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2017 Ranking of Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America (We're #149! We'll Try Harder Next Time!)
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WalletHub(dot)com compared the quality of services residents receive against a city's total budget. The site compared 150 cities across six categories: financial stability, education, health, safety, economy, and infrastructure and pollution.

The Top 5:

1. Nampa, Idaho; 2. Provo, Utah; 3. Boise, Idaho; 4. Missoula, Montana; 5. Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky.


The Bottom 5:

146. Cleveland, Ohio; 147. San Francisco, California; 148. New York, NY; 149. Detroit, Michigan; 150. Washington, DC.


2017’s Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America | WalletHub®


Last edited by: big kahuna: Jul 14, 17 7:39
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Re: 2017 Ranking of Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America (We're #149! We'll Try Harder Next Time!) [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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Is the per capita budget" accurately normalized to income/cost of living for an area? If not, it is looks like it is primarily a listing of cities by economic strength in reverse order. The lower per capita spending correlates extremely well with income levels. That skews the entire spending picture (Wow, life's a lot cheaper in Nampa than Tampa! Who'd have thunk?).

OTOH, the "Quality of City Services" is much more interesting because it appears to be graded irrespective of cost of living. In that category you are definitely #150 (Congratulations!)

150-146:
Detroit-Jackson-Stockton-St. Louis-Cleveland

1-5:
Huntington Beach-Bismarck-Provo-Virginia Beach-Fremont, CA

(this of course correlates strongly with the relative size of an underclass who require more services).
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Re: 2017 Ranking of Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America (We're #149! We'll Try Harder Next Time!) [oldandslow] [ In reply to ]
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oldandslow wrote:
Is the per capita budget" accurately normalized to income/cost of living for an area? If not, it is looks like it is primarily a listing of cities by economic strength in reverse order. The lower per capita spending correlates extremely well with income levels. That skews the entire spending picture (Wow, life's a lot cheaper in Nampa than Tampa! Who'd have thunk?).

OTOH, the "Quality of City Services" is much more interesting because it appears to be graded irrespective of cost of living. In that category you are definitely #150 (Congratulations!)

150-146:
Detroit-Jackson-Stockton-St. Louis-Cleveland

1-5:
Huntington Beach-Bismarck-Provo-Virginia Beach-Fremont, CA

(this of course correlates strongly with the relative size of an underclass who require more services).


I think it's a measure of what each city can do/does for its residents. No shock Detroit's where it's at, for all the hipster talk about the downtown (and abutting neighborhoods) revival, mostly brought about by the billionaire Gilbert, Illitch and Karmanos empires.
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Re: 2017 Ranking of Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America (We're #149! We'll Try Harder Next Time!) [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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1. Nampa, Idaho; 2. Provo, Utah; 3. Boise, Idaho; 4. Missoula, Montana;.."

I thought this study was on cities.

To put thes large(ish) towns together in any category with Chicago, NYC, DC, Detroit, Boston, SF, etc... is ridiculous. The scale of services per capita isn't consistent as you get into larger populations. Higher unemployment, crime and poverty change the ratio of cost per capita for city services.

Frank
Last edited by: Frank: Jul 14, 17 10:01
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Re: 2017 Ranking of Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America (We're #149! We'll Try Harder Next Time!) [Frank] [ In reply to ]
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Frank wrote:
1. Nampa, Idaho; 2. Provo, Utah; 3. Boise, Idaho; 4. Missoula, Montana;.."

I thought this study was on cities.


To put this larg(ish) towns together in any catagory with Chicago, NYC, DC, Detroit, Boston, SF, etc... is ridiculous.


Frank


I think, according to geography and how they're understood in the U.S., a city is a city when it has a mayor and a "city council" while a town is governed by a town manager, select board (with "selectmen") or an open town hall or town meeting.

I saw this a lot when I lived in Connecticut (Groton/New London) and Rhode Island (Newport). Some burgs were cities but they were smaller in population than the towns near them. But because they had mayors and city councils, they considered themselves cities. But that's the U.S. for you. It's a much more ordered system in the United Kingdom, from what I've learned from writing travel-style articles about sites, destinations, towns, cities, villages and the like there.
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Re: 2017 Ranking of Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America (We're #149! We'll Try Harder Next Time!) [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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big kahuna wrote:
Frank wrote:
1. Nampa, Idaho; 2. Provo, Utah; 3. Boise, Idaho; 4. Missoula, Montana;.."

I thought this study was on cities.


To put this larg(ish) towns together in any catagory with Chicago, NYC, DC, Detroit, Boston, SF, etc... is ridiculous.


Frank



I think, according to geography and how they're understood in the U.S., a city is a city when it has a mayor and a "city council" while a town is governed by a town manager, select board (with "selectmen") or an open town hall or town meeting.

