Sunday, January 31, 2010

Standard-Examiner Editorial: More Debate For Street Car Plans

The Std-Ex editorial board is definitely on a roll this weekend
Ultimately, the Ogden City Council will have to make a final decision. UTA Project Manager G. J. LaBonty is urging the council to have a full public hearing on the streetcar issue. We agree. This issue needs a lot more debate and discussion before a final plan is submitted to the FTA

Standard-Examiner Editorial
OUR VIEW: More debate for streetcar plans
January 31, 2010
The Standard-Examiner editorial board is definitely on a roll this weekend, with the second red meat editorial in a row. Check out this morning's opinion piece, which urges the city council to get down to business and schedule a full public hearing on the streetcar corridor alignment issue:
OUR VIEW: More debate for streetcar plans
Yesiree, we'd love to hear anyone other than the UTA bureaucrats who favor the 36th Street east-west route. As we said on WCF before, let's get the matter on the council calender forthwith. Let's hear the public argument for an "oddball" alignment that skirts our southerly municipal boundary and completely ignores the needs of our inner city.

As an added bonus, we'll fully incorporate this article comment, appearing beneath this morning's online editorial, in which Std-Ex reader Flatlander demolishes the ludicrous proposition that proponents of a 25th street corridor alignment arrived "too late" to the party :

What -- or who --- is driving UTA on this?
So, a "UTA spokesman politely dismissed the group's case, saying that it was, in his opinion, too late to reconsider the Washington Boulevard-36th Street proposal."
Too late? The downtown east to Harrison alignment has been under study by the city and UTA for the last four years, I think. And the results of the various studies [not contested by UTA] revealed that the 25th Street route would draw more riders than the 36th Street route. And serve those going to the Weber County Library's main branch, and to the Golden Age Center, and to the apartment houses along the route, and to Ogden High and to the Plasma Center on Harrison, and to the discount market at Harrison and 32nd Street. [The 36th Street route would serve none of those. ] And it's been reported that the time it would take a trolley rider from the Transit Center to WSU or McKay Dee would be essentially the same by either route. So why is UTA so committed to the less popular, will draw fewer riders, and out of the way 36th Street route? What are we not being told about UTA's odd selection and attempt to ram it through by declaring it's too late to consider the more popular route?
But hey, I have an idea: UTA can make "some overtures" to those who favor the 36th Street route [whoever they are] --- support for a separate 36th Street Trolley line to be built at some undetermined future date after the 25th Street line is built. Sounds like a sensible compromise to me.
(Regular WCF readers will of course remember that a central city alignment was identified as the preferred choice as early as 2005 .)

Have at it, O Gentle Ones.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Strong Standard-Examiner Editorial: OUR VIEW: Ethical Fantasies

Tell GOP legislative "leadership" that Utah lumpencitizens refuse to be hoodwinked
Watching Republicans in the Utah Legislature try to enact ethics reform is a little like trying to get the family dog to stop chewing the cable wires in the backyard. They just don't understand what we're trying to tell them. [...]
Valentine's ethics rule is a fantasy, and lawmakers in the Legislature should be ashamed to support it. Hopefully, proposals such as SJR3 are last-gasp enabling tactics by a legislative leadership sorely in need of ethics reform.

Standard-Examiner Editorial
OUR VIEW: Ethical fantasies
January 30, 2010

Top flight editorial in this morning's Standard-Examiner, (falling in foursquare with the WCF article which we published earlier this week):
OUR VIEW: Ethical fantasies
We'll focus on what we see to be the key paragraph, at the top of this morning's most-excellent editorial:
Watching these pathetic efforts to try to police themselves, we sincerely hope the citizen ethics proposals get enough signatures to get on the ballot this fall.
We couldn't be more in agreement.

Sign the petitions, folks:
Pending Utah Citizens' Initiative Petitions
Tell Utah GOP legislative "leadership" (so-called) that Utah lumpencitizens refuse to be hoodwinked.

Query to WCF Readers: Have you signed the petitions yet?

Followup query: If not; why not?

Standard-Examiner: Ogden's Community & Economic Development Department Gets a Makeoever

Mayor Godfrey breaks recent precedent; appoints a dedicated and experienced Department Director from within C&ED Department ranks

Just to kick off the morning's discussion, we'll highlight an important story from yesterday's Standard-Examiner which wound up on the WCF back burner, due to yesterday's Std-Ex server outtage:
Ogden's economic development department is reorganizing
Amidst ongoing speculation that Boss Godfrey would possibly make the wrong choice for a successor to Scott Waterfall in the top Community & Economic Development Department post, our mayor has selected current Deputy Director of Community and Economic Development Richard McConkie to serve as Ogden City's new C&ED Department Director.

We couldn't be more delighted with the mayor's choice of Richard McConkie, a veteran Ogden City public servant, who's reportedly been a dedicated Ogden City employee since 1983. Over the course of the past few years, Godfrey has followed a pattern of bringing in "hired guns" to fill the important C&ED Director slot; and our opinion this practice this hasn't worked out very well at all. Thus, we congratulate Mayor Godfrey for breaking recent precedent, and for appointing a dedicated city employee from within the C&ED Department ranks. Mr. McConkie brings to the job a vast body of knowledge and experience accumulated over the years. He's obviously been doing much of the C&ED heavy lifting over the years, too.

We're similarly pleased with Mr. Godfrey's selection of Tom Christopulos and Steve Fishburn, to fill the respective C&ED deputy director and business development manager positions.

These appointments still require council approval of course; but we predict this process will be a mere formality.

It isn't often that we have an opportunity to pat Boss Godfrey on the back.

Let's relish the opportunity and hope it sets new precedent, too.

So what say our gentle readers about all this?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Standard-Examiner: New Company Pushes With Powder Mountain Incorporation

Pay attention folks -- let's not let this one get out of hand just because we don't live in The Valley

By Jennifer Neil

OK, the new Powder Mountain company: Pronaia, based in Las Vegas, took over management six months ago, according to today's Standard-Examiner story:
New Company Pushes with Powder Mountain incorporation
Joseph Pierce, executive VP & partner said they have "an open mind and ... [want to] negotiate ...reasonable entitlements for ownership." What the heck does that mean? PM is at the "top" of Weber County, and people with $$$ use the facilities and live there ... do they realize Weber County stretches clear out to the lake? What happens "up there" affects everyone "down here". I know I've said this before, but I think it is even more important now that the U.S. Supreme Court has given corporations (such as Pronaia) the same rights as individuals in elections where campaigning and financing are concerned!

