Monday, December 31, 2007

City Financial Data Online

The Deseret News this morning had an interesting article on financial data. The idea is that city governments create a searchable website that can allow citizens to search and see where their tax payer money is going.

I think this is an awesome idea! After the Raymond Ave Construction (though most of it was payed for by a federal grant), I was eager to see how the money was spent. In addition I would like to see where our money is spent in our fabulous city. I have decided to email our city council asking that they push for this as well.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Standard Examiner - Integrity Selling

Tonight I received my quarterly phone call from the Standard Examiner asking me to return. They always start out exactly the same way, "Hello, I noticed you have stopped getting the Standard Examiner."

Of course, once again I told them no. But this time they approached me with a new sales pitch. You see I am in sales, I teach people all day how to sell. I always teach my sales people to not manipulate people or force people to buy something. Sell based on their needs and be honest to your customer. But the Standard has reached a new low. The sales person said the following, "Can I send you the paper for 28 days; so local paper boys will have something to do for the holidays?"

Did you catch it? They want me to feel guilty for the poor young paper boys and then I should buy the paper. THIS IS DISHONEST AND MANIPULATIVE! I will now never, ever get the Standard Examiner. How horrible to try and capitalize on the youth and the holidays.

Besides the fact that the Standard tends to be a week late on stories, politically bias, and mis-reports information, I have asked to be taken off the sales call list for the Standard every quarter for two years now and they keep calling.

Thanks Standard for keeping up your reputation.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Subliminal Messages

The other day I was walking down the freezer aisle of Smith's Grocery Store here in South Ogden. I noticed the signs above the different sections of food. Alone they seem innocent but together it is almost like the are trying to subliminally telling me to buy junk food along with my healthy food.

This is the order of the signs on the right side:

  • Toppings
  • Pie
  • Ice Cream
  • Diet Foods
  • Ice Cream Bars
On the Left side it says:

  • Nutrition
  • Desserts
  • Pizza

In a world were obesity and eating right is constantly on our minds, why does our local supermarket surround the healthy foods with multiple selections of junk food. This makes no sense to me. I am sure they make more money on the junk foods that is why they have so many selections. I mean they have so many ice cream bars they have to give them their own section instead of mixing them with the Ice Cream. When will businesses take more social responsibility or even just organize the aisles better so all the health food are one side and the junk food on another.

Fortunately I was able to walk away.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

South Ogden City Survey Results

I have made a few posts in the pasts about the South Ogden City Survey. 766 households responded to the survey with a rate of return of 14.5 percent. I am excited to report that the results are now available online. South Ogden has prepared a power point and an excel sheet detailing the results. They are truly worth a read. I am posting a few items of interest from the survey on the blog.


First I thought it was interesting to see the results of people's opinion with regards to the South Ogden City Website. Personally I have really enjoyed having the a city website, but the results echo my feelings with how it is run and managed.

  • 38% knew we had a website.
  • 62% didn't know we had a website.
  • 40% thought the website was somewhat helpful
  • 32% thought it was moderately helpful.
  • 31% felt that the website needed to be updated or have more information.
Again, I am happy we have a website and sometimes South Ogden is very good at updating the site and other times not. Along with the occasional misspelling, I wish they would post a little more information and keep it more up to date. Maybe even have RSS feeds from the Standard and other South Ogden News.

Open Space:

One of the open space questions received a low score, but the rest received very high responses from the citizens of South Ogden.

On a scale of 1 to 7, asking if South Ogden should develop or improve certain areas, Open Space scored the highest with a 5.6. Also on the section asking citizens, for planning purposes, are there development issues you would like to comment on for consideration, open space scored the highest percentage in the following three categories:

  • Intermediate (this year or next) 23%
  • Coming up (3-5 years) 18%
  • Long Range (5 Years out) 23%
Based on this survey, Open Space is a BIG DEAL! Well hopefully with the new addition of Sallee Orr to the council we will be able to work on this. (She has a Bachelors of Science from the University of Utah in Recreation and parks management.)

