Thursday, December 30, 2010

Housing Prices Can Only Go Down

Recent economic data has shown South Ogden housing sales have been going down each month. In the spirit of this, I recently read this article from CNBC where economist Nouriel Roubini explains how our housing markets will take a double dip in the current recession.  See Here:

The causes: First, the tax credits that were offered actually hurt the economy.  It took tons of houses off the market that would have been spread out over time.  What we ended up with was a huge boost in home sales and then a 30% drop once the tax credits expired.  Second, the mortgage foreclosure issue.  With the mortgage documentation issues and suspension of foreclosures we are actually slowing the sales of homes.   Once this is fixed and all of this supply hits the market, demand will drop.  Increase Supply, Drop Demand.  Housing prices will continue to drop because of this.              

Now not all of the this will mean our economy will take a double dip, but it surly won’t help at all.  At the end of the article Roubini said the following regarding a double dip recession:

"The eurozone shock, long-term structural deficits, and state and local governments [operating near] bankruptcy."

And, if homeowners begin walking away from their properties en masse, those negative trends might well pick up steam:

"12 million households are already in negative equity and 8 million more have an LTV btw 95 and 100%. Thus even a 5% fall in home price will push an extra 8 million in negative equity with risk of millions walking away from their home—i.e. jingle mail,"
Just some things to think as we think about our homes and the future of South Ogden.  Selling your home is going to get more and more difficult and your homes could continue to lose value.

Comments you feel we are on the way up or could we be going down. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Let's make our own gold coins?

Rep, John Dougall from Highland would like to see us all start using gold.  Sure using gold could be cool, but the idea of creating an entirely new monetary system that parallels our own is not only unconstitutional but a waste of time. According to a Salt Lake Tribune report, Dougall is working on an idea for Utah residents to mint their own gold and silver coins.  Gold could then be used in everyday transactions like buying groceries and even paying rent.  But what Mr. Dougall has not thought through is the enormous cost to bring on another monetary system, the cost of maintaining this new system and also the fact minting your own money is unconstitutional.

A few years back I lived in a foreign country.  During my time there the country decided to switch it’s national currency to the dollar (Yes it was stronger then).  I witnessed firsthand the absolute chaos that ensued from seeing local shop owners and grocery store clerks trying to calculate the exchange rate.  The government had to produce thousands of material and hold trainings to help people understand how the dollar worked.  The one thing they had going for them was the exchange rate was frozen so the countries original currency couldn’t go down.  Otherwise the constant fluctuation would have been a nightmare for merchants and consumers.  Since Mr. Dougall would have no ability to freeze the gold exchange without creating a Utah exchange rate, people would have to watch every day and see what their newly minted gold coins are worth.  Merchants would have to install sophisticated cash registers to weight gold coins and then tell you how much they are worth.  The cost to the state of Utah and the local economy would be enormous.

And to my second point…

Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution states:
The U.S. Congress has the power…"To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures"
So even if this legislation passed, it is unconstitutional and would be shut down in the court system.

I don’t mind legislators coming up with new ideas to improve our state or look at ways to improve the economy, but this is not it.  Sorry Rep. Dougall, I would run away from this one.  I think Alan Stephens, economic professor at USU, said it best in the article:
“The gold standard limits the growth of the economy, because you’re limited to the supply of gold that is available, which really is not all that much,” he said. Besides, he said, there is no prohibition on transacting in gold if the parties agree to it."
The moral of the story…let us please look for ways to balance our budget, fund education and improve our economy.

NM gov.-elect: Billy the Kid pardon waste of time -

New Mexico's new Governor has it right - going through all the paper work, money and time to pardon Billy the Kid is a waste. Especially when there is so much work to be done. Governor-Elect Susana Martinez thinks the outgoing governor should be more focused on balancing the budget then wasting money on a pardon. Looks like Rep. Wimmer and Rep. Fisher could learn something from Gov. Martinez.

