Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Tuesday Morning Emerald City News Roundup

Selected bits and pieces, designed to provide fodder for yet another great WCF reader discussion

In the absence of any blockbuster Ogden City stories from the northern Utah print media this morning, we'll shine the spotlight on these selected bits and pieces, which nevertheless may provide fodder for further reader discussion:

1) Ace Reporter Schwebke reports that the city council will consider taking action against three "sexually oriented" Ogden businesses (strip clubs), in an apparent effort to enhance our city's new "Provo-style" family friendly image:
Zoning changes could force businesses to relocate
A new Utah law provides that a municipality may enact by ordinance an amortization schedule for the termination of nonconforming uses over a "reasonable period of time." This statute, which was enacted by our purported "pro property rights" GOP legislature during the 2009 session, abrogates former law of long-standing in America, wherein preexisting non-conforming uses have been traditionally "grandfathered," during the entire duration of their operation. In our opinion, this new legislation, which would allow government bureaucrats to arbitrarily "amortize" the "value" private property rights, invites a constitutional law challenge if ever there were one. Maybe it's just us... but we do believe we smell an expensive potential lawsuit blooming on the horizon. Hopefully the city council will be very, very careful as they examine this issue.

2) The Standard-Examiner again seems to be horribly out of touch with current developments this morning, with the publication of this letter which criticizes the three council candidates who declined Boss Godfrey's imperial summons to appear for Boss Godfrey's botched Channel 17 sham debates:
Debate no-shows set atmosphere for more division
The Standard-Examiner editors are well aware that all council candidates have now gotten together and planned a legitimate debate with a venue and ground rules which are agreeable to all council candidates. We thus don't understand at all why the Std-Ed editors allow the Godfrey Ticket letter machine to keep flogging this now dead horse.

3) Rachel Trotter reports this morning, a short seven weeks after signing away the bulk of its multi-million dollar Junction tax increment until the year 2026, that the Ogden City School District is even now shuffling slim resources to meet an "unexpected" increase in elementary school class enrollment:
Ogden City School District considers its options
Mercilessly, this morning's story dwells on the manner in which the school district intends to "make do" with the resources it already owns; and there is no hint, express or implied, suggesting that the school district will be asking for more taxpayer money any time soon. This is fine with us of course. Frankly, we don't want to hear any whining about funding shortages from the geniuses at the Ogden School District until around the year 2026.

That's it for now, O Gentle Ones.

Pick up on any of the above topics, or start up a new discussion all your own.

43 comments:

Wm III said...

Does anyone know how the "Meet the Candidates" sponsored by the WCWLC went last night?

RudiZink said...

The WCWLC meeting is scheduled for TONIGHT, Bill:

Meet the Candidates Night 10/6/09

I hope you'll plan to attend.

Curmudgeon said...

Rudi:

In re: this --- "Frankly, we don't want to hear any whining about funding shortages from the geniuses at the Ogden School District until around the year 2026."

Sorry, Rudi, but no. I'd agree with you if the people suffering from the short fall were the doofus schoolboard people who approved another 12 years of tax funds they were entitled to to try to keep Hizzonah's Money Pit [aka The Junction] looking like it's a money-maker. But it won't be them suffering and bearing the brunt of the shortfalls, Rudi. It'll be the kids.

Jennifer Neil said...

Dear mayor godfrey,

I'm sure you read the paper, as in this article, but this is something that bears a second look. I understand your children attend private school, so what is happening in Ogden City's Public Schools is out of your view. You just assigned away another 12 years of much needed tax increment money from the school district, which according to this article has been experiencing steady growth over the last 3 years which they don't expect to stop. Sure, you granted a "mitigation payment" to cover part of the lost tax revenue, but what will that $350k buy in 12 years? Maybe some 12 year old textbooks the students will have to share .... And there is a hiring freeze on for teachers - who is going to teach the growing number of students? Is my daughter at Heritage Elementary School going to get the quality education and attention she needs and deserves in order to prepare her for becoming a successful and productive adult in our society / or will she end up working the arcade at the Junction because she can't pass muster, because you grossly overestimated what the Junction could/would/should do for our fair city?

