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?


Curmudgeon said...

The last line of Mr. C's op ed piece is this: "I urge each of the city council members to vote for the ability of the city of Ogden to make decisions that could positively affect its most valuable employees."

Ah... didn't the City Council already vote on this and approve the raises two days ago?

WTG SE! Johnny-on-the-spot printing timely op ed pieces! What's next up, an op-ed urging Republican voters to support Lee in the primary?

$28,000 raise, wtf!!!!!!!!!!!! said...

Why aren't they getting the same 2% as the rest of us?

Afraid of Pay for Performance?

Moroni McConkie said...

Bob Geiger's replacement exists somewhere and it might as well be Ryan Christiansen.

B.S. said...

What is the total compensation for the Mayor including car allowance, retirement, and health insurance along with expense account? Isnt that how the city stuffed shirts report all of the pee-ons salaries?

2% average increase for employees and 30% for elected officials, that is totally screwed up.

City admin says that they value the employees, but they value the elected ones more, and not to mention there are many seven and eight year employees who make the same as an entry level employee. The Mayor isnt the only person who has not had wage increases.

Danny said...

Ryan Christiansen, from what I can tell, is a photographer who fancies himself as being in "advertising." In other words, he is Kurt and Bobby Geiger, he is Rupert Hitzig, he is Gadi Leshem.

He is another nobody, pretending to be somebody important. Read this line from his editorial.

"As a member of a group of business leaders that has supported a study of the mayor's salary . . ."

He is a business leader like I am a Miss America contender.

Then he has this silly line:

"Imagine if this employee was in the business development group and had key relationships which could bring in a new employer to Ogden city?"

Sure, let's imagine. Since that's as far as Godfrey's ideas typically get figured out - just something to think about while looking at clouds.

Every con man in the world, says, "Let's just imagine..."

Ability to imagine something is the first step before forging a plan, but it is not a plan in itself nor a reason to do anything. But Godfreyites never get past that first step because they can't.

Ryan Christiansen is yet another example of the adage: It's the incompetent and pretentious who love Matt Godfrey.

And yet, now they say we need to raise Godfrey's salary to attract good people. Is this to attract Godfrey, or somebody else? These people don't even seem to know.

Why are Ogden and Matt Godfrey a magnet for silly men like Ryan Christiansen?

Bob King said...

My Lord!

Ryan Christiansen?

Do you people know this guy?

What a joke!

I'll bet Godfrey's even embarrassed.

ozboy said...

Thanks Danny, you left me nothing to say on the subject! Great post!!

By the way, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the idea of you be a Miss America contender, I heard you look great in formal attire as well as a two piece bathing suit!

Viktor said...

Look for the coming announcement of Ryan Christiansen's appointment to a newly created $120,000 a year post in city government as the mayor's apologist in chief and main apple polisher.

Danny said...

Ryan Christiansen quotes:

"Let's imagine we all love each other."

"Let's imagine we have world peace."

"Let's imagine I have a real business, with actual clients."

"Let's imagine Godfrey is a good mayor."

"Let's imagine the economy will recover, that the city government will be able to service all Godfrey's debt, and that it will not have to file bankruptcy."

"Let's imagine this guy, the one in the article below, who's been doing this for 50+ years, doesn't know what he's talking about, but people like me do."

Imagine Our Future

Curmudgeon said...


You know, guys, it's perfectly possible, it really is, to differ with someone's POV on matters like the Mayor's pay, and to counter it with evidence, without simultaneously attacking his or her character, etc. It really is.

Mr. C. is as entitled as any of us here to take public a stand on a public issue, like the pay raises, and make his point as best he can in the Standard Examiner as a guest columnist. When he lays out his arguments in the public prints, they're certainly open to scrutiny and refutation. But I fail to see why that should, almost as a knee-jerk reaction, involve an attack on the man himself and his character.

Curmudgeon said...

Being reported in the SE comments on this piece that Mr. Christiansen is not a resident of Ogden, but of Uinta, and that he does not own property in Ogden.

If he does not live in Ogden, does he work here? If not, if he's not a resident, and not a property owner, nor a business owner here, nor an employee working at a business in Ogden, I'm a little hard put to see what standing he has for submitting his views on this matter to the SE.

He's free to do so, of course, just as I'd be free to send a letter to the Salt Lake Trib regarding pay for the Mayor and city council in that city... but since I don't live or work there, and own no property there, I wouldn't expect anyone who did to pay much heed to what I had to say. Same for Mr. C. if he's truly unconnected to Ogden City by residence, property ownership, or employment here.

blackrulon said...

Bob King- I am afraid you are wrong. I do not believe that it is possible to embarass or shame Matthew Godfrey

Hindman said...

I find it shameful and offensive that the city council members should vote themselves a raise even based on their low salaries.

There is no pay for performance in that regard.

Now for part two - isn't there a good candidate to run for mayor of Ogden? There are a lot of republicans complaining about Obama driving us into debt, yet Godfrey and his republican cronies are doing the exact same thing to Ogden.

Curmudgeon said...


I think the pay for Council members is absurdly low, considering the time necessary to do their jobs, if they take them seriously. But I agree that this was not the time to have raised that pay.

That said, let's give them a little credit. The pay raises don't kick in, I think for a couple of years, right? Meaning after the next Council and Mayoral election. Let's give them some credit for that --- unless delaying pay raises until an intervening election has happened is required by Ordinance. If not, they get a few "class act" points for delaying the raises until several of the members who voted on the raises have had to stand before the public on an election day.

