CNN/MoneyMagazine, say it isn't so! Is it possible that Hillsborough, so greatly honored by being named as America's 23rd best place to live in 2007, could have fallen so mightily as to not even crack the top 100 in 2008? An explanation is in order! And here it is.
My first clue that something was different about this year's list was that none of the New Jersey towns that made the top 100 THIS year were in the top 100 LAST year. Could Franklin Township, Piscataway, and Edison really be more desirable than Hillsborough? One thing for sure, they each have a lot more residents than Hillsborough's 39,100 - Franklin has a population of nearly 60,000, and Edison over 100,000.
The population totals lead me to my next clue. All of the towns in this year's top 100, save one, have populations of 50,000 or greater! [Chapel Hill, NC is listed at 49,900]. Indeed, this year's listing is subtitled "America's Best Small CITIES".
So how is this different from last year's list? In 2007, CNN/MoneyMagazine rated America's best SMALL TOWNS - which they described as having populations between 7500 and 50,000.
Of Hillsborough's nearly 40,000 residents, there is nary a one who doesn't believe this is a great town and a great place to live. And while everyone must have been pleased that Hillsborough ranked number 23 last year, there are some who resented the use of the "100 Best Places to Live" title by our local government for what they believe were political purposes.
For those who couldn't wait for this year's list to come out so that Hillsborough could be knocked from it's perch, it must come as a disappointment to learn that they have been dished by a DIFFERENT LIST! A list with different criteria, created, no doubt, to highlight different kinds of towns and cities - and generate new interest and magazine sales.
When CNN/MoneyMagazine gets around to ranking the best small towns again, who knows where we will end up.
I know where I'll be - right here in Hillsborough. One of the top 100 places to live in America!