I saw this a lot when I lived in Connecticut (Groton/New London) and Rhode Island (Newport). Some burgs were cities but they were smaller in population than the towns near them. But because they had mayors and city councils, they considered themselves cities. But that's the U.S. for you. It's a much more ordered system in the United Kingdom, from what I've learned from writing travel-style articles about sites, destinations, towns, cities, villages and the like there.

Got it. Interesting - thanks. And, yes "that's the U.S. for you" indeed.
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Re: 2017 Ranking of Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America (We're #149! We'll Try Harder Next Time!) [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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And yet it's a lot better than the Kwame years.
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Re: 2017 Ranking of Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America (We're #149! We'll Try Harder Next Time!) [knewbike] [ In reply to ]
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knewbike wrote:
And yet it's a lot better than the Kwame years.


The '67 riots were a lot better than the Kwame years. ;-)
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Re: 2017 Ranking of Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America (We're #149! We'll Try Harder Next Time!) [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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If not for bad press would Detroit ever get any?

"If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable." - Lucius Annaeus Seneca
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Re: 2017 Ranking of Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America (We're #149! We'll Try Harder Next Time!) [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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I was going to say the study was totally inaccurate if san francisco wasn't at or near the bottom, but there it is :)

(I live there)
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Re: 2017 Ranking of Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America (We're #149! We'll Try Harder Next Time!) [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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Kinda sucks that in a few months I'll be living smack dab between #1 & #3. Oh well, I'll figure out how to survive I guess. It really does suck there, so don't even think about following us to that area!
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Re: 2017 Ranking of Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America (We're #149! We'll Try Harder Next Time!) [tritimmy] [ In reply to ]
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tritimmy wrote:
Kinda sucks that in a few months I'll be living smack dab between #1 & #3. Oh well, I'll figure out how to survive I guess. It really does suck there, so don't even think about following us to that area!


Hahahahahahaha! Yah. We really feel for you, sir. ;-)
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Re: 2017 Ranking of Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America (We're #149! We'll Try Harder Next Time!) [TomkR] [ In reply to ]
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TomkR wrote:
I was going to say the study was totally inaccurate if san francisco wasn't at or near the bottom, but there it is :)

(I live there)


I spent some time out in the Bay Area in the late 70s, attending a couple of Navy schools (at the old Navy hospital in Oakland ("Oak Knoll") and over at Treasure Island). I thought the place was magnificent. Same for when I blew through there a few times to go do the Vineman 1/2 Iron in the Napa Valley. Guess things have changed a bit since then, though.
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Re: 2017 Ranking of Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America (We're #149! We'll Try Harder Next Time!) [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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I'm surprised Cincinnati is as high as it is at #123.
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Re: 2017 Ranking of Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America (We're #149! We'll Try Harder Next Time!) [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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Yeah, the per capita expenditure of city government was exactly what made SF so magnificent....
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Re: 2017 Ranking of Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America (We're #149! We'll Try Harder Next Time!) [oldandslow] [ In reply to ]
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oldandslow wrote:
Yeah, the per capita expenditure of city government was exactly what made SF so magnificent....



It was a very nice place, that's for sure. And Oakland wasn't bad, either. None of the Bay Area cities were bad (San Leandro, Hayward, and so forth). I've written many articles for the San Francisco Chronicle's SFGate real estate site in the past that largely had to do with California (and Bay Area) real estate, though many are just as applicable to the rest of the country. Real estate (purchasing and renting) out in SFO and the Bay Area can be very expensive, to say the least.

For example, average rent within a 10-mile radius of San Francisco for 2017 is $3,803 monthly, according to the RentJungle(dot)com website. Landlords generally want a credit score in the 700s and they also want first and last month's rent to get in the place.

For those not in the top 20-percent of wage earners or household income, securing affordable housing in San Francisco can also be very difficult. Public housing waiting lists are always jam-packed, with years-long waits not uncommon, and people become very inventive in terms of finding any kind of housing in which to live. I believe the Bay Area or California is also where the squatter movement really took off, too.

I think in part that SFO's very tough land-use restrictions -- along with a healthy dose of NIMBYism ("Not In My BackYard") in some communities -- have helped create a dearth of housing stock that the middle and lower-middle (the poor are really hosed in this instance) classes can afford. This same holds true in many of California's coastal or near-coastal cities, from what I've read. Many people are being priced out of these markets or are forced to devote an exorbitant amount of their income to basic housing needs. It has the potential for real trouble in the future.
Last edited by: big kahuna: Jul 15, 17 4:54
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Re: 2017 Ranking of Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America (We're #149! We'll Try Harder Next Time!) [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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big kahuna wrote:
For example, average rent within a 10-mile radius of San Francisco for 2017 is $3,803 monthly, according to the RentJungle(dot)com website. Landlords generally want a credit score in the 700s and they also want first and last month's rent to get in the place.

