January 25, 2015      29.0°F (-1.7°C) | Fog/Mist
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Legislative Town Hall

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January is always a busy time at Meridian City Hall as we wrap up 2014 and look forward to what’s ahead for 2015. This month also signifies the start of the legislative session, a time when our senators and representatives evaluate Idaho and its needs and take action on what they believe to be in the best interest of the state and its citizens.  In doing so, they rely heavily on what they hear from the public when making these important decisions that impact us all.

 

That’s why for the fourth year we put together our Legislative Town Hall – an annual event that gives stakeholders and residents a chance to speak directly to our legislators. I was happy to see so many residents come out to Meridian City Hall to take part in this year’s Town Hall. I also appreciated the Legislators who spent the evening respectfully listening to issues and topics of interest to our citizens and community partners concerning challenges at the local level. They asked thoughtful questions of the presenters and responded to citizens’ questions on a number of topics.

 

We heard presentations from the Mayors Youth Advisory Council (MYAC), Government Affairs members, the Meridian Chamber of Commerce, Idaho State University, the West Ada School Board and the Meridian Development Corporation regarding education funding, new technologies, public safety, property rights, and much more. I was also very impressed by the well-thought out presentations and questions brought forward by our community.

 

During this year’s legislative session, the City will be watching issues related to jobs and transportation closely. At the Town Hall we also discussed our plans to advocate for improvements to State Code regarding Area of City Impact.  The change we are proposing will help ensure as a City we can anticipate, plan, install and recoup necessary service investments for future areas and avoid compromising the return on our investment which would further burden the existing tax payers.

 

In addition, the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council shared their views with legislators and powerful statistics when it comes to teens not wearing seatbelts. The council would like to make failure to wear a seat belt, for someone under the age of 19, a primary offense for traffic stops.  Their 'ask' of their Legislators was to ensure they received a hearing before the appropriate committee.

 

If you want to view the video of the Legislative Town Hall– we’ve posted it under community videos on our website, www.meridiancity.org.

 

Again I want to thank the legislators who took part in our Town Hall; Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder, Senate ProTem Brent Hill, Senator Marv Hagedorn, House Minority Leader Matt Erdelding, and Representatives James Holtzclaw, Reed DeMordaunt, and Steve Harris. I appreciate Senator Winder whom has worked with us each year to bring this to our city!

 

I am thankful to live in a community where people understand the value of their voice and the change that can occur at the local level.

Your Voice is Important

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Join us for the Legislative Town Hall

By Mayor Tammy

 

As we gear up for another legislative session, I think it is important for legislators to hear from our citizens. Collaboration is key in ensuring Idaho continues to be a great place to live, work, and raise our families! That’s why we are once again inviting the community to our Legislative Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, January 14 at 6:30 pm at Meridian City Hall. 

 

The City of Meridian is partnering with Senator Chuck Winder and we have invited all of the Senate and House leadership as well as legislators from Districts 14, 20, 21, and 22 to participate in this interactive meeting.  We are holding this event for the 4th year in a row because we think it is important for our state leaders to hear about the challenges our citizens, business leaders, and educators face as a growing community.  And in order to reach as many people in Meridian as possible - and other areas as well - this year we will stream the meeting online. We’ve set up a “Legislative Town Hall” Facebook invite via our Meridian City Hall page with updates. Be sure to “like” our Facebook page and join the event for more streaming information or visit our website, www.meridiancity.org.

 

One of the issues we hope to highlight this legislative session is an update to Idaho’s land use law. We believe as we plan for the future using today’s tax dollars, that investment should be protected. If not, the planning that is done by all of our departments to provide services becomes wasted spending.  We don’t agree with that approach. Do you have an opinion on this or any other issue?  If so, then be sure to join us at the meeting! 

 

In addition to hearing from the City, we anticipate participation from the Meridian Chamber of Commerce, the West Ada School District, and the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council leaders.  I believe our citizens bring unique perspectives that are important for consideration during the 2015 legislative session.

 

 

I look forward to seeing you on January 14.  

Serve and Protect

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 Christmas is almost here! While most of us will spend the holiday at home gathered around the tree and table with loved ones, there are many people who won’t, including those who serve our residents in public safety roles – our police and fire personnel.

