Tuesday, October 06, 2009

About Tonight's Weber County Women's Legislative Council Meet the Candidates Night

Here's a first impression of the first of the Ogden City election 2009 municipal election public forums

By Dan S.

Just returned from the Weber County Womens's Legislative Council candidates' forum. All eight candidates were present and had plenty of opportunities to speak. After each gave an opening statement, there were plenty of questions from the audience.

One person asked Phipps about his position regarding Mt. Ogden Golf Course. Phipps said that all options should be on the table, and it's unacceptable that the course loses $350,000 [sic] a year. Then my turn came to ask a question, and I pointed out that right now we have an option on the table, namely relocating the clubhouse and building 350 condominiums, while completely redesigning and rerouting the course. I asked each candidate whether that option should be on or off the table. Every candidate answered "off" except Phipps, although Stephens sounded a bit uncertain.

Interestingly, some of the candidates were more equivocal on this question when they responded to the Sierra Club questionnaire.

Ed. Addendum: The floor is open for the comments and observations of other WCF readers who attended tonight's event.

29 comments:

Rockford J. said...

Thanks for the reporting Dan. A question: were there reporters there from the local print?

RudiZink said...

Three other interesting aspects of tonight's meeting:

1) Ex Councilman Fasi Filiaga showed up, and hijacked the discussion for about 12 minutes, ranting on in the manner of someone who's had "multiple strokes".

Sadly, he had to be dragged off the floor by the very petite WCWLC chair Skip Reese when he launched into "filibuster mode."

2) The original gondola boy hisself, Chris Peterson, showed up at the meeting 20 minutes late. But he was definitely taking notes.

3) The little realtor-appoved dipshit shit David Phipps was the only one amongst all the Council Candidates who declared he woulnd'mt take "Mad Man Boss Godfreys's" harebrained $143 Mil East Bench Open Space Removal Plan "off the "table."

Susan Van Hooser also showed her awesome stuff tonight, by the way.

Susie dominated the discussion and tonight demonstrated that she's the woman to beat in the council At
large "A" seat race.

Anyone who attended tonight's public meetup is hereby invited to lodge their comments here.

Jim Hutchins said...

Scott Schwebke was there.

I wondered if maybe some (ok, ONE) of the council candidates altered their (his) position on the sale of Mt. Ogden Park because of Mr. Petersen's presence in the audience.

Jeannette Ballantyne was surprised and a bit outraged that Deb Badger and others insisted on calling Mt. Ogden Park "a park". She thought it was a golf course. I haven't seen her up on the trail system when I've been there every day for the past four years, though. Perhaps she hasn't seen the tennis courts (they're pretty small) or the 80-some-odd acres of parkland. Easy to miss.

Bullet Sponge said...

I found this meeting very informative and entertaining...

I was behind Dan S (who stole my question! lol). I was planning to have the candidates each give a simple YES or NO answer on whether or not they would protect the open space and not look at developing it. And as Dan said, Phipps was pinned down and had to say every option was on the table.

Susie was solid and came across as very principled. Often taking charge to guide to conversation without necessarily hogging time like Phipps often tried to.

Bart Blair came across as earnest but was extremely nervous. He made good points about revitalizing neighborhoods by example and was steadfast in his stand against developing open space.

Jesse Garcia was quite eloquent and made his points well. I especially liked how he shot down the whole concept of no mayor/council cooperation by stating they agreed over 90% of the time on various votes & issues. He also pointed out the golf course losses are only .5% (that's half of one percent) of the budget.

Doug Stephens seemed really whimpy and indecisive. He was pretty mild mannered and didn't offer much more than political rhetoric. He did make a decent save against an attack from John Thompson in the audience who asked him to point out anything he'd done to better his constituents' lives.

Phipps came across like a used car salesman bullshitting his way to a sale. He kept making mention of how his job was to bring business to Ogden. Nothing specific, just fast talking hot air. I wouldn't put this guy in charge of a lemonade stand.

Mark Hains didn't get to speak that much but came across as competent, if uninspiring.

Patrick Dean was about as Mormon as Mormon can be. Didn't speak that much and when he did nothing especially important came out of his mouth.

Neil Gardner was one of the few candidates to offer specifics on what he'd like to see. Streetcars (and NO gondola), open space not developed, and more access to information for the public. He was a bit bombastic but I liked him. And he was the only male there not wearing a tie :P

A couple other fun highlights... Niel Hansen stood up and gave a little speech ripping the administration a new asshole. He then asked the candidates if they would ever take money from a known corrupt source (i.e. Envision Ogden). Obviously they all answered no.

Shane Fisher asked how they'd vote if the height ordinance came up again. Susie "educated" him on why the last proposal was (properly) voted down. The answers were pretty mixed and vague except for Susie who said no way, and Jesse who said perhaps on a building by building basis. Shane was kind enough to bring a small child who made noise through the entire fucking meeting.

Dan S. said...

Looking for Mr. Schwebke's writeup but the S-E web site is still showing yesterday's news.

Dan S. said...

