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Old 03-01-2008, 12:22 PM
 
12 posts, read 46,416 times
Reputation: 27

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My friend moved to Ottumwa last year for a job as a manager. I know he doesn't plan on staying. I helped him move and visited him a couple times there and that town is very trashy.
The downtown looks like it fell apart and was never fixed. They have a few stores and restaurants and stuff but not the selection you'd find in a city like Des Moines or Cedar Rapids of course.
I noticed that almost every yard has a junker car or truck in it.. the driveways were all just rocks and grass.. most of the houses looked like crap. My friend told me that Ottumwa is located in the poorest county in Iowa.. so I guess that makes sense.
I hate to look down on people too, but I noticed many people there just didn't care how they looked or acted, which was very sloppy.
About the only thing I noticed there that was actually nice was the police vehicles.. which looked nice and new and even some SUV police vehicles.. so I guess that's where all their money goes.
I know I could never live in a place like that.. some parts looked nice and normal, but there certainly wasn't enough to do there, and overall I did not like the atmosphere of the town. Visit there and you will see what I mean.
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Liberty, IL (moving to Shelbyville, IL)
64 posts, read 326,021 times
Reputation: 42
Thumbs down Do NOT move to Ottumwa!

Ottumwa is one of the worst places to live in the state. Crime is high, schools are terrible (Ottumwa High School was rated a 2 / 10 by GreatSchools.net, which rates schools based on standardized test scores), the town has a very dirty and run-down feel to it, and there's a huge drug problem because there's virtually nothing else to do! I wouldn't fit in with many kids in Ottumwa because I don't do drugs and never will!

As for all the people who said that Ottumwa has low crime...well, you guys need to look up factual statistics. And according to those statistics from the FBI, Ottumwa has one of the highest crime rates in the state, with 722 violent crimes per 100,000 residents (where 473.5 is the national average and 700 is considered high). The guy who said that Ottumwa is safe compared to L.A. is right...but not by much. L.A. only had a slightly worse crime rate than Ottumwa, with 786.9 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:51 AM
 
2 posts, read 11,364 times
Reputation: 15
Unhappy I LOVE my life in Ottumwa

Quote:
Originally Posted by jon2007 View Post
stay out of ottumwa-unless u want to have no life-lol
Your life is what you make it out to be. If you have no life in Ottumwa it is because you've chosen to have no life. I'm guessing that the person who made this comment would have no life wherever he/she would choose to live. Life is good here and let's not try to make Ottumwa out to be such a bad place. Most everyone I know is very happy here!

Why do people have to be so negative?
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Old 03-03-2008, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Iowa, Des Moines Metro
2,073 posts, read 4,666,612 times
Reputation: 1083
Quote:
Originally Posted by manders1997 View Post
Your life is what you make it out to be. If you have no life in Ottumwa it is because you've chosen to have no life. I'm guessing that the person who made this comment would have no life wherever he/she would choose to live. Life is good here and let's not try to make Ottumwa out to be such a bad place. Most everyone I know is very happy here!

Why do people have to be so negative?
Because they think since they are online it doesn't matter what they say. That's good that you are happy in Ottumwa -- just because a town is a little rough doesn't mean it is hell and everyone there is weird like some of these moronic posters are implying.

I like positive posters like you, please come back!
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Burlington, IA
9 posts, read 43,560 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SykoByte View Post
My friend told me that Ottumwa is located in the poorest county in Iowa.. so I guess that makes sense.
Louisa County is the Poorest County in Iowa. Anyway...I went to school there a year ago. I like to think of it as a pothole. Rent is cheaper than CA but its too much for what you get. My boss really took care of his employees. My neighbors were awesome...The only problems I had were with the police, They are very ticket happy and a Mexican wanted to beat me up because i worked with his girlfriend. I go back for the people I met and thats it. I would recommend finding your job anywhere else.
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Old 03-15-2008, 01:18 AM
 
Location: Loveland, CO
149 posts, read 586,698 times
Reputation: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bita023 View Post
Louisa County is the Poorest County in Iowa. Anyway...I went to school there a year ago. I like to think of it as a pothole. Rent is cheaper than CA but its too much for what you get. My boss really took care of his employees. My neighbors were awesome...The only problems I had were with the police, They are very ticket happy and a Mexican wanted to beat me up because i worked with his girlfriend. I go back for the people I met and thats it. I would recommend finding your job anywhere else.
Actually, I'm quite certain that Decatur county is in fact the poorest county in Iowa. Unless something has drastically changed there in the past few years...and I doubt that's the case.