Also...anyone notice Rep. Wimmer loves positive feedback on twitter, but as soon as someone attacks his ideas he calls everyone a democrat or a gun hater. Just follow him on twitter to see more, he went the rounds again today.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Police watching for gang relocation | Standard-Examiner

Due to the Ogden's new ability to place restraining orders on gang members, gang members are now finding themselves without a place to hang out. What is the solution? Go to a neighboring city and get together to do your gang thing! The Standard Examiner reports (See Here) that due to this new law there is real potential for gangs to relocate to other cities, even South Ogden.

Standard reporter Michael McFall points out North Ogden has already seen an increase in gang violence ( injunction related or not) but South Ogden has yet to see anything. Are we next?
South Ogden police have actually seen a decrease in the number of known gang members living in their city during the past few months. But they are still stepping up their gang surveillance because the possibility of migration is something they are keeping an eye on, said South Ogden Officer Marci Edwards.
 Chief Val Shupe seems to be expecting the worse and preparing for it.  Especially after the gang related shooting down on Washington and 40th.  Know this, there is real potential for a problem because of this new law.  Unless each city adopts this new policy or the injunctions are extended county wide, South Ogden could become a haven for Ogden City gangs.

Comments welcome.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

More Waste! Time to fix 88-year-old mistake in Utah flag? | The Salt Lake Tribune

Rep. Julie Fisher (R-Fruit Heights) has joined the list of wasteful legislators with her new resolution to fix the State Flag. According to the Salt Lake Tribune (Time to fix 88-year-old mistake in Utah flag?) Rep. Fisher is frustrated because the "1847" on the flag doesn't conform to State Law and for 88 years we have ignored this horrible sin.  Now is the time to repent.
“It’s not the ugliness of the flag, it’s simply wrong,” says Fisher, who went back and read Utah state law about how the flag is supposed to look. “The ‘1847’ is supposed to be inside the shield. If you look at the state seal — which the flag is based on — it is inside the shield there"
Fisher has decided to have a little "fun" with the legislature and validate every one's State Flags.  In doing so she is now ignoring state problems like education, economic recessions and  immigration.  But we have ignored the State Flag too long!  Thousands of Utahn's have been breaking the law for 88 years and it is time we put this to an end before someone gets hurt.  Yes this resolution won't take long and will probably be cheaper than Rep. Wimmer's State Gun Bill.   But waste is waste and I am disappointed Rep. Fisher can't see the urgency of her job.

Sounds like Rep. Fisher and Rep. Wimmer need to get together and go bowling.  I am sure they could come up with some great wasteful ideas.

Comments welcome!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Memories, Traditions and thanks.

My children are hitting the age of understanding when it comes to Christmas.  My oldest especially has become sensitive to the power of Santa, Elves and gifts.  Each morning he gets more and more excited about the potential of Santa visiting and if he will bring what he has asked for. (He will Joseph, I have spoken to him)  As my wife and I prepare for tonights big event, I remember the many wonderful Christmas nights we had as a family growing up.

  My parents did an amazing job for us as kids.  Since we didn't live close to extended family, we almost always spent Christmas at home.  After dinner we would always gather around the tree and talk about Christmas and what we loved most about the season.  Each of us got a chance to share what we loved most and what we were thankful for.  My mom would pass out one gift for us to open that evening.  Opening this present always made us excited; even though we already knew what it was.  The present was always homemade pajamas by my mom.  One year we even got robes!  I remember one year trying to read the Christmas story out of the Bible, but we were to loud and so we didn't get very far.  My dad would always play the guitar and we would sing songs, our favorite was "Must be Santa."  I am sure we did lots of other things; however most of all I remember it was a magical night.

  Now being a parent I realize how much time and effort they put into my Christmas experience and I am so thankful for that.  It is hard and stressful to make this night so amazing.  I am blown away out how much time and effort goes into it.  I hope I can bring the same kind of magic into my own home and teach my kids like my parents taught me.  My memories are so wonderful and I pray my children have the same experience I did. My kids will open pajamas tonight and I will play the guitar, "Must Be Santa" will be sung. If we are lucky a little of that magic I felt will be here tonight.

