Monday, June 21, 2010

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!"

24 comments:

althepal said...

Nice contrast between the attitudes of Bountiful and Ogden City officials. It brings to mind the parable of the Ant and the Grasshopper, doesn't it?

Am I the only one who believes that BDO lease revenue that Godfrey and the Council fritter away on hare-brained Godfrey projects would be better spent on paying down Ogden City's massive debt?

Smart Glasshopper said...

Here's something interesting. Like the city of Bountiful, Great Britain's new government this week also opted for the "austerity approach":

UK’s emergency budget will be tough with austerity measures spread over five years, chancellor confirms

Curmudgeon said...

Nice write up and analysis... but in fairness, we ought to at least note that according to the SE story, Hizzonah's request for money for the Velodrome and for the 50K study of sled-riding in MO park are not included in the proposed budget. So at this point, it's not "the city" that's requesting "Capital Improvement monies to improve/study the Mt Ogden Park/Golf Course and build a velodrome," it's the Mayor. Those two items having been stripped from the Mayor's budget request according to the SE seem significant enough to have pointed out.

ozboy said...

Jennifer

Great piece that summarizes the idiocy that prevails at Ogden City Hall.

It appears that Godfrey is once again inching toward having another compliant (rubber stamp) council. Like a Vampire, he is never quite dead and gone unless and until someone drives a wooden stake through his heart - if he had one.

just axing said...

What's up, Rudi! I'm now seeing a massive amount of Mike Lee Banner ads on your website.

Does this mean you're picking favorites in tomorrow's Utah Primary Election?

Gregory House said...

All of that money in the proposed budget and yet Ogden city continues to deny fair treatment to injured police officer Ron Gardiner.

David S. said...

Curm,

I noticed that right off too. The velodrome is not funded nor is the study for the golf course. The parking garages have money set aside, but not authorized.

Hopefully the velodrome is dead. The study for the golf course is something a citizen's committee could do for free. And the parking garage issue is one the city council will need to see more information regarding before they are persuaded. Hopefully the public can provide them with some perspective.

The council's approach seems understandable. It's not what I would have done, but it's not so bad.

By the way, why is the road at the top of 27th Street blocked? There is an important Taylor Canyon trail head there. It's too bad that in Ogden, with Godfrey as mayor, we have to assume the worst, which is that Chris Peterson bought the land and his toady Godfrey has begun the process of blocking that trail head.

Calls to the city today were not returned.

David S said...

Also, I believe the line,

"It's exactly what we asked for," an elated Mayor Godfrey said.

was gratuitous.

Godfrey would much rather have gotten the money authorized than put into a "piggy bank" with the council holding the key to the bank.

Godfrey's comment was directed to his campaign contributors - so they will believe their mayoral "cash cow" will soon be paying (them) off again, and so they will start writing those four figure checks to Godfrey again.

Curmudgeon said...

David:

You wrote: "The council's approach seems understandable. It's not what I would have done, but it's not so bad."

I agree. It does not seem that the Council has agreed to barrel straight ahead and the devil-take-the-hindmost, but has set aside the money for the nonce while more information about possible other participants in financing all this, and market conditions and demand, can be more accurately assessed.

caddyhack said...

All financial matters relating to MOGC losing $300,000 per year should be verified. The quote, "according to the city administration" is not verification, it's stenography. And Who is Mr. Schwebke's "city administration" figure(s)?

Mr. Schwebke's "article" reads more like a press release.

ozboy said...

Caddyshack

Didn't you know that all of the articles Schwepke writes about the Godfreyites are re-worked press releases? Considering his complete lack of curiosity and his over abundance of gullibility, it makes his life a lot easier to just re-work the Mayor's press releases without any major content changes.

not funny said...

Isn't it funny how Ogden went from 98 million when Godfrey first got elected to 126 million now?

Too Funny said...

Not Funny - That is only a 28% increase in the Ogden budget since mayor Godfrey took office. If you think that is bad, just wait until the chickens come home to roost on all of his (our) failures. The citizens are on the line for many, many millions, perhaps as much as a hundred million, and eventually we are going to have to pay this debt regardless of whether any of the ill advised projects make any money or not.

