Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Emerald City Tuesday News Roundup

A reminder that early voting starts today; and a report that Boss Godfrey's "Council Nanny Plan" has fizzled out

There are a couple items in this morning's Standard-Examiner which we believe to be worthy of note.

First, Bryon Saxton provides a helpful reminder that early voting for the November 3 general election begins today. Although this morning's story reports that some northern Utah cities will have abbreviated voting hours, that's not the case in Ogden City. We spoke with the Ogden City Recorder's Office this morning and confirmed that our readers can visit that office at the City Municipal building to cast their early ballots any time between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, during the period running from this morning through October 30.

With the publication of this morning's story, we also believe it's a fine time to again remind our readers of our Weber County Forum Council Candidate Roster, wherein our readers can find a full collection of articles and links regarding the eight council candidates. If you haven't visited these pages even within the last week, you'll find that they're seriously fleshed out since your last visit. Be sure to click the links for the individual candidate pages, where we've assembled what we believe to be the single most information-rich Ogden City council candidate data source on the web. There's no need, we believe, for early general election voters to enter the voting booth unarmed.

Next, we'll put the spotlight on this morning's Standard-Examiner story, wherein Mr. Schwebke reports that Boss Godfrey's October 21, 2008 effort to appoint a City Council Nanny has fizzled out. When we last discussed this topic on Weber County Forum, a number of our readers expressed their doubts about the viability of this plan. Unfortunately, due to serious health issues within Dr. Goff's family, we'll never know whether the appointment of a dedicated council liason would have had a snowball's chance in hell of paving the way for improved Administration/Council relations. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dr. Goff and his family, of course.

We do have a fallback plan however. Howbout the council re-appropriate the 500 bucks previously designated for Dr. Goff's monthly stipend, and redirect it for the enrollment of Boss Godfrey in a reasonably closely located charm school instead? We do believe this is the area where the lumpentaxpayers could get the most bang for the buck, and that dedicated charm school tuition for the socially-incompetent Boss Godfrey would be taxpayer money very well spent.

That's it for now, gentle readers.

Don't let the cat get your tongues.

Update 10/20/09 12:10 p.m.: Upon the most excellent suggestion of the ever-cerebral gentle reader Keisha, we've set up a poll, to allow our readers to rate the "best of the best of the best" of the 2009 general election council candidate websites. First, go to our award-worthy Council Candidate Roster, click on the individual candidate page links and check out what the candidates offer online. After that, enter your vote in the poll module we've just now placed in the right sidebar.

Let it never be said that Weber County Forum readers can't find creative ways to amuse themselves... even on an otherwise S-L-O-O-O-W news day.


ozboy said...

The article on ex-mayor Goff was interesting although it did have a big hole in it. It mentioned that Mr. Goff had met with all of the council members except Wicks and Jeske. No explanation, just that they had not met.

Given the large amount of negative publicity that Mayor Godfrey has heaped upon these two where he has ascribed most of the city government communication problems on these two council members for not meeting with him, I think it a rather large omission for this article to not explain why they had not met with Mr. Goff. A lot of the mayor's supporters will say - "See, we told you, Wicks and Jeske are obstructionists who refuse to meet with the mayor or a peace maker" thus furthering the false notion that the problem lies with these two.

Did the Standard do this on purpose? Given their past reporting on the mayor it is entirely plausible they would stoop to something like this.

It would have been very easy for the writer of this article to determine just why the two had not met with Mr. Goff as of yet. Was it scheduling conflicts? Was it the unfortunate illness of Mrs. Goff that made it difficult for Mr. Goff to meet with the two council members? Was it something entirely different?

Without the reasons being made public, the Godfrey/Phipps machine will just have more grist for their propaganda mill. Perhaps that is what the Standard intended, or were they just once again incompetent in their reporting?

Curmudgeon said...

Mr. Goff's appointment is a good indication of just how little respect the Mayor has for his fellow elected officials, City Council members. He doesn't understand, and has never understood, that maintaining a good working relationship with the Council is one of his primary responsibilities as Mayor. It is not something he can staff out. Yet the Mayor, evidently, thinks it is. [I should add, here, that maintaining a good working relationship with the Mayor is also on of a Council member's primary responsibilities. But they have not tried to staff that responsibility out. The Mayor has.]

