Wednesday, September 29, 2010

UTA Ogden-Weber State Transit Corridor Study Open House Reminder UPDATED

Some excellent new informational material furnished to us yesterday by Dan Schroeder

At risk of coming off as a dunning nag, your blogmeister will once again remind you of tomorrow afternoon's UTA Ogden-Weber State Transit Corridor Study Open House, during which Emerald City Lumpencitizens will be afforded the opportunity to blow off steam regarding the Ogden Weber Transit Corridor Analysis, which was mendaciously and craftily rigged behind closed doors to recommend an east-west corridor leg to connect Washington and Harrison Boulevards along 36th Street.

In the interest of adding a little more "grist" to the discussion mill, we're pleased to feature some excellent new material furnished to us yesterday by Dan Schroeder, in the form of a letter, which was transmitted to the Ogden Transit Corridor Stakeholders on September 20, 2010. Within that letter, Dan identifies the following main evidentiary and methodological flaws in the Economic Development Opportunities Analysis conducted by Wikstrom Economic Planning Consultants for the Ogden/WSU Transit Corridor Project, which errors we'll enumerate and set forth here in brief:

1) UTA and Wikstrom have been unable (or unwilling) to produce the raw data that was used to obtain these results;
2) Although the Analysis apparently used objective data from current property assessments, it also used completely subjective guesses of which properties are likely to be redeveloped by 2015;
3) With respect to the Analysis, all the estimated investments are too low;
4) The Analysis assumed that all land values along the corridor will remain unchanged, even after the project is completed.
Read the full text of Dan's most excellent letter, in which he goes on to urge Ogden Transit Corridor Stakeholders to "ignore the Economic Development Opportunities Analysis until such time as these [above-identied] serious issues can be fully resolved" :
Dan Schroeder 9/20/10 Letter
Just "a little more material added to the discussion mill," as we said. Hopefully Dan's submitted material will help get the juices flowing, in advance of tomorrow afternoon's UTA Ogden-Weber State Transit Corridor Study Open House shindig.

We hope to see you all at the Union Station Browning Theater tomorrow @ 4:00 p.m.

Torches and pitchforks will be
de rigueur. Steely-eyed lumpencitizens stares are optional (although recommended), of course.

Enraged Emerald City Citizens plan to gather again
to give mindless Utah bureaucrats a serious "hotfoot"

Savvy reader comments are invited, as always. Don't let the cat get yer tongues!

Can we see by a show of hands how many of our regular readers plan to attend this boffo UTA public bitch session?

Update 10/1/10 10:00 a.m.: The Standard-Examiner carries the post-Open House story this morning. For a glaring example of arrogant Utah bureaucracy which is completely out of touch with the will of the people, check out the link below:
Transit corridor open house draws concerned crowd

Standard-Examiner: 25th Street Business Association Wants Height Limits Raised

We urge the Council to reject this proposal outright, and to refrain from again revisiting this already-decided issue, unless and until some tangible proposed project comes along

The Standard-Examiner reports this morning that anti-historic preservation forces are again on the move to compromise the historical integrity of Historic 25th Street, with a new proposal, spearhead by hyper-activist 25th Street Business Association President Steve Conlin, to increase building height limits on Historic 25th Street across the board from 45 feet to 55 feet:
25th Street Business Association wants height limits raised
Although we'd assumed that the prospect of raising height limits across all of the Historic 25th Street District had been rejected once and for all by the Council in October of 2008, Mr. Conlin makes it quite clear that he's ready to waste the time of the Council and the public, by girding for battle on this issue once again:
"I don't think we are going to get this passed without a big fight. But I think it's a fight the 25th Street Business Association is willing to take on," said Steve Conlin, president of the association.
Kudos to Councilman Stephens for his savvy take on the issue:
City Councilman Doug Stephens questioned whether it is prudent to change the height ordinance, as there is no building project on the table for 25th Street that requires the height extension.
"We need to protect the historical elements of 25th Street and provide a method that 25th Street can attract business into that area and be successful," he said. "If there is no project coming forward, is it necessary for the council to be reviewing this ordinance?"
Councilman Stephens hits the nail on the head. Absent some new proposed project which might justify Council consideration of an individual zoning variance tied to a specific project, it would be pure folly for the City Council to open up what earlier proved to be a highly contentious can of worms once again.

We therefore urge the Council to reject this proposal outright, and to refrain from again revisiting this already-decided issue, unless and until some actual property developer is willing to put something tangible on the table.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Important UTA Ogden-Weber State Transit Corridor Study Public Meeting Set For Thursday Afternoon

Subject: 25/H Needs Your Support and Your Voice!

By Shalae Larsen

Friends and Neighbors,

This week will mark a critical juncture for our Streetcar Revitalization efforts! This Thursday UTA is hosting an open-house to present their extremely flawed study - and biased results to the public for a Washington-36th Street Streetcar:

What: UTA Ogden-Weber State Transit Corridor Study Public Meeting
Where: Union Station - Browning Theater
When: Thursday, September 30 · 4:00pm - 7:00pm
Let's show them that we support a 25th-Harrison Streetcar - because it is the best route in terms of community integration, sustainability, livability, economic development, and on-and on...

Check out the Trolley District Facebook event page for more details:
UTA Ogden-Weber State Transit Corridor Study Public Meeting
And show your support for our efforts by changing your Facebook profile pic to the 25/H that you see posted on the Trolley District page (just right-click on the image to save it to your computer and then you can upload it again as your profile pic).

Thank you for your support in encouraging our public agencies to do the right thing!

Thank You!

The Trolley District

Update 9/28/10 8:30 a.m.: The Standard-Examiner provides its general readership a heads-up concerning Thursday's public meeting :
Input sought for WSU transit plan
UTA bureaucrat Gerry Carpenter reveals that his fellow bureaucrats have exhausted all available funds with this half-assed study:

"At this point, we've taken it as far as we can take it with the funds that were made available," Carpenter said. "There is no additional funding for further study, so acquiring that funding would be the next step."
Hopefully we'll have a packed house of steely-eyed lumpencitizens at Thursday's Union Station open house, torches and pitchforks in hand, to duly berate and chastise Mr. Carpenter and his fellow bureaucratic dimbulbs for their wasteful squandering of those funds which were formerly available, and which have now been recklessly expended.

