Sunday, April 10, 2011

Standard-Examiner Guest Commentary: GRAMA Request Reveals Details of "Sweetheart" 21st Street Pond Deal

Ogden City activist David Smith nabs the mayor

By: TLJ

Ogden City activist David Smith nabs the mayor:

21st Street Pond is deeded to the city of Ogden, but we the citizens can't use it until 2058! Two someones named Matthew Godfrey and David Goode signed a memorandum of general intent, stating that Goode's company would have exclusive use of the pond for its watercraft until 2058. All in exchange for a $5,000 campaign contribution to the mayor.

Do the math? That works out to about $92.50 per year to keep the good citizens of Ogden out of Goode Ski Lake. Yes, David Goode even got naming rights in the memo.

Read all about it in this morning's SE guest commentary, (which also has more details and information of where the GRAMA'd documents can be found):
No new news on Goode's website for 7 months ... the last one being about some water ski event in Florida.

One wonders if they are even using the 21st street pond.

TLJ

38 comments:

Dan S. said...

I'm confused about two factual details:

1. Why does the county's web site still say the pond is owned by UDOT?

2. Did the city council ever receive formal notice of this deal, as the city's ordinance requires?

I hope someone out there can answer these questions.

AWM said...

One would have thought that the local paper would have been all over this long before a private citizen, considering the stench eminating from the deal

Curmudgeon said...

Fifty years? Fifty years?

Half a century?

Where was the recreational canoeing lobby when we really needed them?

AWM said...

This from a New York Times web site fluff piece dated 2007.

The city is poised to be “the high adventure Mecca of the country,” said Mayor Matthew Godfrey, 36, over a chopped salad at Rooster's Brewing Company on Historic 25th Street.

The mayor, who took office in 2000, says he sees outdoor recreation as a means to a vibrant and financially sound community.

“We need more high-paying jobs,” he said. “We need tourism. We need a 20-to-40-year-old demographic that likes to work hard and play hard.”

To achieve that, he is recruiting recreation companies to move to town. One such company is Goode Ski Technologies, a manufacturer of carbon fiber water and snow skis and ski poles, formerly based in Waterford, Mich.

“The mayor rolled out the red carpet for me, literally,” recalled David Goode, the president and founder who relocated his 35-employee company to Ogden in August 2005.

Other ski companies, like Scott USA and Rossignol, have established small operations downtown or in Business Depot Ogden, an industrial park north of downtown. This fall, Amer Sports, the maker of Salomon and Atomic skis, expects to move its headquarters into the former American Can Building at 20th and Grant Streets that it is currently renovating.

Though Ogden is emerging as a snow sports hub, many other sports lure visitors to town. With a $1.5 million investment from Goode Ski Technologies, the city is also building a 70-acre water ski park on an existing lake that will include a half-mile-long slalom course, a 17-acre fishing lake and an 18,000-seat amphitheater for plays and concerts, a complex that Mr. Goode hopes will help to bring the water ski championship to Ogden in 2011.

http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/06/22/travel/escapes/22ogden.html?ex=1183521600&en=0f4dfbb07e44a969&ei=5029&partner=RRSANDIEGO

Dan S. said...

Here's what WCF reported when the pond was handed over to Goode in June 2008, based on a linked S-E article. Definitely worth reading as an example of how we all missed the real story, in part because we were preoccupied with the ice tower. No mention of the 50-year time period.

Wednesday morning news roundup

Bayliner said...

Really, when you get right down to it, who the hell's going to go to the 21st St Pond, sandwiched between the railroad yards and the freeway on/off ramp, to have a family picnic. I don't care what they did, the place still feels oily and has chemical pollutants in it that has seeped there for about 100 years. Giving it away was a wise move and Smith should find another windmill to joust with. I doubt he'll get much mayoral mileage from exposing this deal.

Me, I'll take Willard Bay or Pine View any day. Clean water and a nice atmosphere complete with public facilities. At 21st St, if you need a restroom, you either use the pond or go behind some locomotive or earth mover that's parked in the area.

