Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Pair of Utahns for Ethical Government Post Public Hearing Writeups

We predict the initiative measure will find its way to the 2010 ballot, despite last night's low citizen turnout

On the heels of yesterday's reminder of last night's ethics reform public hearing, we're pleased to deliver two post-meeting writeups this morning:

First, Standard-Examiner editorial page editor Doug Gibson has made it a topic of discussion this morning on his blog, where this morning's post has already drawn several reader comments:
At the Utahns for Ethical Government hearing in Ogden
And Std-Ex reporter Roy Burton provides a straight news writeup on the Std-Ex Live! site:
Ethics commission could be on Utah ballot in 2010
We also received an interesting comment in the previous comments section, from a reader who identified himself as Mark Johnson last night, suggesting that the low public turnout at last night's meeting indicated citizen disinterest in the ethics reform initiative:
Ten people there, I guess that is not a issue in Weber County.
(Doug Gibson also commented about the low turnout, which he estimated to be about thirty lumpencitizens.)

Here's our take on that. There's a big difference in the level of personal commitment necessary to propel a large crown of lumpencitizens to a remote junior high gymnasium for an informational meeting on a single Tuesday night, and the relatively slight effort needed lure a large group of individual voters to a variety of centralized locations for the affixation of signatures over the course of six months. UEG promoters have a full half-year to gather the requisite 95,000 signatures. We'll thus confidently go out on a limb and predict that they'll gather that number and many more, well before the April 2010 deadline.

Once the petitions are distributed, we'll post an article with instructions about how to sign the petition, of course.

Power to the People, Right On!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Gentle Reminder of Tonight's Ogden Ethics Reform Meeting

Time to put our crooked legislators' feet to the fire

By Ogden Dem

Please come to the meeting tonight (Sep 29), 7 pm, at Mound Fort Junior High hosted by Utahns for Ethical Government:
Tuesday, September 29, 2009--7-9 p.m.
Weber County
Mound Fort Middle School, Media Center
1400 Mound Fort Drive
Ogden, UT 84404
If a grassroots approach doesn't do it, nothing will, because we know our legislature appears to be opposed to being ethical - well, at least most of them.

The Prospect of Full Council Debates Ain't Quite Dead... Yet

An invitation for control-freak Boss Godfrey to butt-out of the council debate situation

Boss Godfrey's Channel 17 command performance Council Candidate "debates" are back in the news this morning, with this Scott Schwebke story, which reports that full debates, with ALL candidates in actually in attendance, may yet be on the near horizon. Having apparently learned at least something from the botched first round of so-called debates, where three out of four council races had only one candidate in attendance, Mr. Godfrey has now made a slightly more polished overture, in a form which more closely resembles an invitation than a royal summons. Sadly however, a reading of this document reveals that the Mayor's office still apparently clings to the notions that a) the administration and/or its own agents should select the "independant" debate moderator, and that b) the whole affair should be managed by his Godfrey Propaganda Channel TV Station.

Whether Mayor Godfrey (or anybody else) will succeed in hosting a real candidate debate this go-round is anybody's guess; although Mr. Schwebke also offers this encouraging Susan Van Hooser quote:
Van Hooser said she hasn't decided whether she will attend a rescheduled Channel 17 debate and plans to meet with other city council candidates this week to discuss scheduling a voters forum that's fair for everyone.
"I just want to make sure everybody has the same information and find a venue that's comfortable with all the candidates," she said.
"Whatever we will do, we will decide as a group."
Here are a few helpful off-the-top-of-the head queries for Boss Godfrey, control-freak extraordinaire:

Why not just stand back, and let the candidates arrange the details of their own debate? Why does Boss Godfrey continue to place himself in the middle of this? Candidate debates are an American tradition, with well-developed and time-honored protocols. Why not wait for the candidates themselves to choose their own mutually-agreeable moderator, venue and ground-rules? It seems to us that we could actually have a high quality candidate debate, if the Mayor's office would merely take its grubby mitts off the situation. For reasons which are unclear to us however, Mayor Godfrey continues to aggressively insert his office into the middle of this can of worms. And as far as a Channel 17 TV broadcast goes, why does Godfrey insist that the candidates pick up the tab? Seems to us that if Channel 17's Bill Francis wishes to televise the debate, he could (and should) enter into a suitable arms-length agreement with the candidates to tape it at its own expense (and pay for the broadcast rights), just like other television stations do.

In short, we believe that Boss Godfrey should simply butt-out of the situation... and what say our gentle readers about that?

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Standard-Examiner Editorial Board is Afraid of Boss Godfrey

The story headline says it all

By Jim Hutchins

I'd like to re-direct some of the current discussion to what I find to be an accurate and pointed open letter to the Standard-Examiner by Dan Schroeder. This one needs no elaborate introduction. The story headline says it all:
Editorial Board afraid of mayor
Channel 17's Bill Francis and I have already commented on it. I'd invite other WCF readers to do the same.

Lt. Governor Vows to Kill Ethics Reform

Time to vote the rotten bums out

By Ray

Just saw the following news brief on ksl.com:
Utah LG may not let ethics initiative go forward
Utah Lt. Gov. Greg Bell may kill the pending citizen's initiative to create an independent ethics commission and a code of conduct for state lawmakers before the public ever gets a chance to decide if it wants to vote on it.

Talk about the proverbial fox guarding the hen house scenario! If citizens can't change by initiative, then it is imperative to vote out the politicians who are afraid of what the citizens may demand.

Note From a Disgruntled WCF Reader

One reticent long-time WCF "lurker" chimes in to set the record straight... and for good measure... throws in a plea for good manners

by Shane Osguthorpe

One rainy autumn day during Ogden’s last election cycle, with nothing better to do, I made the mistake of posting a legitimate question regarding the mayoral race on this forum. Despite the fact that I was, and continue to be, opposed to the gondola, the Mt. Ogden Golf Course proposals of both then and now, a downtown Wal-Mart, the stalled improvement of the Ogden Riverway, etc., my objective question regarding candidate Van Hooser caused dozens of anonymous posters to flame me with what I took to be idiotic, and often vile, name-calling posts and I walked away knowing that WCF is not “an open forum for Weber County Utah Citizens” as it claims, but more often than not, a closed-minded pit of seething hatred and anger and a voice for only one side and one view of Ogden. But I suppose that doesn’t make for a great tagline for a blog that pretends to be objective. I guess “Fair and Balanced” was already taken by another objective media outlet.

I’ve avoided posting since that experience, but still like to check in for a quick read whenever Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh or O’Reilly fail to satisfy my occasional taste for the uneducated ranting of lunatics. So, after being out of town on business during last week’s city council primary elections, I logged on to read the WCF’s take on it all. I found the typical “anti-Godfreyite” rants I expected, but when, for no apparent reason, the thread turned against my close, personal friends and Roosters/Union Grill owners, Kym and Pete Buttschardt, I couldn’t let the disgusting thread linger out there without comment and consider myself a good friend.

The pivot point of the thread, as best I can tell, was when some anonymous (as always) poster mentioned something about “complimentary Roosters beer” at a gathering for a city council candidate who is not endorsed by this forum.

