Mukilteo named 10th in top 100 best small towns

By Paul Archipley | Jul 15, 2009

With news stories like this, who needs enemies? Were reminded of the late, great Emmett Watson, the longtime newspaper columnist who was unofficial leader of the Lesser Seattle movement, an effort to limit the unbridled growth that changed the character of Puget Sound. Emmett didnt want outsiders to know about this slice of heaven, lest they ruin it.

Nevertheless, various national publications keep picking Mukilteo as a great place to live.

Money Magazine and this week published the top 100 out of 19,000 towns across America that have populations under 50,000.

Mukilteo? Number 10. Go to for details.

Criteria included local job market, housing prices, quality of schools, and average income. The decision-makers didnt look at proximity to an airport that evil-doers want to expand, the crumbling community center that neer-do-wells want to preserve, or the interminable ferry line with its rules that out-of-towners either dont comprehend or choose to ignore.

What they saw, instead, was the kind of community that drew many of us here in the first place: Mukilteo, they said, happens to be drop-dead gorgeous, with views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, and the Cascades. More reasons to love it: top-notch schools and low property taxes.

In a better economy, we could just imagine the land rush: Bipeds of the Forest Invade Bucolic Burg!

Oops, except real estate prices are pretty darn good right now if youre in the market for a home. And the Money Magazine article also notes unemployment is half that of many similar Pacific Coast towns. Weve got aerospace, high tech and other relatively high-paying job opportunities.

And then there are those doggone good-deed doers, making this great camping place all the more appealing with their philanthropic, cultural, educational and like-minded endeavors.

This weekend will highlight some of the best that Mukilteo has to offer, with events from Mukilteo Lighthouse to Pioneer Cemetery to the Presbyterian Church to bountiful, bloom-busting gardens all over town. Damn! Youd think these people were trying to put Mukilteo on the map!

Then theres Mother Nature, holding back the rain, inundating us with sunshine. Even our constant drumbeat warning out-of-town friends and family that it rains here all the time is being refuted by fact. Whats a drawbridge-drawing, moat-building Lesser Mukilteo devotee to do?

Theres not much we can do but thank our lucky stars that most people have the attention span of a gnat. The media moguls will find out where theyre hiding Michael Jacksons body and (as long as its not buried here) the Great Unwashed will turn their attention to the next mindless morsel for the masses.

We, meanwhile, have this wonderful little town to ourselves. That is, until the next Best Places to Live story hits the stands.

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