Here are a few more observations that haven't already been made above:

* Garner accused the city council of "pulling the rug out" from underneath the Windsor Hotel project. Perhaps he's unaware that the developers had signed an stipulating that "All improvements will comply with applicable Design Guidelines for the 25th Street Historic District and all other applicable rules, laws and ordinances"--and then they turned around and demanded that one of the ordinances be changed.

* Dean suggested that the city bring in an outside contractor to manage the golf course.

* Phipps admitted, when asked, that he has lived in Ogden only one year--and quickly added that he's been doing business in Ogden for five years. He was a fast and aggressive speaker, even interrupting himself frequently. He kept talking about the polarization in Ogden and even suggested bringing a tape recorder to meetings between council members and the mayor so nobody can distort what was said. Nobody asked him how much help the mayor is giving him with his campaign.

Dan S. said...

oops, I meant signed an agreement stipulating that...

Biker Babe said...

"The dinosaur's eloquent lesson is that if some bigness is good, an overabundance of bigness is not necessarily better."
-- Eric Johnston

just sayin

BB

Ed J said...

BS;

Judging my your comment, I was the guy to your left. By the way, it's Thaine Fischer not Shane Fisher. He's Phipps' money man. He has more control over Phipps (did you notice the eye contact?) than he does over his own kid. The citizens of Ogden need to be very leery of this group. VOTE BLAIR.

Bill C. said...

Alfred (phipps) seems to be a lying little matty clone, only a couple of inches taller.
This coupled with an air of piety and arrogance akin to a former godfreyite Royal Eccles and his overblown selfconfidence, a narcissist of the highest order. I can only attribute this condition is brought on by their willingness to lie, or just make stuff up at the drop of a hat. They must actually believe that nobody knows or understands any details of the topic at hand or their position is based on a totally false premice.
It's actually amazing how similar the two seem to be.

D.S. said...

They learn that sell-yourself-to-riches shit at confidence seminars.
Blair is my man, eloquent or not. Confidence in public speaking does not necessarily equal a good councilperson.

Bill C. said...

Ozboy, I have a very different take on Blair, he wasn't out of his league. He struck me more as being smart enough not to attempt to venture into discussions that he hadn't yet thoroughly researched thus avoiding the ridiculus asinine example of his opponent. His responses were concise and clear. He never had to stop himself, and change direction while rambling on about something that he suddenly realized he didn't understand, or that the audience may not be swallowing. Unlike his opposition. In my opinion this is very desirable when serving on the Council.

Liz Eccles said...

Mr. Phipps is fooling no one.

It is his entourage that dressed the little wolf in sheep's clothing.

Show some caution though; he's still a little wolf.

Bullet Sponge said...

Ed J, I was against the far wall across from the entrance behind the snack table behind Dan S. So if you were to my left you were inside the wall :) I have no idea why I called him Shane and not Thaine. Must be the late night posting.

Ozboy, I agree Stephens answer to John Thompson's question wasn't great. I guess by "save" I meant he managed to come up with answer under some serious heat from Mr. Thompson. But yeah it was pretty generic.

And I also agree that Blair's competence should not be called into question just because he wasn't as "slick" as a weasel like Phipps. You have to look past that to the substance and brain behind it. He struck me as someone someone you could talk to about council issues who would actually listen.

Dan brought up to very important things that were said. I loved Mr. Garner's plain and simple common sense answer to the golf course. Try new management. I'm willing to overlook some of the answers regarding the height ordinance/windsor because it didn't seem like any of the candidates except for Susie really had a full grasp of the situation.

As for my handle, if you play FPS games online you'd understand ;)

Ray said...

Comment bumped to top shelf

OgdenLover said...

I'm off to listen to David Phipps addressing the Weber State students on "Leadership" at the Center for Unity and Diversity (12:30PM room 232 Student Union Bldg).

Having Phipps and me in the same room is immediate diversity, but don't look for any unity.

OgdenLover said...

Just back from WSU where Phipps spoke in a tiny glassed-in anteroom right off the main Student Union area. There is a Tech Fair with loud music going on and I'm sure the noise annoyed him no end. (I bought myself some new earbuds while I was there.)

There were probably 10-15 people listening. After being at the Candidates' session last night, I decided it wasn't worth blowing my cover by sitting in. I don't think I could be quiet for a full hour of his prattle and lies and only a handful of students would hear another side of things.

BTW, the tiny dynamo who said last night that Godfrey can't communicate (my way or the highway) and later announced that Phipps has lived in Ogden for only a year is none other than Rudi Zink's mom. She is my hero for the week, maybe the whole month!

Phipps started to argue as she was speaking. Susie, who was sitting next to him, automatically shushed Phipps, telling him to be quiet and show some respect for his elders. I heard about it only afterward. Susie was somewhat aghast that her schoolteacher self had surfaced and reflexively struck out at Phipps, but he's such a little immature-looking twerp that it's understandable. Go Susie, go!

Rockford J. said...

I can't believe Peterson is running a carpet-bagging 1st year resident renter with a resume mostly flipping real estate before the crash, and who talks using simple NLP tech as though he wants to be the next !SUPERDELL!.

He has no respect for the little folk at the base of his mountain.

ozboy said...

