Aurora -- School Superintendent Russ Bennett said Aurora being rated among the top five hometowns in the state by Ohio Magazine is "an accolade that our community should be very proud of."
"We really have so many positive things happening, and to be highlighted like this is another feather in our community's cap," Bennett said. "All of Aurora should be congratulated."
Aurora will be highlighted in the magazine's November edition -- the eighth annual "Ohio's best hometowns" edition. The four other communities selected are Gahanna, Logan, Loveland and Vermilion. The edition will hit the newsstand Oct. 22.
Mayor James Fisher also heralded the magazine's choice, as well as the job done by the Chamber of Commerce in promoting the city.
"The Chamber covered all the bases," he said. "The magazine people spent a whole day here, and the Chamber and city officials went over all aspects of our operations -- parks and recreation, the Moebius Nature Center, police and fire, the schools, businesses and our economic development efforts."
"I have to commend everybody who participated in the visit, as well as the support we've received from businesses and individuals. They positioned Aurora very well for this honor. This city is easy to promote because we have a great balance, and I think there were many aspects that appealed to the magazine."
BENNETT SAID one of "the unique aspects we were able to show [to magazine editors] was the cooperation that exists between the schools and city. We were able to talk about how we were able to jointly pay and put into place a school resource officer.
"We talked about how we share facilities for the recreation department, the use of our fields, help with the physical plant and grounds where [Service Director] John Trew and his staff are always willing to help with equipment or personnel.
"The relationship that exists is because we both understand that for a strong community, both parties must be on the same page with each other," he added.
Bennett said Aurora's "strong school system attracts families to Aurora. Graduating from our school district opens a lot of doors for our students, and that makes our community a very desirable place to live.
"Our city recreation programs combined with our school athletic and co-curricular programming gives every student the ability to explore and excel in areas of their choice," he added.
"The green space, the planned communities and growth have been well orchestrated by our city, and it's great to know that our schools can and do accommodate these families. Our students and families have many options to excel in the arts and in athletics here in Aurora. We have the best of all worlds."
Bennett said he and Fisher were fortunate to meet and travel to the district facilities with an editor from the magazine.
"It also was a chance to highlight the combined ventures between the schools and the city," Bennett said. "I was able to share programming and our district highlights during lunch as well as in the evening after a tour of the city."
Ohio Magazine editors said they selected Aurora because of its "impressive community spirit and extraordinary cooperation between its local government, outstanding school district and thriving business community. Aurora balances the fact that it's a popular regional destination with a steady focus on maintaining the community as a desirable place to live.
"Residents are particularly adamant about maintaining a superb quality of life for families and preserving the city's green space for all to enjoy."
To determine the honorees, Ohio Magazine solicited nominations and conducted site visits across the state. The editors evaluated the nominees in six categories -- community spirit, education, entertainment, health and safety, business environment, and culture and heritage -- to help finalize their selections.
Each of the best hometowns will be featured in the November, January and July issues of Ohio Magazine, showing readers unique places to visit and ways to enjoy each location.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187
Twitter: Mike Lesko@MikeLesko_RPC