Thursday, February 10, 2011

Northern Utah Print Media: Boss Godfrey Begs For Ramp Funds On Bended Knee

Let the RAMP grant decision makers know that Weber County citizens heartily disapprove of Boss Godfrey's sleazy scheme to use a RAMP grant commitment as "bait" to lure in unwary private donors

As noted last night by sharp-eyed reader Curmudgeon in one of our lower comments sections, both the Salt Lake Tribune and the Standard-Examiner carry online stories this morning, reporting on yesterday evening's RAMP Committee meeting, during which Boss Godfrey and his loyal henchman John "Pureheart" Patterson desperately (but unsuccessfully) grovelled argued for the grant of $2.4 million over five years to "help" construct Boss Godfrey's hare-brained Fieldhouse boondoggle:
Despite the hard sell of Weber County's two most notorious flim-flam artists, it appears that the RAMP Board lives in a world of reality, and that Godfrey's Fieldhouse project comes in dead last among a list of seven major projects. In the words of Board Member Jeanne Hall, “If this was such a hot deal, you’d have business people wanting to invest. And they’re not there.”

The Trib also reports that "The board meets again Monday at 9 a.m. to rescore the applications and determine who gets what."

And in that connection we'll remind or readers of our earlier plea to contact RAMP Board members and Weber County Commissioners to register your objections to the application of taxpayer funds to this project. According to our reliable sources, that effort of citizen activism generated a significant citizen anti-Fieldhouse response. So we'll call upon our WCF readers once again to click the link below to communicate your objections to any RAMP Board support:
According to the Trib story, the Godfrey administration considers RAMP funding to be “The Good Housekeeping seal of approval.” “It’s what we can use to ask private donors for funds," "Pureheart" Patterson candidly admits.

You know what to do. Do it via the above contact link. Let the RAMP grant decision makers know that they're already on the right track, and that Weber County citizens heartily disapprove of Boss Godfrey's sleazy scheme to use a RAMP grant commitment as "bait" to lure in unwary private donors.

21 comments:

OneWhoKnows said...

This is very good news that Ramp Board members told the Mayor no, much like his hand picked council can not. Ogden does not need this monster, can't afford it and it won't turn this city around like all the other feel-good projects that come from the two flim-flam men of Weber County. Had enough of these two clowns yet? I sure hope so! Send them packing this November and don't give them any money ever again.

Curmudgeon said...

One Who Knows:

They didn't quite say "no" last night. It's still on the project consideration list, and the RAMP board will meet again to decide which projects on the list get money and which don't. Right now the Godfrey Dome is ranked low enough that funding is improbable, but it could move up on the list when the Board meets to make final decisions next week.

Do not count Hizzonah out yet. It's never wise to underestimate him. He's a seasoned campaigner and lobbyist. Agreed, it's not looking good for the Wonder Dome at RAMP, but as they say, it ain't over til the fat lady sings.

OneWhoKnows said...

Curm...

I can hear her tuning up as we speak!

Dan S. said...

Funny how Godfrey can say he's trying to brand Ogden as an "outdoor high adventure destination" and then, without the faintest hint of irony, claim that an indoor venue for team sports and water slides will further that end.

ND said...

Couple points...

1. Funds being sought from the county are for PARKING not the wonderdome.
2. The city is going to kick in $3.2 for PARKING...where is that coming from?
3. The fieldhouse is needed to to enhance Ogden's reputation as an OUTDOOR recreation mecca...yet its an INDOOR facility.
4. Its needed to revitalize the downtown area....umm, isn't that what the Junction was supposed to do?...how many mega-million dollar tax payer funded projects do we have to do to do that? And why is this THE ONE that is going to work?
5. More and more of the same old same old "unnamed sources"...if we had a nickel for all the unnamed funding sources over the years we could build two of these things.
6. We live a the foot of the Wasatch Mountains that offer a multitude of FREE HIGH ADVENTURE OUTDOOR activities....but we are going to build a COSTLY INDOOOR one?...since when is a water park "High Adventure"? or tennis?
7. For a fraction of the $40 million we could enhance the REAL outdoor opportunities here and provide REAL affordable recreation amenities for area residents along the river, the trails, parks and mountains.


just my 2 cents

Ray said...

This is the same MarketStar company that Godfrey gave away the Kiesel parking structure to.
"If we all want it, let us all pay for it," she said. However, Godfrey told the Standard-Examiner he believes the project can be funded without a tax increase. Hall said her husband, Alan E. Hall, founder of MarketStar, has said if the project were viable, businesses would be clamoring to participate. But, she said, "They (businesses) are not there."
I imagine the mayor is having second thoughts about his largesse given that MarketStar is now tossing him under the bus. How sweet it is!

