Sunday, November 22, 2009

Standard-Examiner: OUR VIEW: Mayor's Salary Not Top Priority

Your WCF blogmeister admits he's stumped, and poses a sincere reader query

Interesting example of how something which we believe was really a non-story has proliferated out of all reasonable proportion on the pages of the Standard-Examiner (and elsewhere) during the past week.

Last Sunday the SE published this story, reporting that four so-called Ogden "business leaders," (all FOM's*) were floating an informal trial balloon, seeking to raise the mayor's salary to attract high-caliber candidates for the 2011 election.

In the ensuing few days this story provoked this Cindy Hellewell letter to the editor and this John Thompson guest commentary, not to mention this WCF article, which itself generated 44 reader comments. Thanks to the Standard-Examiner's original story, what started out as a fairly feeble proposal built up quite a head of steam.

And this morning, the Standard-Examiner perpetuates the discussion and carries the below-linked lead editorial, reiterating some of the arguments of the above two SE reader-contributors, and making a few additional points of its own. But in the end, the Standard-Examiner editorial board urges everyone to place this issue squarely where we believe it belongs -- well back on the Emerald City political priority back burner:
OUR VIEW: Mayor's salary not top priority
So in the wake of a week's worth of sturm and drang, we're still scratching our heads wondering why this story commanded the SE's attention in the first place, inasmuch as Boss Godfrey plainly admits he's not seeking a pay raise. Here's the money quote, by the way, as set forth in the original 11/14/09 SE article:
Mayor Matthew Godfrey, who is in his third term, said if he decides to run again in 2011 and is re-elected, he would refuse a pay raise and instead keep his current $80,294 annual salary."
I knew what the salary would be (when first elected in 1999) and don't think it's right to get a pay raise," he said.
In the interest of promoting a little Sunday reader discussion, we'll admit we're stumped, and ask the question again: What was it about this story that generated so much SE ink and SE/WCF reader attention?

The floor's yours, O Gentle Ones.

Who will be the first to comment?

*Friends of Matt


Dan S. said...

The editorial board is always looking for ways to write about Godfrey, and praise him in a general way, without having to deal with the ugly details of his record.

Lets Look at the Whole Picture said...

I have found it amazing that in all the discussion of Godfrey's salary, there has been no mention of all his expense accounts that add enough to his income to take it over $100,000. He also benefits in other ways from being mayor. He was in the just-above the average middle income bracket, now he lives very comfortably and is above the middle-income bracket. Grondel's cartoon of him with a broken down junker is not accurate -- I know he drives a new very nice automobile and so does his wife.

Dan S.,

The editorial board very conveniently wears "blinders" when it comes to the mayor, but sure love to expose and repeat the slightest missteps a hundred times of other public officials. But then consider that they are the policy makers of the SUB-Standard Exaggerator.

Curmudgeon said...

Sorry, Rudi. I think it was news that four prominent Ogden businessmen think it's imperative that Ogden find a more competent Mayor than the one we have now. I share their opinion about that. I'm not sure their solution is the way to go about it, but I think suggestion that we must do something to put a competent Mayor in office was news and the SE absolutely should have reported it. Whether it justified today's confused [and confusing] editorial is another matter.

The surprising thing to me this morning is the SE's missing a different story. This story appeared in this morning's SL Trib. It's on the front page of the Trib's website [where the link above will take you]. The story is fairly long, not a mere notice, includes pictures in the print edition of the Ogden event, which hundreds attened, interviews with company officials and Ogden citizens.

It happened in Ogden yesterday. Major coverages in the SL Trib the morning after. And in this morning's SE? Nary a word about it that I could find, and the on-line search function turned up nothing.

Puzzling. I suppose it could be argued that a business opening in downtown Ogden isn't really news, but the SE has a history of covering new business openings downtown as news. So why not this time?

'Tis a puzzlement....

Biker Babe said...

The Mayor's front face said: "if he decides to run again in 2011 and is re-elected, he would refuse a pay raise and instead keep his current $80,294 annual salary." while the face underneath the hat says "pay raise please pay raise please pay raise please, effective retroactive effective retroactive ..."



Dan S. said...

Curm: The explanation is simple. The Sunday Standard-Examiner goes to press on Friday.

(I exaggerate slightly. They did print an article about a fire that occurred on Saturday. But I'll bet most of the paper was composed by Friday, leaving only so much space for Saturday's news. The top story, about the golf course, covers a meeting that took place five days ago.)

ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

I too found it interesting that the Standard did not cover the Amer Sport Retail opening. Especially so considering that the AmerSport guys are pals with the mayor who is pals with the publisher etc etc.

Here is another story I thought might be applicable to the Standard and the paper's recent successful publishing numubers. The Standard was not mentioned specifically in this article, but I wonder if the Standard's recent success story is because of this new fangled accounting biz?

See the story here:

OgdenLover said...

There was a man sitting inside Smith's at Country Hills and Harrison today giving away free copies of the Standard. I declined, calling it the Mayor's mouthpiece and he smiled. Not smirked, smiled.

Anonymous said...

I wonder who it is that told the current FNURE, that they would not run for mayor unless the job payed more than it does today?
Some realtor giving himself a pay raise, before he even declares his candidacy, through the largess of his FNURE cronies.

I am guessing it is a Very Big Gun they are trying to bring in for 2011. Maybe he was in the room downstairs at the City Club last night. The FNURE down there looked like they were holding a funeral for Ronald Reagan.

Either that or a birthday party at the end of a very bad year.

Curmudgeon said...


Interesting story. Hadn't seen it. Thanks for the pointer.

Curmudgeon said...

And elsewhere in the news, Real Sandy tonight became the MLS champions, ending regular time tied 1-1 with LA Galaxy, then winning on PKs.

So this year's MLS champs had a losing record in the regular season.

Strange league. But congratulations to Sandy Real. [Maybe someday Salt Lake City will have a team again.]

Dorrene Jeske said...

comment bumped to front page

Dan S. said...

Comment moved to new article

Stephen M. Cook said...

Comment moved to new article

what will it cost us said...

Ogden does great with green waste for residents. But still too much trash isn't re-cycled there. I have observed other cities have smaller trash cans and larger re-cycle cans. Also glass is re-cycled, even with a sur charge I don't mind glass recycling. Better to establish a deposit on cans and plastic bottles (CA, NY, CT, ME, VT, OR, IA, MA, DE, HI, MI, OK mandate deposits), cuts down on roadside litter, and returning bottles is simple. When will Utah catch up and be greener.

As for bike lanes Portland OR has a new trial going on, with the bike lane next to the curb and parking a space away. More bikers riding even in the rain here, lots of hills to climb too.

Public transit there is also worthy of copying. Monthly passes $84. are cheaper there compared to UTA covering busses, trolleys and rail. The rail streaches for miles from the airport to downtown and outlying areas. They just recieved $47M from the feds for more rail.

The Portland tram (cable car) runs 3300 feet, 5/8 of a mile, the tram cost $57 million to build—a nearly fourfold increase over initial cost estimates. This is not something to copy, something to avoid.

Let Ogden invest in a glass recycling plant rather than a losing money investment.

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