Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kudos to Council Members Susie Van Hooser, Amy Wicks, Neil Garner and Bart Blair!

City Council Notes: Four City Council members demonstrate that they have the best interest of the City’s employees at heart and are not afraid to vote their conscience

By Dorrene Jeske

Kudos to Council members Susie Van Hooser, Amy Wicks, Neil Garner and Bart Blair for voting to retain the current negotiating process for Ogden City employees! Read the Standard-Examiner writeup here:
City council rejects resolution to change wage negotiations
This council vote gives each group involved in the process as close to an equal voice as possible.

The first year that I was on the Council, negotiations were a nightmare with the Ogden Police Benefit Association and Ogden Fire Local 1654 Union going to impasse. The negotiating process in place then put the council in a very awkward position. We had only one source from which to gather negotiation information and that was the administration. The employees were unhappy because they felt that their views and concerns were not being fairly presented to the council. It was very clear that that form of negotiations did not work. The next year Council leadership and staff searched for a different method for negotiations – that method is known as “Interest Based Problem Solving” whereby each of the employee groups, the administration and council each had three representatives that provided each group’s views and concerns. These negotiations usually started in October or at least by the first of the year, and members were trained or received a refresher course so that it was a positive process for everyone. The first year that the“IBPS” system was used, it was unbelievably successful; and the walls of distrust started to come down.

Negotiations went well the next year, but the third year was fraught with problems because:

Problem 1) The Mayor had made up his mind that the city was going to adopt an “incentive” plan no matter what. He met with the council before negotiations started late March and told us his plans. He was told that what he was proposing did not follow the IBPS negotiation process in which he had refused to be trained.

Problem 2) Not enough time to discuss issues.

That year I was on the IBPS team representing the council along with Chair Wicks and Vice Chair Stephens, and I must say that the three employee groups demonstrated an open-minded and accepting attitude.

Problem 3) It was apparent right from the start that the group from the administration had one goal in mind and that was to see that the city adopted the incentive program.

Problem 4) The administration was so determined that they had included the moderator for the IBPS process who was supposed to be neutral throughout the negotiations. The administration had “reached” her and this made a bad situation worse. Their plan was that no one would receive any kind of rate/step increase that July when raises were traditionally given to employees following a performance evaluation – that would make it 18 months that employees would not receive an increase in pay. This was alright for the administration because they had received their “bonuses” the previous October, but created a hardship for many of the employees.

The administration wants to change the negotiation process from the Interest Based Problem Solving approach, which was very successful the first couple of years to one that he and his management team can better control.

THANK YOU, SUSIE, AMY, BART AND NEIL! Many of us are grateful that you have the best interest of the City’s employees at heart and that you not afraid to vote your conscience. On the other hand, I can’t find the words to express my disappointment in Chair Gochnour’s vote last night. I am also disappointed in Councilman Stephens's vote, but not surprised at his or Councilman Stephenson’s votes, inasmuch as these two council members are more interested in staying friends with the Mayor than in doing what's right for Ogden City employees.

34 comments:

hose nose said...

The rerason that the negotiations did not work, and the reason that IBPS has a black eye, and the reason that the Mayors proposed negotiations wont work, is because of one group, that being the City Administration. They are the common denomonator in all failed communications between employees, public, and council. There is no trust what so ever between Admin, and others.

He wont participate in the IBPS either. So we have nothing else to do, except to wait until he fades away like a bad smelling fart.

Ogden City Mushroom employee said...

Thanks Dorrene for bringing out the truth about negotiations.

The whole bunch of City Administration are nothing more than a pack of rats.

Smelly Fart said...

If the Mayor would stop fleecing funds from other departments for stupid projects that fail or don't even get off the ground, the city would have use of their funds for services and salaries, not special deals for his chosen few. It is too bad that the workers have to put up with this guy any longer, let alone, two more years. We could only hope to have the little crook removed earlier than expected. He is a very bad smelly fart and little turd that needs flushing now!

blackrulon said...