First things first. Utah liquor laws prohibit the dispensing of free beer by brewpubs. And unless I’m mistaken, it can’t be offered as a “donation” to a political campaign. To the best of my knowledge, Kym delivered beer to a shindig for Phipps, stayed and even, God forbid, supported his candidacy...but someone else paid for the beer she brought. It wasn’t “free suds from Roosters” as one poster put it.

A poster by the name of “Rockford J” seemed to have the biggest axe to grind. One of his/her posts read: “[they] used to be cool back in the day...their politics have made them into a couple of money chasing soul-less [sic] restaurant hacks existing only on good location and previous glory.”

Yet, the Buttschardts I know call to mind the words of Marianne Williamson, “Creating the world we want is a much more subtle but more powerful mode of operation than destroying the one we don’t want.”

Their politics? Pretty sure that on a state and national level, the Buttschardts probably vote the way most of the lurkers on this forum do. On a local level, I can assure you they don’t walk lock-step behind anyone’s agenda. Talk to them about issues like Wal-Mart, the golf course, open space and the gondola and find out for yourself where they stand. Now I suppose attacking another’s politics is just the flavor of the day in the Pathetic States of America right now, so I can let that part slide on a political internet forum. The part I can’t let sit out there is the remainder of Rockford J's statement.

Money chasing? I’ve never known people who will give until it hurts like Pete and Kym. Virtually every school fundraiser and athletic team gets their donations; virtually every non-profit organization in our community benefits from their contributions. Got a kid peddling some piece-of-crap coupon book or overpriced candy bar for his scout troop, his baseball team, her drill team, summer camp, soccer trip or anything else? Knock on the Buttschardt’s door and you have a guaranteed sale. Need a dozen dinners-for-two donated for your raffle to benefit wild turkeys, rocky mountain elk, a fledgling film festival, drug abuse prevention? Done. Got a crappy minor league farm team and need to sell advertising space on the outfield wall in a wrecked economy? As long as that team is tied to Ogden, give ‘em a call. Trying to get a bluegrass/acoustic music festival off the ground at Fort Buenaventura and need cash AND someone to sell beer and give all the profits back to the event in addition? No problem.

Soulless? Pete and Kym don’t just throw money at things. I would put the Buttschardt’s donation of their own time to worthy causes in this community up against the grand total of everyone who has posted on this forum....EVER. And while that may sound like hyperbole, I mean it in the most literal of ways. As one of the most engaged members of Weber Pathways’ board of directors, Pete has built massive sections of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail with his own two hands and often with very little help. Kym’s efforts with Junior League in the inner city and all her work as a founding member of the GOAL Foundation and later, as its president, literally amount to YEARS of her time! And those are ACTIVE engagements, not simply sitting around a board table tossing around pie-in-the-sky ideas. The two of them work tirelessly from long before community events until well afterward in organization, fundraising, promotion, set-up and tear-down. Anyone here ever done that? Ever? How about every single Ogden Marathon, Xterra Championship, Harvest Moon Celebration (which the Buttschardts were instrumental in starting), Mountain-to-Metro and Paddlefest? I, for one, have been right there with them and know for a fact there has never been anyone named “Rockford J,” “Frequent Diner” or “Zaphod” there helping out.

And for the record, the “good location” they "exist on" was anything but before they came along. Investing in Historic 25th Street today is a no-brainer — thanks in large part to Pete and Kym’s tireless efforts. However, when the Buttschardts started Roosters it represented a substantial and highly risky investment in a vision they held for a sketchy street — a vision for a revitalized downtown historic district with funky, eclectic and independently owned shops, restaurants, pubs and galleries. Try to remember what 25th Street was like in the decade leading up to the founding of Roosters. Is that really what you want?

Want to talk strictly economic impact? What WCF regular provides the number of jobs in downtown Ogden that the Buttschardts do? How does your contribution to the city’s tax base stack up against theirs? And while I love and patronize every local eatery that a poster named “Frequent Diner” listed and intend no offense to any of them, all of them put together haven’t been featured in national publications encouraging visitors to come to Ogden and spend their dough like Roosters and Union Grill have, yet they all benefit from that exposure. Cool or not.

In some incomprehensible way, some on this forum see the Buttschards as their enemy because some anonymous poster’s “best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Kym supporting Phipps at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it’s pretty serious.” Thank you, Simone.

The fact that some contributors to this forum would attempt to destroy Kym and Pete’s passion, vision and unceasing efforts on behalf of a better Ogden is truly sickening. The fact that the moderators of this forum perpetuate those small-minded efforts is equally repugnant.

I find it ironic that one of the Google ads that regularly appears in the margins of the WCF is for Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.” Might I suggest you read it. Her fictional account of what the world might be like should its “producers” decide to walk away may open your eyes. I promise you, the Ogden you all know and love would be a much darker, uglier place without two of its brightest visionaries and boots-on-the-ground producers, Pete and Kym Buttschardt.

Apparently, they “used to be cool back in the day.” Thank God they got THAT out of their systems.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

More Evidence That SE's Publisher and His Editors Don't Read Their Own Paper

If the Publisher of the Standard Examiner is going to foist this kind of editorial embarrassment on readers, not to mention his staff, he should have the courage to sign his own name to the drivel

By Curmudgeon


Having just read the Standard-Examiner's Sunday morning editorial over my morning coffee --- the coffee at least was good --- I am forced to wonder, yet again, if the SE's publisher and his editors read their own paper. It seems they do not.

Today's editorial takes the Council leadership to task for [allegedly] refusing to communicate with the Mayor. But didn't the SE print an editorial just a while ago berating the Mayor for springing the contract to privatize operation of the Marshall White Center [and to close its pool] on the Council by surprise. Playing "Gotcha!" the SE then told the Mayor, was no way to keep the Council informed on important matters.

Then, going back a bit, there was the Mayor's secret instructions to Ogden's legislative lobbyist to encourage a bill removing the Council's ability to choose the head of Ogden's RDA [then Mayor Godfrey]. He had to keep the instructions secret, because he'd agreed with the Council earlier that the city's lobbyist would work only on legislation that both the Council and Mayor agreed he should work on. How do I know that happened? I read it in the Standard Examiner.

Going back a bit futher, there were the Godfrey team emails stressing the importance of not letting the Council know the Mayor was trying to get UTA to launder federal grant funds to pay off a consultant he'd hired to do a gondola report. How do I know that happened? I read it in the Standard Examiner. [After of course Dan S. discovered the emails via GRAMA request, and Weber County Forum made them public.]

And going back just a bit further... Godfrey has a long history displaying plainly his lack of interest in communicating anything to the Council other than orders... there was the time Godfrey wanted the city to sell some RDA property downtown to a particular buyer [who had not, by the way, made the highest offer for it]. The infamous "Bootjack" matter. The Council asked who the Mayor wanted to sell the property to, and the Administration told the Council not only that it wouldn't tell them, but that they had no right to ask. How do I know that happened? I read it in the Standard Examiner.

But now, the SE editors have decided the problem is the Council, not the Mayor. Do they read their own paper at all? Seems not.