Thanks Mom and Dad for everything!

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Standard Examiner Follow Up on South Ogden Budget Crisis

The Standard Examiner today had a long awaited follow up to their searing editorial of South Ogden City finances. Reporter Gentry Reinhart reported on an email sent by City Manager Matt Dixon and the December 7th City Council Meeting (even though he came late and left early from the meeting). Mr. Reinhart rehashed information my blog has already brought to light, but since not everyone in the world reads my blog this is good to hear from the Standard. Some of the highlights are the city is really not $700,000 in the hole, but really just over $300,000; also the city has cut its budget dramatically to bring the deficit to $83,000. Read the full article here.

What Reinhart failed to report on, because he left before the conversation was even over, was South Ogden City’s plan for a Sales Tax Increase in 2010-2011. South Ogden has the world’s most optimistic crystal ball. Also interesting to note is the dramatic cut in fleet services; essentially saying South Ogden will stop taking care of their vehicles. This in reality will be like mortgaging our future and will more than likely facilitate a need to buy new cars sooner rather than maintain them over the next few years.

Matt Dixon, city manager, is doing a great job trying to communicate the problems we are facing. This article is direct results of that and those who do not read my blog will have this great information. Even if Mr. Reinhart missed some great opportunities to really report the news.

Hopefully we see some sales tax increases in the coming months or will be likely having this same meeting again.

See Previous Posts:

I welcome your comments.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How a bill becomes a law? Rep. Carl Wimmer Style.

In about a month and half the 2011 Legislative Session will begin here in Utah. Once again it will be that crazy political time where our elected officials come together to find ways to help our state to continue being the best. However at the same time, politics at its worst will also come forth in the form of bad message bills and back door favors. Though there are often message bills full of important content that may help the public be aware of the issues affecting our communities, state and even the nation; there are also many message bills that serve no purpose at all. These, no purpose, message bills are not only a waste of time, but a waste of money. After talking to a number of people who work at the legislature, we have determined it is hard to understand how much a bad message bill would cost. Therefore I have decided to break down how a bill becomes a law using Rep. Carl Wimmer’s Official State Gun Bill as an example.
  1. Rep. Carl Wimmer will submit his idea for the State Gun bill to the OLRGC (Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel).
  2. General Counsel’s office will then open a bill file.
  3. General Counsel assigns a legislative attorney or analyst to then draft the bill.
    1. We then pay someone to do some research and draft the bill, shouldn't be to hard for a State Gun.
  4. Someone is paid to then write an Approval Letter and then send the letter and draft of the bill to Rep. Wimmer.
  5. Rep. Wimmer then reviews the draft legislation, signs and returns the draft letter. Unless he has changes he will then contact the draft attorney and we will start over at Step 3. (I assume this will be an easy one so no changes will be made.)
  6. General Counsel will prepare the final draft which includes:
    1. Having someone numbering of the bill
    2. Having someone deliver a copy to Rep. Wimmer
    3. Having someone deliver a copy to the Docket Clerk in the House, the Billroom, and the Office of the Fiscal Analyst.
    4. Having someone post the bill on the internet and intranet.
  7. The bill is then introduced (read) by number and short title (which is short) and referred to the House Rules Committee.
  8. The Rules committee (9 people including Rep. Wimmer) will then meet and discuss the bill.
    1. They will ask the bill be printed with a fiscal note (I assume this will not have one).
    2. Then recommend which standing committee this bill will go to.
  9. The Speaker of the House then assigns this bill to the recommended standing committee.
  10. Standing Committee then meets (9 to 15 people give or take). Which one will take a State Gun Bill?
    1. A public meeting will be scheduled. (Hot item)
  11. A public meeting is held with the Standing Committee
    1. Rep. Wimmer will present the bill, committee members can ask questions (assuming there will be only a few) and then the public will ask questions (assuming no one cares, there will be none).
    2. At this time the bill can be amended, put on hold, tabled, substituted or make a favorable recommendation for the bill. (We will assume all will go well, who wants to make enemies with Mr. Wimmer, besides it is just a State Gun).
  12. The bill is then read for a second time in the House; so we must take up time again to read it about the State Gun.
    1. Nobody can amend or change the bill at this time.
  13. House staffers then place this on the calendar for the third reading.
  14. The bill is read for the third time. Blah Blah Blah State Gun Blah Blah Blah.
  15. Rep. Wimmer then presents his bill and gives a 15 to 20 minute oration as to how this gun saved America and why we are all wasting our time listening to this bill.
  16. Others will speak for it or against it. A few will speak for it and say what a great American Mr. Browning was and how this gun is awesome. They will thank Rep. Wimmer for bringing this bill forward. If we get lucky one or two people will say they are not sure but will vote for it anyways.
  17. If there no amendments or substitutions we can move on. If there are amendments then we have to go back a few steps. But let’s assume there isn’t (unless we designate a state bullet while we are at it).
  18. Then we vote!
    1. We need 38 yes votes for this to pass, the bell will chime and those who are out in the hall will come in and vote yes or no.
  19. Rep. Wimmer will then ask someone to be his Senate Floor Sponsor and notify the docket clerk in the House.
  20. The Senate will now do the all of the same things the House did. Starting with Step 7 through 18.
    1. There are few differences but essentially the same steps.
  21. We Vote!
    1. 15 yes votes is all this bill needs to move on.
  22. Assuming no amendments from the Senate, this bill does not need to go back to the House. If it does, then we start back at Step 7 again. If there are no changes we can move to step 23.
  23. Presiding Officers find a time to sign the bill
  24. The bill is sent back to the General Counsel for enrolling.
    1. The bill is then color coded (Blue for House and Yellow for Senate).
  25. The bill is then ordered to be printed and sent to the Governor’s office to be signed.
  26. The bill will then sit there for a few days (He has 20 days after the adjournment to sign it) until the Governor signs it.
  27. Then the new laws need to be published. We will then have people update the internet site, Utah Code and The Laws of Utah.
Some additional costs we have not considered is all of the IT and staffer time it will take to setup the rooms, turn on the microphones, clean the offices, set up chairs, and do other things to make sure everything is correct.  But it is hard to put a cost on all of that.

