Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Breaking: Has Jon Greiner Officially Dropped Out of the Senate 18 Race?

Assuming the data on the Lt. Governor's web page is accurate, it appears that Chief/Senator Greiner may have made his decision

The Deseret News is running a chirpy story this morning, touting the 2010 legislature's passage of new legal provisions requiring that 2010 General Election candidates disclose possible conflicts of interest.

The DNews invites its readers to navigate to the Lt. Governor's newly-designed page where all such statements are listed and displayed. The list contained thereon purportedly "includes all candidates who have filed a declaration of candidacy for the 2010 election":
2010 Candidates
Being the curious type, we scrolled down the page to Jon Greiner's Senate District 18, where we stumbled upon this interesting notation:
Jon J Greiner (W) - District 18
In the legend at the top of the same web page we find this additional explanatory notation:
(W) = Withdrawal
Back on 3/25/10 we posted this article, noting that Senator/Chief Greiner was faced with a difficult choice, i.e., either to resign his Ogden Police Chief job, or withdraw from the State Senate race. Assuming the data on the Lt. Governor's web page is accurate, it appears that Chief/Senator Greiner may have made his decision, leaving the Weber County Republican Party with the politically flip-flopping D'oh Boy himself (Stuart Reid) as the only legally declared candidate for the 2010 Senate 18 Republican nomination.

Speaking as a warhorse Weber County Republican, your blogmeister will offer that it only hurts when we laugh.

We will make an effort this morning to contact Jon Greiner, to verify whether the Governor's information is indeed correct; and we'll be sure to report back here by way of an update with any new information we are able to glean.

Nevertheless, we're going to take a wild guess, at least for the moment, and assume that even for a few of our WCF GOP readers, Democratic party candidate Betty Sawyer is looking like a mighty attractive Senate 18 alternative right about now.

Don't let the cat get your tongues, O Gentle Ones.

Update 3/31/10 11:40 a.m.: Thanks to a tip from gentle reader Mass Media in our lower comments section, we learn that the Standard-Examiner went online @ 11: 10 a.m. with a Scott Schwebke story confirming Greiner's withdrawal form the Senate 18 race:
Greiner drops re-election bid for state senate
It only hurts when we laugh, as we said.

Update 3/31/10 11:55 a.m.: In response to our attempt to reach Senator Greiner for confirmation of this story earlier this morning, we're now in receipt of Jon's detailed and candid explanatory public statement, which he graciously transmitted to us by email only moments ago:
Jon Greiner Statement of Withdrawal of Candidacy
We'd also like to express our appreciation to Sen. Greiner for promptly getting back to us with this.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Goals Set to Make Mt. Ogden Course More Playable, Profitable

Will it be necessary for the council to invoke its statutory "policy making power" once again this year, with respect to the Mount Ogden Golf Course budget?

There's semi-encouraging news from the Standard-Examiner this morning, with the following Scott Schwebke story, which reports that our City Council has reached some kind of consensus with respect to improvements and debt paydown for the Mt. Ogden Golf Course (MOGC):
Goals set to make Mt. Ogden course more playable, profitable
(The headline in today's SE print edition is slightly more tentative however, and ends with a question mark: "Pay-as-you-go flaw fixes ahead?")

If it is true that a majority of the council has at least informally agreed to avoid massive borrowing, fix up the course and pay down current golf course debt, that's good news indeed for the taxpayers of Ogden City, we believe. Yet today's story does contain a statement from Ogden City CAO John "Pureheart" Patterson which does cause us some heartburn (justifiably, we believe):
Patterson said he appreciates the city council's desire to make needed improvements at the course without borrowing more money. However, the city has only a limited amount of funds for a variety of pressing projects, he said."
There are many priorities for available financial resources," he said. "Many (of those projects) stand in front of the golf course."

Reading between the lines, we'll take Patterson's comment as an early indication that the administration may be preparing to drag its feet, or stonewall a council-backed "pay-as-you-go" plan altogether.

Thus we'll be watching closely as the Council and Administration move forward on the FY2011 "budget setting" process over the next 3 months, in wary anticipation of another possible Council-Administration battle royal over MOGC funding, reminiscent of the knock-down, drag-out Marshall White budget slug-out of last spring and summer.

Will it be necessary for the council to invoke its statutory "policy making power" once again this year, and instruct Boss Godfrey to get onboard the Council's percipient "pay-as-you go" plan, by way of another budget ordinance "policy statement?"

One thing we do know about Boss Godfrey: He's stubborn as hell. So we do hope the Council is ready for battle this year.

There are also two other items we've found this morning which relate to the pending 2011 fiscal year MOGC budget setting process and plans for the MOGC in general, so we'll throw them out to expand the discussion:

1) Ogden City activist David Smith provides a letter to the editor on the SE website which ought to remind everyone, that despite any MOGC consensus which the Council "thinks" it may have reached, the ever-conniving Boss Godfrey still has a whole set of plans all his own:
Godfrey to turn virgin east bench in mini-mansion-ville
2) And please don't neglect to check out the savvy SE reader comment linked below, wherein SE board regular "Ole" urges a full accounting of the MOGC books, as a preliminary prerequisite to ANY further Council action:
Is this another Godfrey scam?
We haven't talked about the MOGC situation in quite a long while here at Weber County Forum; although we all knew a new discussion would be coming up soon.

So who will be the first to comment about these latest new developments, now that the MOGC topic is finally back on the Emerald City news front-burner?

Standard-Examiner Editorial: Lots of "Dohs" For Stuart Reid

Stuart Reid: Winner of the Homer Simpson lookalike contest

Another top-notch Standard-Examiner editorial this morning, which expands on the
material which we posted last Thursday. Here's the most delightful lede:
In the cartoon TV show "The Simpsons," dad Homer Simpson makes a lot of mistakes. And every time Homer makes a mistake, he yells "DOH!"
Here in Weber County's Junction City we have a local politician who's probably yelled "DOH" the past several days as much as Homer does in a single episode of "The Simpsons."
Yep, that's Godfrey mentor and crony Stuart Reid whom the SE editorial board is talking about this morning. Check out the full editorial here.
OUR VIEW: Lots of 'DOHs' for Reid
Yesiree. Stuart Reid: Winner of the Homer Simpson lookalike contest:

Boss Godfrey's Bestest Buddy, Stuart Reid

Reid would make one helluva RINO State Senator, we're sure.

That's what Boss Godfrey thinks, at least.

Monday, March 29, 2010

U.S. Taxpayers Get Hosed Again At a Rate of Fifty Extra Bucks Per Day

Dorothy is doing her very best to educate you people. Please listen up!

By Dorothy Littrell

I wonder how many U.S. citizens realize that their share of the national debt is going up $50.00 plus PER DAY at the present rate of interest - That is $50.00 plus PER DAY for EVERY person in the U.S. Of course, that is based on the U.S. Budget Office calculations which have never been right for the majority of the 50 years I have been trying to make sense out of them...

