Council meeting thread tomorrow afternoon; and we hereby invite any WCF reader who sits in on Tuesday's council meeting and work session (our reliable sorce informs us the survey matter will be discussed in the study session) to report back... and give us the lowdown on this so-called poll.

Lots of interesting business before the council on Tuesday actually, according to Sunday's public notice. Wethinks this will likely be one very interesting series of council meetings to attend.

In the meantime we'll also invite immediate reader discussion.

Have at it, O Gentle Ones.


Jennifer Neil said...

One would wonder if it were a valid survey.

* was a true random sample of the entire city polled?
* was the sample of citizens polled representative of the whole population of Ogden City?
* was a demographic taken along with an answer to the polling question to back up the sample being a true representative sample?
* along with the number of YES's and NO's, the report should contain all of the information about the sample being polled - to determine bias, statistical significance of the data, correlation between the response and demographic - i.e. a person answering YES is a renter in West Ogden or homeowner near Shadow Valley; or a person answering NO is a multi-rental-unit owner with properties that are boarded up or someone who lives in a new subdivision on the North end of town, barely making ends meet.

These are all relevant questions. Furthermore,

Whom did Boss Godfrey commission to do the survey, what qualifications do they have to ensure the survey and its results are objective in every way?

Rockford J. said...

A competent and inventive businessperson could, by the end of next season, operate Mount Ogden at a profit; someone so qualified might use the surplus to invest in capital improvements a few years down the road.

Claiming that a city amenity is bankrupting the taxpayers, while not conceding the loyal oppositions point regarding multiple new projects planned and mismanaged to the point of siphoning money away from public schools?
This shouldn't even land on the table of serios discussion; that it has is disheartening.
The false issue is being forced upon the citizenry by persons without scruple, persons who would be best dismissed from the civic process.

As the new council moves towards being selected and seated, look for the executive to continue to attempt this scurrilous Trojan Gondola.

Biker Babe said...

My first inclination would be to call a foul based on the definition of a


Data Snooping bias, wherein:

researchers narrow the data used in order to reduce the probability of the sample refuting a specific hypothesis.

just sayin


Jennifer Neil said...


I would say that an outside observer, with favorable statistical background conduct a "goodness of survey" test - to see if the survey is indeed valid. The alpha and beta tests for Type I or Type II errors in the survey test should be run, for fun.

But surely an adequately large and representative sample of the population was taken, so the values of alpha and beta would not need to be adjusted (wink, wink). (/end sarc)


Biker Babe said...

I dunno, I think we should ask Al-the-Pal what he thinks

just sayin.


Curmudgeon said...

I wonder if any of the Council have been given copies of the questions? It would be very interesting to see them. And if this poll was commissioned by the mayor with public funds, then all communications between whoever it was who drew up the poll and the mayor's office should similarly be public documents, que no?

If it's not a public poll, paid for by the Mayor and so the public, I can't see any reason the Council should agree to receive it formally.

Kelly Rippa said...

Since no ground will ever touch a supervisors spade in this no-go of a project, the entire request is a waste of time. The response after accepting it should be to enact a formal waiting period of about two years, while every conceivable study can be throughly analyzed.

Danny said...

Give the council knows the mayor is a fraud, a liar, and a huckster, I suspect the poll will be accepted as meaningless.

The larger question is this:

Given the mayor's proven incompetence, why does the council continue to provide this man with discretionary funds that he wastes time and again on things like this?

Dr. Freud (Vienna) said...

It's my considered diagnosis and recommendation that the the painfully obsessive juvenily-developed Mayor of Ogden needs powerful therapeutic drugs.

Here' my RX:

Luvox - Fluvoxamine Maleate

Germ said...

Once again, Godfrey proves he's a total dumbass.

So what else is new?

Curmudgeon said...

Danny and Germ:

Danny: the push-poll is not aimed at convincing the council. The push-poll is aimed at creating a campaign issue for the Mayor's pet candidates, like Mr. Phipps.

Germ: Yeah, well, it may feel good to call the Mayor a dumbass and the like, but you should remember, he's run several successful campaigns for election and re-election, one of them recently. He is not smart about judging the financial character of people he wants to mortgage Ogden's future to [think Mr. Lesham, for instance] and he's not smart when assessing risk/reward matters regarding city funds [think the Junction bonds and the two extra floors, at city expense, he wanted to add to the Wells Fargo office block, which is still largely unleased].

But he can be shrewd at election time. I wouldn't dismiss anyone who's run three successful campaigns for a mayor's job as simply a "dumbass." Underestimating him, and the election resources he can bring to bear to aid his pet candidates would be a major mistake.

Jennifer Neil said...

What Curmudgeon said.

Ogden Dem said...

In a public meeting about the future of the MOGC I asked about the questionable finances of the MOGC - how do you own property for 22 years and you have only paid 25%of the original price. Still no answer, but I did get a public inquisition from Boss Godfrey.

Curmudgeon said...

I'm really curious now. Was this poll done with public funds? Commissioned by the Mayor's office with tax dollars? Anyone know for sure?

mark johnson said...

Once again, Godfrey proves he's a total dumb ass.

So what else is new?

Most of the city of Ogden residents are dumb ass's also for voting for him.

Jennifer Neil said...

mark, mark, mark

"most of the city of Ogden residents are dumb ass's also for voting for him."

recall: in the last mayoral election, we had record voter turnout
recall: godfrey got 51% of the votes
recall: VanHooser got 49% of the vote

51% vs. 49% to me does not imply "most of the city of Ogden"

BTW, did you vote? Even though we had record turnout for that particular election, a much higher percentage of Ogden Citizens did not vote, and maybe they are who you should look to when slinging mud and calling names.

Ray Vaughn said...

How many city parks does Ogden have? What is the yearly cost to maintain the city parks? Does Ogden make any profit from city Parks? If profit or cost is the only motive, as alleged by Mayor Godfrey, why do we maintain any city parks? The city council should attempt, by independent study and analysis, to find the true cost of MOGC, El Monte and all city owned parks. We simply cannot rely upon the mayor to give a accurate and true cost to the citizens of Ogden.

wildcat said...

And it is very important to remember, that unlike other city parks, the Mt Ogden golf course provides space for a host of activities that the other parks are too small to accomodate. I'm thinking of thinking of hiking, cross country skiing (when there is enough snow), sledding (ditto), wildlife habitat and so on. So even if it is running a deficit, it's purpose is not just golf. Factor these other activities into the equation.

Dan S. said...

Solution for golf course:

1. Write off the debt. Then annual debt service goes away, saving about $100k.

2. Start promoting the golf course instead of spending taxpayer funds to tell everyone how bad it is. Listen to the golfers for ideas on small changes that can bring in more customers. This could raise another $100k.

3. Be prepared to "subsidize" the golf course by $100k per year over the long term, since it does provide additional value to the city besides golf.

4. Fund one-time improvements to the course through RAMP grants when possible. Any city funds freed up should then be set aside for major maintenance such as repairing the sprinkler system.

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