Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Another Heads-up In Re Tonight's Council Candidate Debate

Another correction; and a cordial invitation to join in the discussion on this dedicated council candidate debate thread

OK, we're going to try this one last time. Please take note and re-mark your calendars. Tonight's 2009 City Council candidate debate, originally set for Ogden's Union Station, and then subsequently moved to the Ogden-Weber Applied Technology Center (ATC) Student Union Ballroom, has now been reset to the ATC Business Building, Room 162. Here are the corrected thumbnail data, for those readers who may be confused about the correct venue for tonight's event:

What: Ogden City Council Candidate Debate
Where:
Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College Union Building Business Building - Room 162, 200 N. Washington Blvd. [Google Map; Main Campus Diagram]
When: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 @ 7:00 p.m.


We made a strong pitch yesterday urging everyone supportive of moderate and sensible City Council candidates to be in attendance for tonight's debate. Rather than repeat ourselves, we'll link yesterday's short rant here:
Ogden Council Candidate Debate Set For Wednesday Night - UPDATED
Needless to say, we haven't budged an inch. We hope every concerned citizen will make it a point to attend, for the reasons set forth in the above-linked article.

In accordance with our usual practice here at Weber County Forum, we'll now dedicate this thread to a discussion of tonight's debate. Feel free to lodge your comments here, before, during or after tonight's debate. Our community-minded readers lodged over 100 comments two years ago, under the thread we dedicated to the 2007 Municipal Election debate. With dedication and luck, today's discussion thread ought to be equally vigorous and robust.

Have at it O Gentle Ones. Who will be the first to comment?

Update 10/15/09 12:50 a.m.: Scott Schwebke's post debate story is now up on the Standard-Examiner site:
Candidates show for debate / Ogden forum allows glimpse into strategies
Oddly enough, the Standard opted to report on this event, even though there was apparently no fistfight. Go figure.

54 comments:

even angrier said...

I finally received the Phipps apology letter yesterday, saying Thurber hasn't endorsed him but he hopes she will. What a jerk.

Stephen M. Cook said...

We wonder what policy might be regarding the use of flash photography at tonights love fest. We need some flattering shots of Phipps for our soon to be distributed tract, and the soon to be silkscreened wheatpaste posters.

And they thought they could pave our bench land...

even angrier said...

Oh, and I almost forgot: The letter says Phipps is for jobs and against crime.

get er' done said...

For Phipps....
If he is against crime maybe he should clean up his own act with the laws he has broken. Oh, that right, he did clean up is blog so no one can see what crime he committed. I'm so glad for his stance on crime.

OgdenLover said...

If questions from the floor are allowed, I think any fair-minded citizen who is selected should cede their time to Jennifer Neil, who has more right than anyone to ask questions.

Curmudgeon said...

OL:

While I hold Ms. Neil in great regard and voted for her, I disagree with you on this. Ms. Neil has as much right as anyone in the audience tonight to question the candidates. Not an iota less, but not an iota more either. Should G-Train Wilkerson show up, she too would have no more and no less right to question candidates than Ms. Neil. Or you. Or me. Or Pureheart Patterson if he turned up. Or Dan S. Or Rudi. Or Oz. Questions slots from the audience at an open forum should be "cede-able" to someone else. Questioners get in line at the mike or raise their hand, or fill out their question cards and send them forward like everyone else and take their chances. That's what makes it an open forum. No rigging, no ceding, no special favors.

Jennifer Neil said...

Thanks, Curm

I didn't want to be put on the spot - or detract from the purpose of the whole event. I have a question, maybe two I would like to ask, but that is all.

Besides, like you said, everyone should have the same chance to ask questions.

JNeil

Interested and Curious said...

Is anyone going to report on this meeting tonight. I hope so... interested and curious!

Jennifer Neil said...

Well, I took a lot of notes, but I need to sort them out and I'm basically a morning person - so look for something after 5 in the a.m. tomorrow.

TLJ

Bill C. said...

I don't know what was agreed to in setting this up but this one was strange.
My first impression might be what's going on at the WSU political science dept., but I might be judging them for arrangements made out of their control, but how it went down wasn't too impressive, a functionally bad format. If their scripted questions and selection of which candidates got them was their doing, it's easy to see how Utah politics are a joke. Five minutes for response was way too much and led to rambling, same for the allowed response time.
Once the audience question portion began it did improve quite a bit, but was somewhat inhibited by the moderator. In a couple of cases he made sure the question could be evaded by how he rephased it.
I know, I haven't told you a damn thing, but I'm still trying to cool off, I'm a little pissed right now, I'll be back.

Curmudgeon said...

JN:

You're letting sleep interfere with blogging? Where will it end? Next, you'll be letting eating get in the way of blogging. Then family. Damnit, woman, get your priorities in order!

AWM said...

And when you get back I'll be here waiting..but make it quick...I'm dying for intel

Curmudgeon said...

