Tuesday, March 26, 2013

City Council Heads-up: Big Doin's at Tonight's "Not So Regular" Ogden City Council Session - Updated

We encourage all you couch potatoes out there to mosey on down to the council chamber tonight, to join in on all the fun!

For those Weber County Forum readers who might be interested in tonight's Ogden City Council happenings, we've scoured tonight's Council meeting agenda and packet, along with other online sources, and find at least two 3/26/13 Council items which neatly fit our own WCF topical discussion agenda which we'd like to bring to our Gentle Readers' attention, concerning tonight's Regular Council Session:

1) Paris Cafe Permit/Zoning Matter.  First, the Paris Cafe special use permit & zoning matter, which we've been eagerly following since our first WCF story on this topic on March 9, once again rises to the surface as item 7a on tonight's agenda. WCF readers will remember of course that during the last council go-round it appeared that Mr. Earnie McKown's carefully-engineered zoning amendment redefinitions and conditional use permit might might have scored an easy Council slam-dunk, but for Councilwoman Gochnour's last-minute obsession about ignoring the Ogden Planning Commissions own recommendation, and instead micromanaging the precise hours during which Mr. McKown may be allowed to keep his business open and feature the "live music" events which permission he has requested.  Now that the Council has had the additional two weeks to stew over these trivial details, we'll be looking forward to the council's "waking up" as the Standard-Examiner suggests, thus providing Mr. McKown a much needed thumbs up to operate his business in a manner which will not only breathe new life into the dilapidated Harrison Plaza shopping center, but also allow his very economic survival.

Here's a link to tonight's Council packet, for those readers who'd like to dig a little bit deeper:
2) "Not Going Away! "Group" Talk-in".  Here's another interesting item which unfortunately is not technically included in tonight's agenda, but which we can reasonably expect to dominate the council's attention once the agenda turns to item 9, Public Comments, nonetheless.  By way of background, the Standard offered a slightly tangential preview story on this subject last week, wherein it reported that "[Matthew] Stewart’s family and friends are lobbying the Ogden City Council on issues from the [Stewrt] case," among other things:
Upon a little more internet digging, we find that tonight's planned appearance falls a little more broadly than the Matthew Stewart matter alone however, and that members of the activist "Not Going Away!" group's council chamber assembled-membership actually plans to lobby the council tonight, and additionally address a full range of "police militarization" issues similar to those embraced both in Tim Gurrister's most informative March 24 S-E front-page story and those also set forth in our own WCF on March 7 writeup, in which we described the ACLU's recently announced  nationwide police militarization investigation.  For our readers' convenience, and to provide a little "background," we link accordingly each of these articles below:
And here's a link to the "Not Going Away!" group's Facebook page, for those readers who'd like to learn a little more about the objectives of this recently emerged citizen activist group, which plans to address the Council tonight:
We've learned privately, by the way, that this group's had resistance in getting this matter formally calendered for tonight's session, so they're adopting an alternative tactic of stepping up to the council mik and getting their message across, ad seriatim, during the council's regularly-allotted three-minute segments instead. We've coined in the headline the term "talk-in," which is our term and not theirs, although we do believe it captures the "gist" of tonight's "group" political action tactic.

Needless to say, tonight's Council Session stands to be informative and possibly quite lively.  Perhaps tonight might prove to be the kind of event you won't want to miss; so we encourage all you couch potatoes out there to heed our advice and mosey on down to the council chamber this evening, to join in on all the fun!

Big Meetin' Tonight!

Update 3/27/13 5:15 a.m.: The Standard carries a Mitch Shaw post-meeting story this morning, reporting that the Council finally got around to approving the zoning ordinance amendments which Mr. McKown has been ever so patiently awaiting, although now he faces further city red tape. There's a "catch," Mr Shaw reports, inasmuch as Mr. McKown will now be compelled to trot right back back over to the Planning Commission, to apply for a conditional use permit to get the city’s approval for live music, thus beginning another Big Government process which could conceivably chew up at least another couple of weeks:
Something to carefully ponder, wethinks, the next time one of the local print media rolls out one of those infernal puff pieces touting Ogden City as a "great place to do business," No?

Strangely enough however, there's not even a peep from the Standard concerning last night's Not Going Away! Talk-in, although we do learn from the group's Facebook page that there were apparently "many good comments and statements" and a "pretty good turn out." Elsewhere on Facebook, one rally attendee also hinted that the Mayor and Council gave the group's presentation what we'd characterize as a "cool reception," for what that's worth. So we suppose we'll have to wait for the release of last night's council video, which should provide a glimpse of  the group's public comment segment, in order to wrap up last night's Council session story and determine how it all worked out.

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