It is a shame that the cloak of invisibility and the curse of silence overcomes Amy Wicks, Bart Blair, Susan Van Hoser and Neil Gardner when the council meeting adjourns. That can be the only reason Scott Schwebke failed to ask them the reasons for their vote on this matter. Schwebke seems to have no problem finding someone to express the official administration viewpoint but fails to see or hear anyone on the council that opposes the administratioin plans. It would be a nice and welcome change if the reporter could hear more than one viewpoint on issues reported on in the local paper.

A Humble Public Servant said...

I would also like to express my appreciation to those four courageous council members. Mrs. Jeske is an authority on this subject as she has seen the process from the beginning, the “Van Gate” and “Gondola man” period, to now. As she has described, the process was very successful up until the City Administration didn’t want to play by the rules. This is an old shoe for Lord Farquaad and his two court jesters, Johnson and Paterson.

I believe that the IBPS process was attacked by the City Administration in the same manner that brought it to being. Behind closed doors they misinformed the Council as to its problems and took advantage of those new council members who didn’t understand the history that brought it into practice.

This excuse cannot be told by Ms. Gochnour, who met with both the Police Association and the Fire Department’s Union. In these meetings she was fully educated on the historical facts that brought us to the IBPS process. Obviously she had other motives, by proof of her vote, and she is I believe, a closet friend of the Mayor, and one who I will take an active part against in her next election.

These are the types of decisions that define who a Council Member really is and what they stand for.
It was in 2006 that the Council was the savior of this city employees by instituting a process that kept veteran public safety workers serving Ogden City Citizens. Now in 2010, they, the four heroes, have repeated the brave act and have sent a message to Mayor Godfrey that his goal of dictator will not be tolerated. As Ms. Jeske did in her time on the Council, these four truly represent the people and are deserving of our admiration.

This was a huge victory, but just one battle in a long war. A war that does not have a chance to be won until November of 2011, when we can elect a new Mayor. There are many battles to come, between now and then. We must see them through to a time where Citizen Godfrey is the only title bestowed upon a small minded figure in our community.

Curmudgeon said...

I found this in the story interesting:

Mark Johnson, the city’s management services director, said because the 2010-2011 budget is already being prepared, it may be difficult to complete the interest-based negotiation process with expedience.

Let me see if I understand what that might mean: that Mr. Johnson began budget prep this year as if the proposal which was defeated last night was already in effect, and now he's claiming he doesn't have sufficient time to do the budget the way the existing resolution requires that it be done?

If Mr. Johnson was directed by Hizzonah, Mayor Godfrey, to ignore the resolution currently in force and to proceed as if the resolution the Mayor hoped would be approved was already in effect, he needs to say that. Otherwise, his acting in violation of the existing policy set by the Council, thus creating the budget jam he now says exists can be attributed only to his own incompetence, seems to me.

So whose idea was it to ignore the existing policy, Mr. Johnson? Yours or Boss Godfrey's? Inquiring minds want to know!

hose nose said...

Curm
It was Boss Godfrey who decide to not participate in the IBPS back in January at the first scheduled meeting. His decision alone, he didnt bring his thoughts to the table, for any type of discussion. just done.
His actions tied the hands of Council since Administeration would not send anyone to represent them, he told coucnil if they made any adjustm,ents to fund anything concerning employee benefits, that he would not follow. He wants everything his way and thats final.

Dorrene Jeske said...

Curm,
As we all know, the Mayor doesn’t like to be a team player and the IBPS process involves bringing the issues to the table, discussing them and coming to a compromise that is a win-win situation for everyone. In Godfrey’s court, there is only one winner and the IBPS process has been a difficult one for him to accept.

While I was still on the Council, last December Mr. Johnson informed the Council that the administration wanted to do something different with negotiations because in his words “IBPS wasn’t working.” I asked the question (knowing the answer) “Why isn’t it working? It was a great success at first.” He had a rather sheepish look on his face because he knew it was the administration’s fault. He then presented the same proposal as the one that was rejected last night.
The Mayor is playing his usual game of withholding information from the council until the last minute and it’s deadline time in hopes that the council will go along with him in order to meet the deadlines and keep things functioning in the City. It’s time that the public knows how Godfrey operates and ties the hands of the council to make them look ineffective. This time it looks as though his plans might just backfire on him thanks to Amy, Susie, Bart and Neil. There was no reason for a three-month delay except that now the administration can say that it’s the council’s fault that negotiations are in crisis mode and at risk of not being settled by the time the budget has to be adopted because it did not accept his proposal.