Standard-Examiner: Trustee Sale At Junction

We'll predict that this property will revert to First Community Bank's Real Estate Owned (REO) portfolio

Just as foreshadowed on 7/15/10, the Standard-Examiner reports that the Junction's Earnshaw Building goes on the auction block this afternoon on the courthouse front steps, a victim of the still-collapsing U.S. real estate bubble:
Trustee sale at Junction
With depressed U.S. commercial real estate prices still levitating at recession lows, it's a bad time for any commercial real estate lender to be scheduling a foreclosure sale. Despite the lender's chirpy optimism that private parties will possibly show up to bid however, it's obvious that the current loan balance likely exceeds the value of the property, so we'll predict that this failing project will ultimately revert to First Community Bank's (FCB) Real Estate Owned (REO) portfolio.

In the event that FCB does "take back" this property, the scenario will not bode well for the early completion of the Earnshaw Project, inasmuch as FCB will no doubt opt to keep the property on its books and await a rebound in the commercial real estate market, rather than dispose of the property at a loss. Unless and until FCB is able to rid itself of this "underwater" REO liability, don't expect FCB to invest another dime of its own money in the Earnshaw property.

Update 9/28/10 8:45 a.m.: The Standard-Examiner carries the post-foreclosure story this morning, in which a "dejected" First Community Bank Senior Vice President Bob Parks reveals that he still doesn't recognise the reality that the Earnshaw Building financing had been over-leveraged by a factor of almost 100%. And this moron Parks is apparently still employed as an executive officer at a local bank. Scary:
Lone bid received for 32 Earnshaw Building units

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Salt Lake Tribune: Waiting For a Southbound Train: Lessons From a Bum

Worth a look, though it's not likely to please some Historic 25th Street Association merchants

By Curmudgeon

SL Trib this Sunday morning has up an an op-ed column by writer Amy Wilde who lives in Brigham City, but apparently spends time on Historic 25th Street. Her topic is not the Harvest Moon Fest or the fern-bar-and-art-gallery restoration of the street, but rather the homeless bums [her term, and it is for her a term of endearment] she meets there --- the very folk the city is doing its level best to convince to loiter someplace else, preferably west of the tracks. Her column is about what she's learned from them:
Waiting for a southbound train: Lessons from a bum
Worth a look, though it's not likely to please some Historic 25th Street Association merchants who convinced the Mayor to convince UTA that its buses were bringing The Wrong Sort Of People downtown. After all, the homeless don't have houses to which the city can deliver advertising for its merchants postage free.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

WSU Game Day Thread: WSU Wildcats v. UC Davis

Will Coach Mac succeed in righting the listing WSU ship?

It's homecoming week on the Weber State campus; and the Standard-Examiner has the story about this evening's gridiron battle. Here's the lede:
OGDEN -- UC Davis will be checking out its future home in the Big Sky Conference today while Weber State celebrates homecoming, but the Wildcats have no intention of laying out a welcome mat or setting out mints for the Aggies.
Weber State (1-2, 1-1) has focused this week on correcting its mistakes from last Saturday's loss at Sacramento State; tonight, the Wildcats will see if their efforts turn into results at home against another Sacramento-area team, UC Davis (1-2).
Kickoff is at 6 p.m. at Stewart Stadium.
Read the full SE story here:
Hostile Hospitality: Wildcats not rolling out welcome mat for UC Davis
Will Coach Mac succeed in correcting the mental errors and righting the listing WSU ship? Find out by following the real-time audio and video broadcasts on KLO Radio or Big Sky TV. (Of course as Gentle Curmudgeon aptly points out in our lower comments section, the very best way to catch the game is to buy a ticket and join the throngs of of loyal WSU fans in Stewart Stadium.)

We'll leave the lights on for your thoughtful comments, as per usual, Wildcat fans.

Update 9/26/10 9:00 a.m.: After a lackluster first half, WSU picked up the pace and prevailed by a final score of 20-9.

Read the SE's post game stories here:
Home sweet homecoming for WSU
Back to basics: good game plan
The Salt Lake Tribune has a few words on the topic, too:
Wildcats’ big play puts nail in coffin
Update 9/27/10 8:30 a.m.: The SE's Roy Burton adds his 2¢ with this morning's column:
It wasn't pretty, but with adjustments WSU prevailed

Standard-Examiner: Ogden Xterra Event Is Off To The Races With Much Growth

That's good stuff, and should be generating "good ink," on this blog, and elsewhere

By Caddyhack

How can it be that no one has mentioned the Ogden Xterra Event?
Ogden Xterra event is off to the races with much growth
Here's a quote, from Friday's Standard-Examiner's article:
About 4,000 to 5,000 people from 10 countries and 40 states are expected to attend the events, including about 1,100 competitors. For the past few years, the Ogden area has been the location for the outdoor competition, which includes mountain biking, trail running and swimming across Pineview Reservoir.
That's good stuff, and should be generating "good ink," on Weber County Forum, and elsewhere.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Another Endearing Boss Godfrey FOM Moment

Looks like evil realtor Abraham Shreve is back

Gentle reader ski companies and velodromes and high adventure, oh my? just posted this broadside in one of our lower comments sections, highlighting this POS YouTube video by one of Boss Godfrey's most loyal and corrupt cronies:
What's In Your Town, by Abraham Shreve
Just for the sake of background and consistency, let's look at Abe Shreve's track record:
A little more from this real estate moron Godfeyite Abe Shreve
Note to the little real estate hustler Abe Shreve. Here's a velodrome project that Ogden City may possibly be able to afford, as we stand mired in the worst national economic downturn since the Great Depression:
We could get Red Bull corporate sponsorship. and stick it in the now apparenty defunct "Jibyard," No?

Live with it, Godfrey boy Abe.

Watch KUED's 2010 Utah Governor Candidate Debate

If you can't catch Monday's 8:00 p.m. KUED broadcast, check out the prerecorded video online

For those readers following the 2010 Utah Governor's race, the Standard-Examiner reports this morning that "The Republican governor and Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon met Thursday during a taping of a debate to be televised by KUED-TV in Salt Lake City on Monday":
Utah Gov. Herbert, Corroon clash in first debate
The Salt Lake Tribune has the story, too:
Herbert, Corroon clash in first gubernatorial debate
If you can't catch Monday's 8:00 p.m. KUED broadcast, check out the prerecorded video online:
KUED Governor's Race Debate
For our readers' convenience, we've also added this link to our right sidebar 2010 election module.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Emerald City Morning News Roundup

Never a dull moment in and around Emerald City

We find four items in the northern Utah print media which ought to be of interest to our gentle readers this morning:

1) The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Rep. Neil Hansen "is calling for a legislative audit into the $13 million payout by the Utah Department of Transportation to prevent a lawsuit by the second-place finisher for the Interstate 15 rebuild project in Utah County. " In response, GOP legislative leadership predictably vows to sweep the matter under the rug:
Lawmaker seeks audit on UDOT payout
2) The Standard-Examiner announces the good news that "the federal government awarded a contract worth more than $20 million to The Boyer Co. for development and construction of 109,000 square feet of space for IRS operations within the historic Denver & Rio Grande building downtown." This project, which will reportedly "bring hundreds of jobs downtown" is just the shot in the arm that we need in downtown Ogden. No word on how much taxpayer money the Godfrey administration will be forking over to make this deal a reality:
Contract worth over $20 million to help develop historic building for IRS office space
3) The Standard-Examiner editorial board is all gaga over State Senator Stuart Adams's plan to shift a portion of the Utah gas tax to oil producers. What the Standard seems to miss however is the reality that a producer tax increase will inevitably be shifted right back to consumers (Economics 101). Somehow we get the funny feeling that the SE Editorial Board hasn't really thought this through:
OUR VIEW: Adams' tax plan sound
4) Last but not least, and to our great delight, Scott Schwebke reports that the long awaited Leshemville demolition is now fully underway. Better late than never, as the old saying goes:
River Project home demolition hits high gear
That's it for now.

The comments box is all yours. Have fun today, as always!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another Boss Godfrey Cheap Shot: Ogden City Cites Kaffe Mercantile For a "Sign Violation"

Godfrey cheap Shot #999: Non Friends of Matt Godfrey engage in promoting their Ogden businesses at their own risk

By OgdenLover

Gadi Leshem's abandoned Ogden River Project continues to be the biggest unabated nuisance in Ogden history. Over the years, it's remained by far the single worst eyesore/firetrap in town, but has of yet never received even a single Ogden zoning code citation.

Meanwhile back at the Boss Godfrey ranch, the City has cited an enterprising and self-funding Ogden entrepreneur, Kaffe Mercanatile, for its sandwich sign on Harrison. It's a tasteful, unobtrusive sign and the only way they can let people driving on Harrison know they exist. A copy is also up on Kaffe's Facebook page.

The City cared so much that they left the sentence about weed abatement right there in the citation letter.

The owners rehabbed an old eyesore on their own dime and made it an asset to the neighborhood:

But they are not FOMs, so we can see where truly investing in Ogden has gotten them.

Editor's addendum: We've said it before; and we'll say it again: Boss Godfrey is no friend to the Ogden City small businessman.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Ogden Getting Three New Retail Outlets - UPDATED

The Boss Godfrey Administration persists in following the grubby practice of providing corporate welfare on the taxpayer's dime to weakling business startups

The Standard-Examiner reports this morning that Ogden City has inked lease agreements to place two new retail operations to downtown Ogden, (one in the Junction Money Pit, and one across Washington Boulevard within the East Washington Redevelopment District. ) In addition, we are informed by Mr. Schwebke that negotiations are also underway to bring yet a third unnamed "business" to the Junction property:
Ogden getting three new retail outlets
Conspicuously displayed in the middle of this morning's story is this revelation, which reveals that Ogden taxpayers are likely to provide much of the seed money to start up these new downtown businesses:
G4G and Ogden ROX will likely be the first businesses to take advantage of the city's new $315,000 tenant improvement loan program, said Tom Christopulos, Ogden's business development manager.
The beat goes on... the Boss Godfrey Administration continues to use taxpayer dollars to subsidize newly arriving private business operations. Despite the $2 million+ plus payroll, Ogden City's bloated Economic Development Department continues to take the low road, and persists in following the grubby practice of providing corporate welfare to weakling business startups.

How much taxpayer money will the Ogden administration devote to these new businesses? A trusted source tells us that the amount for the first two will be over $315 thousand.

Did the Godfrey administration even run a credit check on this Gary Barsdorf guy?

Somehow... we doubt it.

Update 9/22/10 9:52 a.m.: For an informative discussion which fully fleshes out the issues involved in these "tenant improvement loans," view the September 7, 2010 city council video (fast forward to 30:00):
09/07 City Council Regular Session video

Monday, September 20, 2010

Two 2010 Election Events Set For This Evening

Tonight: A Peter Corroon Open House on the WSU campus; and a KUED-televised US Senate candidate debate

For those political wonks who are eagerly following the 2010 General Election runup, we'd like to announce a couple of events which you might want to put on today's calender:

1) In case you missed it in one of our lower comments sections, Gentle Reader Eleanor informs us that Democratic Party Gubernatorial Candidate Peter Corroon will be on the Weber State campus this evening, where WSU’s College Democrats are hosting a meet the candidate open house:

IT ain't over 'til the Fat Lady sings.
So come on out, tomorrow night, to the:

DATE: MON 9.20.2010
TIME: 6PM- 7:30PM

Since the WILDCAT THEATER only has 220 seats, come early. Bring a friend. Prepare your questions in advance.
Again, this is a PUBLIC meeting. You do not have to live in Weber County to attend.
And the Salt Lake Tribune's political blog, Political Cornflakes, announces this evening's television event:

Senate race: The latest Dan Jones Poll for the D News and KSL shows Republican Mike Lee with a massive lead over Democrat Sam Granato. So far Granato's claim that Lee is too extreme is not sticking.
The D News/KSL poll also asked who voters would have picked if Sen. Bob Bennett ran as an independent and Lee came out ahead of Bennett 37 to 32.
If you want to check out the KUED [Granato/Lee] debate, it airs tonight at 8 p.m. MST. Or you can just check it out online.
(As to the latter debate event, please note that we've added the prerecorded video tape to our right sidebar election module.)

That's it for now, as we move to within 43 days of the 11/2/10 Election.

Chime in on either of the above topics, or consider this an open topic thread.

Update 9/21/10 10:00 a.m.: The Standard-Examiner carries a post event writeup this morning on the Corroon meet the candidate event:
Corroon fields questions / Gubernatorial candidate addresses issues involving federal government

Sunday, September 19, 2010

More On Governor Herbert's Ostensible "Pay to Play" Problem

Oh my. The ever-classy Utah GOP Chair Dave Hansen even says "somebody wants to rip off [Peter] Corroon’s head "

Governor Herbert's ostensible "pay to play" problem continues to be the top political story in the Utah print media this morning, with a pair of articles focusing on the obscene amounts of campaign cash flowing into Herbert's campaign coffers.

