Jackson's ranking

The city of Jackson has long taken pride in its livability. Now Money magazine has put its stamp of approval on the town's quality of life. Jackson was ranked No. 59 on a list of 100 Best Places to Lives for 2009, a ranking of 2,466 small towns with populations between 8,500 and 50,000. Neighboring Cape Girardeau as listed by the magazine as "a contender" in the rankings.

Both towns, according to Money, share a diverse economy anchored by Southeast Missouri State University, the nearby Procter & Gamble plant and Cape Girardeau's two hospitals, Southeast Missouri Hospital and Saint Francis Medical Center.

Criteria for the Money rankings included median income, home prices, job growth, schools, climate, crime rate, air quality and leisure and cultural activities. The magazine also cited Jackson's well-maintained neighborhoods, parks and uptown historic area. We would add Jackson's two golf courses, Bent Creek and Kimbeland.

Mayor Barbara Lohr may have summed up the feelings of most Jackson residents. She acknowledged the honor of being ranked among the top 100 towns, adding "Why aren't we No. 1?"

Good question. Go to the Jackson Homecomers celebration and see for yourself why most everyone in Jackson thinks their city is tops.