Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Ogden Sierra Club Releases the Results of Its 2009 Ogden City Council Candidate Questionnaire

Twelve of seventeen Council candidates have responded so far

The Standard-Examiner reports this morning that municipal primary election early voting is now underway across northern Utah, and Ogden City in particular. In conjunction with this, we're delighted to provide the results of the Ogden Sierra Club's latest Ogden City Municipal Election Candidate Questionnaire:
Ogden Sierra Club 2009 City Council Election Questionnaire
It will be our intention to link individual candidates' responses from individual candidate pages within our own Council Candidate Roster. But for the time being though, until we've had the time and opportunity to accomplish that, our readers can examine the aggregated responses of the twelve candidates who did respond via the above-linked Sierra Club Questionnaire page index. Conspicuously missing in action, by the way, are responses from the Godfreyite candidates, Travis Pate, Mark B. Hains and David Phipps. Go figure.

Who will be the first to comment?

35 comments:

RudiZink said...

It's hard to believe there are no comments posted under this article. What's the matter, WCF readers; are you already going soft on the eve of the most important municipal election since, well, 2007?

Reader comments are the lifeblood of Weber County Forum. If we have a blogging business plan at all, it's this:

Rudi or somebody else puts up a cranky post, designed to provoke reader comments. Then we get incredibly insightful posts from our gentle readers, who are usually there, to separate the wheat from the chaff.

We followed that same formula today, and are mystified that only one person has commented on today's article, even though today's article has been up on the WCF site for over three hours.

Let's get into gear,People!

The one thing Ogden City doesn't need is a slate of candidates who'll try to borrow an spend, in the midst of a national recession which has whipped the legs out from under most mortgsge lenders.

Get with it people. We need READER COMMENTS!

here's my two bits said...

Here's the deal, Rudi. The Godfreyite council candidates will remain totally silent with regard to their Real Estate Rapist intentions in this most crucial 2009 municipal election campaign.

Their campaign will revolve around hiding their true agenda and planting thousands of lawn signs around Ogden, while working the sheeple in the Mormon "wards"
[toward blindly following the Godfrey agenda]

George K said...

As most of us are aware, Godfrey really likes real estate agents -- my guess is because greed begets greed and they all talk the same language: "What's in it for me?"
Look at each candidate, and be aware of their background.
Rules for voting this year are:
1. To be on the safe side don't vote for anyone with real estate connections or who has been a real estate agent.
2. Also don't vote for anyone thatGodfrey likes or recommends.
3. Don't vote for anyone connected with the Chamber of Commerce. Dave Hardman supports Godfrey 110% and pushes that agenda at CC meetings.
4. Look for at least one Godfrey plant in each District. Vote for someone you know who for sure isn't a Godfrey supporter.
5. Chose someone who:
a. Has enough confidence to stand up to Godfrey.
b. Has had experience with jerks and isn't afraid of them.
c. Is strong enough and has enough scruples that they can't be bought with a nice city job offer, and/or WSU basketball tickets.
d. Doesn't care whether they are on "Godfrey's Christmas List" or not.

As I see it, that leaves for candidates:
District 1: Jesse Garcia
District 3: Hansen and Wolgram
At-large Seat A: Susie VanHooser
At-large Seat B: Take your pick after studying their platforms and experience: Bart Blair, Justin Morris, Jennifer Neil.

If we vote right this election, we could end up with an almost entirely non-Godfreyite council! A 6 to 1 vote most of the time! Stephenson would be the only Godfreyite on the council.

Just remember we need strong, ethical, independent thinkers on the council.

Curmudgeon said...

GK:

As I hope you know, I am no fan of Hizzonah, Mayor Godfrey. However, I don't think this Council election is or should be all about, and only about, how candidates are expected to relate to him.

I want more in a candidate asking for my vote than he or she is an opponent of the Mayor. I want a candidate who is truly independent --- meaning willing to support the Mayor's proposals when they stand up on the evidence, and willing to oppose them when they don't. I no more want someone who will oppose something just because Godfrey endorsed it than I want someone who will support a proposal just because Godfrey endorsed it.

