Citys national honor not to be taken lightly
- Lake Oswego Review - Opinion
Money Magazine ran the numbers and decided Lake Oswego is a top 100 city
There's a certain thrill in seeing that other people realize something many of us already know: Our city of Lake Oswego is a great place to live.
Earlier this month we brought you the story that, according to Money magazine's 2009 list of America's best small towns, Lake Oswego is ranked No. 79 in the country. Our next door neighbor, West Linn, ranks 64. And here's the grabber: These are the only two Oregon small towns to make Money's list this year.
Like it or not, this is pretty heady atmosphere for both communities. And while we should be pleased with our placement, we need to remember that not everything here is as rosy as our ranking. We do have our squabbles as the bickering between the city and some residents on projects ranging from the West End Building to sensitive lands to the streetcar makes clear.
The annual ranking, which appears in the magazine's August issue, used CNNMoney.com's Best Places database to compare and contrast towns with populations of up to 50,000. Lake Oswego's population is 36,926 while West Linn has 25,236 citizens. Money compared crime rates, school data, diversity levels, median family incomes and home prices to come up with its ranking.
Both communities rank high in virtually all of those categories except one: Diversity, with Money noting that Lake Oswego 'is not particularly diverse.'
What did Money see that it liked?
Money notes that 'the city is divided into 20 official neighborhoods, each with its own governing association. Lake homes are popular (and expensive), but outdoor activities are available for everyone, including hiking in the state park (Tryon Creek), waterskiing on the Willamette River or playing a few rounds on the public golf course.'
While affordable housing is one of the factors Money looks at, we feel many local residents would take exception as the cost of living here is too high for many of our citizens and would-be citizens. The article notes that the median home price in Lake Oswego is $456,250 while the average for the top 100 list overall is almost half that at $262,148.
You might be wondering who the main competition is for Lake Oswego and West Linn. The top 10 is as follows: 1) Louisville, Co., 2) Chanhassen, Minn., 3) Papillion, Neb., 4) Middleton, Wisc., 5) Milton, Mass., 6) Warren, N.J., 7) Keller, Texas, 8) Peachtree City, Ga., 9) Lake St. Louis, Mo., and 10) Mukiteo, Wash.
In our story we also noted that Lake Oswego made a separate Money magazine list this year as well. In a top 25 ranking of '6-figure towns,' the city was No. 17, with a median family income of $119,630 per year. The median family income in West Linn was $115,171.
On the 'best places' list, West Linn was noted for offering low tax rates compared to other parts of the metro area. Its farmers' market was also highlighted as an asset.
As noted in the story, you can view the full list at http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag .
It's fun to be recognized. We just need to keep everything in perspective and try to keep rowing the community boat together.