Thursday, May 27, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Godfrey Seeks $1 Million Taxpayer Bucks For A Friggin' Ogden Bicycle Track

In the current tough economy, does Ogden City have enough loose change layin' around to throw another million bucks down another Boss Godfrey project rat-hole?

OK, folks. Here we are mired in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, with arguably much more economic bad news on the way, and then we stumble upon this morning's Scott Schwebeke story, reporting on the latest knuckleheaded development being cooked up down at Ogden City Hall:
Godfrey seeks funds for velodrome in Ogden
That's right, folks. Mr. Schwebke informs us this morning that Boss Godfrey is moving forward with another crackpot taxpayer funded scheme and that the Godfrey administration will soon be "asking the city council to set aside $1 million in future capital improvement funds for construction of a velodrome and field house in downtown Ogden."

Our ever-confident Ogden CAO John "Pureheart" Patterson assures us, of course, that this is actually a terrific idea:
The earmarking of $1 million will help leverage private donations for the facility slated to be built on about 11 acres west of Wall Avenue and 21st Street, owned by developer Gadi Leshem, said Patterson.
Patterson is confident funds will be obtained from donors, enabling construction to start in spring 2011 and conclude in 2012.
Seems we've heard that same old line before, no?

Yeah! Right here... in this 4/24/08 WCF story!
The city has already received $200,000 in Weber County RAMP tax funds and a pledge for an equal amount of money that would be raised by Jeff Lowe, a renowned ice climber and executive director of Ogden Climbing Parks, which would manage, operate and maintain the tower, John Patterson, the city’s chief administrative officer, said during the work session. [Emphasis added].
(The upshot of course, is that once Ogden City had a little "skin in the game," a torrent of private Ice Tower donations would follow.)

But now, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, we know how that all worked out, don't we.

Over on the Std-Ex website, Std-Ex reader Ogdenite also asks a couple of very good questions and makes a couple of savvy observations:
• Why are taxpayer dollars even being used on this asinine project?
• How many people do you know that would even use a velodrome track?
• Mayor Godfrey needs to quit playing fast and loose with public money and work on actually leading Ogden City.
• Monuments to his ego and projects for his construction company buddies do not serve the citizens of Ogden well.
Howbout it gentle readers? Would any amongst our WCF readership address Ogdenite's concerns? Amidst an economy where most individuals and governments are scrambling to make ends meet, Does Ogden City have enough loose change layin' around to throw another million bucks down another Boss Godfrey project rat-hole?

More questions...
• Will our City Council fall for the same old Administration con game a second time around?
• Will the Little Lord on Nine, who still remains afflicted with a bad case of Peter Pan Syndrome, ever grow up?
So many questions... so few answers...

And the beat goes on...


beaver said...

Heller or Vonnegut couldn't make this shit up!

Dorrene Jeske said...

Yup! Here we go again! Under the Godfrey administration, we have endured a huge mud-hole for about four years, a weed-infested seven-squre block area with crumbling and burned-down houses downtown for ten years instead of thriving businesses and green lawns. Much of this blight and eye-sore scenery is due to lack of attention and action from the Godfrey administration.

The River project is just starting to show some activity after ten years! The store fronts on the east side of Washington are still and eyesore. According to the mayor, there are some plans on the drawing board.

The City is almost $100,000 million in debt because of Godfrey's "visionary" projects! And here comes again to the City Council expecting them to give him $1.1 million dollars for yet another unnecessary project.

We have critical water and sewer problems that are finally being addressed.

We have two fire stations that need critical structural upgrading and one new fire station to replace an inadequate and unsafe station.

The Junction still needs major construction projects finished before it is complete.

We are in a severe economic depression that most of us have never witnessed before, and we don't know how long it will last or how bad it will get before we see some improvement.

Mayor Godfrey, and City Council, please show some common sense! I have listed six very good reasons to wait before starting construction on an unnecessary velodrome/field house.
Let's take care of the critical projects facing Ogden before we begin something new and have another eyesore for years because of lack of funds.

We have dedicated and deserving employees who have patiently waited for some kind of a pay increase. Use what money can be freed up to pay them!


old timer said...

I nominate Mayor Godfrey for having come up with the most idiotic idea of this decade --

out of all his idiotic ideas this one is the tops!

Curmudgeon said...

The velodrome -- officially renamed "The Fieldhouse" some months ago--- now seems to be being repackaged yet again as a "track" for marketing purposes. A rose by any other name, as they say....

If the city was flush with funds, sales tax revenues were booming, and the city was prospering all across its demographic profile, this might merit looking at --- provided minimal public seed money would be involved. Niche sports venues, because there are so few of them, can be successful draws for visitors. But such projects are inherently speculative ventures.

And just now, under present circumstances, with the very spotty track record of the proposing Administration bringing pie in the sky projects successfully to completion, it makes little sense to commit this much money [a cool mil up front] to what is likely to be another administration pipe dream. [There's a reason railbirds look at a nag's past performance: it keeps them from wagering money on proven losers.]

The Godfrey Velodrome: it's the new Gondola!

very skepticle said...

We need a new Mayor. Like ten years ago..

OgdenLover said...

Not knowing much about velodromes, I had mistakenly assumed it would be a place where people could ride their bikes indoors in too hot/too snowy weather. Now, in the legend to the SE's diagram, I learn that the bikes used have no brakes and that the turns are steeply banked so riders can reach 50mph. So much for any significant segment of the population ever using such a thing.
It seemed like a bad idea to begin with, now it seems like a truly horrendous idea for Ogden.

peterball said...

Maybe now would be a good time for Patterson to stand up behind his belief that the project will be completed in 2012. He could write a letter of resignation now that would take effect if the velodrome is not completed by the end of 2012.

It also may be time for Chief Greiner to pledge to reimburse the city for the lost grant money if his current appeal is unsuccessful. Maybe if money would come out of his pocket he would not be so quick to appeal a decision that has been made against him multiple times.

Oust Gondola Boy! said...


The next election is in November of 2011. Let's hope the citizens of Ogden give Patterson and Godfrey a pink slip!

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