Thursday, January 27, 2011

Standard-Examiner: Ogden River Project Master Plan To Be Unveiled Tonight - Updated

Eight long years in the making, this is a presentation which Ogden City political wonks will definitely not want to miss

On the heels of Tuesday's announcement, and in eager anticipation of tonight's gala public event, Ace Reporter Schwebke breathlessly provides a reminder this morning of tonight's Godfrey administration shindig, wherein Boss Godfrey's menagerie of slavish hired hands will perform for your amusement and reveal their long-awaited, final, final, final, final Leshemville Ogden River Project "Master Plan":
Eight long years in the making, this is a presentation which Ogden City political wonks will definitely not want to miss:

We'll leave the lights on in the lower comments section of course, for anyone who'd care to lodge their savvy remarks before, during or after tonight's totally boffo block-buster event.

Update 1/28/11 7:00 a.m.: The Standard-Examiner carries a short post-open house writeup this morning, confirming what Bill C. reported in WCF last night, i.e., that Boss Godfrey's $50 thousand Urban Design Associates plan was whipped up only at the very last minute. The hastily prepared master plan "received rave reviews from several people who attended an open house," according to Mr. Schwebke, (two, to be exact):
Still no word about who will be expected to foot the bill for construction of this ridiculously extravagant project.


OneWhoKnows said...

Rudi, loved the picture. Isn't that Scottie Brown, with frisbee in mouth jumping over horses ass Godfrey? I've seen this show many times before and have walked out, but it's only been updated with a new flyer. Tonight's opening will be the same old usual line.........Boy have I got a deal for you!

ND said...

After 8 years we get a master plan developed in the last 3 months by another out of towner? Speakin of Scottie....a little investigation into the owners of the only new building in the parkway is revealing.....and the bargain "they" got on the property compared to what they were trying to pedal adjacent properties to the rest of in about a 40% discount.

KB said...

Said it before and I'll say it again: most of this project could have been completed by local citizen volunteer hours and university and tech students working in their respective fields, for credit.

The idea that to create a asphalt pathway a few miles long, and to pull some shopping carts and ancient apostate bones out of the river, would cost tens of millions of dollars, speaks towards the core problem with this city.

Watching this fiasco begin from Logan, and now watching bureaucrats flail about for more money a decade or more later, I am also of the mind that it could have been completed quicker.

More tax dollars thrown about, when what was needed was leadership vision, local sweat, and shared community values.

Give a cou de crayon a chance budget...

Biker Babe said...

Right here in River City.
Trouble with a capital "T"

Would ya like to know what kinda conversation goes
On while they're loafin' around that [City] Hall?

Trouble, oh we got trouble,
Right here in River City!
With a capital "T"

Oh, we've got trouble.
We're in terrible, terrible trouble.



Bee in my Bonnet said...

"and that rhymes with P -- and that stands for [indoor] pool ... "

"and that rhymes with V -- and that stands for [Velodrome] ... yes, sir ... Trouble ... right here in River City!"

Curmudgeon said...


I think you're confusing two different projects. The one you're talking about is the River Cleanup Project. Tonight's dog and pony show deals instead with development plans for the huge River Project [hundreds of apartments and condos, retail space, etc] that was supposed to follow the acquisition of all that land downtown on both sides of the river by G. Lesham [assisted by your city government] many years ago. But didn't.

Two different river projects. There's an easy way to tell them apart: something's actually happening on the river clean up project. Nothing is on the other one, except yet another announcement of yet another set of plans, all gussied up with architectural artists' speculative drawings of idyllic town homes, fern bar strips, upscale shoppes and such like. If they got an architect with a sense of humor this time, maybe if you look real close at what's on display tonight, there'll be a tiny picture of Paris Hilton wandering the River Project lanes and byways, searching for a gondola station.

KB said...

I should read before I speak, no?

The city has no right to be in the developer business; but hell, everyone knows that?

Bill C. said...

ND, this plan wasn't developed over the last 3 months, it was done begining last Monday morning.
The other thing I haven't figured out is why the people of Ogden picked up this tab. What have they recieved for the $50,000 they paid? I guess they get to keep the 5 or 6 sketches, some of the trees seemed different than the trees in Gadi's drawings from 2004.
Just like Gadi's presentation, this one enphasized the value of the riparian enviroment yet preserves very little of it.
This plan (?) has far less commercial than previous dog and pony shows, but the best moments came when this world famous urban planner tried to weave high adventure outdoor recreation into his presentation of urban residential and commercial developement.
Perhaps that could tell us something about how and why only the tax payer has spent a dime so far on this.