The area of Ogden (i.e. "down here") has had rights to the water "up there" for many many years, and if this goes forward, who can say if the Vegas based company can buy a legislator or two with influence in the State Water Board to give away Ogden's water rights? My family specifically actually owns water shares for our property, as do many other Weber County residents. Will Pronaia be using something similar to Eminent Domain to take away our shares and deprive us of water for the sake of the few rich who would buy a summer condo, or build a $5M home they intend to sell in 3 years ... Those of us "down here" take umbrage at such disregard and dismissal of the American tradition of settling in and raising and sustaining one's family in a secure place to call home. And that is putting it lightly!

I think I read something somewhere about Nevada wanting to divert water from us to build more homes in their desert, too ... So, if they can get our water for Powderville, where does it stop?

Pay attention folks -- let's not let this one get out of hand because we don't live in the valley - it affects us as much or more than the folks who live "up there".

Sign the petition, folks!

Editor's addendum: 1) The above-linked Di Lewis story mentions Rep. Gage Froerer's H.B. 218 (Municipal Disincorporation Revisions), which the new Powder Mountain managing partner, Pronaia, admittedly opposes, notwithstanding Mr. Pierce's curious double-speak assertion that his company "doesn't want to disenfranchise the citizens of that area." In that connection, it's come to our attention that Rep. Froerer is moving right along with this bill, and that it's already set as the third agenda item for consideration by the House Government Operations Committee on Monday, Febuary 1, 8:30 am. Hopefully a few of our steely-eyed readers will plan to be in attendance, torches and pitchforks in hand. You can bet your bottom dollar Mr. Pierce's own people will be there.

(For those readers who can't make the meeting, we'll post a live committee meeting audio link in a new WCF article on Monday.)

Update 2/1/10 8:34 a.m.: Althought we promised to feature a live audio link to this morning's committee meeting, such a link has not yet come online. We'll update with anew story as soon as the audio is availaable.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Developments On The Utah Ethics Reform Front

A glimpse into legislative leadership's heretofore "stealth" ethics reform package; and notice of an upcoming "ethics reform" topical public event

We'll throw out two more interesting items for discussion this morning, relevant to the Utah citizens' ethics reform movement topic which has occupied so many of our WCF pages of late:

1) As we've previously noted, legislative leadership has also gotten into the act, with its own dubious legislation, which is being hastily and stealthily drafted... mostly behind closed doors. So far the lumpencitizens haven't been privy to the full details of the "ethics reform package" which will ultimately emerge from the legislature during the 2010 general session; but the Standard-Examiner does provide an informative glimpse into at least part of what legislative leadership apparently has in store for us, with this morning's AP story:
Lawmakers' ethics proposal makes complaints secret
Surprise of surprises. Just as legislative leadership's proposed "ethics reform" legislation is being drafted "in secret," this mornings tidbit of information reveals that the ethics reform package contemplated by the legislature will be cloaked in plenty of secrecy too. Among other things, the legislature's version of "ethics reform legislation" would be subject to these rules:
• New rules being proposed by state lawmakers would prohibit members of the public from disclosing ethics complaints filed against legislators until an ethics commission determined a violation had occurred.
• Anyone who disclosed the existence of the complaint would be found in contempt of the Legislature, and that complaint would immediately be dismissed by the commission the legislation would create.
• The ethics commission would meet behind closed doors and all documents associated with ethics complaints would be private unless the commission came to a near unanimous agreement to forward the complaint along to a legislative committee.
• Complaints also couldn’t be filed for 60 days before a primary or general election, eliminating four months out of the year for the public to have their grievances heard in election years.
We urge all readers to check out Mr. Vergakis's above-linked AP story. We've incorporated only a few of the "low" points. Believe us, it gets much worse. One quoted UEG spokesperson concisely nails the rational opposition viewpoint, wethinks:
“I think it’s unacceptable. It’s a sham,” said Utahns for Ethical Government spokeswoman Dixie Huefner. “It appears very removed from public scrutiny.”
So what about it gentle readers? Is Senator John Valentine's Resolution 3 an insult to the transparency of the process AND to the citizens of the Beehive State? Or does the Senate President, Mr. Waddoups, have a valid point?
“I don’t believe anyone thinks it’s fair to have someone convicted by malicious allegations that have no basis in fact,” said Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville.
2) And while we're on the topic of Utah legislative ethics reform again, we're delighted to announce an upcoming related event. We've learned this morning that the Weber County Womens Legislative Council is hosting a topically-related open house:
What: Discussion of Pending Citizens' Initiative Petitions, Featured Guest Speaker, Michael Lee
Where: South Ogden City Senior Citizen Center, 580 39th Street
When: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 @ 7:00 p.m.
By way of background, Mr. Lee is a Utah lawyer, and an intra-GOP Party challenger for Senator Bennett's Senate seat.

We don't know whether Mr. Lee has a particular ax to grind regarding any of the pending citizens' inititiatives, but judging from past experience with WCWLC events, we'll anticipate some lively and unrestrained discussion.

That's it for now, WCF readers.

Who will be the first to comment?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Emerald City News Roundup

A WCF prediction is fulfilled; and legislative leadership gets serious about ethics reform (?)

Two more Northern Utah news items for the Weber County Forum discussion mill:

1) Just as we predicted earlier, the Standard-Examiner reports that the city council last night unanimously promoted Jay Lowder to the position of public services director, following a 2-1/2 hour closed session:
City names Lowder new public services director
2-1/2 hours to approve Boss Godfrey's top favorite pick? There must have been much to discuss. We're keeping our fingers crossed however, hoping we were wrong about the prospect of reading one day about the Geigers being appointed to Scott Waterfall's still-vacant C&ED Director post. Perhaps however these Geiger fellas will ultimately find themselves too busy with other ongoing endeavors to re-engage in further meddling in the business of Ogden City government. We can only hope.

2) Thanks in large part to the pressure created by the series of citizen-generated citizen initiative petitions now circulating throughout Utah, the Standard-Examiner reports that legislative leaders are making serious noise about tackling the task of enacting broad Ethics and Campaign Reform in our ethically-backward state:
Legislators focusing on ethics with independent commission, bills on gifts and campaign contributions in the works
Utah legislative leadership has been playing political rope-a-dope with Utah citizens for years, making tall promises at the beginning of each successive legislative session, then ultimately delivering zero, zilch and nada. Thanks to the various pending citizens' initiative petitions which are circulating through Utah however, perhaps legislative leadership will be compelled to do more than merely "talk the talk."

One good way to keep these fellas moving forward, Utah Lumpencitizens... sign the danged petitions!

Amazing how our legislative leadership suddenly displays its "better nature," innit, when a little fire is applied by the lumpencitizens to its dancing feet?

