Sachse went from No. 34 on our survey two years ago to No. 14 this year, making the biggest leap on our data chart (neighboring Wylie was close, going from No. 42 to No. 23). Why the huge improvement? It’s hard to say exactly because we consider all the data on a relative, weighted scale. In other words, one burb’s decline creates another burb’s improvement.

That said, Sachse did a better job this year at competing against the other suburbs in our safety and housing criteria. City Manager Allen Barnes says a low foreclosure rate and community policing efforts by the city’s relatively new police chief, Dennis Veach, are likely the cause.

But there’s more than stability going on in Sachse. When Barnes came to the city in 2007, he had $34 million to spend from a year-old bond election. The city has since dressed itself up with a new city services building and new roads. In the past couple of years, the town has had its first Christmas parade and first Fourth of July parade and fireworks display—which Barnes holds on the third of July because he gets the fireworks for half the price.
 
Right now, you pretty much have to be coming to Sachse to end up in Sachse. That won’t be the case when the George Bush Turnpike connects to the city in late 2011. Barnes predicts the town will transform from rural to suburban, although he’s trying to keep as much of the former as he can.

Barnes expects his city to keep moving up our chart. When he runs into residents setting up their utilities at City Hall, he often asks why they’re moving here. “They say it’s just a great town. I agree. It’s the best place I’ve ever lived,” he says.