Mayor rebuts magazine's negative ranking of Beaumont

2013 has been rough on the city of Beaumont when it comes to its national image.

In February, a University of Vermont study classified Beaumont as the saddest city in America.  Now, the national publication, "Best Life" ranks the city as the second worst city in the U.S. to raise a family.

But Beaumont's mayor strongly disagrees.

Mayor Becky Ames says the city is becoming more child friendly every day.

She points to a skate park under construction in downtown Beaumont, and also a playground and a children's museum.

Mayor Ames issued this challenge, "I invite whoever wrote this to come over and let us give him a tour and tell him what we're doing, because I certainly think it's a great place to raise a family."

The article's major gripe against Beaumont is long standing air quality challenges.  But Mayor Ames says industry has made major strides in improving air quality in the area, and she considers industry an asset.

Ames said, "Industry creates a better environment for families.  It puts money into the city and county and school coffers to be able to do some great things."

While the magazine's rating of Beaumont was mainly based on air quality, other factors that went into evaluating the 257 cities in the survey, included education, housing health and even the number of museums and parks in a city.

The city that was listed as the worst one to raise a family was Clarksville, Tennessee, and the main reason for its bad ranking is the low amount of money it spends on education.

Honolulu, Hawaii earned the honor as best city to raise a family, because of the amount spent on education, its low unemployment and the city's 125 beaches.

The city in Texas with the highest ranking is Austin, which came in 14th in the study.


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