And then we come this shameful bit of pandering to the Mayor:
We are also concerned with the accessibility of Council Chairwoman Wicks. By her own admission, she frequently is not available until after 5 p.m. Given her position in Ogden city, she needs to follow the example of hundreds of her colleagues across the state and be available more often for the city administration and news media inquiries. We respect Wicks' work responsibilities, but if they interfere with her council chair responsibilities, maybe someone else should do the job.
Well, let's see now. Ogden has a full-time Mayor who we pay a six figure salary to do a full time job. The Council chair gets about $9K a year to work part time for the city, mostly evenings, while holding a full time day job. So, if someone has to go out of their way to schedule a meeting the other can attend, who should it be? Our six figure full time Mayor? Or our part time Councilwoman? Why, the Councilwoman of course, says the Standard Examiner.

If the Publisher of the Standard Examiner is going to foist this kind of editorial embarrassment on readers, not to mention his staff, he should have the courage to sign his own name to the drivel.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

WSU v Portland State -- UPDATED

A variety of options for diehard WSU football fans

Final score: WSU 36; PSU 29 -- WSU escapes within the skin of its teeth - whew!

OK, WSU Wildcat football fans. Our home town college football team tangles this afternoon with league rival Potland State U.

Game kickoff... 2:00 p.m. Mountain time.

Here's the pregame setup from the Standard-Examiner:
Wildcats not afraid to play PSU on Road
For those hard-core fans who'd like to see a pretty good game broadcast, check out Big Sky TV's online broadcast here:
B2TV.com signup
Yeah... we know it's a pain in the ass... but we believe the hassle of an online sign up is worth it. Right now we're getting ready to watch the WSU/PSU game with pretty good video feed and a surprisingly not half bad play by play. If you love WSU like we do, you'll plough through the signup hassles like WSU running back Trevyn Smith, and run through the opposing team's defensive line virtually unimpeded.

For non- hardcore WSU fans of course... there's always WSU's flagship radio station... KLO radio, for those fans who'll be content to "just listen in."

We'll be back later with the final score, of course.

Hopefully though, at least a few Wildcats fans will offer their comments in the interim.

Final score: WSU 36; PSU 29.

WSU escaped from this game by the skin of their teeth.

Update 9/27/09 1:00 p.m.: For those who didn't see or hear the game... here's Jason Asay's Std-Ex post-game writeup:
Last minute TD propels WSU to 2-0 Big Sky Mark

A Virtual Glut of 2009 Municipal Election Pieces

We hardly know where to start

This morning's Standard-Examiner is chock full of Municipal Election 2009 pieces, so we'll offer some very brief introductory commentary and then provide some links.

First, we find in our morning Std-Ex a pair of dueling guest commentaries, wherein the two main factions on the Ogden City Council defend their positions with regard to the 8/4/09 Marshall White Center veto override in particular, and in the process, provide insight into their respective views about the roles of the Administration and Council in the Mayor-Council form of municipal government in general.

For a robust and politically astute (dare we use the word "glorious?") defense of the council's role as a "strong, separate, independent and co-equal branch of municipal government," check out the council majority's position statement:
Why we voted to override the mayor's veto
And for the viewpoint of those in the council minority who would return Ogden's legislative branch of government to the second-class, groveling and boot-licking ways of the rubber stamp council of 2003-05, be sure to read the opinions of Godfrey lackeys Brandon Stephenson and Blain Johnson on the subject. It'll be good for a few laughs, if nothing else. There's no doubt in our mind that these two fellas would help usher in "The Imperial Despot" form of government in Emerald City, if the statutes of the State of Utah would permit it:
Why the veto override was a mistake
Next, we'll put the focus on this morning's Std-Ex lead editorial, which in part draws a bead on At-large Council "B" seat candidate David Phipps, with respect to the two false endorsements which he clumsily included in his recent pre-primary campaign mailer:
OUR VIEW: Phipps' election faux pas
Although the Std-Ex softly criticizes Mr. Phipps for his apparent lack of attention to detail in this instance, the Std-Ex editorial board declines to accuse him of having "crossed the line" between actions which would constitute a mere "faux pax" and something "more serious." As we already opined before, it's the position of Weber County Forum that Mr. Phipps already blundered across that line, when he candidly revealed the false Thurber endorsement on 9/20/09, even while he mendaciously and wilfully concealed his contemporaneous knowledge of the equally false Johnson endorsement. From our point of view, we have serious doubts about whether Mr. Phipps would have mentioned the latter mal-endorsement at all, if not for our own WCF story on 9/20/09, in which gentle reader George K. let the Johnson endorsement cat out of the bag.

Finally, we'll refer our readers to Andy Howell's "Behind the Headlines" morning column, within which the Std-Ex executive editor announces the Std-Ex's intention to again endorse candidates for each of the four open council seats. With the Standard's previous 2007 endorsements under our belts and digested, we'll ask our readers: Whaddaya think of that? Do you believe the Standard did a good job in its 2007 endorsements; or are you still experiencing heartburn? Do you have any ideas that we could pass on to the Std-Ex editorial board about how they might improve their in-house endorsement process? What do you think about the propriety of newspaper endorsements in general?

As a matter of fact, we'll ask our readers what the think about any and all of the above.

The floor is open for your comments, O Gentle Ones.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Boss Godfrey's Latest Political Trick: Secret Non-public Candidate "Debates" -- UPDATED

Three City Council Candidates thwart Boss Godfrey's latest attempt to make a mockery of the democratic election process

UPDATE: Boss Godfrey has a change of meds
... errr... heart

Ogden City municipal election clock ticks to within 38 days of the November 3, 2009 zero hour, Ace reporter Schwbeke reports this morning, (a mere two days after the release of Godfrey's bogus golf course survey) , on Boss Godfrey's latest attempt to make a mockery of the democratic election process. We learn from Mr. Schwebke this morning that agents for Boss Godfrey's Propaganda Television Station, Channel 17, staged a command performance taping yesterday, on the ninth floor of Ogden City Municipal Building, of a thinly-attended dog and pony show, which the Standard-Examiner politely calls a "debate":
Majority of council candidates attend debate
Although some creative editor in a dark back room at the Std-Ex (cleverly adopting Mr. Schwebke's phrase "a majority of city council candidates") attempted to create the headline illusion that some form of "debate" occurred during yesterday's private taping, the truth of the matter, as reported by Mr. Schwebke, is that the only thing which may have resembled debate occurred in the the Ward 3 race, wherein incumbent Doug Stephens and challenger Patrick Dean both did obediently show up on command, to field a series of questions, carefully composed by Boss Godfrey's own employees at the TV Station. As to the other three races we wonder... did Godfrey's employees from the Godfrey Propaganda Channel have the audacity to go ahead and tape three "empty chair debates?"

We applaud the three council candidates, Blair, Garcia and Van Hooser, who politely declined the TV station's attempt to to possibly rig the election process. Apparently these candidates were wise to the hard lesson learned during by Ms. Van Hooser during the 2007 Mayoral election: If you appear for a taping in front of Boss Godfrey's Channel 17 television cameras, you can expect to find the taped footage mercilously sliced, diced and ginsu-knifed, with heavily edited segments broadcast constantly on the Mayor's Propaganda Station, and in even more far-flung places such as YouTube.

