Sunday, December 05, 2010

Standard-Examiner Editorial: OUR VIEW: Ogden's Roadmap

To lead off the discussion we'll just say that this is the most disappointing SE editorial we've read in years

Ogden has a roadmap toward its downtown plans for the future. While it cannot be assumed that all of these goals will be fulfilled, we applaud city officials and employees for understanding that it is necessary to be working on several projects at once to have a better chance to achieve long-term success.

Standard-Examiner Editorial
OUR VIEW: Ogden's roadmap
December 5, 2010

It's like gambling somehow. You go out for a night of drinking and you don't know where your going to end up the next day. It could work out good or it could be disastrous. It's like the throw of the dice.

Jim Morrison
Famous American Rocker
December 8, 1943 — July 3, 1971

Patently ridiculous Standard-Examiner editorial this morning, prompting us to wonder whether the SE editorial board went out on a bender on Friday night with Jim Morrison's ghost. In the midst of current dismal economic times, it's difficult enough for the Council to keep Ogden's finances on an even financial keel; yet here come the cheerleaders on the SE editorial board egging on the council to engage in another round of risky bonding:
OUR VIEW: Ogden's roadmap
Chime in with your own comments, gentle readers; but to lead off the discussion we'll just say that this is the single most disappointing SE editorial we've read in years. A strong voice for fiscal prudence in Ogden City Government? You'll evidently not find that voice at the Standard-Examiner. This is the kind of drivel we'd expect to hear from the Chamber of Commerce, but not from a conscientious home town newspaper. We're also embarrassed for the normally astute Doug Gibson, who probably got assigned to write up this mindless pap.


Tired of it All said...

I think Ogden City should have a name change to OgdenCityCorp. We get hit with speeding tickets from overzealous cops, all the while we can't get a return call from the Ogden City detectives regarding robberies in which guns were taken from our homes. Robbers run rampant until they hit 17 houses. We get ticketed for trailers hanging an inch over sidewalks, expired registration tags of one day, While out of town, by the traffic officer harrassing the good folks of the East bench. We are targeted by code enforcement eager to make money for the city coffers, we Get taxed and fined, and applied fees for our rentals In OgdenCityCorp. This administration can not be attempting run at re-election for they have alienated their very supporters by taxing us up the Butt. I'm officially Through supporting OgdenCityCorp in amyway. Lick me OgdenCityCorp.

Dan S. said...

Cross-posted from SE site, since it'll last longer here:

The "roadmap" metaphor is ridiculous. The long-term goal here is not a unique destination but rather a general increase in the amount of activity (living, working, shopping) in downtown Ogden. No single project is essential to accomplishing this goal, and there's no guarantee that the goal will be accomplished even if every project on this particular haphazard list is completed. (For example, a new hotel might merely put one of the existing hotels out of business.)

An unstated assumption around Ogden (and elsewhere) these days seems to be that the only way for government to solve a problem is to throw money at it. A second, related assumption is that government must micro-manage every aspect of our communities. So in downtown Ogden, 90% of the land is now in designated redevelopment areas, and an alarming amount of real estate is owned by the city outright. Additional control is exerted through onerous zoning regulations (such as the "mixed use" zone applied to the River Project area) and the threat of eminent domain. Private investment is now virtually impossible unless it fits into the narrow "vision" of the man on the ninth floor of City Hall.

If the government actually had the resources to subsidize new development on every block of downtown Ogden, perhaps this situation wouldn't be so bad. But the government doesn't have that kind of money, and never will. Ogden City has already gone $40 million into debt for The Junction alone, pledging general fund revenue to pay off this debt over the next two decades. (In return, The Junction is generating only one-third as much property tax revenue as the mayor's office originally projected.) Resources are now so scarce that the city has had to patch together an absurdly complex financing scheme to subsidize the mayor's single-minded "vision" that the parcel east of the Salomon Center absolutely must be the site of a new hotel. The River Project has been a failure for nine years because it was pitifully under-funded from the start.

BobBecker's comment is incorrect about Ogden's property tax rate: It's not the second highest in the state--it's actually first (among the 15 largest cities, according to a Nov. 8 article in the Salt Lake Tribune). In addition, Ogden's utility rates have more than doubled over the last decade. Is the Standard-Examiner advocating further tax and fee increases to subsidize the projects listed in this editorial?

Fortunately, there is a better way. The city can get out of the micro-management business and create a level playing field where private investors are free to try out their own ideas. Instead of buying land and paying developers to come in and do its bidding, the city's role should be to provide basic infrastructure (roads, parks, transit) and just enough zoning regulations to ensure that our downtown retains its density and historic character. Then let the market decide whether a particular parcel is best developed as condominiums, or a night club, or a Hot Tub Hotel.

dwilson said...

Your comments are, as always, right on the mark. It is a continuing shame that your logic will have little posative effect on the local power structure. G is in a lifelong rut and can't see beyond his fanciful visions but, it is important to throw logic and truth at the 9th floor despite the little fellers warped mindset. The G-machine may not get the message but at least we let the outside world know that there are still intelligent people in our city.

Ozboy said...

If this very bizarre and funny piece-O-crap editorial were published on April 1st, it would be most appropriate. But it wasn't so it ain't.

Actually it is a very sad indictment of just how the Standard and their out of state - and out of touch - owners have aided and abetted the criminal Godfrey administration in the rape of Ogden tax payers.

Basically everything the Godfreyites have touched has turned to shit - as witnessed by the total and complete debacles known as the Junktion, the River Project and the nearly hundred million dollars in debt they have hung on the citizens of Ogden with very little to show for it.

These morons - including Godfrey and his whole circle of incompetents - have driven Ogden into a massive black hole of debt on a long string of loser projects, yet these immoral bastards from Sandusky have the gall to cheer them on to dig the hole deeper and deeper.

The whole bunch of them - Godfreyites and Suits from Sandusky - are a total and complete pack of lying scum. Ain't one of the whole bunch that has a lick of business sense.

Biker Babe said...

I have a few problems, how do I get him to throw money at me? It would only take about 1/2 of what it costs for one of his studies ...


mike said...

This is the funniest thing the Standard has printed since the Grondahl Godfrey Gondola cartoons!

Danny said...

We can contrast the SE editorial, and Dan S comments above and compare one thing: INTELLIGENCE.

So much for the notion that the naysayers have no ideas. Dan's idea is simple, understandable, and correct.

On a slightly different subject, is this video. It shows that things today really are much better than they were for Granddad.

200 countries 200 years

The first 40 seconds are slow, but watch this. It's worth it.

He suggests that the trend will continue. But note, the progress coincided with the discovery and increasing popularization of petroleum, which will not be the same going forward.

JD Larue said...

Hold the frickin' meringue. I'm getting diabetes.

What a load!

Les said...

I don't get the Double-Standard Examiner. They have been very critical towards other cities and government agencies and individuals over the past several years while at the same time propping up this Ogden City admin and mayor. How unfortunate, it's editorials like this that keep this unsustainable and ludicrous government behavior moving forward and acceptable in the public eye.

D'oh said...

"I don't get the Double-Standard Examiner."

Publisher Lee Carter has his nose so far up Godfrey's butt he sees daylight every time the slimy little shit opens his mouth.

Duh said...


Ogden City's name is Ogden City Corporation. Duh. Take a look at any city contract. Or ask Dan: he knows everything....

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