Monday, March 28, 2011

Yesterday's News Today: Monday Morning WCF Back-burner Cleanup

So many questions... so few answers

News is a mite slow this morning; so it's time for a little Weber County Forum backburner cleanup. Here are a couple of noteworthy news items which appeared in the northern Utah public press during the last week, which we never quite got around to spotlighting for discussion:

1) Following up on our March 13, 2011 article, wherein we reported that the Boss Godfrey administration had calendered a (statutorily unauthorized) "motion for reconsideration" of the Ogden City Records Review Board's March 3, 2011 decision, (which had ordered the Godfrey Administration to produce a list of potential Field House donors to GRAMA applicant Dan Schroeder), the Salt Lake Tribune reported on Thursday that The Board unanimously (and unceremoniously) denied the city's desperate and dilatory motion:
It's a commendable written ruling from the Review Board, wethinks, constituting more evidence that Utah's GRAMA law (slow and tedious though it may be) works as it stands, bends over backwards to protect a public agency's privacy interests and requires no further tinkering.

A Weber County Forum Tip 'O the Hat also goes out to Dan Schroeder this morning, for his dogged persistence in this matter.

2) By popular request we'll shine the "high beam laser " WCF spotlight on this truly oddball Tom Christopulos guest editorial, which appeared in Saturday's Standard-Examiner:
Many of our readers have been inquiring behind the scenes why the Standard published this extravagant, inaccurate and shamelessly self-promoting Godfrey Administration puff piece.

So what about it O Gentle Ones? Is the appearance of this over-the-top Christopulos-drivel a sign that it's municipal election season again? How much of the data provided by Mr. Christopulos survives a fundamental "fact check test?" Is there any Godfrey Administration press release at all which the Standard will refuse to publish? Are we doomed to see our hometown newspaper, the Standard, which has performed so marvellously of late in connection with the HB477 kerfuffle, revert again to its old sleepy, Godfrey Administration-facilitating self?

So many questions... so few answers.

Who will be the first to comment?

24 comments:

althepal said...

Mr. Christopulos would be well advised to read yesterday's WCF article:

Salt Lake Tribune: Utah Growing Like a Third-world Country

OgdenLover said...

It's obvious that the SE is fine with criticizing State government, and that of otjer cities, but it will not criticize Godfrey or Ogden City government at all.

The last time I can remember anything critical was rhe editorial comparing the woman who was cited for having a tire leaning on her house with the decay permitted in Gadi Leshem's River Project houses. BTW, what is happening there?

Curmudgeon said...

Well, OL, the Sunday front page story on double - dipping at the higher levels of the Ogden Police Department was hardly a story I suspect Hizzonah and his pet police chief were especially happy to see.

Of course, that story still has not appeared on the paper's website [if it has, I can't find it]. Think I'll ask Mr. Howell if this is a new SE policy, to hold hot stories for the subscribers only.

RudiZink said...

Here's what Andy relayed to me about an hour ago via email, Curm, concerning holding back the "Double Dipping" story from the "SE Live" site:

"This is a test to see the impact this might have on newsprint and e-edition sales. It should be posted to the free site either today or Tuesday."

Can't say I can criticize them (the SE) for experimenting around a little bit, BTW.

Google Adman said...

Here's one thing I'll recommend in this context:

Click the Standard's ads at least every now and then, assuming they look interesting.

If online readers want to keep the SE alive, they should CLICK THE ADVERTIZING LINKS, ferchrissakes!!!

Another Adman said...

Good point GA! It costs nothing to you to click any advertiser's link!

Barry White said...

I believe the Chirstopulos story was on Standard.net the day before it hit the newsprint. Of course the op-ed is slanted toward Godfrey (TC serves at the Mayor's pleasure), but I found it to be enlightening and of consideration, even though some of the mentioned projects have yet to perform in their anticipated expectations. Would the economy have something to do with this, probably, but the question still begs-should the City be as involved as it is in "developments?"

Trib Reader said...

Hey, what happened to the comment that I posted two hours ago, linking to the Trib article about the LDS church investing in land around its SLC and Ogden temples?

RudiZink said...

Trib Reader:

I'm not finding your post, either in the WCF publication queu, or in the google spam bot filter (which mis-identifies "false positive" spam posts every now and then). Is it possible that you failed to post via the red "publish" button? (The most likely possibility) Would you mind trying again?

googlegirl said...

LDS Church hoping hefty investment will shield its temples

Trib reader said...

Thanks to googlegirl for the link. My comment merely pointed out that the article quotes Godfrey repeating the lie that Ogden was dead before he took office.

And the comment WAS successfully posted. I even saw the "your comment has been saved" message at the top of the page.

RudiZink said...

"And the comment WAS successfully posted. I even saw the "your comment has been saved" message at the top of the page."

Sadly, Trib Reader, blogger comments are more messed up recently than in the 6 years or so that I've been publishing this blog.

My apologies to you, even though this posting defect IS NOT MY FAULT.

Curmudgeon said...

Trib Reader:

I can corroborate that the "post" function has been doing some weird stuff lately. I'd save your post before you try to post it just to be safe, so you can easily reload if need be.

Dan S. said...

At least WCF comments don't disappear for good, along with the articles, whenever the site gets a periodic upgrade. Here's for archival purposes, is a copy of the comment that I left under the Christopulos article at the S-E site...

Whoa, I'm getting dizzy from all that spin! It was Mayor Mecham who created BDO and finalized the management agreement with Boyer, over the loud objections of mayor-elect Godfrey. And without BDO, there would have been no money to fund The Junction. It was the 2002 Olympics and the expansion of Snowbasin that made it possible to open a new downtown hotel and attract ski companies to Ogden. It was the LDS Church that built the Colonial Court apartments, and it was the federal government that transferred many of its IRS jobs to downtown. The Egyptian Theater reopened in January 1997, three years before Mayor Godfrey took office, but apparently he gets to take credit for it. Unbelievable.

Meanwhile, let's mention a few of the setbacks that have occurred over the last decade. One of the largest downtown employers ten years ago was AOL, which downsized and then pulled out, leaving behind the much smaller Teleperformance. Walmart and Winco are merely replacing older big boxes, Fred Meyer and Stop N Shop, that have closed. While Mr. Christopulos brags about the new Wells Fargo building, the old Wells Fargo building across the street sits empty. After a decade of promises and sucking every available dime, the Ogden River Project is now an enormous mud flat.

Don't get me wrong--I like Ogden better now than a decade ago. The new downtown events are better and more numerous than the ones that we lost. But over the long term, the pace of improvement hasn't changed since the Mecham Administration.

Curmudgeon said...

Rudi:

IN re: the SE posting the Ogden PD brass double-dipping story: here it is, Tuesday 7 AM. The story is still not up on the free site, or if it is, I can't find it.

RudiZink said...

Curm: I've just been informed by Mr. Howell that the "double dipping" story has now been posted to the SE Free site. I've accordingly updated our earlier story with a link to the SE Live! story, which can be accessed here:

Standard-Examiner: Double Dipping at Ogden City Police Department! - UPDATED

Moroni McConkie said...

Very good history lesson, Dan S.

Jimmy Olsen said...

Certainly, as Dan S. suggests, many of these pieces were on the board: the 2002 Olympics, the newly created BDO, the IRS center on 12th Street, etc., but these pieces had to be moved about, utilized both in their utility and marketing value, and then used in a supporting role of each other in such a way as to attract business here rather than in another locale. I believe that it what Mr. Christopulos was describeing.

It should also be considered that the old First Security Bank building has been empty for many years, is old and probably regarded as a Class c (maybe a B) lease space and I don't feel that that should be attributed to Godfrey. Comparing Walmart and Wynco ans mere "replacements" to the antiquated and long vacant Fred Meyers and recently Stop & Shop, and older, basically undesirable spot that was loosing money, is akin to suggesting that apples can be a replacement for oranges. A reason for Walmart and Wynco to locate here, despite the economy, had to be presented to these giants in order to have them choose Ogden over some other neighboring town.

First, someone had to find them and then get the word to these companies that wanted to expand, that Ogden had many "assets" other than space, to offer. These "assets" had to be seen by these companies as amenities and such that would give reason for them to locate or relocate here (Fresenius, Ogden vs. Baton Rouge for its expansion, is probably a good example), and that was all the Godfrey administration.

Now, should Godfrey get all of the credit for what economic expansion has occured over the last 10 years? No. But, he and his administration should receive their just dues for positioning and packaging the various pieces that were on the board and then using these pieces to interlock with one another and become one of the many positives that makes Ogden a more desirable place to locate than our neighbors.' Our demographics are a big disadvantage and probably not looked upon as a big come on for many businesses shopping for a locale to locate. Therefore, Ogden's positives had to be properly packaged and then exposed to overcome these demographics.
Competition to lure business to a city is fierce, and many Western cities have as much to offer as Ogden, especially considering that Ogden was basically a stagnant city as per growth that was know as environmentally and economically obsolescent.

True, the Godfrey methods in many aspects leave much to be desired, but he was able to take what was on the table, tie it together, present it to the outside in a convincing manner, and get the back city on the move.

What happens from here is still a question mark, especially the financing of some projects. We could be dwelling in a house of cards, that will collapse, if all the pieces don't fall into place. Let's hope for the best.

March said...

Jimmy

Does the editor know you have been sneaking into the kool aide?

Poole said...

What happens next, Jimmy, is the infrastructure that was unneeded slowly starts to decay while still unoccupied.

And then what happens, Jimmy, is that the bills come due, with no one to pay them, except Honest Q. Taxpayer.

Louis Lane said...

Oh Jimmy, you always were a bumbling fool, especially when you tried your darndest to sound smart by using words that you didn't know the meaning or use of. You mean well Jimmy, but you are clueless as to the true meaning of that which you write about.

blackrulon said...

jimmy Olsen-I noticed you failed to mention the RiverProject in your pandering article. There is also no mention of Ernest Rehabilition Hospital. And where are the promised jobs certain to arrive after the Mayor gave away the 21st pond?

Curious 1 said...

Jimmy, you also didn't mention the $1,000,000 clean up tab from the taxpayers to clean up the WinCo private property site. The tax benefits the city keeps giving away, the incentive $1,5000,000 give away to Garn for his Hotel that the city is suppose to get paid back.

Also the money given away to the Winsor Hotel that was never completed, did the city ever get any of that money back.

Also giving away the parking garage behind the Egyptian and then need a few million to build parking downtown.

Yes the tax payers are on the hook, especially if the economy doesn't improve. If the tea baggers keep taking away from the middle class we will never recover.

If BDO ever goes belly up the city will really be screwed.

Jimmy Olsen said...

It appears that many of you missed the gist of my post, and that is that the Mayor should get SOME credit, but not ALL credit for this so-called "10 years of economic development" through his assemblage of already in place pieces. I was not debating every project that has or has not failed. READ, people.

Also, I criticized some of the Mayor's methods and financing and wrote that would could be living in a "house of cards" that could collapse. If read properly and understood, none of the above is exactly extolling Godfrey's virtues, is it.

Again, the anti-Godfrey attitude by many is so virulent that many here cannot see the forest because of the trees.

And "Louise," as far as a bumbling fool is concerned, you only have to look in the mirror, as it's really "Lois." Hell, your so obsessed that you can't even get a name right. Yawn and grin.

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