We believe these three candidates demonstrated considerable wisdom in holding out for legitimate debates, conducted by disinterested neutral parties, in venues where the general public can be in attendance. Hopefully all eight candidates for the four open city council seats will be hearing from more trustworthy debate moderators, such as the Weber County League of Women Voters, very soon.

We'll add that we were pleased that Mr. Schwebke at least saw fit to include paraphrased quotes from two of the candidate non attendees, explaining their rationales for declining to attend an event which had the makings of a Godfrey-style political ambush. We were even more delighted to read the emailed comments from Council "B" Seat candidate Bart Blair, which articulately explained some of Mr. Blair's reasons for giving this Channel 17 production the thumbs-down. Unfortunately, Mr. Schwebke's morning story provides only excerpts from Mr. Blair's emailed comment. For the benefit of those readers who'd like to read Mr. Blair's full response to Mr. Schwebke, check out the entry which Mr. Blair made to his campaign blog last evening:
Channel 17 Debate - By Bart Blair
Maybe it's just us... but we'll ask the question anyway. Does it seem to our gentle readers that Mr. Schwebke's story left out Mr. Blair's most important and salient points?

That's it for now, O Gentle Ones.

Don't let the cat get your tongues.

Update 9/25/09 5;15 p.m.: We just received a Boss Godfrey Administration press release through the usual roundabout sources, (the Godfrey administration continues to leave WCF off its press release email list) revealing that the increasingly deranged Boss Godfrey, who's apparently been recently suffering from a particularly exceptional bout of grandiose manic madness, has finally decided to at least temporarily refrain from televising the three "empty chair 'debates,'" wherein candidates Blair, Garcia and Van Hooser refused to "participate" in Godfrey's sham Propaganda Channel #17 dog and pony show:
Boss Godfrey Press Release: OGDEN CITY MAY NOT SHOW ALL DEBATES
We can only speculate about Godfrey's sudden reversal on this. Perhaps Gary Williams told Godfrey frankly that to air these one-sided segments would invite an ass-kicking in the courts. Perhaps Godfrey's handlers finally got him back on his much-needed medications. Who knows?

So what say our gentle readers about this?

Update 9/26/09 8:30 a.m.: This morning's Standard-Examiner carries a padded out version of the back-pedaling Godfrey Administration press release which we published as an update yesterday evening:
Candidate no-shows may nean few debates on Ch. 17
While it's our opinion that it doesn't offer much beyond what we've already provided above, we'll let our gentle readers be the judges of that.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Free Mini-mountain Film Festival Tomorrow Night

A number of WCF readers will enjoy Steve's stories; and we know you'll love the films that will be screened

By Jeff Lowe

I'd like to invite my WCF friends to a free, mini-mountain film festival, at the Ogden Amphitheater tomorrow, 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM, Friday, Sept 25th.

Several great films will be shown, and our special guest, Steve House, will give a slide show and sign copies of his new book.

Steve represents the best of high adventure, having in recent years completed a number of cutting-edge climbs in Alaska, the Andies, Canada and the Himalaya. These are low-impact trips with one or two partners - sometimes alone - that represent the current state of the mountain climbing art. It's the exact opposite of the commercial Everest extravaganzas.

I think a number of WCF readers would enjoy Steve's stories, and I know you'll love the films that will be screened.

I'm hoping to see you all there.

Good News/Bad News From The Heart of Emerald City

We'll give you the good news first

By Curmudgeon

There's some good news [and some not so good news] for Ogden in this morning's Standard-Examiner on the business pages:
6,900-square-foot bookstore to anchor new six-story building
Deseret Book's new store at The Junction opens today. It fills 6900 sq. ft. on the ground level of the Earnshaw Building.

While I confess I had been hoping for a general purpose bookstore at the Junction --- an indie if possible [but that was unlikely] or a chain like Borders [not Barnes and Ignoble] --- rather than an LDS bookstore. But it's good for Ogden to have the space rented, and the property generating tax revenues.

The not so good news comes at the end of Mr. Schwebke's story. He reports that the second floor of the Earnshaw building has 7K sq. ft. plus of office space [no word on whether any of it is leased yet]. The ground floor still has just under 10K sq. ft. apparently still unleased. And, the story notes that the top four floors of the building "will have 28 condominiums." Ah, but when will it have those oft promised supposed to have been completed years ago condos to boost residential occupancy at The Junction [and so live-in customers for Junction and downtown business]? The building's owner was just a tad vague on that:

"Earnshaw said completion of the entire building will depend on how quickly the economy rebounds."

English translation: "When will the condos be done? How the hell should I know?"

That was the bad news. Still, the opening of Deseret Books today is a step in the right direction.

BYU Prof: Ethics Reform Initiative About Accountability

Added Bonus: A gentle reminder of Tuesday's upcoming Ogden public hearing

There's an excellent Salt Lake Tribune story this morning on the topic of the proposed ethics reform initiative which would create a code of ethics for the Legislature and a commission to review ethics complaints against lawmakers. Don Meyers's lead paragraphs provide the gist of it:
Provo » In Brad Agle's mind, there's one word that sums up a proposed ethics reform initiative: Accountability.
Agle, a professor at Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management, said the initiative -- which would create a code of ethics for the Legislature and a commission to review ethics complaints against lawmakers -- makes legislators accountable to the public. And, he said, that seems to be upsetting some of them.
"If there's some uproar, it's because people do not want to be accountable," Agle said in a standing-room only hearing on the initiative at the Provo City Public Library on Wednesday night. Utahns for Ethical Government scheduled the hearing for residents of Utah, Wasatch and Summit counties.
Some legislators of course, such as Senator John Valentine, are screaming like banshees at the prospect of being reined in by citizen-driven ethics reform, just as Professor Agle predicts:
But Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, said he saw a different tone to the initiative: Punishment.
"The idea is to punish legislators," Valentine said, his voice showing emotional strain. "As someone who has spent 21 years serving the state, and losing significant income because of it ... I feel like myself and my colleagues are on trial."
It's long time legislators like Valentine, of course, those who've enjoyed years of unrestricted benefits and perqs, who've drawn the citizens' ire. And if they don't like the new ethics reform which will result from this grass-roots citizen effort, we're sure there are many other Utah citizens who'd be gladly fill their legislative seats, happily abide by the highest ethical standards and helpfully assist legislative fat-cats like Valentine find the Utah Capitol Hill exit doors.

And while we're on the topic of this encouraging ethics reform inititative, we'll once again incorporate this Utahns For Ethical Government press release, which informs us of the upcoming UFEG public hearing which will be held in Ogden on Tuesday:
Tuesday, September 29, 2009--7-9 p.m.
Weber County
Mound Fort Middle School, Media Center
1400 Mound Fort Drive
Ogden, UT 84404
Once again we'll reiterate our plea to all WCF readers to mark their calenders and plan to be in attendance at this most important event.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More Information Regarding Last Night's Ogden City Council Sessions

The Council agrees to put a discussion of Mt. Ogden Golf Course operations back on the table

Scott Schwebke chimes in this morning with more information on last night's council sessions, reporting that the council has agreed to put issues related to Mt. Ogden Golf Course back on the discussion table in one or more future council work sessions. What seems clear from this story is that Boss Godfrey hasn't budged an iota on his crackpot scheme to bulldoze the golf course and construct his $146 million hotel/condo project at the top of Ogden's 36th street location. What also seems clear, at least to us, is that Godfrey's newly released "poll" is a mere pretext to open up another full-blown debate about Godfrey's massive golf course makeover, under the transparently mendacious guise of improving the course's financial viability.

