Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday Morning Emerald City News Roundup

More on Friday's Powdervillian fundraiser, a post-election editorial critique, and a Standard-Examiner website outage update

Three Standard-Examiner items worthy of note this morning. We'll briefly reel them off one by one:

1) Last week we provided a heads-up about the latest development in the Powder Mountain standoff, a fundraising event (music, dinner and melodrama) at Ogden's Union Station for this coming Friday, November 13. This morning, the SE generously carries its own promotional writeup too:
Event to benefit resort town fight
Interestingly, the SE's Di Lewis reports that "more than a third of those who've already bought tickets actually can't attend, so they redonated the tickets to be sold again." In this connection we do hope a few of our readers will have the available time on their calenders to make this event. If not however, why not throw in a donation via the contact info supplied in this morning's story?
Donations may be made or tickets purchased from Chelse Maughan at (801) 745-4627 or chelse21@hotmail.com, or from Valley Market and Eden Coffee and Cocoa.
2) Apparently we're not the only ones who believe the taxpayer's of Ogden got burned when we farmed out the counting of last Tuesday's 2009 municipal election ballots to the Weber County Election Department for a tidy $60 thousand fee. From this morning's SE editorial:
But then we come to Ogden, where slightly more than 6,200 ballots were cast for four city council seats. They were high-profile races. Eager for the results we waited ... and waited ... and waited ... and waited ... and waited ... On Wednesday, around 2:30 a.m. the city was finally able to post results. That's just pathetic. Unfortunately, it's not the first time Ogden election counting has trailed most of the Top of Utah. We hope this isn't a trend. [...]
Frankly, a few pairs of eyes might have counted 6,232 ballots before the county released results. The county needs to deliver quality service to Ogden, and on election night it didn't.
Check out the full editorial here:
OUR VIEW: Election counting follies
3) And for those who've been frustrated during the past week over the poor performance of the SE's Live! website, the Standard-Examiner provides this:
Hardware failure caused StandardNet Web site outage
As the SE editors remarked in connection with item #2 above, "we hope this isn't a trend."

That's it for now gentle readers, such as it is. Spout off on any of the topics above... or treat this as an open topic thread.

21 comments:

Curmudgeon said...

The claim by Gloria Berrett, Weber County's elections administrator, that she knew, and told officials, that the optical scanning system wouldn't project returns until two-thirty in the morning is nonsense. As the editorial points out, the votes could have been hand counted faster than that.

Ms. Berrett's claim is just another sad example of a public bureaucrat playing CYA. And playing it badly.

Colonel Jessup said...

Curm,
Are you saying that the Republicans are incompetent in this office? Oh yea, they are. Gloria was fired from Ogden city and now goes to Weber county to run the elections that she screwed up in Ogden when she worked there, the only difference is that now she is making more money. I guess that the saying of screw-up, move-up is just what makes the republicans and their, I can slogan is all about. Then in the end they just go into lie, and deny modes.

what would jesus say said...

My personal opinion is that the Godfrey bunch of hypocrits are very fast at pointing fingers, and placing blame. I have a hard time believing that it was the fault of the county given the track record of Godfrey and his fat ass administration. They are good at not accepting any fault for their own screw ups.

ozboy said...

Colonel "J"

Just a reminder to let you know that Gloria Berrett was harassed and forced out of Ogden City Government by mayor Godfrey because she would not break the rules like he had ordered her to do.

Another thing that is rather troublesome with this sorry assed tale is the deal in front to pay the county $60,000 to count the city's votes. It was a given that there would be a low voter turn out. This was proven out by the 6,000 or so that did vote. So the city paid the county $10 per vote to count them, and they knew in advance that it would cost in this range to do so. Pure and simple waste on the part of the Godfrey team. There has to be many other options to count the vote that would cost far less than $10 each! Hell, I would of counted them for a buck each!!

Speaking of the massive screw up in counting the votes, I believe there should be a complete recount of all the votes in all the races. With this major cloud hanging over the whole election it seems that a hand recount should be made to insure the voters of Ogden that the election was fair.

Stephen M. Cook said...

We would hire 10 background-checked people 15 dollars an hour each to perform this important service.
And really, does it take an advanced degree to count ballots?

Shades of the Persian Empire, folks.

Mrs. Ticked-off said...

Curmudgeon - you are such a self-inflated piece of "know-it-all" crap.

Just when I decide to try this Weber Forum after abstaining for weeks because of you I had the unfortunate chance to read you the first thing today.

Get off Gloria's back, you inflated know-it-all.

Curmudgeon said...

To all above: I don't know the details of Ms. B's transition from a city to a county job. Nor, in this instance, do I care. Her reply to the SE's question was CYA, plain and simple.

That perceptive critic of academic administrators, Richard Mitchell, once observed that before academics become administrators, they're perfectly capable of writing plain, simple, and thoroughly understandable notes and memos. But once they're appointed to administrative jobs, a worm begins tunneling in their brains and it destroys their ability to say things simply and plainly.