For those not in the top 20-percent of wage earners or household income, securing affordable housing in San Francisco can also be very difficult. Public housing waiting lists are always jam-packed, with years-long waits not uncommon, and people become very inventive in terms of finding any kind of housing in which to live. I believe the Bay Area or California is also where the squatter movement really took off, too.

I think in part that SFO's very tough land-use restrictions -- along with a healthy dose of NIMBYism ("Not In My BackYard") in some communities -- have helped create a dearth of housing stock that the middle and lower-middle (the poor are really hosed in this instance) classes can afford. This same holds true in many of California's coastal or near-coastal cities, from what I've read. Many people are being priced out of these markets or are forced to devote an exorbitant amount of their income to basic housing needs. It has the potential for real trouble in the future.


When I left NorCal, people had already moved out to commuting from Elk Grove, the south side of Sacramento, into SF. They'd already been priced out of Tracy. Elk Grove to Oakland is 95 miles. There are a ton of houses built there in the last 17 years for under $400k.

The bay has another problem - it's almost totally built upon. Almost all the buildable land is covered. Seismic codes don't allow for too tall buildings (without a very expensive structure). Sure, most people would rather be surrounded by SFH and not apartment/condo buildings, and that doesn't help either.
Last edited by: scorpio516: Jul 15, 17 5:31
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Re: 2017 Ranking of Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America (We're #149! We'll Try Harder Next Time!) [scorpio516] [ In reply to ]
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Great observations. It's always good to hear from those who've lived in the Bay Area and surrounding regions recently.

I was a young man, for the most part, when I lived in California (northern and southern). Truly the Golden State at the time. I think it's still a place of unparalleled beauty and geographic diversity and its culture -- in many areas -- definitely sets it apart from the rest of the country.

The differences between the coastal population (lifestyle, education, housing, etc.) and those farther inland (Inland Empire, Central Valley, and so forth) and up north are also often noticeable, from everything I've read. It really could be that the state is actually two (or even three or four) different states. But everyone, I would say, wants a few things; affordable housing, decent schools, and a shot at economic success. Here's to hoping California can keep giving that to as many of its residents as possible.
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Re: 2017 Ranking of Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America (We're #149! We'll Try Harder Next Time!) [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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As a person who has lived here for nearly 4 decades, there are several nuanced shifts. Anti-growth sentiment which prevailed 20 years ago (and which led to all sorts of height restrictions on buildings, which led to sprawl and massive commuting) has given way to significant support for in-growth and large development along transportation corridors, which has revitalized almost every nondescript suburb. That rankles old-school NIMBY's but has converted lots of folks who see housing scarcity as one of the biggest impediments to future success. Neighborhood NIMBI-ism is alive and well (as it is everywhere) but growth is welcome, since the high prices conveniently tend to limit who exactly can move here. As a result, there is probably no greater opposition to Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric than here. As the Bay Area has grown, it certainly lost "charm" which apparently has moved to Seattle/Portland/Austin with some SF refugees. It has added a cosmopolitan atmosphere.
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Re: 2017 Ranking of Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America (We're #149! We'll Try Harder Next Time!) [oldandslow] [ In reply to ]
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oldandslow wrote:
As a person who has lived here for nearly 4 decades, there are several nuanced shifts. Anti-growth sentiment which prevailed 20 years ago (and which led to all sorts of height restrictions on buildings, which led to sprawl and massive commuting) has given way to significant support for in-growth and large development along transportation corridors, which has revitalized almost every nondescript suburb. That rankles old-school NIMBY's but has converted lots of folks who see housing scarcity as one of the biggest impediments to future success. Neighborhood NIMBI-ism is alive and well (as it is everywhere) but growth is welcome, since the high prices conveniently tend to limit who exactly can move here. As a result, there is probably no greater opposition to Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric than here. As the Bay Area has grown, it certainly lost "charm" which apparently has moved to Seattle/Portland/Austin with some SF refugees. It has added a cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Awesome explication! :-)

I remember as a young man up in the Bay Area, knowing that I would never be without at least some alcohol and some food (well, cheese...but dairy is an important food group, right? ;-), even on a weekend before payday when we were all down to our last couple bucks, because we could always pile into one car and take a trip up to the Napa Valley and start at one end and work our way through every winery -- drinking the good stuff and eating slices of primo cheese -- until we reached the other end, there to sleep it off in said car until the following morning. Where we'd do it all over again.

I call those days "The Best Time of My Life." LOL!

The Golden State. Long may it shine.
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