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As Long as We Remember...

Just the Facts, Ma'am?

September 5, 2005

On the August 31 candidate's forum on Adelphia's Newsmaker 10 Mayor Jennifer Dougherty said: "and a, an e-mail from someone in the city government is not as valid, I would suggest, in the terms of the numbers of employees as what is printed in the Certified Annual Financial Report. The Certified Annual Financial Report reports facts, it has the mayor's signature on it and if he doesn't like that he can chuckle as much as he likes, it's just the facts."

I believe that Mayor Dougherty is getting her facts from the Miscellaneous Statistical Data page of the Certified Annual Financial Reports of the city. It's the only page in the document that I could find where any employee numbers are given.

The numbers do agree with what she said as far as the differences in the employees from 1988 to 2004. A problem does exist that the reporting technique changed between 1988 and 2004. In 1988 employees were listed as either merit or exempt and in 2004 as full time and part-time (FTEs - full time equivalent). I don't know what methods were used to categorize employees in 1988. I assume that they had part-time employees then also.

But this is not the biggest problem that I found. The Miscellaneous Statistical Data page lists all kinds of facts about the city, employees, miles of streets, sidewalks, sewers, etc. Starting in 2000 the physical arrest and traffic violations were included. One would think that these numbers would be different from year to year. It would be remote if they remained the same.

The physical arrest and traffic violations remained constant for the years 2002, 2003, 2004. There is no way in a million years that this feat could happen! The employees also remained constant for those three years also, which is possible, but not likely.

In fact the only change on the Miscellaneous Statistical Data page for 2003 and 2004 was the year change from 2003 to 2004. There are about 20 items that should change each year. None did.

All administration had some questionable anomalies in the reported information. The present administration outweighs every other one from 1985 by a far margin.

These Certified Annual Financial Reports have the "mayor's signature on them" and could one assume that the signer is the one that is ultimately responsible for the information?

Can the number of employees today be considered accurate if the information in the present administration's Certified Annual Financial Reports is in question?

It's just the facts!

Gil House
Urbana MD

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