Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Ogden City Council Blissfully Absorbs More Blue Sky Godfrey Administration Propaganda

A glaring example of why government officials should NOT meddle in the economic marketplace!

Sorry to be so slow on the uptake on this, Weber County Forum readers, but the Standard-Examimer has an article up today which aptly illustrates why real estate development amateurs like Boss Godfrey in the instant case, have no business at all meddling in the local real estate development development arena:
Ogden Council briefed on river project proposal
Remember People, Boss Godfrey has already had River Front properties tied up for over eight years, leaving anyone who still own properties in that area in complete economic limbo.

Now we learn that the Geniuses Of Godfrey's "A" team "may" or "may not" have a proposal from Jeff Lee, president of Lee Homes, possibly or not, maybe by the end of the year, maybe.

And how stupid is this airhead comment from airhead Ogden City Council Chair Caitlin Gochnour?
City Council Chairwoman Caitlin K. Gochnour said it is important that the project protect the value of the river.
Well... Doh. Our confidence in Council Chair Gochnor wanes with her every idiotic utterance.

And assuming that Gadi Leshem contractor referral Jeff Lee gets the nod from the council to take on the job...
It could take seven to 10 years to complete the river project, which will be built in phases
Okay people, so let's sum it up:

Early in Boss Godfrey's administration he targeted people in the River Front Area, and decided, just like a botched LDS Ogden version of Joseph Stalin, that he knew better than these property owners and residents how to use and enjoy their own properties in that area. As the smoke clears we now still have (literally) firetrap properties in the River Project Area... and instead of having the previously existing "functional but not fancy" tax-paying residential/commercial neighborhood along the Ogden River, as it was before Boss Godfrey put his iron hand upon the area, we now have have instead an economic no man's land, which generates zero timely payments to the Ogden City tax base, just as it probably will remain so for most of the next decade, at least.

This example of government intermeddling people, is of course a glaring object lesson about why government officials, especially morons like Boss Godfrey, should NOT meddle in the economic marketplace!

And what say our gentle readers about all this?


Ed J said...

People, I've said it before, I'll say it again

Blair, Stephenson, Garner, Stephens, AND ESPECIALLY GOCHNOUR, are fucking idiots

OneWhoKnows said...

AMEN !!!

Curmudgeon said...

While there is no question anymore that the much-touted River Project has been bungled badly by the Administration -- and the River Project was entirely its baby -- I don't see anything at all "stupid" in Councilwoman Gouchnor's statement "it is important that the project protect the value of the river."

It is important that whatever finally happens on the River Project development preserves the "value of the river" that runs through it --- that the river does not end up as a concrete-lined urban ditch, or an eroded open sewer. And given the proven inability of the Mayor's chosen developer in the past [Mr. Lesham] to keep environmental factors and city property ordinances in mind regarding the properties in the River Project area that he owned [just take a look at the Leshamville slum for examples], I see nothing whatever wrong, and certainly nothing stupid, in the Council Chair reminding the Administration of the importance of preserving the value of the river as a downtown recreational resource yet again. I hope she keeps doing it. Monthly would be good. In fact, given the Godfrey Administration's demonstrated incompetence regarding large project developments, weekly might be better.

Big Sue said...

Hey Curmudgeon! Here's a Facebook group you might want to consider joining:

Facebook|Morons Anonymous:

Have you ever:
Said something that doesnt make sense?
Done something stupid that you regret later?
Not get a joke until its too late?
Not been able to answer a question thats completely simple?
Well if you've said yes to any of these questions, YOU'RE A MORON!!!

Danny said...

What is being reported in the article? That the ever-planned river project is still being planned?

Scott Schwebke delivers another useless piece of work.

Imagine what he could have done by pointing out how long this project has languished, how many promises have been broken, how many plans have gone up in smoke, literally!

Instead, he makes it sound like it is all brand new.

Gochnour's comment wasn't dumb. The newspaper's reporting is what is dumb.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ed J said...

smc: bart not bob - hello

Anonymous said...

I have never found Bart Blair to be an idiot.
Even when I disagree with him.

Curmudgeon said...


Sorry, but the story was far from useless. I didn't know what the latest Godfrey-anointed developer had in mind. That was interesting to find out. I'd never seen the map before. I found the long build-out time for the project --- nine phases over ten years --- interesting [though I think that was reported earlier]. Interesting too was the fact that the Planning Commission found the proposal consistent with the General Plan, and that it wants revisions made to secure public open space north of the river. Nor did I know that much bank side rehab work had already been completed.

Interesting too that the earlier plans for One Big Project have [wisely] been abandoned, as has the previous accelerated development stages --- there were only three phases envisioned in the heady days of Mr. Lesham's plan.

You ask what the story reported. What it reported was the major content of the administration's presentation to the Council. Whatever you or I may think of this Plan C presentation [plans A and B having come a-cropper], the presentation to the Council was legit news and the SE had to report it. I would have had I been news editor.

