Sunday, February 20, 2011

Standard-Examiner: Godfrey Optimistic Despite RAMP Board's Refusal to Support Field House Funds

Now the all of a sudden the RAMP golden seal of approval is not so important

Submitted by: ND

Just opened my Sunday Standard-Examiner and lo and behold the Gman says the "Field House Lives"... Front page, top article, now how did that happen? How can this monstrous project still be alive?

Here's the online version:
Now the all of a sudden the RAMP golden seal of approval is not so important... and the $2.4 wasn't that important either... just a drop in the bucket.

So where is the money going to magically appear from now... once again he declines to say.

Now only Ogden residents could get the discount pass...

Godfrey says "the facility has widespread public support."

I say PROVE IT! PUT IT TO A VOTE!

26 comments:

Curmudgeon said...

Mr. Schwebke's story this morning is a very interesting one. Several things worth noting:

1. Isn't odd how things the administration's claims are essential to whatever bloated taxpayer funded speculative obsession he's pushing at the moment suddenly turn out to be unimportant when he doesn't get them? Remember the underground parking garage that was essential to the downtown Hilton Hotel project? Until the banks refused to fund it as too risky, at which point the garage suddenly became unimportant. Plenty of parking for the hotel without it, the Administration said. And now the RAMP funding. Hizzonah wanted about $4 million from RAMP last time round about half that this time, insisting it was essential to prove to those who'd have to chip in that the project was wanted and supported by the county. Didn't get it, and now, suddenly, the RAMP money, the Mayor says, was just a drop in the bucket and really that important after all. Sounds like sour grapes to me.

2. At the bottom of the article, we find this: David J. Sangree, president of Hotel & Leisure Advisors, said his company's projections for revenues and profits at the field house are extremely conservative. "We tried to be right in the middle. We feel what we presented is very rational."

Mr. Sangree seems to have contradicted himself. His company's projections for the Godfrey Wonder Dome cannot simultaneously be both "extremely conservative" and "right in the middle" of the probable outcomes.

But more important, Mr. Sangree has corroborated what Dan Schroeder pointed out in his critique of the feasibility study: that Mr. Sangree's company reported only one possible outcome [either an "extremely conservative" one or one "right in the middle" depending on what Mr. Sangree says at any given moment]. Schroeder's critique then was right that the report did not include the full range of probable outcomes for the Council to consider, which full range is what his critique was intended to supply. Nice to have Mr. Sangree agree with Mr. Schroeder on this, though where that leaves Hizzonah's whining about the Schroeder critique is unclear when even Sangree corroborates Schroeder's main point.

3. Finally, underneath all the Mayor's loud optimism in the teeth of another disappointment, it still remains true that at this point, other than the $38K the city put up for the feasibility study, nobody has committed a dime to the Godfrey Wonder Dome. No one and not a dime.

TERM LIMITS said...

Discounting the notion the mayor has been providing cover for Blain Johnson, FNURE and Envision Ogden's alleged illegal campaign fund debacle with all of this "wonderdome" hoopla, an even more plausible theory is he and his cronies know their days are numbered unless they are able to place another feather in their hat. Not just any feather, a HUGE one! They now realize this administration's record for "laying eggs" has easily surpassed their achievements. In their minds, the wonderdome could lock up and solidify their future in Ogden City government. It will be much more difficult to manipulate and embellish the financial quagmire that has been created without a diversion of optimism. This is right out of Political Playbook 101. Anyone else ready to show them the door?

Dan S. said...

Here's what should terrify every Ogden taxpayer:

"It's possible that $45-a-month family discount passes to the facility's water park could be offered only to Ogden residents to increase revenues and help offset the loss of RAMP funds, Godfrey said."

In other words, he's now proposing to put the city into debt, hoping that the waterpark will make enough profit not only to subsidize the operation of the pool, tennis, and velodrome (which the consultants said it could), but also to pay off the debt and thus subsidize the initial cost of construction (which the consultants assumed would not be necessary).

Given the uniqueness of this project, we can be sure that no bank will lend money with only these future profits as collateral. So the city would have to pledge other general fund revenue to pay off the debt, like the franchise taxes that are already pledged toward the Junction debt.

And let's remember that Ogden already has the highest property tax rate of any major city in Utah.

you who said...

Oh Dan,

The Little Lord doesnt like to call them taxes, he prefers the term "user fees".

So I would like people to get used to the term "user fees" for this upcoming election cycle, so that we will know when he is talking about taxes.

OneWhoKnows said...

He is just a spoiled brat living a dream that isn't anybody's other than his own. Soon he will be gone and we can press charges against him and his buddies that have been on the take since Boy Blunder first came to power and ignoring the people that elected him. The thing that puzzles me is that he claims to have all the answers and knows what's best for us and that just ain't so!

blackrulon said...

The part that frightens me about the wet wonder money pit is community support. The city council has a chance to show some backbone and refuse to let this fiasco be funded. Apparently the mayor believes that families living in Ogden have a spare $540 per year to spend on recreation. Walking along the trailway is free and bike rides cost nothing. If the community is not supporting the Junction to the extent to make it a paying enterprise why build another facility to draw customers away from one city facility to another. It is merely stealing customer base from one bad idea and sending them to another financial disaster. Let the city council respond with a resounding NO!

Dorrene Jeske said...

Godfrey put the Public Works Bldg up as collateral to fund one of his projects while I was on the Council, I wonder if the Municipal Bldg. will be used as collateral for this questionable project.

Godfrey is all bluff -- he doesn't have the public's support nor the Council's as he wants everyone to believe.

He is wasting everyone's time again with this latest ill-timed project. The public is his boss and we should insist that he take care of City business and forget trying to bankrupt the City.

Naysayer said...

Blackrulon hits the nail on the head.