I also want probity, a strong grasp of the ethics we all ought to expect of a public person, demonstrated common sense and a good understanding of the role of a legislative Council in a Mayor/Council form of city government. Just being anti-Godfrey isn't enough.

One of the candidates put it well I thought on another thread on WCF: she said she wasn't running against Godfrey. She was running for the Council. That's a good way to sum it up, I think.

And, GK, you wrote: Dave Hardman supports Godfrey 110% and pushes that agenda at Chamber of Commerce meetings.

Good lord, is the man incapable of learning? His Gondola antics embarrassed the Chamber. You mean he's still at it? Wow.

googlegirl said...

"One of the candidates put it well I thought on another thread on WCF: she said she wasn't running against Godfrey. She was running for the Council. That's a good way to sum it up, I think."

Per Jennifer Neil

OgdenLover said...

Don't forget- new laws require you to bring a valid picture ID with you to the polls. If you forget, you may use a Provisional Ballot and you then have 5 days to show up with ID at the County Clerk or City Recorder's office to have your ballot approved.

Valid picture ID includes UT driver's license, UT State ID card, or current US passport.

If you don't have one of these, two separate documents with your name and current address will be accepted.

George K said...

Curmudgeon,

As my closing remarks in the blog above, as emphasis, I posted "Just remember we need strong, ethical, independent thinkers on the council." I couldn't agree with you more about that, and if you read my post without an attitude, you would have seen that I addressed other characteristics that were desireable in a council member. Being an opponent of the Mayor was not one of them. But we have seen how Stephenson has blocked the council from being united with a number of issues. I am saying that we would have a much stronger council if they were all independent thinkers and didn't care what the Mayor thought.

Curmudgeon said...

GK:
You wrote:

I am saying that we would have a much stronger council if they were all independent thinkers.

No argument from me on that.

Danny said...

Rudi,

My only comment, after reading the information is:

Thanks for pointing out the Godfreyites with your voting guide.

And a special thanks to the people who are running. There are some very good people for us to vote for in this election (not counting the Godfreyites).

Thank you. That is my comment.

Bill C. said...

Nice soft shoe Curm, not being with this dishonest tiny little mayor is not enough to get your vote. So what if a candidate is foolish enough to say he's favored all the proposals on Dan's last thread, that he independently researched them and felt they were a good thing for Ogden, just like Hardman?
How would he stack up if he was running against one that said he's sick of the dishonesty, cronyism and reckless spending of public dollars on the insane notion that this City needs to turn into some form of Great Basin kiddieland with arial cable circus rides masquerading mass transit. Included in the must have category, veladromes and frozen icicles, much more important than say, infrastructure and services.
Come to think of it, any candidate that is outraged by lying , stealing and total disregard for the public and it's other duly elected officials would surely be anti godfrey and deserving of anyones vote.

Bill C. said...

Oh, I forgot to say, nice comment Danny.

Curmudgeon said...

Bill C:

You ask: So what if a candidate is foolish enough to say he's favored all the proposals on Dan's last thread, that he independently researched them and felt they were a good thing for Ogden, just like Hardman?

I said proposals that stand up on the evidence. Not merely proposals that someone says he thinks stand up on the evidence. There are matters on which decent, honest, intelligent and even passionate people can disagree. And then there is lunacy. [The Flatland Gondola Tourist Ride and the Year Round Outdoor Ice Climbing Popsicle for example.] Mr. Hardman can pretend there is a mountain of evidence in favor of the city funding both, but as the old folk saying goes, "If wishes were horses then beggars would ride." Wishin' don't make it so, Bill, anymore than pretending the earth is only six thousand years old because someone wants to believe it --- really really really wants to believe it --- makes that so.

Sorry, Bill. Merely being someone who will say "NO!" whenever the Mayor proposes anything is not good enough, by itself, to get my vote. Ogden will not be a well-governed city if all the Council does is say "NO!" to Godfrey. I expect more than that from people asking me for my vote.