You complain that Mr. Schwebke didn't report "how long this project has languished." He did. From his story: "The Ogden River Project has been on the drawing board since 2002."

What I think you wanted, Danny, was not a news story about what went on at the Council meeting Tuesday [which was the story Mr. Schwebke was assigned to cover I presume]. What I think you wanted was a diatribe denouncing the Administration's bungling of the project, and predicting continued failure. Such a piece might well be merited, but it's not the reporter assigned to cover a council meeting's job to write it. It would belong on the editorial pages, not in the news columns.

I criticize the SE for letting editorial content creep into its reporting [as it did with the shameful toadying reporting of Rob Bishop's recent campaign media event statements as if they were established fact --- and on the front page [headline: Congressman Actually Wants Less Power]. Mr. Schwebke's story was straight reporting, as it should have been.

I'd have changed one thing. He said this of a comment by Godfrey Pureheart Posse member Greg Montgomery: "When finished, the project would likely have 315,000 square feet of commercial space and 916 residential units that could house about 1,900 residents, Montgomery said."

I'd have changed that to this: "If finished as planned, the project would likely have.... etc." If. Not when. Mr. Schwebke did hedge Mr. Montgomery's implication of certainty with that "likely." But I'd have made the uncertainty more explicit by replacing "when" with "if."

Rita Skinner said...

Wow! Ogden’s finest political analysts weigh in. Ed J your political savvy must come from either the refined cities of Evanston or Pocatello. Somewhere along the side of the road, probably near Roosevelt, you must have met Big Sue (not to be confused with Large Marge)needing a lift due to the fact that he/she/whatever put gas in the tank instead of diesel. Your intelligence is representative of the armpit you live in.

Dan S. said...

Curm, I mostly agree with you about the worthiness of the article, but I do think the headline and lede were poorly chosen. It would have been better to emphasize the bit of new information that was released (about the nature and location of the initial phase and/or the very long timetable for completion). And instead of saying that we "may" get details by the end of the year, I think the reporter should have pinned down the administration and gotten a more definitive timetable--even if only a statement that we "will not" get details before a certain date.

Also I thought it was odd that the article appeared on the front page, above the fold, when it didn't add anything major to what had already been reported.

In any case, I admit these are nitpicks so please don't jump on my too hard!

Curmudgeon said...


Won't jump at all. As for the lead, I was glad to see "may" in the first sentence. I thought that was an improvement over "will" which far too often in the past the SE has used to report Administration press release content. Given the number times things promised as going to happen by the Administration, and dutifully reported as going to happen by the SE, didn't in fact happen, I looked on the "may" as a sign of increasing [healthy] skepticism at the SE in re: Administration pronouncements. Maybe I read too much into that "may." Hope not.

As for pinning down the Godfrey Pureheart Posse for more and specific detail: I agree. But I think these Council session reports have to be written well after the paper's normal deadline for next-day printing. So they have to be composed quickly on the fly and filed fast once the meeting ends. Under the circumstances, I'm willing to cut a reporter some slack regarding follow-ups and tracking-downs on same-night stories.

I suppose the SE might have held the story for a day to allow more tracking down, but then dollars to donuts there'd have been flak this morning about why the SE didn't report what happened at the Council meeting, etc. I'd probably have opted, if I were news editor, for morning-after publication of a story rather than delayed reporting of a fuller one. Judgment call.

blackrulon said...

Has anyone on the city council quizzed the Mayor or his representative on the status of other promised projects? Where are the outlet stores? Where are the Chinese import stores? Where are the Mexican import stores? When will the high paying high tech jobs arrive? Whenb will the empty storefronts along Washington Blvd be filled with tenants? When will the vacant retail outlet spaces in the Junction be occupied?

oldguy said...

Ed J & One who knows (yeah right):
Speaking of idiots, you two seem to qualify for the front of the line. Ok, so the statement by Councilwoman G. states that which should be obvious about the ORP, i.e., obvious to anyone who gives a damn about Ogden and its future - problem is, if you look at everything that our mayor has undertaken his obvious goals aren't necessarily those that the rest of us see as important. Ms. G is saying that whatever is done with the ORP, whomever is chosen to do it and whenever (if ever) it happens, the value of the river trumps all other considerations.

oldguy said...

You said it better than I did Curm.

Anonymous said...

The SE being the propaganda arm of the current administration is an embarrassment.
Nothing should be published without fact-check, follow up questions, and alternative views from those affected.

It is not "boosterism" to simply post what comes down from the executive; the Mayor is not Ogden city. He should actually be held to a higher standard as regards his statements, since he holds a public trust.

It would be far more Booster'lishious to ride him hard and keep him honest; at least that way when he does something right it can be reported accurately, with a straight face.
Lately, the papers flag waving, not waving for Ogden but for the Mayor, has simply been a disservice.

Get your act together, review your 101 notes, and commit some Professional Journalism.

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