First, The Standard-Examiner pulls no punches with this scathing editorial, highlighting the oderiferous appearance of impropriety in the simmering UDOT/FSZ scandal, and calling once again for reasonable campaign finance limits:
OUR VIEW: Herbert's UDOT mess
Next, the Salt Lake Tribune reports that the Herbert campaign evidently remains entirely undaunted by all the bad pre-election publicity, and just last night held another conspicuous high-profile fundraiser which raked in another giant wad of special interest campaign cash:
Donors pour $700K into Herbert’s campaign
The situation continues to heat up. Herbert's supporters are reportedly brimming with righteous indignation at being publicly accused of bad behavior. Oh my. The ever-classy Utah GOP Chair Dave Hansen even says "somebody [wants] to rip Corroon’s head off."

Meanwhile, Robert Gehrke reports that "[a] few blocks away, about two dozen [lumpencitizen] protesters rallied outside the governor’s mansion earlier in the afternoon, carrying signs and chanting that the Governor’s Office should not be for sale." No reports however whether Utah GOP leadership ordered any mass arrests.

We'll continue to follow this story as it develops of course, just in case the situation really heats up.

Colbert, Stewart Plan March on Washington to Counter Glenn Beck

Stewart says he will offer signs with the "appropriate" level of political emotion, such as "I disagree with you, but I'm pretty sure you're not Hitler"

Spurred on by their Web fan base, comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert say they are going to stage a “million moderate march” on the national mall in response to Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally. Stewart is calling the event, scheduled for Oct. 30, a Saturday afternoon, the “Rally to Restore Sanity.” Colbert is calling his concurrent counter-march “March to Keep Fear Alive.”

The two events were triggered by "Daily Show" fans who staged a Web write-in campaign. That zeal mushroomed shortly after Beck’s rally in late August, The Washington Post reported.

Read all about these important, concurrent October 30, 2010 events:
Colbert, Stewart Plan March on Washington to Counter Glenn Beck
And don't let the cat get your tongues, O Gentle Ones...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

WSU Game Day Thread: Wildcats Are On the Road Against Sac State U.

It'll be fascinating to see what Coach Mac pulls out of his bag of tricks this week

Well, the weekend's arrived, and perhaps we need to take a breather on Governor Gary Herbert's seemingly insurmountable credibility problems, so it's back to WSU football for us.

Accordingly we' ll note that The WSU Wildcats are back on the road this evening, where they'll face Sacramento State U. at 7:00 p.m. (MT) at Hornet Stadium. On the heels of last week's 5-1/2 hour quadruple overtime gridiron marathon victory, it'll be fascinating to see what Coach Mac pulls out of his magic bag of tricks this week, wethinks.

The Standard-Examiner offers a little pre-game hype this morning...
WSU willing to settle for any 'W'
And the Sacramento Bee has a few words on the topic, too, regarding Sac State's obvious newbie quarterback problem...
It's test time for Hornets' newly arrived QB Jeff Fleming
For our readers' convenience we'll link this evening's game broadcast audio and video links, (Remember the game doesn't start until 7:00 p.m.):
KLO Radio
Big Sky TV
Break out the Orville Redenbacher's and pull up your Barca-Loumgers, WSU fans. We'll keep the lower comments section open for your inter-game comments as per usual, too, just in the likely event that any of you would like to kibitz before, during, or after the game.

Interim Collegiate Football Update 9/18/10: Good News for BYU non-fans: The Evil Zoobies get crushed by Florida State this second year in a row this afternoon, this time by a score of 34-10:
Another blowout: Florida State routs BYU, 34-10
Just goes to show what happens when 'you're livin' right,' no?

Update 9/19/10 8:30 a.m.: Hornets 24, Wildcats 17. The Standard-Examiner website has been down all morning, so here's the story from the Salt Lake Tribune:
Wildcats fall to 1-1 in Big Sky play
Dang. Double dang.

Update 9/19/10 11:15 a.m.: The SE site is now back up and running, so we'll link this morning's post-game writeup:
'Cats feel Hornets sting
It's a sure bet that Coach Mac will be hammering basic football fundamentals with his WSU squad this week.

Update 9/20/10 8:30 a.m.: Standard-Examiner sports beat reporter Roy Burton provides a good post game followup story in yesterday's SE:
The good turned bad and the result was ugly for WSU

Friday, September 17, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Herbert Sends Angry Letter to Corroon

...and the Corroon Campaign responds

Following up on Wednesday's topic, the Standard-Examiner reports this morning that the heat in the Herbert/Corroon Gubernatorial race has been cranked up another notch. Gary Herbert has sent out an angry letter... and the Corroon campaign has issued a curt response. Read all about it in the SE story below:
Herbert sends angry letter to Corroon... And the Corroon Campaign responds
The Tribune's Out of Context political blog is also all over this story, and asks some additional good questions too. The reader comments ain't half-bad either:
Herbert is En Fuego
As we always say here at Weber County Forum, "we love a good political scrap"; and it appears that's exactly what we've got.

So what about it O Gentle Ones?

"Is this a smear campaign? Has Corroon crossed the line here? And is the governor rightly indignant?"

Who will be the first to take a shot at answering Trib columnist/blogger Robert Gehrke's probing (and logical) questions?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gary Herbert Gets Spun At His Own Spin Meeting

Looks like good GOP intra-party political scrap is brewin' up

Hmmm... it seems that the Weber County Seat "B" race isn't the only one heating up as we we meander into the remaining 48 days prior to the 11/2/10 General Election. For openers, and thanks to a comments section tip from gentle readerhistory tells all, we'll embed this startling Channel 4 video expose concerning the Utah Governor's race:

Ogden "Homeboy" Man of the People Neil Hansen's name is "in the thick of the story," of course.

For additional background on this story, take a look at this eye-opening DNews story link:
Gov. Gary Herbert gets spun at his own spin meeting
Weirdly enough, Utah GOP legislators are already throwing Herbert under the bus and covering their own ass with this:
In wake of $13M payout, lawmakers eye change
We definitely love a good political scrap. Howbout You?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Salomon Center Fundraiser Free-For-All

All hell breaks loose this morning in the Weber County Commission Seat "B" race

Amidst a 2010 General Election season which has been heretofore strangely quiet, all hell breaks loose this morning in the Weber County Commission Seat "B" race. It appears that Boss Godfrey, who has a history of using the Salomon Center as a venue for political fundraising activity, has gotten himself involved in c0-hosting yet another political fundraiser at Ogden's Downtown Fun Center. Here's the skinny from the Standard-Examiner:
Fundraiser free-for-all / Charges fly over Salomon Center political event in Wicks-Gibson commission race
The Salt Lake Tribune is all over the story too:
Democratic candidate alleges illegal use of city-owned facilities
Among other things, Democratic Party commission candidate Amy Wicks suggests that Boss Godfrey's role in co-hosting this latest Salomon Center campaign event amounts to a violation of Utah Code Section 10-3-1108 and Ogden City Code Section 2-6-13, which provide as follows in pertinent part:
10-3-1108. Political activity of municipal officer or employee... (2) Except as otherwise provided by federal law... (d) a municipal officer or employee may not use municipal equipment while engaged in political activity.

