Monday, September 05, 2011

Standard-Examiner Letter: Van Hooser Will Work to Create Unity

Fantastic letter to the editor in the Standard-Examiner hard-copy edition this morning from former Councilwoman Dorrene Jeske, who served on the Council with two of the 2011 mayoral candidates, Susan Van Hooser and Brandon Stephenson. We're re-publishing this article in its original full text, with the permission of Ms. Jeske:
Van Hooser will work to create unity
By Dorrene Jeske
Standard-Examiner Contributed
Wed, 08/31/2011 - 2:25pm

(UNEDITED) Susan Van Hooser is able to assume the responsibilities of mayor without any down time because she deals with city problems daily as an involved council member. She has the knowledge and experience needed. She is a strong leader successfully holding leadership positions in numerous organizations including Council Vice Chair. She is conscientious in her responsibilities to the citizens of Ogden, researching the impact of new city ordinances on citizens. She will work diligently to create a feeling of unity in Ogden.

I have worked with both Susie and Brandon Stephenson on the council and believe that you never really know a person until you either live or work with them. Seeing them in church and totally different situations does not give a complete picture of someone. The Council never elected Brandon as Council Chair or Vice Chair in the seven and a half years he's been on the Council. Why? The State League of Cities and Towns removed him from the legislative committee. Because he missed their meetings? He told me once that he didn't need to vote as his constituents wanted because they would understand.

The fact that Ogden is nearing its bonding limit, and city debt is almost $100 million is a concern. City business procedures would remain much the same under Brandon because the Mayor has mentored him and he sees nothing ethically wrong in accepting large campaign donations from PACs/PALs and businesses as well as their owners (a campaign finance loophole).

Dorrene Jeske
A couple of observations before we turn over the floor to our gentle readers for discussion:
  • Ms. Jeske worked elbow-to-elbow with both Van Hooser and Stephenson during her 2006-10 council tenure, and is thus in a much better position to evaluate each of these candidates' strengths and weaknesses than than most folks who write letters to the editor; so we therefore believe this letter is particularly notable.
  • Until this very morning, we were entirely unaware that Brandon got booted from the State League of Cities and Towns legislative committee; and we wonder why. Can anyone fill us in on this?
That's it for now O Gentle Ones.

Who'll be the first to throw in their own 2¢?


blackrulon said...

I must respectfully disagree with Ms. Jeske's letter that mentioned Brandon Stephenson. He almost always voted the way his constituent desired. that is of course his main constituent Matthew Godfrey. His being removed from the State League of Cities and Town legislative committee is easily understood. When he was unable to look to his left for Godfreys approval on voting he was confused and totally incapable of forming his own opinions on the matters being discussed.

Dorrene Jeske said...

I didn't have space in my letter to go into the details of why Brandon was dismissed from the legislative committee, but I did allude to the fact that it may have been because he didn't attend their meetings.  My sister who was a council member in South Ogden was on that same legislative committee and told me that he never attended the meetings.  When Brandon was released, the council offered to replace him with a representative from our council, but they would not even consider anyone from our council after Brandon's performance.

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