Bill C:

Remember, Bill, this one, and its format, was agreed to by all the candidates. My preference too is for unscripted audience questions [not toned down by a moderator], but there are reasons for using a dual-format forum.

Here's the argument: as Council members, there will be nearly no times they will have to decide, instantly and on the fly, without time to read packets or ask questions or think about something, what they will do or how they will vote. Therefor, hearing how they answer a question they've had time to think about might tell voters more than hearing them react instantly to an unexpected question from the audience. It's a defensible argument and not a trivial one.

I wasn't there so I don't know how the moderator may have changed [watered down I presume you would say] questions from the audience. But a really accomplished pol can deliver a dodgy answer to just about any question. What matters is whether those listening who went in undecided recognized dodging when they saw it.

And have to tell you, Bill, as a general rule, ordinary citizens are not usually good at asking questions that leave no wiggle room and require specific answers. That observation after many many years of attending public meetings, school board meetings, council meetings [with "question time" from those attending as part of the agenda, as it is not here], etc.

I'll be interested to read JN's take on the meeting, and to see if the SE managed to stir itself to report what went on even though no one met Executive Editor Andy Howell's bottom line for political newsworthiness not involving a press release from the administration --- a thrown punch. Also be interested to know if Ogden's wholly impartial public service oriented Community Channel ---- ok, I'll wait a moment for those laughing uncontrollably to regain their composure --- was there taping.

OgdenLover said...

I'd like to think that Phipps alienated people with his answers tonight. When asked when he moved to Ogden, he answered "a year ago" and quickly went on in nauseating detail, repeating his spiel (given 30 minutes earlier in response to a differnet question) about how he'd brought lots of businesses to Ogden and volunteers on Thursday nights to help the underprivileged. As he finished (lack of time) two people in the audience called out "What was the date?"

When not spouting this obviously prepared verbiage, he stared intently at the ceiling and looked as if he might be sick at any moment. People were beginning to look to see what he found so interesting up there.

Did you know he's brought something like 39 (I think it was) new businesses to Ogden including 5 new businesses to 25th street. Aside from maybe counting his buddy Thane Fischer's Star Noodle travesty, I don't think there are 5 new businesses on 25th unless you count the jewelry stands on the street during Farmers' Market.

I hope others recognize bulls**t when they hear it.

Hains introduced himself as a photographer with no mention of being a Realtor. In the question/answer period he slipped up and said he sold real estate. Let's not forget that he works in the same office as Rick Southwick, whom the Mayor recently put on the Planning Commission.

AWM said...

In the words of the immortal Arte Johnson "Interesting, very interesting"

AWM said...

It would appear that my initial impression of Phipps is correct...the man is "social sandpaper". He just seems to rub people the wrong way

Curmudgeon said...

OL:

Thanks for the reporting and the observations.

Now, if you were truly a public-spirited person, you'd have slugged someone there and thus forced the SE to report on the meeting. [grin]

ozboy said...

I went to the meet the candidates night in Farmington this evening. A very pleasant and interesting affair.

The format was very simple The moderator was a very smooth and likable guy who is also the Farmington Trails boss.

The audience all had the opportunity to write down questions of the candidates which were then put in a hat.

The event began with a brief introduction of each candidate and then the moderator started right out pulling questions from the hat at random and each candidate had one minute to answer said question.

The order the candidates answered moved with each new question so the same person did not have to go first each time. Again they had one minute each to answer the same question. This was plenty of time to answer off the top of their heads.

There was a wide range of questions asked, and there was no long drawn out answers or filibustering or reverting back to some pat prepared campaign pitch to fill time.

The event moved along very nicely and no one went to sleep or fell off their chair. An hour was allowed for the question and answers after which each candidate had another one minute each to tell why people should vote for them.

Then the formality was dropped and each of the four candidates went to their own tables in the room and entertained more questions from people one on one.

It was a very good and informative way to run a meet the candidate event.

Of course in Farmington we don't have a pack of lying, scheming and manipulating losers running the city like Ogden does. We also don't have any crooked sleaze balls like Phipps on the ticket either.

The upshot was that the audience actually got to know more about the candidates than they did before - which after all was the whole purpose anyway.

By the way, the last meet the candidate night in Farmington two years ago was conducted by the Davis Ch-17, which is run by the same bozo that runs Ogden's. It was a total unmitigated disaster and I heard several different people tonight remark on what a vast improvement tonight was as compared to two years ago with the Ch-17 fiasco.

blake fowers said...

From blake screw up the election fowers blog....

To make a fairly predictable debate somewhat interesting, we've decided to do it like the Academy Awards. Apparently they knew we would, because all the candidates seemed nervous as to what award we would give them...