Biker Babe said...

so Bayliner,

Are you sneaking in under the radar and flouting the rules to check out the "public" pond facility?

hmmm?

js,

BB

IS BAYLINER BLAIN? said...

Bayliner's post resembles one of our former city council's famous phrase, "I don't believe I did anything wrong" Blain Johnson. The stench from both of these is overwhelming. Anyone else smell a poser?

Disgusted said...

As I recall the Godfrey administration termed up the BDO with the Boyer Company for 50 years as well. Sweet heart deal on the revenue split as well. Godfrey will go down as one of the worst contract negotiators in City history.

Dan S. said...

Actually the BDO management agreement with Boyer was finalized in the last days of the Mecham administration, over the loud objections of mayor-elect Godfrey. (Your confusion is understandable, because Godfrey has repeatedly claimed credit for all the jobs Boyer has brought to BDO.)

An important difference is that the BDO agreement was publicly reported and debated and finally approved by the council, while the 21st Street Pond agreement was made unilaterally by the administration and its terms were never even disclosed to the city council or to the public.

Dave said...

"Is Bayliner Blain"

It is too funny that "Bayliner" uses the name of a second rate boat while making a second rate comment!

And no, I don't think "Bayliner" is Blaine, but another lame brained ex-councilman with not class or integrity - by the name of Bill G.
Neither one did one decent thing for the citizens while in office, so I can see where the two could be confused with one another.

AWM said...

In the document named OGDEN RAIL YARD SITE AND 21ST STREET POND
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT PLAN
December, 2008..21st street Pond is referenced as "now named Goode Pond". Apparently the name was also changed in exchange for the $5,000.

ozboy said...

Aw, common "Dave" why don't you cut "Bill G" some slack?

The way I see it, Bill G won the council election with a big majority based on his full frontal attack on most everything the mayor does and stands for. Once in office he got a whole different view of how and what was going on in city government and changed the opinions he had pre-election. So finding himself unable to represent and act on what got him elected to begin with, he did the only honorable thing which was to resign. I don't think many people who found themselves in that predicament would have done the right thing like Bill did, but instead would have hung on to office as long as they could.

What would you have done in the same situation?

Danny said...

Bayliner says,

"Giving it away was a wise move and Smith should find another windmill to joust with. I doubt he'll get much mayoral mileage from exposing this deal."

This speaks for itself. Godfrey supporters will never see the light even when it's blasting them in the face.

Here somebody does some work and exposes a situation where a public asset was given away for nothing. Now, the public can debate it on it's merits. What's wrong with that?

And give credit to the SE for printing this commentary.

Also, it's ironic that in the same time frame that we were all worried about Godfrey giving the golf course away, he was in fact, giving away another public asset of perhaps comparable value.

What else, one wonders, lies beneath the surface?

Bee in my Bonnet said...

Danny -- what else indeed ...

Dorrene Jeske said...

Godfrey sold Ogden out not just to Goode, but also to his old pal Peterson (of gondola fame). Dan S. is correct, the council knew none of the details of the deal with Goode.

In the 2006-2007 time frame the council was approached by a Mr. McEuan who showed his plans for the amphitheater/ meeting/ wedding-reception center. It was a very exciting concept with a retractable ceiling over the 20,000 seat amphitheater so that it could be used year round. He had commitments for a state-the-art sound system that could attract big-name performers, and we wouldn’t be forced to go to the E-Center and cringe when we heard Neil Diamond and others over their sound system that was geared to sporting events. He had it all planned out for using FrontRunner and having a little train to run between the FrontRunner Station and the amphitheater for those who didn’t want to walk the four blocks on a pleasant summer evening. He had talked with Marriott-Slaterville officials so that families could use a park near the facility that was in the planning process also. The building was three-stories with an all-glass wall facing the pond where rooms for meetings and conferences could be rented. There would be a wedding/reception center with the pond as a backdrop. Mr. McEuan left us that night with the promise that he would be back when he had the funding for the facility.

He returned in 2008, and said that he was doing well in the fund raising, but didn’t have quite enough. Imagine that! We could have had a first-class attraction in Ogden that was not financed by the taxpayers! Then Peterson entered the picture in 2009, meeting with council members individually and told us that he had plans for the land by the 21st Pond and asked for our support.