"Baghdad Bob Spinning Like A Top Award": Salt Lake County GOP Cancels Keynote Address After New Orleans Arrest

OOPS!.. SL County GOP Chair is suddenly "scrambling" to find a substitute speaker

By Curmudgeon

This month, the covetedBaghdad Bob Spinning Like A Top Award goes to Salt Lake County Republican Party Chairman Thomas Wright. Mr. Wright and his party were, until this morning, proudly announcing that James O'Keefe [who went undercover playing a pimp to catch some ACORN folk giving illegal advice to him about tax dodging] would be the keynote speaker at the County's Lincoln Day Dinner [donations of $4000 or more got you time to schmooze with Mr. O'Keefe at a VIP reception, plus dinner and the speech.] Mr. Wright said Mr. O'Keefe would "inspire our party's passion for a grassroots comeback."

He's not saying that anymore. Yesterday, Mr. O'Keefe and three other conservative activists were arrested by the FBI while trying to bug the phones of Sen. Mary Landrieu inside a federal building in New Orleans [that's a felony charge, folks].

Mr. Wright announced this morning that Mr. O'Keefe will not be giving the keynote speech at the Lincoln Day Dinner after all. [The SL Trib says the SL County Chair is "scrambling" to find a substitute speaker. I'll just bet he is.] And Mr. Wright now says of Mr. O'Keefe [currently out on bail], who as recently as yesterday Wright described as a man who would help lead the Republican Party's grassroots resurgence, that "He doesn't necessarily represent the Republican Party."

We will present Mr. Wright with his Baghdad Bob Spin Award as soon as he stops rotating. It may take a while....

The story of Mr. O'Keefe's arrest and Mr. Wright's keynote speaker problems can be found in today's SL Trib here and here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Salt Lake Tribune: Initiative Groups Taking Their Signature Drive(s) Online

Sign the petitions, folks... Let's not be hoodwinked by our legislature this go-round

Encouraging Cathy McKitrick story in this morning's Salt Lake Tribune, reporting that sponsors of the various citizen initiatives which are percolating through the State of Utah are embracing applicable provisions of Utah law, which permit use of electronic signatures for online "transactions, " and are putting their their government reform petitions online. According to this morning's story, the following two petitions are already uploaded and ready for your signatures:
Fair Boundaries Redistricting Initiative
Peoples Right Anti-bribery & Anticorruption Initiatives
This morning's story also reports that the folks from the Utahns For Ethical Government (UEG) are not far behind, and that they'll have their own broad ethics reform petition ready for your online signatures imminently:
UEG Ethics Reform Initiative
We'll of course keep a close eye on developments, and let you know as soon as the latter petition is up and running online.

We applaud these citizen activist groups for entering the electronic age, and making these online resources available to the broad range of citizens who regularly use the internet. In that connection, we urge our readers to navigate to the above two sites, to affix your signatures.

As we've already reported, Utah legislative leadership is working in the back rooms on Capitol Hill to put together their own "ethics reform package(s)." Whether this will result in a genuine attempt to enact robust ethics reform, or result in a mere "an empty vessel" we do not know. One thing we do know however... legislative leadership will be a lot more inclined to treat ethics reform seriously this year... if there are several certifiable petitions ready for the ballot this coming November. We accordingly urge our readers to keep our Utah legislature's feet to the fire on this, by signing the various online citizen petitions. According to the most recent polling, the vast majority of Utahns continue to strongly favor broad state government ethics and campaign reform. Sign the petitions, folks. Let's not be hoodwinked by our legislature this go-round.

For the benefit of our WCF readers we'll also note that we've placed a new module, "Active Citizen Petitions," (which includes the three above-mentioned petitions) at the top of our right sidebar. And in the interest of making all active citizen petitions easily available to our readers, we've also added these other active citizen petitions within this new module:
Powder Mountain Disincorporation Petition
Ogden Streetcar Petition
Have at it, O Gentle Ones!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Powder Mountain Town Issue on Two Dockets

Three reported news developments (actually)... and a further call to citizen action

Thanks to this morning's Di Lewis story, we learn from the Standard-Examiner that there are three important new developments in the Powder Mountain Greedhead Developer v. Ogden Valley Lumpencitizen Saga:

1) Now that the Powder Mountain lawsuit has reached the Utah Supreme Court on appeal, final briefing is reportedly due to be complete by the end of the week, and oral arguments will evidently be conducted under an expedited schedule. Even in a best case scenario however, we believe it's fair to speculate that a final Supreme Court decision won't be issued for at least several more months, so the pending litigation does provide additional breathing room for accomplishment of the second news development mentioned in this morning's story:

2) As regular WCF readers are already aware, House Legislative District 8 Representative Gage Froerer will be soon introduce legislation (Senator Allen Christensen is the Senate co-sponsor) designed to remove the requirement for a 24-month waiting period prior to a municipal disincorporation election, allowing the voters of the town to decide immediately whether or not a town is in the best interest of the majority of citizens and property owners. This may prove to be the best solution for prospective "Powderville" citizens in a practical sense, provided that Mssrs. Froerer and Christensen can rustle up the necessary votes. For those readers who'd like to chime in with their support for this legislation, we'll offer several avenues by which our readers can take action.

a) If you haven't already signed the Citizens' Electronic Disincorporation Petition, please click on the preceding link and take a minute of your time to do so now.

b) If you'd like to directly contact the bill's sponsors, here are Representative Froerer and Senator Christensen's contact links:
Gage Froerer - House District 8
Allen M. Christensen - Senate District 19
c) For those Utah residents who reside in other House and Senate Districts, be sure to check out the full Utah House and Senate Rosters:
Members of the Utah House of Representatives
Members of the Utah Senate
In this connection, we remain astonished that the Powder Mountain disenfranchisement issue hasn't gained much public traction outside Weber County; and with that in mind, we'll urge our readers across the state to let their own legislators know this isn't merely a "backwoods" local issue.

d) As an added bonus, we also provide a handy link to this little online utility, for the benefit of those readers who may have forgotten which particular districts within which they reside:
Utah Legislator Lookup
For those who decide to directly contact their legislative representatives, we encourage you to specifically urge a vote in favor of Representative Froerer's H.B. 218, Municipal Disincorporation Revisions. Also be sure to include your true name and address. And for those readers who'd like to pad it out a little bit with some powerful argument and rationale, here's a handy refresher course regarding the issues and history involved in this situation:
Introduction to the Powder Mountain Town Voting Rights Issue
Let's get to it gentle readers. The last time this identical bill was introduced in the legislature, it received a decidedly cool reception from developer-friendly Utah legislative "leadership." Let's not let this happen again. Today is the first day of the 2010 legislative session . Lets get those legislative email in-boxes boxes filled up, and those legislative telephones ringing off the hook.

