It was with great interest that I read the column written by Paul Mero in Saturday’s Standard-Examiner, “Ebert Right Choice for Weber County Commission.” Let me start off by saying, I don’t know Mr. Ebert and have no axe to grind with him. My concern is the tone of Mr. Mero’s guest commentary.

My guess is, of course Paul Mero supports Ebert as his Sandy, UT, organization, ptmstrategiesLLC received a $7,500 contract back in December of 2016. Ebert, as a commissioner, was very supportive of this contract.

This contract is to help solve intergenerational poverty. That is a wonderful goal, but what have we gotten from this contract? What are some of the ideas that have come from this? Are they being implemented? Who has benefited from this so far?

Gage Froerer, on the other hand, has brought many positive results to Weber County. For example, his support of Youth Impact has helped many young people in central Ogden get training and mentorship, the things that can truly have an impact on a child’s future success and bring them out of poverty. Youth Impact teaches people how to fish, not give them a fish.

Gage Froerer was also instrumental in getting support for The American Red Cross’s Cause for Alarms. This program works to install smoke alarms and teach families how to plan for evacuation in case of fire so people can get out safely.

Cottages of Hope also received support from Gage’s efforts. Cottages of Hope works with families to help them budget and build financial stability for a more promising future.

United Way was able to pay off the building they are in thanks to support from Gage. This has helped keep rents low for may of the non-profits located there that give direct help to underserved populations. These lower rents help the organizations have more funds for direct services. United Way also has programs that help underserved populations.

These hardly sound like programs that Gage got “good old boys” and “cronies” to help with. Actually, Mr. Mero’s letter seems more like “cronyism” as he will probably benefit even more if Mr. Ebert is re-elected.

Alex McDonald

Ogden

(2) comments

paulmero

Just for clarity's sake, a "crony" is a long-time friend of a politician who receives some benefit never really deserved. My contract with Weber County was for $7500 to help facilitate the creation of the county IGP strategic plan. At my current rate, $7500 covered about 93 hours of work, about half to a third of the time I actually spent in Ogden on this project. That is not a crony -- that is public service in something I believe deeply. And, BTW, thank you Weber residents for at least covering my mileage back and forth to Ogden. As far as deserved, you may ask any number of the 30 or so people on the IGP committee if I did my part. An actual crony receives sweetheart deals simply because of a friendship with someone in power. If we had to compare histories, my guess is Gage is currently closer to a crony than I ever will be. But I could say that about nearly anyone else I know in politics. Hence, my focus on the term "transactional."

ninamorse

Alex is a nice guy, he truly is, but he should get to know these two candidates a bit better. Ebert has continuously worked on initiatives to help the impovershed and underserved in Weber County. He serves on boards for victims of domestic violence and he is working to end intergenerational poverty, both of which are serious problems in Weber County. Gage is in it for himself. How many years past did Gage secure funding for these non-profits? Is this the first year... the same year Kerry Gibson talks him into running for commissioner? Gage is the president of the "Good Old Boys Network." This is a guy that has a real estate contract with Weber County, one that Kerry helped him get. He's also the same guy that writes bills that directly benefit him. More than 50 percent of the bills he sponsored helped real estate agents, land developers and slumlords. In fact, I'm just going to start calling him Gage "Conflict of Interest" Froerer because everything he does is a conflict of interest. And to those living in West Weber and up in the valley, he supports bonus density housing. Think of that when you're mailing in your ballots. Gage truly is a transactional politician. What's in it for him? Paul Mero nailed it. 

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