Bullet Sponge

I didn't mean to disparage Blair, I do hope he wins. I have no doubt he would be a whole lot better for Ogden than Godfrey's shill - the carpetbagger Phipps. But sitting on the council is one thing and winning an election is another. I am worried that Phipps is going to kick his ass in the election part unless Blair does something drastically different than he did last night.

By the way, I was the guy in the red sweat shirt who was standing up by you rocking on my feet just itching to tear Phipps a new ass. Unfortunately time ran out before I could get a question in. Lucky for Phipps as I was going to give the carpetbagging punk a dose of Ogden confrontational politics. Oh well, the Godfreyite luck was with him.

On the Windsor issue, I thought Fisher and every one else has their heads up their butts on the subject. Every one seems to have the notion that it is some prized historical jewel. That is far from the truth. It is a pile of crap. It was cheap junk when it was built and it is junk now. The only logical thing would be to tear it down. I think Fisher and his crew know this. The action by the council in denying their height increase was a huge financial savior to Fisher and his group, it allowed them to dodge a big bullet. If the ordinance would have past they would have been in deep shit trying to renovate it. They would have lost millions. Instead, with the sweetheart deals and pile of cash they got out of the city, they are way ahead of the game financially. I inspected the building closely as I was considering making an offer on it. I am serious into historical preservation and am usually a strong advocate of saving old buildings - if they are worth saving, which the Windsor isn't. So in my opinion the whole Windsor discussion is just a diversion for people like Fisher and the mayor and gives them another false premise to attack the council over.

Curmudgeon said...

Oz:

Just want to note that the Administration did no ask for a variance for the Windsor Building rehab project. It asked to change the zoning restrictions for the entire 25th Street Historic District. My sources suggest that if a variance had been requested for the Windsor project alone, it would have sailed through the Council to approval by a lop-sided vote. But that's not what Hizzonah brought asked the Council for.

Imagine that....

Wayne Williams said...

Blair has to come out with his guns a'blazin'. He has to make it perfectly clear to the citizens that he's the lifetime resident, he's the one who'll help correct the wrong, he'll vow not to lose to a one year resident renter. He has to get out, listen, be heard, and not hang us out to dry by being politically introverted. Pound your points Blair. Pound. Pound. Pound.

ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

Yea, I knew that. I believe it was all part of the Machiavellian Mayor's plan to create a way for his cronies that owned the Windsor, including Scott Brown, to have a face saving way out of a bad situation without having to give back the few hundred thousand or so to the city for not complying with the terms of the original agreement. (the city not only smoothed their way into acquiring the building on the cheap, but they gave them a pile of money in front to help with the restoration - money that to this day has never been returned to the tax payers) The mayor, Brown and the out of state hustler cronies knew that the odds of getting the whole district height changed were a hell of a lot more slim than getting just the Windsor changed. Bottom line is I think they played the citizens and the 25th street association for chumps. Scott Brown and the Mayor are experts at this sort of gamesmanship. I think they must have been carnival shell game hustlers in a prior life. The guy from their company that showed me through the building was well aware that the building was absolutely not in restorable condition and that even with a higher height allowance there was no way it could ever pencil out. He told me so while we were looking at it and there was a witness as well! In fact, the three of us had a 10 minute or so conversation on that very point.

Late shift said...

If David Phipps borrowed personal money from a campaign contributor, does he need to disclose this?

Bill C. said...

Bullet Sponge, I don't recall Garner commenting on the golf course, I do however remember the idiotic statement made by Patrick Dean. It went something like this;
There lots of companies that manage golf courses in the US, turn it over to them and charge them $100 thou a year. That plus the $300 thou it's losing, you make $400 thousand bucks.
Obviously he no idea about what he's talking about. Even the skipper and his bogus golf committee buried that one real early into their hapless venture down lying little matty's endless scam to hand the east bench over to developers.
Which brings me back to why I'm comfortable with Blair.
Dominating the conversation and hogging all the time on every topic while saying nothing relevant is as annoying as Filunga losing it on hif feet, that was phipps. Feeling he needed to speak some, Dean then jumped in on something he obviously knows nothing about and out came either ignorance or stupidity.
Blair answers were concise and delivered in a personal manner, no arrogance, no all knowing, listen to me responses, a breath of fresh air.

Rockford J. said...

We think, given the state of the various projects started by the current Mayor and his crew of fail, we need to call in Winston Wolf.

Vote Bart Blair said...

CITIZENS OF OGDEN:
PLEASE DO NOT LET A BUNCH OF OUT OF TOWN, CARPETBAGGING, REAL ESTATE SLEAZE BAGS TO BUY THIS ELECTION.
PHIPPS IS JUST THE PLANT.

rlm said...

to vote bart blair,

dude, read the editorial by don carver in todays standard.
guess what? YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. randall

googlegirl said...

Phipps buys election influence, by Don Carver

Dan S. said...

late shift,

Loans that have nothing to do with the campaign don't need to be disclosed, no matter who they're from. But if a candidate borrows money and then lends money to his own campaign, I suppose you could claim that he's just playing a shell game to conceal the source of the funds.

By the way, the next round of disclosure statements should be posted on the city's web site sometime today.

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