Well there you have it, 27 Shorts steps to a bill and then we are done! Shouldn’t take much money at all; so I wish Rep. Wimmer the best. All in all, this will probably be the cheapest bill the legislature sees all year.  In recession, I think we need to save money everywhere we can and this is a waste of money for something everyone will forget about it in less than a year, I mean does anyone remember that the state vegetable is the Spanish Sweet Onion.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Savings Saturday - New Products, Websites and Ideas

The more and more I blog, I am often asked by other companies, blogs and friends to review material or offer products.  Sometimes I am even given free items or gift cards.  For the most part I have refused these offers but from time to time I find one that looks interesting and would be of a benefit to others.  Therefore on Saturdays I will attempt to blog about some websites, deals or ideas that can save you some money.

This Saturday I will talk about a cool website called CSN Stores.  They sell just about everything at a huge discount.  They have over 200 online stores where can you buy just about everything from kids toys, sheets, leather briefcase, fitness equipment, and more.  They have given me $20 to spend on one of their websites and I will be buying a present for my kids.  I am leaning towards this race car set:

Yes this item is under $20.

I will review the quality and service I receive once it arrives to let you all know if this site is all that is says it is.  I am hoping it will be great!Look for the review and feel free to check back soon.

Friday, December 10, 2010

South Ogden Home Sales on the Decline

More bad economic news for South Ogden as reported by the Weber County Homes and Real Estate Blog.  Apparently we have been on a steady decline for some time.  October numbers are now in and we are looking at a 28.57% decrease in sales.  In fact sales of home have been down nearly every month this year and so are our home values.  Home values have dropped from an average $155,250 to $140,000 in just a year and down from $171,250 from September of 2009.