...all except Jesse Garcia, who seemed remarkably poised... like he's done this before... and before... and before. So Jesse, now on the Council for his 15th year, gets the 'Lifetime Achievement' award. To his credit he made a good case for the cost of the Marshall White Center vs. the cost of incarceration. While his 'numbers' may or may not be true we agree with him conceptually. Too bad he marred this well thought out moment of clarity by defending the subsidy of the $300,000.00 annual deficit of the Mt. Ogden Golf Course as 'not that big a deal' since they've been robbing the sewer budget for it, for years already. No we're not kidding. That's what he said.

While young, Phipps made the one of the best cases of understanding the realities of Ogden's problems- economics and blight. Phipps recruits businesses to Ogden. He's 'in the trenches'. He said he's learned why, and why not, businesses come to Ogden and what to do about the ones that don't. He wants to find a solution to the Mt. Ogden Golf Course deficit but is emphatically opposed to putting up condos on the hill. And he keeps handling Ogden's detractors well, including what looked like a set-up first question, with skill and poise. Already 'making things happen' for Ogden as well as understanding budgets and economics we'll give Phipps 'Best Producer'

While Phipps is young, nobody looked younger than Bart Blair, not even the 16 year old on the back row. With also the least to say by our count, what he did say was straight off the 'pander to the Open Spacers' playbook. 'I'm for open space'. 'I love the golf course'. 'I love the trails'. Blah, blah, blah. No novel ideas. So we give Blair the 'Best Performance by a Child Actor' award. While Bart may not have any ideas, not so with Dean...

Pat Dean came up with the idea of having Winter Sports up on the golf course hills during the winter to bring in a little extra revenue. Won't solve the problem but he's got his thinking cap on. He also brought up the management of the course by 'bid' from third-party management companies to see if they could save money. Nice job Mr. Dean... you get the 'Best Short Subject' award. While we don't dislike Doug Stephens, we like Dean's ideas.

blake fowers said...

Part 2 of blake I messed up the election in 07.....
Having orchestrated the refusal to debate on channel 17, as predicted, Van Hooser attempted to make herself out as a moderate. This would qualify her for both 'Best Director' and 'Best Actress in a Leading Role'. We're torn. Let's see, there was the first question directed at Phipps, just a coincidence it was a 'whammo- state your position on preservation of open space and the Mt. Ogden Golf course'? Hmm. Maybe she didn't have anything to do with that, after all, Dan Schroeder went right up to the moderator as soon as it was over to shake his hand. But her flat-out sidestepping of the question 'is the Junction a failure' also qualifies her for 'Best Dance Direction' stating that we should just 'give' businesses money to attract them rather than 'build buildings'. Maybe that will go over when she does it, but just offering tax increment incentives has Ogden's detractors screaming 'payoff' every time it's offered. She then stated that businesses would just 'come and help the city make it work' if we just let them. Hmm, like they did the previous 30 years?

While she did an acceptable acting job in her opening remarks (where she lit into an obviously rehearsed campaign speech and had to be stopped by the moderator) stating (after refusing to debate on channel 17 because of 'ties' to our evil mayor) that she would 'act in concert with the administration and council', she then made several remarks (clearly veiled at the administration but without saying it directly) about not getting information in time to think out a decision. She's pretty weak at the acting and does much better manipulating things behind the scenes, so we'll have to give her 'Best Director'.

Hains and Garner did well. Next to Garcia, Garner was the most comfortable on stage. Obviously a low-key guy, Hains stressed doing what is best for Ogden, working in the open, and not having personal agendas- hinting at the truth that Ogden's hardliners are trying to hide their true intentions. Interesingly, an illegal immigration question 'randomly' chose Garner and Garcia to answer it. Garner stressed empathy and compassion but that illegals were indeed breaking the law and needed to follow it like everyone else. Garcia went into how children of illegals couldn't go to school for fear their parents would be deported. Luckily there's no hidden message there like 'hispanics... Jesse's on your side, not that other guy'. Sure was a good decision to move the debate to where we don't have a moderator putting out set-up questions like that evil Channel 17 would have eh?

blake fowers said...

All candidates were similar on preservation of open space, doing something about the golf course deficit, and at least finishing the Junction and river projects now that they've been started, with the usual suspects hinting that they'd probably never have started them but now we have to finish. Except for Dean, none had anything real specific to offer. Interestingly no question was asked about the refusal to debate on channel 17 though I know for a fact that question was submitted on one of the 3x5 index cards which were then chosen, not at random, but only after being read by the moderator. Did we mention that Dan Schroeder went right up to him with a big smile as soon as it was over?

In keeping with recent Oscar awards, we even had our own hecklers. The moderator stated that 6 or 7 questions were asking about Phipps' length of time as a resident of Ogden. Phipps stated that he hadn't been here too long but had been in Ogden off and on for many years and what ought to be important is whether he knows Ogden's issues, and said point blank: 'If I don't know Ogden's issues don't vote for me'. He then went into exactly what the issues are, proving his point well.
Part 3 of blake I messed up the election in 07 fowers....
But this wasn't enough for the obvious Weber County Forum detractors in the audience, who from the front row, blurted out 'did he answer the question? he didn't answer the question!' After an admonition from the moderator, David quickly corrected this and stated 'I moved here a year ago', to which the detractor next to me stated

I was there.... said...