3) In mid-August we announced the the Powder Mountain jackals were turning on each other. Sadly, we learn from this morning's Std-Ex story that an apparent settlement between the formerly warring Powder Mountain ownership factions, and a re-alignment of ownership between these interests hasn't defused their heavy-handed, anti lumpencitizen attitude even a little bit:
Froerer had been trying to work out a compromise between the parties to avoid legislation or further litigation, but the parties are too far apart to reach an agreement, he said.
A complete meltdown betwixt and between the predatory developer carnivores who apparently own Utah Legislative leadership was a little to much to ask, we suppose. Of course an amiable settlement between the "Economic Wolves and Sheep" was something that we never reasonably expected to be in the cards either.

Who will be the first to comment?

The Economy: The Ticks Now Weigh More Than the Dog

But hey, we can always print money. Wheeee!

By Danny

Curm's dream economy has arrived:

Read the full accompanying article here:
CHART OF THE DAY: How The Government Payroll Replaced Goods-Producing Jobs
We're all socialists now.

More people now work for the gummint than people who make things. Add to that all the people on welfare, social security and then add the regulatory burden on the remaining productive workers, and you can see the problem.

The ticks now weigh more than the dog.

But hey, we can always print money. Wheeee!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Where Should the Streetcar Go?

Sounds like the City Council has its marching orders

Informative article in this morning's Standard-Examiner, highlighting the vast gap between the desires of the lumpencitizens regarding Ogden's proposed Streetcar System, and those of the UTA bureaucrats:
Where should Ogden public transportation go?
Std-Ex reporter Roy Burton poses this question:

Should an Ogden streetcar system serve as a regional people-mover, reducing traffic congestion and getting travelers from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible?
Or should its primary goal be transit doubling as an economic engine to drive the revitalization of the city's lowest-income neighborhood?
Seems to us that UTA bureaucrats, through their stubbornness (or sheer laziness/mendaciousness), are forcing a false dilemma. Why would a central city streetcar alignment not adequately serve all of the above-stated goals, we ask? The UTA's position makes no sense.

Encouraging admission by UTA bureaucrat G.J. LaBonty:

UTA project manager G.J. LaBonty said he would encourage Ogden and the City Council to hold a full public meeting on the transit project to gather input from other groups in addition to the Trolley District proponents."Ultimately, this is the city council's decision to make," LaBonty said. "I heard a comment in there that we, meaning the project team, will force a decision from the stakeholders. That's not the way this works at all. [Emphasis added].
Sounds like the City Council has its marching orders. We accordingly urge the council to get moving on this forthwith.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Godfrey Trip Yields "Connections"

How does bringing cheap Chinese toys help Ogden?

By Ray

The Standard Examiner features this Top of Utah section story today:
Godfrey trip yields connections
First, I doubt this 5 day trip only cost $2000 in public money. Second, how does bringing cheap Chinese toys help Ogden? Stocking stimulus funded Outlet Stores on Washington Blvd? Yeah, that will put Ogden on the map. Just like the unnamed potential outlet store businesses, the Chinese connections are Godfrey's secret. These "free market" Utah politicians (like Godfrey) sure like to use taxpayer funded junkets and stimulus dollars to pump up their supporters while whining about "socialist health care" for US citizens.

Who will be the first to comment?

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Few Words About the Latest Bone-head SCOTUS decision

Has the US Supreme Court taken a giant step toward ushering in the Brave New Corporo-fascist State?

Fantastic Cathy McKitrick story in this morning's Salt Lake Tribune, reporting on the US Supreme Court's latest bone-headed decision, which has had cable news pundits jabbering for the past 24 hours:
Supreme Court ruling could rain money on races
Ms. McKitrick's masterfully crafted opening paragraphs provide the gist:
In a decision decried by some as akin to hanging a giant "for sale" sign on federal elections and hailed by others as a victory for free speech, the U.S. Supreme Court swept aside a decades-old ban on corporate and union spending to sway voters.
The 5-4 ruling is a "huge deal," campaign finance experts in Utah said, noting that it likely will mean substantially more money pouring into November's midterm elections, already being framed as a referendum on President Barack Obama and the Democratically controlled Congress.
The country's high court, which shifted to the right with then-President George W. Bush's two appointments, rolled back a 63-year-old law barring corporations and unions from buying ads that promote or attack federal candidates. It also dismantles a ban in the 2002 McCain-Feingold Act on issue-oriented ads by companies or unions 30 days before a primary or 60 days before a general election.
"It's a very substantial reversal of decades of law," said David Magleby, a dean and professor of law at Brigham Young University who has authored more than a half dozen books on campaign finance.
"It has the potential of allowing corporations -- for instance, a Microsoft -- to spend millions and millions in particular races," Magleby said.
That kind of mega-influence could dwarf a candidate's ability to fight back, Magleby added.
The New York Times has a strong editorial on the subject too, opining that "[w]ith a single, disastrous 5-to-4 ruling, the Supreme Court has thrust politics back to the robber-baron era of the 19th century," and calling for immediate congressional action to "to limit the damage of this radical decision, which strikes at the heart of democracy":
The Court’s Blow to Democracy
The SLTrib editors also provide a considerably less frantic thumbnail summary of the effect of this decision in a text box beneath Ms. McKitrick's writeup:
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Congress cannot limit spending on elections by corporations, unions or other organizations. The decision leaves intact bans on companies and unions giving directly to candidates. [Emphasis added].
For those readers who are inclined to dig in deep, and refer to original sources, we helpfully provide a link to the High Court's decision right here:
Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission
The above-cited NYT editorial drills down to what we believe to be the major flaw in this latest Supreme Court decision, i.e., the court majority's erroneous treatment of "artificial" entities (such as corporations) as the equivalent of "natural entities" (living and breathing people) for First Amendment purposes.

Justice Stephens provides an expansive analysis on this (and various other) of the court's various "errors" in a brilliant 90-page dissenting opinion (see pdf page 88 et. seq.), and falls just short of calling his his conservative High Court judicial colleagues "boneheads." It's a fantastically well-reasoned tome, actually, as turgid SCOTUS dissenting opinions go.

Still, it' s a mere dissenting opinion; and it therefore doesn't have the force of law. And in the months to come we'll have to come to grips with the political dynamite which our "activist high court" has dropped onto the national political landscape.

Incidentally, we believe this decision will likely have implications in future elections... right down to the local "dogcatcher race." Although the decision is framed as a limitation on the federal Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, the "absolutist" principle that First Amendment rights are broadly applicable to corporate entities would logically apply to local races too.