But to get back on topic...I would personally never, ever consider moving to Ottumwa. And coming from LA, I think you will find Ottumwa to be different in almost every way...the weather, the people, the lifestyle, you name it and you can bet it will be WAY different. LA and Ottumwa are worlds apart, if not polar opposites!
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Old 03-15-2008, 07:08 PM
 
Location: in the general vicinity of Cedar Rapids, Iowa
296 posts, read 1,116,846 times
Reputation: 184
I'm biased against the town of Ottumwa because I went on a Truly World Class Bad Date Ever there once... I mean, my date and I were both living in Iowa City at the time and he took me to Ottumwa???? Oh, my. It was "feign death and maybe he will leave" material.

HOWEVER, I have visited some friends who live on an acreage outside of Ottumwa, and that was a little slice of heaven! Gorgeous, big house, rolling land, great horse setup... even a guest house over the garage! The guy had essentially the same job I had and his wife wasn't bringing in big bucks, so I'd say they had found a pretty affordable place and made the most of it. AND they had wireless internet WAY before we did on the outskirts of Cedar Rapids.
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Old 03-15-2008, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
29,248 posts, read 62,840,030 times
Reputation: 14390
Quote:
Originally Posted by manders1997 View Post
Why do people have to be so negative?
People are negative because they are short-sighted. I know I don't poke my nose into here to visit my Hawkeye friends as frequently as I should, but I'm a bit dismayed to see so many of you so pessimistic about your state and your hometowns.

The best way to reinvigorate struggling cities is to attract new, fresh faces to town with innovative ideas. You're not going to attract very many new folks to your community if all you do is slam it into the ground incessantly. There's an old adage along the lines of "you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar," and I must concur.

I live in the suburbs of Scranton, PA (pop. 72,000), and as soon as I'm financially secure after college as a CPA I plan to move into the city to restore an older home, raise my family, and potentially open my own downtown firm. Why? I try to look at what can be instead of what currently is. More of you folks in Iowa need to have that same outlook on life. Where some see an abandoned industrial building, I see hope for transformation into lofts for young professionals. Where some see a run-down older home, I see hope for rehabilitation into a respectable single-family home. There's always a silver lining to be found if you dig deep enough to uncover it.

Newcomers are turned off like the plague to cities where everyone seemingly doesn't enjoy living there. Contrariwise, newcomers are attracted to cities where everyone pats themselves on the back. Just look at cities like Boulder, Minneapolis, Charlottesville, Raleigh, Naperville, etc. All are growing exponentially. All are also home to very optimistic overall populations. Cities in steep decline are also home to miserable people (i.e. Scranton or Ottumwa). If more of you had some PRIDE in your city and your state, then people will come. When people come, they will bring new ideas. With their new ideas they may open up a new downtown business that will employ several townspeople who will then use that income to patronize other city businesses, which employ other city residents, who use their incomes to shop back at that newer business. None of this will happen with all of your "Ottumwa Sucks" mentalities.
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Old 04-05-2008, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Liberty, IL (moving to Shelbyville, IL)
64 posts, read 326,021 times
Reputation: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWB View Post
People are negative because they are short-sighted. I know I don't poke my nose into here to visit my Hawkeye friends as frequently as I should, but I'm a bit dismayed to see so many of you so pessimistic about your state and your hometowns.

The best way to reinvigorate struggling cities is to attract new, fresh faces to town with innovative ideas. You're not going to attract very many new folks to your community if all you do is slam it into the ground incessantly. There's an old adage along the lines of "you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar," and I must concur.

I live in the suburbs of Scranton, PA (pop. 72,000), and as soon as I'm financially secure after college as a CPA I plan to move into the city to restore an older home, raise my family, and potentially open my own downtown firm. Why? I try to look at what can be instead of what currently is. More of you folks in Iowa need to have that same outlook on life. Where some see an abandoned industrial building, I see hope for transformation into lofts for young professionals. Where some see a run-down older home, I see hope for rehabilitation into a respectable single-family home. There's always a silver lining to be found if you dig deep enough to uncover it.