Pool/Recreation Center:

One last question I thought was interesting: Are there any facilities, services, or amenities that South Ogden is not currently offering that you would like to see offered? 36 percent of those surveyed said they wanted a swimming pool or recreation center. This question was asked in similar ways about 15 times through out the survey, in fact 3 times it was asked twice in the same question splitting the vote. Only one time did it score the highest. Citizens were also asked how much people are willing to pay in property taxes to pay for a pool and 65 percent of us said it was not important enough for an increase. I would love a place I could take my family and not have to buy a membership, but I am not a fan of increased property taxes.

Overall the survey results are very interesting; however I think some more time could be spent in organizing it a little better. Please take some time to review the results further, they are very interesting.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My Voter Experience

If you read my "polling location post" , I mentioned I always seem to forget where my polling place is. This year it happened again! You would think I would read my own blog. I was supposed to vote at the City Office's but instead I went to my old polling location--the district building. When I got there, I was surprised at the long line. When I neared the front desk, I noticed people were being sent away because they had gone to the wrong polling location. I thought to myself, "they should read my blog." Then out of nowhere this polling work stood up and started swearing at the people yelling she has the "right to remove people's rights to vote if they get upset with her." What? Remove people's rights?

Maybe poll workers have the right to dismiss unruly people, but people just wanted to know where to go vote. Did she have to swear at people and yell constantly?

Once I realized I was in the wrong location, and wanted to avoid being yelled at, I assumed my polling location would be at the Boy Scout Office. I got to the office and there was nicely hand made sign pointing me downstairs. The stairs at the Boy Scout office are very steep and narrow and for some of our elderly citizens this was a horrible experience. I saw people trying to climb down the stairs with canes and walkers; finally I told people there was an elevator around the corner. Why they didn't have a sign for the elevator I will never know? I asked some poll workers why everything seemed so disorganized they said, "No one called us until 8 pm last night and told us to be here at 6 am, we didn't know what was going on for sure."

How odd we wouldn't be more organized.

Finally I took my own advice and checked my blog on my cell phone and realized I needed to go the City Offices. My wife had a similar experience and eventually came home to read my blog as well, only to find out she need to go to the City Offices too.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Final Election Results

What an exciting election. We have been building up to this moment for many months and now the results are in.

In all honesty I am a little surprised at the results. At the same time I congratulate everyone on their well run campaigns and look forward to supporting the new council people.

According the Utah Elections website all the precincts have reported for South Ogden and here are the results:

John W. Bradley
Sallee Orr
Wayne M. Smith
Shannon P. Sebahar
Arlo L. Mueller

I really am surprised at how close these results are. I am not sure about provisional votes and if they need to be counted yet, but as close as this race was for Wayne M. Smith and Shannon P. Sebahar that could change if we need to count more ballots. I am not sure what the recount rule is in Weber County but I would ask for one with that close of a race.


Update: With 1300 Weber County Votes yet to be counted who knows how the elections will go. Mayor Godfrey could lose and Shannon P. Sebahar could win. I will do my best to keep you all posted.

Election Results

If you are any kind of political nut, like myself, you already know about this website. Weber County Election Results

You can check here for Real Time Election Results as they come in. With new electronic voting it should come pretty fast.

Polls close at 8 pm so make sure you get out and vote.

Get Out The Vote - TODAY!

Today is Election Day! The question is will you vote! This is your chance to participate in what makes this country amazing. We get to help choose are leaders and above all we have every right to complain.

Check out my post on the Voting Poll Locations or the South Ogden City Election Site. See you at the polls.

I will be up all night waiting for results, this is like Christmas at my household.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Who to Vote For?

As many of you know the elections are tomorrow. This is a very exciting time. I have thought a lot about this election and about who I am voting for. Since this blog is my opinion from "where I sit" then I felt it appropriate to tell you some of my feelings about each of our City Council Candidates. I am posting this simply to share my opinion and invite you all to share yours as well.