Blair went for the kill when all the candidates were asked what they did for Ogden in the last year. Phipps started by saying how he brought so much business into Ogden. Yes, on 25th street even. I would like to know who, names please. And of course he works charity every Thursday night for the under privileged, probably church related. He rambled on.... Then Blair's turn. He came out forcefully with, "I am a home owner and land owner in Ogden. I pay taxes. I own business in Ogden I pay taxes there too." The crowd burst into laughter, almost applause. Phipps just blushed and tried to maintain composure as the slick willy he is but clearly disturbed. He nailed him good and with confidence. I was surprised the Phipps support team was not there such as Thaine Fischer, Kym Buschardtt or any that I could tell. Blair has a composure and although a bit green, I think smart and thoughtful and will become an excellent councilman. I like him. Phipps is dangerous and frightens me. He rambled on about how bad it is to start a business in Ogden and how many people complain to him. I did not appreciate that. As that he would save the day. It is not as bad as he made it out to be in my opinion. He has a huge ego and this is his way to make his way to Mayor it apears to me. I can tell he has big sites. I swear I met him when being pitchd for time share somewhere awhile back, or was that for a used car? Slick. He is full of gas. The others did well, the highlight was Phipps being backed into a corner a few times. Asked about Mt. Ogden park, he danced and you could tell he was told not to say he was for development, but it came out. Blair is for open space. As are the others. Phipps is dangerous and will only polarize this community even more then it is. It was funny when asked about residency he danced and dance then a lady shouted out, "he didn't answer the question." He quickly said, "One year." I say...Vote Blair.

Carolyn said...

In spite of the dicey directions, the room finally filled up. I believe there should have been more time for questions from the audience. This is my take on the meeting: Once again, Phipps was the only candidate who wanted to keep the "condos on the east bench" on the table. He dodged direct answers to questions, managing to work around them with his "candidate schpeel".

All the candidates were asked what they had specifically done for Ogden in the last year. Bart Blair said he was a homeowner/business owner and paid taxes that contributed to Ogden's tax base. Some of the others who could not think of anything special began by saying the same thing about paying taxes! Susie Van Hooser gave specific examples of what she had done for Ogden,including raising $10,000 for the Ogden High renovation project, and David Phipps said he had brought many businesses to Ogden but neglected to give specifics. Mark Hains said he sold houses and encouraged people to buy in Ogden. Jesse Garcia said he spent two days a week working on City Council issues and that 97% of the issues during the year were resolved without incident. Stephens said he was responsible for the Clydesdale horses brought in for Pioneer Days and for a water management project and Dean has been working with youth in his area and making it possible for them to have a soccer field.

When asked about the illegal immigration issue in Ogden, Garner said we should support the police, embrace diversity and help illegals to become legal. Garcia said it was a problem that could not be resolved until there is national immigration reform.

Hopefully someone else can report on what else occurred at the meeting, and add to what I have remembered.

Curmudgeon said...

Mr. Blake "Factless" Fowers apparently wrote on his blog of the candidates' debate/forum this evening this:

Let's see, there was the first question directed at Phipps, just a coincidence it was a 'whammo- state your position on preservation of open space and the Mt. Ogden Golf course'?

Since Hizzonah, The Mayor, has made the golf course and its finances a major issue for some years now, as has Mr. Phipps in the months he's been a resident of Our Fair City, and since Hizzonah's preferred solution [permitteing 350 condos to go up on the benches and using the money raised to build a swanky million dollar new clubhouse for Mt. Ogden Golf Course] is and has been since its first incarnation some years ago [then, sell the golf course to Mr. Peterson to build vacation villas and take the money to pay for part of a $35 million dollar flatland gondola tourist ride], it seems fairly clear that any literate person in Ogden over the age of eight might expect a question about the golf course and its finances and what to do about it all to be asked tonight.

Very strange that Factless Fowers thinks Mr. Phipps getting that painfully obvious question was some kind of set up.

Curmudgeon said...

Several people have reported now that Candidate Phipps claimed he had already brought a number of businesses to Ogden, but that he failed to name them. Presuming the reports to be accurate, I can't believe that any real newspaper man or woman covering the election would not immediately place high on his or her "to do" list finding out from Mr. Phipps what businesses he claims he brought to Ogden. Either he can list them or he can not. If he does list businesses, just one notch lower on my "to do" list would be "check claims out."

Will the SE pursue the matter for its readers?

We shall see.

Curmudgeon said...

The SE covered the candidates' forum. Link to the story is here.

An observer said...

And for best comedy fiction with intent to deceive, the award goes to Factless Flowers of the Godfrey Fantasy works.

ole' said...