What I find particularly troublesome is the fact that this whole thing seems to have been borne from Godfrey's mind. In other words, citizens of Ogden weren't petitioning for a big new rec center. But in his wisdom and grand vision for Ogden, Godfrey knows that this is what Ogden needs.

donk said...

Experience has shown tht Godfrey is at his most dangerous when the chips are down and they are down at present.

With the doors closed on most of the easy funding possibilities no telling what that insideous little mind will come up with.

Keep Ma and the kids under guard and slip into your tin shorts sports fans cause it aint over yet.

Previous Creative Financial Programs said...

Does anyone know if Fat Cats receives payments as part of our city employees salaries?

Dan S. said...

PCFP:

Huh?

Bill C. said...

PCFP, in a funny round about sort of way Golds Gym does recieve payments as part of a healthy employees insurance deal passed and approved by the Council some years ago. The other entity that received money was/is Little Audrey's.
As a saving on insurance the City buys memberships for the employees that use them.

pcfp said...

Dan S., sorry if I confused you. Bill C., thank you for your answer. I heard a rumor and wondered what was up.

That's a good deal for the employees and their health, if they use the memberships, and a great deal for Fat Cats and Little Audrey's if they don't.

Dan S. said...

Ah--Gold's Gym, not Fat Cats. I have heard about that, but I don't know any more than Bill.

Curmudgeon said...

The health club memberships, as I recall, resulted in [or we expected to result in] lower health insurance rates and/or expenditures for the City. If that's so, the plan is also a good deal for the city if the savings are equal to/greater than the cost to the city of the memberships. [Less time off work lost to illness, etc.]

I do recall the original plan was for the city to pay only for Gold's Gym memberships, until others raised a thoroughly justifiable stink about why the only choice offered was a membership in an FOM gym. Then the list was expanded. Slightly.

Rip said...

Health clubs base their entire business on people not using the memberships that they purchase on a time pay plan.

If everyone who were members actually used the gym as much as suggested by the gyms own trainers, the gym would be unusable by anyone; but the memberships sold would not generate enough cash to actually make the additions necessary to handle all of the memberships sold.

Its overbooked, and they hope you don't show up.
If you did they would be out of business.

pcfp said...

Curm,

Thank you for the expansion of Bill C.s answer. I didn't know that Little Audrey's was open to both men and women. It would probably be more "democratic" if all health clubs were treated equally.

Exercise can certainly be beneficial to good health. So can good eating habits. Perhaps the city should offer healthful meal tickets, supermarket coupons, or other incentives.

Personally, I think all public employees should be required to pass a basic fitness test, based on their age and physical challenges. I believe our fire fighters are the only ones currently required to take a fitness test. I'm not sure about our police force. (I'll refrain from making any doughnut cliches.)

Sorry about the thread hijack.

pcfp said...

Rip,

Thank you for your comment. It makes me wonder how often the city employees are using their memberships.

Fireman Joe said...

PCFP- every month that an employee goes to the gym eight times the city will pay for, fall below that and it comes out of your paycheck.

The "wellness plan" that we were promised would never be used as punishment has changed into a PT test with punishment up to termination-it goes into effect this fall for fire and police.

in the nick of time said...

Ah yes, it didn't take a second before the Field house was christened with a humorous name. Like the Rec Center is known as "Pinky's Play house," and anything political that has even the faintest feel of scandal is attached with the pre-cursor "gate," for Watergate, anything is Mayor comes up with is named and ridiculed immediately. Case in point: Curm's "Godfrey's Wonder Dome." This is really quite funny, and appropriate, and brings visions of joyous multitudes frolicking in pools, on the bike ovals, playing crochet and other games, shouting for joy all under an azure, partly cloudy sky, complete with free cotton candy being passed about, sort of a Katie Perry scene, with many patrons lined up and chompin' at the bit to gain access. Even Blackrulon is standing in line, with all the other naysayers, smiling and making amends with the Geigers because this whole thing is so bloody good. Off in the corner, Godfrey is sitting at a desk counting money from the many bags of gold and silver acquired from the public. It's all "oh, so beautiful."

Nice job, Curm, but what took you so long coming up with a name? I was "WONDERing" (pardon the play on words) just how long this part would take.

ozboy said...

Nick

The "Wonder Dome" moniker has been around since the damn thing was first proposed at least several months ago.

And the Junktion is known as PeeWee's playhouse, not "Pinky's". It was so named of course in honor of Mayor Godfrey who is the identical, only evil, twin of the original PeeWee Herman. Look up their respective pictures and you will see why!

blackrulon said...

You can easily understand why Godfrey is optomistic that the Field house plan will be approved by the city council. The city council, despite the reasoning followed by the RAMP committee, has trouble saying no. Would it be possible for the council to impose the same requirements for approval that RAMP noted? A resourceful council member might even bring up past promises on Godfrey proposals and note whether or not the promises were fulfilled. Disapproval should be automatic until or unless verified conditions are met and verified. Show some respect for the taxpayers.

BADINVESTMENT said...

Wonderdome, Dome of Dreams, White Elephant, Boondoggle........it doesn't matter what you call it as long as the call is a resounding NO!

Dan S. said...

blackrulon,

You'd think it would be easy for the council to establish some procedures and professionalism that would help them avoid or deny Godfrey's misguided and half-baked requests. There was a time, for instance, when the council used to pass resolutions outlining timetables and formats for budget and other requests. But nowadays they just keep giving him more and more power, as they cower lower and lower.

pcfp said...

Fireman Joe,

Thank you for the scoop and thank you for your service. Wellness is a good thing. However, a PT test evokes memories of Marine Corps boot camp. Semper Fi, Mac.

ND said...

Hey what has come of the RFP that was sent out for architects?...might be a tell to what is coming next....

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