Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pathetic Grousing from the Boss Godfrey Fringe

More evidence that Weber County Forum will happily print even semi-reasonable pro-Godfrey rants

By: Fox Fan

Oh my, as I didn't read anything about the ICE raids that arrested a bunch of illegal alien criminals, along with some local riff-raff, I don't quite know where to put this. So I'll post it here:
Gang members arrested: Immigration nabs 15, 'mostly from Ogden'
Apparently, Greiner has a fan in Kris Line, resident ICE agent in charge. He had some nice words to say about the Chief and it looks like they have hauled off some 15 "hardened" criminals from our city streets. Maybe there is a reduction in crime in Ogden, even though that contention is usually met with skepticism on the WCF. I wonder why today's banner headline story wasn't even mentioned here?

Also, I received a nice mailer from WinCo yesterday, announcing its Grand Opening, etc., and it's nice to see that that store is now up and running. Again, NO fanfare from the WCF, even though WinCo going into operation is good for Ogden and its coffers.

It's remarkable how ALL of the negatives are reported on the WCF but the positives are not. Maybe a thought from FOX about being "fair and balanced" would serve everyone better.

Another Grand Borrow and Spend Boss Godfrey Scheme Lands on the City Council Front Burner

Boss Godfrey offers reassurance to his friends and supporters: Despite the terrible condition of the economy, there will be taxpayer financed crony capital in the pipeline very soon

Mark your calenders folks. In an American economy where even the most rabid Keynesian economists are warning about the prospects of a coming "third depression," the one-trick ponies at city hall are gearing up for another round of tax increment financed (TIF) borrowing and spending. As Ace Reporter Schwebke reports in this morning's Standard-Examiner, the city council last night calendered a public hearing for the evening of August 10, 2010, to consider adoption of a proposed urban renewal project area plan for the East Washington Urban Renewal Area in downtown Ogden. Despite the miserable condition of the economy, and notwithstanding the obvious failure of economic stimulus on the national level, Boss Godfrey's apparently cooking up a local economic stimulus plan all his own:
Ogden council OKs public hearing on urban renewal proposal
Ogden City Community & Economic Development Department Director Richard McConkie is of course ecstatic about embarking upon this boondoggle, as he pulls optimistic "blue sky" numbers out of thin air:
The plan indicates if the entire project area were redeveloped with commercial, mixed-use and residential buildings within the next 20 years, the cumulative value of the investment would be about $99 million, said McConkie. An investment of that amount would generate about $17.2 million in tax increment that could be reinvested back into the project area, he added.
Remember folks, we have a municipal election coming up in a little over a year; and we suppose its incumbent upon Boss Godfrey at this time to begin reassuring his friends and supporters that despite the terrible condition of the economy, there will neverthelss be gobs of taxpayer financed crony capital in the pipeline very soon.

Don't forget to throw in your own 2¢.

Who among our savvy WCF readers will be the first to comment?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gut Busting Humor From the Standard-Examiner Letters Section

The danged funniest thing your blogmeister has stumbled upon all week

Mayor Godfrey has demonstrated a political savvy that will allow him to remain as effective as possible, and has documentable evidence of fiscal responsibility.

Standard-Examiner Letter to the Editor
Godfrey demonstrated political savvy
June 29, 2010

Hilarious humor piece in this morning's Standard-Examiner letters section:
Godfrey demonstrated political savvy
Danged funniest thing your blogmeister has stumbled upon all week.

Query for our gentle readers: Did Ogden resident Danae Brown really intend to pay serious tribute to Boss Godfrey... or was her letter actually written tongue-in-cheek?

Documentable Evidence of Fiscal Responsibility

Either way, we're still busting a gut and laughing our a** off.

Update 6/29/12 6:00 p.m.: Too funny. One of our alert readers has been doing some sleuthing, and now informs us that Ms. Brown, author of today's featured Letter to the Editor, is (or has been) none other than Boss Godfrey's very own executive assistant:
Ooops comment
It thus remains an open question whether Ms. Brown composed this letter while on duty, and under the supervision of her fiscally responsible boss.

The doings at City Hall get more bizarre with each passing minute.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Standard-Examiner Letter: UTA Is Making Changes to Routes

Who in Ogden City government decided to tell UTA its buses could no longer run on Historic 25th Street?

By: Curmudgeon

A very interesting letter has just appeared on the Standard-Examiner website. It says "Ogden City has decided to restrict UTA from using the 25th Street and Washington stop to pick up and drop off passengers":
UTA is making changes to routes
It says the city-decreed new routes will be as follows:

" The bus routes will soon be changing for the 603, 612, and 470 routes.
603: the new route will be as follows: Wall Ave. to 26th st., 26th to Adams Ave., and Adams Ave. to 25th, after which the route will remain the same.

470/612: the southbound stop on the west side of the street directly in front of the park area will be discontinued. The new southbound route will only stop at 24th and 26th on Washington. The northbound stop on Washington at 25th will remain."

Several issues here:

1. Who in Ogden City government decided, if the letter's report is true, to tell UTA its buses could no longer run on historic 25th Street? And what authorization did he, she or they have to do that? Was public input sought, and if so when and how?

2. I thought Ogden City had a commitment to try to increase public transit use to improve business downtown. How will moving the 603 off Historic 25th Street, where it now lets off passengers, and picks them up [often me] conveniently close to Great Harvest and Roosters and Grounds for Coffee and Two Bit Street Cafe and all the other businesses on Historic 25th Street, a block away to 26th Street make the downtown businesses more accessible by public transit?

3. Moving the 603 downtown stops to 26th Street means moving the stops to a street with much less pedestrian traffic, and so [particularly in the winter when dusk comes around 4:30 or so] to a street much less safe than the current stop on 25th Street in the evenings.

4. What impact will eliminating the Washington/25th Street stop for the 470 and 612 along Washington and pushing the stops a block north and south have on passengers who now conveniently change buses at the current 25th and Washington stop? Particularly handicapped passengers?

On first glance, this one ranks right up there with wanting to spend $50K to study sled riding in Mt. Ogden Park for lousy ideas. It is such an asinine idea --- except perhaps from the perspective of encouraging more people to drive downtown and so create a demand for the five count 'em five damned new parking garages the Mayor wants to build there --- that I suspect it came from the same muddle-headed source. But I do not know that for a fact so will forbear further comment until I know more.

I wonder how all the merchants on 25th Street and those at The Junction feel about the 603--- the most heavily used route in the city and one of the most heavily used UTA tells me in their whole system --- being moved another full block away from their businesses?

