The answers are numerous.
Let's start with our city's fire department. We learned this week that the Insurance Services Office, an organization that collects community fire suppression data and rates fire departments across the country, continues to give our city a classification of "3."
In a system of classifications from 10 (the worst) to 1, not many cities reach such a high ranking as a 3. Our ranking is good news for property owners since most insurance companies consider the International Organization for Standardization’s Public Protection Classification Program when they decide local property insurance rates. So our property owners enjoy a lower rate here in Cleveland.
But the high fire protection rating earned for us by the Cleveland Fire Department is just one answer to the question we asked.
The Cleveland Police Department has been nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Law Enforcement since 2009. The department received State of Tennessee accreditation in 2012. Few law enforcement agencies across the country meet CALEA's tough standards.
But there's much more.
If you live in Cleveland, you now get weekly brush and debris pickup from the city's Public Works Department at a time when some cities across the country are cutting back on that service.
Our Cleveland Regional Jetport has been recognized as the state's finest. It serves many people beyond the flying public as last weekend's exotic cars event proves.
From public safety to recreation, schools, quality of life features such as the Museum Center at Five Points, plus property tax rates that remain the envy of residents in many other similarly sized cities, there are numerous reasons why people want to do business here, raise families here or retire here.
Lee University brings thousands of young people from around the world and the U.S. to our doorstep. Cleveland State Community College brings thousands more from the region around us. Now, we have a new association with the University of Tennessee as partners with its Smart Communities program.
Our city combines history and tradition with an enthusiasm for the future, creating a place with appeal for just about everybody.
You will be reading and hearing about these facts and more in the near future.
Your City Council has asked the city staff to develop a marketing plan for the city to highlight some of the things we may take for granted. With support from MainStreet Cleveland and others, this work has already started. Part of their task is to explore new ideas to encourage even more business downtown.
The bottom line is that “The City With Spirit” remains a bargain for those who live, work and invest here. You can be proud to be a resident of this city.