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Is Bolingbrook better than Naperville?

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Money Magazine seems to think so. In its survey of America's 100 Best Places to Live it listed two area towns. Bolingbrook at Number 43. And Naperville at 54. Naperville was ranked No. 3 as recently as 2008. What's changed? Has anything changed?
What's the difference between now and two years ago?

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No, just a reminder that BHS beat Naperville central :)

naperville is so rascist. bolingbrook high school beat the in the semis in football. bolingbrook is better


Only 2 misspellings in the sentence. Tell me, Darien, are you a product of the Bolingbrook schools? You waited almost two years to post that?

naperville is so rascist. bolingbrook high school beat the in the semis in football. bolingbrook is better

ha ha, after reading these comments I think its obvious why Bolingbrook was ranked above Naperville - most of these comments just bash BBrook. I read this as snobbery.

There are great areas of Naperville, Aurora, and Bolingbrook. Its just that if you live in Naperville a few of you think you are better than anyone else.

It was just 10 years ago that BBrook only had fast food restaurants and it now finally has some business/restaurants that people go out of their way for.

All communities have bad apples who do meth, sell drugs in schools, and have gang related activity. Get your head out of the sand napervillians. Your community isnt perfect. Its too bad that many of your small businesses cant afford to pay the high lease rates and the chain stores and restaurants are moving in. Your loosing your quaintness.

No need to bash B'Brook. It is a fine place regardless of who founded it or why.

The magazine represents an unbiased view ---- we didn't complain when we were in the top 10, did we?

Now we aren't, and a city that many belittle beat us. We need to get over ourselves and understand why we fell so far. I would guess that taxes was a major issue, along with traffic, along with so many of our city's officials not appearing to get along very well. The Park district has been a joke for years, the Council and it's little tissy-fits with Fursteneau are another.

Let's remember --- throwing a big party twice a year (Ribfest & Last Fling) is not by itslef a reason to be highly thought of.

Naperville needs to look in a mirror and asky"What do I see?"

Of course Bollingbrook is better..I lived in naperville for 18 years and its filled with snobs and parents who all think their children are "gifted". so happy to be out of plastic town....BTW..your house prices and taxes are not high, your schools are not great....Its the Midwest..what more do i have to say!

Diverse Resident -
I agree
It's all in the attitude

Naperville is a beautiful city and has alot of potential but it seems to me the city focuses on being above all other cities instead of focusing on being a great city with great schools and many trees on a beautiful river for EVERYONE. It almost seems like Naperville feels being culturally and economically diverse while maintaining a high quality of life is a bad thing. I think all cities should strive for the happy median.

To f-backhand: Great point! City Hall has incurred the most massive brain-drain in the past 5 years. Current staff is young and inexperienced and you've got people serving in positions who got in through political favors. For instance, the current PR Director was a fundraiser in Judy Barr-Topinka's miserable gubernatorial campaign vs. Blago. What does a political fundraiser know about crisis communication and reputation management?

We moved here from Detroit, I thought it was going to be terrific. Boy was I wrong!! This is the worst place I have ever lived. The people here are so rude and snobby, I can't wait to move out. I am truly disappointed because I really like the area. Just a few have really ruined it for my family.

I highly doubt anyone from the magazine even visited Bolingbrook. I am not saying its a bad place to live ... but c'mon. What a farce.

Bolingbrook was founded by a builder back in the 60's , has no character, or town, or a corporate base, or a college, or a downtown that is the envy of almost any town in the US, or a riverwalk, award winning park system, top notch festivals, a historic district, and on and on.

And those complaining about taxes...you do realize they are high because your house is valued at a minimum 20% higher than those in bolingbrook. And if your is district 203, in a modest house, they are probably lower than bolingbrook.

I am lucky to live downtown Naperville and we live a completely walkable lifestyle. A walkable life in Bolingbrook means walking to the Wal Mart. That is why Naper was always a top 10...not sure how it could fall 50 spots in 12 months...means the mehtodology is bunk.

I am sure those sending their kids to Naper North or Naper Central aren't desiring to ship their kids to Bolingbrook High.

And we used to live in their new #1, Eden Prairie, MN - nothing special - basically a nicer version of Bolingbrook. I an name 40 other communties I would rather live in, in Chicago, much less the US. Bolingbrook cant hold a candle to Naperville, Downers Grove, Wheaton, Palatine, Arlington Hieghts, Hinsdale, Western Springs, Glen Ellyn, Oak Park, and on and on.

Anti white, anti Asian and anti US born African American discrimination rampant in Ivy League, diversity is just another word discrimination by the Progressives aka Federally funded University Marxists.


By Anonymous 5678 on July 19, 2010 11:16 AM

If your town is more than 95% white, it was excluded. I know this is just to sell magazines, but what the heck is that?

Does anyone not see the discrimination of whites that keeps escalating year after year?