The letter writer included a number where people can get more information about the changes: 888-743-3882

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Standard-Examiner Editorial: Our View: Don't Waste $50,000

A good example of how a newspaper can editorially dissemble in the service of office-holders

By Curmudgeon

The Standard Examiner has up an editorial this morning morning that provides a good example of how, by carefully applied vagueness, a paper can editorially dissemble in the service of office-holders --- in this case, Mayor Matthew Godfrey:
Our View: Don't Waste $50,000
The editorial opposes Ogden City spending $50K to study winter sports in Mt. Ogden Park. And whose idea was that foolish idea which the SE sensibly opposes? The Editorial Board doesn't want to tell us. From the editorial:
"Spending $50,000, or a similar sum, to study how to bring winter sports activities to the Ogden course is wasteful idea.
We don't blame brainstormers for wondering if winter activities there could bring in money but don't spend large amounts of money to determine what's already obvious after a little thought....

We appreciate the work the mayor, city council and others have done to try to find ways to make Mount Ogden Golf Course less disastrous to city finances.

We encourage officials to keep working on ideas that have a reasonable chance of success."
So, who came up with the idea? The editorial speaks only vaguely of "brainstormers" and "officials." True, once it lauds "the mayor, the city council and others" for work they've already done to improve the course's finances. But no hint for readers of where the $50K study nonsense came from.

Unless of course those readers happen to recall a story the SE did on this by Scott Schwebke which made no bones about whose idea it was. Here's the headline and lead on that story, which the SE ran on 16 June, only ten days ago:
Ogden mayor proposes $50,000 study of golf course ---OGDEN -- Mayor Matthew Godfrey is proposing to spend up to $50,000 to study the implementation of winter sports activities at financially troubled Mount Ogden Golf Course.
Not anonymous "brainstormers" or anonymous "officials." Not "the mayor and city council and others." The Mayor. Period.

Don't the members of the SE's editorial board read their own newspaper? And if they do, why the mincing editorial tip-toeing around what their own paper reported prominently just ten days ago: this turkey of an idea was the Mayor's.

Nor will readers learn from the editorial that the City Council cut the Mayor's suggestion from the City's budget just last week. How do I know? Why, I read it in the Standard Examiner one week ago:
Although Godfrey got what he wanted regarding the garages, his requests for $1 million in future capital improvement funds for construction of a velodrome and field house along with $50,000 in BDO lease revenues for a winter activities study at Mount Ogden Golf Course aren't included in the city council's proposed budget.
So while we can all approve the good sense of the SE Editorial Board in recognizing the foolishness of spending $50K to study sledding in Mt. Ogden Park, I can't help wondering why the Editorial Board went to such lengths to conceal the facts reported in its own paper: (a) the proposal was the Mayor's, and (b) the City Council wanted nothing to do with it and sensibly excluded it from the budget it passed last week. The dissembling turned what could have been, should have been, a hard-hitting editorial about wasteful spending, targeting the elected official who proposed it, into mush wrapped in cotton wool criticizing only un-named "officials," "brainstormers" and "others."

Wimpy work, guys. Wimpy work.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Standard-Examiner: We Need to Stand Behind Ogden Police Chief Jon Greiner

Absolutely precious Boss Godfrey guest editorial up on the Standard website this morning

By Ozboy

Speaking again of our esteemed Ogden City mayor, Boss Godfrey has an absolutely precious guest editorial up on the Standard website this morning, wherein Godfrey tries to defend his spending of hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars to defend and protect the law-breaking Chief of Police. In it he shows that both he and The Chief have nothing but contempt for the laws of the land that they don't necessarily agree with. Apparently Godfrey believes he and his cronies are above the law, or a law unto themselves:
We need to stand behind Ogden Police Chief Jon Greiner
Nothing new there actually.

Update 6/27/10 7:30 a.m.: The above online guest commentary now appears in this morning's hard-copy print edition.

Tour de Drome Follow-Up

Released documents reveal planning details, future plans, and more mayoral travels.

By Dan Schroeder

Two months ago, as the date for the Tour de Drome bike ride approached, I got curious and submitted a GRAMA request asking the city for all records related to the event. A week later I received a copy of the city’s $5,000 contract with event organizer Cindy Yorgason. But it took several follow-up requests, and another six weeks, before the city finished responding to my request.

The remainder of the city’s response consisted of a thick stack of printed email messages and their attachments. From these, I’ve selected and uploaded a small selection that seem reasonably interesting:
Press release
Special event application
Meeting notes
Contact list
The documents paint a fairly complete picture of how the Tour de Drome event was planned, what kinds of expenses it incurred, and who was involved. They also include a few tidbits about the velodrome project itself, the mayor’s velodrome-related travels, and future fundraising plans.

Most obviously, these documents highlight the depth of Ogden City’s involvement with the Tour de Drome event. It was the city that hired Yorgason. Planning meetings were held in the Municipal Building, and Yorgason regularly reported her activities to CAO John Patterson and several other city staff. In fact, eleven city employees are included on the list of contacts that Yorgason circulated, and several others are named in emails due to their peripheral involvement. The required Special Event Application names Patterson and Events Coordinator Carolyn Brierley, in addition to Yorgason, as the responsible parties. The official press release begins with the words “Ogden City presents...”.

Nevertheless, it is equally clear that most of the money involved with this event was laundered through the Ogden Community Foundation. Although the city handled some of the money, especially during the early planning, OCF was brought in at the beginning of April and invoices for expenses were then redirected to them. This means we’ll probably never know exactly how much was spent on the event, or exactly how much money was raised. But in all likelihood, the total expenses were less than the initial budget of $10,000, while the total revenue was not much over $5000. Whether OCF will absorb the net loss is unclear.

An obvious next question is whether this arrangement with OCF was legal. Or more generally, is it legal for a city to put on a fundraising event for the benefit of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit? I suspect that the answer is no, but higher authorities are unlikely to get involved this time, given that the event actually lost money.

However, this event isn’t the end of the story. The same people are continuing to hold regular meetings, planning for another, bigger velodrome fundraising event in October. Presumably the proceeds from that event will also go to the Ogden Community Foundation.

And finally, it’s always interesting to learn about Mayor Godfrey’s globe-trotting adventures. Yorgason told me on May 1 that she had accompanied Godfrey and Patterson on a recent trip to see the Los Angeles velodrome. But now it appears that the mayor may have since taken a much longer trip, to Switzerland, to visit a velodrome located there. Let’s hope that a real reporter will dig up the details on these trips and tell us how much we’re paying for them.

Standard-Examiner Editorial: OUR VIEW: It's An E-signature World

It would be nice to see Utah on the cutting edge of electronic signature innovation
At the most basic level, the Utah Supreme Court's decision to allow electronic signatures for election purposes may allow a fringe gubernatorial candidate on the fall ballot. More importantly, the decision sends this message to our state's political leadership: You can't stack petition rules just because you fear people-power.

