Sunday, October 30, 2011

Standard-Examiner: Caldwell, Stephenson Both Promise to Boost Ogden's Future

Both candidates bravely vow: "We will not (repeat NOT) "reinvent the wheel'"

The Standard-Examiner devotes a generous volume of ink in its latest contribution to the discussion in re the 2011 Ogden Municipal Election Mayoral Race, with this morning's relatively protracted (5919 words) front page story, profiling the heretofore virtually indistinguishable candidates Mike "Tweedle dum" Caldwell and Brandon "Tweedle Dee" Stephenson, and further focusing on their respective experience, platforms and goals. Here's the lede:
OGDEN -- Mayoral candidates Brandon Stephenson and Mike Caldwell are both confident their government, professional and leadership experiences will enable them to lead Ogden along a trajectory as a city on the rise.

Stephenson, 42, concluding his second term on the city council, and Caldwell, 40, Weber County's public information officer and manager of the Weber County Ice Sheet, face each other in the Nov. 8 general election.
Read the full Scott Schwebke story here:
What's apparent is that at least at this late point in the game, the candidates are now trying to differentiate themselves one from the other, (slightly at least), with Caldwell's emphasis on "tourism" and "neighborhood safety," and Stephenson's continuing focus on Big-government-propelled "economic development."

Nevertheless, their platforms are still so similar that each of them promises not to "reinvent the wheel," (whatever obscure meaning that trite cliche is supposed to convey).

So what about it? Do any of our readers see even "a dime's worth of difference" between these two candidates, in view of this morning's SE story?

Have at it, O Gentle Readers.

And stay tuned, folks, a little birdy tells us that boffo WCF contributor Chester Hop-a-long will be offering a few more choice words on the subject of the 2011 Ogden City Mayoral Race here at Weber County Forum early this afternoon, for your political mirth, merriment and enlightenment.


althepal said...

"not 'reinvent the wheel"  = "keep borrowing and spending 'til hell freezes"

OgdenInformedVoter said...

It's time to give up on finding any difference between the two candidates' platforms. Voters will just have to decide on the basis of their resumes and who their friends are.

Stephenson: Ogden government insider and Godfrey sycophant with no leadership experience. Ordinary guy who genuinely believes the main purpose of government is to subsidize business. Base of support doesn't go much beyond his local ward.

Caldwell: Well connected to power and money throughout the county and beyond. Genuine record of leadership and getting things done. Works hard to get along with Godfrey's friends and foes alike. Passion for competitive sports.

I don't trust either of 'em, but Caldwell is by far the more interesting choice. Guess I'll vote for him with fingers crossed.

Ditto Me said...

Ditto to the above comment.

blackrulon said...

Stephenson"we will not reinvent the wheel". Will you consider being reintroducted to honesty and ethics in government?

Bob Becker said...

Promising to bring jobs is like standing forsquare for Motherhood, Apple Pie and The Flag come election time.  Both would love to bring many and good paying jobs to Ogden. I don't think either has a well conceived plan likely to do that, or if either has, they haven't let the electorate in on it.

The only thing either of them can do to absolutely create jobs --- for a while --- is build stuff.   That was our last and current Mayo'rs plan:  build, build build [and to do it, borrow, borrow, borrow]. That definitely creates construction jobs, which explains the consistent large contributions to his campaign funds from construction companies.   But construction jobs end when the construction is finished. If what's built doesn't turn out to be economically viable [and The Junction still has the city paying off construction bonds our current Mayor assured the Council and the voters it would not have to do], then the construction jobs, while nice in the short term, don't necessarily produce substantial long term employment gains.    The Junction and River Project experiences [and the happily derailed Gondola and Ice Tower projects] are what have me concerned about both Mr. Caldwell and Mr. Stephenson playing footsie with the proposed downtown mega-bucks fieldhouse/waterpark/tenniscourt/track/who-knows-what-else.

Looking for slight edges to decided a vote,  I'm tilting, with reservations, to Mr. Caldwell.  Two reasons: first, I don't think putting a long time combatant on Mr. Godfrey's side into the Mayor's chair is likely to result in a more cooperative and effective relationship between an independent  Council and the Mayor's office. And second, Mr. Caldwell has stressed improving public education in Ogden as an important means of attracting businesses to Junction City.  I'm not sure how much a Mayor can do along those lines, but I know from hard experience that he's right: city's with a rep for poor schools lose businesses that might otherwise move to them.  I've seen what city leaders [in a city long ago and far away] thought was an absolutely done deal bringing a high tech firm in collapse at the last minute when the head of the firm said his skill people had researched the schools in that city, and had told him they would not move there.  "Without my skill people I don't have a company," he told the city leaders, and the deal fell through. 

For those two reasons, I'll vote for Caldwell.   They don't add  up to much of an edge, but they're enough when I can't find other significant differences. 

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