And, of course, fewer than 50% of Americans are paying for the over 50% of Americans who are not paying for their share.

The current rate of interest will continue to go higher and higher of necessity because we have just increased our debt load by $billions for just the Obama Healthcare package - And this is assuming that the rest of the world will continue to buy our Treasury notes which I won't touch. It is evident that no one in Washington D.C., especially Congress and our President, has taken Accounting 101 because they seem to have no clue about the effect of compounded interest rates:
The Gartman Letter March 29, 2009
I'm doing my very best to educate you people.

Please listen up!

-Dorothy

Salt Lake Tribune: Governor Herbert Signs Two More 2010 "Message Bills" Into Law

The 2010 Utah legislature's "messages" do seem to be getting through
O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

Robert Burns
To A Louse
(On seeing one on a lady's bonnet at church)
1759-96)


Following fast upon this year's 2010 Utah legislative session, which will be mostly remembered for crackpot "message bills" and other bizarre political posturings, The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Utah Governor Gary Herbert has signed into law two more of these "quixotic" bills, which would ostensibly "authorize the use of eminent domain to take some of the U.S. government's most valuable parcels":
Guv approves use of eminent domain to take federal land
We'll thus invoke the above-cited wise words of Scottish poet Bobbie Burns, and note with considerable amusement that the 2010 Utah legislature's "messages" do seem to be "getting through," at least to some elements of the greater U.S. population:
Welcome to Glennbeckistan
Okay. So who's ready for some hot-tubbin'?

Update 3/30/10 7:00 a.m.: Charlie Trentelman goes off on these two above-mentioned eminent domain message bills in yesterday's delightful Blogging the Rambler blog rant linked below:
Utah snatching fed land? But that’s MY land
We'll give Charlie's closing paragraphs, which highlight the harsh discrepancy between the legislature's words and deeds, an especially hearty thumbs up:
Then there’s the whole question of Utah using eminent domain to take land just because it wants it. As I’ve said before, Utah’s Legislature doesn’t really believe in smaller government. All it believes in is a smaller FEDERAL government.
It would love to see the STATE OF UTAH’s government get a whole lot bigger, and more powerful. The legislators showed that when they tried to make miscarriages illegal, and when they’ve tried to make abortions illegal, and when they’ve tried to micromanage drinking and legislate just about every aspect of private life that just doesn’t happen to meet their moral or religious code.
And then they sit around and talk about freedom.
It's a danged good read, all-in-all.

Check it out.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Some Worry Protective Hatch Act Now Just a Political Tool

Seems to us that it's time for Attorney General Shurtleff to stop flapping his lip, and get to work filing a lawsuit right about now

The Standard-Examiner provides two informative articles this morning, examining the federal Hatch Act, and its plainly "chilling effect" on our ongoing 2010 local General Elections process.

1) Dan Weist provides this excellent story, which includes a sampling of highly critical comments from a variety of political figures within the local political arena:
Some worry protective Hatch Act now just a political tool
2) In a second companion story,Tim Gurrister examines the effect of the Hatch Act on Ogden police lieutenant Scott Conley's now-aborted 2010 Weber County Sheriff campaign run and offers a few more pithy quotes:
Ogden Police Lt. Scott Conley not running for sheriff because of Hatch Act
Distilling the facts from these two morning stories, one thing seems clear. Nobody in the local political arena seems pleased with impact the U.S. Office of Special Council's heavy-handed Hatch Act enforcement is wreaking upon our 2010 General Elections.

We believe Weber County Sheriff candidate Terry Thompson gets it exactly right with this extended quote from the second article cited above:
Terry Thompson, commander over Weber County Jail, is running for sheriff and has been researching the Hatch Act, which he had been confident doesn't apply to him. While the sheriff's office does receive federal funds, none goes to any correctional programs he runs, he said.
But given the OSC's recent decisions regarding Greiner and Conley, Thompson said, "I'm going to have to do some more research."
He called the Hatch Act "kind of ridiculous. It's morphed into something it was never intended to be."
"I don't see the danger it's trying to protect us from. The real tragedy is, it's interpreted so broadly and so vaguely to include good people like Jon and Scott."
With 3,084 sheriffs in the country, for example, the OSC can't possibly monitor all elections nationally for Hatch Act violations, Thompson said.
"So it's enforced by complaint only and just becomes a political tool for people to use."
And as per usual, our ever-savvy Councilwoman Amy Wicks, a 2010 candidate for the Weber County Commission herself, cuts through the baloney and also hits the nail on the head:
Amy Wicks, a member of the Ogden City Council who has filed to seek a Weber County Commission seat, researched the Hatch Act even though her full-time job as information and research specialist with the Ogden-based National Shaken Baby Syndrome Center has no federal funding.
City council members only become involved with federal funds after the fact in approving budgets, she said.
Her study of the Hatch Act has left her skeptical. "I'm not really sure what we're being protected from. It's probably time to reassess it. Is what was valid in 1939 valid in 2010?"
So in that connection we'll link the following scholarly Jason C. Miller law review article, which we googled up from the very bowels of the webosphere this morning, which expands upon Sheriff's Deputy Thompson's and Councilwoman Wicks's major points, focuses on the federal law’s coverage of state and local employees and examines a) whether the Act would pass constitutional muster under modern tests, b) whether the Hatch Act is desirable as a matter of policy, and c) what alternatives could achieve the policy goals of the Act without an absolute prohibition on candidacy for partisan office.
The Unwise and Unconstitutional Hatch Act: Why State and Local Government Employees Should be Free to Run for Public Office
The situation even has Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff all riled up:
But Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, who advised Greiner in 2006 that he would not be in violation of the act if he ran for the Senate, believes the Greiner decision is another example of the federal government overstepping its reach into the lives of everyday citizens who serve the public by running for public office.
"It's just wrong," he said.
"If it is allowed to stand, it will have a chilling effect on other people who may want to run."
Seems to us that it's time for Attorney General Shurtleff to stop flapping his lip, and get to work filing a lawsuit right about now. Shurtleff and some of his GOP legislative cronies have been bravely talking up Tenth Amendment issues since the beginning of the 2010 legislative session. They've been bristling for a big "state sovereignty" lawsuit for quite some time. Perhaps its time to put their money where their mouths is... no? Now's their chance, we think. We're sure Professor Miller wouldn't mind their "borrowing" his scholarly work.

Don't let the cat get your tongues, O Gentle Ones.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

RAMP Funds Dog Park and Adventure Park, Not Velodrome

Two out of eight Ogden City proposals are funded

by Dan Schroeder

On March 10, the Standard-Examiner reported that this year’s Weber County RAMP grant recipients had been chosen and approved. But the article gave few details on the many approved projects, and said nothing about the proposals that were rejected.