Standard Examiner Editorial
OUR VIEW: It's an e-signature world
June 26, 2010

Fine editorial in this morning's Standard-Examiner, encouraging Utah's political leadership to stop dragging their feet, and to get aboard the 21st century internet revolution:
OUR VIEW: It's an e-signature world
Yes, it would be nice to see Utah on the cutting edge of electronic signature innovation.

We don't always agree with the SE's editorial board viewpoints; but on this issue we stand with them "foursquare."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Is Anyone Else Offended by Utah’s Celebration of the Fourth of July on Any Day Other Than the 4th of July?

No place else in the country, to my knowledge, is as an entire state willing to ignore the real birth date of the United States of America and just call it another day

By: Perhaps I'm Easily Offended

Is anyone else offended, or bothered, or even just intrigued by Utah’s celebration of the Fourth of July on the 2d, or the 3d, or the 5th, or any day other than the 4th ? Just because it falls on a Sunday?

Isn’t it odd that in this land of the red white and blue super-conservative-liberty-loving-flag-waving-hyper-patriot, the damned state can’t even get the country’s birth date right?

The 4th of July is the 4th of July is the 4th of July. Period. It’s a national holiday. Independence Day. The 4th of July. Not the 2d, 3d, or 5th. The FOURTH.!

If you want to spend your morning or your afternoon in church and miss the parade, fine. Do it. But don’t move MY parade, or MY celebration breakfast, or MY flyover, or MY town picnic, or MY fireworks to some other day because you want to (or have to) spend the day in church.

No place else in the country, to my knowledge, is as an entire state willing to ignore the real birth date of the United States of America and just call it another day. Just another Utah Sunday. Other places in the country have religions, and churches, and most of them have services on Sunday. Even on the Fourth of July. And they don’t move the holiday.


Two New Developments in the UEG Citizens Inititiative Ethics Reform Matter

As far as we're concerned, the importance of the signator privacy issue pales in comparison to the electronic signature validity issue

To kick off the morning discussion, we'll highlight a couple of new developments in the Utahns for Ethical Government (UEG) citizens initiative ethics reform matter:

1) Yesterday, June 24, 2010, UEG lawyers transmitted a "demand letter" to Lt. Governor Bell's office, requesting clarification of the Lt. Governor's position with regard to UEG electronic signatures in the wake of Tuesday's favorable Utah Supreme Court decision, wherein the court ruled that electronic signatures are valid in the case of candidate petitions. Essentially the UEG has drawn a line in the sand, providing four days to either confirm acquiescence to the ruling in the Anderson matter, or in the alternative to get ready to go back to court. Yesterday's UEG press release fleshes out the details of this UEG tactic:
UEG 6/24/10 Press Release
Read the UEG demand letter here:
Copy of UEG Letter Sent To Lt. Govenor Bell
It thus appears that one way or another, we'll have a resolution of the electronic signature validity issue fairly quickly.

2) The Standard-Examiner reports this morning that the U.S. Supreme Court issued an 8-1 opinion yesterday holding in a State of Washington case that that people who sign citizens initiative petitions don't have an automatic right to keep their signatures confidential:
Names on ethics initiative petition might be revealed
As our readers will recall, on 4/15/10, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups granted the UEG's request for a temporary restraining order to keep petition signers' names secret, and he's kept the UEG case under advisement, pending a decision in the above U.S. Supreme Court case. Insmuch as the U.S. High Court has now ruled that citizens initiative petition signators do not enjoy blanket privacy, and since SCOTUS has now sent the case back to the lower Washington trial court for a determination of whether State of Washington signators are otherwise entitled to privacy under any special facts in the Washington case, it's likely that Judge Waddoups will follow the same course, and issue his own findings on the issue of whether Utah petition signators deserve special privacy protection on the basis of threats or harrassment from opponents of the UEG petition in Utah.

Whether the latter development presents a genuine setback or merely a minor annoyance with respect to the UEG case we don't know, but as far as we're concerned, the importance of the signator privacy issue pales in comparison to the electronic signature validity issue. And as to that issue, keep your eyes on Weber County Forum, folks. When it becomes clear which course of action the Lieutenant Governor's office has adopted, you can be sure that our gentle and ethics reform-minded WCF readers will be the first to know.

Who will be the first to comment? Who wants to predict whether the Lt. Governor will amiably "roll over," or whether UEG lawyers will wind up dragging a kicking and screaming Lt. Governor Bell back into court?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Standard-Examiner Guest Commentary: Ogden Officials Deserve Higher Pay

What's wrong with the City Council... are they suffering from a low self esteem problem?
Mayor Godfrey has served at the same pay since he took office a decade ago. He, along with the help of many others, have done a terrific job of implementing his goal to define Ogden as the world's high-adventure capitol. He tirelessly recruits companies from every industry, improves access to trails and other outdoor amenities, has increased tourism and made Ogden a great place to work, play, and live. His decision to not accept the proposed increase should be viewed as his commitment to the residents of Ogden to do the job on the terms he accepted when we were all worried about Y2K.

Standard-Examiner Guest Commentary
Ogden officials deserve higher pay
June 24, 2010

Despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, it appears that there remain at least a few lonely lemmings who still remain convinced that Boss Godfrey, the same Boss Godfrey who also delivered to Ogden taxpayers the Junction Money Pit, and the languishing Leshemville Firetrap, is doing a bang-up job, even as Ogden City's "visionary," "can do" Mayor completes his tenth year of running up Ogden City debt:
Ogden officials deserve higher pay
We don't know where the Standard-Examiner finds such starry-eyed folks as guest commentator Ryan Christiansen... The Godfrey Campaign 2010 letter mill, we suppose.

Strange timing of this guest piece, by the way... inasmuch as the City Council already passed the 2010-11 fiscal year budget, containing the very salary provisions Mr. Christiansen touts in this morning's SE guest editorial... two days ago:
Ogden 2011 budget gets OK, includes pay raises
And just as we feared, the new budget salary package brings the Mayor's salary ($108,857) up to the middle of the range of mayoral salaries among the five mayor-council Utah municipal governments, while Council salaries ($11,880 base salary) remain, even with the new pay increases, at rock bottom among all Utah cities which which are governed under the Utah mayor-council form:
Comparable Salaries of Elected Officials in Utah Mayor-Council Form of Government Cities
Although we disagree with Mr. Christiansen in his contention that Boss Godfrey is a strong performer, we do concur with his major premise that Ogden elected officials deserve higher pay, in which connection we ask the obvious question:

What's wrong with the City Council... are they suffering from a low self esteem problem?