John W. Bradley - incumbent: I have made attempts to contact Councilman Bradley. But he didn't return my emails from his city council email address. I am disappointed he wouldn't take the time to address his own constituents. In addition I felt like he hardly campaigned. There were a few signs around and poorly made flyer passed out this weekend. Not a top notch campaign.

Arlo L. Mueller: Arlo has a lot of heart and I really enjoyed my time talking to him. Unfortunately I think he is running simply to make a statement. Maybe he put running for council on his list of things to do. But he hasn't run much of a campaign and I don't believe he had much intention to do so.

Sallee Orr: Sallee has had tons of signs around town and I have heard a lot of people mention her name with regards to Open Space and Golf City. I contacted Sallee and invited her to answer our questions for the blog. Why she didn't respond, I do not know. Especially since according Google typing the name Salle Orr brings up my blog and the number one reason people come to my blog has been to look for Salle Orr info. If she is elected, she will have to start responding to people and their questions.

Shannon P. Sebahar - incumbent: Shannon did a fabulous job in communicating with me. In our conversations I was very impressed with her understanding of the community. Her answers to our questions were great and I can tell she brings some unique experience to the council. She will be absolutely getting my vote.

Wayne M. Smith: Wayne has had some of the best flyers and campaign signs of this election. His ideas are very promising and I have hoped to see more from him. I spoke to him when he passed out his door hangers, he was great to talk to. For the most part I have enjoyed what I have seen. I think he could be a great addition to the council.

In a nut shell, there is my opinion on who is running based one their campaign and my interactions. If you can't see who I am voting for then feel free to email me.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

South Ogden City Elections - November 6th

The South Ogden City Website has been updated to list polling locations. Though early voting has already begun, most of us will be voting on the 6th. I am a big fan of going to vote on election day, it is chance to be apart of something great; I love the atmosphere of being around my fellow citizens making decisions for our future. However, I can't tell you how many times I have forgotten my polling location and had to call the city recorder the morning of the election.

Follow this link to see the South Ogden City Voting page. Also note that when you download the polling locations list, the words Municipal is spelled Muncipal, and scout is spelled scott. I hope they don't spell a candidates name wrong on the ballot.

For quick access, here is the corrected spelling version of the polling locations:



Polling places will be open on the days of election from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Following is a list of the polling places scheduled for South Ogden City.

District Location Address

South Ogden #1 So. Ogden Municipal Center 3950 Adams Avenue

South Ogden #2 So. Ogden Municipal Center 3950 Adams Avenue

South Ogden #3 So. Ogden Municipal Center 3950 Adams Avenue

South Ogden #4 So. Ogden Municipal Center 3950 Adams Avenue

South Ogden #5 So. Ogden Municipal Center 3950 Adams Avenue

South Ogden #6 Boy Scout Office 1200 East 5400 South

South Ogden #7 Boy Scout Office 1200 East 5400 South

South Ogden #8 Boy Scout Office 1200 East 5400 South

South Ogden #9 Boy Scout Office 1200 East 5400 South

South Ogden #10 Weber School District Office 5320 Adams Avenue

South Ogden #11 Weber School District Office 5320 Adams Avenue

South Ogden #12 Weber School District Office 5320 Adams Avenue

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Candidate Profile Updates

The Standard Examiner today posted a profile of each candidate asking them a few questions. I am glad to get this information and I will be linking the article and posting elements on my blog.

Follow this link: Standard Examiner South Ogden City Candidate Profiles

For your information, I have made attempts to contact every candidate and was able to get gather information on the following:

  • Arlo Mueller
  • Shannon Sebahar - Incumbent
  • Wayne Smith
  • Sallee Orr - spoke to on the phone and invited to the website - no response.
  • John W. Bradley - Incumbent - emailed to his city council email address - no response.