Frankly and honestly, I'm pissed! And I know this is just like shutting the barn door after the horse has run off - but WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? The City needed and wanted you to be the responsible, caring servant of the people they thought they were electing -- and now our children are suffering for it. Stop breaking your promises and look at your people ... their hearts are breaking and they are angry. All you care about is finishing the Junction, building condos nobody can afford and getting the so-called "ugly smelly" homeless people out of sight - at our expense!

Thank you for your attention to this matter,
Jennifer J Neil

Deluded Sheep in Charge said...

Mayor Godfrey believes that any day now, the LDS church will save the entire nation from a secret combination of evil doers, and that Utah will become a city on the hill refuge for saints on the earth. Throwing money at "public schools", which will be an outdated term in Zion, would be a waste. All of his projects flow from this disease-madness of the ego called "One True Religion". They are not crack-potty, they are visionary and far seeing, arrived at after long hours spent in prayer. Like most who profess mind-viruses like the one he is terminally afflicted with, he is not playing with a full deck. He gets his marching orders from above.

twobitter said...

Speaking of Provo, yesterday I went by the new Deseret Books at The Junction and was surprised to see it occupies only a third of the ground floor of that building. Wonder what will move into the other 2/3?

Wm III said...

Uh, so I guess not much happened last night ...

My bad ...

twobitter said...

New pitch to potential tourists:

Don’t come to Ogden expecting a typical mountain town. This is the place Al Capone said was too wild for his taste in the 1920s. But not any longer! We've now banned not only prostitution and gambling, but also street festivals and strip clubs. You can bring your kiddies here because Deseret Books sells only Church-approved literature, and we've forced The Bookshelf to move to where the kiddies won't see those naughty books they sell. Your kiddies won't have to look at dirty poor people either once we move them so far away they can't walk to downtown any more. Also your kiddies will be completely safe having high adventures with pirate golf and bumper cars. Be sure not to let them have their high adventures in the mountains where there's poison ivy and rattlesnakes.

Curmudgeon said...

SE editorial today deals with ethical lapses in city government in Syracuse. This time it has to do with cronyism. Last editorial on the general topic had to do with how unethical it was to use public-financed platforms [newsletters, websites] for campaign purposes.

Truly wondrous how the SE's ethical radar is so finely tuned to pick up municipal unethical conduct all around Ogden but as for looking in Ogden itself... well, then not so much.

googlegirl said...

OUR VIEW: Of carwashes and ethics

ozboy said...

Mr Curmudgeon

Here is an absolutely brilliant comment on the Standard site to that editorial;-)


Ole wrote:

"Very good editorial

Great job by the editorial board of the Standard on this one.

What is baffling however is how the naybobs at the Standard can take such an admirable stance on ethical lapses in the surrounding communities but turn a completely blind eye to the outrageous crookedness of the Godfrey administration right in their own home town.

While these crooks in Syracuse should have the spotlight shone on them, and I applaud the Standard for doing so, the truth is that the blatant and ongoing ethical lapses that cost the tax payers of Ogden many many millions goes unchallenged.

Perhaps the Standard editors need a new eye glass prescription, it seems they can see far away but are completely blind to anything right in their face."

George K said...