Who will be the first to comment?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Standard-Examiner: GOP Primary Goes to Lee

Primary Election post-mortem: We'll turn it over to our readers to enlighten us on the true meaning of all this

The Standard-Examiner reports (via the Associated press) the results of yesterday's Weber County/Utah primary election. For unknown reasons, this important story, which appears at the top of the front page of the Standard's paper edition, is entirely absent from the SE Live! Edition. We'll thus link the Digital Edition version:
GOP Primary goes to Lee
So what about it gentle readers? Did "Beltway Bob" Bennett's Bridgewater endorsement hurt Bridgewater's campaign and ultimately seal his fate? Will uber-right GOP candidate Mike Lee waltz into a easy November victory as AP reporter Brock Vergakis suggests? Or will middle of the road Republicans swing over to Democratic Party moderate Sam Granato in November?

And here's something we find interesting. According to Lt. Governor Bell's 2010 Primary election webpage, Tim Bridgewater actually beat Lee in most Wasatch Front high-population urban centers, but got clobbered in Utah's relatively low-population rural and semi-rural "cow counties," leaving the question open as to whether Utah voters in general will be willing to embrace a GOP Senate candidate like Lee, who's so very clearly positioned on the very far right. Remember folks, yesterday's election generated a very low voter turnout; and yesterday's results therefore arguably cannot be interpreted as accurately representing a true cross-section of voter preferences for the November General Election, for which it's reasonable to anticipate a more robust and normal voter turnout, especially in urban areas.

That's it from your blogmeister for the moment; so we'll turn it over to our readers to enlighten us on the true meaning of all this.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Breaking: Utah Supreme Court Rules in Favor of E-signatures

We're going to take a wild guess that Lt. Governor Bell and Attorney General Mark Shurtleff will soon be eating crow in the UEG Petition matter

The Deseret News delivers what's likely to be "hot off the press" good news for proponents of theUtahns for Ethical Government (UEG) Citizen's Initiative Petition, with the following story which reports that the Utah Supreme Court issued a decision this morning declaring "electronic signatures valid for candidate petitions":
Utah Supreme Court rules in favor of e-signatures
Although this morning's story refers only to "candidate petitions," it's likely that that this decision will also benefit the UEG group's ongoing citizens initiative petition signature gathering effort, inasmuch as the Court has apparently ruled that Utah Lt. Governor Bell "overstepped his bounds as the state's chief election officer," in rejecting Appellant Anderson's "so-called e-signatures" on the basis of Lt. Governor Bell's argument that "Utah's elections operate on a "paper-based system."

Inasmuch as that's the same basic argument Lt. Governor Bell has used in support of his rejection of the 10,000 or so already-submitted UEG ethics reform petitions, we're going to take a wild guess that Lt. Governor Bell and Attorney General Mark Shurtleff will soon be eating crow in the UEG Petition matter, that the Court's decision will be interpreted broadly to include citizens initiative petitions, and that the UEG group will soon be moving forward to bolster it's paper-based signature gathering effort with a renewed online effort to finally gather the requisite 95,000 signatures necessary to place robust ethics reform on the ballot for the 2012 election.

We'll definitely keep you posted on this as the situation develops, but for now we'll speculate that there'll soon be some fine dining in the Utah Government Executive Branch Offices up there on Capitol Hill:

Justice Served... Yum!

So what say our gentle readers about all this?

Update 6/22/10 4:26 p.m.: The Utah Supreme Court now has today's written decision posted to its website. Click the link below to read the raw legalese:
Anderson v. Lt. Gov. Bell
Although we haven't had the time to fully digest this opinion, after our admittedly superficial first reading, it's obvious that the Utah High Court relied fairly heavily in its decision upon the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, which broadly allows electronic signatures in most "transactions," except in those instances where the legislature has specifically banned such transactions.

Update 6/23/10 9:24 a.m.: The Standard-Examiner carries its own version of this story this morning, which includes encouraging excerpts from an interview with UEG lawyer David Irvine, who indicates that the UEG group will "put that Internet petition option back on [their] website as quickly as [they] logistically can.":
Group to revive online petition / Utahns for Ethical Government to seek signatures
Significantly, UEG lawyers are optimistic that the Utah High Court's decision is broad enough to support a renewed UEG online drive:
...the state's lawyers' arguments against Anderson's appeal "are the same arguments they have put forward against validating our online initiative signatures," Irvine said. "And the court very clearly found no merit in their reasoning."
When the UEG online petition feature is re-enabled, we assure you that our gentle readers will be the first to know.

Primary Election Day Reminder: Today's Utah Primary Race Splits Tea Party Over Senate Seat

Weber County Forum endorses Tim Bridgewater

We'll let this morning's Standard-Examiner story serve as a reminder of today's Utah GOP Primary Election, wherein candidates Tim Bridgewater and Mike Lee square off to lay claim for the Republican nomination for Senator Bennett's soon to be vacated U.S. Senate seat:
Utah's primary race splits tea party over Senate seat
The 2010 Weber County Primary Election consists of just this single race. Remember folks, this is a Closed Republican Primary, which means that only registered Republicans will be issued a ballot.

Unsure of your voting precinct? Visit Lieutenant Governor Bell's Voter Information Webpage, enter your name, birthdate, county of residence and house number, and the polling place locator utility will automatically generate your precinct number and the address of today's polling place:
Polling Place Locator Utility
Please contact the Weber County Clerk at (801)399-8034 for further information.

For those readers who may be curious about our Weber County Forum endorsement, we're pleased to announce that after considerable cogitation, we've decided to throw the mighty weight of WCF behind candidate Tim Bridgewater, largely as a result of the savvy reader discussion occurring in the comments section beneath Saturday's WCF writeup, wherein, among other things, former Councilwoman Jeske incorporated this Message from Bob Lonsberry. That whole disturbing Mike Lee Energy Solutions connection is a real deal-killer for us; and we weren't very happy about candidate Lee's action in rudely blowing off the Utah Federation of Republican Women, either.

And remember, Weber County Republicans: due to the short candidate slate, it's likely that today's primary will have a relatively low voter turnout, which means that your vote will have a much greater impact than in the General Election in November. For those voters who appreciate the opportunity to wield magnified political clout, today's Primary is made to order for you.

The polls will remain open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. We urge all GOP-registered WCF readers to make a special point to get out to your polling place to cast your vote.

The floor is now open for our readers' ever-interesting remarks.

Who will be the first to comment?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Special WCF Feature: An Ancient But Informative 1906 Video

Will it be "back to the future" for us in Ogden City?

At risk of seeming a little slow on the punch, we're going to share with our readers what we believe to be a phenomenal olde-time video, which we passed out to many of our regular WCF readers via our insider email list over the weekend. Due to the positive response on this, we've decided to share it with the other thousands of readers who read this blog.