My suggestion to the employee groups and the council is “You are the majority! The administration is only one player on this field, hold your line. Combined you are as powerful, maybe more so, as the administration. Don’t let them divide you. Stand together and you will have a better chance of obtaining what you want.”

I hope that I answered your questions, Curm, and that you know who is behind this current dilemma. No Ogden City employee would dare to act on his own and expect to remain on the payroll. There is only one “boss” among all the administrators, directors and managers – the buck stops at the 9th Floor.

Because the council is elected, the Mayor cannot fire its members -- must be so frustrating for him and why he tries so hard to influence its members. But with seven members, usually and hopefully the council operates on a higher level with common sense, a sense of ethics and responsibility to do what is best for the city in its decisions.

blackrulon said...

This is just the latest and another example of the Mayor playing his "Gotcha" game as Doug Gibson described in a excellent S-
E editorial recently. It would be nice if the S-E had any curiosity concerning the constant conflict between the city council aqnd Godfrey. Last night council session and the story by Scott Schwebke provides a good example of the reporting given to us. Schwebke managed to quote city officals and a councilman on the losing side of the vote. He did not quote or speak of even attempting to speak to any council members who voted on the winning side. He spoke to a 3rd party on this matter but ignored or avoided speaking to any of the 4 members who opposed this attempt to circumvent procedure. We deserve better reporting on issues from the S-E.

Dorrene Jeske said...

Hose Nose,
You state, “His actions tied the hands of Council since Administration would not send anyone to represent them, he told council if they made any adjustments to fund anything concerning employee benefits, that he would not follow.”
The Council needs to remember how they effectively handled the OWCAP/Marshall White standoff with Godfrey. I believe that they could use these same measures this year with the budget. It may be more difficult with Caitlin as the Council Chair. Apparently, she has been won over by Godfrey, and the only thing that I can imagine that would influence Caitlin is that he promised to make her look good and successful as the Council Chair, and he would promote her as being cooperative and working with the administration so goals and economic development could be achieved. Ask yourself, Caitlin, “Who’s goals are you achieving? Is your integrity and self-respect worth the cost?”
The council still controls the budget and it is a powerful tool. Use the council’s attorney, Mr. Hale, to develop a strategy that the council can use in this budget to meet the needs of the City’s employees. Remember the Mayor is bound by law to follow the policies set by the council. If he refuses again, he would be breaking the law and could possibly face removal from office. That is according to Ogden’s own ordinance and State law.

Curmudgeon said...

HN and Dorrene:

Thank you both. Question answered. And I know a lot more about the budget process as a result. Much obliged.

Ogdenite said...

Asininely Written Story by Schwebke

Let me get this straight.

Godfrey was proposing that employees could express their concerns through Godfrey's henchmen, city managers, who are beholded only to Godfrey.

So in other words, the council would hear only what Godfrey wanted them to hear.

And Schwebke awakens from his stupor to print the mayor's position once again as fact.
90%+ of the article is quoting Godfrey's position. This reporter is a waste of salary.

Thank goodness there are those who can see what a manipulating fraud Matt Godfrey is.

hose nose said...

Ogdenite,
Godfrey reminded the Department Heads several times at the Bombshell IBPS meeting in January that they are all at-will employees. He did it in front of the Council and employee group negotiators.

Mayor Matthew Godfrey Parody said...

I need to set the record straight on all this.

First of all, you need to understand that indeed, all city employees are “at will”, meaning they serve only at my pleasure. Therefore, it logically follows that bringing me pleasure, by doing as I wish, is their SOLE purpose.

Having open discussion with the city council “short circuits” this process, by allowing people to bypass me. Since the people of Ogden elected me to be their leader, it is inappropriate for people to bypass me and try to set policy that is at odds with what I want.