So what about it, gentle readers? Does this latest Supreme Court decision signal the inexorable decline of "one man one vote" in America? Has the US Supreme Court taken a giant step toward ushering in the Brave New Corporo-fascist State? Will federal and state legislatures succeed in limiting the ill effects of this new Judicial Legislation prior to the 2010 General Election? Is the extension of full First Amendment rights to faceless corporations actually a "good thing" for America? Will the airwaves now be filled with corporate-financed Boss Godfrey infomercials in the months prior to the 2011 Emerald City Municipal Election?

The world-wide-blogosphere eagerly awaits our readers' ever-savvy comments.

Have at it, O Gentle Ones.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Juvenile Corrections Employee Faces Public Intoxication Charge

Beginning to think a little better of Mr. Killpack

By Curmudgeon

The Standard-Examiner has a story up this morning about a local juvenile corrections official arrested yesterday when she and her husband, passengers in a car driven by someone being arrested for DUI, belligerently and repeatedly, the police say, tried to interfere with UHP officers making the arrest of the driver:
Juvenile corrections employee faces public intoxication charge
Before being arrested herself, the juvenile corrections official told police they'd better do what she said, or she'd call her friend, Ogden's Police Chief [when the legislature's not in session at least], State Senator and Friend of the Mayor, Jon Greiner, to put the fix in. From the story:
"Jackie kept interfering, and she made threats," [police spokesman Scott] Sangberg said. "They gave her every opportunity ... she kept talking to police, threatening that she knows (Ogden Police Chief Jon) Greiner and she was going to talk to him."
So, the question naturally arises, how many other government officials in and about Ogden feel free to call on Chief Greiner to fix DUI problems for them when they run into policemen who think the DUI laws apply to everyone --- even friends of police chiefs who are friends of the Mayor?

I'm beginning to think a little better of Mr. Killpack, who had the good sense not to pull rank when he was arrested, not to threaten the arresting officers' jobs, and not to make calls to high-placed cronies to get him off the hook.

Salt Lake Tribune: Utah House GOP Backs (Bogus) Ethics Package

Let's not take any wooden nickles in this matter folks... please sign the UEG petition

The Salt Lake Tribune's Cathy McKitrick reports this morning on a fascinating (but troubling) development on the 2010 Utah Legislative front. As the Utahns for Ethical Government's grass-roots petition drive builds momentum for its citizens' initiative, which would establish an Independent Ethics Commission and a strict code of ethical conduct for the Utah Legislature, GOP House members are doing an end run, and putting together (behind closed doors) a reportedly "toothless version" of ethics reform all their own:
Utah House GOP backs ethics package
Unlike the aforementioned UEG initiative, which would enjoy, once enacted, the force of (amendable) statutory law, the House-designed version would be constitutional in nature, and if passed by a legislative 2/3 majority, would become part of the Utah constitution. The upshot of this... if the House GOP leadership's so-called ethics reform legislation is inadequate, it could only be modified by the highly burdensome constitutional amendment process. One University of Utah political science professor perhaps sums it up best:
Matthew Burbank, a political science professor at the University of Utah, called the House's Constitutional amendment proposal "an interesting development."
"An independent ethics commission has clearly been something that most Republicans have been dissatisfied with," Burbank said. "And now they're endorsing it and putting it into the Constitution."
"If it's designed to preempt the [UEG] initiative because the Legislature has already done it," Burbank added, "and if the Legislature creates an empty vessel that doesn't do anything -- that would be a very cynical move."
We imagine we'll be hearing considerable propaganda over the next month from "cynical" House (and Senate) GOP "leaders" about how they're delivering robust ethics reform in their "new and improved" ethics reform package.

Let's not take any wooden nickles in this matter folks. UEG petitions remain available for signatures at these locations. If you haven't yet signed the petition, please don't dawdle. The petition submission deadline -- April 1, 2010 -- is approaching fast.

We envision a probable November 2010 scenario whereby Utah voters will be confronted with two competing ethics reform packages for ballot approval: 1) the citizens' legitimate UEG legislation, and 2) our cynical legislative leaders' watered-down version. It will of be our mission of course to educate Utah voters about the differences between these packages prior to the election. In the interim however, we urge our readers to avoid being lulled into a false sense of confidence that our state legislature is finally responding to the 85% of Utah voters who demand serious ethics reform legislation. Don't neglect to sign the UEG petion.

Time now for our readers to chip in your own 2¢.

Don't let the cat get your tongues.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The "New" Ogden City Council Goes Haywire

We once again solicit those readers who attended last night's work session to take a few moments to let us know what the hell happened in the council discussion last night

As a followup to Monday's WCF article, wherein we provided a heads-up as to the continuing discussions with regard to last night's council work meeting...

Ace Reporter Schwebke now diligently provides more info on this story:
Council considers Mt. Ogden proposals
For those readers who didn't have the luxury of attending last night's council council work session... here are the two Mount Ogden Golf Course "rehab proposals" that Ace Reporter Schwebke mentions in the above-linked SE story:
Seems that the council has narrowed the Golf Course choice to only these two options, and that neither of these options even remotely resembles our earlier-discussed low-cost "minimalist" Option "B."

As to last night's discussion of the water tank situation, we're left scratching our heads wondering which direction the council will be going on this, inasmuch as neither Mr. Schwebke, nor the several WCF readers who were observed in attendance at last night's session saw fit to enlighten us about the Water Tank Discussion.

Nevertheless, we will endeavor to persevere, and once again solicit those readers who attended last night's work session to take a few moments to lodge their comments below, and let us know what the hell happened in the council discussion regarding THE WATER TANK(s).

Outta-Work Geigers To be Employed in Boss Godfrey's Economic Development Department?

Whoa! Sounds scary to us!

Interesting emailed info from one of our trusted gentle readers, an insider with respect to the crafty inter-dealings in and around Boss Godfrey's Tammany... oops... Emerald City Hall:
Ogden City's Public Services Director position has been offered to Jay Lowder, another yes-man of Godfrey, and definitely NOT what anyone nobody would call "a rocket scientist." I am told that he was offered and accepted this promotion and is currently salivating over Patterson's boy being blessed by the LDS/Chinese Ambassador of Goodwill…………Boss Godfrey.
In days to come……..maybe a couple of Geigers in Business Development, in which nepotism is illegal, but will probably be overlooked. Scott Brown's illicit actions were.
Geigers pulling down five-figure salaries in the Ogden City Community and Economic Development Department? After getting summarily canned by Descente?

Oh, Please.

Whoa! Sounds scary to us!

Standard-Examiner Editorial: Our Mayor In China

As investors, we taxpayers want to hear about all that went on, positive and otherwise

Now that Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey has gone to China in an effort to recruit businesses to Junction City, we look forward to receiving a full, public recap -- by our mayor -- of the trip's goals and what has been accomplished for the city. [...]
The China trip was paid for by taxpayers. As investors, we taxpayers want to hear about all that went on, positive and otherwise.