I was called last night and asked to answer a few questions for a survey. It was an interesting survey and proves that Godfrey is going to say he is using public opinion for future development in Ogden, and then he wants to know where support of the candidates for city council is so that if needs be, he can increase the funds to HIS candidates so that he has another “RUBBER STAMP” council.
Here are the questions being asked on this new survey:
1. Do you think taxpayer money should be spent to further develop the Junction? Yes No or Undecided
2. Do you think that the Mt. Ogden Golf Course should be turned over to a private developer to improve the golf course? Yes No Undecided
3. Do you think that the administration of the Marshall White Center should be turned over to a private organization? Yes No Undecided
4. Do you think that the council should go along with the Mayor’s plans More than they do? Less than they do? Just about the same as in the past?
5. Do you think that a tram or gondola should be built from downtown Ogden? Yes No Undecided
6. In the council race, for At-Large seat A, who will you vote for Mark Hains Susie Van Hooser or Undecided?
7. In the council race, for At-Large seat B, who will you vote for David Phipps Bart Blair or Undecided?
There are several very important issues at stake in the near future that will affect Ogden for years to come. Voters need to be made aware of what they are and what the consequences of their votes will be in the November election. Just look at the survey questions!
1. Ogden taxpayers are already subsidizing the Junction with $750,000. of BDO funds every year, and he plans to spend more to “stimulate the Junction”!
2. The amount of city support for the Mount Ogden Golf Course is one-third of that spent on the Junction! Efforts to minimize the expenses to the city for the golf course should be encouraged, but to do away with the golf course is not acceptable – it’s comparable to throwing the baby out with the bath water! Citizen efforts this past summer and purchasing some new golf carts have made a big difference. It is even rumored that the course is breaking even financially. Let’s continue these efforts for three or four years and then look at the fate of the golf course again.
3. The fate of the Marshall White Center is once again an issue for residents who use the facilities. Why doesn’t the Mayor accept that community centers, golf courses, and parks are the responsibility of the city to provide these quality of life venues to its citizens?
4. We need a strong council that can stand up to Godfrey! If they don’t hold the financial reins tightly, Ogden will find itself in bankruptcy! The Mayor’s answer to all problems is to throw more money into developmental projects. We are discovering that his projects are not the benefit to the city that he promised they would be – in fact ALL of them have to be subsidized by the taxpayers!
5. Godfrey is still pushing for a gondola from the Intermodal Hub to WSU! He told the Council last year that having the gondola was the administration’s #1 goal. Having a gondola run through our beautiful city is bad enough, but his proposal to fund it is even worse – 300 to 350 condos and a hotel around the golf course and in the open spaces in our foothills threatening our trails system.
6. You can bet if Godfrey gets his “rubber stamp” council, he will waste no time getting the council, to approve the zoning changes and plans for the condos, etc. The Mount Ogden Golf Course and Marshall White Center will no longer belong to the city.
7. Vote wisely!

Jennifer Neil said...

At the risk of sticking my foot in it - and at all of y'all's mercy, here I'm posting the mayor's reply to my earlier post - which was also an email to him:

Hi Jennifer,

Thanks for your email. I’m afraid you have been misinformed on many fronts. First, my kids attend public schools, Ogden Preparatory Academy. My oldest daughter will be going to Ogden High next year.

Secondly, I have not broken any promise nor is my sole focus finishing the Junction nor is it eliminating the “ugly stinky” (your words not mine) homeless part of my agenda (using public funds or otherwise).

There is a reason the school district agreed to the deal with the Junction RDA, it’s because it was a fair deal that made sense for the school district and their children as well as for the City. No one was holding a gun to their head. In fact the District was the one that came up with the deal points that were agreed upon.

We are working hard, to use private funds to build a new homeless shelter that will focus on ending homelessness and helping people achieve self-sufficiency. The City will be donating land for this worthy cause.

Jennifer, as I recall, when you met with me you told me your interest was in bringing people and viewpoints together. You further stated that you believed in positive dialogue. I’m disappointed to have not witnessed any of that in your behavior since our meeting. Our community is better off when we can engage in positive civil dialogue.

Thanks.

Matthew Godfrey

Deluded Sheep In Charge said...

Your Mayor/Male Priesthood Holder says he is disappointed in you for sowing seeds of contention in Zion, Jennifer. Re-read the Articles of Faith, pray, and report at once to your bishop. Uppity political minded-democrat women sometimes forget their that they have a different calling than Men. Now, please go eat some valium, pick the kids up from scouts, and have a bake sale.

Jennifer Neil said...

To WCF

I would never refer to our poor unfortunate homeless residents as ugly and stinky (godfrey's interpretation of my word smelly). I know some of them on a personal level and by name. As I recall, a couple years ago, he wanted to move the homeless shelter clear out to west 12th street.

I was at the council meeting where the administration and council were told by a third party consulting group (a woman named Lewis) that they were basically out of options - so did the school district really have a choice? What was the alternative? And maybe the mitigation payment of $350k was all the administration was willing to give up, gun or no gun ... it could have been set to a percentage or some formula based on inflation - because, really in 12 years that $350k isn't going to benefit the school district much at all.

As far as bringing viewpoints together, I am doing just that - by posting my correspondence with the mayor here for everyone to see. Let the people decide.

Please, maybe if more people would email the mayor, he would get a clue, or maybe run away (wishful thinking, I know). His email address follows.

MatthewGodfrey@ci.ogden.ut.us

Thanks for listening.
J Neil

Ogden Dem said...

