Shelby County ranks No. 1

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 7, 2003

Shelby County has once again been named the best county in Alabama to raise children.

The rating was given by Voices for Alabama’s Children, a statewide child advocacy organization.

The announcement was made in the organization’s annual Alabama Kids Count report.

The reason cited for the rating was Shelby County’s median income of $64,105, apparently the highest in the state.

The report implied that Shelby County is wealthier, therefore safer, more health conscious and better educated.

This view would beg to ask the question &045; which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Are we better educated, safer and more health conscious because we are a wealthier county or are we a wealthier county because we are more educated, safer and more health conscious?

Either way, Shelby County has an abundance of natural resources, mainly hardworking, taxpaying people who realize the importance of taking care of their families and others around them.

Providing for them and placing them in areas conducive to their being raised in a safe, happy and healthy environment is part of the American Dream for which most of us have worked hard to achieve.

After all, Shelby County has not always been so big, so well educated or so wealthy.

Shelby County is truly the best place in the state to raise children, but it has taken years of hard work and extra effort to get us here.

And I, for one, feel so blessed to live in a county where the people are considered the most valuable resource, especially the little ones.

All most parents ever want in life is a safe, healthy environment for their children to live in.

Aren’t we all blessed to have found one right here in Shelby County?

Beth Chapman serves as Alabama’s state auditor. She has a residence in north Shelby with her husband, James, and her two sons, Taylor and Thatcher