Columbus is apparently in the top third of “best run” American cities, according to WalletHub, which rates such things.
Columbus ranked 45th out of the top 150 “best run” American cities based on financial stability, education, health, safety, economy and infrastructure/pollution, according to a release from WalletHub, a personal financial research website. In the individual categories, Columbus did best in Financial health (26th) and Infrastructure/pollution (25th) but not as well in education and safety (100th in each), health (143rd) and economy (150th).
Mayor Teresa Tomlinson said one reason Columbus ranked in the top one third was its high scores for financial health, which takes into account things like long-term debt per capita and the city’s bond rating.
“You know how hard we’ve fought to keep the budget in line,” she said. “We’re working hard, but we still have more work to do.”
Tomlinson said it is apparent how efficient the Consolidated Government is when you look at its spending per capita versus other second-tier cities in Georgia.
“Our local government spends less per capita than any comparable city. That shows that we do a lot with a little,” Tomlinson said. “It’s actually remarkable that we’re able to score so well. If we can just stay at or above 60 days (of reserve funds), we can score better. That’s critical.”
Columbus, with a population of 202,000 and a budget of $266 million, spends $1,317 per person. Augusta, with 201,000 people and a $336 million budget, spends 1,672 per person and Savannah, with 143,000 and a $347 million budget, spends $2,427 per person.
Atlanta, ranked 141st, was the only other Georgia city on the list. In Alabama, Montgomery ranked 51st, Mobile 54th and Birmingham 128th.
The top five best-run cities in the country are:
1. Boise, Idaho
2. Nampa, Idaho
3. Provo, Utah
4. Missoula, Mont.
5. Fort Wayne, Ind.
The bottom five are:
146. San Francisco
147. Gulfport, Miss.
148. New York City
In past WalletHub rankings, Columbus has been deemed the seventh most stressful city to live in, the worst of 150 cities for summer employment, the 41st best city for “staycations” and the sixth worst city in America for dating.
“Some of these rankings are silly, but some of them, such as this one, are based on actual indices, and provide good information,” Tomlinson said.