Standard-Examiner Editorial
OUR VIEW: Our mayor in China
January 19, 2010
We'll start this morning's discussion by casting the spotlight upon a fine editorial in the Standard-Examiner this a.m., aptly calling for a full report on Boss Godfrey's now-concluded China trip:
OUR VIEW: Our mayor in China
Boss Godfrey's been doing plenty of world traveling lately on the taxpayer's dime, as the editorial board notes; so we'll join with the Standard in demanding a full report. We agree that it's now incumbent upon our mayor to allay our suspicions that this cross-global excursion was a mere pleasure trip. Godfrey has at his disposal the ideal communications platform to fully inform us whether our taxpayer dollars were well-spent, and to be "specific about individuals and businesses that were on his 'city-business agenda' in China." We therefore strongly urge The Little Lord to get crackin'.

Chime in, O Gentle Readers. The World-Wide-Webosphere awaits your ever-savvy comments.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Heads-up on Tomorrow Night's Council Work Session - UPDATED

Introducing a revolutionary new concept: Don't buy stuff you cannot afford!
UPDATE: Check out the supplementary council packet docs below

Just for the sake of caution, we'll highlight a couple of important items which are apparently coming up on tomorrow's (Tuesday, 1/19/10) City Council Work Session calender. Although the Council's online agenda doesn't show it, we spotted these items on the Standard-Examiner's "Council Agendas" section on Sunday; and we therefore believe we need to bring these prospective matters to everyone's attention:
Ogden City Council
5:30 p.m. study session, 2549 Washington Boulevard.
6 p.m., regular meeting
Amend zoning map to reclassify zones at 3701 Harrision Blvd.
Adjourn to work session to discuss Mount Ogden Golf Course,
36th/46th Street water and transmission line CIP amendment,
and council business [Emphasis added.]
We unsuccessfully attempted this morning to obtain an electronic copy of the council packet for the tomorrow's meeting; but unfortunately we've far come up dry, since today is the Martin Luther King Holiday; and both the Council and Recorder's offices are evidently closed for the day. We'll keep trying of course. Maybe we'll have greater luck obtaining these documents tomorrow. If we do succeed in this in advance of the meetings, we'll post the documents here as an update, of course.

In the meantime we'll suggest that interested readers circle tomorrow's council sessions on their calenders, in the hope that we'll have at least a few lumpencitizen eyes and ears at the work session.

And to our new council, which hasn't yet met as a body to endure what we expect to be another classic Boss Godfrey "Blue Sky" sales pitch, we'll offer this bit of free advice: Don't buy stuff you cannot afford!

For those Council Members who may be unclear about this concept, we're also delighted to present the following highly-instructive video:

Readers who attend tomorrow night's work session are strongly encouraged, of course, to report back here with their comments and observations. We'll leave the lights on, for sure. Pre-meeting comments are also invited, of course. Knock yourselves out, O Gentle Ones. Update 1/19/10 12:00 p.m.: For the benefit of those readers who are planning to attend tonight's council work session, we're pleased to provide these supplementary council packet documents, which frame the issues which will be discussed at tonight's work meeting:
Continued Discussion of Council and Mayor Regarding the Mount Ogden Golf CourseCIP Amendment for 5-Million Gallon Water Tank
Once again, we'll keep the lower comments section open for any possible post-meeting discussion.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Godfrey Administration Reveals Identity of Proposed River Project Developer

California developer could seek yet-to-be determined monetary incentives from the city and tax increment financing to assist in the project

By Twitter Eater

The Standard-Examiner is now reporting, at long last, the name of the Godfrey Administrations' proposed River Project developer:
OGDEN -- A California-based company has submitted a master plan agreement to the Ogden Redevelopment Agency in hopes of undertaking the long-awaited Ogden River Project. Marina del Rey-based Lee Homes reportedly has completed construction projects valued at about $500 million over the last five years, and Jeff Lee, company president, said it is well positioned to oversee the building of residential and retail structures as part of the Ogden River Project."We think we are the kind of people to do a really good job for the city of Ogden," he said in a recent telephone interview. [...]
Ogden's administration presented the RDA board, made up of city council members, with a master plan agreement for the river project during a closed executive session Tuesday night, said Tom Christopulos, the city's business development manager. [...]
Lee hopes to meet with the RDA board soon to detail his company's proposal for the 60-acre mixed-use development that would straddle the Ogden River from 18th to 20th streets and Washington Boulevard to Wall Avenue. [...]
Lee said his company became aware of the river project because his father, Harlan Lee, chairman of Lee Homes, is a close friend of Gadi Leshem. [...]
Lee Homes could seek yet-to-be determined monetary incentives from the city and tax increment financing to assist in the project, Lee said.
Read the full article here:
Ogden River Project closer
Who will be the first to comment?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dew Tour Street Party: "Super-Sick & Sweet" - UPDATED

Tough luck for Boss Godfrey, who unfortunately missed out on the party last night

By Fuzzy Stoner Boy

Event last night kicked ass! Here's this morning's lede from the Standard-Examiner:
OGDEN -- Downtown Ogden streets were packed Friday night with people ready to party like rock stars and welcome the Dew Tour to town.
With most of the main events of the Dew Tour on deck today and Sunday at Snowbasin, Friday's block party downtown served as a warm-up act for the winter action sports festivities.
A few thousand people gathered near Historic 25th Street and Grant Avenue, waiting patiently in the cold for the featured act, a free concert by rock band Dashboard Confessional.
More wandered in and out of downtown shops, while others got autographs from Dew Tour stars at the Salomon Center in The Junction. [...]
The celebration was scheduled to continue late into the night with an afterparty at Brewski's on Historic 25th Street.
More from this morning's Std-Ex story:
Crowd converges on free Dew Tour Dashboard Confessional show
Ogden is so baked...

Last Night's 25th Street Dew Tour Street Party

Editor's addendum:
Tough luck for Boss Godfrey, who unfortunately missed out on the party, due to a late-calendered "out of town business trip." A celebration like this would be right up his alley, no? He's supposed to be the danged Godfather of Emerald City High Adventure Outdoor Recreation, right?

Who will be the first to comment?

Update 1/17/10 11:55 p.m.: Freeskier Magazine gushes favorably on this topic, and includes a delightful Thursday night anecdote:
Snowbasin Dew Tour Kick Off Party gets wild... fro Utah:
Music once again soothes the savage beast... "Don't stop believing," folks!

