Magazine picks Farmington Hills as best place to live in Michigan – sort of

Money magazine has picked Farmington Hills as the best place to live in Michigan, and the 51st best place to live in the United States.

Published by TIME, the magazine included the city among 100 that “offer a healthy economy, affordable homes, and a high quality of life.”

But while citing Hills demographic and economic information – population 81,262, median household income $71,154, 5.4 percent projected job growth, 92 percent high school graduation rate – most of the article’s description centers on Farmington landmarks:  “a charming downtown with historic buildings,” boutique shops and “an old-fashioned movie house” on Grand River, and the historic Governor Warner Mansion.

The reporting is, strictly speaking, inaccurate. Still, there’s some truth to this story.

Farmington Hills almost completely surrounds Farmington; sometimes, even residents can’t distinguish between the two cities. We share emergency dispatch, a school system, a library system, and groups like the Emergency Preparedness Commission. Farmington Public Safety, Farmington Hills Police and Farmington Hills Fire Departments back each other up.

You’d be hard-pressed to find Farmington Hills residents who don’t think about downtown Farmington as “their” downtown. Farmington folks pay resident fees for Special Services and other Farmington Hills offerings. Farmington seniors take part in Adults 50 and Better activities at the Costick Center in Farmington Hills.

And when you volunteer to work a downtown Farmington event, nobody really cares whether you’re from Farmington or Farmington Hills.

Perhaps we should thank Money magazine for this journalistic faux pas. Because it serves to remind us that despite our long-standing aversion to merging city governments, we really are one community – and the best in Michigan.

Or anywhere else, for that matter.

Joni Hubred