When I heard that Naperville was ranked the second best city to live in, the first question I had was, who was ranked first. No doubt that coming in second place is pretty good unless your Hillary Clinton, in a heavyweight championship fight, or interviewing for a job.
Naperville is a wonderful city and I am happy to have been a resident for the last 39 years. Could it be better? Of course it could. If better is possible, then good is not enough. That’s the hope for each city council election; to elect the best candidates, thereby improving the collective group. Obviously, city leadership has done a far better than average job over the years in planning Naperville’s growth. However the good folks of Naperville, are the real strength of the city.
These so-called ‘best’ lists are fickle. It wasn’t that long ago that Naperville wasn’t even the best city within a 7 mile radius of the municipal center; Bolingbrook was given that honor. Now Naperville is the second best city in the United States. How does that happen, and who creates these lists. Maybe someday we will see an expose on CBS’s 60-Minutes, how this works, but until then we have to go with it.
This particular list was created by Niche, a company that ranks cities and towns and looks at public schools, crime, employment opportunities, cost of living index, and general amenities. Apparently carjackings didn’t carry much weight, nor did the number of law suits, and class actions against the city account for much. Niche evaluated over 200 cities and 15,000 plus towns; that is a lot of evaluating.
The company scrutinized the results of 397 Naperville reviews. 111 people rated the city as ‘excellent’, 187 said it was ‘very good’, 91 said Naperville was average, 6 said it was a ‘poor’ choice for living, and two folks said Naperville was a ‘terrible’ place to live. I’m guessing the two that said Naperville was terrible, had just opened their electric bills prior to Niche’s survey.
Who remembers second place anyway? Who was the second best horse to the last Triple Crown winner? Who came in second place in the last Naperville mayoral election? OK, that’s an easy one, the same guy who always came in second place…it was what’s his name, yes that’s it, it was him.
Ricky Bobby says, ‘if you’re not first, you’re last’.
Naperville councilman John ‘Johnny’ may agree with Ricky Bobby.
So which city came in first place? It was Ann Arbor, Michigan. Maybe Naperville should focus on Ann Arbor to see what they are doing that we could be doing better. My guess is that it’s the electric bill. Based on that, we’ll be in second place for the next 28 years, the amount of time remaining on the horrendous electric utility contract hanging over Naperville like a bad three-piece suit.