2-6-13: POLITICAL ACTIVITY:... C. Restricted Activities: No officer or employee of the city shall:... 2. Use, or allow to be used, any city equipment while engaged in any political activity.
Judging from an examination of supporting documents published on the SE site, it appears that the Godfrey Administration is adopting a a highly legalistic defensive posture in this matter, arguing that this campaign event is actually being sponsored by the tenant in possession, Gary Nielson, and not by Mayor Godfrey. The fly in the ointment with respect to that posture, of course, is that Boss Godfrey is prominently billed as a co-host for the event:

Wicks also maintains that use of the Salomon Center for political purposes is prohibited under state and local laws that prevent municipal officers or employees from using municipal equipment while engaged in political purposes.
Those laws are being violated because Godfrey is a member of the host committee for Gibson's fundraiser at the Salomon Center, Wicks said.

Although it's a little early in the game to offer our own legal analysis on this subject, we will invite our gentle readers to chime in with their own comments and observations.

So what about it, O Gentle Ones? Does Boss Godfrey's role as an event co-host convey upon him a possessory interest sufficient to run afoul of the state statute and city ordinance set forth above? And what about Godfrey's ethical posture in this matter? Does Godfrey's self-professed "right to support any political candidate [he] choose[s]" override his ethical obligation to avoid using city-owned property in a manner which arguably inures to his own self-serving political benefit?

Who will be the first to throw in their ever-savvy 2¢?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Tear Down Those Houses!

With respect to the removal of the downtown Leshemville firetraps, the only thing Boss Godfrey is burning now is daylight

Upon the suggestion of one of our gentle readers, we'll shine the spotlight on yesterday's strong Standard-Examiner editorial, which chimes in on a topic which has been much discussed here on Weber County Forum. The Standard was saying it back in April of 2008, and now they're saying it again:
OUR VIEW: Tear down those houses!
Now that the council has acted to appropriate the necessary demolition funds, and the bone-headed proposal to torch the derelict Leshemville properties has been taken off the table, we'll join with the SE in urging Boss Godfrey to get moving on this project top-speed. With respect to the removal of these downtown firetraps, the only thing Boss Godfrey is burning now is daylight.

Who will be the first to comment?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Trentelman Chimes in On Widening Harrison Boulevard

His solution to the traffic mess is right on the money, too

By Curmudgeon

Charlie Trentelman has a potpourri Wasatch Rambler column in this morning's SE, which includes comment on UDOT's considering widening Harrison Blvd to 7 lanes [it's now 5 wide]. Here's a taste:
Now is the time to loudly protest the idea the Wasatch Front Regional Council is kicking around of widening Harrison Boulevard from five lanes to seven. Why not nine? Or 11? This will hurt efforts to revive Ogden by widening the physical and social divide between central city and the benches. It will force expensive removal of homes and businesses. It will cost billions of dollars and if Riverdale is any indication, it won't speed up traffic anyway.
And his solution to the traffic mess is right on the money, too. His full comment on this is well worth a read.

Weber County 9/12 Project "Meet the Candidates Night" Set for 9/22/10

This event is open to the public and is the first of at least three scheduled to occur prior to the November 2nd elections

By Clark Roberts

The Weber County 9/12 Project is pleased to host a Meet the Candidate Night for all candidates running for Weber County Offices:
When: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 7:00 PM
Where: Christian Heritage High School, 5120 South 1050 West, Riverdale, UT 84405
This "Meet The Candidate Night" is open to the public and is the first of at least three scheduled to occur prior to the November 2nd elections.

This first Meet the Candidate Night will give you the chance to meet those individuals running for Weber County offices. Each Candidate will be given the opportunity to speak briefly (4 minutes each) to the audience and when everyone has finished, you can mingle and greet the candidates as you see fit. The following candidates will be represented:
John B. Bond (Republican) – County Treasurer
Kerry W. Gibson (Republican) - County Commissioner, Seat B
Debbie A. Hansen (Democratic) – County Recorder/Surveyor
Ricky Hatch (Republican) – County Clerk/Auditor
Drew Johnson (unaffiliated) – County Commissioner, Seat A
T.R. Morgan (Democratic) - County Commissioner, Seat A
Ernest D. Rowley (Republican) – County Recorder/Surveyor
Terry L. Thompson (Republican) – County Sheriff
John Ulibarri (Republican) – County Assessor
Teresa Yorgason (Democratic) – County Clerk/Auditor
Jan M. Zogmaister (Republican) - County Commissioner, Seat A
Amy L. Wicks (Democratic) - County Commissioner, Seat B.

Gary Haws (Democratic) - County Sheriff was extended the invitation to participate, but he was not able to do so.
Dee Smith (Democratic) - County Attorney was extended the invitation to participate, but he was not able to do so.
While you may attend without an RSVP, an RSVP is appreciated to ensure that we can accommodate all who wish to participate. You may RSVP to this Meetup: W912 Meet The Candidate Night

Future Meet The Candidate Nights will focus on candidates for State of Utah offices and candidates for US Congressional offices.

You can learn more about Weber County 9/12 Project and upcoming events at our website:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

WSU Kicks Off Its Big Sky Conference Football Season

WSU Wildcats meet Northern Colorado Bears in Stewart Stadium at 6:00 p.m.

Attention Weber State University Football fans!

WSU kicks off its Big Sky Conference schedule against Northern Colorado this evening, a big Sky Conference opponent which hasn't beaten WSU during the whole coaching tenure of coach Ron McBride.

As Carl Arky says, after playing Boston College last week, "maybe WSU will have opponents of their own size to pick on this week."

The Standard-Examiner carries a couple of pregame stories just to get WSU fans' juices flowing:
Primed for Big Sky wars: McBride takes nothing for granted against Bears
With several records on radar, Higgins only focused on wins
Check out the Wildcats and Bears rosters respectively here and here.

If you can't actually make it to the stadium for whatever lame reason, catch the live audio on KLO Radio, or the Altitude Channel video broadcast (live in DirecTV and The Dish; and the totally weird tape-delayed broadcast on Comcast 8:00 p.m.)

(Special note to that WSU fan with the new Ipod, with whom I had lunch on Friday: Feel free to podcast here wink, wink, nudge, nudge.)

For those readers who'd like to offer their own live play-by-play, we'll leave our lower comments section open for that purpose as per usual.