How shocking, a fair and balanced report on the candidates debate - as far as it went that is. Perhaps the Standard's editor or publisher finally looked in the mirror and didn't like what they saw staring back?

Hopefully this portends a new and ethical direction for the Standard in its reporting of Ogden politics. It's about time.

It will be interesting to see if the Standard takes a curiosity pill and follows up on the pretty unbelievable claims by Phipps on the large number of businesses he is claiming to have brought to Ogden. It seems far fetched that he is claiming more businesses to his credit than has likely come to town in the same period, but then maybe he is a magician.

It will also be interesting to see if the Standard follows up on the possible voter and election fraud Phipps may have committed in both Salt Lake and Ogden. There seems to be plenty to indicate he voted, perhaps illegally, in Salt Lake in Nov 08, which overlaps the time he claims to have been a resident of Ogden. I didn't know that Ogden residents could legally vote in Salt Lake elections, but maybe Mr. Phipps is the exception to that law - or a magician! There is also evidence He did not actually move to Ogden until December 08 which if true would disqualify him from running for the council to begin with, but then perhaps he is above that law as well. He did after all solemnly swear in official documents that he lived in Ogden for the required year meaning he moved here in Oct 08, but then he voted in Salt Lake in Nov 08 - more magic perhaps? All pretty confusing, so hopefully the Standard will follow up on those pesky little details and make sure the citizens of Ogden get the truth on the matter.

Do the citizens of Ogden want, or deserve, a fast talking magician who is above the law sitting on the council. Maybe, Ogden could use a little magic after all.

wildcat said...

SE leads this morning with the following: last night's debate produced no fireworks. Too bad for the SE. However, it could have written a fireworks story easily. Ask audience members why the issue of when Phipps moved to Ogden is such a big deal to them. And then ask Phipps' his response. This would have created fireworks for their story.
As for the debate I thought it was informative. While candidates may have had too long, in some people's minds to answer questions, I thought that giving them 5 minutes allowed them to demonstrate their knowledge of the issues. yes, it also allows candidates to ramble on, but it's up to the audience to determine what's BS. Debates where candidates get only a couple of minutes to discuss what are often-times complex issues are a waste, in my mind.
Interesting that the moderator has already been hit on the Forum for being too soft on Phipps and for attacking him right out of the box. I can tell you that Prof. Johnson has no stake in the pro-Phipps anti-Phipps / battle.
My vote for best job last night goes to Garcia.
I'm not in Ward 3, but Dean does come across as a viable opponent for Stephens. Hains did not impress me. While Phipps is energetic and a decent public speaker, I don't agree with his positions. While I do agree with Blair, I wish he was a more impressive speaker and was able to draw more directly on specifics. I hope he is better one-on-one as he goes around the city campaigning.

Jennifer Neil said...

a couple of things Phipps said that sounded vaguely familiar: when asked "Do you support [sic] open space along the Bonneville Shoreline and east of the Mt Ogden Golf Course?" Phipps opened with "I have hiked the east trails more than anyone in this room" ... he wants to do what is best for Ogden and "bring business to [the city]" ... he also said something to the effect of "I talk to more businesses during the course of my job about staying in or coming to Ogden than anyone on the Council or anyone up here on the panel"

THINK: i have more integrity than anyone in this room ... (hint, not a phipps quote)

****************************

Question: Something about dealing with citizen concern about rising water rates and property taxes, Phipps answered: he talks to lots of people having problems with the rising taxes, also mentioned that we pay about twice as much property tax as Riverdale residents (like, is this a good thing?) ... segue into talking to businesses about staying here or settling in here .... mentioned an Accounting firm that left & moved to So. Ogden (no name); a business with a lot of federal backing could not get a foothold because of the time spent trying to get occupancy cert (no name); now talking to an Architecture Firm about opening in Ogden (again, no name)

Audience questions:
Phipps asked about timeline regarding his moving to Ogden: moved in a year ago, moved his business to Ogden about 5 (no, 3) years ago ... segue to pat campaign promises (verbatim from his website).

All candidates asked "Specifically, what have you done for Ogden in the past year"

Phipps: brought 39 businesses, including 5 or 6 to 25th street

Blair: Lived in Ogden all my life, own property and business in Ogden, pay taxes and add to the tax base with the family business

Hains: LT Ogden resident and property owner, owns a Photography business also adding to the tax base

VanHooser: LT Ogden resident, taught school for many years in Ogden, on many public service committees, including Ogden Heritage Foundation (correct me if I'm wrong) and Landmarks Commission, helped raise money for Ogden High renovation project

Stephens: LT Ogden resident, served on Ogden City Council ... works with the Pioneer Days Committee and worked hard to get the Budweiser Clydesdales to come to Ogden Rodeo and Parade ...