"class act"? said...

Raise the pay for the next council by 34%
Raise the pay for the next council chair by 30%
Raise the pay for the next mayor by 36%

Raise the pay of everybody else by 2%

beaver said...


The facts: Ryan Christiansen lives in Uinta. He works in Salt Lake for Zions Bank. He is a huge fan of Matthew Godfrey.

googler said...

From Weber County Geo Gizmo:

Parcel Data
Serial # 07-131-0004


Property Address
OGDEN 84403

Mailing Address
OGDEN UT 84403

Tax Unit 159

Date 06-DEC-02

This property is in unincorporated Weber County, generally referred to as Uinta highlands.

Curmudgeon said...

Sorry, but I'm confused now. If the address of the property is Ogden, doesn't it mean Mr. C. has good standing to write about Ogden City pay?

googler said...

Curmudgeon: The post office pays zero attention to city limits. C's address is not in Ogden. He doesn't pay taxes to Ogden and he doesn't vote for Ogden's officials.

2% firefighter said...

Uinta Highlands is not in Ogden City. Take it from a Firefighter who knows the Ogden City Boundaries.

Not a Friend of Matt's said...



Do you have any idea how condescending you come across sometimes? Jeeze, you often remind me of my first ex-wife!

I think if fairly safe to say that any one who heaps praise upon Mr. Godfrey, especially a person who represents themselves as a business leader, is in on the take. The overwhelming evidence is that the mayor is a very incompetent business person and there is a circle of his friends who make a lot of money from his unsuccessful projects. This particular letter writer appears to be in that circle and I don't think it unreasonable for people to jam him over his endorsement of the mayor.

Curmudgeon said...

Not a Friend:

Sorry if I sounded condescending. But it gets old, sometimes, to see people's character attacked straight out of the gate merely because they disagree with others here on some matter of public policy. And no, I don't think we can assume that anyone who considers himself a business leader who thinks the Mayor is doing a good job must be on the take.

I hold no brief for Godfrey. He's done some good things, but on balance, he has not been a good Mayor. His grasp of what ethical conduct requires of a public man is woefully thin, he's a ham-fisted public administrator, his business judgement has proven itself to be [to put it as charitably as possible] doubtful, he's engaged in cronyism I think and dissembling, much of it needless.

But there are many who disagree with me about all that, including a majority of the people who voted in the last mayoral election. No, I don't think all of them or most of them, even those in the business community "must be" on the take. I think they're wrong, often, about the mayor, but that does not equate with their being corrupt. And I can point out why I think they're wrong without attacking their character, honesty, etc., without, in fact, attacking anything other than their judgment. I need more, much more, than "he thinks the Mayor's doing a good job" for me to sustain an allegation of bribery or other corruption. Those are crimes, and shouldn't be alleged without substantial supporting evidence.

I'm afraid we're going to have to agree to disagree on this.

OneWhoKnows said...

Curm...ex wife or not, you're wrong. Godfrey is basically dishonest and a hypocrite. He claims he's a representative of the local dominant faith, saintly in fact, yet in his business dealings with other people and good sound priciples, he is a low down liar. Trust me, I have facts and experiences having worked for him for 8 years and watched him come into office as a young, energetic, unexperienced boy and evolved into a micro manager crook with short man syndrom. I appreciate your understanding and position of giving him the benefit of the doubt, but you need to get a little closer to the fire to get burned. Then you will see and hopefully change your rose-colored views about Ogden's wonderful mayor.

Curmudgeon said...

2% and Googler:

I'd assumed that an Ogden PO address meant an Ogden location. Learn something every day.

Thanks for pointing it out.

Curmudgeon said...


Your reply concerns only the Mayor. What we were disagreeing about was not our opinions of the Mayor, but your claim that those who think he's doing a good job must necessarily themselves be "on the take" --- i.e. corrupt.

ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

There is an old saying my mother used to lay on me when she found out I was hanging out on Nicotine Hill (behind Ogden High School) with the local hoods.

It was true then and it is true now:

"birds of a feather flock together"

I agree with the poster above, who proclaims to be not a friend of Matt's, when he makes the point that an honest competent business person would not in fact endorse a sleazy incompetent like Godfrey. I believe that any one who ever ran an honest business that was not dependent on Government hand outs would see Godfrey for what so many people thing he is - a lying incompetent bungler who wouldn't make a pimple on the ass of the average mid level "C" Store manager.

Sure it's a free country..... said...

Sure it's a free country......
Anyone who would publically show support for the Mayor is one of the following: 1. A totally misinformed individual from some other dimension; 2. One of an assortment of business types (most likely real estate or construction) looking for a sweetheart deal or some other business advantage; 3. An egocentric, fellow narcissist who simply likes to associate him/her self with the local pundit; 4. Any misguided soul who for reasons unknown actually believes that the Mayor is a much maligned visionary, an astute businessman, a kind and generous human being and all-round good fellow. This latter category may not actually exist, I doubt that it does, but if so I believe that Curm should limit his efforts to be fair and even handed to this group on the basis of ignorance is indeed an excuse - the misguided souls not Curm.

Curmudgeon said...


You've agreed, more or less, with me. All I argued was that people who think the mayor is doing a good job are mistaken, but their being mistaken does not mean they are "on the take" or corrupt. That's all. You seem to agree on that [point 4].

There are way too many in the US these days [nationally and locally] who jump to the conclusion that anyone who disagree with them on public matters must therefor be dishonest, corrupt, a Communist, a Fascists , etc. etc.[pick your poison].

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