A similar worm apparently begins boring into the brain of public bureaucrats [elected or appointed, Republicans, Democrats or Independents], which causes them to respond to questions about a screw up in the agencies they are responsible for by going into CYA overdrive. CYA becomes the primary goal. If the public good and probity have to be pitched over the side to achieve effective CYA, then so be it.

I was sorry to see, then, Ms. B. retreat to CYA when the SE called to asked about the vote counting screw up [and it was a screw up and it was on her watch]. How refreshing it would have been to have read in the SE the morning after something like this from Ms. B:

"We screwed up. Counting the Ogden votes was my office's responsibility, and so it was my responsibility. The buck stops on this matter with me.

"I'm not sure yet what happened or why, but I'm going to find out. And when I do, I'll let the SE know what went wrong, and I'll make damn sure it doesn't happen again on my watch. Ogden's voters, and the candidates have my apologies for the screw up and my guarantee that nothing like it will happen again so long as I am in charge."


Sadly, was not to be. Instead, from Ms. B. we got only CYA. And poor job of it too.

oh ya! said...

Curm,
Your apologies sounds just like the one Hansen did. I guess that makes him more accountable then Ms. B.
I know Hansen has taking some ribbing on this, but you sound like he did the right thing. So do I.
Right.

anonymous employee said...

Anybody know how the machine works? The machine may be able to count quickly but I picture a line of people trying to feed those triple folded ballots into them as being the slow spot.

anonymous employee said...

Curm, how can someone from WSU complain about six and a half hours to count six thousand votes? The last class I took had seventeen students and averaged about four days to get a scantron test result. ;^)

Stephen M. Cook said...

Mrs Ticked Off:

Welcome back.

Curmudgeon said...

Oh ya:

You wrote: "Your apologies sounds just like the one Hansen did."

Ah... what apologies?

Bill C. said...

There is a simple explanation for the late ballot count.
Weber County handled all the ballots for every city in it's boundries. They simply did Ogdens last.
Read into it what you want, but it's really that simple. The contract wasn't specific as to time, just to count the ballots in a specific manner.

Curmudgeon said...

Mrs. T.

You wrote: "Curmudgeon - you are such a self-inflated piece of "know-it-all" crap."

Come on, Mrs. T. Don't hold back. Let me know what you really think! [grin]

As for this --- "Get off Gloria's back" --- Ms. T, I don't know Ms. B. I have no opinion on her competence, what kind of job she did for the city, what kind of manager she is for the county. She may be first rate for all I know. Wouldn't be surprised if she was.

But on election day, her office screwed up. It happens. My only complaint was that instead of taking responsibility for it, she reacted when the SE called as far far too many administrators react when asked about screw ups in their departments: she played CYA. She shouldn't have. [By the way, I've known excellent administrators who, nevertheless, run right to CYA when asked about some highly public foul-up on their watch.]

That's all. As for any other assessment of the job she's doing, I have none. And I know of no one who has ever administered anything who hasn't had the wheels come off occasionally. Myself included. But when that happens, if you're running the show, it's your responsibility. The buck stops with whoever is running the agency, office, program, event, what-have- you. And in this case, it stopped, or should have, with Ms. B.

Glad to have you back with us, Ms. T.

Stephen M. Cook said...

Mrs Ticked:

When you type "..self-inflated piece of "know-it-all" crap...the unfortunate chance to read you the first thing today...inflated know-it-all" please, in the future, address such weak-kneed invective towards us.
We obviously are to whom you refer.
And really, curmudgeons perceived disorder is actually only academic in nature, and one he has historically nurtured.

Our histrionics are cut from a different cloth, entirely.

Dumb Blake said...

Possible Matthew Godfrey 2011 mayoral re-election theme song

oh ya! said...

Curm,
I talking about the one that Hansen did for Mr Phipps. Remember!

Don't Blame It On Gloria Yet said...

Here's what I want to know!

Who actually had custody of Ogden City ballots between the time they were delivered from the precincts around the times 8:20 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., and the time they were actually submitted for counting by the Weber County Elections people?

Did Godfrey waylay the process and do a preliminary manual count on his own, before turning the ballots over to Weber County elections officials?

Were ALL ballots accounted for?

Could the late counting be accounted for by Godfrey hankey-pankey?

I wouldn't put anything past the crooked little shit.

Blame it on god said...

I did it.

Superman said...

That's it Curnundrum, it wus in that ther newspaper so it has to be true doncha ya think huh? If yer gona beat uo on Gloria the least ya'll coulda dun is call her and here first hand what ackually happined. Oh thats right, facts arnt important, just opinions and mindless blather bblah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

How's thet Monoman fer doin' grate violence to the English language.


Truth, Justice and the American way.

Stephen M. Cook said...

Superman:

We can only award a D+ for your satire; rework and resubmit for credit. Contact us during office hours to discuss possible strategies to enable you to pass this class.
s

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