Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Standard-Examiner: Tacos To Go May Have To Move, Says Ogden

Leave it to Godfrey to take a business that's thriving and find a way to make their life more difficult

By Capitalist

On yet another topic, the Standard-Examiner reports that the Godfrey administration wants to slap a bunch of new requirements on sidewalk vendors:
Tacos to go may have to move, says Ogden
Leave it to Godfrey to take a business that's thriving and find a way to make their life more difficult. I say it ain't broke so don't try to fix it. Let the market decide how many sidewalk vendors can be on a block, subject to some reasonable safety requirements.

Update 12/23/09 10:17 a.m.: Scott Schwebke reports this morning on the council's taco stand regulation aftermath:
Taco stands limit set at 23 downtown
Looks like a pretty sweet deal for those twelve street food vendors already "in place."


Cabeza de Vaca said...

Is this the impetus for the proposed change: "The city council enacted the moratorium at the request of the administration as a result of concerns from city officials and business owners." Does this mean the Mayor and his friends are "concerned"? Give me a break. I've eaten many a dollar taco and I've never experienced any problems w/ the vendors, their locations, or anything else about them. I'm not saying problems don't exist, but is it really out of hand? Some problems are just part of being downtown and we learn to deal with them. I say let 'em be, they're part of the new fabric of Ogden. I say they're already regulated good 'nuff. Aren't there other fish to fry in this town (I can definitely think of a few)? Heaven forbid something else other than a penny arcade and outdoor rec bring somebody downtown. Quit tryin' to sanitize and fudge around w/ this damn town, let it be - it will never be the next Park City!

Curious 1 said...

Off topic, but Sen Bennet was the only vote against federal benefits for federal employees for same sex partners.


The vending carts adds flavor and diversity to downtown, no pun intended.

Reminds one of the un named businesses that complained about the annual street festival so the mayor shut it down. Now most of those businesses on Washington Blvd are gone and boarded up.

Curmudgeon said...

I don't know the specifics behind the regulation pending in Ogden, but in other cities owners of brick and mortar restaurants have complained that they are losing lunch business to street vendors who do not have to pay property taxes, etc. Something like that may be behind the pending regulation here. Don't know, but that's what has driven restrictions in some other cities.

The counter-argument is that patrons of a street vendor [hot dog stand, taco stand, whatever] are not likely to patronize full bore restaurants if the stands disappear or are limited. True enough for places like Roosters and The Bistro, but less convincing with respect to chain eateries like, say Subway, or Gandolfo's or the locally-owned Chicago Dogs, etc.

As a good liberal Democrat, my tendency would be to avoid restrictions/regulations on the street vendors [outside of reasonable health department regs of course] unless there is a compelling reason to limit them and to fix locations. Emphasis on the word "compelling."

In other words, apply the same standard that ought always to be applied to, say, the exercise of first amendment rights: the default assumption should be that the activity in question is permitted and protected unless a compelling case can be made that a substantial public interest would be endangered by permitting it. And the responsibility for making that case lies wholly on those advocating restricting the liberty involved.

In this case, then, those advocating the new regulations should be required to make a compelling case for what they want. "We think this would be a good idea" is not a compelling case. "Some brick-and-mortar merchants want them limited" isn't one either.

I haven't seen a compelling case for regulation made yet. Perhaps the members of the Council have, in which case that compelling case needs to be aired at the Council meeting.

ozboy said...

"...concerns center on traffic congestion caused by vendors, as well as trash and debris and damage to city property around food cart sites..."

This is the Godfreyite rationale for harassing these independent business people. Like most everything else that comes from the ninth floor, this is a total crock-O-crap. Over the last few years I have been by the city building uncounted times, stopped for a taco hundreds of times, and have absolutely never seen any "traffic congestion", "trash and debris" laying around or any "damage to city property".

These numb skulls that run Ogden should be so lucky as to have some one create traffic congestion in the heart of the city! The forty million dollar tax payer owned penney arcade and day glow bowling alley sure as shit don't do it.

In my humble opinion this is just one more example of Godfrey and his worthless sycophants trying to run our dark skinned brothers and sisters out of our wonderful Alpine Village at the foot of the Gondola.

RudiZink said...

Face it, Capitalist. Godfrey is a "white boy racist"

It totally annoys him that the free market is actually working in downtown Ogden.

As a dyed in the wool Right Wing Socialist like Godfrey, nobody shall earn succuss through their enterprenial skills alone.

In the totally inverterted Boss Godfrey universe, anyone who seeks success in Ogden MUST BE a campaign donor, or otherwise pay the "Pay-to-Play" toll.

hate word verification said...

On another hand, if they are referring to those right in front of the buses on 25th and Washington, they are a traffic hazard quite serious.

It is being pushed because they are Mexicans.

Curmudgeon said...

Guys, we don't have much information yet. It's not inconceivable that the carts [or their customers] at certain locations create a traffic problem. [Along Washington, if significant traffic pulls over to buy for example.] It's also not inconceivable that city property's been damaged at cart locations--- but there should be records of that if it has. If trash is a particular problem -- meaning significantly more so than it is outside other downtown largely take-out places --- there should be records of that as well.

