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Monday, July 12, 2010

Missing the cut

Oregon barely cracks this new list of best small American cities in which to live. Beaverton and Hillsboro are down there in the 90's. Sorry, Lake Oswego -- come see us when you have Homer Williams and a streetcar.

UPDATE, 10:11 p.m.: As an alert reader notes, Lake O. wasn't eligible for this particular list because it is too small. Apologies to the folks down that way -- they've got enough trouble on their hands right now at City Hall.

Comments (12)

When you have a string of elected officials from governor down to city councils that believe jobs are secondary to "a nice place to live", then you get this kind of result. I've always found that most people from a city or region always consider their own world "a nice place to live". Most places don't tout it as much as Oregon. Oregon's boosterism is beyond reality.

At some point the tools that run this circus have got to realize that a good job and affordable housing are the prerequisites to "a nice place to live." God knows the voters here sure don't.

Slashing your school year by weeks each year is by definition not a "nice" thing to do.

They're stoking our collective insecurity. We're Barcelona! We're Amsterdam! Oh, shoot, we're not.

I guess Oregon's 40 year old message of "come visit, just don't stay" message is being interpreted as it was intended: "We're really screwed up. We mean it."

Ha. It's funny that people are taking seriously a list that says Beaverton is a better place to live than Lake Oswego.

The reason Lake Oswego didn't make the list is because the criteria for cities were "medium sized", between 50,000 and 300,000 residents.

Lake Oswego has 36,755 residents - so it is below the criteria.

Here's a list of Oregon's "medium-sized cities" (it isn't long)...

2. Eugene, 157,100 residents
3. Salem, 156,955 residents
4. Gresham, 101,015 residents
5. Hillsboro, 90,380 residents
6. Beaverton, 86,860 residents
7. Bend, 82,280 residents
8. Medford, 77,240 residents
9. Springfield, 58,085 residents
10. Corvallis, 55,125 residents

Albany barely missed the cutoff, with 49.165 residents, followed by Tigard and then Lake Oswego, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville and Oregon City - all with more than 30,000 but fewer than 50,000 residents. Only one city in Oregon - Portland - exceeds Eugene and Salem's 157,000 residents each.

I'm not sure why Eugene wasn't picked. Salem - well, duh. Gresham and Salem have a lot of flaws - lesser quality school systems, lots of "bad neighborhoods", lesser park systems. (But Gresham has light rail!) Bend is overbuilt. Medford is still reeling from the recession of the early 1980s. Springfield is a ho-hum town to Eugene, and Corvallis is a possible contender for a "best city" - I'm not sure why it didn't make the cut.

Thanks Erik H. for pointing out that Lake O didn't meet the population criteria. We'd hate to be bested by Beaverton!

Did you check to see if they made last year's small town list of towns with populations between 8,500 and 50,000?

I grew up in Hillsboro and left in 1973 because it was a mess. Nowadays, to visit either Hillsboro or Beaverton is to die a little.

When I leave PDX would I move to Lake O or to Beaverton? Hmmmm.. Neither... puhlease

We DO have our hands full at City Hall! Mayor Hoffman and crew are busy building their "legacy" -- light rail and SoWa-lite development that will cost citizens an arm and a leg. The benefits are all in their minds -- except for Hoffman. I hear his law firm represents the co. building the streetcars. Os-we-go to Lake Oswego!

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