Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday Morning Open Topic Thread

Who will be the first to chime in on any of our suggested topics, or open up a discussion all your own?

Red meat Emerald City political news, our preferred Weber County Forum diet, is a mite scarce this morning, so we'll set up an open topic thread, just to keep the WCF reader discussion humming along. As a prelude to turning the floor over to our ever-savvy readers however, we've identified a few items which might be worthy of reader comment; and we'll thus reel them off one by one:

1) The Standard-Examiner carries a hard-hitting editorial this morning, urging congress to find the courage to rein in its reckless spending:
OUR VIEW: A bankrupt America?
Although we're in complete sympathy with this editorial, we're wondering whether the SE Editorial Board might be wasting valuable space aiming its message toward the pols in Washington D.C. We have serious doubt that this editorial will be the hot topic in the halls of congress this morning; and in this connection we'll therefore humbly suggest that the SE go back to the drawing board and consider repackaging this message and redirecting it to our local BIG GOVERNMENT borrowers and spenders, right here at Ogden City Hall. Although the federal government can't really go bankrupt in a technical sense (the feds can always "print money" when federal revenues fall short,) local governments like Ogden City can actually go broke when they continue to borrow and spend like there's no tomorrow. Seems to us that the SE should remind our local elected officials of that, at least occasionally.

2) It appears that Utah officials are making great progress in the blockbuster story which broke yesterday, suggesting that somebody had breached the security of a state database. And this morning's SE story now reveals that two individuals who apparently broke into a Utah Department of Workforce Services computer, and spammed various Top of Utah newspapers and law enforcement agencies with a list of "1300 suspected illegal immigrants" have now been identified and placed on administrative leave:
Two Utah Department of Workforce Services workers behind illegal immigration list on leave
It's evident that Utah authorities are serious about getting to the bottom of all this; and Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is talking about serious felony time.

We believe Governor Herbert hits the nail on the head with this: "I think it's an immense hypocrisy to talk about taking people to task for being illegal and doing so by breaking the law," which also brings to mind the old jail-house ax, "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime."

3) Last but not least, we'll refer to yesterday's SE story, which, believe it or not, was one of the SE's top stories on Friday, adding new meaning to the term "slow news day":
Pickleball courts coming soon
Although we'd originally decided to ignore this story, we're now dredging it up and placing it on the WCF front page, due to the robust debate which broke out in the SE reader comments section between SE readers Neal Cassidy and Bob Becker on the issue of whether "Gullo's private funding of the courts means the city council does not have to adopt a Capital Improvement Plan amendment prior to construction of the courts, because no municipal funds are being used."

Tempest in a teapot? We do not know; but we will opine, just to advance the discussion, that we side with Mr. Cassidy on this, and argue that Gullo's donation does fall into the category of city revenue; and will argue that it therefore ought to have been the subject of a Capital Improvement Plan amendment, (you know, like the last generous donation Mr. Gullo made to Ogden City government.)

That's it for now, O Gentle Ones. Who will be the first to chime in on any of the above topics, or open up a discussion all your own?


Pissed on city employee said...

I could care less about Pickle Ball, but it is strange how this gift creates a maintenance funding issue for years to come, placing the Council in a position to find the added funding for the maintenance.

Every time employees asked for compensation for more than one year, the Admin suggested that they are not allowed to place any financial burden on the Council for more than the current year.

Weird, huh?

But it's ok for the council to approve a 30% raise for the Mayor, and Council while pissing on the employees who have gone without merits and COLA's for several years with a pittence 2% on average pay for performance

blackrulon said...

This free gift of pickleball courts remind me of the cost of the free puppy my children brought home.

South Bench said...

Could the Godfrey administration use the same donation scheme to build out the bench, thus bypassing city council? Is this precedent for an upcoming gambit? Stay tunes.

Reid and Godfrey Are Sluts said...

Stuart Reid once told me that he had trained the new Boy Mayor and that bringing him along the path of honest cheating and look-you-in-the-eyes lying, he had faith that the little man was now on his way to greatness, but I thought maybe jail? In retrospect, I still stand by MY position.

Curmudgeon said...