I do have a question to those of you that believe the Ogden School Board was wrong to accept the deal with Ogden City - if the Junction is not making money and there are questions as to who if anyone is paying property taxes on the Junction, what would make you think ANY tax money would be available to the schools?

Curmudgeon said...

Og Dem:

A way back, Dan S. posted an analysis of the Junction's revenue problems, and specifically addressed the request to extent the tax increment exemptions for another 12 years. As I recall, the Administration wanted to do that to free up bonding ability to arrange a joint development project for a big hotel at the Junction.

In any case, as I recall, Dan S. argued [and it seemed to this non-bonding expert plausible] that a much more limited change in the bonding terms could have solved the existing Junction's payments problem.

That's all from memory. I'd urge you to read Dan S. analysis [posted in three parts here on WCF] of the Junction funding, and in particular, his take on the 12 year extension. Rudi probably has it archived someplace.

Stanley B said...

I wonder if the mayor can give us an example of any one ever having a gun pointed at their head in a priesthood meeting. That's where this deal between the mayor and the school board most likely took place.

I also thought it humorous that the mayor said the School Board did this deal because it was a "fair deal that made sense for the school district and their children" but failed to tell us just how that "fair" business works in this case or how it made sense to "THEIR" chiildren".

The comic punch line at the end was the best though:

"Our community is better off when we can engage in positive civil dialogue" written with a straight face no doubt!

Translation:

"Our community is better off when all the naysayers just shut the hell up so I can dictate to them a positive civil dialogue"

Curmudgeon said...

Stan B:

The Mayor said in his email to JN: ""Our community is better off when we can engage in positive civil dialogue." Sorry, Stan. On that point, he's right.

He might privately, when he and Pureheart are locked in the Mayor's office venting, think and even say more pungent things about those who oppose his expensive civic obsessions [think $35 million dollar plus flatland gondolas and year round outdoor downtown ice climbing popsicles]. But he doesn't say it publicly.

Hell, there are lots of things I think about some Ogden officials, and might say over a scotch or three to friends of a chatty evening, that I don't say publicly or on line. And that's as it should be, because Ogden is better off "when we can engage in positive civil dialogue."

[Damn it. I don't like it at all when you guys make me have to say Hizzonah's right about something. Puts me right off my feed, it does.]

Rockford J. said...

Curm, you write:

"...there are lots of things I think about some Ogden officials, and might say over a scotch or three to friends of a chatty evening that I don't say publicly or on line."

Athough we believe it is your choice to select one ingrained behaiviour set, and declair this set to be positive and civil, superior to the perhaps infinite other public behaiviour sets, we would disagree as regards the exclusion of other arguably acceptable political tactics, rhetoric, and strategies.

We might say if you have someone who has an "expensive obsession", one has need of an equal weight to offset his obsession, a balance brick for brick to counter his obsessive madness.

This counterpoint should consist of leaders, planners, doers, funders, and have a populace backing of a size similar to the oppositions camp in order to create a space where "positive and civil" politicking can occur.
A fair playing field sometimes is won in the trenches, not at the ministers table.

Maybe.

stan said...

Curm

I didn't question the accuracy of the mayor's statement, but rather his sincerity in saying it. I think he has given us ample proof over the last decade that he only believes in positive civil dialogue if everyone agrees with him. The moment someone disagrees he no longer participates in positive civil dialogue.

I want the truth to be known said...

The deal between the mayor and the school district happened this way, The mayor that lives three doors away from the school superintendent got together at church and just like val southwick they said they could just tell the people enough to scam them all to believe a little more.
Well I think that some should email the school board members about what the truth really is.

twobitter said...

Godfrey's idea of positive civil dialogue

Jennifer Neil said...

Deluded ;
who said I was a democrat?
JN

Biker Babe said...

Ogden Preparatory Academy is not included in the Ogden City School district, and does not receive any tax increment meant for the Ogden City School district. This is for anyone who wants to believe the mayor when he says his kids go to public schools just like all the rest of ours

just sayin

BB

Libby N. said...

My children attend Ogden Preparatory Academy. It is a Charter School and they do not charge tuition. Anyone can attend this school, however, since the other schools in Ogden are in dire need, there is a huge waiting list to get into OPA.

south bench said...