For those who are curious, here is the full list of recreation, art, museum, and park proposals funded this year by RAMP using the 1/10 cent sales tax that we approved in 2004. The list includes trails, playground equipment, exhibits, concerts, and a variety of other projects totaling over $1.8 million. RAMP also allocated $239,000 in non-competitive “municipal grants” to the county and its municipalities, according to a formula based on population. Each municipality can use its municipal grant to reimburse costs of any eligible projects.

Ogden City submitted eight proposals for competitive RAMP grants, summarized in the table below.


As you can see, only two of these eight proposals were funded by RAMP, and neither of those was funded in its entirety. In addition, Ogden can use its municipal grant of $82,865 for any RAMP-eligible projects.

Ogden’s two funded proposals are both for park enhancements along the river parkways. First, the city will develop a 2.6-acre off-leash dog park in Miles Goodyear Park, along the Weber River Parkway on the west side of town. Second, the city will create an “adventure park” of unusual children’s playground equipment along the Ogden River Parkway near Lincoln Ave., in the River Project area.

The city’s RAMP applications (linked above) for these two funded projects are strikingly different. The dog park proposal provides a vividly detailed site plan and budget, corroborated by an outside architect. Even so, less than half of this proposal ($60,000 out of $124,048) was funded. The adventure park proposal, on the other hand, provides no site plan and no documentation of the expected costs. It does include a brief budget that itemizes site preparation and fencing, but two thirds of the budget is in a single line item titled “play structures”. These are described in the text of the proposal simply as “cable rope play structures which are connected using rope bridges and zip lines” surrounded by “inverted climbing rocks”. There are no illustrations of this equipment, no price quotes, and not even a named vendor. Given this vagueness, I’m surprised that RAMP has approved $155,000 in funding (nearly 80% of the requested amount) for this project.

The city’s unfunded proposals are equally interesting, as they give us a glimpse of the administration’s current goals and priorities.

The Outdoor Classroom/Sustainable Energy Demonstration Project would be an enhancement to the USU Extension Botanical Gardens at the MTC Park. The proposed budget includes $50,000 for the outdoor classroom and $150,000 for energy demonstration equipment including a solar array, wind turbine, and hydroelectric generator. This appears to be a serious but high-cost proposal.

The Ogden City Snow Park proposal, on the other hand, is not ready for prime time. The intent is to create a winter recreation area on the city’s property along Park Blvd. near Madison, just south of the Ogden River. (I think this is the site that was formerly intended for the “high adventure campground”.) The snow park would offer sledding, tubing, snowboarding, and skiing, with a rope tow system and tube rentals. But the details are far from clear. The city’s application includes no site plan, no documentation of the expected $100,000 in costs, and no operating budget. It doesn’t even say whether snow park users would be charged a fee.

Three smaller proposals were also rejected. One is for portable snowmaking equipment to be used for events such as the recent WinterFest. A second is to put a roof over one of the river parkway bridges, to give it that quaint New England look. And a third is for the annual Paddle Festival at Pineview Reservoir.

Last but certainly not least is the city’s audacious request for $3 million, over six years, for the proposed “field house”. This is essentially the same as last year’s rejected velodrome proposal. New twists include a “field floor” that can be used for indoor soccer, basketball, and other sports; two adjacent outdoor soccer fields; a mezzanine fitness track; and a Boys & Girls Club activity area. The proposed location is now on a wedge of land between 20th and 21st Streets west of Wall Ave., currently owned by Ogden Mall Development Co. of Chatsworth, California (probably associated with Gadi Leshem). Despite the enhancements over last year’s proposal and the additional $900,000 cost of acquiring this land, the project’s total cost has somehow dropped from $15 million to $12 million. And whereas last year’s proposal included a two-page itemized budget, this year’s much shorter budget lumps the entire construction cost into a single $10.5 million line item. There is, however, one important similarity between this year’s proposal and last year’s: neither provides any evidence that the city can raise the millions of dollars of additional needed funds.


So once again, the RAMP application process has been both productive and informative. Undoubtedly, readers will have their own opinions on the quality of the city’s application materials, and on which projects were worthy of funding and why.

The floor is now open for any and all such comments.

"Science Saturday" Is Revived On Weber County Forum

Great weekend science reading, revived by popular demand

Thanks to a kind reminder in a lower comments section from Gentle Reader Dan, we'll revive our WCF Science Saturday feature once again this week. Here are a few of the science articles which we bookmarked this week, as we at long last bring Science Saturday back to Weber County Forum:

1) Your blogmeister has an extremely healthy and active honeybee colony inhabiting his side-yard patio pergola, which over the past few years has made backyard barbecues and other outdoor summer social events a mite "dicey." Having read this week's Yahoo News story however, your blogmeister doesn't believe he'll be calling an exterminator any time soon:
Bees in more trouble than ever after bad winter
Nevertheless, we'd definitely like to hear from any professional beekeepers who may be out in our midst, who'd like to replenish their depleted "livestock" for free. If interested, please contact Rudi via the contact link embedded at the top of our Weber County Forum sidebar. We'll supply all necessary ice, beer and Benedryl, as needed.

2) And just when we'd started to believe that that modern astrophysicists had finally gotten it right, using "red shift" phenomena and analysis, we get this:
New Proof Unknown "Structures" Tug at Our Universe
So how BIG is the KNOWN UNIVERSE anyway? Are these scientists observing a brand new phenonomenon whereby they're watching a whole other heretofore Unkwnown Universe sucking matter outta the Universe that we recognise and live in? Or do we need to re-examine our reliance on "red shift" data, or otherwise redefine out "map" of the known universe?

Maybe professor Schroeder can explain it. He can certainly explain everything else.

3) And here's a little something for our board regular neuroscientist, Gentle Reader Monotreme:
Neuroscientists don't believe in souls--But that doesn't mean they can't sell theirs
Will world neuroscientists sell their souls to the American Military-industrial complex?

We certainly hope not.

That's it for WCF Science Saturday this week.

See's ya all back next week.

U.S. Economic News Roundup

Are we experiencing a U.S. Economy that's in recovery? We don't think so

Due to the current dearth of local red meat political news, we'll revert to one of our favorite ongoing topics, The Economy. Here's a sampling of some of the chirpy stuff we dredged up on that topic this morning whilst Googling:

1) Eye-popping article this morning from the Washington Times, with harsh words of warning about the perils of Obama's 2011 budget. Here's the lede:
President Obama's fiscal 2011 budget will generate nearly $10 trillion in cumulative budget deficits over the next 10 years, $1.2 trillion more than the administration projected, and raise the federal debt to 90 percent of the nation's economic output by 2020, the Congressional Budget Office reported Thursday.
In its 2011 budget, which the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released Feb. 1, the administration projected a 10-year deficit total of $8.53 trillion. After looking it over, CBO said in its final analysis, released Thursday, that the president's budget would generate a combined $9.75 trillion in deficits over the next decade.
"An additional $1.2 trillion in debt dumped on [GDP] to our children makes a huge difference," said Brian Riedl, a budget analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation. "That represents an additional debt of $10,000 per household above and beyond the federal debt they are already carrying.".
Read the full story here:
CBO report: Debt will rise to 90% of GDP
This is a recipe for disaster, folks. There's no way that deficits of this magnitude are sustainable, even in the short run.