Dan S. said...

Curm:

You're setting up a straw man when you imagine a hypothetical council member who says "no" to anything Godfrey proposes. Just look at a random sampling of city council minutes and you'll see that the vast majority of votes on administration proposals are unanimous in favor. It would be absolutely unprecedented for a newly elected council member to vote against every committee appointment, every rezone, and every budget allocation.

Among all the hundreds of votes that the council takes each year, we tend to remember the very small number that are not unanimous. (Recently these have involved the Marshall White Center policy dispute, the 25th Street height amendment, the two-bars-per-block ordinance, election of council leadership, and a few others.) So if the current council is any indication of the range of likely voting behaviors, our choices are probably between candidates who will vote with Godfrey 100% of the time and candidates who will vote with him 98% of the time.

To bring any true change to Ogden City government, the new council will have to do something radically different: Start initiating their own legislation, rather than merely responding to legislation brought by the administration. In recent years this has been very rare, because Godfrey has put an enormous barrier (named Gary Williams) in front of any such efforts by the council. So one of the things I'm looking for in a council candidate is someone who will have the strength to break down this barrier and help the council become a proactive legislative body.

Curmudgeon said...

Dan:

Sorry, Dan, but I set up no straw men, nor did I suggest there was anyone on the Council now or any candidate in the race who voted against or would vote against all Godfrey measures or even most of them. I was commenting on what some here seemed to me to be suggesting, that the most important characteristic to look for in a candidate was Anti-Godfreyism. I said that by itself wasn't enough. Evidently it's not enough for you either. Good. Glad you agree with me.

Of course any Council member, new or old, will have to vote on many matters in tandem with the administration... which is precisely why I think it's wrong to suggest that Anti-Godfreyism is the quality people ought to look for in a candidate, as some here are suggesting.

Sorry, Dan, but seems to me the only straw-man builder working tonight is you. [You might recall that I've argued here, for quite some time, that Matt Godfrey is the duly elected Mayor of Ogden City and the in the nature of things the Council must work with the Mayor to see that the things that need to get done to maintain the everyday governance of Ogden City get done.]

As for this which you wrote --- "I'm looking for in a council candidate is someone who will have the strength to break down this barrier and help the council become a proactive legislative body." Did you not notice this which I wrote? --- "Ogden will not be a well-governed city if all the Council does is say "NO!" to Godfrey. I expect more than that from people asking me for my vote."

Seems to me, Dan, we're pretty much on the same page, but for your puzzling claim about non-existent straw men.

Jennifer Neil said...

I know Rudi already posted a link to the Sierra Club site with candidates responses to their questionnaire; I would like to add that I have posted my responses on my blog for readers to review.

Thank you and I appreciate everyone for looking and considering ....

Jennifer Neil

Bill C. said...

Does anyone know anything about this Neil Gardner running against Jessie? I've never met or heard of him.

Dan S. said...

Curm, please read your own words. In your comment directed to Bill, immediately above my comment, you were discussing (hypothetically) "someone who will say "NO!" whenever the Mayor proposes anything" (emphasis added). That's the "straw man" I was referring to.

You also asked "Did you not notice this which I wrote?". Yes, I noticed it, and I was trying to amplify on it, by being a little more specific about what the council should do besides merely voting "yes" or "no" on administration proposals.

Perhaps you should have some ketchup.

history tells all said...

I know a lot about Neil Gardner. He was in Godfrey lds ward when Godfrey was bishop. He was Godfrey's campaign manager for his first election. So what does that tell you. Will he support every thing that Godfrey has to offer. I don't know but they will have some back room deals I'm sure of. I do know this that he will trade in his old friends for some new ones and throw the old ones to the side, so in a nut shell there you have it. So I think that we are stuck with Garcia for a while longer and I just wish Jesse would do something beside sit on his ass and fight Godfrey.

Curmudgeon said...