Dean: lives and owns property in Ogden, organized a program that works with youth and other voluteers to make it possible for them to play football - with no city money, all volunteer and donations

Garcia: City Council member for 15 plus years, gets in touch with the residents in his voting district and makes sure their issues have a chance to be addressed

Garner: For some reason I can't remember how Garner answered this question

More to come

Jennifer Neil said...

Some of the questions posed to opponents: (note I am not directly quoting the answers, just taking from my notes)

Hains/VanHooser: something about how the Council operates

Hains: as a council member, he would look at the issues and decide what's best for constituents; VanHooser: Encouraged public to come to council meetings AND work sessions, because oftentimes more information can be garnered from the work sessions, stressed that the council does not and cannot (illegal) hold private meetings among themselves, everything is accessible by the public, if they would come

Stephens/Dean: Do you see potential development on the East bench areas as counter productive to downtown development

Stephens: The Junction and River Projects need to be finished before any new developments are started. It is critical to preserve and protect the east bench open space and foothills; Dean: the foothills should be open space, we should not force development there for whatever reason - the open space can never be recovered if something goes wrong.

Garcia/Garner: What would be ways to aid and recover blighted areas and slums in the City

Garcia: get neighborhood input, give the residents ownership in the recovery plan, use the CIP as intended - for capital improvement, apply for federal grant money to aid in improvements, opposes the outright taking of property for development; Garner: enforce absentee owners who abandon property and let it decay as this contributes to the blight and hurts neighborhoods, encourage own in Ogden and Good Neighbor projects, something about an Oasis Program.

********************************

Blair/Phipps: something about rising water rates and property taxes (addressed above)

VanHooser/Hains:
Something about the River Project and a Transit Loop (sorry, didn't get much on this one)

VanHooser: a transit loop may be a good idea, but not something that needs to be done right away, feels that a LOT more public input needs to be inserted in the plan, let the public decide or vote on it, having a river in the vicinity of downtown is one of our greatest assets and we should capitalize on that, there are many cities that have done so and the results are amazing; Hains: Ogden already gets lots of national exposure, we need to use that for recruiting businesses to revitalize downtown

Dean/Stephens:
How would you work to improve relationship between administration and Council? The Bombshell Question

Dean: wants to get peoples' ideas, encourage public input, he is a public servant and would serve the public to restore trust in the city government, wants a more cohesive spirit and more transparency, such as more documents and information available online for the public to access, wants to move away from the spiteful atmosphere that has developed in the governing entity of the City; Stephens: wants to foster trust of the city administration/council, seeks a better understanding, mentioned there is a resolution on the table to have the ch 17 record all council meetings and present them unedited for public viewing.

Garner/Garcia:
What to do about the rapid growth of illegal immigrant population problem

Garner: it is indeed a problem, work with the OPD to enforce immigration laws, start supporting and encouraging cultural diversity programs with education; Garcia: SB81 gives OPD authority to act on INS statutes in arresting illegals, but nothing can really be done without immigration reform and that is beyond the scope of city government.

Biker Babe said...

Mr. Schwebke forgot to mention the airport, which also operates on city budget - one of the candidates said 15% of residents golf at the MOGC, one of the others said maybe 1% of residents use the airport - yet the airport has never been an issue, even though it may be running in the red at a much higher rate. Hmmm. This MOGC thing is just an issue because godfrey wants what he wants and that's the way it is. Nobody is doing any studies on how to improve the airport, or how to develop the airport, or consider closing the airport --- or HEY, what about all the public city parks that operate without ANY revenue ?!?!

An old song comes to mind:

With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swingin' hot spot
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

They took all the trees, and put em in a tree museum
And they charged the people a dollar and a half to see them

I don't wanna give it
Why you wanna give it
Why you wanna givin it all away
Hey, hey, hey
Now you wanna give it
I should wanna give it
Now you wanna givin it all away

Please, lets not go there

js

BB

Fed Air said...

Actually, the airport is about 95% subsidized by the FAA. The city's piece is very small, and the city does receive substantial tax revenue from it.

Biker Babe said...

Hey Fed Air - thanks for the information! Never would have gotten that from the godfrey machine. People are just left to assume because of lack of communication. Many Thanks!

js

BB

Curmudgeon said...

Fed Air:

My own view is that comparing the matter of whether a park providing public recreation ought to be publicly funded to the question of whether a commercial facility [like the airport] ought to be so funded is not wise policy. Every instance ought to be considered on its own merits. It's quite possible there might be a public recreation venue that it makes little sense to fund with tax revenues [in my opinion, the outdoor downtown ice climbing popsicle would be an example], while there are others that do merit tax support. And there are commercial developments that might well merit public participation [I'd probably include the airport in that list] while there are others that do not.

Every proposal for public funding for anything --- park, community center, hotel, rehab project, downtown condos, whatever and you name it --- needs to be considered on its own merits regarding possible public funds, weighing anticipated public benefit against costs and the city's overall financial resources.