2) And here's a sobering "companion piece"from the Wall Street Journal, indicating that while federal debt skyrockets, U.S. personal income (you know - the federal revenue stream that pays the federal bills) is simultaneously swirling down the toilet. We incorporate the key opening paragraphs below:
Personal income in 42 states fell in 2009, the Commerce Department said Thursday.
Nevada's 4.8% plunge was the steepest, as construction and tourism industries took a beating. Also hit hard: Wyoming, where incomes fell 3.9%. [...].
Nationally, personal income from wages, dividends, rent, retirement plans and government benefits declined 1.7% last year, unadjusted for inflation.
Check out the full story here:
Personal Income Drops Across the Country
3) Are we experiencing a U.S. economy that's in recovery? We don't think so:
Mortgage delinquencies rise to nearly 14 percent
Have a nice day, folks! We do hope we didn't put you off your feed for the balance of the weekend.

And don't forget to throw in your own 2¢.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Reid Not Republican Enough?

Jon Greiner's holding most of the important cards... so what will Greiner do?

There's a fantastic story brewing up here in Weber County this morning, as this morning's Scott Schwebke story unravels the facts regarding Boss Godfrey crony Stuart Reid's last-minute decision to file his declaration of candidacy for Sen. Jon John Greiner's Senate District 18 seat (as a Republican), in the wake of Sen. Greiner's adverse Hatch Act ruling... a mere fifteen minutes prior the Weber County Clerk's Friday filing deadline. We've seen GOP RINO*s pull political flip-flops before; but we have to say this one takes the cake. We swear this has to be the strangest of those truth is stranger than fiction stories that we've recently seen. Even the most creative writer of fiction simply couldn't make this stuff up:
Reid not Republican enough? Both parties wary after longtime Democrat switches in attempt to fill Greiner's seat
A Weber County Forum Tip O' The Hat goes out to Weber County GOP Chairman Matt Bell this morning for his forthright comments about the latest RINO* to mendaciously pin on the Republican Party label pin:

OGDEN -- A local Republican Party official is suspicious of developer Stuart Reid's last-minute switch from the Democratic Party to the GOP to run for the seat held by embattled state Sen. Jon Greiner.
Reid's longtime Democratic Party affiliation makes him unsuitable as a Republican candidate to represent Senate District 18, said Matt Bell, chairman of the Weber County Republican Party.
"He's as much a Republican as President Obama or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi," who are both Democrats, Bell said. "I don't think the party supports Reid."
Reid's former Democratic Party colleagues have also been rendered near-speechless, of course:

Todd Taylor, executive director of the Utah Democratic Party, said he hadn't expected Reid to run for the Senate, much less switch to the Republican Party to do so.
"I was stunned and blown away," he said.
And you have to love the sheer audacity of Reid's comment on the matter, as he takes on the role of Weber County's #1 Drama Queen (temporarily ousting Boss Godfrey from that role):

Being shunned by leaders in both parties is an unusual predicament, Reid said."It's a very odd place to be in. I'm a man without a country."

As an aside, we'll add that Reid's action in switching parties 15 minutes before the filing deadline, and leaving his own Democratic Party in the lurch, is a perfect illustration of the manner in which Matthew Godfrey and his minions work. With this group of opportunistic game players, there exist no absolute values of right v. wrong. Political action, philosophy and party affiliation are fuzzy abstractions to these political chameleons, transformable and capable of being shifted at will.

Needless to say, Reid's candidate filing puts The Weber County GOP in a very tight spot in the event that Greiner drops from the Senate race. With their County Nominating Convention looming on April 10, Reid, a long-time Democratic Party insider, would remain the sole candidate officially filed under the Republican banner in such a scenario. We'll thus take a wild guess, and assume that even now, Weber County GOP leadership is boning up on Utah Election Law and Utah GOP foundational documents to devise a strategy to strike Stuart Reid's name from the list of certified party convention candidates, deny his credentialling on the convention floor, and subsitute another legally-qualified GOP candidate, in the event Greiner drops out.

A lot depends on what course of action Jon Greiner adopts, of course. In fact, he's holding most of the important cards... cards which he dealt himself. Should he adopt the strategy suggested in this morning's most-excellent Standard-Examiner editorial, the Weber County GOP's problem is alleviated for the most part, we think:
OUR VIEW: Greiner should resign as chief
Nevertheless, asking a man like Greiner, (who's devoted his whole life to a law enforcement career,) to step down from his Police Chief job is a lot to ask, we'll concede.

So what will Greiner do? Will he sacrifice his law enforcement career to the principles of his political party? Or will he continue in his Police Chief role, and throw his party to the political wolves? Perhaps these questions could be better framed as What SHOULD Sen. Greiner do?

Your blogmeister had a short phone conversation with Sen. Greiner yesterday, by the way. He's out of town and is still weighing his options.

It's a fantastic story brewing up, as we said.

Who will be the first to comment?
______
*Republican In Name Only

Update 3/26/10 6:56 a.m.: For the sake of accuracy, we need to make a slight correction. It occurred to us this morning that Senate District 18 also overlaps a portion of Davis County, so the Senate 18 nomination will occur at the 5/8/10 Utah GOP Nominating Convention, rather than the 4/10/10 Weber County Nominating Convention. Thus the Reid candidacy becomes a problem not only for the Weber County Republican Party, but for the Davis County GOP and the Utah GOP, as well.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kudos to Council Members Susie Van Hooser, Amy Wicks, Neil Garner and Bart Blair!

City Council Notes: Four City Council members demonstrate that they have the best interest of the City’s employees at heart and are not afraid to vote their conscience

By Dorrene Jeske

Kudos to Council members Susie Van Hooser, Amy Wicks, Neil Garner and Bart Blair for voting to retain the current negotiating process for Ogden City employees! Read the Standard-Examiner writeup here:
City council rejects resolution to change wage negotiations
This council vote gives each group involved in the process as close to an equal voice as possible.

The first year that I was on the Council, negotiations were a nightmare with the Ogden Police Benefit Association and Ogden Fire Local 1654 Union going to impasse. The negotiating process in place then put the council in a very awkward position. We had only one source from which to gather negotiation information and that was the administration. The employees were unhappy because they felt that their views and concerns were not being fairly presented to the council. It was very clear that that form of negotiations did not work. The next year Council leadership and staff searched for a different method for negotiations – that method is known as “Interest Based Problem Solving” whereby each of the employee groups, the administration and council each had three representatives that provided each group’s views and concerns. These negotiations usually started in October or at least by the first of the year, and members were trained or received a refresher course so that it was a positive process for everyone. The first year that the“IBPS” system was used, it was unbelievably successful; and the walls of distrust started to come down.