While we see no real harm in opening up this can of worms again, we do believe there are two preliminary matters to which the council ought to devote close scrutiny:

First, we believe it's incumbent upon the council to make a determination about the validity of the underlying assumption that's the foundation of Godfrey's latest policy sales job, i.e., that the golf course is actually losing $250 thousand per year. In that connection, we suggest that the council should commission an independent audit of golf course operations, to determine once and for all whether the numbers that Godfrey has been rattling around -- numbers which indeed actually furnish the foundational assumptions for Godfrey's polling results -- are truly based in reality. We've had much discussion on this blog about the questionable methods of accounting which Godfrey has used to support his argument for his golf course/hotel/condo boondoggle; and there's good reason to believe Godfrey's figures are rigged. It's thus high time we believe, for the council to find out for themselves the true condition of the golf course balance sheet.

Secondly, we believe the council should retain an outside polling expert to carefully examine the methodology of the Godfrey poll. Although Mr. Schwebke offers a bare bones opinion of one WSU math professor that the poll's 200 person sample might be sufficient to support valid results, there are enough other apparently glaring methodological problems inherent in the poll (including the phrasing of loaded questions) that we believe this poll ought not be taken at face value, until it's been fully vetted by a polling expert who can be trusted.

And since the council has expressed its willingness to once again put a MOGC discussion back on the table, we believe the council should thoroughly examine all options. Although we have no doubt that Godfrey regards a full golf course makeover to be the only option, we believe the council should also carefully weigh those options which will be the least burdensome to the taxpayers, such as the "minimalist Plan 'B' option" presented in Frank Mcfarlane's 4/13/09 letter to the Standard-Examiner editor.

And while we're talking about less financially burdensome alternatives, we'll highlight this simple and elegant plan, lodged in one of our down-thread comments sections by gentle reader Dan S.:

Solution for golf course:
1. Write off the debt. Then annual debt service goes away, saving about $100k.
2. Start promoting the golf course instead of spending taxpayer funds to tell everyone how bad it is. Listen to the golfers for ideas on small changes that can bring in more customers. This could raise another $100k.
3. Be prepared to "subsidize" the golf course by $100k per year over the long term, since it does provide additional value to the city besides golf.
4. Fund one-time improvements to the course through RAMP grants when possible. Any city funds freed up should then be set aside for major maintenance such as repairing the sprinkler system.
And here's a question the council should consider to be even more fundamental. Ogden City already has two taxpayer burdensome and woefully incomplete Godfrey schemes languishing away in downtown Ogden, The Junction, and the River project. Do the taxpayers really need another of these half-baked projects fizzling out after great fanfare in our precious Ogden Foothills area? There's plenty of other evidence of Godfrey's ineptitude in beginning and completing ambitious projects too. Whatever the council does in the future with respect to the golf course, we believe the council needs to take Godfrey's miserable track record into account.

And here's a crucial question which ought to be considered by our Ogden City Council: Shouldn't Godfrey defer the initiation of any new projects, until he's finished what he's already started?

That's it for now gentle readers.

Who will be the first to comment?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Important Ogden City Council Meeting(s) Tonight

Boss Godfrey to release the results of his most recent bogus "poll"
Pursuant to our earlier promise, we now set up a new WCF thread, dedicated to the series of study sessions, work sessions and one formal council meeting which will be held tonight, in and around the Ogden City council chambers.

Among the most interesting issues which the council will deal with tonight is Boss Godfrey's heretofore super-secret Mount Ogden Golf Course poll, the results of which will be apparently unveiled in tonight's council work session meeting.

For those readers who missed the leadup to this, here are the two WCF articles we posted earlier on the Boss Godfrey's Secret Golf Course Poll topic:
As an added bonus, and in order to assist those readers who might attend tonight's council meeting(s), we're delighted to present a copy of Boss Godfrey's Ersatz Poll Questionnaire here:
Have at it, O Gentle Ones; don't be shy.

Comments are invited of course on this thread from any conscientious readers, especially those who attend tonight's council meeting(s).

Council Candidate Phipps Fesses Up to Another Campaign Mailer Endorsement "Error"

Today's troubling admission goes beyond mere incompetence

In the aftermath of Sunday's Weber County Forum article, the Standard-Examiner informs its general readership of the latest David Phipps campaign fowl-up, in the race for the Ogden City Council At Large Seat "B". Yessiree, it turns out that our Sunday report was correct. Mark Johnson, Management Services Director for Ogden City is another campaign mailer endorser who didn't actually endorse the local real estate development industry's favorite candidate:
Mark Johnson endorsement on Phipps' mailer an error
So here's the tally of Phipps blunders which are publicly revealed so far (with a full 41 days remaining until the general election):

1) During the month of July, At Large "B" candidate Mr. Phipps plants scores of giant campaign signs all over Ogden, erroneously announcing that he's a candidate for Ogden Council Seat "A." Months later, some of these signs are still on display around Ogden, such as this one on the lawn in front of Provident Partners' Harrison Boulevard office:


(Sorry folks. The resolution of this cell phone image ain't so hot. Take our word for it though... the sign says "Ogden City Council Seat 'A.'")

2) 9/20/09 - Candidate Phipps admits his first campaign mailer endorsement screw-up. An honest mistake, says Phipps. Open and accountable Ogden city government is "centerpiece of [his] campaign...," Phipps reminds everyone:
Council candidate offers apology
3) 9/22/09 - Phipps today publicly fesses up to his second campaign mailer endorsement boo-boo [ See our first link above]. Significantly, we note, this morning's story reveals that Mr. Phipps was well aware of the bogus Johnson endorsement when he confessed to the Karen Thurber "error" on 9/20/09. Yet he was silent about it until this very morning. This active and wilful suppression of important material fact leads us to wonder just what Mr. Phipps means, exactly, when he says he stands for "open and accountable Ogden city government."

Ask yourselves, gentle readers, taking into account the intentional concealment of fact which plays out in this morning's second campaign mailer "error" story, whether Phipps is a man who can be trusted with a city council seat. Today's belated admission goes beyond mere incompetence. It reveals that Mr. Phipps was willing, at least in this instance, to get by with a half truth... a lie, in other words. Ask yourselves whether Mr. Phipps would have voluntarily come clean about this latter false endorsement, if Weber County Forum hadn't flushed out the true story on Sunday.

That's it for now.

Don't let the cat get your tongues.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Standard-Examiner Belatedly Adds An Important 2009 Election Story to It's "Live!" Website

Time to let the befuddled serial campaign blunderer David Phipps have it where it hurts?