OgdenLover said...

Interesting. I saw a comment posted by Blue Sky to the SE website stating that there was documentation for Phipps' having moved to Ogden on or after 12/8/08 and now it's gone.

Libby N said...

I work with Susie VanHooser on the Weber County Heritage Foundation and know first hand how hard she works. She was contacted by a new business owner in a historic building and I invited myself along (because I am all about the old buildings). Susie mentioned to her that she had run for Mayor and this young woman said that she wished Susie had won. I thought she was just being polite since she was new to Ogden and had known Susie for ten minutes. However, she went on to tell us how she went to the Mayors office to invite him to tour her business and see first hand all the improvements they had made. He flat out refused and told her he would not go. I stood there while Susie brainstormed for twenty minutes ideas to get people to come into this womans business. Why did she do that? because she loves Ogden and wants businesses to succeed. I just want people who don't know Susie VanHooser to understand what kind of person she is.

Biker Babe said...

OgdenLover: we still have it

Curm: I only mentioned the airport because it came up in the question/answer thingey last night.

Libby: I voted for Susie!

js

BB

Curmudgeon said...

BB:

Comment wasn't aimed at you. It came up in the debate because it's a common argument in reply to Hizzonah's determination to turn Mt. Ogden Park into Condo City to fund whatever his obsession of the moment is: flatland gondola tourist rides, out door downtown year round ice climbing popsicles, velodromes, swanky new clubhouses for public golf courses, etc.

Since I don't think it's a good argument to make, and that there are much sounder grounds on which to defend Mt. Ogden Park as a public-revenue supported park, I took Fed Air's post as an opportunity to make the point. Not at all intended as a criticism of you.

Biker Babe said...

Curmy:

I didn't take it as criticism [(**)] and I liked the opportunity I created that generated FedAir's clarification ... hey, that's what you just said, huh?

js

BB

wildcat said...

As I recall, the question presented at the debate involving both the subsidy of the Mt Ogden GC and the airport was not about saying how can you support one and not the other. The candidates missed the key part of the question which came at the end: must all city entities like Golf Courses and Airports be profitable? In other words, are there legitimate reasons for cities to own, run and maintain entities that cost tax payers $$? A question that has been hashed quite a bit on this forum.

Biker Babe said...

blake fowers is a idjit

Ogden Res said...

Saying the airport is 90% paid for by the FAA is misleading, assmuming it is even true.

Let's talk about the new terminal - the one that was supposed to house Adam Air and does house Rickenbackers.

The city recently kicked $1 million to terminal operator Mel Kemp for MARKETING. That's right, a cool million just for marketing that black hole.

Like other Godfrey projects, that one was long on promises and city funding, and short on payoff as well as short on being of much use at all.

So let's not play Godfreyite and distort the facts. The facts are Godfrey is a financial disaster.

Ray Vaughn said...

I have a question about the Mount Ogden Golf Course costs. How was the amount of costs determined? Was an independent study done to determine the costs or is it just an estimate or guess? Are any of the expenses being charged reasonable or merely a way to cloud the true costs? Can the city council have an independent study to arrive at the truth? Are costs and income arrived at and managed by generally accepted accounting rules? Until we have a full study any statements about the cost is just an unverified statement? I would think that both the Mayor and the Council would want a full and accurate assessement of the situation.

south bench said...

39 new businesses, with 5 on 25th street? In the last year?
My bullshi'tometer just deflected at +23 db. Who would have even thought to calibrate at such a high signal to noise ratio, even in Ogden?

It sounds like most of these 39+ businesses are owned by the same person or persons, who just use dummy companies loaning money back and forth to each other, to build a towering edifice of Madoff.
I smell a Jake Garn, and I am opening my window and turning on a fan.

I think looking into the businesses he claims to have brought here, and going over their ownership documents with a fine tooth comb, would reveal tax statements and property titles gamed to the nth.

I would also like to have clarified what he exactly means by, "bringing a business to Ogden".
He drove the moving truck? Profited by helping sell the land? Did behind the scenes deals with the current administration? I want a list. I am checking it twice.

ozboy said...

Ogden Res

I'm not sure about the terminal building with the restaurant in it as being where Adams Aircraft was located. I think it may go way beyond that. As I recall there was an RDA at the airport where Kemp got around $4 million for a large hanger building that he had already built, and that is where Adams was located in their ever so brief pass through Ogden on their way to bankruptcy.

Giving the RDA TIF bonding at $4 million to Kemp was a very large fiasco according to some who were following it. The underlying purpose of RDA money is to eliminate blight. Kemp got the gift from the tax payers of Ogden, via the normal route through the Mayor's office, after he built the building, and there was absolutely no legitimate blight remediation any where in the deal. Yet Kemp, a certified FOM, got it anyway - and after the fact.