Can't Get No Satisfaction said...

The gloom of you prognostigators always make me chuckle. Every one of Godfrey's projects are predicted to be failures. The debt will be unpayable. His initiatives are "hair brained schemes, put together in smoke filled back rooms." "Four figure' (WOW!) checks are rolling in from his cronies. The council is a "rubber stamp" (what happened to Van Hoover and if the guy's so bad, why did the anti-Godfrey bunch get tossed at the last election?). An important trailhead at the top of 27th is another Peterson purchase).

And on, and on, and on....

If you people had your way, Washington Blvd would still be COMPLETELY lined with vacant buildings on both sides of the street; the vacant mud hole would be there growing weeds and mosquitos instead of the MegaPlex; and all of those beautiful buildings on Wall avenue would still be standing instead of a nice looking WinCo and a new WalMart and Utah State Courthouse being under construction.

And we'd still be putting nickles in parking meters instead of exploring the construction of parlking garages that should help lore retail to downtown.

Ah yes, for a return to the good old days.

spend more taxpayer money please said...

I believe we'd all have more confidence in Ogden redevelopment, if the city wasn't being run by a moron whose last long-term gig was pizza deliver boy.

Can't Get No Satisfaction said...

Hold on a moment. To save WCF space for legitimate posts, and this Blackrulon guy some time and effort so that he could post something maybe provocative, I should have signed my above post "Blaine Carl."

Jennifer said...

Can't Get No Satisfaction: What new walmart? they've made a few piles of dirt and put some flags in the ground ...

And the abandoned FredMeyer building is a beauty - should be tagged for Historical Society along with the former First Security/Wells-Fargo building ...

If us people would have had our way, we wouldn't be stuck holding the bill for half-empty Junction and a Winco with another sign "Pads for Lease" that will fade in the sun. It's not that the Junction/Megaplex was a bad idea or is a bad thing to have, it's the Methods of Mayoral Madness used to get it there!

And don't forget the beautiful picturesque Leshemville between the Temple and the River -- been driving along Grant Avenue lately? The city finally decided to have the area leveled ... but who pays for it? WE DO! And what then? Your "vacant mud hole growing weeds and mosquitoes" just got shifted to the north-west!

And there's the rub.

TLJ

Can't Get No said...

Is "us people" redundant? Whatever, it's now in print.

Of course WinCo will not lease all of its space the first few months of operation, so don't get your panties in a knot because they're advertising for tenants. I think the difference between WinCo and Leshemville is the developer....the Wrights are for real, well capitalized, and pros. Gadi Leshem....enough said.

I'm not saying everything Godfrey does turns into a positive. But he sure as hell has turned some blighted areas and garbage pits into something that in time SHOULD pay off. And, some of his methods left much to be desired, BUT, he has gotten things moving in town....and has been re-elected twice, regardless of people of your ilk who so bitterly complain and knit-pick.

As for WalMart....it appears to me that it's underway, which sure beats that old, beat up warehouse/factory building that used to occupy the corner of 20th & Wall. You know, the one that had the black moose leaning against it.

And the half empty Junction. Might just be the over-all economic state of affairs that is effecting the whole country, not merely that 4 square block area. And here curiosity gets the best of me: if "us people" would have had your way, what would you have done with the old mall site and how would you have financed whatever it was you did? I've always wanted to see those critiics' concept plan through their development/finance plan. I'll bet that that would be something to ponder.

If you can't see some of the growth that Godfrey and the CED has made possible, you'd better get a re-fit on those rose colored glasses before the next campaign season. 9 to 5 says that if Godfrey goes again, he'll make it. Even if his opponent is Councilmember Van Hooser....or yourself. I think you'd find that running a city like Ogden would be just a bit out of your league.

Can't (cont) said...

in all due respect, Jennifer.

godfrey sucks said...

"9 to 5 says that if Godfrey goes again, he'll make it."

Beejeebus. The shit's getting thick around here.

Stick a fork in the little shit.

He's done.

Jennifer said...