This video, filmed from the front of an eastbound cable car on Market Street in San Francisco, California, four days before the Great 1906 Earthquake, depicts a thriving downtown urban scene, with urban streetcars serving as a central focal point and urban backbone, tying together the pedestrian, equestrian and economic traffic of a highly vibrant, shall we say, Transit Oriented City Center around the turn of the century in the US West Coast's then most culturally prominent and economically successful urban center:

Is this an urban public transportation model that can repeated in the 21st century with a more modern tone, under the looming threat of Peak Oil?

Will it be "back to the future" for us in Ogden City?

Sooner or later we'll have to face the reality that cheap oil is running out, and that we'll ultimately have to resort to proven methods of public transit, right?

Is a Downtown"Streetcar District" Streetcar the answer to Ogden City's looming public transit needs, or should we just waste our money and build one in South Ogden?

Standard-Examiner: Ogden City Council to Vote on $126M Budget

Ogden City increases government spending, while our neighbor to the south, Bountiful, prudently tightens its financial belt

By The Lovely Jennifer

This morning's Standard-Examiner reports that the Ogden City Council is now in the process of finalizing the fiscal year 2010-11 budget and increasing city spending for the coming fiscal year by $6 million over that of the previous year. Additionally, and among other things, the council has also"tentatively set aside about $701,000 in Ogden's proposed budget toward possible construction of five downtown parking garages." "It's exactly what we asked for," an elated Mayor Godfrey said. Here's the full Standard-Examiner story:
Ogden City Council to vote on $126M budget
Ogden has a history - past, present & future - of wanting more than it can afford, wanting more than it needs. Counting chickens before the eggs are laid; putting the cart before the horse. Asking for money for outrageous ideas, plans, projects - before sufficient forethought or research is done or given - based on vague thoughts and opinions of a privileged few (i.e. FOM). Not much is drawn out in translated verbiage or in words the average citizen of Ogden can understand. Things are sugar-coated and made to sound good to the average Joe/Jolene, when in fact, not everything is as it seems.

Several projects have been finished and are good and good for the people. Several projects languish (Leshemville) and are still costing the people money they were promised not to have to pay in the first place (The Junction). Several projects are only half-finished and do not show any signs of picking up the pace as it were, as far as producing the projected revenue. New buildings sit half empty with "For Lease" signs that fade in the sun. Old buildings sit un-occupied for years while new ones are built. Incentives are offered for already wealthy businesses to build in Ogden - and several years later the site has been cleared and fenced, and they moved some dirt around.

Raises are asked for all around city employees/officials - except for the fire department. Budgets have had room for a larger police force, yet only recently have a few positions opened up. Men in higher city positions retire only to be rehired which appears on the books now as two "people" being paid out of city coffers.

Federal monies are secured to refurbish building facades to attract businesses, business trips that should be reserved for marketing/buying specialists are taken by the mayor in the hopes his smiling little face will be enough to get business to Ogden. Then suddenly the planners declare Blight on the same buildings they spent the federal money on, the same buildings that were promised to be filled by companies from China, Mexico - for consignment or dollar stores - the same buildings which are still empty, and are going to need refurbishment again soon.

The city is requesting Capital Improvement monies to improve/study the Mt Ogden Park/Golf Course and build a velodrome - when playgrounds all over the city are falling down and are a huge danger to our children.

Meanwhile -- our neighbor to the south in Bountiful is tightening its belt with a healthy grip on the reality that is our nation's economy, and expecting the reality of continuing sales tax/property tax lags. They are anticipating the reality of continuing lag in the light at the end of the recession tunnel and are budgeting accordingly. In the foreseeable future, Bountiful is going to be in a better position financially to be able to begin adding new projects and slowly building its tax base on a more solid foundation:
Bountiful holds the line, again has smaller budget than previous year
Reading this latter article made this forum reader sit back and go "hmmm!"

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Important Streetcar Update: Major Setback In the Effort to Revitalize the City of Ogden and the Trolley District

It's time, we think, for the citizens and their City Council to "pull rank" on this, and get the Ogden Streetcar Project back "on track."

By Shalae Larsen
via The Historic Trolley District

Dear Trolley District Neighbors,

It is with great frustration and disappointment that I am writing to you today. We have suffered a major setback in our efforts to revitalize the city of Ogden and the Trolley District, with the promise of restoring urban rail transit. The “Stakeholder” group that met yesterday (6/156/10), voted to move into the next phase of project development with the Washington-36th street alignment, also including “some language” about considering Washington-30th Street as a possible alternative. While we are disappointed in this outcome, it is not unexpected for two reasons: 1. UTA has clearly had a 36th Street outcome planned since the beginning of this process and has imposed this bias in all of the reports and meetings that have been held to date. And 2. UTA selected a “Stakeholder” committee that largely defies the definition of what a Stakeholder is...aside from our two Council Members and Mayor none of the stakeholders live in any proximity to the proposed streetcar, will likely never ride it, and have no direct-relationship to the effects of their decision in this matter.

We at the Trolley District are seriously disappointed in UTA’s continued disregard for the public that it is appointed to serve. Even after meeting with our group and agreeing to a compromise of taking both the 36th street and the 25th street alignments into the next phase of project development, UTA in bad faith did not see this commitment through. This outcome is just another example in a recent string of corruption and poor decision making on the part of a bureaucracy that is clearly out of control!

Now we must prepare for the upcoming community meeting where UTA expects to present their findings and receive public feedback as part of the formal public process. We know that UTA sees this as a mere formality, but we need to show them that the public is invested in the future of our community! Please contact your city council person and tell them how you feel about streetcars, and ask them to look at a long-range plan for Harrison Boulevard so that this corridor does not become a 7-lane highway. And, plan on being out if full force at the public comment meeting! We have not heard the details yet on the time and place of the meeting, but we will let you know as soon as we hear anything!

Thank you for your continued support!

The Trolley District

Editor's addendum: Ms. Larsen suggests that proponents of a 25th Street east-west streetcar corridor alignment contact their city council representatives to express your own viewpoints. As we've pointed out before, the Ogden City Council will have the final call on this, regardless of the machinations of UTA and UDOT bureuacrats. Ultimately, the Ogden City Council will have to make a final decision, and so we believe it's time to urge the city council to get moving on this, to hold its own public hearing (if necessary) and then inform Utah transportation agency bureaucrats that a 36th street leg is a non-starter, and that the prospect of of turning Harrison Boulevard into a seven-lane superhighway is an alternative which is entirely unacceptable to the lumpencitizens of Ogden.

In that connection, here's our WCF council contact link:
Contact Local Officials
There's been far too much time and energy misdirected by Utah bureaucrats to the WRONG Ogden streetcar plan. It's time, we think, for the citizens and their City Council to "pull rank" on this, and get the Ogden Streetcar Project back "on track.