Negotiations went well the next year, but the third year was fraught with problems because:

Problem 1) The Mayor had made up his mind that the city was going to adopt an “incentive” plan no matter what. He met with the council before negotiations started late March and told us his plans. He was told that what he was proposing did not follow the IBPS negotiation process in which he had refused to be trained.

Problem 2) Not enough time to discuss issues.

That year I was on the IBPS team representing the council along with Chair Wicks and Vice Chair Stephens, and I must say that the three employee groups demonstrated an open-minded and accepting attitude.

Problem 3) It was apparent right from the start that the group from the administration had one goal in mind and that was to see that the city adopted the incentive program.

Problem 4) The administration was so determined that they had included the moderator for the IBPS process who was supposed to be neutral throughout the negotiations. The administration had “reached” her and this made a bad situation worse. Their plan was that no one would receive any kind of rate/step increase that July when raises were traditionally given to employees following a performance evaluation – that would make it 18 months that employees would not receive an increase in pay. This was alright for the administration because they had received their “bonuses” the previous October, but created a hardship for many of the employees.

The administration wants to change the negotiation process from the Interest Based Problem Solving approach, which was very successful the first couple of years to one that he and his management team can better control.

THANK YOU, SUSIE, AMY, BART AND NEIL! Many of us are grateful that you have the best interest of the City’s employees at heart and that you not afraid to vote your conscience. On the other hand, I can’t find the words to express my disappointment in Chair Gochnour’s vote last night. I am also disappointed in Councilman Stephens's vote, but not surprised at his or Councilman Stephenson’s votes, inasmuch as these two council members are more interested in staying friends with the Mayor than in doing what's right for Ogden City employees.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Caucus Night Tonight: Be Careful Which Conventon Delegates You Choose

In many respects, several non-federal races will have much greater local impact than the race for Bennett's U.S. Senate seat

We'll let this morning's Salt Lake Tribune story serve as reminder that tonight's the night for Utah's Precinct Caucuses, in which members of the various political parties will select delegates for their respective County and State Nominating Conventions. Here's the lede:
Utah's election for U.S. Senate is still more than seven months away, but Bob Bennett's fate could be decided Tuesday in living rooms and school houses across the state, as Republicans gather in local caucuses to choose delegates to the state convention.
The delegate sweepstakes is a crucial, if often overlooked, first step on the road to elected office since those 3,600 delegates could ultimately decide whose name appears on the November ballot, and both Bennett and his host of Republican challengers were making a final push Monday to stack the meetings with their supporters.
"It's huge," said Republican challenger Mike Lee. "In fact we're referring to it within our campaign organization as Super Tuesday. It's immensely important."
Although this morning's story focuses on the intra-party GOP U.S. Senate race, there are also several state-wide and local races wherein ultimate outcomes could be critically affected by the preferences of delegates who are elected in tonight's Precinct Caucus Meetings. In many respects, these non-federal races will have much greater local impact than the race for Bennett's U.S. Senate seat. We'll reel of those which particularly caught our eye this morning, one by one:

State Senate District 18 (GOP) - Sen. Jon Greiner v. Stuart Reid: In this highly unusual race, Boss Godfrey lackey and mentor Stuart Reid, who ran unsuccessfully against Greiner as a Democrat in 2006, is again challenging our incumbent Republican State Senator/Ogden City Police Chief. This time however Reid has switched parties, adding another RINO* to the Utah GOP party membership rolls. It'll probably be a very lively Utah GOP Nominating Convention race. And yes gentle readers, you can expect Greiner's purported Hatch Act violation to be brought up by Reid on the convention nominating floor. And you can bet your bottom dollar that Boss Godfrey's minions will be packing tonight's GOP caucus meetings with Reid supporters, in the hope of emerging from the caucuses with a majority of delegates who lean strongly in favor of Stuart Reid. If you attend tonight's GOP caucuses, folks, we therefore urge you to thoroughly vet prospective delegates regarding their commitments in re the Greiner v. Reid intra-party race.

State House District 9 (DEM) - Rep. Neil Hansen v. Jesse Garcia: We're scratching our heads, frankly, wondering what's gotten into Garcia, as he challenges 6-term Rep. Hansen for the Leg. 9 House Representative slot. Within this morning's Standard-Examiner story, we find this interesting Garcia quote:
Former Councilman Jesse Garcia is challenging fellow Democrat Neil Hansen, who is the incumbent for the Utah House District 9 seat.
Garcia said he thinks he has a good chance at winning the seat and looks forward to working toward that.
Working across party lines and reaching bipartisan agreements is what Garcia said he brings to the table.
"You don't sell yourself or your party out, but you have to at least communicate through a consensus," he said. "I think I would bring something a little different than what we have right now." [Emphasis added].
We'll take the reference to "working across party lines and reaching bipartisan agreements" to mean that Garcia has caved in to anti-Hansen interests, and is more interested in knocking off Rep. Hansen than in serving the interests of his own Democratic Party. We strongly recommend that you get on down to those mass meetings, Democrats of Weber County Forum, to be sure that the delegates you elect tonight don't serve the interests of those anti-Hansen forces. Think about it folks. In an intra-party battle between an 11-term incumbent and a decent but unexceptional fellow who couldn't even deliver his own re-election last November in Ogden's tiny Ogden City Ward 1, the election of pro-Hansen delegates ought to be a no brainer.

Weber County Commission Seat A (GOP) - Comm. Ken Bischoff v. Rep. Kerry Gibson: This is also an unusual intra-party race, inasmuch as intra-party challenges between simultaneously serving GOP elected officials are virtually unheard of. For those Weber County Republicans who favor Democratic Party candidate Amy Wicks however (we're sure there are more than a few of you), you might want to consider prospective county delegates who lean toward Gibson, who lacks Bischoff's "power of commission incumbency," and whose House District 6 political base doesn't span the whole county, as does Bischoff's. Thus for those GOP voters who favor Amy Wicks, Gibson might be the slightly weaker GOP General Election opponent. Parenthetically we'll add that we've also been hearing rumors from Weber County GOP insider sources, that Bischoff may have already agreed to drop out of the race, (which might explain why Gibson has declared his candidacy for his GOP colleague's Commission seat.)

That's it for now, gentle readers. We hope all of you will attend tonight's caucuses/mass meetings, which represent "grass-roots politics" at its best.

And for those readers who need information about times and locations for your parties' respective meetings, we link the Weber Democratic and Republican Parties' respective caucus location pages below:
Weber County Democrats
Weber County Republicans
That's it for now, gentle readers; but we do hope you make it a point to attend your party's caucuses/mass meetings, where a small fraction of Utah voters will have a highly-disproportionate impact on the ultimate choices appearing on 2010 General Election ballots. Politics-wise, these political meetings deliver plenty of bang for the political buck.