Please vigilantly support own hometown College Team, people.

Interim Football Update 9/16/10 5:10 p.m.: The Zoobies get their ass royally kicked by the Air Force Academy, 35-14! The Utah Utes beat the 22 point spread, and kick Bobby Hauck's UNLV Rebels ass, 38-10.

All is good in Mountain West Conference football! Now lets get back to Big Sky Conference Football.

Who will be the first to comment?

Update 9/12/10 8:00 a.m.: In what turned out to be one of the more weird and error-plagued games within memory, the Wildcats survive four overtime periods to pull out a 50-47 victory:
Wildcats survive overtime fireworks - literally
Although it certainly wasn't a thing of beauty... a win is a win.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Riverdale Sam Granato Meetup on Sept. 11

Tell your friends--we'd love to see a nice turnout!

By John Miles

Hey Everyone,

I just wanted to let you all know that tomorrow, Saturday the 11th, Sam Granato will be attending an event at 4 pm at Golden Spike Park in Riverdale (1260 West 5050 South, behind the Target Store). My union chapter is hosting an event (not a fundraiser) for federal employees. We recently acquired more space, so we will be welcoming the public to attend. We will be asking him questions about same-sex health benefits, proposals to repeal the 14th and 16th amendments, and other issues. There will also probably be plenty of time to meet-and-greet. We will be having a social beforehand, starting at 3pm, if you'd like to attend that as well. Tell your friends--we'd love to see a nice turnout!

Sorry for the short notice. Thanks!

John Miles
NTEU Chapter 67

Special note to all 2010 election candidates of all parties: Submit details of your upcoming campaign events for posting here.

Salt Lake Tribune: ATK to Create 800 Jobs at New Utah Facility

Meanwhile our own BizWiz Godfrey lands a 5 man headquarters for a ski company that peaked 40 years ago

By Ozboy

Clearfield, which has traditionally been no more than a pimple on Ogden's butt, lands a huge Aerospace operation that will hire over 802 people in high paying jobs, spend over a $100 million to build the facility and pump over a Billion $$$$ over twenty years into the economy of Davis County:
ATK to create 800 jobs at new Utah facility
ATK to add 800 jobs at new Davis composites facility
Meanwhile our own BizWiz Godfrey lands a 5 man headquarters for a ski company that peaked 40 years ago. No new local hires by the way.

Aren't ya just simply proud of the little feller and his 2 million buck a year Economic Development Team?!

Kiesel Building Searchlight Operates Without Permit

City has not yet taken action, but promises it will.

By Dan Schroeder

A couple of weeks ago, alert reader “counting” reminded us that the Kiesel Building searchlight (advertising a dance club called The Vault) has continued to operate numerous Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer.

Last April the City Council passed an ordinance requiring a permit to operate a searchlight, and putting a limit on such operation of 12 nights per year, per location. Mayor Godfrey vetoed the ordinance, but the council overrode the veto by a unanimous vote. The Vault’s owner, Laron Zaugg, then told the Standard-Examiner that he would continue to operate the searchlight, perhaps moving it among several neighboring properties to avoid the 12-night limit.

Although I haven’t been counting, I’ve seen the searchlight on often enough that I was starting to wonder myself. So I recently inquired with a City Council member, who told me that the Ogden City administration is aware of the situation and that so far, the operator of the searchlight has not even applied for a permit. Furthermore, no enforcement action has been taken. However, the administration has apparently promised that action will be taken soon to (finally) enforce the ordinance—after four months of violations.

Perhaps some readers would like to comment on the appropriateness of this four-month “grace period”, or on what they predict will happen next.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Road Widening Proposal Draws Criticism

Better late than never, we guess

One day after the expiration of the public comments period, the Standard-Examiner is finally getting around to covering the Harrison Boulevard road widening story:
Proposal draws criticism / Ogden seeks talk with WFRC, UDOT on adding lanes to Harrison Boulevard
Can you say "A day late and a dollar short?"

Better late than never, we guess.

Thursday Morning News Roundup

Back burner non-red meat news item cleanup

Not much in the way of Emerald City red meat news this morning, so we'll roll out this series of items which we've more or less kept on the back burner until now:

1) The Park [City] Record published this story a couple of days ago, which sheds further light on Boss Godfrey's "Ogden high adventure" marketing plan:
Ogden's ski town pitch: we're cheap and close
2) The Deseret News carries this interesting piece, which discusses the not-so-subtle transformation of Mt. Ogden Peak from the relatively pristine location of a decade ago to the cluttered mess that it is today, and poses the questions, "Is this kind of development good or bad? Should some peaks be protected from this kind of development? Where do you draw the line?":
High tech peaks?
3) One of our gentle readers informs us that The Salomon Center climbing wall now has some new in-town competition:
Gym not just for climbers
4) This morning's Deseret News carries this story, reporting that "[t]he final site plan for the LDS Church's renovation of its Ogden Temple got the go-ahead Wednesday from the Ogden Planning Commission":
Ogden LDS temple renovation to move forward
Comparing the artist's rendition with the current structure, it looks like downtown Ogden is in for a dramatic aesthetic improvement.

The DNews story reports that "the church wants to attract more weddings and wedding parties to Ogden," which invites this reader query:

Could this at least partly explain Boss Godfrey's recent downtown hotel obsession? Out-of-town wedding parties need overnight digs, right?

Feel free to chime in on any of the above suggested topics, or consider this an open topic thread.

We don't care what you say... but be sure to say somethin'. It's been a mite too quiet around these parts of late.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

UT GOP Chooses Log Cabin Republican for State Race

This is definitely very interesting:
UT GOP chooses Log Cabin (read gay) Republican for state race
Go figure.

Too funny, no?

Weber County Heritage Foundation 33rd Annual Home Tour Set For Saturday, September 11

We hope you'll all mark your calenders and plan to attend

The Weber County Heritage Foundation will be hosting their 33rd Annual Home Tour this Saturday, September 11; and it features the Ogden Central Bench Historic District. Check out their PowerPoint as well their Newsletter for additional information:
Home Tour PowerPoint
Home Tour Newsletter
As an added bonus, here's a link the yesterday's Standard-Examiner story, which also has some good things to say about this great community event:
Turning back the pages of time
Last year, based on community support, the Foundation was able to donate $10,000 to the Ogden High School Capital Campaign. The board hasn’t made final determinations on where all of this tour’s funds will go, but Ogden High and Union Station are among the causes they'll be looking at supporting this year. All proceeds are returned to the community for historic preservation.

