We should aim for No. 1 yearly


Proud and pleasing “look at our town” e-mails are flooding in from Carmel homes and friends and family across the nation. Embedded with links to The Today Show, CNN and other leading media outlets exclaiming the virtues of sometimes-overlooked and never-before-named Carmel, the No. 1 Best Place to Live in America. The e-mail messages exude hometown pride, and there is nothing better than feeling good about yourself and the place you live.

So I would ask our local elected officials to let me enjoy, if only for a few weeks, the good feelings I have about living in Carmel.  The personal pride I have in this community has now been confirmed and extolled nationwide on the cover of well-respected Money magazine.The written accolades from people, who probably have not visited Carmel before,clearly indicate they were impressed by what they saw. Money didn’t just put Carmel on the list.  They put it at the top of the list.Let me savor the vindication, please.

Members of our elected leadership have polarizing opinions about how we got to No. 1 and whether it is good or bad. It is not just we the public that has to tolerate the negative back and forth. Unfortunately, people choosing the best place to locate their family or new business get an artificial blast of politically charged hyperbole. Carmel bashing from people within 46033 or 46032 seems to be the new vogue. I suppose some could accuse me of doing the same thing here, so I will stop now, hoping others will do the same.

Instead, let me be clear. As a member of the Carmel Redevelopment Commission, I stand with Mayor Jim Brainard and appreciate the decades’ long leadership he has provided to get us to the top of the heap. Many times I think he was the only one who truly believed a No. 1 ranking was possible. Thank goodness he is the eternal optimist.

But, of course, not everyone agrees with the mayor and certainly not with me. I get that, and I mean no disrespect. I just choose to live in a world where the sky is not falling, political maneuvering should not be accepted and it is OK to aim for greatness. Imagine what we could accomplish if our collective goal was to achieve No. 1 year after year instead of fighting amongst ourselves for mediocrity.