Ranked or not, Naperville is beginning to fall apart. Take some time to walk through City Hall and be observant. Notice the morale. Notice the somber attitude of the employees (walking on eggshells, etc). Naperville is not where it used to be. Love it or not, I don't think you can deny that. There are people turning a blind eye to a lot of things that can easily be changed for the better of the city and its residents.

I agree with Anonymous (2d post on this topic). This is a silly piece of pseudo-journalism led by interns for Money Magazine / CNN who crunch basic demographic data and read through emails from marketing staff from the communities who gun to make the list. I wouldn't dwell too much on the fact that Naperville apparently fell in their ranking any more than I dwelled on the fact that we were ranked so high in the last version. Anyone who has lived in other cities before or after living here knows that Naperville is a great place to live. How it compares to other places I've never visited or lived in is another question, but I've spent a lot of time in Bolingbrook and there is no comparison - regardless of the latest published "ranking".

Here's the link to Money's site and how the picked the "winners"

It's kind of a meaningless survey --just as it was when Naperville was in the top 5.


Anonymous 5678 on July 19, 2010 11:16 AM
If your town is more than 95% white, it was excluded.

I couldn't find that information on Money magazines web link. Is this something you saw, heard, found? could you post a link regarding data gathering and methodology that Money used?

If your town is more than 95% white, it was excluded. I know this is just to sell magazines, but what the heck is that?

Does anyone not see the discrimination of whites that keeps escalating year after year?

Come on, everyone knows the real reason Bolingbrook was rated higher than Naperville can be explained by one thing... Drew Peterson.

Naperville just needs someone or something sensational to cause a huge media stir that will raise the level of awareness and interest about Naperville. Then all Naperville needs to do is relentlessly and shamelessly feed the media interest for a couple of years like Drew has and our numbers will come right back!

Rumor has it all of that expensive talent over at the Chamber of Commerce are already consulting with Drew's attorney.

Stay tuned for more. Naperville isn't about to get one upped by Bolingwho?

Naperville I would say. As Roger the Dodger, the mayor of Bolingbrook once told me at his Raj Mahal golf course, all Naperville has is a river...and without the river Naperville would be nothing. This, of course, came after a long diatribe about how much he hated Naperville after the NPD pinched him for DUI, although I think he beat the rap. Anyway, I remember saying to him...well Bolingbrook doesn't even have trees. Better to have a river and trees than no river and no trees. And that's exactly what Bolingbrook is....an ugly little fiefdom planted out in the middle of the no-where prairie.

If anyone truly thinks Bolingbrook is better, I offer this... we'll give two people $400,000 each to buy a house, we'll assume you have the same income to pay taxes, and you choose where to live. As a final point I'll say, when you see developments in Bolingbrook that advertise, on huge billboards, right in front of the subdivisions, NAPERVILLE SCHOOLS. That says it all. It's always about the schools.

For the poster that mentioned North Shore communities... they are smaller, they generally have the same or better schools than Naperville, their taxes are much more than Naperville, they don't have anywhere near the downtown that Naperville has. I'd think about livng there... but the $400,000 bet is now $1,000,000 and paying taxes is much worse-so lot's of towns and situations now come into play.

The biggest costs in the tax structure are the schools and their out of control spending. At least on my tax bill, the big spenders in 204 account for about 80+% of the bill.


Free speech is a terrible thing, yes its true. Off the top of my head:

This blog was 24 months ahead of the politicians in pointing out that the Illinois Pension systems and the City of Naperville's pensions were in deep trouble and in discussing what to do about it.

This blog was also way ahead in pointing out that the insane pay raises in the school districts are unsupportable and will drive businesses and residents out of Naperville. This is a bad thing.

If being informed upsets you, sell your TVs and radios, cancel your newspaper subscription, and stop reading this blog.


By Longing for Lisle on July 16, 2010 11:21 AM

Maybe someone at the magazine read the NaperSun blog... I mean, I thought this was an awesome place to live, until about a dozen crabby "regulars" on here worked so hard to convince me otherwise.

The mayor's quotes in the SUN are as silly as he is.

He attributes the drop from #3 to #54 as being due to the average home prices being over $300,000.

Uh, newsflash Mayor Mascot: the homes were even more valuable the year (by quite a bit!) we were ranked #3!

Perhaps the real reason is the high spending rate, the obscene size of the real estate tax bills, the cost of our school systems,.......

Maybe someone at the magazine read the NaperSun blog... I mean, I thought this was an awesome place to live, until about a dozen crabby "regulars" on here worked so hard to convince me otherwise.

I never understood how Naperville made the list at all compared to communities which are right on the Lake, such as Lake Forest, Wilmette, etc. I forgot the list parameters but maybe it was cities over 100,000 in population. Though there are many things wrong with Naperville, I suggest taking a look at many of Bolingbrook's gang-infested neighborhoods and schools with rotten national scores. One good thing about Bolingbrook is their aquatic park...much nicer than Naperville's swmmming hole.