We hope you'll all mark your calenders and plan to attend.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

River Restoration $900,000 Over Budget?

Article’s facts are so muddled, how can we tell?

By Dan Schroeder

This morning’s Standard-Examiner provides us with an important update on the Ogden River Restoration, under the headline, “Half-mile stretch of the Ogden River restored.” That sounds like great news, and I’m sure it is, for the most part. This is a good project that was long overdue.

But the article’s geography is hopelessly muddled. First it says that the restoration has been completed from Kiesel to Wall (which may barely add up to a half mile). Then in the the next two sentences, it says that future phases will go from Grant to Lincoln and Lincoln to Wall—both of which are within the stretch that’s supposedly been completed. The article also says they’ve extracted 10 car bodies near Gibson, but later implies that restoration of the river from Wall Ave. to Gibson hasn’t even been funded yet.

Of special interest is the article’s breakdown of the funding for this project: $1.1 million from federal stimulus funds, $825,000 from our local sewer district, $800,000 from Ogden’s stormwater fees, and so on. The total comes to just about $3 million, which is $900,000 more than we were told in January. If the new numbers are correct, it means that this project is now 43% over budget—and it raises the question of how the city came up with the additional $900,000.

But given the article’s geographical inaccuracies, can we trust the accuracy of its financial data? I have no idea. I’ve sent an email to City Engineer Justin Anderson asking for clarification, and I’ll post a comment here if/when he gets back to me.

Update 9/8/10 9:00 a.m. per Dan S: As promised, here's an update based on my inquiry to City Engineer Justin Anderson.

"Phase 1" refers to the stretch of the river from Kiesel to Wall. Within Phase 1, the stretch from Kiesel to Grant is substantially finished. The stretch from Grant to Lincoln will be finished later this month, except for some plantings that need to wait for spring. The stretch from Lincoln to Wall will be finished by mid-December, again with the exception of plantings that need to wait for spring.

West of Wall is considered "Phase 2", and is only partially funded. They'll do what they can while the money lasts.

The $2.1 million cost reported last January, and the $3 million cost reported today, should be thought of as the available funds, rather than the cost of completing a specific portion of the river. Apparently they've gotten an additional $500,000 from the sewer district and $150,000 from stimulus money, and some other additional funds from the county and other sources. This will allow them to complete more of Phase 2 of the project. As the article notes, some work has already been done in the Phase 2 area. However, the full cost of Phases 1 and 2 would be substantially more than $3 million, so they're not promising to finish Phase 2 by any particular date.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Rubber-Tire Trolleys, Downtown Business Loans, and Leshemville Demolition

Heads-up on this Tuesday’s City Council agenda

By Dan Schroeder

The Ogden City Council agenda packet for this Tuesday, September 7, contains some items that are sure to interest Weber County Forum readers:

1. Allocation of the $175,400 that WACOG granted the city last month to operate a rubber-tire trolley system circulating around downtown Ogden.

Officially this project is a “study”, to assess the feasibility of someday building a genuine streetcar along the same circulating route. The cost of such a system would be in the tens of millions of dollars, so it would compete for funding with the far more important transit line between downtown and WSU. The $175,400 grant comes from the 1/4-cent sales tax fund that we approved three years ago for “regionally significant” transportation projects. Because the downtown circulator is not a regionally significant project, it was actually illegal for the Weber Area Council of Governments to grant the funds for this purpose. It did so, in part, because the Wasatch Front Regional Council wrote a letter last April blessing the circulator project, and even calling it a “portion” of the WSU line. Anyone who doubts that Mayor Godfrey has political clout should consider how he coerced WFRC into telling this outrageous lie and thus got the money he wanted out of WACOG.

Now that the money has been handed to Ogden City, of course, it would be foolish for the council not to approve spending it. But it would be equally foolish for the council to hand it to the mayor with no strings attached, as they’re apparently about to do. At this time neither the city nor WFRC has any written protocol for how this “study” is to be conducted, or even a list of specific questions that the study is supposed to answer. We can be sure that under these circumstances, the mayor will declare the study a “success” no matter what the outcome. To make matters worse, the administration intends to outsource the vehicles’ operation to Downtown Ogden Inc., a nonprofit organization that is wholly controlled by the mayor but immune from public records requests.

2. Creation of a new Tenant Improvement Loan Program for downtown retail businesses, and allocation of $315,000 of BDO revenue to this program.

The high vacancy rates for retail space at The Junction and along Washington Blvd. are a continuing embarrassment for the city in general and for Mayor Godfrey in particular. This latest attempted remedy would provide incentives in the form of loans to tenants for finishing or improving the interior of retail spaces. Such a program sounds reasonable, though I question whether the administration can be trusted to award the loans fairly.

I also have a more immediate concern: Why is the loan program being created through a resolution, rather than by ordinance? Whereas an ordinance carries the weight of law, a city council resolution is merely an expression of opinion, with no teeth. Thus, if the loan program is created as currently planned, the administration would apparently be free to change the terms and conditions of the program at any time.

3. Allocation of $545,150 of BDO revenue for demolition of vacant houses in the River Project area.

Of course, the houses need to be torn down. But I seriously doubt that Mr. Leshem or his associates will ever reimburse the city for this expense, so we should chalk this up as yet another subsidy for this black hole of a project (over $7 million spent so far, and counting).

The good news is that the city council has put a restriction into the proposed ordinance, allowing no more than $25,000 of the funds to be used to clean up sites where the homes were intentionally burned. But it’s not at all clear that this restriction is sufficient. The administration could still use additional money to prepare houses for incineration, by removing the asbestos and so on. If the council wishes to stop the city from burning more of the houses, it should stipulate that no funds be used on sites of intentional burns, other than the two that have been burned already.

In summary, this city council meeting will be an important one—and there are plenty of reasons to lobby the council to improve these proposed measures before passing them.

To see the full city council agenda packet (10.7 MB), click here.

For an abridged version of the agenda packet, including all the items discussed in this article (2.4 MB), click here.

Update 9/8/10 8:00 a.m.: Both the Standard-Examiner and the Salt Lake Tribune report that the Council has allocated $545,000 in Business Depot Ogden lease revenues to demolish the derelict Leshemville residential structures, and that further "burns" are off the table:
Ogden won't burn other vacant homes
Ogden mayor: Halt plan to torch vacant homes
Unfortunately, there's no word on the Council's treatment of either the $175,400 WACOG grant or the proposed $315,000 Tenant Improvement Loan Program. Perhaps one of our readers who attended last night's meeting can help us out with these latter two issues.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Let the Wasatch Front Regional Council Know That "Harrison Blvd is NOT Ogden's Belt Loop!"

