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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Weber County Forum

Two Weber County Blogs react to Senator Bramble's op-ed piece in the Standard Examiner:

Weber County Forum

and

The Good In Ogden

One loves him, the other hates him. You’ll have to decide for yourself where you stand on the Government-Needs-Your-Home-More-Than-You issue.

14 Comments:

Anonymous tom owens said...

The vast majority of people in Ogden agree with Senator Bramble on this evil eminent domain issue. There are tens of thousands of citizens in town that look to him as a guardian angel.

"The Good in Ogden" site is very thin on content, intellect and followers. It is the "house organ" for Mayor Godfrey and his small band of groupies that think they can spend their way to greatness - with tax payer money.

The bottom line is that Mayor Godfrey, and his Godfreyites, have been in office for six and a half years now, they have spent tens of millions of public money, and they have not had one single success to show for any of it.

Their latest scheme is to sell off one of the city's crown jewels - the Mount Ogden park and golf course - to finance a gondola through town and up the mountain to a proposed resort that supposedly will be built by Earl Holding's son in law.

Meanwhile the Mayor and his minions are ignoring the crumbling infastructure of Ogden, and the city continues to rot under the streets while he fiddles away and has dreams of granduer.

I would venture to guess that Mayor Godfrey is the most despised leader in Ogden's history.

3/15/2006 10:41 AM  
Anonymous rick s said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/15/2006 6:58 PM  
Anonymous rick s said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/15/2006 7:07 PM  
Anonymous tom owens said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/15/2006 7:14 PM  
Anonymous rick said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/15/2006 7:50 PM  
Anonymous ralph said...

7.six ski companies relocated to Ogden in the last 18 months because of Godfey go ask them why.
8.Major luxury Hotel company has been in Ogden 2 dozen times hashing out the details of there 225 million dollar hotel with a gondola running through the 2nd floor. on and on and on.

3/15/2006 8:05 PM  
Blogger The Senate Site said...

Rick S:

When you return from anger management class tonight, please think about resubmitting your comments. Your thoughts were informative, but the language and personal nature of the attack crossed the line. I hope you will resubmit. (If you don’t remember what you wrote, send me a private E-mail, and I’ll send you the text. Thanks.)

Tom:

Your second comment may not have crossed the line to the same degree, but it certainly helped escalate the negative personal attacks. Out of fairness, I’m taking it out as well.

All:

Smart, honest people disagree. Constantly. Let’s keep the discussion focused on policy: what is right, not who is right.

We rarely delete comments from the Senate Site - but we're not going to host a rock fight. Good policy is usually born from honest, civil, informed discussion. Thank you for understanding.

Ralph:

Thank you for your post. Good additions.




For the sake of continuity, the first half of Ralph’s list (above) is as follows:

Mayor Godfrey’s Successes (salvaged from Rick S’s third comment)...

1.Twin Rivers project thousands working in downtown.

2.Ampitheatre downtown.

3.Intermodul HUB waiting and ready for commuter rail unlike the other cities with stops.

4.Times square project

5.Union Square project

6.The Junction (Larry Miller megaplex, Earnshaw Building, Rec Center all coming very soon.)

3/15/2006 8:57 PM  
Anonymous Frank Bush said...

I would urge anyone who is interested in Ogden politics, the very most exciting, controversial and rough & tumble in the state - to read the Weber County forum. Then look at the Good in Ogden site to get the views of the status quo defenders.

Pretty exciting stuff going on in old Ogden town these days! Ogden always was a brawling sort of place, and this war going on there now is no exception.

3/17/2006 2:17 PM  
Anonymous tom owens said...

Well I certainly hope that I did not offend the delicate sensibilities of my Republican brothers and sisters here in Utah with my contributory bad boy remarks to Rick S. That was not my intention.

I would also like to offer my apology to the Democrats in Utah and hope that I didn't offend either one of them.

Being Ogden born and raised, and a true son of that great place, I am by nature a bit aggresive when it comes to defending my home town. I didn't so much mind Rick's vitriolic attack against me personally as much as I detest what he and the rest of the Godfreyites are doing to Ogden with their grand and mostly ridiculous and failing schemes.