In 2010, after I was no longer a part of the council, I received a letter from Mr. McEuan asking for the council to intercede in his behalf with what Godfrey was planning for the area. Apparently Peterson failed to produce a development plan (sound familiar?) as we have heard nothing.

Godfrey, in spite of a few good things that he has done, has also done as many bad things to Ogden that have cost Ogden dearly. If he had let Mr. McEuan build his amphitheater complex, Ogden could have thousands of people coming here instead of Park City, Deer Valley and Salt Lake to concerts, and having dinner in Ogden or even staying over night and shopping on 25th St. and at some of our other unique shops the next day.

This along with his deal with Goode are just a couple of examples where Godfrey did not do what was in the best interest of Ogden.

BTW, David, that was an excellent commentary in the paper today. Thanks for bringing to light one of Godfrey's underhanded deals, and the chance for me to get off my chest something that has been bothering me.

AWM said...

This off the Goode Web site:

GOODE Ski Lake is located in Ogden, UT. On June 3, 2008, amidst a big celebration, the Mayor of Ogden, Utah renamed the 21st Street Pond to "GOODE Ski Lake".

"All of us are overwhelmed with the realization of the vision of the lake.", said Mayor Matthew Godfrey. "It will be a tremendous introduction to people as the gateway to Ogden. GOODE Ski Lake fits well with our City's efforts to become an outdoor recreation mecca."

"We are planning to expand the newly named GOODE Ski Lake into a World-Class water ski venue located in Downtown Ogden, Utah.", said Dave Goode. "Ogden is in a great location and certainly is a city on the move. Dawn and I are honored to have the lake named after our company."

GOODE Ski Lake has 29 acres of surface water and features a slalom course. The lake is 9 feet deep and has a flat bottom, perfect for shortline slalom skiing. The slalom set-ups are quite short, however Zero-Off does a great job of getting the boat to speed before the skier enters the slalom course.

GOODE Ski Lake gets its water from the the Ogden River, which collects water from a 323 square mile watershed area. There is a controlled water outlet to help maintain the proper lake level.

GOODE Ski Lake is used primarily for GOODE's Research and Development efforts, but also hosts periodic water ski tournaments. A hiking/biking path connects to a large network of other trails, together which make up the Ogden Pathways.

GOODE Ski Lake is typically skied on from March 1st - November 30th. During the summer month temperatures in Ogden are in the 90's with calm winds. Water temperatures will climb to near 90 degrees.

What will it cost us said...

How much has the mayor promised away on his personal not public blackberry or whatever he uses to keep his underground cronies informed. Secret meetings with "G" Train, Fischer, both Geigers, Tom Moore and his other blind followers.

The SL Trib should pick this up as to why Gramma works and don't mess with it.


Thanks SE for actually printing what a city newsprint should be all over.

Dorrene Jeske said...

Dan S.

I seem to remember something about the City getting the deed for that land from UDOT. The Mayor and Patterson were quite excited about it.

AWM said...

21st Street Pond was deeded over to the city by UDOT and then Godfrey signs over the water surface rights for 50 years to Goode sometime in 2008 (can't find a hard date but that's when the ceremony was). So..for the past 3 years the 86,000 residents of Ogden are barred from using a publicly owned pond for watercraft receation (kayak/canoe/flyfishing pontoon-tube etc) while one Corporate CEO has unfettered access for himself and his company based on what appears to be a $5,000 campaign donation. At some time in school somebody had to have had the little pukes head in a porcelein prince giving him a swirly. If only they would have kept his head under there until he stopped kicking...c'mon fess up...who let him walk out the boys room?

AWM said...

Falls right in line with what Godfrey is doing:

Off the SLC Trib website:

Last year, after the new law passed banning former lawmakers from pocketing leftover donations, eight former legislators still ended up paying themselves and family members a combined $35,300 from such funds.

Most of that was from a $30,000 loan repayment that former Sen. Jon Greiner, R-Ogden, made to himself. Greiner said when he ran in 2006, he had trouble raising money. “So I loaned myself 30,000 so I could run,” he said. “I promised myself that if there were any money left at the end, I would repay myself.”