Had Mayor Godfrey hired Mr. Goff to advise him on how to improve his relations with the Council, I'd have agreed it was money well spent. Presumably Mr. Goff might have explained to Hizzonah that telling the Council after it over-rode a veto, that he [the Mayor] was going to ignore the Council's decision and do what he damned well pleased anyway was not likely to lead to improved relations.

That said, I am very sorry to learn of the circumstances of Mr. Goff's resignation. I wish him and his wife well and hope, with them, for a successful outcome.

As for Mr. Goff not having lunched with two of the Council members: I wouldn't presume to hazard a guess as to why he hasn't. But I will add that were I a Council member, and Mr. Goff suggested a lunch as part of his job as Mayor's liaison with the Council, I'd have politely declined, and explained that it was wrong for the Mayor to staff out Council relations. However, I'd have told him, if you'd like to meet for lunch not in your capacity as Mayor's Council liaison, but just as an Ogden resident wanting to meet his Council member, why, in that case, sure, and the beer's on me.

Anonymous said...

Wait Curm, if we elect you to the City Council, you are buying rounds for citizens who want to meet you?
Every night at 6 pm? City Club?

Lionel said...

I would like to point out that this nonsense about the great divide between the mayor and council is a lot to do about nothing.

There is plenty of evidence in the public record to refute this notion being put out by the mayor. The Council has passed over 98% of the mayor's initiatives. That means they only disagreed on 2% of all issues before them. If anything, this fact could just as well indicate they cooperate way too much!

Marion said...

What is going on with Bart Blair? He lists nothing under "issues" on his web site. Does Mr. Blair think there are no issues in Ogden? Is he just going to coast through this election with the hope that his opponent's fraudulent gaming of the election laws will deliver the win without any effort? Early voting has started and Mr. Blair has yet to stake out his position on the important issues facing Ogden!

Do we really want some one this sleepy on the city council? Look how the slumbering giant Fasi helped contribute to the financial disaster we all face today as he napped through numerous council sessions.

It seems like Mr. Blair has a losing strategy to me, even if he is up against a sleaze ball.

Anonymous said...

The much discussed City Council/Mayor Super-Rift myth springs from a deliberate action on the part of the Mayors office towards exploiting a lack of knowledge regarding civic affairs on behalf of the average citizen.

See, relations are supposed to be this way; no, really, it is healthy.

If there was not strife, contention, intrigue, and a never-ending general stalemate with little getting done: we would be assured that the system had broken down, or that one interest group was running roughshod over the interests of the majority.
The City Council is supposed to watch the Mayor like a hawk; and likewise the Mayor, City Council.

Power is at stake. You know, power? So, don't be naive, learn from history; and, vote.

Anonymous said...

As for Mr. Blair, I stopped by his office a few days back, and he was upstairs hard at work running the financial end of a successful business. He took the time to come out and talk with our family about a few single issues; it was also nice to see him one on one, as we had not spoken with him since his declared candidacy.

He is holding up nice, and welcomes calls, e-mails, and drop-ins. He does not want to "get all up in everyones face", which he personally does not appreciate, when running a campaign.
So, call him.

And there is more grass root, behind the scene, get out the vote effort going on than meets the eyes; something a lot easier to accomplish, when you are an actual well-known and respected lifetime citizen of Ogden, not a stealthily-inserted carpetbagger from FlipperVille.

Neverending Curiosity said...

Chief Greiner's federal Merit System Protection Board Hatch Act violation hearing was continued to October 20, 2009. Any news?

OgdenLover said...

Bart's answers to the SE's questions tell a lot about where he stands on the issues. Have you looked at those? The link is on his website.

Curmudgeon said...

Mr. Cook:

You asked: Wait Curm, if we elect you to the City Council, you are buying rounds for citizens who want to meet you?

Well, my offer to pay for the drinks would be part of my special outreach program for known associates of Mayor Godfrey --- going the extra pint for peace. So to speak....

Bill C. said...