Thanks to all the candidates who responded please read the Standard Article for additional information.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Candidate Profile - Wayne M. Smith

Name: Wayne M. Smith
Contact Info: Unknown

Info: Born and raised in South Ogden City
Education: Graduated Bonneville High School 1985
Occupation: Weber County Sheriff's Office - Enforcement Supervisor (18 Years of Service)

Areas of Experience:

  • Corrections
  • Patrol Division
  • Investigations
  • Gang Unit
  • S.W.A.T.
  • Narcotics
  • Traffic Enforcement
  • Judicial and Civil Service
Other Accomplishments:
  • President of the Utah Narcotics Officers Association.
  • 2002 Utah Winter Olympics Operations Chief at Snowbasin.
  • 2002 Utah Winter Olympic Games Security Planner.
  • 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games Law Enforcement Supervisor.
  • Volunteer for South Ogden City youth sports and Boy Scouts of America
The following information I received from a Wayne Smith flyer I received on my door:

  1. Public Safety: As a law enforcement officer, Wayne understands the challenges that face our community. He will put the safety of our families and community first.
  2. Promoting Quality Way of Life: Investing in recreational opportunities for our youth, adult and seniors is an important issue to Wayne.
  3. Infrastructure: Wayne will work hard to address any issues that may arise regarding the infrastructure of South Ogden City to include; Water, Sewer, Roads, Police and Fire.
  4. Promoting Quality Housing: Wayne favors strict enforcement of housing standards to protect our citizens and their property values.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Candidate Profile - Arlo L. Mueller

Tonight I was able to get a hold of Arlo L. Mueller running for city council. He was very delightful on the phone and we had a great conversation. He took the time to explain his platform and talk about his life. I am posting this information below:

Name: Arlo L. Mueller
Contact Info: 801-479-3264
Age: 85

Mr. Mueller explained that he is not excepting any donations for his campaign and will send all donations back.

He is retired from the Marines and moved here from Nebraska. He has lived in South Ogden since 1969 and is retired from the Fire Department. Arlo has also been involved in numerous volunteer activities in our fair city, he explained a long list of things he had accomplished by volunteering and working for South Ogden.

Some of his strong stances are for South Ogden to have a recreation center, he said, "There is no reason for South Ogden to be behind on this." In addition he would like all state travel expenses to be published in the city monthly newsletter. He would expand neighborhood watches, citizen patrols, and increase handicap parking and hope to hire more police officers.

He mentioned a few items that were more state related, like minimum wage and taxes, but he ended our conversation with saying he would display the constitution in all public offices.

Again, he was very friendly and I think if you called him, he would be happy to talk to anyone about his campaign.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Candidate Profile - City Council Woman Shannon Sebahar

The first candidate to respond to our request for info is Shannon Sebahar. Below is her bio information. She gave us some amazing answers to our questions, you can read those by following the link below: (forgive the yahoo ads it hosts the link)

Shannon SebaharName: Shannon P. Sebahar

Education: M.B.A. – Utah State University
B.S. Finance – University of Illinois

Current: Marketing Strategy Consultant

15 years of finance, marketing and business development
experience at large corporations such as Thiokol and Iomega.

Contact Info/Website/Email:

Community Leadership Positions:

  • Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce – Board of Directors and Women in Business Committee
  • South Ogden City – City Council, RDA Board Member, Audit and Benefits Committee
  • United Way – Community Change Impact Council, Government Pledge Drive Committee Chair
  • South Ogden Days – Volunteer Committee Chair
  • South Ogden Business Alliance – Founding Member

For her answers to our questions click on the following link:

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Getting Candidate Info

I received a great email today from one my readers:

Dear Ben,

A number of us in SOC suffer from VOTER CONFUSION and VOTER DEFICIT
DISORDER, re the backgrounds of different folks running for SOC
council, on 11.6. I was hoping you could post biographies of the
following people on your blog,....From where I sit:

Shannon Sebahar (yes, we can read what is posted on the SOC site. But
do you have more info)

Sallee Orr (some of us know her; some of us do not).

Wayne Smith (almost no one in this group knows who he is)

One more person (man) is running. BUT SOC just dumped that Election
page from their site.