As to their list of "accomplishments" of Mayor Godfrey I would like to reply:

l. "Twin Rivers project, thousands working in Ogden"

Well now that sounds pretty great, but those thousands were already working in Ogden - for the IRS. This was merely a move from one location to another within the city. There was no net job increase, this was a Federal Government deal, it was initiated in the prior mayor's term. Godfrey had very little to do with any of it except it came to fruition during his term.

2. "Ampitheartre downtown"

Check it out, it is a bandstand behind the City Building. It is mostly known for the controversy stirred up when the mayor defied the city council and spent a grundle of money on bleachers that they didn't approve and didn't want. It sits empty most of the time. Any attempts to make money with it have failed. Every since the mayor screwed up the successful street festival it has fallen into disuse with very rare events held there. Some success story!

3. "Intermodul HUB"

A state UTA project that has been in the works since before Godfrey's time. Again he had little to do with it other than it was completed during his term.

4. "Times square project"

Once again initiated during the Mayor Meacham term.
Completed two years ago, empty, for sale for two years, for rent for two years, so far un-saleable and un-rentable. Actually a pretty nice building.

5. "Union Square project"

This has been a real fiasco. It was a public private partnership that cost $4 million. $2 million was public money that has almost certainly been lost. The project was forced into bankruptcy, the contractors were left with large amounts owing and the mayor arrogantly telling them tough! It was sold to a real estate company that has been selling to the public. Other than a few of the street front stores the place is empty and has a ghost town feel to it. The sellers have been offering the units for no down payment and a 20% grant from the city to any one who will buy them. They claim to be sold out, but again it doesn't appear that any one is moving in. I have heard that people that did buy are having a hard time closing because of problems with the city. Check it out, the places have a real cheap and spooky feel to them, not any place you would want to raise your kids.

6 ."The Junction (Larry Miller megaplex, Earnshaw Building, Rec Center all coming very soon.)"

This has been the most derisive project in the city's history. Larry Miller has not signed on to the project yet. The Rec center is stalled because the city didn't do proper due diligence and there were underground fuel tanks that were ruptured and contaminated the soil. The project has been going on for four years, the citizens are into it for maybe $30 million so far and there hasn't been a brick laid. The mayor, in his hubris, illegally took $10 million from a BDO fund which was in violation of the US Army contract, was criminally investigated for it, and had to borrow money to give it back. He unilaterally had a building torn down and was sued by the Woodbury Corporation for $5 million and had to borrow that amount to get out of that jam. Throughout the four year ordeal he repeatedly promised the citizens of Ogden that because of TIF financing they would never be liable for the cost of the $18 million dollar high tech recreation center that is the corner stone for the project. Then in a last minute bait and switch he and the old lame duck council reneged on those promises and now the citizens are in fact on the hook big time thanks to guarantees of income from the BDO (the only successful venture that Ogden owns). In addition every other RDA project in Ogden is pledged to guarantee this incredibly risky venture. This incidentally contributes to why the Legaspi Supermarket deal will most likely not be built in Ogden. If the Rec center ever is built it will end up costing the citizens of Ogden $20 million dollars. A building of that value would normally rent for at least $200,000 per month. The Mayor has done a long term deal with a couple of small local business guys for $55,000 per month, which translates into a $1,740,000 per year subsidy to the two, un-tested on this level, guys that are taking very little risk in comparison. This all done with no feasibility study other than a very feeble one by the two beneficiaries of this largess. The only possible bright spot is that the Boyer Company is the over all developer on the project and with their history it may come to fruition. However, under the terms of their contract with the city they can take a hike, at their own discretion any time they want, and with the whole city being in hawk they are taking very little risk.

7. "six ski companies relocated to Ogden in the last 18 months because of Godfey go ask them why."

I think the number is really 5. The biggest, and only significant one so far is Scott. They are moving from Clearfield about 9 miles away because they need more space. This move doesn't appear to have anything to do with the Mayor. There are no jobs gained to the area as the employees will be driving to BDO instead of the Freeport Center. There is some indication that Rossignol will be building a warehouse at BDO, but they recently announced their company is moving to Park City, said news causing great gnashing of teeth in the Godfreyite movement. Descente moved its US rep and his small 5 man staff to Ogden several years ago because this is the guy’s hometown. There are a couple of other extremely small ski oriented companies that have moved here recently. Other than Scott, and Rossignol if they do come, there is less than a dozen employee’s total. It has been said in town that all together they do not contribute as much to Ogden's economy as any given corner "C" store.