If you don't want Harrison Blvd. to be widened for MORE auto traffic, send an e-mail now!

By Brandon Chase Bell

The Wasatch Front Regional Council is currently updating it's Regional Transportation Plan, and is accepting public comment- but only, as we understand currently, until this coming Thursday, September 9, 2010!

One of the potential recommendations in this plan is the widening of Harrison Boulevard for MORE auto traffic, to potentially a 7 lane "regional arterial" type road. In addition to our support for a 25th-Harrison streetcar, the Trolley District opposes this part of the plan. - We know of no one in Ogden who is supportive of widening Harrison for more auto traffic. - However, there has been VERY little public awareness of this plan, or local public process, to gauge the public will about widening Harrison for more auto-traffic to become a potentially 7-lane "regional arterial."

We can use this opportunity to show your support for a 25th-Harrison streetcar/transit line, as transit is part of what is being considered in this plan as well as for not widening Harrison for more auto-traffic. (Based on other designs in other cities, any widening would only need to be minimal for transit on Harrison, if the line is engineered correctly, and would mostly need to be for just the stops- not at all the same type of drastic widening all along Harrison we are talking about with this WFRC plan).

If you don't want Harrison to be widened for MORE auto traffic, and potentially turning into a 7 lane auto arterial send an e-mail to Sam Klemm at the Wasatch Front Regional Council, and cc Pam Jorgensen on that email. This is a VERY easy way to help fulfill the civic responsibility we all share to participate in our communities and the local decision making process. As the time left for public comment is so brief, ('til next Thursday) please do this as soon as you read this e-mail and don't delay by resolving to do it later. Please act NOW. Here is a simple message, that you can put in your own words if you would like, or copy into your e-mail:

"Put the Downtown-WSU transit line up 25th Street and along Harrison, and don't widen ANY of Harrison for more auto traffic--not even the parts to the north or south--except to accommodate transit."
Here is Sam Klemm at the Wasatch Front Regional Council's address along with Pam Jorgenson, who should be cc'ed in your email to Sam:

Sam Klemm:
(Public Information Officer)

Pam Jorgensen:
(Administrative Assistant)
(she makes sure Sam gets the emails, etc)- so cc' her on your email.

Please take the simple step of sending an email now!

Thanks for your support,


Editor's addendum: For additional information about this issue, please visit this Harrison Blvd is NOT Ogden's Belt Loop Group Facebook page, and read the text provided in the center column:
Facebook - Harrison Blvd is NOT Ogden's Belt Loop!
Let's all get crackin' on Brandon's suggested email campaign, folks. With three days remaining for public input, we wouldn't want to see another bone-headed and bureaucrat-concocted project inadvertently shoved down the Emerald City Lumpencitizens' throats!

Standard-Examiner: Business Depot Ogden Revenue is Fuel for Godfrey's Schemes Dreams

It'll be quite interesting to compare Boss Godfrey's priorities with those of the Council on Tuesday night

Notable story on the Standard-Examiner front page this morning enumerating the various projects included in Boss Godfrey's 2011 capital improvements"wish list":
Business Depot Ogden revenue is fuel for Godfrey's dreams
Helpfully, the SE provides this graphic, which reels off these projects in convenient table form:

"Godfrey estimates there will be $777,985 in carry-over BDO lease revenue from fiscal 2010 and $2.8 million in new funds for fiscal 2011," but despite these optimistic revenue predictions, Ogden CAO John Arrington concedes that "[h]e (Godfrey) knows it and I know it that we can't pay for everything on that list." Godfrey further admits "[t]here is no way we can get all of the projects done in 12 months,"

Notably, Mr. Schwebke emphasizes that there's one large and persistent fly in the ointment. Once again in 2011, a large chunk of BDO "cash cow" lease revenue, (about $600,000 in 2011), "is expected to go for bond debt service at The Junction." Remember folks, in the upcoming year, just as in all years since the construction of The Junction, (the project which Boss Godfrey promised would "pay for itself," and "never put the taxpayers on the hook,") another large wad of BDO revenue will once again be swirling down the Junction Money Pit drain. It's one hell of an expensive monkey Boss Godfrey placed on the taxpayers' back, indeed. This should serve as a reminder to the Council to do avoid taking Godfrey's word for anything... and above all... to do their own due diligence.

Mr. Schwebke reports that "[t]he council will hold a public hearing Tuesday to consider amending its Capital Improvement Plan for some of the projects proposed by Godfrey, including full funding for home demolition in the river project."

Here's the full packet for Tuesday's Council meeting, where you'll find a $3,321,379 Capitol Improvement Budget Opening as item 8 on the agenda:
City Council Packet - Regular Session (8.9 MB PDF)
It'll be quite interesting to compare Boss Godfrey's priorities with those of the Council on Tuesday night, wethinks.

And what thinks you, O Gentle Ones?

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Andy Howell: Taxpayers’ Money Shouldn’t Be Helping ‘Favorite’ Businesses

Is the SE finally recognizing that Boss Godfrey has served too long and has forgotten who he answers to?

Last week we published this article, criticising the Godfrey Administration for last month's water bill mailer, (which contained free advertising for select private 25th Street Association businesses), and slamming the Standard-Examiner for failing to to blow the whistle on this Friend of Matt (FOM) favorable practice.

In the interim, it appears that the SE crew has been carefully stewing over this. And in that connection we'll refer our readers to this morning's Andy Howell column, which indicates that Boss Godfrey's recent act of political favoritism has struck a raw nerve with our home town newspaper:
Taxpayers’ money shouldn’t be helping ‘favorite’ businesses
From this morning's column:
One of the main arguments behind the Tea Party movement is that government has no business determining which businesses are allowed to fail. That should be the function of a free market. Call it financial Darwinism.
When politicians are in office too long, they forget their role. They tend to get comfortable, showing favoritism as they build up their own political alliances under the guise of an “end justifies the means” governance.
This is why we are seeing longtime incumbents in Congress having so much trouble in primary elections this year.
I don’t believe in term limits because that’s the function of elections.
But even on a local level, elected officials can serve too long and forget who they answer to. [Emphasis added]
Over the course of the past 10 years, the Standard-Examiner has regularly tiptoed around Boss Godfrey's serial indiscretions. In context, we thus have a couple of queries for our gentle readers:

1) Now that Boss Godfrey has stepped on the SE's toes, could this latest Godfrey blunder amount to the straw that broke the camel's back?
2) Is the SE finally recognizing that Boss Godfrey has served too long and has forgotten who he answers to?

For our part, hope springs eternal... and what say you?

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