Newcomers are turned off like the plague to cities where everyone seemingly doesn't enjoy living there. Contrariwise, newcomers are attracted to cities where everyone pats themselves on the back. Just look at cities like Boulder, Minneapolis, Charlottesville, Raleigh, Naperville, etc. All are growing exponentially. All are also home to very optimistic overall populations. Cities in steep decline are also home to miserable people (i.e. Scranton or Ottumwa). If more of you had some PRIDE in your city and your state, then people will come. When people come, they will bring new ideas. With their new ideas they may open up a new downtown business that will employ several townspeople who will then use that income to patronize other city businesses, which employ other city residents, who use their incomes to shop back at that newer business. None of this will happen with all of your "Ottumwa Sucks" mentalities.
Dude, the reason why people are so negative about Ottumwa is because there's virtually nothing positive about it...after all, no one wants to live in a town with a high crime rate, one of the worst public school systems in the state (and possibly the entire country), economic depression, and a dirty, run-down feel. Sure, each run-down house does have potential to be great once it gets restored, but how many people actually restore these houses? I really hate to sound negative, but Ottumwa is extremely unlikely to pull itself out of the black hole it's in right now...especially given that the area has nothing about it that businesses find to be attractive (except for an extremely low cost of living, but almost every economically depressed area has that).

And for those of you that still feel safe living in Ottumwa, check out the official FBI statistics. Trust me, they're not pretty, especially for such a small town.
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Old 04-05-2008, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Chariton, Iowa
681 posts, read 2,624,575 times
Reputation: 443
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWB View Post
People are negative because they are short-sighted. I know I don't poke my nose into here to visit my Hawkeye friends as frequently as I should, but I'm a bit dismayed to see so many of you so pessimistic about your state and your hometowns.

The best way to reinvigorate struggling cities is to attract new, fresh faces to town with innovative ideas. You're not going to attract very many new folks to your community if all you do is slam it into the ground incessantly. There's an old adage along the lines of "you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar," and I must concur.

I live in the suburbs of Scranton, PA (pop. 72,000), and as soon as I'm financially secure after college as a CPA I plan to move into the city to restore an older home, raise my family, and potentially open my own downtown firm. Why? I try to look at what can be instead of what currently is. More of you folks in Iowa need to have that same outlook on life. Where some see an abandoned industrial building, I see hope for transformation into lofts for young professionals. Where some see a run-down older home, I see hope for rehabilitation into a respectable single-family home. There's always a silver lining to be found if you dig deep enough to uncover it.

Newcomers are turned off like the plague to cities where everyone seemingly doesn't enjoy living there. Contrariwise, newcomers are attracted to cities where everyone pats themselves on the back. Just look at cities like Boulder, Minneapolis, Charlottesville, Raleigh, Naperville, etc. All are growing exponentially. All are also home to very optimistic overall populations. Cities in steep decline are also home to miserable people (i.e. Scranton or Ottumwa). If more of you had some PRIDE in your city and your state, then people will come. When people come, they will bring new ideas. With their new ideas they may open up a new downtown business that will employ several townspeople who will then use that income to patronize other city businesses, which employ other city residents, who use their incomes to shop back at that newer business. None of this will happen with all of your "Ottumwa Sucks" mentalities.
Well, there's being positive...and then there's lying. I personally won't lie to people who come here and ask for advice. Ottumwa has a lot of problems. I don't think those problems are insurmountable...but they are problems. The OP should know about both sides of the coin.

Personally, I think you're doing us a disservice if you take this post as representative of our attitude to the state. We are generally very positive about our state. Thousands of people are doing in places like Des Moines, Davenport, Dubuque and Sioux City what you plan to do in Scranton. We have cities that are turning themselves around.

However, they're not turning themselves around on the power of positive thinking alone. They've identified problems in their communities and worked to change those problems. Dubuque and Davenport are the best examples of this in our state. Ottumwa is different, however. Ottumwa, by and large, hasn't fixed its problems (crime, poverty, low-paying dirty polluting factory jobs, etc.). Therefore, until they do....I can't recommend people move to Ottumwa when they ask me if they should.

P.S: Please take a look at some other posts, I think you'll find we're a very positive community on the whole...with a very optimistic attitude about most parts of the state.
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