Ogden obviously still knows how to party, despite ten years under Boss Godfrey's Iron Fist.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Emerald City Kicks Off the Dew Tour... the Biggest Ogden Event Since the 2002 Olympics

Where O where is Ogden's Ambassador of High Adventure Good Will? Oh that's right... he's blown off The Dew Tour and is vacationing in China

OK Folks, as Emerald City's biggest Ogden Boosters, (Weber County Forum) we gotta ask this: "Where is Ogden Mayor Boss Godfrey during the "Dew Tour" Mountain Games?"

To our home-town newspapers' credit, they've been hyping this important local "high-adventure" event for weeks. As a matter of fact, the Standard-Examiner has no fewer than three articles up on their Live! website today, here , here and here , promoting this important event. Not only that, the Std-Ex has a great piece in it's "Go Section" on the Digital Edition site today, highlighting the gratuitous performance of One of America's Great American Bands, Dashboard Confessional, who'll be performing on a bandstand on 25th Street (a'la now Godfrey-banned old-tyme Street Fest Performances) ; and entertaining Dew Tour attendees later on in the evening, at Ogden City's most venerable and hospitable local pub... Brewski's .

So the question of the day is this for our gentle readers is this: In an atmosphere where the "Winter Dew Tour" becomes by far the most robust and important Ogden "High Adventure" Ogden event since the 2002 Winter Olympics... where is the little twit? Is he present on the scene, to roll out the red carpet to Dew Tour visitors from around the world? Is he playing the role of Ogden's Ambassodor of Good Will, to welcome tourists from all around the world to Ogden?

Oh that's right... nope... he's halfway across the globe, vacationing in China.

We humbly appeal to what's left of Godfrey's remaining half-dozen Gondolist Loyalist Lemmings. WTH is up with Boss Godfrey?

We confess we stand by with abated breath, waiting to learn the true meaning of all this.

Who will be the first to comment?

New Information On Boss Godfrey's Newest Percipient Downtown Landgrab

Ogden City Council videos are now up on the city website; and in our view, they're already returning dividends

As we reported earlier in the week, Ogden City Council videos are now up on the city website; and in our view, they're already returning dividends. Regular readers will of course remember our WCF article of article of January 11, when we reported that the Ogden RDA Board had temporarily dropped a troubling agenda item from the January 12 RDA calender, wherein the Administration had sought a "blight designation" for a stretch of properties along the east side of Washington Boulevard, in possible preparation for a new foray into exercise of the evil power of eminent domain. Whereas we'd reported that the area affected ran from 23rd street to 24th, we now learn (thanks to information contained in the most recently posted council video,) that the Godfrey administration's "target area" is much larger than that.

We've now had an opportunity to view the video from the council's 1/12/09 RDA meeting; and here's the new information which we've gleaned:
1) The target area actually encompasses a full 4 downtown city blocks, from 20th to 24th; and east from Washington to Adams Avenue.
2) The administration has already completed a blight study of the area, and is in possession of "findings" which would support statutory "blight condition" criteria within a broader 32-block area.
3) The matter was removed from the RDA calender to allow the city's blight study consultant to fine tune its findings to the above-mentioned 4-block area alone.
4) The matter will be returned to the RDA calender as early as March, as soon as the consultant can produce a new blight study report, which is specifically tailored to the 4-block area which Boss Godfrey now covets.
We encourage interested readers to navigate to the Ogden City Council Video Page, launch the January 12 council (RDA) video, and fast forward to 3:08 minutes, at which point deputy director of community and economic development Richard McConkie goes on at some length to explain the Administration's current posture regarding this newly-proposed RDA project boondoggle.

At this point we have no information as the specific plans which Boss Godfrey has for this area. What we do know is that the Administration has recently been rattling effected property owners with written material threatening the use of eminent domain, and that several property owners in the area have contacted us to express their strong concerns.

We'll be keeping on top of this story as it develops, of course; and we hope interested readers appreciate this most recent but necessarily incomplete update.

Additional reader comments are invited, of course.

Is there anyone among our vast WCF readership who can add insider info to this story?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fire Department to Make 20,000 Contacts This Winter Under Guise of Replacing Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Detector Batteries

The true purpose: to find homes that are really rentals

By: Fines and Fees are We, Welcome to Ogden

Please be advised that the Mayor has now assigned the Fire Department to make 20,000 contacts this winter, knocking on doors of single family homes under the guise of replacing smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries.

The true purpose is to find homes that are really rentals. The information is uploaded nightly to City Hall, so that the fines and fees can begin for the violators.

All training, for the Fire Department and having engines respond as first responders to medical emergencies will cease until the goal has been met.

More revenue means more hair brained schemes by the little guy on nine.

My advice is: if the fire department comes a-knocking, stay cozied up to the fire place, hope the health department doesnt show up either, and don't answer the door.

By the way, this action is in retaliation for the Fire Fighters endorsing Council Candidates deemed to be unfriendly to the Godfrey Administration.

Standard-Examiner: Godfrey Seeks Business In China

Does Boss Godfrey think the Chinese are going to bring high paying jobs to Ogden?

By Biker Babe

Mayor Godfrey is off to China:
Godfrey seeks business in China
Godfrey: "O, you didn't get the memo? - I left today (Wednesday) to find businesses to come to Ogden. "

Chair Gochner: "I hope his trip is productive" [because all of his others have done nothing but cost us money]... after she read the email that he'd gone to China.

Does Boss Godfrey think the Chinese are going to bring high paying jobs to Ogden? Are these the scratch & dent & lead & cadmium & baby formula poison people he needs to fill up the eminent domain blight in the downtown?

Big question here: Do WE THE CITIZENS OF OGDEN want them? Who told him to go there? Who advised him on this? With folks quitting the Community & Economic Development Department right & left, is the typing staff qualified to offer such advice?


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Corroon Stumps in Junction City

Boss Godfrey apparently didn't even bother to step outside to say "howdy-do"

Inasmuch as Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon's 2010 gubernatorial candidacy has been a recent topic of WCF discussion, we think it appropriate to note this morning's Di Lewis story, which reports that Emerald City was the second venue in yesterday's Corroon campaign gubernatorial candidacy announcement tour:
Corroon stumps in Junction City
Notably, Mayor Corroon was greeted by "...a small crowd huddled Tuesday afternoon outside the Ogden Municipal Building, braving the cold to listen to Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon...;" and Boss Godfrey apparently didn't even have the graciousness to bother to step outside to say "howdy-do" to his mayoral colleague. Having said this however, we do realize that graciousness has never been Boss Godfrey's "strong suit."

In that connection we'll invite any of our readers who may have attended Mayor Corroon's Emerald City pit-stop to chime in with your own impressions, observations or other details which might not have made it into Ms. Lewis's morning report.