Update 6/20/10 12:07 p.m.: And one more thing. Trolley District News is also calling for a "letters to the editors campaign":
Standard Examiner Article - We ask what is the REAL cost?
Let's roll up our sleeves O Gentle Ones... and get it done.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Utah Federation of Republican Women Press Release

We welcome all Republican women and their spouses to join us tonight in a celebration of Republican Women

Utah Federation of Republican Women

Darcy Kruitbosch, President, UFRW 801-510-2349
Kathleen Handy, President, WRC of SLC 801-755-9795

Dear Republican Women,

We received a copy of the Mike Lee campaign statement regarding his withdrawal from the U.S. Senate debate scheduled for this evening 6 p.m., June 19, 2010 at Merit Medical, 1600 Merit Parkway, South Jordan, Utah.

Because we have received many questions about the discrepancies in our news release and the Lee campaign statement, we wanted to clear up the confusion.

Here is the Lee campaign statement:
"In regards to the UFRW debate, the campaign has had eight joint appearances and debates with the opponent this week alone, including four today. The UFRW changed the venue location from the neutral location of the University of Utah to our opponent's finance chairman's business. We were not allowed to insert a campaign volunteer into the question vetting process. As such, we have determined not to attend the debate, but welcome voters to attend public debates either tonight at UVU or on in Bountiful on Saturday. Details on the debates are on our website

Since the event location, moderator, and questions screeners were all endorsee's of the Bridgewater campaign, and we were not allowed to participate in any of this, along with the fact that there have been 8 other debates this week alone, the campaign decided to cancel this debate.

I hope this does not cause you too much inconvenience, but it was the only choice we could make given our situation.”
The event sponsors, UFRW and the RW of SLC, did not change the venue. The event was originally scheduled at the Merit Medical, a location generously provided by Fred Lampropoulos to many community organizations. The candidates confirmed their appearance at this event through their schedulers.

Neither the Bridgewater nor the Lee campaigns requested a volunteer to be involved in the “question vetting process.” An email went out to the presidents and board members soliciting suggestions. The moderator, former Governor Olene Walker, was organizing those questions.

The event organizers have not publicly endorsed either candidate.

We have extended an apology to Governor Olene Walker for any inconvenience this change may have caused. We welcome all Republican women and their spouses to join us in a celebration of Republican Women. Tim Bridgewater will be there to meet with us and to answer questions from 6 until 7:30 p.m. We look forward to seeing you tonight. Please RSVP to one of us or on our Facebook page.

Darcy and Kathleen

Friday, June 18, 2010

Mike Lee Backs Out of Utah Federation of Republican Women Saturday Night Debate

If nothing else we suppose, this latest development adds interest to what's been up until now a real yawner of a Senate race

Whoa! The Paul Rolley reports that GOP Senatorial candidate Mike Lee has backed out of a pre-primary Utah Federation of Republican Women intra-party debate which was originally scheduled in Salt Lake for Saturday night:
Rolly: GOP women in the cross hairs
We'll volunteer off the cuff that we question the wisdom of Lee's last minute cancellation. But it's Lee's campaign to lose though... so if he chooses to run the risk of possibility of alienating half the Utah electorate, that's his choice, right?

We checked out Lee's Facebook page, and didn't find anything that we could accurately describe as the "trash talk" which Mr. Rolley describes in his above column; although we did find this statement, which would seem to indicate that candidate Lee hasn't been exactly following a pattern of "running and hiding":

In regards to the UFRW debate, the campaign has had eight joint appearances and debates with the opponent this week alone, including four today. The UFRW changed the venue location from the neutral location of the University of Utah to our opponent's finance chairman's business. We were not allowed to insert a campaign volunteer into the question vetting process. As such, we have determined not to attend the debate, but welcome voters to attend public debates either tonight at UVU or on in Bountiful on Saturday.
If nothing else, we suppose, this latest development adds interest to what's been up until now a real yawner of a Senate race; and as to the question of whether Lee's snubbing of the most politically active GOP women's organization in all of Utah will result in a mass voter exodus to the Tim Bridgewater campaign, we'll soon find out.

Don't forget next week's primary, GOP voters. Weber County polls are open Tuesday at 7:00 a.m.

And what about it, GOP voters? How, if at all, will this apparent MIKE LEE BLUNDER affect YOUR vote?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Spotlight on The Standard-Examiner Letters Section

Three reader-submitted letters which deserve particular attention

By George K

I would like to mention on WCF three letters to the editor that appeared in yesterday’s and today’s newspaper.

Mr. Bob Williams in his short letter, “Godfrey seeks the voter’s favor,” came to the same conclusion as I: Godfrey will run again in 2011 for a fourth term.


Ogden cannot stand another four years of the Godfrey administration! Godfrey will have given it away to his FOMs. Or put us into bankruptcy!

The letter by Vaughn Cavender of North Ogden, “City’s treatment of outstanding officer is appalling,” brings to light a grave injustice done to one of Ogden’s most conscientious and community-minded police officers, Ron Gardiner. You will remember him and his dancing horse, Sundance, at all city-sponsored events including Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, and as one of the three police officers who almost died because of exposure to carbon monoxide poisoning when performing an official investigation. He endured more than a year-long battle recovering from the effects of that in-the-line-of-duty injury. Upon his return to duty, he received permanent injuries during an Ogden City sponsored training that caused him to retire early. He is still unable to lead a normal life. Taking Sundance to an activity requires a recuperation period of several days. The Godfrey administration has fought him in his efforts to receive compensation for his medical bills and forced leave of absence, plus they have treated him abominably.

Mr. Cavender assessed the Godfrey administration correctly when he described them as “corrupt,” and stated that they should “defend Officer Gardiner and put as much energy into taking care of him as they are defending the police chief of any wrong doing.” We might add that the police chief and the administration knowingly and deliberately broke the law. Mr. Cavender went on to say, “The City of Ogden appalls me and I am glad I am not a resident of that corrupt city government. Please show this fine officer some justice.”

I most certainly hope that Ogden residents can see what is clear to residents of nearby communities with honest mayors and support personnel and give Godfrey his walking papers next year!

Now to address the letter authored by Mr. Robert A. Becker and his criticism of the editorial page editor, Doug Gibson, “Editor offered too much space for his views.”

Mr. Becker states that Mr. Gibson “diminishes opportunities for other voices and other points of view to appear when he awards himself additional columns on those pages in the space of a month.” I would like to ask Mr. Becker if he knows of any letters or points of view that have not been published in the newspaper because of Mr. Gibson’s commentaries. I would dare say that he has not withheld any commentaries or letters, and that he wrote his articles to use space for which there was no other point of view or citizen letter.

I find Mr. Gibson’s editorials refreshing and often filled with good common sense. A welcome change from the liberal points of view that are published by the editorial board and were the opinion of the previous editorial page editor.

Keep writing, Mr. Gibson!

