Money Magazine announced Monday its annual list of the “Best Places to Live” in America, placing Carmel at its No. 1 spot for small towns and cities.
Carmel beat out more than 750 other cities in its bracket – cities with populations between 50,000 and 300,000 – to take the top rank. Previously, Carmel was ranked 14th on the list in 2010.
“I think it’s a vindication of Carmel’s development over the last 20 years or more,” said City Council President Rick Sharp.
Fellow council member Eric Seidensticker concurred.
“It’s a testament to the work not only from the council, but from committees who have put in so much over the years to making Carmel a beautiful place,” Seidensticker said.
Although he had been interviewed by reporters from Money, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said the top ranking came as a surprise to him as well.
“I saw it on the Today Show with everyone else,” Brainard said.
Brainard took the opportunity at Monday’s city council meeting to congratulate city employees for their hard work in earning the award, and to encourage the city not to “sit on its laurels.”
“This is an opportunity for us to continue marketing the city,” Brainard said. “If you can attract the best employees, you can attract the best employers. And we have to work very hard because we don’t have oceans and mountains.”
In an interview with Fox 59, Cybele Weisser, a senior editor at Money, said that new developments like the City Center and Palladium had helped Carmel jump to the first spot from 14th in two years.
“Carmel just had everything we were looking for,” Weisser told Fox.
For more information about the study, or to see a complete list, visit money.cnn.com.