The blog gives a nice quick summary of the dilemma in the following paragraph:
Sales started to plunge in July at 53.85 percent, the second highest sales depreciation on the record this year. Then it was followed by August and September which respectively dropped by 33.33 percent and 56.52 percent, the highest so far this year. October real estate in South Ogden sales tallied a total of 15 homes sold, down 21.05 percent from 19 in October 2010, and 28.57 percent below September sales with 14 sold properties.
Below you can see from these graphs a visual display of how the real estate market is going in South Ogden.  Looks like we have a long ways to go to recover from the recession.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Carl Wimmer's State Gun Bill - A waste of time.

Yesterday I heard about Representative Carl Wimmer's legislation for naming a state gun. has a nice little article on this here. Realizing what a waste of time and money this would be, I quickly sent out a tweet to Mr. Wimmer to express my dissatifaction to this bill.

I tweeted:
Hey @ this is a waste of time and tax payer money, don't you have better things to do with your time! 
 His reply:
@  I suppose you expressed the same feelings when they designated the dutch oven, seagull and blue spruce official emblems?
From there following conversation began:
MEDid you just compare the state bird to a gun? RT @ Did you expressed same feelings when they designated the seagull?
Carl Wimmer: @  oh I see. So its not about the "waste of time" its about your anti-gun stance? I see.
ME: I own a gun dude! stp twisting words & find a real bill RT @ So its not abt "waste of time" its abt your anti-gun stance?
ME: @ Here is a nice pic of my Browning Pump, I can not believe you would stoop so low, you've just shown your true colors. 
Carl Wimmer: @ just trying to figure out why you don't think it appropriate to honor John Browning and his contributions to defending America...because the M1911 has done far more for Utah and the U.S than a dutch oven, blue spruce, elk, beehive or sego lily.
ME: @ because the economy sucks and we have more important things to worry about like saving money. Lets honor him later...and who cares! Lets save money and work Utahs real issues like education and the economy not whether the M1911 saved America.
Our conversation stimulated other tweets as well including:
 @'s "State Firearm" proposal is a pointless and purely symbolic waste of time. I say this as a lover of guns & the 1911 
@ It is now clear that @ is NOT a fiscal conservative. Prefers to waste taxpayer money with frivolous nonsense (state gun).

and... @ Perhaps I was harsh, but IMHO any money spent on a state gun in these hard economic times is frivolous waste.

@  @ Can we have a state jello & make vanilla our state ice cream?

@ @ The counter point, I think, is that govt.'s proper role is to secure the rights of its citizens, not honor people

Plus we can't forget Bagley's wonderful cartoon in today's Tribune: Bagley's Carl Wimmer Cartoon

In the end, I am terribly disappointed in Mr. Wimmer's attempt to not only waste our money but also to twist my words, his true self has come forward.  I hope he stops wasting our time with this pointless bill and moves on to fixing our real problems in Utah. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

South Ogden City Council Meeting 12-7-2010 - "Recession is Over???"

Tonight's meeting covered the major issues surround the 2010-2011 budget and brought to light even more issues of concern.  What we have learned is South Ogden has been planning this years budget under the assumption the recession and its ill effects are behind us.  In doing so they planned for a 2% sales tax revenue increase for this years budget.  However the exact opposite has occurred causing our city to plunge into a distressed situation.

Most of the issues regarding the $700,000 deficit were cleared up and I have posted Matt Dixon's response in the download section or it can be found here.  He shows we are not as bad as we have been hearing; yet being in debt is still not great.  Mr. Dixon's explanation and proposed cuts help us to see South Ogden really is doing a lot to balance its budget.  Interestingly some of the proposed cuts are to things like $12,500 in 401k matches, changes to insurance benefits, and reduction in staff.  Also of interest is the fact that if we didn't have a $23,000 bill for the gym facility, we could have saved some of those items.  Sorry employee benefits...the gym has priority. Big cuts are coming to our fleet services as well, which I think will hurt is in the long term; but a quick solution for now.

