Relocate America last month included the Rochester Hills on its 12th annual list of “Top Places To Live.” Rochester Hills made the 2009 ranking with a couple of other Michigan towns — Plymouth and Hudsonville. The city of Rochester was on the 2008 list.

Although lists of this sort — which are derived from nominations — can be touted or dismissed depending on one's tolerance for what essentially amounts to self-recognition, there's no denying that the community has plenty of positive traits and is worthy of being called a great place to live.

And it's not as if a nomination alone guarantees recognition. Judging factors in such things as education, environmental “greenworthiness,” economic opportunity, parks and recreation choices, and real estate and homeownership options.

Rochester Hills reflects those areas well and there's nothing wrong with drawing attention to your city's upside.

Beyond some hometown pride, however, it's reasonable to guess that having a “top place to live” designation can be leveraged in other useful ways. For example, it certainly can't hurt to have this status in your pocket when the city's economic development folks are trying to recruit or retain a business. And with most municipalities competing for good jobs, any extra edge is a good one.

So congratulations to Rochester Hills on its latest honor. This a reminder that the community remains a special place.

Relocate America's entire listing can be viewed at


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