Thursday, April 14, 2011

Breaking News: Godfrey Releases List of Potential Fieldhouse Donors - UPDATED

Now we know why Godfrey worked so hard to keep the list of potential donors secret

By Curmudgeon

Hizzonah, Mayor Matthew Godfrey has turned over the list of donors the city's GRAMA review committee told him was a public record to the Standard Examiner, which just put the story up on its website:
The story's most telling sentence: "None of the donors the newspaper talked with agreed to provide money for the field house."

Now we know why he worked so hard to keep the list of potential donors secret. It seems most of them had not committed a dime.

Update 4/14/11 9:58 p.m.: The SL Trib has the story too:
Update 4/14/11 11:44 p.m.: Dan Schroeder has just transmitted to us a scan of the original Boss Godfrey patsy donor list received from Ogden City in the mail on Monday:


Curmudgeon said...

SL Trib has the story too, link here.

ozboy said...

So where is the friggen list?

Just want to make sure the little feller spelled my name right and was accurate on my one dollar pledge. Will be pretty disappointed if he lied, as he is wont to do, and told people I was good for two bucks.

Curmudgeon said...

The Trib story reports the Mayor had the State Legislature penciled in for a one million dollar donation. From the Trib story:

Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, who oversees state budget deliberations, said no one approached him about Field House funding. “I understand that Mayor Godfrey wants to revitalize downtown Ogden,” Hillyard said, but he added that such an appropriation would be highly unlikely due to fiscal constraints.

The Trib story characterized the donors on the list it managed to reach as "lukewarm on forking over funds."

So both the SE and the Trib have concluded the same, based on the [alleged] donors they were able to contact. They've in fact committed nothing so far, and appear less than eager to fund Hizzonah's latest megabucks obsession.

Except of course for poor clueless Councilman and Mayoral Candidate Stephenson, who told the Trib he still thinks its a grand idea, and he believes there are "partners" out there who are waiting to donate big time until they see what the city will do. [The Trib is silent on how much, if any, Stephenson offered to contribute.]

Ray said...

If anyone had doubts about the need for strong GRAMA laws or why most in our legislature tried to choke off GRAMA info,one only need look at Godfrey. Caught lying again... his house of our cards(tax money)is falling down. Maybe Godfrey will donate his leftover campaign funds towards the Fieldhouse.(Fatcat chance)

RudiZink said...

"So where is the friggen list?"

It appears in the left column of the SLTrib story:

Mayor Godfrey’s list of potential Field House donors:

Jeff & Bonnie Clark, $2,000,000, Tennis Facility

Eccles (Wattis) Foundation, $4,000,000, Facility Naming Rights

Stuart Foundation, $1,500,000, In-Field

John & Karen Gullo, $2,000,000, Waterpark

Marriott, $1,000,000, pool

RAMP, $4,000,000

Ogden City, $3,000,000

Legislature, $1,000,000

Tax increment — Ogden, $10,000,000

Tax increment — Weber, $3,000,000

Total: $31,500,000

Curmudgeon said...


Did you notice that $21 million of the $31 million he wanted from the
donors list" was coming [the though] from the tax payers via direct appropriations or tax increment funding? Two thirds of the "donors" list money was to come from the taxpayers.

Some "donors" list.

merlin said...

he did not raise one dime.
this list is the most delusional bit of black magick.
sad little man.

Mike Brice said...

I am surprised both the Standard and the SL Trib seem to take a lot of credit for the reporting work done by a private citizen.

I am new to Utah - does this happen often?

Dan S. said...

I wouldn't say the newspapers took too much credit. They did what they're good at, which is calling people up to get their positions and fill in what the list itself doesn't tell us. That was essential for this story, because the list could otherwise be easily misinterpreted. Meanwhile, I did what I could, filing the initial GRAMA request and appealing the denial to the Records Review Board. The newspapers don't seem to have the resources and/or patience to take on that kind of a fight.