I join with others who do not think the Mt. Ogden Park and the Airport are comparable. They both serve very different purposes, and although a very small number of Ogden residents use the airport, and most of them do so to keep their expensive toys there, it also is very important in commerce. The airport is indispensable in this modern age.

It would be very interesting if some one in the know gave us the real numbers of what the airport costs the tax payers of Ogden, and also just how much income it produces for the city. Again, regardless of what those numbers show, I don't think they can be compared directly to what the parks cost.

What is directly comparable in my opinion is what the Junktion costs vs what Mt. Ogden Park does. This of course assumes the citizens could ever get true and accurate numbers out of the Godfrey machine - a major assumption! It appears as tho the Junktion is presently costing the tax payers of Ogden at least three times as much money as the Mt. Park is, yet it appears that Mr. Ogden Park and Golf course serves a whole lot more citizens than the Junktion does.

another oldtimer remembers said...

Ozboy,

It is obvious that you have been "around the block" with your info about the airport.

The last $1 million gift to Kemp was to promote his business and had nothing to do with the initial building of the Adams Aircraft and Rickenbacher buildings.

There is a long story asssociated with the inital RDA giveaway to the Mel Kemp holdings.

None of it favorable to Matthew Godfrey.

Missus old timer said...

It is most interesting that most of the current City Council candidates are "Johnny come-lately" to the scene and really have no history of what has gone on during the Godfrey administration with the exception of Garcia.

Where were they when Rulon Yorgason and Dorothy Littrell tried to bring about reform in Ogden City Hall?

Stephen M. Cook said...

Ms. Van Hooser, canvasing our neighborhood, just appeared on the street below to shake some hands and talk city issues with the local 25th street merchants. Luckily we noticed her out politicking, and we were able to receive a sign for our 25th street loft window, showing our support for the many good things she has done for the fine folk of Ogden City.
She had a very personable gentleman with her, who took the time to joke with our family about the huge sign stretched across the front of the barricaded eyesore formerly known as The Star Noodle Parlour.

We thought it was a slur in City Elections to take one of your opponents signs, and put it on a burned out building or other developer-created eyesore.

There should be Phipps signage displayed prominently on every lot in Leshamville, with another big red sign on the prison cell door of Val Southwick, and maybe a Vote Phipps lapel button for Southwick's new "girlfriend".

We note that our current Mayor, while a supposed victim of Southwick, was also his strongest supporter for no jail time, so that he could, "pay millions in restitution to his victims".

400 million dollars? No jail time? Sounds like Godfrey was more than just a victim; it sounds like he was also a silent rail-greasing partner.

eye witness said...

As long as we're playing guilt by association... I recently noticed a Hains sign in the yard of Blain "Laundry Boy" Johnson.

Dan S. said...

For the record:

I was never consulted, directly or indirectly, by Prof. Johnson or anyone else, regarding the prepared questions that were asked at last night's event. I have no idea who at WSU (other than Prof. Johnson) contributed to the list of questions.

I did write a suggested question on a 3x5 card for use during the last part of the event, but my question was not asked.

I was eager to congratulate Prof. Johnson after the event for handling it so professionally. He also asked me whether, as someone who follows Ogden politics closely, I thought the questions adequately covered the range of issues that voters care about. We briefly discussed the mix of audience questions (including those that weren't used), and some details about the debate format and how not all the candidates had directly answered all the questions. I barely know Prof. Johnson and in fact, I didn't realize until he reminded me that we had even met before. (My office is a long way from the Political Science Department, and I don't get out as much as I should.)

Jim Hutchins said...

Someone with better computer skills than I might want to see how many new business license applications were filed in Ogden City in 2008, and how many of those list physical addresses on 25th Street.

I would be very surprised if the total number of new business licenses in Ogden is even close to 39 at the bottom of the Great Recession.

AWM said...

Dan, no need for your "for the record" post . Your integrity and motives were NEVER in question

disgusted said...

two comments

in regards to the debate phipps stated that he was not in favor of putting thousands of condominiums up on the hill side. knowing full well that godfreys initial plan only calls for 350 condos. he was intentionally quoting a larger numbers of condos over godfreys plan so he could later come back and say but this is only 350 condos.

in regards to Fed Air comment the federal government only covers a limited number of capital costs at the airport at a 95% match. other capital costs are at 75% and other costs at much less. if i had more time i would pull the annual operating costs of the airport out of the city annual report but i will leave that for someone else. but make no mistake jesse knows what he is talking about. the airport costs the city a lot of money to operate and most of the users are no ogdenites but weber county people in general. ogden would be smart to give the airport to the county but keep the property within the city. that way we could collect property tax and let the cost of operation be shared more equally among those that actually use it.

the comparison of the operating costs of the airport as compared to the mt. ogden golf course though is relative in that there are several assets with in any community that the city or county provides to increase the quality of life for its residents. both assets fit that objective and both assets cost money to operate.

ogden is all about lifestyle.

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