Facts on Ozark - 12/19/2008
I've lived here now for 13 years (moved up from Dallas, TX in '95). Ozark is a place to live with affordable housing and adequate access to shopping (for a small town). You must rely on employment in the Springfield metro area (15 minutes away). Wages in all of southwest Missouri are horrible for either blue collar or professional. There are five universitites within 30 minutes of Springfield / Ozark and all employers know that they don't have to pay fair wages with the abundance or college students or graduates that will work for dirt cheap, just to have a "manager title". I believe this area is much over-rated for several reasons. The Missouri state income tax is extremely high, personal property taxes on your vehicles every year and the general sales tax exceeds 7% in most areas. The infastrcuture is a complete disaster and traffic is the worst I've ever seen in a metro area of under 200,000 population. There is no middle ground on the people, they are either very friendly or are outright ignorant snobs. You also have a decent proportion of inbred hillbillies and wanna be's. In Ozark and surrounding small towns such as Sparta (the meth and inbreeding capital of Missouri), everyone knows everyone. They are all realted, everyone is either on the volunteer fire department (that shows up just in time to save the copper plumbing) or their uncle is the mayor, chief of police or Dollar Store owner. Entertainment here revolves around flipping a coin to see who has to buy the next case of Milwaukee's Best. This area is also very corrupt in politics and if you don't have a buddy somewhere in the system, your road never gets snowplowed in January. This area was much different when I moved here in '95. Now, the population (in Ozark) has doubled. A Wal-mart supercenter arrived in Ozark in 2002. The city went way out of their way to make sure that we had a two lane road leading to the store, traffic is horrendous. I suppose the biggest concern I would have moving to Ozark is the school system. Here in the bible belt with the good ole boys, you would never believe the amount of gothic activity in the school system. The high school allows female students to dress as if they're leaving school at 3 pm and heading straight to their part-time dancing job at the topless bar. And of course, the mentaility of the parents allow this to happen too. I would not recommend Ozark or southwest Missouri to anyone. I suppose there is a reason we never make the "top 100 places to raise a family". It you must move to this region, you need to be retired, have money in the bank and be in a rural area at least 40 miles from Springfield / Ozark / Nixa / Branson. The people are very clickish and do not like outsiders. I was at a convenience store two weeks ago and instead of the clerk saying hello at the cash register, he asked where I was from. When I said originally Dallas but have been here for 13 years, he just stared at me as if he was wanting a commitment to never share pictures of him and his sister. Strange people, strange place, horrible climate, major, major drug problems, corrupt law enforcement and politics, horrible drivers, horrible traffic, extremely low wages, everything short of prostitution in the high school, very unreasonable taxes and for some reason, all are on guard against getting sued for some reason. Keep away from this area. I would post pictures of Ozark for everyone to see but it's quicker to view if you just stare at the inside of your toilet.
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