Well-being and happiness as appropriate matters of government concern

Since we're talking burbmerger, which in my mind could be compared to a Sim City exercise (I actually am begging for the County CIO, the Planning Commission or some other enterprising entity to come up with such a platform for residents to toy with and build a city with the profile of revenues, assets and service needs that mirror Moreland, Orange, Pepper Pike and Woodmere and then play with how you'd put those together for the utopian new East Side municipality), let's really talk about what we want, even within the confines of what we can (and can only) afford.

Let's think about happiness: how do communities make us happy? Do not cop out with, "I don't pay much in taxes; I get a lot of services for what I pay" and so on, okay? In a new municipality, you better damn well believe that that's a given - or else why the heck are we even bothering with this informal study, formal commission, two general election vote thing, right?

From the article to which I've linked re: how do communities make us happy:
Community characteristics do matter to us. A three-year survey by Gallup of some 43,000 Americans living in 26 U.S. cities reported last year that people identify most strongly with their communities when they perceive them favorably with respect to social offerings, openness, and the aesthetic environment. The "Soul of the Community" survey, conducted for the Knight Foundation, found these factors to be more determinative of "resident attachment" to a place than others such as civic involvement, social capital, education, perception of the local economy, leadership, safety, emotional well-being, and basic services.

This is what I've been saying all along: it's a psychological thing, not just a numbers thing. Although some folks may see the mission of a municipality as limited to cost-efficient delivery of necessary services, I do not view that as the sole basis upon which humans choose their habitats. It is only one piece of the puzzle that determines where any of us live.

If we're talking a brand new burb, then why shouldn't we want it to be all that it could be that we can afford and sustain, rather than simply the lowest common denominators across the board? I want us to create a desirable place to live and invest in.  Not just a place.

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