Thanks for posting new info on your site:

Eleanor Thompson

Eleanor, I couldn't agree with you more. We need this info out there. I promise more to come! Shannon Sebahar contacted me today.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Mayor Brent Frost

Tonight I received word that former South Ogden Mayor Brent Frost passed away. I did not know him, but I do know his son and family.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Frost family. From what I have heard he was a fabulous mayor.

South Ogden has lost a great man.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Questions:

I have been asking citizens in South Ogden this week for questions to ask our city council candidates. Thank you to all that have responded. Here is what we have so far:

  • Name:
  • Education:
  • Occupation:
  • Contact Info/Website/Email:
  • What makes you the best candidate?
  • What issues do you feel are most important to the citizens of South Ogden?
  • What is your stance on green space areas and similar areas in South Ogden like Golf City?
  • A number of citizens have mentioned the need for a recreation center and/or swimming pool, what are your feelings on this?
  • As a city council person, what will you do better communication between the council and the rest of the city?
  • What do you feel are the strengths of South Ogden?
  • What do you feel are the weakness of South Ogden?
  • What opportunities does South Ogden have in today’s economy?
  • What threats do you see that could threaten the opportunities of South Ogden today?
  • Anything else you would like to say to the citizens of South Ogden?
  • How do you feel about school vouchers?
Though one or two of these questions the city council has no control over, I think it is important to see the principals of our elected leaders and these questions help us to see that.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

South Ogden City Elections

As many of you know, we are closing in on the municipal elections of 2007. What an amazing opportunity for the citizens of South Ogden to chose who will "steer the ship." Living in America and having the freedoms we do is incredible; I sincerely hope we all take advantage of these freedoms by voting in November.

As I contemplated the elections, I realized I know very little with regards to who is running and why. While doing a search for these answers I decided to visit the South Ogden City Website. However, the city has posted limited information about who is running, why, issues, etc.

You can check out the South Ogden election page by following this link:

For those of who do not want to follow the link here are the names:

2007 Candidates:

John W. Bradley - incumbent
Arlo L. Mueller
Sallee Orr
Shannon P. Sebahar - incumbent
Wayne M. Smith

One can argue that it is not the duty of South Ogden City to post biographical nor additional info for each candidate on their website. Therefore I would like to do my best in helping the city know who they are voting for. If not for your sake, but for my own.

Starting October 10th, I will gather information about each candidate. I will do my best to contact each candidate and ask them the same questions. Their answers will be posted here on the FromWhereISitBlog.Com website. If you have any questions you would like me to submit, please feel free to post your questions here. I want to give each candidate the opportunity to answer the same questions; therefore please comment in the next few days.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Raymond Ave. Project.

Nearly 45 days after the estimated deadline the Raymond Avenue project is nearly completed. The horrible discombobulated cement guys have moved on, the road workers have finished the roads, and the landscapers have started putting in our new trees and fixing our sprinklers. For the most part we have been happy with the end result. I was very disappointed in the cement work and I am missing a sprinkler head. But the road looks very nice.

Friday, September 21, 2007

South Ogden Fire Department

In doing a routine "South Ogden" Google search; I came across the South Ogden Fire Department website. It was very impressive, complete with forums and info about our fair city. I haven't seen many Fire Department websites, but this was a great website. I encourage you all to visit the site and explore its options.

There is a forum section where you can learn about product recalls, ask questions of the SOFD and more. The Kids Corner is a link to the FEMA website but still has great information. I am proud to see South Ogden and the Fire Department embracing technology to educate our community. Chief Tracy Bolt has done a great job with the site. Though it is obviously under construction is some areas, it is a fun site. It just needs some publicity; therefore I am posting a link on my blog.

In the pictures section I saw this photo of Captain Rick Rasmussen teaching a baby sitting class about fire safety and how to use a fire extinguishers. I didn't know we did this!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Wikipedia and South Ogden

For sometime now, I have been addicted to Wikipedia. I am amazed at how this program works. Everyday internet users, like you and me, update an online encyclopedia of topics for everyone to read. Nearly every topic you can think of is there, quickly you can find yourself jumping from one subject to another, not even remembering why you came to Wikipedia in the first place.