8. "Major luxury Hotel company has been in Ogden 2 dozen times hashing out the details of their 225 million dollar hotel with a gondola running through the 2nd floor."

Two dozen times hashing out details? And nobody outside of the mayor's circle has a clue who they are! How many details could there be before there was some actual action or PR? The only other hotel in this area is languishing with very low occupancy. It is hard to imagine that some one would throw $225 million at such a troubled situation as this is. (part of the aforementioned mall project) The gondola is an extreme long shot that the mayor is desperately trying to put together, it is not gaining traction with any one in town outside of the small group of Godfrey supporters. The latest wrinkle in his attempt is to conduct a series of secret meetings with small numbers of council members in order to sell them on the scheme without having to satisfy open meeting laws. This has been his style every since he has been in office, and earned the last council the reputation of being rubber stampers. All of the mayor's supporters on that old council that were up for re-election Lost by large margins! He is proposing to sell off the Mount Ogden Golf Course to finance this ill-advised scheme. I think history tells us how this might fly. We all know what happens when you mess with the cow pasture pool enthusiasts amongst us!

One thing that did catch my eye with Rick's reply was that he didn't mention the "American Can Project" This, up to recently, has been one of the mayor's main bragging points. The citizens of Ogden are into it $8 million bucks counting the parking lot. It is another public private partnership. It is mostly empty and by all appearances another complete failure. One of the two partners is teetering on bankruptcy because of it, the other is bravely taking a huge loss but is reported to be very unhappy about unkept promises.

All in all a very sad record of "success" if you ask me!

Meanwhile I saw in the paper yesterday where Lehi has a deal going where they are getting 1,850 new jobs which will pay around $50 grand per year each, while Mayor Godfrey is running around Europe pricing gondola cars for a project that hasn't even been presented to the city council yet, and is an extreme long shot at ever happening.

In spite of all, I do have faith that Ogden will survive this ridiculousness and thrive in the future. It is a great place with a great history and might fine people.

3/19/2006 7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/20/2006 1:50 PM  
Anonymous The Senate Site said...

All: We deleted the comment posted at 1:50 p.m. This is a family program. I think. The deleted comment was four words long, discussed no policy matter, and conveyed only profanity, alienation and anger. Clearly the guy dislikes Tom's opinion, but didn't address anything in Tom's post.

Ogden . . . what is in the water over there?

Anonymous: please clean up your language - and sense of respect for those with whom you disagree - and rejoin the discussion.

It's not that the F-word or other salty language is never used in the Senate - but it's important to maintain an effective level of decorum and respectful tenor of debate whenever possible.

Thanks.

3/20/2006 2:41 PM  
Anonymous tom said...

Sorry I missed the flame apparently directed at me.

The Godfreyites are getting desperate and they have been striking out with gusto and venom at their critics lately.

There was even reported to be a slapping incident at last weeks city council meeting between a Godfrey man and a critic of his policies.

Frank Bush was correctomundo when he said above that Ogden politics are of the rough and tumble variety! Ogden always has been the rowdiest town in Utah. Lots of color and excitement through out its history, and this modern day is no exception. It certainly is more fun and exciting than Farmington's!

As to what is in the water in Ogden - well if it's at the mall site you will probably find Benzene, Triethelchloride, Diesel fuel, and many other nasty and toxic substances that the mayor's crew should have found four years ago - but didn't.

3/20/2006 7:27 PM  
Anonymous bottled water drinker said...

To add to Tom's comment regarding what is in Ogden's water, if you are looking at the stuff delivered from taps in certain areas of the east bench you will find rust, due to an aging water system in need of many improvements (with no funding or priority placed on funding these needs). Add some ice cubes and lemon and you have lovely Ogden iced tea. Income from the BDO was supposed to go to investment in capitol improvement projects, but instead, much of this is pledged to guarantee payment of the bonds for the High Adventure Recreation Center.

3/23/2006 11:35 AM  
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12/10/2006 5:24 AM  

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