Now with regard to the individual council votes: Most of you know that the former council chair, Amy Wicks, refused to do my bidding, to go into my office, and to close the door so I could express my wishes to her and tell her what her reasons were for complying with my wishes. Since she refused, I got the Standard Examiner to turn up the heat on her with nasty articles, to get her to quit as council chair.

Amy was replaced by Caitlin Gochnour who is a very weak woman. (The only other person on the council who is a weaker woman is Doug Stephens :)

Having Gochnour as council chair has been a bonanza. Gochnour, following the teachings of our blessed Lord as given to her by me, seeks a cooperative attitude, meaning she does as she is told. I have poured enough hot water down her back, so to speak, that she is now in my pocket.

But what really chafed me last night was the vote of Neil Garner. My Realtor cronies poured money into Neil’s campaign and now he stabs me in the back. This has been so disconcerting to me that my “man boobs” have become very sensitive again, like they were when Jeske was on the council. John Patterson gave me some nipple tape like his mistresses used so they could go braless, but it doesn’t work for me. So Neil, when you seem me scowling you won’t know whether it’s because I’m mad at your or if it’s my tender nipples, but either way, it’s your fault.

Curmudgeon said...

Sorry Ogdenite, but I think you're wrong about the story.

I don't know if you were at the meeting. I wasn't, so my understanding of what Hizzonah, Mayor Godfrey, was proposing came initially straight from the SE's story. And if that was your source too, it seems clear you got out of the story exactly what I did: that the Mayor was proposing that city workers inform the heads of their departments and agencies [all appointed by the Mayor] of their contract wants, and rely on Godfrey's appointees to relay them accurately, and to represent those who work in their departments fairly and vigorously, to the Mayor and, through him, to the Council. Or of course the city employees, the story reports, could speak to the Mayor's Chief Administrative Office, Mr. John "Pureheart" Patterson. [For all the good that wouldhave done.]

And so it seems you got, from Mr. Schwebke's story, as did I, a good sense of the absurdity of what the Mayor was proposing. That seems like decent reporting to me.

Nor is your claim that 90% of the article is "quoting Godfrey's position" accurate. I got curious and did a count. The story has 23 lines on-line. 12 of them are straight reportage of what happened, and what the defeated resolution contained --- all of which had to be there for readers to understand what happened. 8 lines are comments by Hizzonah or his lackeys on the resolution, or what they claim will be the consequences of its not passing. 3 lines report the police reps. comments. So only 8 of 23 lines present "Godfrey's position." That's less than 33%, OR, not 90%.

I'd have included in the story a comment from the Council majority to balance Councilman Stephan's dithering if I'd had the space available, I think. Just as Mr. Schwebke included the highly critical comments of the police representative to counter statements by Hizzonah and his lackeys. But that omission hardly renders the article overall "asinine reporting."

GORGOGEIG said...

CAN YOU DO MATH, GATASS CURMEDGEON? YOU ARE TOO FAT TO RUN A CALCULATOR!!!!! CURT GEGIER WILL SAVE THIS TOWN WITH A GONDOLAaaa OR GEIGERRUIG!! LOVE MIDGETS!

Ogdenite said...

Curmie,

By your math, the coverage was 8:3 in favor of Godfrey.

So you are correct. It wasn't 90%. But was better than 2:1 pro Godfrey.

Which proves my point exactly.

Curmudgeon said...

Og:

Want to whack at the SE for not including comment from the majority on the council, have at 'em. I would have included a majority comment too, as I noted. But if you want to go after the SE for lack of accuracy, seems to me you're obligated to make your criticism accurate... if for no other reason than to demonstrate the accuracy you say the SE lacks. And the claim that 90 percent of the article contained pro-Godfrey material was flat out inaccurate. That's all.

Whack 'em when they deserve it, but exaggeration does not serve to make your criticism more credible. Just the reverse, in fact.

blackrulon said...