Dan:

Once again, in my post to Bill and elsewhere I was pointing out, just as you do, the inadequacy of using "opposing Godfrey" as the basis on which to evaluate a candidate. Some here, Bill among them, seemed to be suggesting that.

From a post of mine above, dealing with the same matter:

I want more in a candidate asking for my vote than he or she is an opponent of the Mayor. I want a candidate who is truly independent --- meaning willing to support the Mayor's proposals when they stand up on the evidence, and willing to oppose them when they don't....

I also want probity, a strong grasp of the ethics we all ought to expect of a public person, demonstrated common sense and a good understanding of the role of a legislative Council in a Mayor/Council form of city government. Just being anti-Godfrey isn't enough.


Seems very close to what you're looking for in candidates as well. Nice to know you agree with me. That is, after all, nearly always the course of wisdom.... [grin].

And, just as a matter of tactics, "anybody but" campaigns do not have a particularly successful history. John Kerry ran, until very late, a largely "anybody but Bush" campaign. Didn't work. In the last mayoral campaign, many here argued for Ms. Van Hooser [not you, Dan, but many here did] on an "anybody but Godfrey" basis, and predicted victory was all but certain by appealing to voters on that basis. Godfrey won.

Yes, most folks here consider someone associated with the Mayor in the Council races to be the mark of Cain and reason enough not to vote for him or her. I certainly do. But non-WCF wonks, undecided voters, etc. generally need reasons to vote for someone in successful campaigns. As you know, turnout for Council races is very low, and for Council primary races even lower. Given such very low turnouts, squandering votes by relying only or even primarily on an anti-Godfrey appeal for this or that candidate seems to me a risky tactic, which is part of the reason I cautioned against it in the Mayoral campaign and I'll keep cautioning against it in the Council campaigns.

Again, I think candidate Neil got the tone right, saying she was not running against Godfrey but for the Council.

Bill C. said...

Curm and Dan, the point I was getting at was any candidate that expresses suppoert for this mayor and what he's been up to, lying, cronyism, misdirecting funds and whole projects and basicly being the un-ethical scum he's proven to be over quite a long stint, does not deserve consideration.
That said, there are good choices and as Danny pointed out thank you to those folks. Now it's up to them to distinguish themselves and earn your vote.
Any good vetting proccess starts with identifying the totally no-gos first, and being a godfreyite puts one squarely in that catagory.
I'm sure you'll both agree.

Bill C. said...

Oh, and Curm, I would suggest that with such a line-up to choose from, if there's even a hint of association with the dishonest, tiny little lying mayor, one should go straight into the status of no-go.
Public morality and ethical behavior from elected officials begins at home and with just an individual voter, that's the way we can demand it.

Jennifer Neil said...

Bill C.

Are you saying that since I interviewed the mayor at the beginning of my campaign, you would not vote for me?

Jennifer Neil

Bill C. said...

No Jenifer, clearly you are sincere and so far the only one discussing your positions with this audience.
But we're always on the lookout for snakes in the grass. Had 'em all pegged last go-round and only one slipped by, due to illegal cash. I'm sure they'll come with a different strategy this go-round.
Can't let are gard down for one minute.

Dan S. said...

Curm: What on earth did I say to earn such a lecture?

You really do need to have some ketchup.

Curmudgeon said...

Dan:

Not sure what the ketchup reference is. In any case, I didn't consider that I --- or you --- were engaged in lecturing. I thought it were having a conversation.

Ketchup?

Dan S. said...

Curm:

Please go back and reread my first post in this thread. In that post I was taking issue with one and only one thing that you had said: your straw-man reference to a possible council candidate "who will say 'NO!' whenever the Mayor proposes anything." I was not disagreeing with you in any other way.

In response, you immediately denied that you had said the thing I was responding to: "nor did I suggest there was ... any candidate in the race who ... would vote against all Godfrey measures or even most of them." You then went on to repeat, at great length, what you had said in other parts of your posts, as if you felt I had misunderstood those parts.