And we all know Greiner is a man of his word

Stan said...

Jeske, are you saying the McKuen guy was ready, or almost ready financially, to proceed with the amphitheater and Godfrey shut him down in favor of the Goode give away?

What was Peterson's plans for the pond?

By the way, two points here:

1. Big entertainment acts generally do not use house sound systems in their performances. They travel with extensive equipment that they and their crews are familiar with. That is why they usually have 5 to 20 large semi trucks full of gear that they haul around the country for their shows - lighting, sound, props, sets, etc.

2. The McKuen fellow you mention is the son of the well known performer Rod McKuen which gave him some credibility in relation to raising large amounts of money. He also represented himself to be a major concert and events promoter although there was scant evidence to substantiate that.

You were a great representative of the people when you were on the council. Perhaps the last of Ogden's honest politicians. Thank you for all you do for the people of Ogden.

Rich G. said...

Did Doreen say, "...we wouldn’t be forced to go to the E-Center and cringe when we heard Neil Diamond and others over their sound system that..."

Neil Diamond?

That one sentancealone is enough to bar a citizen from holding public office.
Liking Neil Diamond is tantamount to "liking" the common cold.

When did freedom disappear said...

Different generations like different things, Rich G. Sounds like you're a narrow-minded, freedom-hater Satan worshipper.

I believe we still are allowed to like whomever we want.

Biker Babe said...

by Cringe, she meant cringing at the building acoustics messing up a good thing, no matter the artist performing

js

BB

blackrulon said...

Bayliner-I always find it amusing the defense given by Godfrey loyalists and apologistes. Instead of being curious as to the reasons for the giveaway you disparage the value of the property. If Ogden is to become a recreation mecca it would seem that having more venues would be a positive sign.It would be a mpre productive use of your time to update your ressume for futher employment. You might also consider retaining legal representation if criminal investigations discover legal violations.

Bayliner said...

Blaine, Bill, who cares who Bayliner is? What does it matter? The emphasis of my post was about the Pond, not the writer. I wonder, how many WCFers really want to "picnic" at that Pond, or do ANYTHING at that Pond? Think about attending some concert there, with the breeze out of the West blowing the fragrance of that monstrous pile of refuse and garbage to waft through the crowds? Sounds wonderful....it might add to a Cat Stevens concert, though.

That being said, I agree that the Pond is yet one more notch in Godfrey's "selling out the people" pistola. True, it's only a Pond, and it ABSOLUTELY is not "another public asset of perhaps comparable value" as Danny writes (MOCC is worth millions; the Pond, nowhere near that amount) but this deal too is representative of many of Godfrey's, shall we say, "shady" transactions.

And Danny, it's not so much that some of us are Godfrey supporters (we're most likely not what the term "supporter" defines) but instead we are certain WCF blogger distractors in that when is enough enough? It's nearly over now folks and maybe the time has come to concentrate on the future rather than the past where not much can be done about it.

Biker Babe, I think I'd go sneak in the Lorrin Farr pool rather than the 21st St. Pond in order to take advantage of a public facility.

I do, however, like David Smith, who is not that idiot "DAVE," and especially the cases he can make. My suggestion here, which he can take or leave, is to use his talents to sink his teeth into something more substantial than the Pond deal. Maybe Ozboy is right, and we're starting to get a taste of a guy who IS qualified to hold the esteemed office of Ogden's Mayor. If Smith can shred the Pond deal like he did, I wonder what he can do to one of the more significant Godfrey shenanigans?

Curmudgeon said...

Good reply, Bayliner, particularly on the notion, all too prevalent in these parts, that posting adisagreement one one point of policy means the poster is necessarily a blind Godfryista.

Now, on the pond: Perfectly adequate access for Goode to test its products and run competitions could easily have been arranged without granting exclusive private use of the pond for half a century. I know of one instance in which someone applied to use an arm of the pond not used by Goode for competition or testing, and was denied. It was Mr. Peterson who was interested in testing a rotary dragline [electric]for water skiing to offer inexpensive, no-boat-needed water skiing close to downtown. Goode I understand said no.