The floor's open, O Gentle Ones.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Breaking: Weber County Sheriff Brad Slater Announces His Retirement

We duly congratulate Sheriff Slater for his many years of dedicated and highly competent public service

Here's an interesting followup to a comment posted under a WCF article below, by Gentle Reader Sheriff not running for re-election:
Sheriff Brad Slater is not running for re-election this year...
Good news he has groomed a field of men and women to replace him...I for one will miss Sheriff Slater!
We've contacted Sheriff Slater, who confirms, that after 30 years' service in the Weber County Sheriff's Office, he'll now be stepping down and retiring at the end of the year. Sheriff Slater has also graciously provided us an electronic copy of his memorandum of resignation, which we link (with mixed feelings) below:
Slater Retirement Memo
We agree, by the way, with Gentle Reader Sheriff's post about Sheriff Slater not running for re-election with regard to this: "I for one will miss Sheriff Slater!"

We too.

We duly congratulate Sheriff Slater for his many years of dedicated and highly competent public service; and we also agree that Sheriff Slater will be "much missed," after his retirement in January 2011.

Sheriff Slater also told us he'll be endorsing his preferred Weber County Sheriff successor, possibly as early as early the Weber County GOP Nominating Convention.

With this in mind, we can't wait to endorse Sheriff Slater's "Pick."

Update 1/13/10 7:00 a.m.: The Standard-Examiner now has the story up on its website:
Weber sheriff won't run for re-election

WCF Housekeeping Note: Ogden City Council Videos Now Available Through Two Sources

There will be no need for the citizens of Ogden City to ever again rely upon second-hand, hearsay Council reports (we hope)

Over the past several years Weber County Forum has extensively lobbied for the online publication of Ogden City Council session videos. For a random sampling of some of our earlier grousing, WCF readers can find our most recent rants on this subject here and here.

We expressed our delight back on August 6, when it appeared that the city-owned Channel 17 and the Standard-Examiner had begun begin broadcasting pre-recorded Ogden City Council sessions, starting that very day. Unfortunately, our celebration proved to be premature, inasmuch as the council video broadcast which we were raving about turned out to be a "one shot deal;" and subsequent regular broadcasts were never made available through either the Channel 17 or Std-Ex sites. "Technical problems"... we suppose.

For those who may have missed it however, Gentle Curmudgeon published an update on this subject in a lower comments section about a week ago; and we'll incorporate this comment here on the front page, just to get everyone up to speed on the current status of the long-sought city council video broadcasts:
The recent Ogden City Council meeting tape is up on line via Channel 17. Link here.
I couldn't find the link myself on the city site so I asked the Council's communications person, Ms. Heaton, and she located it for me. There are two council meeting tapes up at the site and it seems that's where future Council meeting tapes will be posted. I'm not sure if, or when, they'll be aired by Channel 17.
We've also been notified by former councilwoman Dorrene Jeske that the Ogden City website is now featuring council videos too:
Have you seen this? After many years of our grousing, it seems Ogden City now has council videos up on the city website:
Ogden City Website - Council Video
Thus, it would seem that the powers that be have finally responded to our laborsome petitions and have finally made provision for Emerald City Lumpencitizens to view full council sessions, from the comfort of their home-based Barcaloungers®. There will be no need (if all goes according to plan) for the citizens of Ogden City to ever again rely upon second-hand, hearsay reports of the antics of the Godfrey Administration (or the Council) in the future (we hope).

As an added bonus, we've checked the Channel 17 schedule; and it appears that recent council sessions will also be broadcast over Comcast Channel 17 at least once daily.

A Weber County Forum Tip O the Hat therefore goes out to Channel 17, and to the gnomes of the Ogden City Internet Technology Department.

And to our WCF readers we say this: A lot of folks have gone to a lot of trouble to make these important government transparency resources available to us. Let's not drop the ball on this. We hope that after all our grousing, our readers will make extensive use of these council videos.

For those readers who'd like to easily access these resources, btw, we've added the Ogden City website's "Council Video Page" to our right sidebar "Government Toolkit."

Who will be the first to comment on the apparent progress being made in the direction of Emerald City government transparency?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Boss Godfrey Gets Back Into Eminent Domain Mode

Eminent Domain still remains in Boss Godfrey's "Socialist Bag of Tricks"

For those gullible and politically-unsavvy ones amongst us who seem to believe that Boss Godfrey may have possibly abandoned his grand socialist tendencies, and is softening his iron-handed tyrannical approach, we have news for you all:

During the last month, Boss Godfrey, (coincidentally the winner of the Ogden Joe Stalin Lookalike Contest), has been notifying building owners along Washington Boulevard, in the area between 23d and 24th, that he's about to "take" their land by eminent domain. Godfrey wants to have the RDA Board declare that area "blighted," according to property owner reports which we've received.

The "Blighted" designation, of course means that Godfrey could now exercise the once-banned government Utah power of Municipal Eminent Domain, which evil power his thoroughly-twisted GOP NeoCON cousin, Scott Jenkins (R-Plain City), helped resurrect in Utah in 2007.

Thankfully, the matter regarding the preposterous 23d-24th Street "blight matter" has now been taken off the RDA calender by the Smart People on the Council/RDA Board, apparently:
6. Notice: (No Action)
a. Ogden East Washington Urban Renewal Area within the East Central Survey Area. The previously scheduled public hearing regarding the proposed East Washington Urban Renewal Project Area for January 12, 2010 has been cancelled. Public notice will be provided again 30 days in advance of the rescheduled public hearing.
Nevertheless, don't ever think that property owners in the area weren't sweating bullets for several weeks about this Big Godfrey Socialist Land-grab, thanks to our Big-Time Socialist Mayor, Boss Godfrey. And don't think for a moment that they won't be even more righteously ticked off, once our tyrannical right-wing socialist mayor gets the matter back on the RDA calender, which he reportedly will do.

We've heard several property owners in that area who severely complained about this, and we'll add that these properties are objectively not "blighted" under even fuzzy definitions of that legalistic term. Details like that don't seem to effect the little socialist shite, however, when he's planning to take properties away from Ogden property owners, and re-distribute them to his crony "friends."

We dunno about the rest of you people; but we at WCF don't believe any of these admittedly vacant, but high-quality properties qualify to be absorbed into another Godfrey-driven "blighted" RDA Project.

Watch out for Boss Godfrey! He'll again have his Washington Blvd. land-grab up again on the RDA calender very soon!

We already believe he's moved into "bunker mentality", BTW, now that his Godfrey-rubber-Stamp-Council WASN'T elected in November 2009.

Gotta say it's sad to see the little fellow now "melting down."

Until we find him "vacationing" down there in
"Scenic Draper," (along with his pal Val Southwick) however, we don't think he should be under-estimated.

So what say our gentle readers about all this?

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