 

As I reflect on this season of giving, it’s hard not to think of just how much those in public safety give each and every day to our city. We recently recognized four of our Meridian police officers because thanks to their quick thinking, they saved lives at two separate incidents. I couldn’t help but feel overwhelming gratitude as I shook their hands. At the same time, I realized we just don’t tell those in public safety thank you enough. Each day they put on their uniforms not knowing what is ahead of them or what situations will be presented; the holidays are no exception. It takes a special kind of person to commit to that ongoing service for our community.

 

On top of their day-to-day duties – I’m constantly blown away by all of the programs our police and fire department employees support in our community.  This holiday season they purchased gifts for children with the Meridian Boys and Girls Club who otherwise may not have received presents this Christmas. Our police department’s victim witness coordinators identified families in need and used funds from the City’s bake sale to purchase items for those children and families.  And at every Meridian Fire Station, you’ll find bins for the Meridian Food Bank as our stations collect food and other items year round.

 

 I believe that those in our police and fire departments symbolize what Meridian is all about – giving and serving others. Their selfless service is a reason our community is one of the best and most safe places to call home.

 

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to our men and women who put on a badge or uniform each day and go above and beyond to serve our community. Merry Christmas!

 

Connecting with You

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 By Mayor Tammy

 One of my goals is to make sure Meridian residents feel connected to their city, local government officials and local businesses, which is why we are constantly striving to keep you better informed. From our Facebook and Twitter to town hall meetings, as well as the city’s website, newsletters, and through media; we want you to have the latest information and updates on events in our great community. And, one of my favorite ways to connect with residents is our Coffee with the Mayor.

 Our first Coffee with the Mayor was held back in 2007 and since then it has grown to be a great event to discuss issues, share ideas, ask questions, network and connect. I enjoy connecting with Meridian residents over coffee (or other beverages) because it gives me a chance to get to know those who live, work and play in our community on a more personal level.

 It also gives residents a chance to get questions answered quickly and we’re able to discuss community updates. We have representatives from every city department on hand to lend their expertise and share information with those who attend. Fresh ideas, solutions to challenging issues, and new business relationships have resulted from these informal get-togethers.

 I never want to be a mayor who leads our city from behind a desk. Getting out in the community, meeting new people, and connecting with residents is how I plan to continue building a brighter future for our city. Our next Coffee with the Mayor is scheduled for Tuesday, December 9 from 8:00am – 9:30am at Coleman Homes Design Center, 3103 West Sheryl Drive #100, Meridian, Idaho 83642.

 Bring your stories, your ideas, and your questions and let’s connect! This is a special “Holiday Giving” Coffee with the Mayor because we will be collecting food for the Meridian Food Bank. So we’re asking all who attend to bring non-perishable food items to donate.  The Coleman Homes’ staff has already kicked it off with an internal food drive that will culminate at our Coffee with the Mayor event. I am hopeful we are able to make a sizable contribution to assist those in need this holiday season.

 Let’s get together to make this community the best it can be for all who live here!

 I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, December 9!

Holiday Safety in Meridian

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 By Mayor Tammy

 

Meridian might be one of the safest cities in Idaho and the country, but we are certainly not immune to crime and as a community and individuals we need to be vigilant. While the holidays are always a very special time, unfortunately some view this season as an opportune time to prey on others. That’s why we discussed several safeguards our citizens can employ at a recently held Town Hall meeting.

 

Bolstering your safety starts at home. From ensuring all doors in homes and vehicles are locked, to making sure garage doors are closed at night, we often overlook what some see as ports of entries to our homes or quick opportunities for theft. An electronic garage door opener left in a car parked in your driveway can present a free ticket to your garage belongings and/or access to an unlocked man-door in your garage providing entry into your home.

 

Lighting is an essential component to home safety as well. Thieves generally stay away from well-lit areas. We know many citizens like to turn off porch lights to save on electrical costs, but we encourage you to keep the lights on -- especially during the holidays. 

