What One Idaho Mayor Thinks About Website Ranking His Town "Most Miserable"

Feb 26, 2016

Emmett, Idaho was ranked the "most miserable" city in the state by a list-generating website. The mayor of the town takes exception to that ranking.
Credit City of Emmett

Many people in Idaho know the city of Emmett for its annual cherry festival, which draws thousands to the small town every year. But its place on a recently published list is drawing some negative attention.

According to the list-generating website RoadSnacks, misery can be calculated with Census data. The site publishes all kinds of lists – from “poorest cities in Oklahoma” to “drunkest cities in Colorado.” The creators seem to have cracked the code for state-specific clickbait.

One of the site's most recent lists was a ranking of the “10 Most Miserable Cities In Idaho.” RoadSnacks identified Emmett as Idaho's most miserable place.

But, not surprisingly, Emmett Mayor Gordon Petrie takes exception to this title, for several reasons.

“We are far from miserable, but if RoadSnacks wants to call us that they can do so because that will keep the riff-raff away," says Petrie. "They’re pretty much into immediate gratification and we’re into long-term goals.”

The mayor says the list – which looked at things like homeownership and commute times – presents an incomplete picture, and doesn’t account for the town’s sense of pride and accomplishments.

Petrie says these kinds of lists stack the deck against rural towns. By only looking at measures like commute times and homeownership, he says the website is missing the things that make it a place where its 6,500 residents want to stay.

But, Mayor Petrie says the ranking is good for one thing.

“We take care of each other, we love each other, we work with each other, and frankly we just kind of hoot when we see RoadSnacks and their 10 worst lists.”

Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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