Moroni McConkie said...

Contacts to all RAMP decision-makers done. Cheerfully.

Viktor said...

So why is Allan Hall's wife speaking for him? If he has an opinion on it, why doesn't he say so himself?

I thought women folk here in Zion were supposed to walk three steps behind the man/god and shut the hell up, not stick themselves out front and be the mouth piece.

So common Alan, what ya really got to say about this dumb ass idea of Godfrey's?

Curmudgeon said...

Viktor:

Jeanne Hall is a member of the RAMP board, and made her comment in that capacity. Board members, County Commissioners, City Council members often report during discussions things they've heard from constituents, business people, etc. They're not "speaking for them," they're relaying their comments to the other members, often on the record. Sometimes, the general public is not permitted to comment during proceedings of such bodies [e.g. most Council work sessions], and members relaying comments is a common way for such comments to enter the discussion. Mr. Hall did say so himself. And RAMP board member J. hall relayed what he said. Not a problem in that I can see.

HIGHADVENTURE said...

The only "High Adventures" going on in Ogden is RAMP's decision to fund the Wonderdome, the Utah attorney general's office investigation of FNURE and Envision Ogden for possible illegal campaign funds provided to Blain Johnson and others, the financial woes of the Junction and the other projects that have gone bust and the most recent posted above "whose turn under the bus?". High Adventure? Be careful what you ask for.

RFP Reader said...

All this on a day that responses to the RFP for architects were due....

Danny said...

Like I said, I think Godfrey and Patterson are actually quite stupid.

Quotes,

“We think that this can help us get to the point where we do have economic momentum,” Godfrey said, “and people will start coming here of their own accord.”

Really? After $100 million in debt, after 12 years of his economic engineering, we have no economic momentum, and people do not come here of their own accord.

Thanks Godfrey. Hopefully that will be your political epitaph.

“RAMP is the Good Housekeeping seal of approval,” Patterson told the panel. “It’s what we can use to ask private donors for funds. Your $2.4 million is 6 percent of this project, but it is so much more important than that.”

Patterson let the cat out of the bag. They need this money to tease others. But what they want, undeniably, is not the "Good Housekeeping seal", but rather, then need the RAMP committee to be the "shill".

When a con man makes his pitch, he needs somebody to step forward to make the first buy, to encourage suckers to take the plunge and buy too. The shill is employed by the con man, and poses as a member of the audience. Nobody is buying Godfrey's con .... nobody.

And the RAMP committee, it seems, does not wish to play the shill with their meager funds. I suspect that public input to the RAMP members may have something to do with that.

Danny said...

... and one other thing.

Even with Ogden City acting as the shill on the ice tower, with Patterson making exactly the same claims about "donors in the wings" they raised ..... Zero.

And that whole thing was what, $2million total price tag? And yet, they didn't raise a nickel for it. It was all lies.

Now they claim they have donors lined up for millions for a turkey that is at least 20 times as big.

And it was the RAMP committee that was burned on the ice tower, which Godfrey later admitted was not economically viable.

But hey Conman Patterson, you gotta try the same scam again, right? Because, well, it's the only game you know, isn't it?

Disgusted said...

Ray,

In fairness to MarketStar while at the same time pointing out the stupidity of the Ogden City administration you need to know that the parking garage was not given to MarketStar.
MarketStar was or is a mere tenant of the building and the administration gave the parking structure to the building owner. Godfrey thought that MarketStar needed more dedicated parking to stay in the area and so he GAVE (with the city council's blessing) the parking structure away to the building owner.
The city could have easily set aside a certain number of parking stalls to the tenant but the administration used the excuse that the facility needed repairs and was too costly to operate. Now we are told that the city needs to build additional parking in close proximity to this parking structure (at great expense to the city by the way) and to add insult to injury the new owner I am told is renting out some of the unused portion of the structure, so apparently there really wasn’t a squeeze on parking there in the first place to warranted the action in the first place.
Caulk up another win for a FOM, the building owner, and another costly loss for the residents.

Bill C. said...

Danny, I might not conclude outright stupidity on the part of the administration, but definately lost and blinded to the point they don't even see their own desperation in furthering their pitiful attempt at pulling this off.
For some obvious reasons they can't step back and look at how silly this has become. The nature of their creation has changed multiple times in just months, if it were suggested that the inclusion of olympic ping pong might enhance their chances they would add it on today. This discussion started as an archery facility.
They've moved the thing all over town and this current location is so bad that it threatens to destroy downtown Ogden as pointed out by Mr. Smith.
This thing isn't really ready to be discussed on the Council work session level, let alone financing at the County and School board levels.
It was a feeling of pity that washed over me as I read once again the foreheads desperate retort about some nervanic exsistance, High adventure outdoor recreation, so blind he can't see it can never exist without the glorious downtown urban gondola to exactly nowhere.

