Things must be even slower than normal up in Ogden—slow enough that the city’s young mayor, Matthew Godfrey, seems to have so little to do that he has become somewhat of an expert on blunting the efforts and opinions of Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson. Of late, every time Rocky says something, Godfrey weighs in with an opinion—albeit a lightweight and predictable one.
One must remember, of course, that Godfrey is a Republican and Mormon in good standing. Rocky is a Democrat and is not a Mormon in good standing. Also, Rocky defeated Stuart Reid in last year’s election. Reid then took up work with Godfrey and switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. It’s fair to assume that besides the sense of moral superiority, there’s just a little bit of bitterness and envy residing in Ogden City Hall, wherever that is.
Godfrey is especially prone to make pronouncements about Anderson’s stances on Utah’s wacky liquor laws. As you should know by now, liquor is the handmaiden of the devil. People like Godfrey can’t resist any opportunity to demonize it and those who use it, and to rally behind laws they make no attempt to understand.
Last fall, Godfrey spearheaded a petition of 11 Utah mayors to countermand statements made by Anderson regarding Utah liquor law. Anderson proposed that Utah should allow wine sales in grocery stores and end the “private clubs” charade, in which citizens and tourists must buy a membership to each and every club they want to visit. In the case of the former, well, that ain’t gonna happen. But as for the “private club” thing, it makes perfect sense—private clubs are a farce, serving only to confuse and alienate tourists and locals alike while doing zilch to reduce or control alcohol consumption.
When Godfrey and his compatriots denounced Anderson, Godfrey stated that he believes changing our liquor laws would be “a great error. … Our laws are progressive.” Well, maybe in that cultural dead zone of Ogden, but not in Salt Lake City. We had been told that each mayor was, like Godfrey, a Mormon and a Republican. When this paper tried to reach those 11 mayors, none would speak to us. We wanted to know if any of them had ever been inside a private club.
So here’s our offer Mr. Godfrey: Let’s say we meet at the City Club on 25th Street in Ogden and talk about it? Any day, any time. And leave Stuart Reid behind when you come.—John Saltas