Thursday, July 26, 2012

Some Things Change in Ogden While Others Stay the Same

Mayor’s office touts prescription drug drop-box, Forbes ranking

By Dan Schroeder

It’s the last Thursday of the month, and Ogden newspaper subscribers know what that means: time for the monthly “Ogden Update” nearly-full-page advertisement from the mayor’s office!

In this month’s installment you can read about upcoming events like the Tour of Utah bike race and Night Out Against Crime. You can also read about the recently opened Hilton Garden Inn and about the new plans for twice-weekly commercial air service between Ogden and Mesa, AZ.

There are two more items, though, which I think are especially noteworthy.

First, at long last, the city has announced that a year-round prescription drug disposal bin has been installed in the lobby of the downtown Public Safety Building at 2186 Lincoln. The bin is available to residents from 8 am until 10 pm daily.

Regular Weber County Forum readers will remember how more than a year ago the city council proposed an ordinance requiring the installation of such a drop box. Police Chief Greiner objected loudly, for reasons that never made any sense. To all appearances, the Godfrey-Greiner administration was against the idea merely because the council was for it. Needless to say, the controversy-averse council backed down.

Although there’s no sign that the city council is any less timid than last year, we now have a new mayor and a new police chief. It would appear that the new administration is less petty, and the drop box has been installed with a minimum of fuss.

A second noteworthy item appears under the headline, “Forbes ranks Ogden, Utah, #6 Best City in US for Business and Careers.” Here’s a scan of this short blurb (click to enlarge):

What you would never know from reading this is that the Forbes ranking doesn’t look at individual cities; it looks at metropolitan statistical areas, for which the government publishes the most up-to-date economic data. The distinction is critical in our case because the Ogden-Clearfield MSA includes all of Weber, Davis, and Morgan counties. Ogden City accounts for only 15% of the MSA’s population and only 25% of its jobs. So the chances are that a high (or low) ranking for the Ogden-Clearfield MSA says more about Davis County and the Weber County suburbs than it does about Ogden City. Without further information, there’s no basis for the mayor of Ogden to take credit.

Of course, the distinction between Ogden City and the Ogden-Clearfield MSA never stopped Mayor Godfrey from taking credit whenever the MSA did well in one of these rankings. When it comes to puffy political rhetoric, Mayor Caldwell is proving to be no different.


Smaatguy said...

LOL...the P&G plant was $300 mil...and its in Bear River City in BOX ELDER county....can we also lay claim to the development in the news today for Bear Lake?

What's a few hundred million and a county away anyways....

Dan S. said...

Meanwhile, I'm working on a much long article that dissects some of the high rankings that the Ogden MSA got last year. Stay tuned.

Neal Cassidy said...

These are the important announcements Ogden residents might miss because we do not have an egomanical mayor hosting his own "ask the mayor" call in show.

Dan S. said...

Almost forgot that the Forbes ranking was covered in the Standard-Examiner last month:

Bob Becker said...

Well, of the Caldwell administration, I think it can be said at least that it's not inflicted a series of bizarre boomer pie-in-the-sky taxpayer funded mega projects on us .... downtown year round outdoor ice climbing towers, flatland gondolas to WSU,  megabucks downtown field house/track/tennis building/pool and what have you structures... and so on.

This is good. But also have to note that besides an unproven twice a week scheduled airline service to almost-Phoenix, we haven't seen much from the Administration aimed at significantly improving life and/or work right here in Junction City.    There's been a  little movement on the river development project, though it remains to be seen if it will be successful. The stealth-opened Hilton Garden Inn, the success of which [and the impact on Ogden's existing hotels of which] remains to be seen.  Nothing much seems to be happening at the Windsor Hotel site.  The oft-touted by Former Hizzonah Ogden riverside amphitheater seems as moribund as ever, which is I guess neither a big surprise nor a bad thing.

Perhaps there are slow developing Caldwell plans and projects beavering away below the radar that we, WCF  and the SE, are not aware of. But the Mayor ought to know that "things are more peaceful than they were under Former Hizzonah," however calming by comparison it might be, will not suffice much longer as the hallmark of Caldwell's administration.   

Folks are starting to wonder, I think, "Watcha been up to, Mike?"

Anne said...

The problem with all this self congratulations in Utah is that much of it has been accomplished by the powers that be at the county and state level by ignoring existing ordinances, conflict of interest fiascos, failure to collect delinquent property taxes of large corporations, etc., etc. 

The all out zeal to promote growth and expansion in Utah has resulted in selling our soul to the corporate interests at the expense of reasonable growth tempered by the effect it has our our other citizens. 

The mantra for the County Commissioners and some state legislators is grow, grow, grow, no matter the cost.  

Dan S. said...

Just got my monthly utility bill and the same blurb about the Forbes ranking appears as the top article in this month's insert ("At Your Service" newsletter, August 2012 issue). Doesn't seem to be posted on the city's web site yet.

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