Well Lo and behold and hallelujah! the Scott Schwebke Digital Edition story we linked within Sunday's WCF writeup, has now been published in the SE Live! website, possibly pursuant to our plaintive request:
Council candidate offers apology
We see SE regular Flatlander has already offered a critical comment under the newly-posted SE article. Perhaps we should all likewise get over to the SE site ourselves to add our own pithy comments, eh?

Of course the SE hasn't yet chimed in on the even more revealing story we posted yesterday. We're still waiting, we confess, for the SE's reporting of the backlash from Mark Johnson, Management Services Director for Ogden City, as a result of the bungling Mr. Phipps's clumsy inadvertence in putting Mr. Johnson's name on Phipp's campaign flier endorsement list.

We're also still waiting for the Standard-Examiner's version of THAT inevitable pro Boss Godfrey spin.

Nevertheless, we ask: Isn't it time to let this befuddled loser David Phipps have it right where it hurts? Is there anyone in MattGodfreyWorld who doesm't know by now that Mr. Phipps is a complete screwup? The poor guy's raised council candidate incompetence to the highest level within recent memory, wethinks.

Oh yes, sez your humble blogmeister.

Let's hear it from our gentle readers!

Mysterious Golf Course "Pollster" Is Unmasked

The serially mendacious Boss Godfrey presents the results of his secret independent study group "survey" to the council on Tuesday

Interesting development on the Mount Ogden Golf Course front, where it's now revealed that the ever-indefatigable Mayor Godfrey still feverishly pursues his crackpot obsession to bulldozed the golf course and build his "gargantuan hotel/condo project" at the top of Ogden's 36th Street.

Regular WCF readers will recall the article we published 0n 9/12/09, wherein gentle reader Becky McShane tipped us off to a then-ongoing "telephone survey," which was polling Ogden residents with the laughably "loaded question," of whether they'd be willing to accept an increase in city taxes, to fund a pre-supposed $250 thousand MOGC annual revenue shortfall.

At the time of the publication of this earlier article, the identity of the person or persons who'd commissioned this suspicious "survey" remained a mystery. Although our alert reader did inquire at the time as to the true identity of the pollster, the only information which she received was "an
independent research group."

Well... nine days hence, the identity of the independent research group no longer remains a mystery. According to a well-placed and reliable source at City Hall with whom we spoke a few moments ago, the "mystery person" who commissioned this poll is none other than... (drumroll)... Boss Godfrey hisself.

We invite our readers to check out
the published public notice in Sunday's Standard-Examiner, where you'll find this interesting council agenda item:
Receive golf course survey results.
This plainly bogus "poll" must have worked out well for Boss Godfrey, we guess. What other reason could possibly explain why he's now put it on the council agenda?

We'll set up a separate Ogden City Council meeting thread tomorrow afternoon; and we hereby invite any WCF reader who sits in on Tuesday's council meeting and work session (our reliable sorce informs us the survey matter will be discussed in the study session) to report back... and give us the lowdown on this so-called poll.

Lots of interesting business before the council on Tuesday actually, according to Sunday's public notice. Wethinks this will likely be one very interesting series of council meetings to attend.

In the meantime we'll also invite immediate reader discussion.

Have at it, O Gentle Ones.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Council Candidate Offers Apology -- Part Deux

Phipps "mistakenly named an education official as a supporter;” but we have it on good authority that an Ogden City department director’s name is also on the mailer... and the city official denies giving permission

By George K.

Our ace reporter at the Standard Examiner, Scott Schwebke, reported Sunday morning that David Phipps, who is running for At-Large Council Seat B, said that ”he will send postcards to about 1,000 voters apologizing for mistakenly listing a local education official on a campaign mailer as a supporter.”

Phipps is quoted as saying, “I have made the centerpiece of my campaign an open and accountable Ogden city government ...” and “I truly believe in being accountable to…the residents of Ogden, so to correct this misinformation and to show it was an honest mistake – I would like to apologize publicly.”

If he is truly apologetic why did he name only Karen Thurber as mistakenly appearing on his mailer? Mark Johnson, Management Services Director for Ogden City, notified the Council last Tuesday after the mailer had been sent that he did not give permission for his name to be used on the mailer. If that is the case, we think that Mr. Johnson would have followed through and also informed Phipps that he did not have permission to use his name. According to the Hatch Act, government employees are not allowed to endorse any candidate publicly. If he/she does endorse, campaign for or support a candidate publicly, he/she risks losing his/her job.

For those who haven't seen the offending mailer, you can view it here with your own eyes, in electronic Adobe PDF form. (Scroll down to the address page for an eye-full)

We wonder what kind of lame excuse Phipps will use this time to cover up this blunder.

Is this the kind of irresponsible behavior we want in our next council representative? Or is Mr. Johnson tempting fate and hoping that no one on the Council or a public resident would file charges against him?

Who will be the first to respond to the latest in this series of campaign shenanigans?

Are we going to have a rerun of questionable campaign tactics as we did in 2007?

Sunday Morning Emerald City Election News Roundup

"Pathetic" is the chosen keyword of the day
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.

H.L. Mencken
Mencken on Democracy
1880 - 1956

There are a couple of 2009 local election pieces in this morning's Standard-Examiner which are well worthy of note:

First, the Std-Ex serves up a strong lead article, calling Tuesday's municipal primary election turnout "pathetic":
OUR VIEW: Voting turnout pathetic
Of course the Std-Ex gets it mostly right. With a mere 9% of eligible Ogden voters bothering to show up at the polls, we just couldn't resist invoking H.L. Mencken's above quote.

And while we're on the subject of what's pathetic... how 'bout this? Here's an amusing paragraph, plucked straight from this morning's Std-Ex editorial:
If, as we hope, substantially more Top of Utah voters trek to the polls on Nov. 3. Voters will cast ballots for candidates who will decide some pretty important issues. In Ogden, council candidates for three seats -- two held by incumbents -- will face decisions that involve fighting gang crime, the economic future of The Junction and The Ogden River Project, other development projects, protecting Junction City's foothills and fitting in with a city council that has a contentious relationship with the city administration.
That's right, folks. The Standard-Examiner apparently believes there are only three Ogden City council seats up for grabs in November.

Here's a helpful hint for the Standard-Examiner: Check out our WCF 2009 Council Candidate Roster in our right sidebar, where you'll learn there are actually four. It's kinda awkward to scold northern Utah voters for being apathetic, dontcha think, when they're forced to rely on the Standard-Examiner's crack reporting of local election news? If the lumpenvoters seem confused, has the Std-Ex's previous election reporting been a factor in this?

And now that the adjective pathetic seems to have become the WCF keyword of the day, how about this morning's Scott Schwebke story, which reports on the most recent council candidate David Phipps blunder? Seems the bumbling Phipps "accidentally" sent out a postcard just prior to Tuesday's primary, without properly verifying at least one of his candidate endorsements:
Council candidate offers apology
In the wake of Phipps's earlier slip-up, in which he plastered those scores of giant lawn signs all around Ogden, erroneously touting his candidacy for the wrong council seat (his signs said Seat "A"... he's running for Seat "B"), this latest campaign boo-boo might lead some skeptical voters to logically deduce that Mr. Phipps might be a mite deficient in the "attention to detail department."