My daughters went to Davinci when it was a startup and, though their were only fees and not tuition, it was in no way considered a public school. The school board that fought to exclude it in order to destroy it saw to that.
Is our Mayor spinning this as a Public School?

bullet sponge said...

My kids have gone to Ogden Prep from the day it opened, and I'm very familiar with how it operates. Ogden Prep IS a public school and DOES receive public funding. They do not charge tuition. They actually receive less money per student than state-run public schools, yet do a much better job. State-run public schools don't need more money, they need better management.

Bullet Sponge said...

South Bench, I have a daughter at Davinci. Like Ogden Prep it is considered a public school and not only receives public money, but is subject to many of the same rules and regulations as state-run public schools. Perhaps where people are getting mixed up is that they think charter schools are private schools. They are not. They are simply started and run by their own board with their own "charter" (mission statement essentially), but are still subject to many public school rules and must allow equal access to anyone who applies without preference (subject to room of course) and may not charge tuition.

Curmudgeon said...

Stan:

Understood. And I think you're right. I doubt he means it too. Only point I wanted to make was that, even so, there's a benefit to in public at least keeping it more or less civil.

Jennifer Neil said...

Libby, South Bench & Bullet Sponge:

I have no contention that DaVinci & OPA are not "public schools" -- but their public funding might be different from the OCSD funding source, is all I was trying to say. Ogden City School District is itemized on everyone's property tax bill as receiving portion of property tax levy - and for the next 12 years, they aren't going to get their portion.

OPA has its own board of directors, so does DaVinci. DaVinci is a charter school.
From DaVinci's website :
Funding for charter schools is based on designated local or state educational organizations. Those organizations are responsible for monitoring and assessing the quality and effectiveness of education, but permit the schools to operate outside of the traditional public school education system.
From OPA's website:
OPA operates as a 501(3)(c) corporation (non-profit) and "the principal source of operating funds the Academy receives is derived from federal, state, and local funds. The Academy receives state funding based on the number of students enrolled in the Academy. The Academy also receives federal grants on a reimbursement basis; accordingly, grant revenues are recognized when qualifying expenses have been incurred and all other grant requirements have been met." (this is from the independent audit report for 2007-2008 year).

Neither of these public schools is dependent on property tax monies for funding, even though they are considered public. BIG difference when discussing what the Ogden City Schools are going to do for the next 12 years for needed funding.

From the census.gov/govs/schools/index website, USA average spending per student is $9,138. Comparatively, Utah as a state is $5,437 (about half), putting us at the Bottom of the list - lowest $$$ spent per student across the state, in the nation. See something fundamentally wrong with this, public school district school or public charter school. Utah ranks #41 in teacher salaries; #51 in total revenue per student received; #51 for total amount spent per student. Ogden School District comes in #26 in the state (out of 40) for per student spent on instruction = teacher sal/ben.

So, being the lowest per student spending state in the nation, Utah probably does pretty good all around - or at least the best they can with what they got - but take a look at how many high school level math & english courses are required in our local universities for entering freshmen ... I can find those numbers too if asked.

My beef was about reallocating monies from property taxes needed for the OCSD to pay for the Junction - for another 12 years because of the pie in the sky predictions of a mayor who didn't have the foresight to allow for a potential downturn in the economy or potential for no revenues from Boyer, giving the school district no choice in the matter.

TLJ

south bench said...

I stand corrected, it is a public school. I guess the tinfoil hat kids, honors students dressed as Jedi, and a baked-student to passing-grade ratio that even Marin County would envy, made me think it was a private entity.

northogdener said...

Speaking of Ogden School District, did anyone notice last week the article/story on KSL ranking Utah's high schools? I wasn't surprised to see Ogden High coming in dead last, and BenLomond just one notch above. Sure, we can all argue the testing/protocol that was used to determine this, but we also know it is very close to the truth. And in continuation of all the above said, it is very sad and disturbing especially considering where Mayor Godfrey places his priorities. Here are links to the story
http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=690&sid=8127863 and
http://www.ksl.com/?nid=691&sid=6258270

Bullet Sponge said...

lol South Bench...

Jennifer, you'll get no argument from me about your last paragraph's characterization of the Mayor's insane business "sense".

