To the Editor,
Erdmann Tuemp-Millyard’s (ETM’s) own admission in his letter entitled “Statistics unique to Lillooet” was that it has been decades since he fell under the academic rigors of Political Science. This was self evident by his treatment of the material submitted to support his thesis. Not only that, but it is obvious to anyone reading the letter that it has been also many decades since he studied Statistics, Law, Public Finance and the academically rigorous study of Common Sense by Thomas Paine.
Cases in Point:
1. I recently conducted a study of Lillooet and found a statistically perfect correlation between the Ministry of Highways traffic flow data and the number of blue-eyed cats in Lillooet for that year reported by the BCSPCA. This led me to conclude that if the Lillooet community wanted to increase the number of blue-eyed cats in its population of toms, all they had to do was to vary the size of the advertising budget for the Sea-to-Sky initiative. On face value, it seemed perfectly reasonable to me!
On second thought, I remembered the concept of variable relevance and cause and effect analysis. Just because you discover what you believe to be a perfect correlation between two unrelated variables does not allow you to draw the conclusion that one causes the other, Mr. Tuemp-Millyard. That is the kind of thinking that led humans to believe that the Moon is made of cheese. (I love cheese). Also an irrelevant point in this discussion.
2. Mr. TM then went on to cite “the spectacle” of a former Mayor suing a number of local citizens and the statistical number alone would make this unique to Lillooet. Huh?
No academic rigor is required to be applied to analyze this vacuous thought - just Common Sense. Do you think that taking a run at publicly elected officials, just because they are in the “Big Seat,” is fair? In two cases, they were settled with apologies and costs, before the cases went before a judge. In my opinion, the former mayor was obviously vindicated in the award conditions of her choice. Good on the former Mayor and maybe the perpetrators will be a little more careful next time.
3. With regards to Mr. TM’s analysis of George Vanderwolf’s letter based on the District budget statement indicating that the sum of property taxes was equal to the sum of salaries of District staff. And your point is?
I dare say if you looked at many other communities you would find a similar relationship. Did Mr. Vanderwolf also consider that the DOL has many other sources of income from senior governments such as the Small Community Grant? Or that the DOL receives more money annually from senior governments than from local taxes? Or in 2012, that’s what it costs to run local government? Those are the real important facts to be gleaned from an even cursory analysis of the Budget document.
In the past decade, the cost of salaries at all levels of the Public Service has risen obscenely, in my opinion. But those are the facts and despite the fact that you seem to believe that Lillooet exists in a vacuum, the real fact is that all small communities are price takers in the personnel market.
You should be thanking God every day that you are able to attract and retain a good professional staff in the face of the kind of abuse being dealt by a clearly irrelevant minority. Not all communities are so lucky to have such a competent professional staff.
Mark Twain popularized the saying “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Mr. TM - it’s time to go back to school.