Standard-Examiner: Ogden Mayor Proposes $50,000 Study of Golf Course Winter Sports

It's ironic that the mayor wants to pay a professional to study this extremely small idea, when he finds no need to pay professionals to evaluate his big ideas

By Dan S.

The Standard-Examiner finally has an article about Godfrey's winter sports study proposal:
Ogden mayor proposes $50,000 study of golf course
Let's use a little common sense here. It's highly unlikely that winter activities at the golf course will ever make a profit. As soon as you try to collect fees, you've gotta pay staff to be there whenever the facility is open. Charge for towing kids up a sledding hill? Most of them would probably just walk. Charge for admitting them to a hill covered with artificial snow? Then you'd have to fence it off--another hassle and expense.

The snowmaking idea has some merit, but why pay $50,000 to study it when the same price would buy the snowmaking equipment itself? How do I know? Because Ogden submitted a RAMP grant application a few months ago, asking for $56,000 to buy portable snowmaking equipment. For that matter, $100,000 is apparently enough to create a whole winter sports park, including a rope tow, because Ogden submitted another RAMP application for just that. (The winter sports park was to be down by the Ogden River, across from the stadium.) So $50,000 for a mere study is way out of proportion.

It's ironic that the mayor wants to pay a professional to study this extremely small idea, when he finds no need to pay professionals to evaluate his big ideas. Where is the feasibility study for the Junction? For the velodrome? For the ice climbing tower? For the River Project? For the Malan's Basin resort? Or, for that matter, for the golf course?

Pac-10 invites Utah as 12th member

Fantastic news for Utah Utes sports fans

This just in via ESPN:

The Salt Lake Tribune is of course all over this story too, with articles expressing a range of "attitude," running from sheer elation to cautious optimism:
Pac-10 extends official invitation to Utah
Once in the Pac-10, can Utah win?
Monson: Utah should celebrate Pac-10, but also be warned
Kragthorpe: Utah-BYU split will make rivalry stronger
And down in Zoobieland, let's just say that the Provo Herald is taking the taking the news of the departure of the Utes to the "Conference of Champions"... well, philosophically... although to their credit they do encourage Cougar fans to avoid to avoid adopting a sour grapes attitude:
FRANCHUK: Pac-10 move not too bad for Utah — or BYU
Nice work, Utes. For our money the 2011 NCAA athletic season can't arrive fast enough.

And what say our gentle readers about this?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Are Utah's 912/Tea Party Movements being Infiltrated by Utah BIG GUMMINT Scumbags?

Boss Godfrey's biggest BIG Government political whore joins the Utah 912 Group

Here's something of substance that was emailed to us a by an Alert and Gentle WCF Reader a little while back:

Strange innit that Boss Godfrey's #1 political whore, the "elder" Geiger dipshit, who split the Ogden community down the middle and fought for federal funds for the construction of Ogden Gondolas, with the prospect of drawing massive federal funding, is now suddenly a 912er? We kid you not. This is something that even in our wildest imagination we could not make up:
Curtis R Geiger Member of The Weber 912 Project
And this BIG GUMMINT GUY suddenly now sez he's in favor of "a much more limited Federal Government." HA!

Weird world in Ogden, innit?

I wonder whether my brothers and sisters in the 912/tea party movement, who are suddenly cropping up as a chorus behind your blogmeister's constant pro-constitution political solo act over the past 30 years, realize they're even now being infiltrated and compromised by scumbags like this little BIG GUMMINT Godfrey bitch, Curt Geiger?

Don't hesitate to throw in your own 2¢, people.

It gets stranger and stranger day by day in Utah politics, dunnit?

Standard-Examiner: Ogden Area Bouncing Back?

What ought to be clear from a reading of the Brookings Report... any talk of local economic recovery is premature at best

On the theme of making a silk purse out of a sow's ear, we'll briefly direct our readers' attention an uplifting Standard-Examiner morning story, where some unnamed SE writer has cherry-picked a rather dismal Intermountain West economic survey, and reinterpreted it as a downright "chirpy local good news story."

This morning the highly respected Brookings Institution released this report, which paints a generally disappointing picture of "economic recovery" in the Mountain West:
June 2010 —Mountain Monitor: Tracking Economic Recession and Recovery in the Intermountain West’s Metropolitan Areas
And here's the SE's morning writeup, which craftily (and mendaciously, we think) generates a positive local spin:
Ogden area bouncing back / Top of Utah's economic recovery leads Western region
The SE puts all the emphasis on the good part:
The study... contends the Ogden metropolitan area has completely recovered in production output and surpassed prerecession levels of growth in goods and services.
But the fly in the ointment is unemployment, folks; and even the upbeat SE couldn't suppress that fact:
"... jobs failed to materialize, and Ogden's unemployment rate continues to mount..."
What ought to be clear from a reading of the Brookings Report is that Ogden, and the Mountain West in general, is still plagued by a dynamic of increasing unemployment which makes any talk of economic recovery premature at best. For a good discussion of the nature of the so-called jobless recovery on the national level, by the way, check out this link:
The Jobless Recovery
We're going to file this story under the label "Puff Pieces," folks, and for that we'll engage in another neck-snapping Weber County Forum segue. In that connection we invite our readers to check out this 5/10/10 blog article, which skillfully expounds upon the tendency of the print media to process "every visibly negative bit of data ... through a media and Central State assembly line" and to refashion it as "good news" and "evidence" that [a] "nascent recovery is taking hold":
Suppressing the Cognitive Dissonance of a Bogus Recovery
While we appreciate the SE's probably well-intentioned effort to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative, we prefer to dwell in the world of reality here at Weber County Forum.

Who will be the first to comment?

Standard-Examiner: Ogden RDA Shells Out $242,000 For "About" an Acre of Land

We don't know who negotiated on behalf of Ogden Chrome, but believe us, we'll be sure to find out and retain them, the next time Boss Godfrey's "A" Team decides to purchase a property from us

As a followup to Monday's David S. writeup, we'll spotlight this morning's Standard-Examiner story, reporting that "the city's Redevelopment Agency board approved a $242,000 expenditure Tuesday night for the purchase of about an acre to aid the cleanup of a polluted downtown stretch of the Ogden River":
Ogden RDA OKs purchase of land downtown
Nope. That's not a typo. That's two-hundred and forty-two thousand taxpayer dollars for "about" an acre of land, situated in the heart of dilapidated Leshemville, where existing structures will still have to be torn down at taxpayer expense, and valid soil tests yet need to be performed.

We don't know who negotiated on behalf of Ogden Chrome, but believe us, we'll be sure to find out and retain them, the next time Boss Godfrey's "A" Team decides to purchase a property from us.

In other news, "the RDA board adopted a fiscal 2011 budget that includes a $183,275 allocation to begin the process of demolishing 40 vacant houses in the Ogden River Project area owned by Ogden Riverfront Development Company."

