Sunday February 24, 2013

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) -- Is Poughkeepsie, N.Y., one of the best places to live in the country, or one of the worst?

Forbes magazine can’t seem to make up its mind.

Less than a year after naming the small Hudson River Valley city the sixth-best place in the U.S. to raise a family, Forbes put it 18th on a list of the country’s 20 most-miserable cities.

City residents are baffled, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported Saturday.

"It doesn’t make any sense," said Mayor John Tkazyik.

Forbes used statistics including home prices, commuting factors and crime levels to create its lists. Its ranking includes both the city and surrounding cities and towns in what the U.S. Census Bureau calls the Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Poughkeepsie’s recent "most miserable" ranking is based on bad weather, high property taxes and an average commuting time of around 40 minutes, the magazine said. That’s long by national standards.

But in Forbes’ fawning April ranking, Poughkeepsie scored points for low cost of living, quality of schools -- and even easy commuting.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said the inconsistency is "at best ... ridiculous, and at worst, damages the image of a robust and vibrant community."

Forbes said different methodology was used to derive at the two rankings. The city’s most-miserable title was in part a result of migration out of the area and sinking home prices in the past three years.

New York City ranked as 10th-most miserable on the Forbes list because of its high taxes and long commutes.

Detroit is the country’s most miserable city, according to Forbes.