For a complete list of individuals who have declared their candidacies for the various offices which will be decided in the 2010 General Election, by the way, be sure to click this link:
2010 NOTICE of ELECTION and CANDIDATE DECLARATIONS
Perhaps there are other intra-party races which we can discuss.

Who will be the first to spout off?
______
*RINO: Republican In Name Only

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Standard-Examiner Spills the Beans on Boss Godfrey's "Snoop on The Lumpencitizens Project"

Big Brother or little mayor is watching you!

For the sake of archival consistency, we'll belatedly link Saturday's Scott Schwebke story, wherein the Standard-Examiner finally spills the beans to its general readership about Boss Godfrey's ongoing door-to-door Snoop On The Lumpencitizens Project, whereby the administration is diverting Ogden firefighters from their regular training regimen, to ferret out code and business license violations.

As per usual, Dorrene Jeske is spot on, with another typically direct critique:
Former City Councilwoman Doreen Jeske believes the administration is using the survey not to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, but as an excuse to generate more revenue from business licenses.
"The purpose of the city's carbon monoxide ordinance is to save lives, and it shouldn't be used for other purposes to gain information so they can go after landlords," she said.
And we believe Standard-Examiner reader ihatethenewsite gets it pretty much right, too, with this pithy comment:
firefighter survey
If the city had waited a few more months for the rental survey they could have had the firefighters measure the grass length for compliance with city codes. What will the city do if the firefighters found a different violation when sneaking around homes to look for extra/separate utility meters? What will the city do to residents who admit to not having smoke or CO2 detectors in their home. Big Brother or little mayor is watching you.
Yeah we know, gentle readers. We've already pretty much beaten this topic to death over past weeks in our lower comments threads. Nevertheless, please don't hesitate to again chime in, if you'd like to throw in your additional 2¢... now that the Std-Ex has publicly let the cat outta the bag.

(And we'd also like to apologize for slacking off on our postings over the past couple of days. A seriously debilitating case of March Madness, you know.)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wow! A Legal Lottery In Utah!!!

A quick lesson on how the Utah Association of Realtors maintains power and influence

By: Ray

If anyone still wonders how the Utah Association of Realtors maintains power and influence check out the following from reporter Donald W. Meyers of the Salt Lake Tribune from 03/18/2010. Here's the lede:
The Utah Association of Realtors (UAR) wants members to get involved in Tuesday's neighborhood caucuses.
But some people are questioning its method: A trip to San Diego for any real estate agent who becomes a delegate.
"If you are elected as a county or state delegate, you will be entered to win the grand prize drawing for full registration at the UAR annual convention, plus hotel accommodations at the Hotel Del Coronado and airfare to San Diego," read the e-mail sent to real estate agents on Wednesday.
Read the whole sad story here:
Some question prizes for real estate agents at caucuses
Wow a legal lottery in Utah!!!

Standard-Examiner: Candidates File; Caucuses Up Next

Breaking: Councilwoman Wicks files to run for a County Commission seat

The Standard-Examiner provides an informative 2010 General Election update this morning, with a detailed rundown of candidates who beat the Friday 5:00 pm. filing deadline for their 2010 election candidacies:
Candidates file; caucuses up next
Here's a real eye-grabber for the citizens of Emerald City:
Three people each have filed for the offices of clerk/auditor, treasurer and both commission seats.
Rep. Kerry Gibson is hoping to end his third term in the Utah Legislature by winning Ken Bischoff's Weber County Commission spot, but Ogden Councilwoman Amy Wicks is providing a Democratic challenger.
If ever there was potential for a robust reader discussion, it's this, we believe.

Looking into our Weber County Forum crystal ball, we're envisioning a possible scenario where even Boss Godfrey might consider pitching in a hefty donation to help his nemesis Amy move off the City Council and over to a County Commission seat, adding potential new meaning to the old ax, that politics makes for strange bedfellows.

Chime in folks; and provide your take on this astonishing new political development.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Big Charitable Event Tonight - Roby Kap Benefit Concert - UPDATED

Cindy Simone: "Roby Kap would cut off his right arm for anyone else, if they were in trouble," (and that's the honest-to-God truth)

Here's a late heads up for WCF readers who might be interested in catching some great music AND helping out one of Ogden's most legendary living musicians tonight in one fell swoop. If you've ever ventured into the Ogden Club Scene (or Snow Basin gigs) over the years, you're certainly a fan of Roby Kap and his fantastic, talented and versatile World Class Kap Brothers Band. Here's tonight's lowdown, gleaned from this morning's Standard-Examiner's Go! Section. We hope you will all show up at the KoKoMo Club tonight to hear some great musicians perform and... and to lend your ever-generous helping hands:
OGDEN — The Kokomo Club, the Historic 25th Street bar where Ogden bluesman Roby Kap has hosted a long-running Thursday night jam session, is putting on a benefit concert today — for Kap.
Kap was injured in a fall two weeks ago, which left him in a rehabilitation facility recovering from serious leg and shoulder injuries.
Music is set to begin at 7 p.m. today at the venue, 216 Historic 25th St. The club is for those 21 and over.
“Roby Kap would cut off his right arm for anyone else, if they were in trouble,” said Cindy Simone, organizer of the event and owner of Kokomo’s. “He is always the first in line to do this sort of thing. I know there will probably be other benefits, but I want to get the ball rolling.”
The night will feature a raffle, including a custom pool cue, a guitar and other goods and services. Performers include many members, past and present, of Kap’s band. Also, many of the musicians he helped get their start, such as harmonica/guitar player and KRCL 90.9 FM drive-time host Brad Wheeler, will take the stage.
The cost to get in is $2, but organizers hope people will give at the door, and buy raffle tickets as well.
“Roby is in a wheelchair right now, and in a lot of pain,” Simone said. “He is not able to work at this time. I hope his friends can help, like he has helped them in the past.”
For further details, or to donate goods or funds, call the club at (801) 621-9991. To otherwise contribute, go to www.robykap.com.
If you can't make it tonight's concert, please (with sugar on it), we hope you'll navigate over to Roby's above-linked website anyway, and make a generous donation via Roby's PayPal donation button.

When God was busy making "great people," it was Roby who broke the mold.

Update 3/20/10 11:25 a.m.: I just got off the phone with my old friend, Cindy Simone, proprietor of Ogden's classic KoKoMo Klub. Upon my inquiry, Cindy reports to me that last night's benefit concert was a smash hit. "Fantastic" was the first word that came out of her mouth when I asked for a description of how the event worked out. Cindy describes a packed house full of Roby's fans and friends, squads of Northern Utah's finest musicians, double parked cars outside the Kokomo with passengers leaping out to drop off checks in 3-digit denominations, teary-eyed folks hoping for Roby's fast and full recovery, etc.... just the kind of response we'd hoped for when we provided yesterday's heads-up. "An outpouring of love, money and donations" is how she further described it.