So I'm askin' ya, Curm, what the heck did I say that led you to believe I had misunderstood something?

(For the ketchup reference, follow the link that I provided.)

Curmudgeon said...

Well, Dan, no point to continuing to go around on this. I was commenting not on any candidate, but on the tendency of some here to make "anti Godfrey" the criterion for choosing candidates. As for the ketchup, seems to me the folks who want to make "say no to Godfrey" the core of this campaign are the ones who need a dollop or two.

Enough.

Dan S. said...

Curm: You're not gonna shut me up that easily!

I never claimed that your "straw man" argument was intended to apply to any of the actual candidates. I'm saying the premise--that there could even be a council member who would always say "no" to the mayor--is so far beyond reality that it's irrelevant to even mention the possibility for rhetorical purposes. And that's what you did.

Glad you finally looked up the ketchup reference.

wildcat said...

Sorry Dan, but I've got to side with Curm on this one. His post to Bill C contained the following: "Merely being someone who will say "NO!" whenever the Mayor proposes anything is not good enough, by itself, to get my vote." I don't see what your problem with this was. What straw man was being set up? His argument, as I read it, was simply that he would not vote FOR someone simply because that person was against Godfrey. Bill C. in fact had written: "Nice soft shoe Curm, not being with this dishonest tiny little mayor is not enough to get your vote." As I read this Bill was saying that not being with the mayor ought to be enough to get one's vote. You, Dan, seemed to go off on this straw man thing when none existed.

Dan S. said...

wildcat,

I hesitate to try to interpret Bill C.'s comment, but as far as I can tell, he was trying to focus the discussion on some of Mayor Godfrey's specific projects and proposals, rather than on the abstract question of whether a candidate supports Mayor Godfrey in general.

My problem with Curm's statement was that he attempted to frame the discussion around a hypothetical council member who might oppose Mayor Godfrey 100% of the time--and that's not gonna happen no matter what, so it's simply irrelevant.

Bill C. said...

Curm, let me simplify this, and you must be honest, so far you really haven't been.
Only two per race will advance past the primary. If one is clearly a supporter of godfrey and what he's been doing, and the other is deffinately opposed to godfrey, you and I know where your vote is going.
No candidate is perfect, but there various degrees of terrible.

Curmudgeon said...

Bill:

Well, first point to make is, we're approaching the primary, not the run offs. We were, I thought, discussing voting in the primary election in two weeks.

Second: No, Bill, the hypothetical you pose is not as certain a call as you think. If the two who get through in a race I can vote in involve one who is in general a supporter of Hizzonah and the other who is, in my view, incompetent or dishonest [you offered a hypothetical to me for comment, Bill, so I'm doing that], I'd likely go fishin' and not vote in that race. I've done that before when I've looked at two candidates I've been given to consider and decided "a pox on 'em both" is the only sensible response. This is a good illustration of what I meant, Bill: being anti-Godfrey is not enough, by itself, to get my vote.

And finally, Bill, as you know we agree on much regarding city politics. We disagree on some things. When we disagree, I not only assume, I know you to hold your views [however wrong I think they are] honestly. You will do me the courtesy, please, in the future when we disagree of not telling me I'm being dishonest.

And now, folks, I am done with this particular topic. I see no point to going around on it any more. Seems to me we've pretty much flogged it to death and then some. Y'all are free to keep at it, but I'm done.

Bill C. said...

My apologies Curm, you have touched upon a major cause of voter apathy with your hypothetical. A crook vs a crook, not all that uncommon in our system of government.

blackrulon said...

What is the total package offered by the various candidates? Even Godfrey has come up with an occasional good idea, can't remember any but odds favor a few good ideas. I do not want to hear what people oppose as much as what they support or propose. No one with any brains is going to endore lying, cheating or special favors to cronies. Opposotion to the mayor, by itself, is not a [latform but merely an expression of anger.

G'narg the Inscrutable said...

David Wolfgram has my vote.

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