Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Vacaville a top-100 place to live

Article Published: Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Vacaville a top-100 place to live

By Patricia Valenzuela/Staff Writer

Vacaville business leaders and City Council members are still riding high from a March designation naming Vacaville a top 100 city to live in nationally.

Relocate-America.com, based in Wisconsin, has, since 1998, ranked the top 100 cities to live in for consumers and realtors.

Gary Tatum, president of the Chamber of Commerce, has written e-mails to chamber members and has raised the subject at meetings. Tatum said the designation is a "good marketing tool" to woo business owners to Vacaville.

Mike Palombo, Vacaville's economic development manager, said the designation could be mentioned during presentations to potential business owners.

"What makes (Vacaville) attractive to businesses, is it's a good place to live," Palombo said.

The designation was given after Relocate-America.com staff researched nominated cities. Anyone can nominate a city by briefly providing a small description of the community. Relocate-America.com staff compare cities using criteria from four categories: education, crime, employment and housing.

Cities which meet the requirements are then ranked depending on the number of nominations and inquiries from the Web site, however, only the top 10 are publicly ranked. The remaining 90 cities are placed in an alphabetical list on the Web site.

City Manager David Van Kirk said the designation is due to residents, city staff, and the Council working together to ensure Vacaville is a special place to live.

Vacaville is also a safe place to live, they noted. Vacaville is ranked first among comparable Northern California cities for the lowest crime rate, the Web site said. When compared to comparable cities statewide, Vacaville drops slightly to fourth place.

Mayor Len Augustine said the four categories used to determine the top 100 cities, education, crime, employment and housing, are also four of the top priorities for the city.

"We have to continue to work on those things. It's a living document and we can't let our guard down. It's tough to stay in the top 100, but we have to make sure we live up to all of those things," he said.

The top 10 cities, as ranked by the Web site, are Venice, Fla., Paragould, Ark., Edmond, Okla., Bonita Springs, Fla., Asheville, N.C., Colorado Springs, Colo., Bartelsville, Okla., Carlsbad, N.M., Huntington Woods, Mich., and Madison, Wisc.

Patricia Valenzuela can be reached at vacaville@thereporter.com.

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