I don't know if Mr. Peterson's idea was a good one or not, or would have succeeded or not. But the decision to grant or deny him access to the pond should have been in the hands of the city, not exclusively in Goode's hands.

One final point: I note over on the SE comments board, some people are pounding on Goode for the arrangement. Gotta tell ya, if I was a businessman and the city of Ogden offered me a sweetheart deal like this, I'd grab it. Protecting the public interest is the Mayor's responsibility, and the Council's. It is not [primarily] the Goode company's.

ozboy said...

Bayliner

I agree with Mr. Curmudgeon on your post.

In my opinion David Smith is one of the very best potential mayoral candidates in Ogden. Unfortunately he has made it abundantly clear over the past couple of years that he is not interested. Something about having a satisfying and challenging career already. Probably makes more money than the mayor's job as well.

Oh well, we can dream about it anyway.

I sure hope some one with integrity, compassion for the people and very little baggage steps forward and takes on the already announced field - none of whom appear to have any different ideas than Godfrey. I also would not count Godfrey out regardless of what he has said recently. Really, he lies about so many things, who says this time will be any different.

Dorrene Jeske said...

Mr. McEuan did have most of the funding that he needed when he returned. He didn’t seem to care that Goode was there as it had always been Godfrey’s plan to have competitions on the straight part of the pond and the part in front of the amphitheater was for patrons of the amphitheater or for family activities: rowing, fishing, etc. I think it was Peterson who fouled his plans. Peterson did not tell us what his plans. He said that he was not ready to go public with his project.
This McEuan did not spell his name McKuen so I don’t think that he is the son of Rod McKuen.
You’re welcome, it was my honor and pleasure to serve and represent the residents of Ogden of Ogden for four years. I wish that my health had allowed me to run for and serve another four years. And thank you for the compliment – it was the way I was taught.

Bayliner said...

I've heard some good (pardon the play on words) things about David Smith and it is a shame that someone of his character won't get in the race. I also agree that it would be in everyone's best interest to keep an eye on Godfrey. This thing of his has just seemed to come about too easy.

As for the pond, well, it's there and will serve the purposes of Goode rather well. Too bad it's at the public expense, even though I still maintain that I wouldn't spend much time there. But then, that's just me.

Other than this Dave character, who keeps beating the same old drum, this has been a pretty good thread and I've learned much from those who have contributed. My appreciation to you all and I look forward to more substantive discussion.

Churl said...

The mayor knew what was going to be coming to light during the run up to the election, and did not want to have to answer all the questions that a vigorous opponent would raise.
So he is running away from an unfinished job, to keep, he thinks, from going to prison.

blackrulon said...

Bayliner The real question is what tax revenue did the deal generate. How many jobs were gained by giving Goode exclusive rights for 50 years. Don't tell me that Goode got the pond and all Ogden gained was another contributor to the Godfrey reelection campaign.

Kelly Ripa is a fox said...

This was obviously an example of bribe money changing hands in an administration back room. Without even the Chicago-pretense of a construction contract. Seeing the size of the land and it's eventual value in 50 years?
Probably a cool million or more.

Someones kids are going to go to a fancy private school!

ozboy said...

Dorrene

It seems to me that I remember the the McKuen kid making a big deal of all his great rock and roll and music industry connections because he was the son of Rod McKuen. He also represented himself as a major force in the Salt Lake Concert scene. I am of the impression this last part was not necessarily true and therefore the son of Rod McKuen thing might not have been either. There are a lot of people on the fringes of the music and entertainment business who are as full of crap as a Christmas Goose. They lie about who they are, who they are related to and who they know. There is so much BS going on around the fringes of show biz it reminds one of the Godfrey administration.

OneWhoKnows said...

Scott Brown back from vacation?

NeverADullMomentInOgden said...

One,

The last word on Scott Brown is that he is living on one of the Cayman Islands close to the money he embezzeled and hid from the City. There ain't been any arson fires lately so I'm sure he's not in Ogden. (Snicker, snicker)

Dorrene Jeske said...

Tom,

We're not talking about the same McEuan.

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