I am impressed South Ogden City has a Wikipedia page. Our fair city is part of the biggest online encyclopedia in the world!

I encourage you all to visit, update, edit, and share this page. It is exciting that as citizens of South Ogden we can share our city with the world.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

School Bus Stop Ahead..or is it?

One of the conversations that has begun, as of late, on our street is the school bus stop. Before you have children this is not something you think much about. Once your have children you begin to have conversations you never dreamed people had; however simple or trivial one of these conversations maybe, each one can be very important to you and your family's life. The conversation of a school bus stop is just such a conversation.

As the Raymond Ave. project moves a long, people have begun to wonder how the school bus will be able to get to our street and will we have a sidewalk to accommodate our children/students. The bus, in the past, has stopped on the corner of Carney and Raymond; unfortunately there isn't much left of that road for a school bus to stop, nor for children to wait for the bus.

In response to these questions the city (I am sure after many phone calls) placed a flyer on our doors saying that the bus stop would be moved to the corner of Nordin and Carney. As I came home at 5 pm I saw a man going door to door letting us all know. I am glad they responded to us less than one day before school started, but we still have to walk our children through the dirt to the school bus stop up the street. Now my son is not old enough to experience this; however I feel for those parents on our street who have worried about it. Good luck in your adventure through the dirt to the school bus stop ahead.

I guess we could say a bus stop--is better than no bus stop at all.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Survey Update

On the South Ogden City Website the following has been posted about the Survey I commented on a couple of weeks ago:

General Plan Revision/Citizen Survey

Thanks to all of those that have participated in our citizen survey. Out of 5,200 surveys sent out we have about 750 that have been returned. The return rate is 14% which is typical for a citizen survey. Once the results have been compiled we will make them available on the web site for your viewing.

The General Plan updated is moving forward and should be completed some time this fall. The city will be hosting an open house and two public hearings before it is adopted. Please stay tuned for those upcoming dates.

I would like to note I was off on my calculations from my previous post; they only sent 5,200 not the estimated 5,466, a difference of $109.06 for the initial mailing and only 750 mailed back the survey; the cost was only $307.50, giving us a grand total of:


Not bad, they still could have saved a tree or two on Raymond.

I look forward to the final results.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Secondary Water

Can anyone tell me why our secondary water has been off for nearly a week and no one came to inform us that it was going to be shut off?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Water on Raymond Ave

Back in May we had a meeting about our construction on Raymond Ave. The city suggested we pay to update all of our pipes and add a bleed valve system to our water, the told us they would inform us of this when they come through to connect our water to the new system. This week B K Fox Contractors came through and connected all of our water.

No one asked if we would like to update our systems. No one asked if we wanted the bleed valve system--no one. However, we had budgeted to do so, but I now I hope we don't need too. They told us stories of rust in our water, etc. I wonder why they would tell us to do this and then not have us do it.

UPDATE: One of my neighbors asked the contractors about it. They said his pipes were fine and not to worry.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Raymond Project

Our fair little street is still under heavy construction. It is hard to know if we are getting close to the end or not. They have told us mid-August, but who knows. For now we are stuck living on a dirt road. They have really done a good job in keeping out of our way when we are going to and from work. Also, having a truck that waters down the road has been great for the dust.

These pictures can give you a brief look as to what is happening on our street. We feel sometimes we are in a third world country. But really it hasn't been to bad. Honestly we feel they are making some progress. Having no sidewalks has been a little hard to get used to. We love walking our baby each day in the fresh air, but the stroller isn't a fan of the dirt roads nor is the baby a fan of the dust.

At our original May 15th Meeting we were told they would come and talk to us about paying for new connections to our house and other odds and ends. No word yet. But they have started connecting some houses further down (so I hear). August is fast approaching and I wonder if they will be done on schedule. As far as I can see, we have had one rain day so we should be ahead of schedule.