Another interesting element here is that Cathy McKitrick from the Tribune actually attended the appeal hearing, whereas Scott Schwebke from the Standard-Examiner reported on it second-hand. However, eventually the S-E got sufficiently interested to file its own GRAMA request for the same record. McKitrick got a copy of the list from me (I received it in the mail on Monday), but the S-E got it directly from the city. McKitrick called me for a quote this afternoon, but our call got interrupted. Schwebke worked late tonight, calling me at 8:30 (after the Trib story was posted but before I had seen it) and posting his own story very quickly after we spoke.

Bottom line: It really helps to have TWO newspapers that are competing with each other, and an occasional volunteer blogger to gather additional information.

Dan S. said...

Oops, the S-E's version of the list isn't quite the same as what the city sent me. In my version, the second entry says "Eccles (Wattis) Foundation", not Stewart Education Foundation. I'll send a scan to Rudi and ask him to put it on the front page.

What will it cost us said...

So who paid for the Mayors trip to Ft. Meyers last month. Great time to enjoy Florida weather, or was it another trip looking for Cuban goods this time since the Chinese and Mexican goods for the empty store fronts never did pan out for the city.

Dan S. said...


Great question. I have a bunch of city financial records documenting some of Godfrey's earlier fieldhouse-related travel. There's definitely another story here, and it raises questions about the size and appropriate use of the mayor's travel budget.

Hmmm said...

Let's see. The justification for the fundraising and for the committment of RAMP funds etc., is now mere, "brainstorming."

Soooo, now on the basis of a brainstorming session we announce monies committed to justify the committment of more monies, (sufficient to build the pie in the sky,) which becomes 2/3rd's, for now, on the taxpayer's dime.


Peterball said...

It seems to me that the trip to Florida took place after the donor list was supposedly formulated and mentioned in the request for RAMP funds. Is the mayor covering his ass?

Curmudgeon said...

Hmmmmm.... I wonder if a periodic column in the SE entitled "Where In The World Is Matthew Godfrey?" might be fun. At least until next January.

blackrulon said...

Ozboy-I am sorry that the mayor failed to list you as a potentional donor. If you were lucky enough to live in Ogden, as a resident and taxpayer, you could be considered as a involuntary donor to Godfreys wish and dream list of expensive and failed projects.

Danny said...

As I watch what is happening to godfrey these days, I can't help but think of what happens to evil men when the devil no longer finds them useful.

Alma 30:60

"And thus we see the end of him who perverteth the ways of the Lord; and thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily drag them down to hell."

Eleanor of A. said...

Like a slow moving catastrophe, Godfrey hitting his head repeatedly against a wall of his own mortar and stone, it is hard to not look away.

Cask of Amontillado, anyone?

googlegirl said...

The Cask of Amontillado

RudiZink said...

"Like a slow moving catastrophe, Godfrey hitting his head repeatedly against a wall of his own mortar and stone, it is hard to not look away."

Nice metaphor, Eleanor!


lordfarquad said...

Once again, Dan Schroeder demonstrates that he is in fact Ogden's very own Superman. Dan, you surely do not get the respect and applause you deserve for single-handedly running a muckraking operation for the benefit of all of us, free of charge. Even if every WCF reader expressed their gratitude it wouldn't be enough. Thank you again.

Once again our mayor has demonstrated that he is a Pinnochio with unfathomable hubris. A man with an entire city at his disposal who still couldn't accomplish anything of merit or worth that didn't involve hypocrisy, secrecy, dishonesty and arrogance, usually ending in a steaming pile of turd or acres of empty fields full of six-foot weeds, costing us, and future generations of taxpayers millions and millions upon millions of dollars.

Quite a contrast between these two men. I think you can gather from my monologue which one I trust more.

$21,000,000.00 additional debt planned to be heaped upon taxpayers with no legitimate input from us, the taxpayers. It is absolutely stunning.

BTW, did anyone notice the ridiculous water bill insert last month explaining why our rates have skyrocketed? I wonder how much more it cost us just to send out the damned flyers explaining why things cost so much?

What will it cost us said...

Speaking of water bills, when will the City Council audit the cash flow from the water, sewer. trash? I still feel the mayor uses this as his cash cow.

Looks like we’ve been sold down the river again said...