However the question remains, why are we so off?  I asked the city council and Steve Liebersbach, the city Finance Director, how South Ogden calculates its sales tax projections to help get a better understanding of how we became so off this year.  Steve went on to explain he uses historical data from the past five to seven years, he also takes into consideration trend analysis, monthly reports from the state tax commission, and of course he also looks at the local, state and national economic situations. So what has the past years data shown us and what did we estimate? Here is the answer:

The 2008-2009 budgeted sales tax revenues were down 4%. The 2009-2010 revenues were down 5.7%.  Based on this information, how would you budget? Would you project sales tax revenues to be up or down. Well Steve suggested because reports showed the recession had ended in 2009, South Ogden should project a 2% increase in sales tax revenue. Yes, you heard me right, South Ogden City projected for a 2% sales tax increase while during a recession (or in the aftermath of one).

Since we had a delay in the effects from the recession, it would only be safe to say we would have a delay in the recovery, don't you think? But we didn't plan that way, we decided to defy all expectations and expect increased revenue. 

The Result?

The following cuts and then some:
  1. Early retirement offers in early 2010
  2. Reductions in force
  3. Replacing one full-time position with a part-time position
  4. Elimination of the employee 401k match program
  5. Moving to a HDHP/HSA medical insurance plan
  6. Delaying certain capital equipment purchases
  7. Cuts in training and travel
  8. Reduction in overtime allocations
  9. Amending building cleaning contracts to 2 days and 3 days instead of 5 days per week
  10. Scaling back community and employee special events - no more Timbermine :(
My last question was how South Ogden would survive with revenues going down every year and not being able to cover expenditures. Remember revenue has gone done $360,000 in the past two years and expenditures have gone down only $160,000 in the same time frame.  I used the analogy, if my household failed to bring in enough revenue to cover expenditures I would lose my home.  Steve replied, 
"We can't make the comparison between a household budget and city budget.  A city has savings it can utilize to cover it's losses. The city doesn't operate like a household checkbook, and that is a good thing. Like all of the funds that come in and out of the city there are multiple checkbooks and it doesn't work like a house." 
Well I am sorry he sees it that way, but I disagree. The profit function is the same for everyone, Profit = Revenue - Cost. Tonights cuts are only a band-aid if sales tax revenue continues in a free fall.  But no worries...South Ogden has savings.

South Ogden's Budget Meeting Tonight

As a reminder, tonight's city council meeting will include a public hearing regarding South Ogden's budget and potential cuts. Our city manager, Matt Dixon, appears to have been working around the clock to put together comprehensive plan to help South Ogden emerge from our current situation. At the same time there appears to be some shock and confusion from our local officials at my concern to our budget crisis. I would ask them to remember my blog is titled "From Where I Sit" and so I am posting my opinion based on the limited information I receive regarding the issues, this includes newspapers, minutes, agendas and (when possible) attendance to city council meetings.   At the same time, the resident's of South Ogden can only do the same.   Therefore I am glad tonight we are having a public meeting to help set the record straight and help us all more fully understand the situation at hand.

Some points of interest that will be brought up:

  1. Our 2008-2009, 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 budgets have all be challenged with a city deficit. However each year we have made attempts to balance this but cutting back and using our general fund. 2008-2009 we had too much in our general fund and needed to use that money, however would have either way so you can't really use that as an excuse. We have used general funds to balance each year but not as much as we may have heard. In total it appears to be $148,147 has been used of general funds in the past two years.
  2. General Funds revenues have dropped nearly $360,000 and Expenditures have dropped $168,488 over the past two years. (Interesting expenditures have only dropped half of what our revenues are. If I did that in my home, I would lose my home!)
  3. Our current budget deficit is really $377,535 not as high as $700,000 as has been previously mentioned. The cuts planned should bring us down to $83,491. The city has a plan to help make this happen by some reductions in work force, elimination of the 401k match, cutting back in travel, etc.