Our wonderful neighbors across the street recently posted a video of their tree coming down. They had an enormous sycamore. It was so amazing and beautiful; however I think I can speak for my neighbor when I say it was horrible to clean up after. I still can't believe most of our trees are gone.

Enjoy the video.

Also you can read more about their tree and watch the process here:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

South Ogden Citizen's Survey

Today was an exciting day in the Markland household. We received our South Ogden Citizen's Survey. No it isn't that exciting. But I do praise South Ogden City for keeping us in the loop.

The survey is very long and in many ways redundant. I believe I was asked if I wanted a city pool four times. Do you think the city asked each department to submit questions for the survey, but know one looked at each other's questions before the survey was mailed? Many times I was asked what my biggest concern was, but each time it had a different way of answering: sometimes it was by a check mark, other times I prioritized between one and five or one and ten. You would think there would be a little more communication on such a big mailing. Our tax payer money went to mailing this thing; therefore I hope someone reads all four times I put down I didn't think the city needs a pool. Let's think about this, if a stamp costs $.41 and you mail a survey to everyone in South Ogden; that is a lot of money.

  • Population of South Ogden is 15,328 with 5,466 households. - according to
  • $.41 Stamp.
  • $.41 x 5,466 = $2,241.06.
  • Then add a pre-paid return envelope to each one, there is an additional $2,241.06.
  • $$2,241.06 x 2 = $4,482.12.

Estimated Cost $4,482.12

Now I am not taking into consideration envelope costs, paper costs, printing costs, man hours to tally survey results or the fact that the envelope may been heavier than a $.41 cent stamp due the size of the survey. Also they could have gotten a bulk rate discount. But estimated cost $4,482.12 for a survey that asked the same questions 4 or 5 times. I think surveys are great, I just hope this one was effective. It would be nice if they posted the results online. In fact, why couldn't we just put the survey on the South Ogden Website and the computer could calculate the results for us. This probably would have been cheaper.

Maybe we could have saved a few more trees on Raymond Ave. with that $4,481.12.

Anyways, my survey is filled out and in the mail. Thanks Mayor Garwood and City Manager Darrington for letting me give my opinion.

If you didn't get a survey go down to South Ogden and pick one up, you need to get it back to them by the 27th of July. Plus it would be cheaper to just go down and fill one out.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

South Ogden City Website

I received my monthly South Ogden City newsletter with my utility bill this week. One of the highlights is the upgrade of the new website. South Ogden City has always had a poorly developed website. This new one promises to be exciting. I was so excited to see the city move in this direction. I have been very upset about the website in the past. There is now up to date calendar information, better graphics, you can search the city code for information and lots of other great links.

Take some time and look at it:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

South Ogden Day's -- 5k Run

How exciting to live in a town that has some sort of "days." I lived in Nephi, Utah for many years and I am sure we had some sort of "days," but I can't remember what they were called.

Some people have Scottish Days (Payson) and others have Tomato Days (Hooper).

I guess we have no industry to tie to it--like Payson and Hooper; maybe we could call it Bad Traffic on 40th Street Days or maybe even Dirt Road on Raymond Days. Jokes a side, we had a great time! We chose not to attend the carnival nor the country concert (from a guy we have never heard of). But we did participate in the 5k!

Here we are--the whole gang.

My wife and I both signed up (well my wife signed us up) and we had a great time. Most of our immediate neighborhood came and ran. It was fun to be near our friends and neighbors; in addition it was great to see us all trying to stay [get] into shape and support the community

I applaud South Ogden for doing all they can to bring us together. I would hate to live in a community where the people didn't want to enjoy each others friendships nor a city council whom wouldn't want to increase moral. The event was well organized: the company tracking the times did a great job, water bottle was cool, t-shirts were nice but the design was kind of weird, it was odd the raffle gave out gift certificates to places like Taco Maker and McDonald's, (especially since we all just ran a 5k); in addition the route copied 60 percent of the Goldenwest Credit Union's 5k route.

In the end it was all very fun.

