Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Standard-Examiner: OWCAP's Management of Marshall White Center to Continue for 3 Years

All's well that ends well... as the old saying goes

Good news from the Standard-Examiner this morning, whereby Scott Schwebke reports that despite its tumultuous initial startup, private contractor Ogden-Weber Community Action Partnership (OWCAP) is happily succeeding in its management effort at the Marshall White Center, and has even upped the ante, with a newly-inked three-year management contract:

OGDEN -- The city has extended a three-year contract to the Ogden-Weber Community Action Partnership for continued management of the Marshall White Community Center.John Patterson, the city's chief administrative officer, and George Garwood, chairman of OWCAP's board of trustees, signed the management agreement Monday during a ceremony at the center, 222 28th St., in conjunction with Black History Month.OWCAP, which has been managing the Marshall White Community Center for the city on an interim basis since June, has made the facility more vibrant and popular with residents, Patterson told dozens of spectators. "It's just enlivened this facility."
Read the full Std-Ex story here:
OWCAP's management of Marshall White Center to continue for 3 years
Regular readers will of course remember the OWCAP management runup, during which Boss Godfrey negotiated the original contract in secret, ran headlong into fierce community opposition, and was eventually thwarted in his efforts to close the pool and cut city funding to MWC by a city council budget ordinance which contained a council policy statement mandating that the pool would remain open and that MWC funding would continue to flow into MWC operations. And who can forget the ensuing further antics of the petulant Boss Godfrey, who vetoed the council ordinance, suffered a subsequent veto override, threw several highly-inelegant public temper tantrums and then vowed that he would not obey council policy directives and would instead see the city council in court?

Well... fast forward to February 23, 2010... from which vantage point it seems the OWCAP management operation is evidently running smooth as silk, funding is flowing from city coffers to keep MWC operational (No gentle readers, OWCAP never scored the $450 thousand federal grant it applied for), and Boss Godfrey sits back in his ninth floor throne room slowly digesting the nutritious dinner which was served up to him by the City Council grownups during the year 2009:

All's well that ends well... as the old saying goes.


Curmudgeon said...

Good news for MWC patrons, but sadly Mr. Schwebke left out out much of the context of the Ogden/ OWCAP story and so much of the significance of what happened yesterday. The story doesn't report, for example, that OWCAP was talking about closing the pool in order to use the space to construct more classrooms, unless money from federal grants it intended to apply for was sufficient to finance building classrooms elsewhere on the property. Or that OWCAPs ability to win federal grants was the main motive, the Godfrey administration said, for leasing the MWC to OWCAP in the first place.

Mr. Schwebke's story does reveal that Mr. John "Trueheart" Patterson, chief administrative flack, tiptoed v-e-r-y c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y around the fact that the Council was prudent to have included money in the budget for MWC operations in case the Godfrey-promised federal grants didn't materialize [as they didn't], and around the fact that, all Hizzonah's red-faced bravado about ignoring the Council's veto notwithstanding, he has decided to use the money he objected to the Council including in the budget exactly as the Council wanted it used. All we find in the story regarding that is Council Chairwoman Gochnour's diplomatic statement that's she's glad the Mayor decided to comply with the Council's policy and budget ordinance. Nary a word about the veto, or the veto over-ride or the Mayor's angry insistence that he was going to ignore the over-ride, as important context for understanding the significance of what happened yesterday. It's a weaker story without that context. Not one of the SE's finer moments, I'm afraid.

Curmudgeon said...


I found it interesting that Mr. "Pureheart" Patterson, Hizzonah's No. 2, was dispatched to do the honors for the Godfrey Administration at the MWC. Normally, it would take iron chains and a team of wild horses to keep Hizzonah, Mayor Godfrey, away from a ceremony and photo op like this. But somehow, yesterday, he couldn't make it and sent his No.2 in his place.

Reminded me of the infamous tale, true by the way, about General Cornwallis at Yorktown. When he realized he had no choice but to surrender his army to the combined forces of France and the Continental Army, come surrender day, he couldn't summon the courage to do the deed himself. So he claimed illness and sent his second in command out to surrender his army to General Washington. Sound familiar?


you hoo said...

Crow is pretty good with Ketchup, or at least that's what I hear from the Little Lord.

Danny said...

Nice commentary, Curm.

I wonder if Gochnour and the other council members noticed how easy it all was.

1. Council looked into things.
2. Council didn't agree with Godfrey and went against him.
3. Godfrey administration was proven wrong as they usually are.
4. Godfrey temper tantrum was all just hot air from an immature incompetent.
5. Council did its job, it turned out well, and nothing bad happened all.

Points for the council to remember, it seems.

Disgusted said...

Two points

it used to cost the city $300,000 per year to run the facilty and now it will be costing the city $360,000 per year,

second the mission of the operator has changed. Several good programs no longer exit.

Not sure the residents actually are better with this announment.

Curmudgeon said...


Have any sources for change in mission of operator, and for the programs that have been dropped?