Of course maybe that's just us.

That's it for now.

Take it away, O Gentle Ones...

Update 9/21/09 5:00 p.m.: Well Lo and behold and hallelujah! the Digital Edition story we linked directly above, has now been published in the SE Live! website:

Council candidate offers apology

We see SE regular flatlander has already offered a critical comment. Let's also get over to the SE site to add our own comments, eh?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday Evening News Roundup

A critical Ogdenite reads between the lines

By Dan Schroeder

This reader, at least, found plenty to think about in today's Standard-Examiner.

First, as already noted in an earlier post, there's the massive fundraising effort to restore Ogden High School. This is indeed a worthy cause, both for Ogden's historic legacy and for the future generations of students who will be educated there. But I have to wonder: If the school district needs so much money to restore OHS, why did it just voluntarily hand millions of dollars over to Mayor Godfrey?

The other front-page story that caught my eye was about the mayor of West Bountiful, who apparently had a link from the official city web site to his personal blog, which contained information about his current reelection campaign. The Lieutenant Governor's office even got involved, calling city officials and telling them that "public funds cannot be used for anything campaign related". Really? That's news to us here in Ogden, where the use of public funds for political campaigns has become routine.

Speaking of campaigns, on page 3A there's an interesting wire service story reporting that our new governor is opposed to campaign contribution limits. The article says Utah is one of just a handful of states that put no limits on campaign contributions, and that a commission appointed by former governor Huntsman is fine-tuning recommendations that will call for such limits in all state-level races (e.g., no more than $4000 to candidates for governor, and $2000 to legislative candidates). But Governor Herbert has already received over $20,000 from the Utah Association of Realtors for his 2010 campaign. (Also, Herbert is apparently laundering most of his contributions through a political action committee, and thus avoiding some reporting requirements.) It will be interesting to see whether the Standard-Examiner editorial board weighs in on this proposed legislation, as it has in the past. When the Ogden City Council recently introduced and passed an ordinance establishing contribution limits, the editorial board remained silent. (The Standard-Examiner web site is also running an informal poll on contribution limits.)

Page 1B, as on every Saturday, carries the editors' navel-gazing column, written this week by Managing Editor Dave Greiling. More often than not, I've noticed, the editors use this column to belittle readers who complain about the paper--and today's column is no exception. Of course, anyone who calls to complain about the paper's lack of coverage of a topic, when in fact the paper has covered that topic in considerable detail, probably deserves to be belittled. But must it really be done in public? Also, for some reason, these columns rarely seem to mention the legitimate reader complaints. I'm still waiting for the day when one of these columns will try to defend the paper's failure to report the Godfrey Administration's role in raising money for Envision Ogden. (Executive Editor Andy Howell told me over the phone last May that they don't need to report on Godfrey's role because he thinks "everyone knows" about it already.) I'd also love to see the editors' explanation of their unbalanced coverage of the current City Council At-Large Seat B race.

Also interesting to me was the wire service article on the Business page about the Gale Norton corruption probe. And finally, I'll mention that Friday's paper carried a brief notice of a meet-the-candidates event in Riverdale, sponsored by the Lions Club. I find this noteworthy because the Standard-Examiner failed to print such a notice when the Sierra Club informed them of our extensive candidate questionnaire web site. Double standard? You decide.

WSU Kicks Off Its Big Sky Conference Football Season

Our WSU Wildcats are playing their first conference game tonight against a team that they'd dang well better beat

Attention Weber State University Football fans!

WSU kicks off its Big Sky Conference schedule this evening, with a game against historically lowly Idaho State.

Here's the half-hearted setup hype from today's Standard-Examiner:
Time to defend title
Emerging from a pre-season with two non-conference losses under their belts, one of which they "coulda won," and the other that they "shoulda won," our WCF Wildcats are playing their first conference game tonight against a team that they'd dang well better beat. If our beloved Wildcats don't win tonight's game, WSU Wildcat fans... we'll be in for a VERY LONG and painful football season, to say the least... donthcha think?

As we've done here at Weber County Forum dozens of times during the last few seasons, we've again attempted to provide a video link to tonight's game right here. Sorry Wildcat fans; the folks at Big Sky TV seem to have made it impossible to link a live broadcast from their site.

Since all else has has now failed, Comcast subscribers can view tonight's game via Ogden Comcast Channel 61.

And of course there's always the Wildcat flagship... KLO Radio, for the audio broadcast.

Update 9/20/09 6:00 a.m.: Final score... WSU 44; ISU 17. Read Jason Asay's Standard-Examiner writeup here:
Mac's men dominate
Nice job, Wildcats.

Breaking: Neil Endorses Blair for the Council At Large "B" Seat

The beginning of an Emerald City Bart Blair endorsement Tsunami?

Notable breaking news with regard to the 2009 Ogden City Municipal Election Council At Large "B" race. Jennifer Neil, who finished a strong third place for that seat in Tuesday's primary election, has this morning endorsed Bart Blair for the At Large Council "B" seat:
Neil Endorses Blair
Hopefully, a flood of further Blair endorsements will soon follow, Tsunami-Style.

Good on ya's TLJ. Bart Blair is an Ogden businessman who runs the finances of a fine family business which has been a fixture of customer confidence for at least three generations in Ogden. Compare Blair, who's ( along with his family) actually paid his dues in Ogden with public posture that of that 26 year-old Alfred E. Newman character who moved to Ogden about a year ago, and owes his soul to real estate developers who dumped $4500 into his primary campaign... and who would would build McMansions over Mt Ogden Park in our foothills... same as these greedy bastards have done, as they've moved from Salt Lake north.

Who will be the next to comment... or offer their own Bart Blair endorsement?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ogden High School; Architectural Masterpiece

Ogden's a great place, in spite of what some carpetbagging cretins say about her

Since the earlier threads ran out of gas some time ago, IMO, perhaps I can suggest this to the folks.

Take time to look at the pictures linked to the right of the article. The architecture is amazing.
Ogden High, Masterpiece
KSL did this story on our home town school. For those of us who've been in and around this school, we always knew what a stunning work of art it is.

It's worth remembering that some things - many things - about Ogden are as good as you can find anywhere if indeed, you can find them anywhere else.

Ogden's a great place, in spite of what people like David Phipps, Matt Godfrey, and the Geigers say about her.

I like it here and I always have, very much.

Update 9/19/09 7;20 a.m. : The Standard-Examiner jumps aboard the bandwagon with this morning's story, which reports on Friday's OHS Restoration ceremony, and offers a pair of photo slideshows.

And it isn't merely the OHS building which is being restored this year. With last night's 63-42 victory over Logan High, OHS's reputation as a northern Utah high school football power takes another step forward in the process of getting a serious rehabititation too. OHS's 2009 squad now has a perfect 5-0 record under its belt, the best start since its state championship season in 1966. Your blogmeister wandered over and watched last night's game. The team is definitely talented and poised. Lots of entertainment bang for the buck on the OHS home gridiron on Friday nights, folks.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Standard-Examiner: Ogden At-Large Seat B Candidates Gear Up for Work

With one-sided coverage like this from the Standard-Examiner, Phipps might not need to rake in another pile of realtor/developer dough

By Wildcat

Well this morning's Standard-Examiner article on the election results reads more like a campaign flyer for David Phipps:
Ogden At-Large Seat B candidates gear up for work
C'mon Standard-Examiner editors. An article that provides over 30 lines of direct quotes from David Phipps and then less than half that many lines of some paraphrased statements from Bart Blair. With one-sided coverage like this from the SE, Phipps won't need to raise another $4500 plus for the general election.

