COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Yahoo! News recently released a ranking of America's shrinking cities and named Columbus number one on that list.
Mayor Teresa Tomlinson calls the list and the ranking "irresponsible" - and we agree. It is also a very superficial ranking that does not reflect the real Columbus.
The ranking is based on 2014 census data and cites manufacturing job loss as the sole statistic. For people who have lived in Columbus and know its strengths, that's old news.
It's precisely because Columbus faced up to the loss of manufacturing years ago that Columbus has successfully reinvented itself, diversifying its economy and vastly improving the quality of life.
According to the Chamber of Commerce, Columbus has seen over $3 billion in new commercial and industrial projects become reality in the past 10 years.
And the public sector invested another $3 billion in new facilities, recreational opportunities and infrastructure, including the Columbus State University campus in Uptown Columbus, a world-class whitewater course on the Chattahoochee River and the Riverwalk.
If you look deeper into the Census results which are the basis for the Yahoo! list that ranks Columbus as the number one shrinking city, you'll see it is based on just a one-year census shift of only three thousand residents!
That is an extremely shallow portrait of a city that proves it has successfully reimagined itself and its future - and done it during one of the worst economic recessions in American history.
General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:
WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906