Curm, it seems that you are to be saying that it is appropriate to seek and quote a 3rd non voting person on the council decision. Why quote a council member on the losing side and not a member of the winning decision. There were 4 people avaiolable. Schwebke did not mention talking to any of them, they did not decline to speak, instead he used a quote from a police department rep instead. A city council member could have articulated reasons for the decision. You have often been critical of the S-E for not seeking out councilo members for their opinions but here you seem to accept excluding their reasons. On the S-E board you argue that the 3rd party quote was sufficient.

Disgusted said...

Dorrene,

Thank you for your courage and the concern for the well being of the city and its resident. You have history on this matter and unfortunately we have an administration that would exploit the lack of history among some of the newer council members to hijack a fair negotiating system that was put in place to address city employee compensation packages.
I too share your view, and it’s unfortunate, that we have a couple of city council members that seem to lack integrity. Frankly I thought they were actually interested in doing what was right for the city but it now appears that they are more interested in doing the right think but rather in doing what is expedient. I am very disappointing in these individuals especially when I personally endorsed and contributed to some of these council members. That won’t happen again.

The administration may think of city employees as chattel material to be manipulated as they see fit, but these are our neighbors, our helping hands in emergencies and our friends. They are living, breathing people that I care about. Their kids go to school with our kids and as fathers and mothers their families look to them to be good providers. The least we can do is treat them with the same respect and honesty that we would want for ourselves.

Frankly any council member that can’t understand that concept, I don’t want representing me or my community.

Thank you again Dorrene for setting the bar so high.

Disgusted said...

Dorrene,

Thank you for your courage and the concern for the well being of the city and its resident. You have history on this matter and unfortunately we have an administration that would exploit the lack of history among some of the newer council members to hijack a fair negotiating system that was put in place to address city employee compensation packages.
I too share your view, and it’s unfortunate, that we have a couple of city council members that seem to lack integrity. Frankly I thought they were actually interested in doing what was right for the city but it appears that they are more interested in doing what is expedient and financially more beneficial for the city than in honoring an established negotiation process. I am very disappointing in these individuals especially when I personally endorsed and contributed to some of these council members. That won’t happen again.

The administration may think of city employees as chattel material to be manipulated as they see fit, but these are our neighbors, our helping hands in emergencies and our friends. They are living, breathing people that I care about. Their kids go to school with our kids and as fathers and mothers their families look to them to be good providers. The least we can do is treat them with the same respect and honesty that we would want for ourselves.

Frankly any council member that can’t understand that concept, I don’t want representing me or my community.

Thank you again Dorrene for setting the bar so high.

disgusted said...

I apologize for my first post as I obviously misapplied the cut and paste and copy functions on my comments.

Let the Sunshine In said...

Curious how there is nary a word here about Jon Greiner's Hatch Act problems. Kinda blockbuster stuff. Could it be that there is little mention because Rudi is the Weber County GOP's official Blogmeister? Wouldn't want to make the Republicans look to inept.

Curmudgeon said...

Blackrulon:

Couple of things to keep in mind: first, I've said here and over at the SE site that I'd have quoted a majority council member if I'd had the room to fit it in. I was mostly reacting to the over-the-top [I thought and think] claim that the story was "asinine" and mostly pro-Godfrey propaganda, etc. It was neither. It accurately conveyed the nonsense of the Mayor's plan, and several people who were not at the meeting, myself among them, plainly got that clearly from Mr. Schwebke's story. It was important that the story convey that, and it did.

I don't know who he talked to other than those whose remarks he quoted. Reporters don't necessarily include comments in stories from everyone they talked to. I'd have included a majority member if I were doing the story and I had the room. But if what he got from a majority member was not as good as what he got from the police rep --- which was damn good, I thought, especially in raising trust as the central issue and pointing out that Godfrey has a record of breaking his word on negotiations in the past --- and if Mr. Schwebke had limited space for the story, he may have made a good choice, going with the rep's comments and not with those of another council member.

I'd have done the story a little differently [especially if I had more space to work with]. But this particular story was generally good, and absolutely did not deserve the wholesale assault it got as "asinine" and 90% Godfrey flak, etc.

Want to go after the SE for treating Hizzonah with kid gloves? Aim your fire at the editorial pages where his dissembling, bumbling, cronyism, bad judgment, etc. have gotten a pass far too often for far too long. As I said elsewhere, there's a case to be made for the SE's toadying to Godfrey, but it can't be made on the basis of stories like this one.