All the proceeds of this run went to the Veterans Memorial and I am glad to be at least giving to a cause. The random excel number generator they used for the drawings after was bogus. It seemed like the same name was called about six times--and I was left off in the end. *Poor Sport*

If you check out the pictures; you will see I am the one with the shaggy hair and the "Vote for Pedro" Shirt.

Yes this is me!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Tree Meeting

Public Notice Posted on the South Ogden Website

Tonight the City Council held a special meeting for the residents of Raymond Avenue. We discussed everything that was going to take place on Raymond with regards to the road, sidewalks, water, sewer, and our trees. In reality, the majority of the residents that attended could have cared less what was talked about. They came to talk about the trees.

Our street has always seemed so enclosed and beautiful because of the trees. It will be sad to see them go. Unfortunately this wasn't a meeting to stop the trees from going, that time has long since passed. But we did find out how to keep our tree and that we would each get two trees to replace our old ones, when the time is ready. We can keep our tree if we sign a contract agreeing to take care of the tree if it falls or damages the sidewalks and road.

The tree argument is an interesting one. I am not sure what to think of it all. All I can say is we are way too late to be arguing about this. I have been told there was a meeting a year ago on the tree issue--a few people went. That would have been the time to start organizing petitions and calling council people. Today is too late, all we can do now is either sign the contract or accept our fate.

They did let us know the project would be done by August 15th, if there are no delays for rain. We are all putting money on September. They also told us that we would have to pay to have the water connection from our house updated and a bleed valve to prevent overflow of secondary water and other such things.

I applaud council woman Vicki Mattson, she accepted my invitation to attend the meeting. Most of the city council nor the mayor attended. But I was glad Vicki did. She has also been good to return my phone calls when ever I have had questions about the project.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

South Ogden City Council Meeting 5/8/2007

Isn't it amazing how our government works. We elect people to represent us and make educated decisions for us each day in how will live our lives. John Kessel, one of the great writers of our time, said in his short story--A Clean Escape, "with decisions of so many, in the hands of so few; we can not escape accountability." With such power--don't you feel we owe it to our officials to give them educated information. Well that is just what the folks of Raymond Avenue tried to do tonight. A group of concerned citizens all went down to the city building to shared their views about the construction project that is about to begin. It was a heated debate but we were way to late to be making an argument about saving trees or changing the cities mind. I wish I had lived here a year before. I could have gone to the original meeting. (I wonder how many went?) The city has a good argument, and the improvements will be nice.

The biggest argument was that the value of the homes would go down. The citizens had research that compared, Nordin and Evelyn when their trees were removed. They explained that the values would drop. Vicki Mattson, city council women, came prepared (after a call from me) with values saying that they would not. She said she had never heard of trees bringing down values of homes and that we shouldn't have moved here just for the trees. Vicki explained she talked to people in the housing industry and her figures showed they wouldn't come down.

The whole tree debate on our street is getting pretty old...and fast. I understand everyone's concerns. I do! But why didn't we start talking about this six months ago or even a year ago. Now all of the sudden it is a big deal when we are two weeks away.

Well I am not going to belabor this, but the meeting was interesting and most of our info was passed on. I mean, we have never come to a city council meeting and then one day we show up and expect to be heard. Who where we kidding?

In the end, I invited all of the city council to attend our next meeting on the Raymond Avenue Issue and I hope they do attend. We will see.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

From Where I Sit

From where I sit, well I sit most afternoons on my old wood bench in the front yard. I keep telling myself I will re-finish it. But until then I will enjoy the view.

I must first introduce myself to you all. My name is BenJoe Markland, but just call me BenJoe. Everyone else does.

I have officially been a resident of South Ogden for one year this coming June. I rented in South Ogden for two previous years, but I have felt as a resident the moment I began paying property taxes.

South Ogden is an amazing area, the streets are beautiful and the people are great. My wife and I have felt so welcome in the community. I created this blog as an effort to become more involved with the community. I have a strong desire to help the community grow and give back to the community that has already given me so much. Please stop a comment...or even send me an email. I would love to hear what you think.