In the past decade, researchers have recognized the need for localized sustainability initiatives at the community level that include local people in the decision making process. The purpose of this study was to identify the set of criteria used by local people of the Tug Hill region of New York State to assess how they think about the wellbeing of their community. I conducted in-depth interviews with forty-eight local residents and twenty-four elected officials to determine the criteria local people used to assess their communities. Results from my study were compared to lists presented by experts as good examples of local sustainability criteria. I found that residents, elected officials and experts differ in their focus on various criteria to monitor community well-being and sustainability. This finding supports a decision by The Tug Hill Commission to involve a representative sample of people of the region for long-term monitoring of the region.