Forgive me, then, for giving you the latest ranking from Money Magazine. This one ranks the top 50 best small towns to live in, and only one of them is in Alabama - Pelham.
In other words -- and I'm not trying to be snarky -- none of Calhoun County's towns earned recognition.
Here's what editors at Money wrote about this project. "America's top 50 small towns are not only thriving economically, they’ve also got all you could want in a place to raise a family: plenty of green space, good schools, and a strong sense of community." Money's rankings, as you can see, also list the median home price for 2012 for each city, along with crime statistics, math and reading scores and job growth.
In some ways this is a non-starter discussion. What you want out of the town you live in may be different than what I want. But it is something for our cities to consider. What is it that Pelham has that our towns do not? Oxford is loaded with money, is the retail center of the county and its public schools are praised; why isn't it on the list? Jacksonville's sense of community is high and its public schools are considered excellent. Why isn't it on the list? Anniston, obviously, has a different story altogether.
It's something for the county's leaders to think about as we move forward.
-- Phillip Tutor