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I grew up in poverty in a town of 60,000 - in conditions far worse than those in the worst parts of Mt. Vernon. I married a lifelong MV resident and we moved to a larger town so I could work in a larger market for my career. We decided to move back to Mt. Vernon to raise our children.
I was editor of the local newspaper and my opinion is that those with nothing positive to say are the bulk of those talking down the city on message boards and in various public forums. I DO NOT mean that as an insult; only to indicate there are many positive people here as well. Nor do I mean to minimize ANYONE'S perspective. All of us our entitled to our own. Mine is this: Mt. Vernon is what you make of it. If you want it to be a small, quaint town, it will be just that. If you want to nitpick and find negatives, you will find that perspective as well. I, for one, still believe this is a great place in which to live and work.
As for the crime, I believe the latest statistics indicate people in Mt. Vernon have a 4.06 violent crime rate (4.06 people are victims of such crime per 1,000 residents), below the national average of 4.5/1,000 residents and WELL below the Illinois rate of 5.28/1,000. All crimes per square mile in MV rate at 9 for every square mile. By comparison, Illinois has a rate of 93 crimes per square mile and the national average is 41.8.
I am not trying to discredit anyone's opinion. I just think sometimes people who have lived here their entire lives don't fully appreciate this place like I do - having lived for most of the last 20 years. My family is happy, we are safe and would like to see talented people either rise up in Mt. Vernon or move in to help the city improve.
What most people do not understand is that rural Illinois feeds the world through production of corn, soybeans, grains and livestorck. It is an AG state. You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow nor put lipstick on the pig to try to make a farm town anything other than what it is.
However what most people who do not live in a farm town fail to grasp is this. Some of the kindest, most genuine people you will ever meet are in farm towns. They chose the life because they love the land or they like the challenge of raising livestock from birth to market. Either job is hard physical work that builds character.
I have lived in Mount Vernon for 5 years. Many people choose to live on the out side of town so their children can go to the Summersville schools.
The cost of living is lower the Chicago. Taxes are high for a small town.
The south side of the town is considered bad. I live in the north part of town and we have NEVER had any act of crime committed towards us. We have never witnessed a crime or known our neighbors to have been victims of crimes. There are slum like/ghetto/crack houses on the south side of town but there are also very high end, nice homes on the north side of town.
I have enjoyed getting to know the Amish families we meet at the local farmer's market at the mall parking lot on Tuesdays and Fridays.
The new hospital is very large and there are lots of good Drs in town. You do have to drive to get to a larger city. The highway intersecting brings in a lot of semi trailer. It also makes Mt. Vernon sometimes seem like a very large truck stop. There are lots of places to eat here. We are excited about the new Panda Express.
Last edited by ichooseadoption; 07-16-2012 at 09:49 PM..
The south side of the town is considered bad. I live in the north part of town and we have NEVER had any act of crime committed towards us. We have never witnessed a crime or known our neighbors to have been victims of crimes. There are slum like/ghetto/crack houses on the south side of town but there are also very high end, nice homes on the north side of town.[quote]
I live in the south side of mount vernon and I have NEVER had any crime towards me or my family. I sleep with my windows wide open and my car is always unlocked. Those houses you were taking about , those people are trying their hardest to make it. They just have to many things stacked against them. They try just like everyone does. But I guess if you don't have the silver spoon in you mouth then you will be labeled as ghetto. Those houses on the north side are only there cause this town is full of old money that stays in families instead of being passed around like it should be. The winds of change are coming and they are killing your crops. Money is finally going to be moving around like it should be.
Given we have a new interchange, things will be taking off again development wise. You can rest assure history will repeat it self. When I moved down here 22 years ago, the west side of town had hardly anything taking off, then it took off for about 10 years, and lulled for about 5 or so years, and is now picking up again. This can be attributed to the new interchange garnering interest in the current interchange. Once infrastructure is completed at the new interchange, the area will flourish and grow rather quickly along with the new high school being located out that way. My theory behind the location chosen is, the 3 remaining county high schools, will be shuttered and either all of those students will be bussed into Mt Vernon, or they might be consolidated with other schools in neighboring counties.
Honestly, we've lived here the last 13 years, and are finally moving out. It is not a very friendly place, unless your grandparents were born here. It is cheaper to live here, although property taxes are awful (ourfill this year was $6900).
First, the positives: We did just vote to have a new High School built, but when that will happen? Who knows? I have a kid at the high school, and two at the junior high. For the most part, the schools and school staff are wonderful. I've have a son with special needs, and he has a whole team of people willing to help him because they really do want the best for him. I will say, however, most of the "school awards" go to the kids whose parents are somehow big in the community or on the School Board. It's a farce to go to the Citywide WISH Showcase every year just to see the same kids get the same awards because their parents are "big-wigs" in the community. The high school seems to have pretty decent teachers, and I've NEVER heard anything about violence, etc. My kid has been there two years, and she said she's never seen anything malicious happen at the school.
There are several restaurants, and a nice theatre in town as well. For the most part, you don't need to lock your doors, although I have had my purse stolen out of my car in my garage--my fault though, shouldn't have left it there. They have a nice art fair every September called Cedarhurst...very nice.
Except for the schools, living here has been very difficult. After 13 years, we have not been readily accepted here. My kids have found it difficult to make friends because they weren't "born" here--two of them were born here, but are still considered outsiders. We've tried to get involved in the community, but we haven't been really widely accepted. It's taken us 5 years to build an athletic program here that they didn't have, and every step of the way there has been a roadblock. We kept plowing through, put a lot of our own money into it for the kids of this city despite everybody telling us it couldn't be done. Hopefully it keeps building after we leave.
Our family is not very religious, that might be part of our feeling of not being accepted. We don't openly announce this, but we don't belong to a church, and people ask us all the time where we go to church. When we say we don't, they move on, but you get the feeling you are being judged in some way because of it. We knew this was the bible Belt when we moved here, but even in Carbondale, nobody seemed to care that much that we weren't religious.
One of our main reasons for moving is the weather. Since we moved here, I have had more problems with allergies than I've had my whole life, and I've been put on an inhaler for the first time. It is very hot and humid in the summer--this past summer has been very difficult with the kids staying inside for most of it due to the heat warnings. Winters are brown and...not necessarily cold per se--not like Chicago or Peoria, just blah. Forget about snow. The first year we moved here, no white Christmas. That was hard for us at first. A few years, I remember wearing shorts in December. They will close school if there are only a few inches of snow. I've heard it is because they bus kids in from the county schools, and they don't have enough plows to get to those roads. (This is hearsay....I'm not naming this as fact). But, my husband and I both really missed the snow when we moved here.
I'm not bitter about the area, and I've made some great friends. But, our family didn't feel really welcomed into the community, and we've even been shunned in some cases. As I've been looking at the city-data boards, I've appreciated the honesty of some people about moving to a new community. My post here is honest about my perception of this area. Hope it helps
I live in Metropolis and I have visited Mt. Vernon many times. The cost of living is much cheaper that Chicago. You don't have to spend so much money on transportation. It is a much small more intimate place to live. The people are friendly and the lifestyle is a much slower pace. As far as jobs go to google and type Kim Classifieds and check out the local job listings.
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