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Flint and Detroit rank low in list of America's 'Best Run Cities'

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Detroit and Flint both rank low in a new report on the Best and Worst Run Cities in America.

The report was produced by WalletHub, which is a personal finance website.

Analyst Jill Gonzalez says they based their ranking on 2018 data looking at a variety of topics, including crime, pollution and the fiscal health of cities.

She says Detroit (145) and Flint (143) both ranked in the bottom ten of 150 cities.

“Both have a problem in terms of financial stability, some very high outstanding long-term debt per capita” says Gonzalez “and then health was more of an issue in Flint.  Safety more of an issue, along with the economy, for Detroit.”

A Detroit city spokesman says there has been a great deal of progress in the city during the past five years, including balanced budgets and upgrades to the city’s bond rating. 

“Detroiters don't need a study to see that we've made tremendous progress in this city over the last five years,” says Hakim Berry, the city’s Chief Operating Officer. “In that time, we've installed more than 65,000 new LED lights to streets, some left in the dark for years, removed 18,000 blighted and abandoned houses, and renovated and reoccupied 5,000 empty houses. We've also dramatically improved police and EMS response times, bringing them down to the national average.” 

Detroit's ranking has actually improved, up from 149th in the past few years. 

But WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez says that’s not the point.

“If we were comparing this to ten years ago, I’m sure that we would see great improvement” says Gonzalez. “Unfortunately this is just looking at recent data and comparing it to other cities in the U.S. “

Grand Rapids (37) and Warren (38) both ranked in the top 40 of the best run cities in the same survey. 

Nampa, Idaho (1), Provo, Utah (2) and Boise, Idaho (3) topped the Best Run Cities survey.   San Francisco (148), Gulfport, Mississippi (149) and Washington D.C. (150) were ranked at the bottom of the list.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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