On behalf of Cindy and everyone who put together last night's Roby Kap Benefit Concert we'd like to extend our hearty thanks to those who've rallied to provide Roby a much-deserved helping hand . Roby's put on more benefit concerts for other folks over the years than Cindy could count. It's great that the warm-hearted folks of Northern Utah had the opportunity to offer Roby a little something in return, with his own top-notch benefit concert event.

And in this connection we'll now invite any WCF readers who made it over to the KoKoMo last night to chime in with their own comments, observations and anecdotes.

Standard-Examiner: Boss Godfrey Returns From Secret International "Trade Mission"

Quote of the Day: "Boss Godfrey understands his community and constituents"

This morning's Standard-Examiner reports that the jet-setting Boss Godfrey has now returned from another "foreign trade mission," this time to our neighbor south of the border, Mexico. Unlike last January's China Mission, this trip was all cloak and dagger, and was not pre-publicized, so the Std-Ex fills in all the details after the fact. Read up. This morning's story is in standard Scott Schwebke format, of course, complete with the usual complement of glowing and optimistic quotes, self-congratulatory Godfrey utterances, and the obligatory "pat on the back" by the ever-fawning Godfrey sock-puppet, Councilman Stephenson:
Mexico trip seen boosting Ogden
And speaking of glowing quotes, we gotta confess we got an especially good chuckle outta this one:

Miguel Rovira, the state's regional director for the Americas for the Governor's Office of Economic Development, helped arrange Godfrey's visit to Mexico. Rovira praised the trade mission."It's extremely creative. The mayor understands his community and constituents," he said Thursday.
So what about it gentle readers? Does Boss Godfrey's latest international foray demonstrate his solidarity with the Ogden lumpenfolke, as Mr. Rovira suggests? Will this week's Mexico trip actually (and miraculously) result in the creation of important Ogden jobs? Does it make sense for the mayor of our little Utah town to be embarking on repeated international "trade missions," just like the "big boys" in the Governor's Office? Or can we simply chalk it all up as another Godfrey pleasure junket, mainly intended to rack up Boss Godfrey frequent flyer miles on the lumpencitzens' dime, and to relieve the poor little feller from the boredom of actually performing his elective job, after a grueling ten years of "service," which at this point may be "wearing on him?"

We dunno, gentle readers.

Perhaps a few of our gentle readers can shed some light on the true meaning of all this.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Salt Lake Tribune: Foes Cry Foul On Petition Law Fixes

Sign the petitions, folks! You can tell the anti-ethics goons to "go to hell" later
"Putting an issue on the ballot for public discourse is democracy at its finest," she said. "The effort to scuttle that debate is tantamount to tyranny."

Attorney Lisa Watts Baskin
Salt Lake Tribune

Foes cry foul on petition law fixes
March 18, 2010
Excellent Cathy McKitrick writeup in this morning's Salt Lake Tribune, reporting on the reaction to Sen. Howard Stephenson's SB275, which "removes the [statutory] requirement for a notary to get signatures removed from petitions, and gives opponents an extra inning to play after the other team has left the field."

More from Watts Baskin:

"Opponents have a full month" -- until May 15 -- "to take potshots by name and address," Watts Baskin said. Overturning just one Senate district -- the one with the slimmest margin -- keeps an initiative off the ballot.
Fed up with watching the spectacle of power-mad Utah legislators fighting like badgers to preserve their current pay-to-play legislative system?

Distressed at the prospect of having anti-ethics goons showing up at your doorstep to strong-arm you into removing your signature from the petitions?

Here's the simple two-step anti-tyranny process, folks:

1) Sign the petitions NOW:
Fair Boundaries Redistricting Initiative
Utahns For Ethical Government (UEG) Initiative
2) You can tell the goons to "go to hell" (and call the cops) LATER.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Could Senator Bennett Be Facing a Chris Cannon-style Challenge From His Right Flank?

If ads on my favorite political blogs are any indication, the answer is a firm "yes"

By Jim Hutchins

As has been reported here and elsewhere, Sen. Robert Bennett is facing an increasingly serious caucus challenge from the right.

These inside-the-beltway bloggers point out the connection between the anti-Washington sentiment is evident in the next-door Colorado caucuses and our very own Utah caucuses.

There have been rumblings about Sen. Bennett here and there. Could he be facing a Chris Cannon-style challenge from his right flank? If ads on my favorite political blogs are any indication, the answer is a firm "yes".

Brookings Institution: Ogden Leading Utah Recession Recovery

Ogden and Albuquerque have achieved pre-slump output peaks, study says

Good Ogden ink this morning from the Brookings Institution, via the morning's Deseret News:
Ogden leading Utah recession recovery
Here's the gist:
Utah's "Junction City" is among the Intermountain West's metropolitan areas recovering strongest from the prolonged economic recession, according to a newly released report.[...]
Two metros — Ogden and Albuquerque, N.M. — have fully achieved their pre-recession output peaks, the study said. Over the third and fourth quarters of last year, Ogden, Colorado Springs and Denver posted the largest gains in gross metropolitan product among large Mountain metros, with quarterly growth rates of at least 2.0 percent.
Go figure.

Perhaps it has something to do with this.

Ya think?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Candidates Begin Filing For 2010 General Election

Election coverage is our forte here at Weber County Forum; and we confess we can't wait to dive into the races

Following close on the heels of the end of the 2010 Utah legislative session, we learn from this morning's Standard Examiner that it's now time to kick off the 2010 General Election season. Read the Standard's morning writeup here:
Candidates begin filing for election
With the impending retirement of Weber County Sheriff Brad Slater, there are three fresh faces lining up for the Weber County Sheriff's job, with Democrat Gary Haws and Republicans Brett Haycock and Terry Thompson vying for the nomination from their respective County Conventions. And in Ogden's House Legislative District 9, it's deja vu all over again, with defeated 2008 Republican candidate, Utah Association of Realtors sock-puppet Jeremy Peterson once again facing off bravely against 11-term juggernaut Democratic Party State Representative Neil Hansen.

Incumbent Utah State Senator-for-Life Bob Bennett will obviously also have his hands full at the May GOP Convention too, with three GOP Challengers, David Chiu, Tim Bridgewater and Leonard Fabiano already signed on for the race, and with undeclared challengers Cherilyn Eager and Mike Lee still waiting in the wings. Soon, we're quite sure, the Democrats will also have a declared candidate in this important race too.

For a full list of candidates who've already declared their candidacy for state-wide and local offices, check out this link:
2010 NOTICE of ELECTION and CANDIDATE DECLARATIONS - Weber County
Election coverage is our forte here at Weber County Forum of course; and we confess we can't wait to dive into the various races.

That's it for now however, Gentle Readers.

