WB scores No. 37 on Money’s list of top small cities

By: Eric Czarnik | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published August 28, 2012

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WEST BLOOMFIELD —West Bloomfield is in the Money.

The township scored 37th in an August CNN Money magazine ranking of the 100 best places to live among the United States’ best small cities. According to the magazine’s website, the findings are set to appear in Money’s September 2012 issue.

West Bloomfield shared its place on the list with such other Michigan communities as Troy, No. 26; Shelby Township, No. 78; Macomb Township; No. 84 and Ann Arbor, No. 100.

According to the magazine, the ranking examined U.S. municipalities with 50,000-300,000 residents and winnowed those based on crime stats and education scores. It removed places with extremes in median family incomes and rejected retirement communities and places with heavy job losses.

The Money article lauds West Bloomfield for its housing values and said the median house’s value was under $200,000 in the township. According to Money’s metric, the typical “best places” community’s median home value came in around $269,800.

The article also praised the West Bloomfield area’s schools and reported that the area’s math and reading scores beat the “best places” average among students who perform above the state average.

Citing FBI statistics, the township also beat the “best places” average for personal crime at one incident per 1,000 people, versus two per 1,000 people elsewhere. West Bloomfield was also lower in property crime at 13 incidents, versus 20 in other communities, per 1,000 people.

The article also praised the “small but chic” downtown area for its eateries and shops, as well as Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.

One area where West Bloomfield fell short among the magazine’s average was in job growth between 2000 and 2011. The township had a 6.73 percent loss, but the overall average among other top communities was a 25.01 percent gain.

The township was also considered less racially diverse, with a 91 score compared with a score of 100 for the national average and 118.4 for the “best cities” average.

In response to the report, Township Supervisor Michele Economou Ureste said the township scored as it did predominantly because of its public safety, parks, library and unique environmental features.

Treasurer Teri Weingarden also praised the magazine’s distinction and called it a wonderful marketing opportunity.

“People who move to West Bloomfield generally stay here, and I think that Money magazine made the right choice,” she said. “We continually make this list. As someone who has lived in West Bloomfield since age 5, I agree.”

The news was welcome to former Supervisor David Flaisher, but not surprising.

“We got that same designation in 2006,” he said. “We were voted, I think, 13 or 14th. In 2008 we were around in the 30s. … I’m happy to hear that we got that again, but it’s not the first time at all.”

The magazine selected Carmel, Ind., as the nation’s best small city to live in.

You can read CNNMoney’s article at http://money.cnn.com. Learn more about West Bloomfield at www.wbtwp.com.

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