This is not an easy job and I am sorry we have to go through this. Though it is next to impossible to compare us to other cities (since all have different revenue streams and structures). I am seeing a lot of cities who are not dealing with these same issues, for example like Plain City and Farr West who both made early adjustments to prepare for the drop in sales tax revenue.

In the end, I would really like our city to stop spending more than it has. I am glad we have an emergency fund and can cover our deficits. But for three years straight we have been in the hole, it appears (from where I sit) we've just kept spending and hoped it would all work. This is hard because we are counting on sales tax revenue to help us and the money hasn't come.

What I want to know is how do we estimate how much sales tax we will receive and how do we adjust the estimate for the current economy?

What do you want to know?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Becky Kelley - Where's the Line to See Jesus - OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO

I just haven't been able to get enough of this video. Makes me cry every time and appreciate my Savior Jesus Christ. I hope I can remember him this season better than I have done in the past.

Public Hearing for South Ogden Tomorrow - Cuts are Coming

Tomorrow, starting at 6 pm, South Ogden City will be having a public hearing to discuss proposed amendments to the 2010-2011 budget.  If you haven't seen past blog posts or the Standard Examiner articles, then you should know South Ogden City is in need of some cuts to break even this year.  Rumor has it around $300,000 will be cut from the budget.  It will be interesting to see where those cuts come from.  I have had a number of city council folks contact me since my first posts assuring me the stories in the Standard Examiner (See Here) are blown out of proportion and cuts do not need to be as severe.  I thank them for their communication and I look forward to the meeting on Tuesday.

Due to my schedule I am not able to attend most Tuesday meetings, but this is one I am hoping to attend.

Here is a previous post to refresh your memory of what has been happening: 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

South Ogden City gets a "B" for Transparency

The Sutherland Institute recently released their Transparency in Government Website results.  This publication was created using a 10-point checklist of information any government website should have.  The cities of the state of Utah overall earned an average score of "C-", barely a passing grade.   However South Ogden is above average and has earned a "B" with only a handful of cities earning an "A-".
   The South Ogden website might not be the most aesthetically pleasing website, but it does have a ton of information on it.  Some of the information you can get includes council minutes, agendas, building permits, pay your utilities and budget info.     Overall it has been a very easy website to use and in comparison to many of the other city websites, we have a lot of things going for us.  It is really worth checking out at

To read more about the Transparency in Utah program and see how other cities scored, you can go to the Sutherland Institute website at: or check out the scores at here.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Need New Glasses - Get some for Free on Thursday.

I am always on the look out for great deals.  After my last Black Friday success, I have really been searching for ways my family could save some more money.  One of the things we are always in the need of us a new pair of glasses.  I recently become aware of this amazing company called and learned that they often have a free glasses giveaway.  In fact they have given away over 20,000 pairs of glasses for free!

After emailing the company about their program, I learned they are going to be giving away another 1,000 pairs of glasses this Thursday, December 2nd.  And all 1,000 of these babies goes to Utah!  You can get a free pair of glasses for Christmas on December 2nd.  How do you do it you may ask, this is how:

    To get your free glasses simply enter your email address and click the ‘Sign Up’ button at our giveaway landing page:  
·         You will then receive a confirmation email with details on how to get your free pair of glasses on the morning of Thursday, December 2, 2010.
·         We recommend picking out 3-5 frames on our website ahead of time so that you have your order all ready to go on Thursday - and so you don’t miss out on any of the 1,000 free pairs.
·         This giveaway differs from our previous giveaways in that you do not have to go to Facebook and ‘Like’ our Facebook page to enter the giveaway.

Terms and Conditions:
·         Valid until the first 1,000 coupons are entered. Standard lenses included. Shipping and handling charges will apply. All lens upgrades including progressives, coatings, transitions and tints extra. Some frames may not be eligible. Previous free glasses recipients are excluded from this offer. Limit one per household*. Web orders within Utah on December 2, 2010. *Please Note: Multiple orders placed from the same household will be canceled, even if the destination address is different.

Still not convinced! Check out this media segment on their previous giveaways:

Also here is their facebook page: