Monday, April 04, 2011

Big Emerald City Council Meeting Tomorrow Night

Proposed CIP ordinance amendments would reduce Emerald City government transparency, hand Boss Godfrey even more discretionary power and much more...

On the heels of the 2/15/11 Ogden City Council meeting, we'll provide an additional heads-up concerning tomorrow night's Regular Council Session, wherein the Council will give further consideration to pending proposals to substantially (and detrimentally) amend Ogden City's Capital Improvement Project rules.

As we noted in our 2/14/11 article on this topic, these proposed amendments for the most part fall into two chief general classes:

1) Raising of Capital Improvement Project Limits. The Administration proposes to raise the threshold for discretionary Administration capital expenditures "from the current $10,000 to $30,000 before the administration is required to go to the City Council for permission to spend additional taxpayer dough." Raising this threshold would have the obvious effect of allowing more money to be spent by the Administration on projects without prior public knowledge, of course.

2) Establishment of "Slush Funds." The Administration proposes the establishment of an array of new self-administered "accounts":
  • Contingency Fund (Cost overruns - $100k expenditure cap)
  • Future Projects Account (No $ cap)
  • Study Account ($60k cap)
We've of course taken the liberty of characterising these as "slush funds." But given Mayor Godfrey's cavalier disregard for the boundaries of various departmental accounts over the years, we believe such characterization is apt. We contend the establishment of such accounts is a very bad idea... "a frightening proposition, given the Little Lord's well demonstrated "spending propensities."

For those readers who'd like to consult the Council Packet for tomorrow night's meeting, click the link below:
Once you've had a chance to check out these documents we're certain you'll agree that these ordinance changes would reduce transparency, allow more money to be spent on projects without prior public knowledge, substantially and detrimentally relinquish existing Council financial oversight and and unreasonably hand even more discretionary spending power over to Boss Godfrey.

We'll invite you all to throw in your 2¢; but before we do, here's a little something extra, a query tossed into the CIP ordinance amendment discussion in one of our lower comments sections:
Currently as the CIP budget is now put together the projected expenditures are of some 2.25 mil for next year, with 1.0 mil of that amount being for the field house.
Why would we be committing this much money to the field house when we haven't even decided whether we're going to build it or not?"
Great question, Ogden Resident, BTW! How the hell DID $1 million in Fieldhouse Project funding wind up on the CIP list, actually?

The floor's open, O Gentle Ones.

Who will be the first to chime in?

Update 4/6/11 7:33 a.m.: Scott Schwebke reports that the Council bought the full proposed CIP amendment package, hook line and sinker, by a 6-1 vote:
Fiscal prudence in Emerald City? Fuggedaboudit.

13 comments:

Curmudgeon said...

On raising the limit on spending that does not require Council prior approval:

30K is not an unreasonable level at which to set that, provided the ordinance change includes deleting entirely a mayor's power to issue himself a waiver of that limit without Council approval --- retroactively or proactively. Without removing a Mayor's ability to waive the limit unilaterally, any limit is meaningless.

Jennifer said...

The Drone Aircraft Project (#17 on page 94 of the packet) -- is this the same as the Blimp? or is it something new?

TLJ

Keisha said...

Godfrey is a lame duck, who's nevertheless promised to raise holy hell during his last nine months in office. If the Council passes these amendments, he'll abuse them in the last months he's still "serving" in office. I say that the Council should "table" all of these proposed amendments, and then bring them back in January '12 for a thumbs up or down by our then-to-be newly elected mayor.

malans said...

Look for a loophole hidden somewhere in the last 5 years of code, that will allow a development at Mount Ogden Golf Course.

AWM said...

"Look for a loophole hidden somewhere in the last 5 years of code, that will allow a development at Mount Ogden Golf Course"

Maybe there is something to Saals comment on Sunday

"Over at the Internet-based Weber County Forum (Motto: "We Indulge Our Paranoid Delusional Conspiracy Theories, So You Don't Have To")

But here's the crazy part, I'm with Malan's on this one..

ozboy said...

I think the mayor is playing a game here on this hanging his hat up BS.
I will believe he is voluntarily leaving as soon as the filing deadline comes and goes without his name on the ballot. He has lied so many times over such a broad range of subjects, and he virtually always was a hidden agenda, so why wouldn't he be doing the same with this?

Biker Babe said...

oz,

I was thinking the exact same thing -- wait until the filing deadline and watch for surprises!

js,
BB

OgdenLover said...

True. If he were expected to run, we might have a different group of candidates than if he is not. This would be a Machiavellian ploy, so what else is new?

you who said...

Throw open the chicken coop door and let the little f'er in.

Curmudgeon said...

Charlie Trentelman has a blog column up over at the SE blogsite titled Is Mayor Godfrey Really That Evil?. And he's drawn some replies. Some of them interesting. Just FYI.

ozboy said...

BB & OL

I think this possibility is right out of the sneak em and screw em play book of Godfrey's mentor Stu Reid. If Godfrey does proceed like we are suggesting, it would only be a slight variation of what Reid did with his big party switch just minutes before the filing deadline in the last election. Virtually every one on the Dem and Repub sides thought he was going to file again as a "D" for the Senate seat and then at the very last moment stuck it to every one! Pretty sneaky move - and it worked. Seeing that Godfrey learned a lot of his nefarious operating procedures from Stu, why wouldn't he be following his example here?

Bill C. said...

Big Stu Eeid bit in the Trib now. Perhaps one of you more computer savy could supply a link for us.

Bill C. said...

Typing in the dark after midnight again. That should read Stu Reid.

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