Curm, this is one of the biggest non-stories that the mayor has induced the gondola examiner to run.
First, regardless of what you think of Goff, the mayor has zero authority to appoint anyone over the Council, even in an advisory capacity. It would just be out of courtesy if any Council member met for lunch or anything else with Goff.
The gondola examiner could only be running this crap to further the false impression that there are certain persons that prohibit the Council from communicating with the administration. Nothing could be further from the truth. And if the gondola examiner folks had read their own paper they could see how the administration is the guilty party, witholding stuff and outright lying to the Council.
Goff himself knows all of this and alot more, due to his long participation in City government, yet he's remained silent throughout lying little matty's tenure. This could lead one to believe he's in cahoots with all these crooked inside dealings or an ignorant lackey.
The first place to start would be the golf course, he was involved from the start and made every decision along the way. Now that lying little matty has destroyed the records, all these old City guys have just shut up.
Just what does that tell us about their leadership and character?

Dan S. said...

On another subject, the city council has just approved the budget amendment to fund the river restoration project through $1 million in federal stimulus funds and $300,000 from the sewer district. Before the vote, I stated for the record my support of the project but also my opposition to the way the design work was funded, for $220,000, by diverting money from other storm sewer projects--without city council involvement or approval. Chair Wicks later expressed similar concerns.

Garcia and Jeske have been excused from this meeting; all others are present.

Dan S. said...

Now the council is considering approval of the east-central community plan. The planning department is summarizing the plan. By the way, we're on the road at Madison Elementary School.

I don't expect to post frequent updates, unless a fist fight breaks out.

Dan S. said...

Members of the public are now commenting on the east central community plan. This is a great community-building process. About 40 citizens are in the audience, and many are getting up to speak even though there's no great controversy over the plan. The mayor, by the way, has not been present at this meeting. Mr. Patterson was here earlier but left before the public comments began. Candidate Patrick Dean is also in the audience.

Dan S. said...

The council has just passed the east central plan by a unanimous vote of 4-0. Councilman Johnson is no longer present so there's a bare quorum.

Pat Dean said...

I would like to commend Dan for standing up and asking the hard questions. Was city Purchasing and RFP protocals followed in the selection of the Design Contractor?

The question was then posed to our City Engineer, which turned ti microphone over to our Neighborhood Development Director that performed a nice soft shuffle around the question. Stating that the time line was so short and they had such a vested interest and they had already developed a relationship.... when a simple no would have been the correct answer.

I'm still concerned that not all the property owners have junped onto the River Restoration project Band Wagon and I'm afraid without their cooperation the project will not be completed and we will have wasted the money for the Design and the river project and the LOMA.

Ms. Wicks did follow up with a slight repromand ot the City Staffers that this is not how a project is to be presented to the Council

Dan S. said...

Thanks for chiming in, Mr. Dean, and for attending this important meeting.

I share your concern about the property owners, although I don't know any more details about that aspect, beyond what has been reported here and in the newspaper.

Curmudgeon said...

Unless I'm misinterpreting something, the Administration's position on the questions that were raised was: "We follow the proper procedures, of course, except when we find it more convenient not to."

That close?

RudiZink said...

I just found this great post on At-Large city council Seat "B" candidate Bart Blair's campaign blog, where he reels off his positions on a number of important Ogden City political issues:

Bart Blair on the issues

This should handily answer gentle reader Marions's earlier inquery, about where Mr. Blair stands on the issues, methinks.

Just a thought said...

If memory serves correct, isn't the incomprable Ms. Wicks the one who keeps telling us that the Council is a part time job and her real full time job often interferes with council extra-curriculars and other scheduled events?

I understand that the Mayor is a full time mayor and the council members are only part time, but it seems like quite a leap to continuously blame one's job from executing one's council duties, especially when it comes to scheduling ONE lunch.

A person's gotta eat.

Curmudgeon said...

Just a Thought:

I don't think Ms. Wicks gave a reason. The SE printed only Mr. Goff's statement. And, as noted above, if I were on the Council, I would not have gone because, I would insist, establishing good working relations with Council members is a primary responsibility. It cannot and should not be staffed out. Consider the reverse situation: the Council hires [at taxpayers expense, as Mr. Goff was hired] someone who is tasked to meet regularly with the Mayor to school him in effective Council relations. I doubt very much the Mayor would sit still for any such arrogant action by the Council. Nor would I, if I were on the Council sit still for similar arrogance on the part of the Mayor.

NB: I have not talked about this with Ms. Wicks, and the opinions above are my own only. Merely wanted to note that her reasons for not agreeing to "do lunch" with the Mayor's Council Tamer may have had nothing to do with difficulty of scheduling.

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