ND said...

Excellent point Bill ...I was including the so called rfp time too...if all they did was here in the last few days we truley got taken...50k for what you described is outrageous there supposed to be more to it than that? Even at 150 hr that's over 330 hours ....sounds like we got much less than that and just another study to support an agenda.

Curmudgeon said...


Did the city pay for this? Why isn't the space design the obligation of the developers? Why is it a city responsibility? When someone comes before the planning commission with a site plan for say an apartment development, they pay for the plans they submit, not the city. Are you sure the taxpayers sprung for this one?

And if so, why?

ND said...

The city out out an rfp for it's few months (I believe ) ago...

ND said...

Couldn't attend, but was there a site plan for this too?....will there be a written report?...twill it be made public? the dog and pony renderings are nice, but you see these all the time for these kind of "studies"....nothing new here in reality. As far as how is footing the bill, in theory the developers (that always seem to be in the wings but we can't talk about them) are supposed to be coming in droves...we shall see...and where was Gadi? Gadi?

Bill C. said...

Curm, I can only speculate as to why the City is paying the bill, but someone should ask the Council that question. Neil and Catlyn were there, but noone from the 9th floor.
I don't want to appear too negative but I hope this one falls on it's face also.
Why go to such great lengths to restore the river, just to choke it off and trash it with more developement?
It make more sense to me if after successfully (?) restoring the river we should go out of way to preserve it for future generations.

Danny said...

Scwebke just gets worse and worse. Does anybody know if he's all right? If he's had a stroke, I should ease off him.

But what is there in the article? Does it give any sense of how many or who attended, of how this was different from previous river poster sessions, of what happened to all those other "plans", or indeed, of what happened last night other than some more hand waving from Godfrey and his bureaucrats?

No, it doesn't. What does it tell us, in the lead paragraph?

"A master plan for the long-awaited Ogden River Project received rave reviews from several people who attended an open house Thursday night to review the proposal."

So "several people" liked it huh? Hey, I'll bet for almost anything, there are "several people" who like it. Well, so now I know. Now that's news you can use.

Watch Out For the Flim-Flam Man said...

Here's what I want to know:

Who kicked in the $50 Grand to fund this "Urban Design Associates" plan?

Did Godfrey take this money out of "discretionary funds"?

Or did he rob the money from some other Ogden City account?

When will our sleepy city council wake up, and order a fraud audit of all accounts administered by Mayor Godfrey?

ND said...

Just saying.....


Gov. Brown, poll support redevelopment cuts

New Gov. Jerry Brown met with mayors from California's largest cities to discuss his plan to save $1.7 billion from the state budget by cutting funding to almost 400 municipal redevelopment agencies. Michael Mishak reports that a Public Policy Institute of California poll shows support for Brown's position ...

Ugh said...

I like the idea of downtown condos and apartments, businesses, and restaurants etc. However, the thing that will and does turn me away is Wal-Mart. Living next to a Wal-Mart is not at all appealing. I see this project, if completed, eventually turning into "the projects." Letting Wal-Mart build downtown was a huge mistake. It'll pull down the value of whatever development Godfrey is trying to accomplish.

Camelot said...

One of the residents Raving about the proposed project

Riled Up said...

From the SE online pages...

"The $50,000 plan was developed this week by six architects...."

Yeah, 6 architects from Pittsburg...what ever happened to the days of having the locals help envision who we are....locals designed Ogden High, Municipal Building, Egyptian, Orphium (opps thats gone), First Security Building, Forest Service Building and many other wonderful ameneties..and the money STAYED HERE! but noooo...we have to have someone from 2000 miles away come here and tell us how to do it for I am guessing ALOT more money.... this flys in the face of "buy local"...put your (our) money where your mouth is M.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Curmudgeon said...

Oh, damn. Weber County Republican Central Committee members posting here as "anonymous" again.

Bill C. said...

Hey Danny, Scotty Schwebke actually gathered some good tidbits together for us.
I've read all his stuff on the latest river developement, and not once have I got the impression that any party other than the City was paying for this.
Next I read that Gadi related properties total 10 acres, thats only 1/6 of the 60 acre developement. The acreage accounted for doesn't add up to 60 so I'm not sure but Ogden City owns at least 18 acres and may just be the largest property owner/stake holder in the project area.
This is a totally new dynamic, explains why the City is back in charge of paying for any progress, and leaves us to believe we were totally lied to at the begining (no big suprize), and shows what poor leadership this community has suffered over the last 10 years.
I won't go into the details of how many laws were broken in his attempt to corral all the property for his hand picked crony. Or my disgust at a naive, I hope, Council that allowed the felony, and actually appears to have endorsed it with an after the fact approval vote. Just think, Godfrey should be in prison, but because of bad counsel or lack of spine, he's still pulling all kinds of fishy strings on the river project.

