Photo by Mason Callejas asked readers what they enjoyed most about living in Maricopa. Below are the top 10 items in order of the frequency they were mentioned.

  1. Neighborhoods – 16 percent of responses celebrated their neighborhoods for being “great” or “quiet” or simply possessing wonderful neighbors who look out for each other. “You can send out a Facebook post on Thanksgiving asking for condensed milk when all the stores are closed and get 50 offers of help from your neighbors,” one reader wrote.
  2. Community spirit – Mentioned in 13 percent of replies, the “we’re all in this together” attitude tied for second. Maricopa was noted for coming together to celebrate great events and show support for others after tragedy. “I love how service-minded we are as a community,” a reader wrote. “I love that our elected officials truly care about our community even if we don’t always see eye-to-eye.”
  3. Friendliness – Also with 13 percent of mentions was how sociable and approachable many residents are. Though readers pointedly explained the friendliness did not always translate to social media, “real life” Maricopans were marked as cordial and welcoming.
  4. Safety – Tied for fourth with 8 percent of the mentions was the feeling of safety for their children and the relative lack of serious crime. In various statewide studies during the year, Maricopa usually ranks among the top five safest cities.
  5. Cost of living – Though readers complained about utility costs, 8 percent still praised the affordability of living in Maricopa. That ranged from “cheaper housing” to local fees.
  6. Small-town feel – Mentioned in various forms by 7 percent, a rural sensibility, lack of crowds (except during commuting hours) and the feeling of knowing many residents were high priorities.
  7. No apartments – For those who feel apartment buildings equal crime – apparently about 7 percent of respondents – the fact there are not yet multifamily housing options is a plus, but there are signals that may soon change.
  8. Starry nights – 4 percent of responses stated the ability to see the stars at night was a top enjoyment of living in Maricopa. Mother Nature pleased others with the desert weather in general.
  9. Copper Sky – The city park was noted by another 4 percent for its indoor and outdoor venues, classes and events.
  10. Business prospects – The same number also enjoyed contemplating the possibilities of new businesses and economic growth evident around town.