Ed J. said...

A few months back, an aquaintance of mine, a FOM, told me I was going to be very surprised which council person is now under the Mayor's direction.
Ms Gochfrey, I presume.

Dorrene Jeske said...

Curm,
There is an angle of Schwebke’s reporting that you may not recognize – he always tries to manipulate comments and quotes from those who have differing opinions from the Mayor’s. I know this to be true after dealing with him for approximately four years. I also am aware that reporters look for (and write things) that appear to be controversial (especially where politician’s are concerned). (I was interested in journalism when in school, and enrolled in a few classes.) I learned very early that one had to ask Schwebke to read back what he was going to print or he printed your quote with his point of view which was usually far different than how you meant it. You might argue, “How can he do this with a quote?” He asks his questions in such a way that he gets the quote he wants or he only prints part of your quote and changes the whole meaning, or his comments before or after the quote make you look stupid. Another favorite trick of his is to get you to comment and then he contacts the Mayor for a rebuttal statement.
You may think that his articles are well written and informative. Some are, but you have to realize that his articles are written from a very biased point of view that favors the Mayor.
I know that you have good intentions in your posts and you may think that you are being open-minded and fair in your defense of his articles and the SE’s reporting, but in reality you are only detracting from the points that posters are trying to make with your nitpicking arguments. You miss the whole point being made by taking off on some unrelated tangent critiquing of someone’s comments. I agree with you that posts should contain facts and not mere rumors or suppositions, but I have seen you attack posters who were in a position that enabled them to have facts to which you and others did not have access. They very seldom post on WCF any more because they say it isn’t worth having to justify or prove everything to you.
We do appreciate your comments and insights on the many subjects that appear on this blog. Thank you for sharing your wealth of information with us, but let’s stay with the issues. Others have the right to express their opinion on an article that appears in the newspaper just as you do. We share a common enemy who has divided our community -- we don’t need unintended support for him from among our own ranks. Why do we find fault with one another?

Dorrene Jeske said...

Ed J.,

It is so disheartening to have our fears confirmed. I really did think that she was a stronger person than it appears she is. Maybe I need to take care of my health issues to the point that I am able to run for Brandon Stephenson's seat next year. I believe that I could handle campaigning in a much smaller area rather than city-wide. I have lived in this district since 1960 and have a lot of friends.

We will need a strong person to fill Amy's seat on the Council if she is elected commissioner which I hope that she is.

Danny said...

Dorrene,

As always, we agree.

We would love to see you pick off Brandon, if your health can support it.

By the way, don't ever let the godfreyites get you down. When they rail, let it warm your soul because it proves you are on the right track.

Caitlin Fan said...

Cailtin Gochnour is one of the most honest people I know. If she voted a certain way it was because it's what she thought was best for Ogden, not the Mayor. Look at her history of voting. She's always done what she has felt was right. One vote doesn't mean she's been taking to the dark side. Stay tuned people. Don't push away someone who has a honest heart.

Curmudgeon said...

Dorrene:

I don't defend Mr. Schwebkes articles as a matter of course, and I've criticized his reporting sharply, particularly during the Mayor's attempts to sell Mt. Ogden Park to finance his gondola obsession. But some at WCF assume any article by Mr. Schwebke is necessarily a pro-Godfrey puff piece. This article was no Godfrey puff piece. And the inclusion of the police reps. comments highlighting trust as the main issue [which you in one of your excellent posts above also highlighted as a main issue], and reminding people of Godfrey's history of breaking his word in past negotiations was important to have included.

If I'm going to go after the SE for bad reporting when it does it --- and it does --- I think I'm obligated to defend it when it's unfairly attacked for sound reporting.

As for having Mr. Schwebke read back your quotes, that's just good practice when dealing with any reporter, all the time.

And sorry, Dorrene, but if you give him a quote, you cannot fairly criticize him for asking you the question you answered. Many people regret having said something to a reporter. But they said it. Blaiming the reporter is a cop out.