The latest proposal being presented to the city council in the upcoming work session for the river development appears to no long be a mixed use project with nicely laid out garden lined paths with small parks along the way that follow the meander of the river on one side and small boutique shops and restaurants lining the other side of the path. A show place in the city that would draw locals and non-locals alike to the downtown area and as an excursion for those people that come to Ogden for conventions. This concept has given way to a housing project disguised as a mixed use project.
The city council is first being asked to redefine the current language as to what is a mixed use area in the city ordinances. Specifically the current wording for mixed use states that no more than 60% of the area will be allowed to be used in any one specific type of use, such as residential, commercial, office building or retail. This is to ensure the area actually functions as a true mixed use area.
What is being proposed to the city council to change is the language that would define a mixed use area as an area where no more that 60% of any one HOUSING TYPE is used. With this change the river project can be 90+% housing. Defined in the latest river project development proposal as 28 carriage houses, 24cottage houses, 383 townhouses, 283 apartments, 23 (in 9 buildings) live/work residents and 9 mixed use (commercial with residential) buildings. Once the language is changed then the whole area becomes a housing project. Then the council will be asked to approve the river project development agreement and if they do, the whole concept of a true mixed use area within the city that would attract people from all over to enjoy its beauty will have been lost.
Some of the concept drawing show large park areas along the river (being totally surrounded by residential complexes) rather than what most people envision as true mixed use and later in the presentation they show build outs of these same park areas into residential projects as the whole area gets completed.
One has to wonder to with all the effort put into restoring the river back to a natural state in anticipation of a true mixed use setting how the river will fair with the new pressures of some additional 1500 plus people living in close proximity to the river. Council should seriously review the changes being proposed to the mixed use ordinance and council should seriously review the current development proposal to see if a housing project is really what they envisioned for the river project.
In MHO, Godfrey is desperate to say he got something done on the river, but this latest development proposal is a poor last ditch effort and not in the best interests of the city. This is just too valuable an asset to the city to simply turn this area into a housing project.

Curmudgeon said...

Looks Like:

I hate to say it, but when our part-timeCouncil tries to deal with complex zoning decisions like this one, and with the blizzard of information that's sent along by the well-heeled advocates of whatever massive change is being proposed, I can't help recalling the woeful plaint of Casey Stengel, who asked during the disastrous first year of the New York Mets [he was the manager]: "Can't anyone here play this game?"

Dorrene Jeske said...

The council has several full-time staff members whose job it is to look into these complex problems and offer the council several suggestions (when possible) from which the council may chose the one that they think best. Alan Franke did such an excellent job when we had the roof height crisis on Historic 25th St. that he was criticized by the Landmarks Commission for doing his job (they called it meddling). I do agree with you that the council has their job cut out for them when the Mayor's uncle tries to flim flam rhem. He's very good at it -- I've watched him for years manipulate the different councils (even before Godfrey was mayor). I wish all the council members were aware that he is a wolf in sheeps's clothing with his Cheshire cat smile.

Sometimes when I would complain that it seemed as though we weren't getting all the information that we needed from our staff, I was told that they have to work with the administration every day, year-in and year-out while council members had to deal with them for four or eight years and we were gone. (That comment didn't come from staff, it was from others who have worked as activists for the good of Ogden.) It's part of the politics that are played within governments. It's really sad that the "representatives of the people" are looked upon in such a light by the full-time employees of the city. It makes our job harder and short-changes the voters.

Curmudgeon said...


Thanks for the view from the inside. The problem seems to me to be largely systemic. On the big zoning issues I've followed, by the time a recommendation arrives at the Council level [work session usually], it's been packaged, blow-dried, and comes complete with arguments, data supporting the proposal... but not necessarily with a full accounting of the matter including data, evidence, testimony weighing against the proposal. To reduce it to a cliche', by the time you guys get a look at the full proposal, the advocates [administration in most instances] are likely to have their thumb on the scale. That doesn't mean Administration proposals on zoning changes are necessarily bad ideas or should be rejected. But the Council should be making its decisions in light of a full vetting of the matter, pros and cons. I suspect by the time it gets to the Council level, the "cons" have been stripped out, and if they're raised at all,

Interesting your point about the Council staff, being full time [more or less permanent] staff having to work day in and day out, with administration staff while Council members come and go [so to speak]. Something to that I suspect.