One more note from the article -- turnout for the primary election: about 9%.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ogden Municipal Primary Election Results

What a shame that several highly-qualified candidates now fall by the wayside

The Standard-Examiner carries a brief Scott Schwebke story this morning, providing the tentative tallies for the three city council races which were in contention during yesterday's 2009 Ogden City Municipal Primary Election. We'll assume that these numbers may be subject to slight changes in the event that absentee or provisional ballots remain uncounted. However the margins of the top finishers are substantial enough that we doubt (except perhaps in Ward 3) that a few late counted ballots will affect the final outcomes. Here are the current tallies for each of the three council races:

Time for a post-election post-mortem, folks.

What factors led to last night's results; and where do we go from here?

Our thanks and congratulations to all candidates who participated in this preliminary elimination race, by the way. What a shame it is that several highly-qualified candidates now fall by the wayside.

Who will be the first to comment?

Update 9/16/09 8:53 a.m.: Please take note that we've updated our 2009 Council Candidate Roster, which is featured in our right sidebar Election Module.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Here we Go Again, Relying Upon Boss Godfrey's Recorder's Office... To Provide Reliable and Accurate Election Information

Three Cheers for Boss Godfrey's Internet Technology Department, however
Time to analyze today's Primary Election votes

Here we go again, Ogden City political wonks! As we've done every election year at Weber County Forum since 2005, we're delighted to again provide a real-time feed from the Ogden City Recorder's ballot counting room, reporting direct precinct-by precinct vote tallies on a more or less literal minute-by minute basis (we hope) for today's 2009 Ogden City Municipal Primary Election. Here's the link to the Ogden City Internet Technology Department's most excellent online election results reporting site:
2009 Municipal Primary Election Real-time Tally
Expect this feature to be at least semi-functional around 8:00 pm tonight.

Notably... We've set up this link to open a new browser window, thus enabling our readers to click back and forth between the Ogden IT Department's most excellent IT work product... and the ever-savvy reader comments that we expect to emerge tonight under this article.

In the meantime... let's have some discussion here, WCF readers!

Grease up your Barcaloungers and make sure you have plenty of Orville Redenbacher's to pop up on the stove tonight.

Who will be the top finishers in today's Emerald City Primary Election?

Have at it with your interim predictions, O Gentle Ones.

The Godfrey Administration Learns Caution[?]

STOP THE PRESSES!!! SPECIAL EDITION! READ ALL ABOUT IT!

By Curmudgeon

There's a story in today's Standard-Examiner business section headlined "Wal-Mart Progress Slow." It reports Mayor Godfrey's comments on the Wal-Mart project. Godfrey, the story reports, said "Construction of the Wal-Mart supercenter may begin in the Spring and should be completed before the end of 2010...."

Note: may begin and should be completed. This is the second time in a week the SE has reported the Administration retreating to more cautious terms like "should" and "may" when discussing projects.

My my my, the heady days of "will begin" and "will be finished by" seem to be over up there on the ninth floor.

Could it be...? Is it possible...? Can Godfrey actually learn by experience? After so many confident predictions didn't come true, or are running years late, or went belly up altogether, has he learned not to count events months if not years off as already fully realized?

Dare we hope that Hizzonah can learn by experience, despite all previous evidence to the contrary?

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Salt Lake Tribune Predicts a Low Turnout at Tomorrow's Northern Utah Primary Elections - UPDATED

Citizens who vote in the primaries have MUCH MORE relative individual political juice, however

Here's an interesting story from today's Salt Lake Tribune, geared for those Utah voters who might be a mite lackadaisical about showing up tomorrow to vote in the several Northern Utah municipal primary elections, such as the one happening in Emerald City tomorrow:
Primary contests abound but turnout could be grim
Here's the setup from SLTrib reporter Derek P. Jensens's opening paragraphs:
There is a Utah election in two days -- really.
Sure, there are few high-profile contests -- no statewide races, no governor on the ballot, not even a Salt Lake City mayoral matchup -- but scores of municipal hopefuls from Logan to Springville to St. George face do-or-die primaries Tuesday.
Eight of Utah's 10 biggest cities have nonpartisan mayoral chases this year -- some with primaries Tuesday. And two of the four Salt Lake City Council chairs up for grabs in 2009 have field-winnowing contests this week.
Tuesday's primary survivors will advance to the Nov. 3 general election.
But in this off-, off-year election cycle, turnout is expected to be meager at best. That may mean, despite the cliché, that every vote truly counts. And that includes early balloting, which, after last fall's presidential flood, has subsided to a trickle.
And here's your Weber County Forum-style neck-snapping segue:

Your blogmeister checked with the lovely Tracey today, of the Ogden City Recorder's office. (The City Recorder's Office will be running tomorrow's Primary & the November 3 General Elections, BTW.)

Here's what she told me about the 2007 Ogden City Municipal Primary Election:

"The 2007 primary election generated 16.8% of the registered Ogden resident vote."

This shows it pays off to vote in the Ogden primaries, people. The voter turnout in the 2007 General Election was , BTW, more like 47%.

Let's have no excuses, WCF readers. Browbeat your friends, families and foes. Tell then all to buckle up on their on morals, and to vote "no on the Big Spending Godfreyites" in the 9/15/09 primary, please. Citizens who vote in the primaries have MUCH MORE relative individual political juice than in the better-attended General Election.

The fewer people who vote in the primary, the more political muscle we lumpencitizens will actually have relatively, so long as hard-core WCF voters show up at the polls to vote. And if politically alert WCF readers and their friends vote to hamstringVal Southwick's very bestest friend... that reminder is all good!

The Godfreyite real estate corporo-welfarists (the people with all the lawnsigns) laugh at Ogden City voters behind their backs, because they have tons of money to throw at this primary election.

Don't let these neoCON nitwits get the last laugh!

Update 9/15/09 8:00 a.m.: The Standard-Examiner continues with the "voter apathy" theme this morning, with this Bryon Saxton story, reporting that Weber County officials expect a 25% voter turnout in the various Weber County cities which are holding primary election polling today. Strangely, Mr. Saxton reports (quoting Weber County Assistant Elections Administrator Melanie Langford) that "County officials are unaware of any big primary races in any of the Weber County cities, ... nor are they aware of many contentious races," despite the major brouhaha which is shaping up in Ogden City. This leads us to conclude of course, that Weber County officials such as Ms. Langford surely must dwell in a cave on Mars, or some other remote venue like that.

Real Time Vote Tallies: And yes, gentle readers. Just as we've done in the past, we'll be posting a new article later this afternoon, with a link to Ogden City's live elections feed, so that Emerald City political wonks can monitor the real time vote tallies, straight from the Ogden City Recorder's counting room.

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