And many reporters, working under space constraints, print parts of quotes. So long as the quote is accurate, and the meaning is not changed by the surrounding text, it's not bad journalism. And of course if you said something critical of the Mayor, a reporter will call the Mayor for a reaction. I would too. That's not a "trick."

Nor was I taking off on some unrelated tangent in challenging those who dismissed his story as "asinine". The resulting conversations gave me chances to emphasize the comments from the police rep, which no one had commented on and which I think were important to have in the story. Very important.

What I find disturbing in your post, Dorrene, is this: "Others have a right to express their opinion on an article... just as you do." Of course they do. And nowhere --- not here, not at the SE site, not anywhere --- have you seen me suggest otherwise. But when someone posts a comment on an SE article that I think unfair, or inaccurate, I'm free to reply, and the poster is free to reply to me, just as you did. I'm disappointed, Dorrene, at your thinking I have ever suggested that others do not have the right to express opinions here or anywhere else. You know better. But when someone does post on a blog like this, they have to accept that people may disagree with them and may say so.

Also disappointed to see you characterize my posts as "attacks." I don't attack people here, Dorrene. Challenging what someone says is not an attack. [There are attack posts here, sadly. They don't come from me.] A depressing number of my students seem to think disagreement itself is rude. It isn't unless it's rudely done. But the mere fact of saying to someone "I think you're wrong about this and heres why" is not an attack.

I'd be truly sorry to know that people have stopped posting because I've challenged something they've said, or asked for corroboration. Many here post under pseudonyms. I do myself. And when someone claims something under a pseudonym, they have to expect that people may disagree or ask for corroboration before accepting what they claim as fact. Just as I have to expect criticism of what I post, which so long as it's civilly put [as your criticism is], I welcome.

So, Dorrene, have at Mr. Schwebke in particular when you think he deserves it, or the SE in general, or me when you think I'm wrong. But please do not ever claim that I think only I have a right to an opinion about the paper, or anything else. About that, Dorrene, you could not possibly be more wrong.

Past Fan said...

Caitlin Fan,

Honest heart or a desire to appear to be a mediator?
This is not her first bad vote; in fact there have been several. If you believe she is true in heart then she might be but she is also very naïve or not very bright as she has missed several big picture effects of her vote on issues. Whatever the case she is not doing a very good job of representing the residents of Ogden.
She also does not seem to be very motivated to find out the truth either. When she does question something she always turns directly to the administration and its staff for answers that she takes as the gospel rather than getting or believing outside sources, even when residents point her in the right direction.
We don’t need a mediator or a gullible individual; we need a strong, inquisitive, smart, savvy person that is not afraid of a little confrontation in order to do the right thing for the residents!

Past Fan said...

Caitlin Fan,

Honest heart or a desire to appear to be a great mediator?
This is not her first bad vote; in fact there have been several. If you believe she is true in heart then she might be but she is also very naïve or not very bright as she has missed several big picture effects of her vote on issues. Whatever the case she is not doing a very good job of representing the residents of Ogden.
She also does not seem to be very motivated to find out the truth either. When she does question something she always turns directly to the administration and its staff for answers that she takes as the gospel rather than getting or believing outside sources, even when residents point her in the right direction.
We don’t need a mediator or a gullible individual; we need a strong, inquisitive, smart, savvy person that is not afraid of a little confrontation in order to do the right thing for the residents!

ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

You wrote:

"A depressing number of my students seem to think disagreement itself is rude"

To which I say: "Welcome to Utah" Brooklyn boy!

You see, here in the land of Zion it is in fact rude to disagree with our anointed leaders. They are all called by God you know, and of course any one with a lick of sense knows that God don't appoint and anoint leaders that are not worthy, chaste and just simply brimming over with integrity.

Now before you go pointing to our dear maligned leaders Garn and Killpack as evidence against what I write here, just remember, they were both framed by a pack of yellow dog democrats in league with their queer friends and sons of perdition.

Curmudgeon said...

Oh, Oz. I wish we Utah YDDs were that effective in behind the scenes politics. Only a wistful dream, I'm afraid....

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