Danny said...

Greg Montgomery ran off the previous owners of the river property.

Greg Montgomery threw in with Gadi Leshem as an investor.

Greg Montgomery watched in horror as Leshem couldn't find his ample butt with both hands.

Undeterred, now Greg Montgomery seeks a high density slum that will maximize his profits on the project that he has waited for for too long.

Greg Montgomery is the director of planning and zoning that oversees this project, and is mayor Godfrey's uncle.

Lakewood said...

I think mixed use should mean a mix of land use types, not just different flavors of housing.

Dorrene Jeske said...


You're right. The information that the administration gives us is biased and prepared so that the council votes the way that they want. I think that everyone, especially the counsel, would benefit if Montgomery were given a time limit to make his presentations and after that he be allowed to speak only to answer questions, not give a rebuttal to arguments (facts) presented by an opposing view. The way it stands now, he always has the last word.

My ideas were not always popular with the administration, and why they tried to discredit me eery chance that they had, and especially when a fellow council member represented the administration better than he did the citizens of Ogden.

Dorrene Jeske said...

Lordfarquad, you said.
"$21,000,000.00 additional debt planned to be heaped upon taxpayers with no legitimate input from us, the taxpayers, it is absolutely stunning."

I think a better word than stunning is ridiculous. This is how Godfrey has conucted everything all 12 years of his administration -- taxation without representation! That sounds quite familiar! The cry of the 13 Colonies in 1775. Havae we Americans from Ogden become sheep instead of patriots? Where would we be today, if the colonists had submitted to the throne of England? I believe we have just as much right to rebel as the colonists did -- Godfrey has spent us into nearly $100 million in debt, and he expects us to blindly and meekly let him add more than $21 million to the city's debt.

I have never done anything meekly (I won't inherit the earth), and if my health permitted, I'd be leading the battle cry now. I can't walk, but I can write if anyone wants to lead a well- organized campaign against this latest attempt to tax without representation.

a patriot said...

Sorry Dorrene,
bu the colonists were not able to vote on and send reps to Parliament. Citizens of Ogden have the right to vote for members of their council and their mayor. I am hard pressed to see how the two situations are analogous. I don't support the mayor, but to say that Ogdenites are in the same situation as the colonists of 1775 is way off the mark. Do remember, a majority of Ogdenites who voted the last 3 mayoral elections voted for Godfrey. Let's hope a majority of us do better this fall.

Curmudgeon said...


Exactly right. A former Council approved pledging the full faith and credit of Ogden City to pay off the Junction bonds. The Council approved the River Project in its various incarnations [new one coming up, and the Council is being asked to approve it]. Whatever we might say about Hizzonah's role in plunging Ogden into debt for his obsession du jour, it was not "taxation without representation." He stood for office and won, and the various Councils that approved of his projects, and of funding them one way or another with public funds, were as you noted elected representatives as well. The people's choice, both the Mayor and the Council.

We get the government we deserve. We elect it, Flying Spaghetti Monster help us.

Solipsist Junction said...

The voting majority got exactly what they deserved.


This list further reinforces FNURE and Envision Ogden were devised and initiated to further this type of agenda. Obviously there are those who believe they know what is best for everyone else and are willing to govern by this philosophy whether it is ethical, legal or honest. Blain Johnson and others included in the current administration should be subjected to an extensive audit for these and all other past deeds. Hopefully the future administration will oblige.

Bee in my Bonnet said...

too bad we couldn't have ordinances changed to read: "Super majority vote required to elect leading official"

51% to 49% is too slim for me to even like saying "we voted for him" -- because I DID NOT!

ozboy said...

Of course the fine and intelligent people of Germany voted for Her Hitler in overwhelming numbers not knowing what they were gonna get as a result.

I guess if you put any stock in "Goodwin's law" this thread is over!

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