Colonel Jessup said...

I think that mayor just may have shown just cause for a program that cost money instead of make money. I guess that the golf course is now a non issued as for the golf course losing money.

ozboy said...

Does any one have the actual numbers associated with the MWC before and after this group took over. Also what has changed and what hasn't, and finally - are the patrons being served better or worse since the change in management?

In other words, what changed and how much does it cost the tax payers versus what did it cost?

OgdenLover said...

This reminds me. We never did get an accounting of Godfrey's China trip, now did we?

Curmudgeon said...


No, we didn't. And after the SE in an editorial assured its readers that a full accounting from the mayor would certainly be forthcoming when he returned, it has given him an editorial silent pass on his silence ever since.

Imagine that.

OWCAP said...

OWCAP would like to respond to some of these comments posted here, to clarify.
In previous years, funding for the Marshall White Center has run as high as $700,000/year and the low end for budgeting was $420,000, though they were looking at dropping that to about $340,000, an amount the current management and city council said was not enough to run the facility. Per our agreement with Ogden City, we will be reimbursed UP TO $30,000 per month for operating costs, AFTER assuming all revenue from the center (approximately $5,000 per month)…so far we have consistently run costs BELOW that figure, and have put all savings back into the center with new exercise equipment, paint, and additional staff. OWCAP charges the city NOTHING for management services of the facility, nor do we profit monetarily in ANY way from this agreement. In fact, OWCAP’s Head Start program pays the city $50,000 a year in rent for three class rooms, the ONLY program that uses the facility that pays the city anything, including the Boys & Girls Club and Weber Human Services Happy Hours Senior Program.
As for programs that have not continued? Please name them for us. Not only have ALL programs that were running at the center on June 30, 2009 continued upon assuming management responsibilities, but we have added: karate, tai chi, yoga, Spanish language classes, cooking classes, ARRA (stimulus) funded youth programming, Zumba, weight training classes, personal trainer services, a women’s fitness class, indoor tennis, a beautiful new youth room and increased the boxing program SIGNIFICANTLY from recent years. This has all been accomplished in the past 8 months. We have applied for RAMP funds to restore the tennis courts and are working with the US Tennis Association to bring in youth tennis programs. We have accomplished ALL of this with less money than was being put into the center prior to our management. All community events, ie: Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, Martin Luther King Day breakfast, Black History Month, Easter egg hunt, Cinco de Mayo, and Halloween, have continued. In fact, this year’s Halloween celebration was a HUGE success with well over 500 in attendance! We have also held community forums there, including 2 Gang awareness public forums. Just this week we honored the White family during our Black History Month Celebration, presenting them with a portrait of Marshall N. White, that will hang in the center, where previously there was none.
Anyone who is questioning whether or not the center is “better” since we stepped in to help preserve the center for the community, obviously was not using the facility on a regular basis before or after the change in management. Please go speak with regular patrons of the center and ask them.
There was a lot of opposition to this management agreement. There was a lot of false speculation and miscommunication surrounding the agreement. OWCAP was looking for more space for our Head Start program. We listened to the community and the City Council and agreed that the City needed to fund the center for the community. While we continue to apply for funding to improve the center, it became apparent that the core of the funding needed to come from the city, and it was the right thing for the city to do.
For many years now OWCAP has been a staple (this, our 45th year) in this community for providing services to low income families and to EVERYONE in this community with a vast array of programs. Helping to preserve the Marshall White Center for future generations seemed a natural fit for us, and we truly believe we have done a good job. Go spend some time there, participate in the considerable assortment of classes and programs, and THEN come give us your HONEST and INFORMED feedback.

Pink-O said...

Good information OWCAP. The questions were raised on this board because they were never talked about publicly (as far as I know), and the Standard Examiner was very vague w/ their article. Kudos! for the job you have been doing and keeping the center thriving as an important part of our community.

ozboy said...


Assuming what you wrote about your operation of the MWC is true and doesn't leave out any other pertinent stuff - and I have no reason to believe otherwise - Congratulations on taking a troubled situation and making it better for the less fortunate citizens of Ogden.

I think the distrust in the community surrounding your taking over of the MWC was because of the connection and involvement of the mayor. It is pretty well accepted by a large part of the Ogden community that the mayor is dishonest, manipulative and definitely not a friend or supporter of our poor and dark skinned brothers and sisters. Perhaps you were guilty by association.

Curmudgeon said...


Thanks for the reply. Let me reiterate Pink-O's point: someone raised a question about terminated programs and costs. Some of us asked for detail regarding the questions. And you've provided an answer. It's one of the useful things about WCF. Questions can be answered by the people involved swiftly and without the space limits and selectivity a reporter would impose.

Thanks again for the reply. And I'm glad, as I presume you are, that the Council was wise enough to ignore the Mayor's snit fit when he vetoed a continuing budget line for MWC operations after 1 Jan 2010, and to over-ride his veto to keep the funds in the budget.

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