The Standard course does not report whether Ogden Riverfront Development has actually agreed to this latter demolition plan, which includes provisions requiring "that funds used for demolition by the city be recovered through liens placed on properties or a value-for-value exchange for land in the river project for a public park."

Our guess? In classic Godfrey Administration style, the ever-agile "A" Team, at this point, no doubt "plans" to "wing it," as always.

Comments, anyone?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Big Emerald City RDA Meeting Tomorrow (Tuesday) Night

Another long-time Ogden manufacturing business to be shown the door at taxpayer expense

By David S.

I note this from the council packet for tomorrow's Ogden Redevelopment Agency meeting:
Redevelopment Agency Agenda Packet
The Administration is seeking authorization for the Executive Director of the Redevelopment Agency to purchase property located at 153 18th Street,commonly referred to as Ogden Chrome & Bumper.

Acquisition of the property is vital to the success of the (ever-languishing taxpayer sinkhole known as the) Ogden River Restoration Project and for future development along the river. The property is also located along Wall Avenue, which has been targeted for redevelopment.

Purchase price and relocation costs total $242,000 which will be drawn from FY2010 funds. (Pay no attention to this - - the mayor will claim it's not really real money.)

PURCHASE PRICE: $192,000, the MAI appraised value established by Free and Associates, on October 6, 2009. $50,000 relocation costs. Total $242,000.

(With no provision for environmental cleanup so the mayor can preserve his reputation for being cavalier and irresponsible.)

In addition to the current purchase, staff have obtained options to purchase the two other Ogden Chrome parcels located at 145 18th Street for $235,000, and at 1802 Wall Avenue for $175,000.

Options run through August 31, 2012. At a future date, the consideration of these acquisitions will be brought to the RDA Board.

It is proposed that the Board authorize and approve the Executive Director to execute and take all actions necessary to effectuate an Agreement of Purchase and Sale with MCK5 LLC regarding the purchase of the parcel of real property located at 153 18th Street, Ogden, Utah.

So in summary, another long-time Ogden manufacturing business will soon be shown the door at taxpayer expense, joining Big Bubba's, Superior Welding, Bloom's and many other functioning, taxpaying businesses driven out of town because they didn't fit the boutique image of Ogden's elites and their toady mayor. In their place will be more new Class A property with "Available" signs, and vacant lots filled with weeds, together with more debt, more money wasted.

I suppose we should be grateful that our mayor is at least creating so much downtown "open space".

Heaven help us when the bill for all this spending comes due.

Fox News Poll: Ban Old Glory in U.S. Public Schools?

Just in case you haven’t heard yet, Fox News has a poll... "Should the Flag Be Banned at Schools?”, Organizing for America, and SEIU have been twittering today to go to Fox Poll and vote to ban the Flag... and right now it is working.

Navigate to the Fox website to cast your (nay) vote:
Should the American Flag Be Banned -- in America?
Just another helpful public service announcement from your old pal Rudi, (thanks to a tip from yet another sharp-eyed WCF Reader.)

And what about it folks?  Is it possible that proponents of a flag ban are really serious about such a measure, or can we chalk this up as just another Faux News red-herring?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Boss Godfrey Seeks Blanket Executive Carte Blanche to Spend Grants and Donations

We'll predict that the Council can iron it all out in about two minutes

If this was a dictatorship it would be a heck of a lot easier ... just as long as I am the dictator.
President George Bush
Bush "Dictator" Gaffe
October 29, 2002

Earlier this morning we received a comment from Dan S., which has stimulated some interest in one of our earlier lower comment sections. Here's the observation we received from Dan:

"Sound the alarms. According to today's S-E, Godfrey now wants the authority to spend grants and donations on projects of his choice with zero council oversight."

Here's the Standard-Examiner story, where the issue is buried beneath this headline:
Ogden pickleball courts have to clear a hurdle
The "problem" involves a $40,000 John Gullo donation, for the construction of four "pickleball courts" at Mt. Ogden Park. It seems that such a donation requires a formal council amendment of Ogden City's Capital Improvement Plan, which is apparently making our ever-petulant Emerald City Mayor mighty sore. Lord knows he hates to lower himself to what he probably percieves as groveling before the Council for even the slightest and most reasonable concessions.

And here's the paragraph which evidently caught Dan's attention:
There have been several instances where playground equipment valued at more than $10,000 has been donated to city parks without a CIP amendment, Godfrey said. He would like to see the CIP amendment ordinance changed so individuals don't encounter bureaucratic red tape when they make donations.

The article goes on to say that "The city council is discussing the possibility of changing the parameters for donations requiring a CIP amendment," According to Council Director Bill Cook.

We'll go on record as opposing any grant of authority to bypass existing procedures regarding the disbursement of donations and grants, regardless of the source or intent. As everybody knows, when you're dealing with man like Godfrey, "give him an inch and he'll take an mile," as the old saying goes.

There's nothing wrong with having Godfrey present this problem at the next regularly scheduled Council meeting, in our view. We'll predict that the Council can iron it all out in about two minutes, without ceding unnecessarily broad discretionary spending authority to Godfrey.

Checks and balances, folks. That's what American government is supposed to be all about.

The floor is open for any readers who'd like to engage in some late discussion of this extremely fascinating issue.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday Morning Emerald City News Roundup

Lucky for Boss Godfrey that his predecessor, Mayor Mecham, had the foresight to nail down the "Cash Cow" BDO parcel, we guess.

From this morning's Standard-Examiner we learn of Boss Godfrey's latest multi-million dollar pet project, five (count 'em, 5) downtown parking garages, the Little Lord's apparent Obsession Du Jour:
Godfrey: More parking garages necessary to support Ogden offices and retail space
According to Mr. Schwebke, Godfrey wants to commit "$7.1 million over the next decade to fund the municipality's share of the $20.3 million garage project... to help finance construction of five parking garages,"

"People leasing office and retail space aren't going to enter the market if we can't provide places to park," Boss Godfrey suddenly discovers, ten years into his Mayoral term of office.

Notably, "the administration is asking the city council to authorize up to $900,000 annually in Business Depot Ogden lease revenue to fund the municipality's share of the $20.3 million garage project."

And while we're on the topic of grand Boss Godfrey projects, The Deseret News reports that the little Lord has figured out a way to blow a slightly more modest chunk of taxpayer cash:
Ogden mayor proposes study of wintertime activities at city golf course
Predictably, DNews reporter Brice Wallace informs us that, surprise of surprises, "[f]unds for the study would come from a portion of Business Depot Ogden lease revenues."

Lucky for Godfrey that his predecessor, Mayor Mecham, had the foresight to nail down the "Cash Cow" BDO parcel, we guess.

So what say our gentle readers about all this?

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