I only wanted to point out he's not got his kids off in some privileged private alcove while the other schools suffer. I didn't contest that Davinci or OPA have their own boards or are privately run. Just that they aren't tuition-based private schools with more money than state run schools. The point still stands they they receive less per child than state-run public schools and do a better job.

Biker Babe said...

SouthBench:
your comment, "I guess the tinfoil hat kids, honors students dressed as Jedi, and a baked-student to passing-grade ratio that even Marin County would envy, made me think it was a private entity." gives me the impression you feel better than the rest of us who cannot afford the fees or get ahead on the waiting list for the public charter schools.

just sayin

BB

frequent diner said...

Anybody heard from Jennifer Neil today? After her gutty Godfrey postings yesterday I'd like to know she's ok. Ya never know.

ozboy said...

Jennifer met a rich handsome Italian count and took off for Monico with him the other day. She thought about sticking around to stick it to Mayor Godfrey with her superior intellect, however in the end she opted for the ten carrot ring, diamond tennis bracelet, Gucci wardrobe, Rolls Royce Cornish convertible and the Lear 35.

I guess you could say she sold out on us!

Biker Babe said...

She wouldn't!

just sayin

BB

Jennifer Neil said...

Hey, thanks for asking ... I'm okay. Took a while to digest and compose. In the end it was the mayor who (in the words of King Arthur from Monty Python & the Holy Grail) "ran away! ran away!"

I also attended the viewing for esteemed attorney Gary Gale, may he rest in peace.

Here is the re-butt email I sent godfrey:

Mr. Godfrey

As I recall, when I met with you we discussed a more OPEN dialogue between administration, council and public - in essence, a more open and transparent government accounting of what is on all burners. In a dream world, all dialogue would be positive and open. An open dialogue (which we are having right now) is better than NO dialogue. I've expressed my feelings, and you yours. You have also pointed out an area I had been misinformed in - namely public vs. private schools. I stand corrected and appreciate the correction.

No dialogue: entering into a contract with MWC, based on POTENTIALLY receiving fed grant monies to continue services, then telling the council and patrons/citizens about it.
No dialogue: grant compliance person not making sure RAMP funds awarded for Ice Tower were spent according to requirements - possibly preventing the mandatory return of the funds.
No dialogue: secret donor to make up the money spent out of the RAMP funds for the Ice Tower. Under pressure, produced the name of John Gullo.
No dialogue: Mayor announces ground breaking, board of St. Anne's knew nothing about this. All funding is not in place, and no one has any paperwork on the project.
Bad dialogue: recorded meeting between Godfrey & Councilman Garcia in which basically nothing of substance was said for a fairly long period of time - only to listen to a he said/she said type of argument, in which derision and belittling was a prevalent part of the conversation. No one produced or claimed there was anything in writing to show the debate was valid.

I was present at the city council meeting where Ms. Lewis presented the plan for re-issuing the bonds for a preliminary time period of 2 or 3 years with Wells Fargo - and with the very good possibility of extending the LOC for the 12 years requested. At that time, Ms. Lewis expressed that without a doubt, the bond reissue and extension was the only option left, because the Bank in New York was no longer writing LOC's for anyone - and it was becoming rather expensive for the City to keep asking for extensions. Chair Wicks was concerned about reducing the time frame and reducing total costs of the re-issue. The dialogue at the time could be interpreted as positive or negative, depending on POV - but it was OPEN DIALOGUE. Again, it is better than none. I learned a lot from attending the meeting, even though I did not sit in on the closed door discussions after the special meeting.

(END PART I)

Jennifer Neil said...

(PART II)

Our community would be better off if "we" (which I presume you intend to mean the administration and council and citizens) engage in "positive civil dialogue," you say; positive isn't always necessary, nor is it always possible - there will be issues that will be met with opposition, and if that happens an open dialogue is even more necessary than without opposition. Wrinkles need to be ironed out through dialogue and meetings, memos, and discussions. I'm not sure if by "civil" you mean polite and well-mannered or if you meant to use the word "civic" - pertaining to the issues that concern the city and its residents. In any case, open dialogue - positive or negative - is a good place to start. Criticism, if not loaded with derision and belittling, can be constructive and enlightening - and even welcome in any open civic dialogue, especially when there are eight or more participants.