A Naysayer said...

So here's my question: what kind of external auditing process do municipalities go through to ensure compliance with state laws? How does Godfrey get away with all of this? Are there really that many government officials who are turning a blind eye to everything?

ozboy said...

Yes Naysayer,

there are that many government officials - on all levels - who are turning a blind eye to the Godfrey Administration's many and varied offenses. That of course includes the legal establishment and the courts. As long as Godfrey has the blessings of the Church, this most likely will not change.

The only hope for relief from this serial scamster is at the ballot box. Last election came close to seeing his ouster, hopefully the next election will be the lucky charm and we will be rid of him and his circle of cronies once and for all.

Of course even getting rig of him will not get rid of the hundred or so million - and counting - public debt he has run up for this long series of loser projects and crony enrichment schemes. That will take many years into the future to pay off. Your grand kids will be paying the price for the fool's folly.

Blogden said...

Although I was unable to attend the presentation, and using the little that could be garnered from the Examiner article, I still feel comments need to be made on what is possible.
Do we need a river project? Yes.
Is this the one we want? I don't think so. What I see presented here was very predictable and, not unamusingly, pedestrian. I mean that in a bad way.
Why not be creative? Keep the present river riparian. Keep a bit of the wild in the center of the urban core. But, dig a new river channel and create a recreation/shopping/residential theme to the south of the present river. Use this artificial river much like Oklahoma City and San Antonio have done. If we are going to dream, dream big, dream bold, dream something new. All the stakeholders would profit. The newly created waterway could have a kayaking center like Reno's Truckee. Shoppers could flock to the new cafe and boutique shop infused mall with condos above. Ice skating would be possible in the winter on the new fountain plaza like Gateway. Now, that would be different and worth coming to visit.
A possible starting point would be from behind Bingham Cyclery up to the Temple and wandering back to the old river down as far as Wall.
As is, the rest of the comments are right. I could have thrown the presented plan together in a few days. It didn't take much imagination on what would really zing or help Ogden.

Danny said...

One thing I've noticed is the city council is always up for a "study" and they usually run about $50,000.

Their feeling is, let's study this, so we make the right decision.

My feeling is, we didn't elect empty heads did we? If they are so stupid that they can't judge something like the Velodrome without a study, if they can't assume that any study will be so gamed by Godfrey that it is essentially a $50,000 lie, if they can't just say "No" to this nonsense and get on with what we elected them to do, then at the risk of being repetitive all they have proven with their funding of these expensive studies is that they are really, really, well . . . stupid.

And by the way, it is SOOOOOOO good to have the great Bill C back.

ND said...

Danny...that way the can blame the study for their incompetence and not have to grow some and make any meaningful decisions.

althepal said...

"we didn't elect empty heads did we?"

LOL! of course we did.

Check out the nitwitted "Caitlin Gochnour"!

She's just a City Council Godfryeite Councilwoman whore, just like former Godfreyite Coucilman Safsten, except with different genetalia.

Justcurious said...


You wrote:

"just like former Godfreyite Coucilman Safsten, except with different genetalia."

So just how do you know this?

althepal said...

Just an educated "hunch", justcurious, that's all.

Curmudgeon said...

Just thought I'd remind folks that it was Councilman Safsten's vote that sank Mayor Godfrey's request to add two additional floors of office space to the office building at the SE corner of the Junction entirely at the city's risk for construction and rental, against the advice of the city's Junction developer, Boyer Co. which wanted nothing to do with the idea. Saften's "nay" vote saved the taxpayers of Ogden city many many thousands of dollars, since the building [minus the two extra floors] is still not fully leased.

ozboy said...

Yes Mr. Curmudgeon, and George Bush Jr. saved a few bucks on the light bill at the White house by going to bed early every night. He still cost the tax payers zillions with his phony Iraq war just as Safsten and the rest of the rubber stamp council cost the tax payers of Ogden many millions with their phony promotion of the Junktion. Safsten may have saved the people of Ogden a few hundred grand on the two extra floors no vote, but his finger prints are all over the hundred million dollar fiasco in the heart of Ogden. So I say screw the bastard even though he might have done one sane and honest thing in his tenure on the council.

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