Hoover named one of the best places to raise children

Hoover is once again earning accolades outside Alabama.

BusinessWeek magazine named Hoover one of “the best places to raise your kids” for 2009. Hoover and Dothan were runners-up to Huntsville, which was named the best place to raise children in Alabama.

Mayor Tony Petelos said he was happy BusinessWeek noticed the good work being done in Hoover.

“Hoover’s just a great place to live and raise a family,” he said. “I’m very pleased.”

He said he believed Hoover got the recognition in large part because of how well-rounded the community is, with opportunities for the whole family.

“It’s a safe place to live. You look at the school system, it’s great. You look at the shopping, it’s great,” he said. “We’re trying to do more and more green space, which I think people absolutely love. We have put a lot of emphasis over the past several years with developing parks and recreational areas in the city.”

The cities ranked in BusinessWeek all had at least 50,000 residents and a median family income between $40,000 and $100,000.

The list took into account such criteria as school performance, number of schools, household expenditures, crime rates, air quality, job growth, family income, amenities and diversity.

Most important, however, were school performance, safety, amenities and affordability. Petelos said Hoover ranks with any city in those attributes.

“First, you need a safe community. Second is education, and third is shopping and access to retail,” he said. “Hoover’s got all those categories, every one of them.”

Hoover has been honored in numerous publications. Money magazine named Hoover one of its 100 best places to live in 2006, and a 2006 book, “50 Fabulous Places to Raise Your Family,” chose Hoover as one of the 50.

The city had also been voted one of the most livable cities in the world in the 2007 International LivCom Awards.