I realize the new location for St Anne's is better and may hold a larger facility, which is needed. I also understand the reason for wanting to place other facilities on the same campus, which at present cannot happen at the current location. You say the city is donating land; the way I understand it from the information I have is that land is being Traded for this transaction. A trade is a little bit different from a straight donation. In these difficult economic times, the number of homeless is growing, and more of that number is families with children. Bigger is better in this situation. I just cannot forget the previous proposed location of way out on west 12th street - which has very limited access by public transportation and is too far for walking from downtown, where the temp job agencies are. By that proposal the administration gave the very distinct impression that the idea was "the farther away from downtown we can get them, the better." If that is not true, then I will get around it and move on. The new proposed location makes more sense and is workable. Today's article in the paper is an excellent example of OPEN dialogue between all parties involved, and decision-making the way it should be done. Start with kicking off a campaign to raise money, raise ALL the money needed, THEN do the groundbreaking after a public bidding process and a builder is chosen. Yay! Were you at the meeting? The article didn't say.

I am still very concerned about the OCSD property tax diversion issue. If there be any other way to bring more money into the district, it should be looked into - aside from increasing taxes; citizens of Ogden are taxed enough as it is. Possibility: if you can divert money from school district designated tax increment, why not temporarily hold off on spending $8M on the golf course and see if some bonding can be done for the Schools or something. I'm not well-versed on how city-based revenue allocation is conducted, so this might be a good opportunity for more open dialogue.

Thank you,
Jennifer J Neil

and this was his reply:

"Hi Jennifer,

Thanks for your email. Once again, on your first five statements you are completely misinformed, as are many of your statements below it. There was dialogue on every one of those issues. Just because you didn’t hear it doesn’t mean it didn’t occur. You aren’t entirely to blame for this because the newspaper often gets things very wrong.

It’s very clear where you are coming from and I don’t have the desire nor time to engage in this kind of unproductive banter. I need to spend my time making positive things happen for the community like brining jobs to Ogden, restoring retail to downtown, building a new homeless shelter that will help change lives (Yes I was at that meeting. In fact I arranged and chaired the meeting), build low-income housing for the disadvantaged, lower crime, etc.

Best Wishes."

********

The Ever Lovely and Still Alive & Kicking Jennifer

ozboy said...

Jennifer

Not sure what the translation to the mayor's last letter is, but it sounds a lot like -

"You don't know what the hell you're talking about and I don't have time to mess with you so get lost cause I got bigger fish to fry"

Typical Godfrey arrogance.

Nice try at dialogue with a tyrant Jennifer, but as the lady in blue at the real debate last night said: "There is no civil dialogue with the mayor because it's his way or the highway" or words to that effect.

I think any way you cut it he's a punk and Ogden deserves better.

PS - How was Monico? You didn't stay long.

Rockford J. said...

The letter as posted here is a bit of an informal ramble. What would the mayor answer to it, except: rewrite and resubmit?

Godfrey is an embarrassment; not because of the long list of his petty, cowardly and arrogant human traits, as I expect these in a person drawn to a position of power.
Our issue with Godfrey is that his petty corruption and fumbling tendency towards tyranny is far exceeded by his general incompetence.

If he was your standard corrupt politician, and had big dreams and a can-do attitude, we would not even know about any of this small-time fuckall, we would all just be enjoying the windfall of his dazzling civic-minded crookedness.

Some days we think what Ogden needs is a real mayor, a very strong mayor. A big city mayor.

Jennifer Neil said...

RJ: my "bit of informal ramble" as you call it, was informed and valid. I just had a piece to say and said it, calling the mayor out on several points. If I wanted to send informal ramble to the mayor, I would study your posts more ... speaking of "big city mayor" have you been paying attention to the antics of Chicago's mayor? very much like our own, only their debt is well over $500M and counting!

Ozboy: My husband beat up the Count, we traded the Rolls in on a vintage Shelby Cobra GT500 and a new HD Dyna Road Glide for me, hocked the ring and bracelet and invested the money, and parked the Lear at the airport - it's available for rental. We need the extra money because I am an overqualified, unemployed university graduate living in Ogden! Never made it to Monaco.

Someone at the S-E: please notice that the mayor said "the newspaper often gets things very wrong." I'm sorry Mr. Schwebke, but he said it, not me.

TLJ

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