Can't get no:

you said "you people" first ... hence I said "us people" ... you also said "knit-pick", which is also now in print and it should be "nit-pick", referring to the picking of nits out of the hair of people infested with head lice, implying the picking out of tiny almost invisible and inconsequential things -- which projects going on around Ogden at the hands of our mayor-not-elect are most Definitely NOT!

now you're saying "People of your ilk" ... what ilk? The ilk of folks who would like 12 more years of property tax money back for the school district, water district and mosquito abatement district? The ilk of folks who were booted out of their homes in Leshemville in the name of progress and development only to see their former homes boarded up, burned, fenced in, overgrown, invaded and protected by Godfreys own enforcement police? The ilk of folks who still wonder what will be happening to Leshemville and Fred Meyer in the next 7-10 years?

Is that the ilk to which you refer?

The mayor just projected way over the top for revenues at the junk-tion, didn't have the sense to give his plans a little cushion like any savvy business man or CEO in the development business should do - he and the council at the time were the ones with the rose colored glasses on, not me & my ilk.

HAH! That you would even imply that I would even think about running for mayor (with or w/o Godfrey in the race) with this mess to clean up makes me laugh so hard I am in tears. as in ROTFLMELAO!!!!!

The Ever Lovely Jennifer

p.s. With all due respect, Mr. Satisfaction

Can't get no said...

"The Every Loving Jennifer" (you must be a self proclaimed legend in your own time, but that's OK....one should think highly of oneself, but publicly posting it about leaves a little, well, you know). Anyway, I'd had about enough of our back & forth (you seemed more concerned about gramatical semantics than issues), but Saturday, usually being a slow WCF blog day, gives way for a couple of thoughts I still haven't been privy to an the answer to (verbose....my apologies).

You did make reference to "Pads Available" sogns at WinCo. Well, of course there are pads available. I've been dealing in developments for years and rarely, if ever, is a project SOLD OUT before it has been completed. The state of today's economy only makes things worse, the major reason The Junction has space to lease, and no amount "little cushion" would help there, or anywhere. Be glad that WinCo has the Wrights behind it, pros, well financed, from concept to completion in about 18 months, and we now have that revenue stream (or most likely will have) instead of the blight that was once there. Be glad it wasn't Leshem....I am.

WalMart, well take a look and you'll see activity. It's in WalMart's hands now and it's coming our way and can do nothing but help the town financially. As for Gadiville, that's been a huge mistake, but it can, and will be, overcome. The River Project will be an asset, and a few years from now, everyone except the Godfrey haters will be smiling.

I was very visible and vocal in objecting to The Junction, as it now is, during its conception, planning and build out. I didn't like it's financing, although it was damned creative and, except for mortgaging the BDO revenue stream, it worked....until the econom went south and all developments, nationwide, felt the bit. My question is: where were you then? I don't remember a Lovely Jennifer ever standing at the podium in Council meetings, expressing dissent or alternatives. But you're sure there now, hitching yourself to the movement after your "almost" in the last primary ("almost" only counts in horse shoes and grenades, by the way....but good for you; at least you made an effort to run, which so many critics don't).

Finally, I have yet to see anyone present an alternative to the way Godfrey mayors the City. Van Hooser gave it a shot but I'm afraid she was either out of her league or needs a new campaign gang. Running a town of this size is no duck walk and its enormity would be overwhelming to most of the people of your ilk (you have to know what I mean here....it's definition (you're Godfrey haters) not slander, and doesn't need 2 or 3 paragraphs of rebutal....

Some of Godfrey's methods I object to, and I understand why he can be a burr under the saddle to some, but it sure has been nice to see this once proud town that went into a decline begin to grow again, even if it designed to be an outdoor mecca instead of a medical or software capital. Godfrey, with all his rough edges, gets a "well done" with most of his initiatives. And for those of you who constantly complain and use back vision I say stand up and present an alternative and convince us of your capabilities to assume that chair.

Biker Babe said...

Can't Get NO

If I were TLJ, I would tell you :

We're done and you can bite me!

js.

BB

Can't Get No said...

"Bite me."

Now, that's brilliant....just what I'd expect some biker babe to come up with.

And love your cute little initialed computer language. Very original and quite apropriate from some bandwagoneer whose priority seems most likely to get her tats touched up.

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