No one has yet made the case for regulation in anything but vague generalities. I'd hope the Council, if it supports regulating the carts, can point to evidence --- hard evidence --- of significant problems with the unregulated carts. And that if the Council is disposed to go ahead with the regulations, it provides the reasons it found compelling for doing so, with the evidence behind it, at the meeting.

Danny said...

It seems to me this is business as usual for Ogden.

They drove out people who wanted to cruise in their cars.

They drove out the street festival.

They drove out many more due to baffling, detailed zoning regulations.

And now they want to drive away taco stands.

Then they wonder why there is nobody downtown!

Ogden City's mode of operation:

Incompetent businessmen, refusing to blame themselves for the deficiencies of their businesses, look to someone else to blame.

Then they get Montgomery to write 20 pages of regulations that he can make sound good and reasonable, but that leave most people shaking their heads in bewilderment (including the zoning department staff).

So people leave, business leaves, and others never come.

Then they hire a bunch more bureaucrats to figure out what's wrong and start throwing taxpayer money around to stimulate the same incompetent businessmen who started the whole cycle in the first place.

They should let those incompetent businessmen fail. They should help them fail. Let the weak die so the new can take their place. Get government out of the picture. Let nature work its miracle, for once in Ogden.

The government has already done far too much damage. It has already driven far too many away.

To support business and people, you must choke government. All else is futile.

Timm said...

"Guys, we don't have much information yet." Exactly. Sort of. Just when has the City Admin made sound decisions based on good data and information? They just plow ahead. Remember when they tried to change reg's along 25th Street and the Windsor Hotel fiasco (among others)?

Jennifer Neil said...

Cabeza de Vaca: If they REALLY want to sanitize and fudge around with this town as you say --- they need to NOT let in developers who buy property, fence it up then leave with the caveat "They cannot be reached for comment"

At least the taco vendors provide a service, good food, and they clean up when they are done for the day.

ozboy: "concerns [include] trash and debris and damage to city property around [the] sites..." applies more to the Leshem properties than to the taco vendors.


Goonga Galoonga said...

I have never been to one of these street vendors, but my brother has. The vendor he went to he called the "Taco Lady." Now, I'm making an assumption based on what I was told by my brother, what I have seen while driving by and what I have read on this topic. Everyone is calling these street vendors Taco Stands. It's my assumption that most of these street vendors are just that, taco stands. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

If I'm correct then, come on, I thought people here were intelligent. Just kidding guys, calm down. These Taco stands are straight up competition for the "mexican restaurant" at the Soloman Center. Just another way to try and drive out competition for the city subsidized "Junktion Center". I may be off base here because I don't believe that the elimination or limiting of taco vendors will in any way increase the business at that so called "Mexican Restaurant", I'm not as stupid as the administration.

Call me crazy, but according to Occam's razor, with all things being equal the simplest solution tends to be the best one.

Godfrey and the administration are stating these vendors cause a traffic problem? Bull S%&T! Anyone been to New York? Talk about a sidewalk vendor being a traffic hazard, yet they still allow them.

Just my opinion.

Biker Babe said...

S-E Headline: Taco Stands limit set at 23

Artickle says: Twelve of the 23 approved sites would be designated for food sales, and the remainder would be set aside for nonfood vendors.

Hmmm ... anyone heard of nonfood Tacos?

Who writes this shee-ite?


Curmudgeon said...

This morning's story repeats, almost word for word, the administration explanations given in the previous story: traffic problems, trash, damage to city property, etc. But it provides zero --- nary a one --- examples or illustrations to back up any of those claims. Nor does it cite testimony from those in authority in a position to know [e.g. traffic control officers, some one from the city maintenance office, etc.] .

Perhaps the Council members in their statements provided no examples, no evidence, no illustrations, and took no testimony. But surely if that was the case, the story should have noted that "Council members offered no examples or evidence to support claims about the stands creating traffic problems, trash problems or leading to the damage of city property," que no?

Administration sock-puppet Brandon Stepehnson [how Stephenson appears to be speaking without the Mayor moving his lips is a triumph of ventriloquy] explained that moving the stands will help create a walkable downtown. How it will do that the story, and presumably Stephenson, didn't say.

Look, this all may in fact be a good idea and solve real problems. But nothing in the story, and so I presume nothing at the meeting, offered any grounds for thinking so, or evidence that the stated motives behind the revised ordinance are grounded on good evidence. Good government requires not only that the actions of city government not be arbitrary, but that do not appear to be arbitrary.

ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

That idiot Stephenson actually was quoted as saying (about the new taco ordinance):

"It provides a walkable downtown"


"will help create a walkable downtown"

Slight difference for sure, but either way it only points out what a total and complete moron he really is. I doubt if there is any possible logic that could be applied that would make either statement make any sense at all!

Franco said...

"I say it ain't broke so don't try to fix it. Let the market decide how many sidewalk vendors can be on a block, subject to some reasonable safety requirements."

Surely Godfrey is a free market capitalist, right? So he should agree with this sentiment. Oh yeah, I forgot! Godfrey only holds ideologies if they are convenient for him.

Square said...

I, for one, am looking forward to being provided a walkable downtown (only in Ogden).

Actually, I'm w/ Ozboy, how is this so? I may not be a city planner or a city councilman, but I think I know what makes a walkable downtown. This regulation does nothing to further that end.

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