Quality of life is important to everyone. It can mean something different for every family, every community. It’s definitely subjective, but it’s also something that we’re all constantly striving for in our lives. It’s the reason families and businesses gravitate to a specific community.
Several years ago, a national business publication survey recognized the Milton for having the highest quality of life in the state of Georgia and the ninth highest quality of life in the South. For the last two years, we’ve been ranked the second safest city in Georgia by the National Council for Home Safety and Security, and even more recently, I learned an online publication ranked Milton number two out of the Top 10 Best Places to Live in Georgia for 2018.
In Milton, ensuring that our residents experience a high quality of life is a key factor in all that we do. Do residents have sufficient parks and recreation opportunities, regardless of age or gender? Are we providing the necessary resources for police and fire to ensure public safety? Are we doing all that we can to support and sustain the environment? What infrastructure improvements are needed to alleviate congestion and improve the transportation experience for our residents? How can we grow our commercial tax base while retaining our beloved rural character?
These questions aren’t, and can’t be, answered in a vacuum at Milton City Hall — they are answered as a result of our staff, elected officials, residents, and business owners engaging in regular community conversations. Sometimes, those conversations are informal, taking place in the local grocery store or at the high school stadium on a Friday night; other times, they are more formal and occur as a result of a personal letter or as part of a town hall meeting for a community planning effort. There are times when the community may not agree on certain issues, or when the greater good must outweigh the concerns or desires of a few. Regardless, actively listening to what the community needs and wants for its future directly contributes to our high quality of life in Milton.
I’m a firm believer that what works for one community doesn’t necessarily work for every community — it’s not a one-size-fits-all. The community has a responsibility to engage; local government must be committed to the greater good and active listening; and all of us working together ensures we’re striving for and maintaining that high quality of life we’ve come to expect in Milton.