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Deeper analysis of comments on DPS website show councilman’s flawed analysis

Posted 16 October 2018 at 3:03 pm

Editor:

Yates Councilman John Riggi continues to deceive the public and manipulate data regarding the Lighthouse Wind Project (LWP) proposal in the Towns of Somerset and Yates. According to his latest post, “Yates councilman says…” on 7th October, he claims to have performed “an empirical assessment of public comments made to the DPS website” between “January 1, 2015 through September 30, 2018.”

The New York State Department of Public Service – Public Comments section is not a quantifiable survey or “voting” mechanism.

Having questioned Mr. Riggi’s previous posts here on OrleansHub.com, without response…  Having listened to Mr. Riggi manipulate data regarding bird mortality at the Yates’ Town Board meeting in September…  Having heard his question about a supposed “concrete leaching” threat read and answered unequivocally at the Apex presentation in Lyndonville…  Having read numerous comments and public postings questioning the validity and integrity of two other surveys recently conducted….

I decided to examine the DPS data itself.

Since the first Public Comment on November 3rd, 2014, there have been 1,508 submissions to DPS Comment No. 1642 on Oct. 12, 2018. Mr. Riggi claims there were 1,483 “votes” through 3rd Quarter 2018, and 26 “votes” were submitted since his accounting… 1,508 versus 1,509. This confirms Mr. Riggi’s input data is well defined and consists of only public comments on the DPS website.

All comments were read and “vote” ascertained. Less than 5 were excluded for lack of position clarity.

There are 750 “Unique Submission Names,” indicating 750 “votes” should be considered.  Impartial surveys should attempt to minimize double voting in order to be credible.

If the DPS Public Comments are to be a measure of public support, even though this is not the intention of the DPS website at all – holding an election, I have omitted votes/voters for the following 3 reasons;

1) elected or government officials,

2) any agency or group claiming to represent voices of others, and

3) employees/representatives of vested interests; i.e., APEX Clean Energy.

Results of “Votes” removed…

Submissions

Unknown –  1

Agency  –  20

Somerset or Yates Reps  –  65

Niagara/Orleans or State Reps –  7

Apex  –  1

As the DPS does not consider elected officials “public,” something Councilman Riggi knows, given he is listed in the DPS Party List, as are most other, but not all, elected officials, he should have excluded these “votes” himself.  He has not.

There are now roughly 1,400 votes.

For each “unique submission names” identified above, each was examined over time to locate that person’s first submission. It was registered as a “vote” in support or opposition accordingly. All “votes” after the first submission for each person have been excluded.

This resulted in 596 “votes,” not the 1,500 confirmed above.

Here are the results of a “One Person, One Vote” tabulation;

Number of Submissions  –  1,508

Support/Opposition Unknown  –  0

Unique Submission Names  –  708

Unique Family Names   –  431

Unique 1 Person, 1 Vote Submissions  –  596

In Support  –  199  (33.4%)

In Opposition  –  397  (66.6%)

All eligible submissions, including repeat “votes” were organized by date, in a manner consistent with Mr. Riggi “survey” results.

Here are the results.

One Person, One Vote

Quarter         Support      Oppose         Support

4Q14               0                      1                      0%

1Q15               0                      32                    0%

2Q15               0                      49                    0%

3Q15               26                    60                    30%

4Q15               54                    62                    47%

1Q16               22                    40                    35%

2Q16               0                      7                      0%

3Q16               12                    18                    40%

4Q16               1                      3                      25%

1Q17               0                      6                      0%

2Q17               0                      29                    0%

3Q17               4                      8                      33%

4Q17               9                      4                      69%

1Q18               16                    18                    47%

2Q18               2                      8                      20%

3Q18               51                    47                    52%

4Q18               0                      7                      0%

Totals              197                  399                  n/a

Repeated Votes

Quarter         Support     Oppose     Excluded        Totals

4Q14               0                 0                0                      1

1Q15               0                  9                6                      47

2Q15               0                 36              8                      93

3Q15               9                 70               7                     172

4Q15              8                  112             11                    247

1Q16               12                 75              23                  172

2Q16               1                  21               7                     36

3Q16               9                  45              5                     89

4Q16              0                   17               6                    27

1Q17               0                   18              1                     25

2Q17               1                   34             5                     69

3Q17              1                    11              2                      26

4Q17              15                    15            4                     47

1Q18              19                    47            4                     104

2Q18              7                      78            7                     102

3Q18               20                  104           7                    229

4Q18              1                      12              1                    21

Totals              103               704           104               1,507

In real terms, only 103 Support “repeat votes” were submitted in stark contrast to 704 Oppose “repeat votes.” Repeat OPPOSE submissions occurred 7 times as often as repeat SUPPORT submissions.

Reading multiple letters recently in the Orleans Hub, where opposition parties claim irregularities within 2 other surveys conducted recently showing a roughly 50/50 split in Support versus Opposition, we all must be made aware the only other “survey” conducted and promoted, as seen on countless Save Ontario Shore’s signs, “Survey says…” is in fact the numbers and results published by Councilman Riggi from data obtained from the NYS DPS “Public Comment” section.

Analysis of the “One Person, One Vote” data over time, although not showing overall Support for Lighthouse Wind Project exceeds that in Opposition, does reveal the data trend in Support is growing.

Councilman Riggi’s analysis of DPS “Public Comments” is extremely flawed. “Public Comments” are not “votes” and were not intended to be used as data for “surveys” as the Councilman has done and Save Ontario Shores has embraced and promoted his (their?) “results” publicly.

Save Ontario Shores’ “Survey says…” signs, require modification to read…

“One Person One Vote Surveys Say… Opposition is Greatly Exaggerated!”

Hans Hyde,

Lockport

Barker High School graduate