Mark Twain popularized the phrase “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” A recent survey by a union that represent a few city employees has been reported recently to present a view of city Hall that is just not true.
The story goes that 14 people, out of 70, have left the city staff in the last 18 months. That is the only true statement being reported. The rest of the story falsely reports on a survey conducted by the AFSCME union which represents only 26 employees. Of those 26 people, only 75% of them “anonymously filled out the survey” which means that the opinions of 19 people were the basis of the article. That is only 19 people out of 70, or 28% of city staff.
The biggest lie in circulation is: “80% of current employees report ‘low or horrible’ morale working at city hall.” The actual number is 22%, because it is not 80% of “current employees”, it is 80% of the 19 people who completed the survey, which is only 15 people.
Similarly, instead of 30% of people looking for new jobs, it 8% or 6 people. Instead of 65% “seeing/or being the being the victim of bullying” it is 18% or 12 people.
Furthermore, the story places blame for the departures on City Manager Rebecca Polizzoto. The basis for this assertion? “Some citizens who have been longtime friends” of former employees. Based on strikingly similar “reports” on social media, “some citizens” are the usual band of former city council people who were swept out of office: Lynn Sordel, Kathy Neilsen, and Mary Kay Voss. These three have continuously criticized the council, the mayor, and the city manager ever since they lost the election. It is time for these people to realize, they are not in office anymore, and the people of Mill Creek have spoken loud and clear – we don’t want the city run in the same old way.
Finally, buried in the story is the fact that 6 of the 14 employees who left the city in the last 18 months were planned retirements and that two others were for personal or professional opportunities. That means only 6 employees have left in the last 18 months for reasons other than retirement or better opportunity. 6 people leaving the city staff out of 70 can also be expressed as 91% retention!
You can't have progress without change, and it seems like a few citizens who used to be in positions of power, simply don't want either.