Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thursday Morning Open Topic Thread

A couple of non-red meat items to kick off the day's discussion

There's not much in the way of "red meat" news in Emerald City this morning, so we thought it might be a good idea to set up an open topic thread. But first, here are a couple of "white meat" items worthy of note, hopefully to get some reader discussion going:

1) Gentle reader OgdenLover helpfully shines the spotlight on Kevin Baumgartner's online letter to the Standard-Examiner editors in a comment section down below, wherein Mr. Baumgartner calls upon Boss Godfrey "to make room for new volunteers, fresh ideas, and give everyone an opportunity to serve our community..." and to tender his resignation... as Godfrey enters his tenth year of "service" to our community:
Mayor Godfrey has been here a long time
What's good for the goose is good for the gander... right? Still... we guess that we're not going to hold our breath for a man like Godfrey -- a man of highly questionable public morals and ethics -- to abide by his own self-professed principles, such as they are.

2) For those who aren't thoroughly burned out on discussion of our 2009 Emerald City election, this morning's Standard-Examiner focuses of one remaining loose end, the Ward 1 Council race. With 18 votes separating incumbent councilman Garcia and the interim top vote getter Neil Garner, this item was the headline story in the top of the "Top of Utah Section" this morning:
Garcia not ready to concede
We can't say we blame Garcia for his unwillingness to summarily throw in the towel. With 12 ballots still uncounted, a mere 8 more votes would force a complete recount in that Ward. And judging from the comedy of errors reportedly occurring in the Weber County election office counting room on Wednesday morning, a full recount, both on general principles, and under the particular circumstances, looks like a complete "no-brainer" to us.

In this connection a couple of tangential practical questions leap out at us:

For instance, how long would it take and how much would it cost to employ, say three human beings, to do a manual recount of 741 Ward 1 votes?

And here's something to ponder, we think: Have we as a society become over-reliant on machines? With a reported $60 thousand fee to machine-count 6,000 or so ballots for the full election, did the citizens of Ogden even come close to getting their money's worth? We're betting we could have hired May Smith's fourth grade class to have done the whole job for as little as a dime per ballot.

The obvious answers to our queries also leap out at us.

Discuss the above suggested topics, or bring up a subject all your own. It matters not what we discuss here on Weber County Forum for the rest of the day, but for heck's sake, let's get on-board and discuss something.

The near dead silence on this morning's board is getting on our nerves, dang it!


Landmarks said...

Put Libby Norvell and Bonnie Galbraith back on the Landmarks Commission! As soon as Mayor Godfrey is willing to do that then I may want to listen to him. Until then, not a chance in hell!

Libby N. said...

Volunteer boards or commissions are a mixed bag. Some people take it very seriously and others just do it for the appearance. Bonnie Galbraith is a wealth of knowledge on the historic structures in Ogden. She remembers past rulings on things that came before Landmarks, and why the decisions were made. Letting her go was a huge mistake. Then there are others who don't come to meetings and don't really care. I always say there are the "slackers" and the "worker bees" in every volunteer group/board/commission.

ozboy said...


And then of course there are the Prima Donnas. Every organization, committee or board hss at least one, if not more.

water boy said...

The rumors that have been floating around the city as in employees, is that the mayor is really pissed at Rep. Neil Hansen but no one says why.
Is there something brewing there. If it is true, I would like to give Hansen a contribution for Hansen's re-election campaign. That would be so worth it to see Godfrey have his little boy fit.

RudiZink said...

Arnold Gaunt for Mayor in 2011!

Write down that name so you don't forget it!

Remember you read it here first!

Dan S. said...

Perhaps the county's exorbitant fee for counting the ballots is a subtle way of getting back at the city for stealing so much of their tax revenue.

water boy said...

Dan s
I looks like that Gloria that use to work for the city and was fired by the mayor gets the last laugh here. really she was under the control of Marky Johnson and she has gotten under there skin. lol is only fitting.

Landmarks said...

Until Mayor Godfrey realizes what a waelth of knowledge he has in people and will use it, rather than fearing it, nothing will get done (or at least done right). I would challenge any of you to explain to me why Mayor Godfrey shouldn't step down after 10 years of service, just like he asked others to do. Actually, he didn't ask them, he removed them without telling them or even saying thank you for their service. If I were Bonnie or Libby I would have kicked his a** (the sad thing is either of them could).

AWM said...

$60K sounds pretty steep to count
6K ballots. doesn't sound to me like Ogden went with the lowest bidder.

Bullet Sponge said...

Keep in mind Libby wasn't removed for 10 years of service. She had been there barely 6 months. Godfrey removed her because she supported Van Hooser in the Mayoral election that he "won". He also refuses to approve the WCHF's (Weber County Heritage Foundation's) current pick to be on the commission. He's a scared, petty little tyrant who needs to go.

Curmudgeon said...


The Mayor's petulant purge of the various committees is, I've long thought, a good example of his thin grasp of sound public policy administration. A mayor who knew what he was doing would understand that such volunteer advisory commissions provide a mayor with two valuable opportunities: (a) a way to build bridges and lines of communication to voter groups and community groups among whom he does not have much credibility or support and (b) a way to make sure administration proposals and ideas are being vetted by people not in his administration. A mayor's advisers sometimes become more "yes men" than they should be, seeking to tell the a mayor what they believe he wants to hear. Truly independent advisory commissions can provide a very useful service to mayors by turning up unanticipated outcomes, hidden problems, etc. in proposals before they go too far, before the mayor becomes locked into opposing or revision.

Mayors who don't know beans about effective public administration, however --- and I can think of one real close --- tend to turn volunteer citizen advisory committees into rubber-stamp clones of the mayor's own close advisers. This all but guarantees that no independent review of proposals is going to happen on those committees.

And that's not good for Ogden. Nor is it good for Mayor Godfrey, though he's shown he doesn't understand that.

And the beat goes on....

what would jesus say said...

One word. Imaturity

Dan S. said...

A few more details on how the committee purge was done:

I learned about the purge when I read about it in the Standard-Examiner right after the election. A month later I finally got a letter from the mayor, thanking me for my service (13 years) on the Ogden Trails Network committee.

The Trails committee is one where the mayor can remove members at any time, without cause. So he didn't have to wait until any of our terms expired (mine hadn't). In addition to myself he removed most of the others, leaving only three of the previous members. One of those three then resigned. Now most of the committee's work is done by the other two, Gib Wallace and Dave Stuart. Some of Godfrey's new appointees have already resigned, and I believe there are currently a couple of unfilled vacancies.

Bill C. said...

Dear Curm, this mayor has no inkling to provide good governance.
As in everything he's doing, these committees are used by him to further the lining of pockets by his buddies and supporters. He also takes this approach with City Commissions, but with the Commissions the Council gets some say.
Please don't be so naive to think this mayor has any thoughts or concerns about what's good for the residents of Ogden, we've witnessed ten years and have yet to see anything from him that doesn't have some clandestine angle, always scamming in pursuit of some nefarious undisclosed personal objective.

Cryofax said...

Dan - Landmarks apparently is the same. The Mayor can do what he wants without cause. I guess he felt the need to throw in the "10 year" thing as a way to cover the stench. Even though he didn't fully follow his own excuse (getting rid of Libby Norvell and leaving Bernie Allen). Heck I'd respect him more if he just came out and said "I want people on there that won't vote against me".

I was a Mayor supporter once. Way back when. The more involved I got in Ogden politics the more I began to see him for what he is. The Gondola/Naysayer debacle really was the straw that broke the camel's back for me.

But while I supported him I heard plenty of horror stories from people about his tactics. I just refused to believe it until I was on the receiving end. Sometimes that's what it takes. I know a lot of poeple who think the Mayor is a swell guy and simply can't believe he's the monster we all say he is. But eventually they will.

It's like I always say, there are two kinds of people in Ogden, those who hate the Mayor, and those who don't hate the Mayor yet.

Curmudgeon said...


One of the points I was trying to make was that Hizzonah's mis-handling of the commissions worked in the end to weaken him and his administration, and to make it more difficult for him to get what he wanted, not more likely. His bumbling purge and failed attempt to pretend it was not a purge is just another example of Ogden's very own Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight living up to its name.

wildcat said...

Cryofax wrote:
"there are two kinds of people in Ogden, those who hate the Mayor, and those who don't hate the Mayor yet."
love it.

Libby N. said...

When I applied to the Landmarks Commission I received a letter signed by the Mayor approving my seat and stating that my term was through 2010. He then lied and said I was finishing out a term for someone else(would have made me a LC for three days). The city sent me to the National Preservation Conference which was around $4,000. Why would they do that if I was only finishing out the last few days of someone elses term? The Mayor has the power to replace you for no reason, and to deny an application for a commission. He is such a little Dictator. I imagine him in his office throwing tantrums when he doesn't get his way.

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