ND said...

"The Team" needs to take a look down at the Happy Valley and learn from Provo's playbook on how to get things like this built....high fa"looting" schemes verses REAL public input and APPROVAL actually works...Provo is on thier way to getting their Rec Center done....no end arounds, no flim flam financing schemes, no changes in the location, no changes in the program depending on which way the wind blows...no last minute under cover of the night studies, no after the fact approvals of not putting studies out to bid, no sending RFP's out for design when you dont have the money, no risky rolls of the dice...quite a concept eh?

APPLES TO ORANGES said...

ND IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! This compares apples to oranges: Excerpt from Proposed Provo Recreation Center -

"The proposed recreation center would be located in North Park (500 N. 450 W.) and offer a number of amenities, including a walking/jogging track, leisure pool, competition pool, fitness equipment, exercise studios, basketball courts, racquetball courts, drop-in child care, a senior center, community meeting space, and more."

The big difference in Provo vs Ogden are the "white elephant" projects included in the Ogden proposal which include: Indoor soccer, indoor tennis, velodrome for bicycle racing, indoor waterpark and retail space.

No, it's too late to build a recreation center that provides health benefits to residents and is fiscally responsible like Provo because it would compete directly with Golds Gym. This is more evidence of an administration lacking foresight in both the private and public business arenas.

blackrulon said...

Rudi-Godfrey is not on bended knew asking for Ramp funds. He's just not very tall. Although he thinks he is taller when he stands on the taxpayers wallet.

Dan S. said...

Alert readers may have noticed some contradictions between these recent news articles and last week's coverage of the RAMP board's earlier meeting. Seeking clarification, I've emailed RAMP administrator Mike Caldwell and learned the following:

RAMP received eight major project applications this year. Besides the Fieldhouse, the others are:

* Marriott-Slaterville and West Haven, River Parkway Extension, $449,000

* Plain City, Pioneer Park, $471,066

* Ogden School Foundation, Performing Arts Center, $424,900

* Weber County School District, tennis courts, $200,000

* Hooper City, Trail Development, $227,000

* Weber State University, Sound Shell, $268,674

* DaVinci Academy, Community Art Program, $528,209

For some reason, the DaVinci proposal turned out to be ineligible and was eliminated. This leaves seven major project proposals including the Fieldhouse. And as of Wednesday's meeting, the committee has ranked them in the order shown above, with the Fieldhouse last.

Last week the Standard-Examiner reported that the RAMP board had "tenatively agreed" to allocate $2.4 million to the Fieldhouse (over several years) if it can meet several conditions. The article also stated that the Board had "agree[d] to provide funds" to the first and third projects listed above (river parkway extension and performing arts center). However, Caldwell says that article was misleading: no actual decisions were made last week, and none were made this week either. The board's rankings changed only slightly between the two meetings.

The RAMP board will meet again on Monday, and could finalize its recommendations then. After that, the County Commission could conceivably disregard the board's recommendations. But I don't think this has ever happened in the past, and it would be a politically risky move in any case.

If the board doesn't change its rankings, it doesn't look good for the Fieldhouse. The total amount available for major projects is about $1.2 million, including $400,000 that was set aside last year for a potential "legacy project". The six higher-ranked proposals could easily eat up all of this money and then some, even if they're not 100% funded, as often happens.

Besides having the lowest average ranking from the board members, the Fieldhouse has by far the widest spread of rankings. Members Christiansen, Bunker, and Toliver ranked it relatively high (though none put it first), while all the others ranked it lowest by a substantial margin. It should perhaps be mentioned that Toliver attended the trip to the Carson, CA velodrome that the mayor's office arranged on October 28, 2010.

Bill C. said...

Thanks for posting the other competing projects Dan. I can't help but get the feeling that the administration's full court press might just be the thing that finally trips them up. This hard sell seems to focus on reasons other than the original purpose and mission of RAMP. They have clearly shown their intentions never were considered or derived from the spirit of purpose of the tax, nor would the public be the ultimate benefactors of the final rewards.

Norman P Rockwell said...

Curm: You are absolutely correct in your statements to Viktor. Hall was but a messenger, relaying facts or whatever to others. The public CANNOT participate in a CC Work Session, except to (1) observe; and (2) by invitation to share facts.

I sketched it all out on an old Saturday Evening Post cover, back in the 40's-50's.

Post a Comment

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