Bolingbrook better than Naperville? Yeah, if you like gang infested neighborhoods, poor schools, inferior housing and a non-existing downtown...

Does anyone have the numbers on units on the market by year for comparison and selling prices year to year?

This may be a good fact article for the SUN.

By Too Much Taxes on July 13, 2010 4:21 PM

I'm surprised that we still make the list. Taxes have been skyrocketing to support the union employees (teachers, firemen and policemen). There are 3,000 houses on the market, people are trying to escape the taxes.

Overcoming the PR from Drew isn't easy.

Let see, to pull ourselves back up we need to:

1. Build a third High School in 203 and a fifth in 204 using only the most expensive materials and union labor.

2. To ensure that our schools have the highest operating cost, we need to go back to annual 7% pay raises across the board and lots of end of career promotions to jack up the unfunded retirement burden.

3. If N. Naperville has a Carillon, S Naperville needs one twice as big, $9 million x 2 = $18 million plus cost overruns.

4. We need to double deck the Riverwalk and completely line the second tier with bronze statues of developers.

5. Our police force and other public servants need to go back to getting 5-6% annual raises and pay no deductibles on the medical plans, all matching payments for their unfunded retirements at 90K a year need to be eliminated.

6. Residents need to buck up and pay another 100% increase in real estate taxes over the next five years to realize these improvements!

7. I almost forgot, if there are any struggling name brand developers with swamp land, the city needs to bail them out.


As someone who used to live in Bolingbrook and then moved to Naperville, I don't not see how this could be true.

There would be no way I would ever move back to Bolingbrook. Even if the house was free and no taxes. No way!

Bolingbrooks Fourth of July fireworks were outstanding, minus the explicted, unedited M&M blarring music that was about as graphic as a song can get. I sure hope that is not going to happen next year as I can't believe someone thought that was a good idea. Good thing my 9yr and 5yr old didn't understand the lyrics.

Red light cameras and out of sight real estate taxes on an overated school system and a third high school that wasn't necessary.

Just a few of the reasons why Bolingbrook has surpassed Naperville. It's about time that Naperville get knocked off its perch!

What's changed in the two years since we were number 2? Well let's see ..... Management changed - and the City Council became completely arrogant in assuming they knew better than the residents how the money should be spent. The fruits of all the ego spending started coming home to roost, and if they don't all clue in SOON, we won't make the top 500 two years from now. All the pieces are in place to have Naperville BE a top 5 place to live, but unless someone at the top steps up and starts using honesty and integrity in their decision making - instead of the "what's in it for me" or "won't this look good on my resume" approach, we might s well give it up. BTW, how could Bolingbrook even be ranked with the embarrassing school assessment score?????

I'm surprised that we still make the list. Taxes have been skyrocketing to support the union employees (teachers, firemen and policemen). There are 3,000 houses on the market, people are trying to escape the taxes.

Bolingbrook, on the other hand, has lowered taxes over the past five years. See any pattern?

The front page of the Chicago Tribune from this past Sunday is reporting that Naperville electric rates will be hit in the future due to a Clean Coal Plant being built in southern Illinois that has major cost overruns. The city has an investment in this plant and locked into a 28 year agreement. Why is this not being reported by the Sun or as a topic here on the blogs? What has our city council got us into this time?

I think it is all the whining from the tea partiers.

I challenge anyone who ranks Bolingbrook above Naperville to visit the schools in both communities and then reconsider your perspective.

My guess is the that 51 towns that passed us on the list already have their smart grids in place. ;-)


Bolingbrook had red light cameras long before Naperville did . . .

Well, it's all about the statistics and who crunched the numbers.

Here's how CNN did it:


The best explanation is shoddy journalism that is designed to sell magazines more than really be a scholarly study. Considering that there are almost 20,000 incorporated communities across the US it is physically impossible for anyone to review all of these communities each year and give each community a fair and impartial evaluation. So what articles like this really reflect is a few people using computers to sift though data that is available from the government and other sources and using their own judgement and filters to come up with a ranking system in a few categories. Then they throw various subjective "weightings" on the various categories to derive a "score".

Speaking of substance it was interesting to see how many people in Naperville got so full of themselves when Naperville was ranked high and now we don't hear a peep out of them. Easy to get sucked into that civic pride thing, isn't it George?

If Naperville truly was a quality place to live those attributes that define us as such would be for more sustaining over time than the erratic values we see reported from year-to-year in articles like this.

If Naperville truly was the "gold standard" off a quality place to live everyone who lives here wouldn't need anyone else, much less Money Magazine, to confirm what we would already know. Instead we would all have the quiet confidence that confirms our quality of life without a need to brag or boast about it. Seems we still have way to go in that regard.

I know what has changed... let's start with the red light cameras...

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This page contains a single entry by Naperville Sun editors published on July 12, 2010 11:56 PM.

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