Who wants to comment on the candidacies which have been declared to date?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Standard-Examiner: "Bank Failure? Bad Loans? No News Here; Move Along"

As always, in and around Emerald City, supreme misplaced confidence abounds

The Standard-Examiner carries another Centennial Bank closure story this morning, for the first time explicitly drilling down to the Centennial Bank/Ogden River Project connection. As always, in and around Emerald City, supreme confidence abounds. "There's no news here," the usual claque of municipal movers and shakers admonish us. "Move along," they say, according to The Standard Examiner.
Spokesman: Closure should not affect Ogden River Project
We think that guy flatlander gets it just about right however, with this savvy comment, which we shamelessly rip from beneath today's above-linked SE story:
Confident statements no longer breed confidence....
A spokesman for Ogden Riverfront Development is confident Centennial's collapse will not impede the River Project.
A spokesman for Gadi Lesham is similary confident that the bank's collapse will not adversely affect the River Project.
John "Pureheart" Patterson, Mayor Godfrey's Chief Administrative Officer, is also confident the River Project will not suffer from the bank's collapse.
Of course, the Centennial board was confident the bank would be made sound by a merger right up until the FDIC walked in the door and closed it.
And Mister Patterson was confident in 2002 that the River Project would be largely completed by about 2005 or 2006. It wasn't.
And the Mayor was confident that private donors were ready, willing and eager to fund the downtown year round outdoor ice climbing tower. They weren't.
And the owners of White Star Line were confident the Titanic was unsinkable.
Words are cheap. Whether the bank's collapse will adversely affect the at the moment largely moribund River Project remains to be seen. I hope it will not. Be we'll have to wait and see how it all plays out. [Emphasis added].
We couldn't have phrased it better ourself.

In fact, be sure to check our lower comments section, where the real story is already starting to "play out, and unfold."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Need We Say More?

Retake your democracy... Sign the Petition!

By: Utahns For Ethical Government
(Via
Facebook)

NEED WE SAY MORE? The Utah Senate majority leader resigns after a DUI scandal began the 2010 session; the Utah House majority leader resigns after a hot tub scandal ended the session. The UEG initiative is a bold attempt to change a legislative culture unworthy of Utah.

Retake your democracy.

Sign the petition at www.utahethics.org.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Poor Ol' GOP House Rep Kevin Garn Finds Himself In The Political Hotseat

Vote in our new online poll!

Poor ol' Davis County Republican House Majority Leader Kevin Garn. When this story broke yesterday, we thought he'd be able to sweep it under the rug, and that the controversy would simply blow over, with his contrite Thursday confession on the State House floor.

Nope. Looks like all hell is breaking loose. Here's the latest skinny on our Davis County skinny-dipping State House Rep, straight from our home town newspaper, the Standard-Examiner:
GOP leader’s skinny-dip confession sparks outrage
This story is BIG NEWS all over the country; but we'll focus on one writeup that we liked the best. Here's the lead from a little blog called "The Frisky" (Love, Life, Stars, Style), under the title, Utah Lawmaker Admits To Hot Tub Frolic With Underaged Girl:
It’s a story ripped from an episode of “Jersey Shore”: Utah’s House Majority Leader, Rep. Kevin Garn, admitted yesterday that in 2002 he paid a woman $150,000 to keep quiet during his Congressional campaign about a 1985 incident where they sat naked in a hot tub together. Garn, who is 55 now, was 30 at the time; the girl, Cheryl Maher, who is 40 now, was 15 at the time.
At the foot of the story, the author asks this thoughtful and highly pertinent question:
Garn has said he will not resign, but he has not said he would seek re-election.
Do you think Garn should resign? Or do you think that because there was allegedly no sexual contact, and it happened 25 years ago, that Garn’s behavior is forgivable?
Looks like good fodder for a reader poll. What's your take on this, O Gentle Ones?
Vote in our online poll!
And don't forget our lower comments section.

Update 3/13/2010 1:37 p.m.:

Dan S. has a great story and analysis on his blog, which has heretofore only dealt mainly with "science issues." Be sure to check it out:
The Fourth Estate?
Good to see Dan S. with another " bee in his bonnet," No?

Friday, March 12, 2010

City Weekly "Best of Utah" Awards

Wouldn't it be cool if we all popped over there and voted for our favorite blog as "Best Utah Blogger"?

By Jim Hutchins

Our friends at City Weekly are running their annual "Best of Utah" award.

Wouldn't it be cool if we all popped over there and voted for our favorite blog as "Best Utah Blogger"?
Vote here.
You have to vote in 10 categories for your vote to count. There are a few Ogden-specific categories, but I would also respectfully suggest that for "Best Local Twitter Account" you vote for my friend @agileroxy. If nothing else, @agileroxy's Twitter page has a cute picture of a dog in a John Deere cap.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ogden Open Space Plan Meeting - 4/15/10

Now is your chance to influence Ogden's Open Space Plan before it goes to the Planning Commission and City Council for approval

Gentle reader
BAT_girl just sent us notice of an important upcoming Ogden City event, which is just what the doctor ordered for this otherwise s-l-o-o-o-o-w news day:

The Ogden Planning Department will unveil the first draft of Ogden's new Open Space Plan. Now is your chance to influence this plan before it goes to the Planning Commission and City Council for approval. Please attend and make your voice heard!

DATE: Thursday, April 15
TIME: 7 p.m. - 10p.m.
PLACE: Megaplex @ The Junction in the 2nd FL Meeting Room (23rd & Kiesel)

This is the follow-up to the meeting in July 2009 on Open Space in Ogden. More feedback will be needed this time. Come see if they listened to what was said, last time:
Protect Ogden's Open Space!
Be sure to mark your calenders, folks.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March 9, 2010 Ogden RDA Post Meeting Report

An RDA session video, in lieu of a turgid text-based report

As a followup to Monday's WCF article, in which we expressed our concern that the Ogden City RDA Board might be acting a mite hastily in rushing through a "blight finding" for the "4 downtown city blocks, from 20th to 24th; and east from Washington to Adams Avenue," we're delighted to learn this morning that our Ogden RDA Board has deferred taking any further action in this matter, except to schedule a full, formal "blight study hearing" for the RDA calender of April 13, 2010, at which time all affected property owners and the lumpencitizens of Emerald City will be given ample opportunity to offer their evidence and argument... and to otherwise spout off.

In lieu of a lengthy text-based post meeting report, we've embedded the video* of last night's meeting, where WCF readers will be able to observe a savvy, combat-hardened City Council/RDA Board which is most definitely firing on all cylinders. Check out the heavy grilling that Board members Stephens, Wicks, Gochnour and Van Hooser administer to poor old Community & Economic Development Department Director Richard McConkie. It's truly a beauteous thing to watch. And even Councilman Stephensen gets in a few licks. Select the March 9, 2010 RDA meeting from the lower video menu :
Ogden City Council Videos
If there's anyone who believes that this RDA Board is collectively playing the part of a patsy for an overly ambitious city administration (with respect to this project, at least), a viewing of this video ought to allay those fears.

Who will be the first to comment?
_____
* Courtesy of the Ogden City Website

© 2005 - 2014 Weber County Forum™ -- All Rights Reserved