Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Local business claims Home Depot disparaged their Christmas trees | Standard-Examiner

F.O.X. Do you remember Fox Books? You've Got Mail was a romantic comedy starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Tom Hank's character was an owner of a large, big box, book retailer. Meg Ryan was a small, independently owned, book shop owner who had lived in the area for years. Fox books moved in and put them out of business. Home Depot appears to be trying to doing the same thing to Burch Trees. Burch Trees has been around for years selling Christmas trees, personally I have bought my last four trees from them and have loved them. However Home Depot managers at the Riverdale store, have decided the stiff competition from Burch Trees needs to be squashed and have now resorted to slander and dirty marketing to convince people to leave Burch Trees and come to Home Depot for the Christmas tree. They are claiming Burch Trees is selling sub-par trees that were picked months ago and kept in ponds, essentially making the trees worthless. The truth is the trees are cut fresh just before Thanksgiving and then shipped directly to Burch Trees making them fresh. I am amazed at how horrible Home Depot has handled this situation and they deserve to lose business.

The Standard Examiner has a nice article on this and I challenge all of us to go to Burch Trees this year and avoid Home Depot.

Local business claims Home Depot disparaged their Christmas trees | Standard-Examiner

Monday, November 29, 2010

Standard Examiner - South Ogden Needs a Trim

A nice editorial in the Standard Examiner today is eerily similar to what I mentioned in my blog post last week: See Here.  South Ogden is in desperate need of some financial counseling.  It is the classic tale of spending way more money than you have coming in.  Obviously we are in a tough economy but South Ogden at some point has forgotten this.  What is interesting, is this has been problem for some time and we are now just taking notice...or are we?

In 2008 we were headed in the same direction.  The Standard Examiner reported on December 8, 2008 that South Ogden was in the hole.  See Blog Post and Article here. Our former city manager, was even quoted as saying, "if sales taxes drop we will be in a lot of trouble."  However South Ogden just kept spending like sales taxes were still coming in.  I brought this to our attention also in November 2008 showing we were headed for a negative year to the tune of $300,000 (See Here).  Yet we were then all told that we are back on budget, which was due to using the "Rainy Day Fund." (See Here).  In 2009, once again Mr. Darrington cautioned we were going to maybe break even on the budget, but only if sale tax revenue held strong.  (See Line 322 Here).  But at this time were currently negative and hoping we would balance out.  Don't worry even if we were, South Ogden City balanced their budget with their "Rainy Day Fund."

In June of this year this South Ogden City Finance Manager, Steve Liebersbach, predicted we were headed for a $225,000 deficit, but our budget was balanced due to our so called "Rainy Day Fund".  Yet the city kept spending. (See Minutes Here) Council members called out for cuts and concerns to new hires and promotions; yet the spending continued until now we are headed for a number more like $700,000.

Where do we go from here?  First, I feel sorry Matt Dixon, our new city manager, has start his South Ogden career dealing with this problem; but serious cuts do need to take place.  More than just cutting back on the annual Christmas Dinner, but some serious cuts.  I am saddened by the constant lack of fiscal irresponsibility we have seen for nearly three years now.  Every year we have been negative and then balanced it with emergency funds.  When will we wake up?  If I ran my business or my house this way, I would be living on the streets.

I am eager to hear your feelings on this subject.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

South Ogden City - Too Much Spending? Standard Examiner Reports.

I have not been able to attend a city council meeting for sometime due to my schedule; however I wish I had attend this last meeting to have heard the explanation for our current situation.

According to the Standard Examiner and reporter Gentry Reinhart, South Ogden City has some budget issues. South Ogden City has spent a monster $700,000 with no revenue to match it. Brent Litz of Litz & Company, performed the audit and said,

"You're in a challenging position for the general fund. You haven't got a revenue stream that's going to support all of your cost structures you've got in the general fund, and so it's going to be a challenge for you to play that game of balancing revenues and balancing costs and making sure that you keep the equation appropriate."
Some points of concern - Maintaining Facilities and also paying for a new recreation center.  OH WAIT!  If you remember from our previous meetings, the City Council told us this isn't a recreation center it is a gym facility!  Which even back two years ago they predicted we would lose money and few people would use.  See My Posts Here: Gym Facility and Rec Center Meeting (Mayor Garwood admits he will never use it.) 

It will be intersting to hear the cost cutting ideas the city has and how we will get back on budget.  So far, the city has been dipping into their general fund to make things work.  But this is not an endless pool of cash.  We need some better budgeting skills and maybe reconsider how we are going take advantage of our $2.5 Million money pit of a gym facility that we all are paying higher taxes for.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Transitioning to a New Majority - The New GOP

Transition Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) discusses some interesting ideas of how the GOP will make the transition to the majority in the U.S. Congress.  This video is a summary of the GOP plans on how to do things differently this time.  I am encourage by his well crafted message, but results are everything.