Still not clear to me what the regs/ordinances require in this instance --- note, it's not clear what they do require. What they ought to require is another matter. [Folks do not always distinguish between what an ordinance in fact requires and what they think it should require.]

The problem for me in re: this matter is this. There ought to be some review outside of the Parks and Recreation office and the Mayor's office when a decision is made to significantly expand or alter recreational opportunities in the parks. It should not be in the hands solely of the executive department and its appointees to decide that new parks recreation venues should be added, without review. I do not doubt for a moment that the Council would have, had it been asked, accepted Mr. Gullo's generous donation, probably unanimously. [Had I been on the council, I'd have voted "yes" to his generous offer.] But the Council should have been asked.

However the regs as they exist now may not in fact require any review beyond the exec. office and its appointees. I don't know.

just sayn' said...

"However the regs as they exist now may not in fact require any review beyond the exec. office and its appointees. I don't know."

Well if you don't know, maybe you should just button your lip and just shut TFU until you get more information?

Just sayin'

Dan S. said...

Utah Municipal Code

Ogden City Ordinances

Curmudgeon said...

Just Sayin':

One of the ways I get more information is by asking questions here. People who know l more than I do about a given matter answer the questions and so I learn. One of the advantages of WCF is that it operates as a public forum in which questions can be asked. With its wide readership, the knowledge and experience of a lot of people can tapped for answers.

oldguy said...

Curm, I just posted a comment on the Gullo pickleball courts on the SE reader that relates to your comments there and above. Unless there is a way around the use of city trucks and a city crew to help build a privately funded project (privately funded seems to be the essence of the absence of need for a Capital Improvement Plan ammendment) then the City and the Mayor are remiss in starting the project without involving the Council - like that would be somthing new for his nadaness, right!

Renzo said...

If you notice, the nations papers and news shows are about finally paying the price for all of the deficit spending. This will probably mean, but not limited to,
70 years old to collect Social Security, limits on the interest deduction for your mortgage, increased income taxes, reduced social security payments to those above a certain income. Welcome to the world of socialism, it is just around the corner. The day of paying the piper is near.

Socialism said...

Socialism is a good thing, as is humanism.
Its the people who own your mortgage and, in essence, your life who made you think the people who voted for public-funded-socialist roads, libraries, parks, environmental protection, universities, etc., were somehow the problem.

The problem is the 95 percent of the wealth being owned by 1 percent who does not work for a living.

Jesus is a socialist. Satan is a capitalist.

Godfrey is simply an idiot puppet.

Renzo said...

We have seen what socialism had done anywhere it has been tried. A failed system that makes puppets out of everyone and you still have the elite in charge. Just as in "Animal Farm" the pigs are no different than the ones they replaced. It is a phony theory that only idiots would embrace.

Mark Luke said...

I think you are mistaken. What the GEOs, Bankers and Wall Streeters want is facism, i.e. the oppression of the majority by an elite minority. Socialism is about community shared responsibility, not greed-worshipping corporate feudalism. In the last few years it seems to me that Capitalism has been defined as “I got mine, screw the rest of you suckers”.
Not a good advertisement, especially when short term greed is so clearly on display overriding common good. Each new interaction with that system emphasizes your place in it and how screwed you really are, it is every man for himself.
You cannot be isolated from it, especially on the job. You are just waiting it out and hoping to survive the next disaster heading your way. Doesn’t make any difference how good you are, the market forces are simply beyond your control. All those old self delusions are pretty much gone.
I suspect even the winners really know down inside how much dumb luck played in their success, and how easily it could have gone the other way.
Essentially, the word “socialist” is used by Republicans to describe anything that differs from deregulation and lower taxes. In this way, it becomes a divisive word, coming down on the “against us” side of the always black and white “with us or against us” dichotomy that they use to evaluate everything.

In fact, when they refer to “socialist” European countries, they are ignoring that those countries are actually social democracies, where people still have a capitalist system and participate in the global capitalist regime, they have just democratically opted for more taxes and stronger social safety nets.

Personally, I like the blend we have in America; a safety net for some who cannot, and a even playing field for those who can.

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