The Duncan Banner

Opinion

March 9, 2014

An impressive ranking that could be better

DUNCAN — That Duncan was named one of the best 15 communities in Oklahoma by Movoto, a national Real Estate company, is news worth celebrating.

Of 43 places with population of 10,000 or more, as determined by the U.S. Census data, Duncan finished 15th. Norman was first, Edmond second, Yukon and Moore tied for third and Bethany was fifth.

All communities were rated on the same criteria. That included total amenities, quality of life (cost of living, median home price, median rent, median household income and student-to-teacher ratio), total crimes, tax rate (sales tax and income tax), unemployment, commute time and weather (temperature and air quality).

Seemingly absent, interestingly, is healthcare.

All 43 places were given a score in each category with one being the best possible score. All scores were totaled and averaged, creating an overall Big Deal score with the lowest overall score emerging as the best site.

Norman’s total score was 10.29 with top five strengths in quality of life, taxes, weather and amenities.

Duncan’s total score was 18.71, trailing No. 14 Woodward and surpassing No. 16 Tulsa by small margins.

Cities like Tulsa, Enid. Ardmore, El Reno, Lawton, Ponca City, Shawnee, Oklahoma City, Chickasha. Ada, Muskogee and McAlester all fell below Duncan, so being among the Top 15 is truly an elite listing.

That city, economic, business, health, education and tourism leaders should applaud the results and use the ranking to positively position our community in any competitive comparison is both justified and legitimate.

But…

Years ago, a No. 15 ranking among Oklahoma’s best cities would have been disappointing to Duncan officials. In fact, any ranking over a No. 5 might have been discouraging.

So here’s the point and a challenge.

Let’s be grateful for the ranking and status. Let’s use it to our advantage. But let’s also use it as a catalyst to improve. Let’s encourage the city, the chamber, DAEDF or a similar image-conscious organization to evaluate closely each of the criteria and let’s create strategies to improve in each area.

Other than limitations we impose on ourselves, there is no reason Duncan can’t be home to the state’s best school system, its most efficiently run government, its most advanced healthcare, its strongest retail component and its most diversified and aggressive economic development movement.

Moving forward in each area would not only improve our ranking, it would provide us a comprehensive vision, a map to developing a quality of life that would – again, perhaps – be the envy of Oklahoma.

Being No. 15 is good.

Being No. 1 would be even better.

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Poll

Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

No. It's better in the summer cause kids are out of school.
Yes. More shoppers would come during nice fall weather.
Either time is fine.

     View Results
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