Also, at the end he mentions a new website were we can submit ideas for more the transition team.  You can got to http://gopleader.gov/newmajority/.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day - Tribute to My Brother Clint aka Sgt. Markland

For the longest time I have probably thought of this day as any other holiday.  I don't usually have to go to work, I get to spend time with my kids, etc.  But as the years have gone by this day has become more and more important to me.  You see, many of my extended family has served in the military and members of my extended family have even died while fighting for this country.  However since my brother joined the Army and has since served over in Iraq my understanding of what our soldiers do for us has changed.  I am amazed at my brothers courage and determination to serve this country.

My brother was in a horrible car accident a few years back.  A kid, high on drugs, had stolen a car and while running from police hit my brother head on, crushing his pelvis bone and causing many other injuries.  For awhile we were uncertain if he would be able to walk.  He had many surgeries and has seen many doctors and eventually began to walk with a cane.  When he was in the ICU one of the first questions he asked was if he could stay in the Military.  We didn't know the answer to that, but the Military quickly responded, "You only get out, if you want to get out."  He had not been in the Military very long, but I could see his commitment even then.

Sgt. Markland
He has dedicated his life to serving and I am so proud of all he has done for us.  When he heard his group was headed to Iraq, they told him couldn't go if he was still taking the heavy narcotics he required for the pain he had.  So he quit taking them.  He has learned (somehow) to control or block out the pain. When he left for Iraq, walking the required mileage for his fitness test was a challenge he fought to complete.  Upon his return from Iraq he was running triathlons.  What the Military has done for my brother and family has been amazing.  He has chosen to make a career out of the Military and I think it is a perfect fit.  I feel safer everyday knowing he is helping to keep this country protected. I am so proud to call him my brother and so thankful to have him in my life.

To my brother Clint and to all veterans, thank you!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Utah's Top Blogger Lunch

Today I had the honor of participating in the Top Blogger Lunch that was put together by Nigel Swaby of SEO by Swaby and Janet Thaeler  aka NewspaperGrl.  I was one of the finalists in the Top Blogger Contest and so I was invited to the Lunch for the winners.  I was able to get to know a number of cool bloggers and people who love blogging.  Some of the bloggers I met were:
The great thing about this medium of communication is people from all walks of life can come together and discuss about amazing issues, blogging, and technology.  It was a fun event and I look forward to more events.  I felt a little out of place since there were so many amazing bloggers and interesting people there, but it was great to be part of the event. Update: Utah News Source Official Press Release: http://ht.ly/38UNR

We had a podcast after that I was able to participate in, you can listen to it here:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Utah's Top Blogger Finals


I received an email that I have made the finals.  I guess I am somewhere in the Top 10.  Thanks for the votes fellow bloggers and readers.  I will keep you posted.  Thanks again!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The results are in

What a crazy night.  Philpot came within 150 votes at one point.  But the reality was obvious.  he was relying on Washington County, Iron County and Utah County Voters to overcome Salt Lake County voters.  That is a huge margin to overcome and has been the secret to Matheson Wins each time.  Those Salt Lake County voters love the man.

Dixon Pitcher and Randy Rounds ran a good campaign.  Dixon won by a larger margin then I thought he would, so I stand corrected.  Rounds is a great guy, I think his poor campaign literature and campaigning in September a little too early hurt him.  Dixon really ramped it up the last few weeks and brought it in for a home run. Congrats.

All other offices in Weber County (that had a Republican Challenger) were swept by the Republicans.  Not a big day for Democrats in Weber County. So Republicans, we are watching.  Make a difference for us.

All the constitutional amendments passed as expected.  It will be interesting to see how this ethics committee works out.

Great Job everyone on a well fought election cycle.  Now we get a small break for a few months before campaigning begins on the next one.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Results

This year I did no live blogging or tweets because I took the unique opportunity of running a polling location.  More to come about this later.  But things are looking good as of 10 pm for Dixon Pitcher, however I promise this one will come down to 200 votes or more.  Still very close.

  • Mike Lee - Was a no surprise. (crap)
  • Morgan Philpot - I was hoping would be a little closer.
  • Rob Bishop - Easy win.
  • Terry Thompson for Sherriff - Blow out, hope he doesn't have Hatch Act Issues.
  • and it looks like Republicans blew it out on all other Weber County races.

For more go here: http://electionresults.utah.gov/xmlData/main.html