 

And don’t forget about dangerous situations you might create inside your home. Did you know that most house fires begin in the kitchen? That’s why it is important to never leave food unaccompanied while a stove is turned on and make sure you turn off your oven after you’re done preparing your favorite holiday meal or dessert.

 

It is important to protect ourselves and our children in the home, as well as, online this season. First and foremost - be aware of what information you are sharing via social media and other sites. Letting your online friends know about a holiday vacation or outing also lets burglars know when you will be gone.  Another best practice is to only use the GPS function on your phone when necessary. Many phones are now equipped with GPS, which can let your associates and criminals know, within 6 feet, of your whereabouts.  As predators utilize fake accounts to gain access to you and your children, a good rule to follow is to not have more than 200 friends in any given application and parents should monitor their children’s accounts at least once a week.

 

Scammers love the holidays as well, with many asking for money to be sent electronically. Please remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary when using Craigslist, Facebook vendor groups and pages, and lottery scams as these are popular for enticing people to pledge money for false products. If you suspect you are being scammed, please ask for a return phone number and name if possible then alert the Meridian Police at 888-6678, 311, or 911. Another best practice in this regard is to deal locally whenever possible.

 

You can watch the full video from the Town Hall meeting on our website, www.meridiancity.org to learn more about these tips and much more.  If you need any additional information on how to keep you and your family safe, you can also contact the Meridian Police Department.

 

I hope your holiday season is a blessed one. If we all look out for one another and take some commons sense steps, including the safety steps listed above, we can make this a more joyous time for all.

Veterans Day is About More than Just Parades and Celebrations

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By Mayor Tammy

 

It was my privilege to participate in the Veterans Day Parade this weekend as we honored so many who have battled for America throughout time in various conflicts around the world. What I loved seeing the most, however, was the sparkle in veterans’ eyes as children waved American flags – their way of thanking and recognizing these true heroes.

 

To me, Veteran’s Day is about more than just parades and celebrations. It’s also a time to reflect and honor those who gave of themselves and paid the ultimate price so that we all can live the lives we do. What makes this year’s Veteran’s Day especially poignant was the loss last week of two members of our Idaho National Guard. This tragic event of last week’s helicopter crash touches the lives of many and will leave an indelible mark on this community.

 

On Tuesday, November 11 at 11am, we will celebrate Veterans Day in our community. We will gather to honor Meridian’s fallen at the Rock of Honor Memorial located in Kleiner Park. This memorial is a precious part of our community and the annual wreath laying ceremony has come to be one of my favorite events on this most solemn day. This monument is not only to honor our fallen friends; it also serves as a reminder to honor and thank those still living who have been, and are currently, willing to put their lives on the line every single day, allowing us to go about our daily business without fret or worry.

 

As I thought about the importance of this special day, I came across this poem by Roger Robicheau entitled, The American Hero, which sums up my feelings for our veterans.

 

The American Hero always comes through
To capture our hearts with a spirit so true
 

 

Some proudly are soldiers who march in harm’s way
Insuring our freedom, courageous they stay
 

 

While others come forth as civilians so brave
Determined in purpose, so steadfast to save

 

We should always keep clear a place in our heart
For each has a value beyond precious art

 

Their duty to country will not be surpassed
Please honor their courage, for some it’s their last

 

We live in a world which can be hard to bear
Thank God for these people, how greatly they care

 

Do ponder new heroes and what they will face
And pray for their safety no matter their place

 

Our heritage brings out the best, we all know
Our great book of heroes is destined to grow

 

As we enter the season of Thanksgiving, may we be ever grateful to our veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice. I invite everyone to attend this unique display of honor and love for our fallen friends.

 

City Cuts Ribbon for New Amenities at 8th Street Park

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By Shelly Houston

 

On November 3, neighbors gathered with Mayor Tammy de Weerd and several Meridian Parks and Recreation commissioners and staff members for a ribbon cutting to celebrate a trio of new amenities recently added to 8th Street Park – a two-acre neighborhood park located at 2235 W. 8th Street, just adjacent to the Meridian Water Department building.

 

The new amenities include a picnic shelter which will be reservable during the warm weather months, a heated restroom building open for year-round use, and new playground equipment and soft-fall material purchased with funds from the Community Recycling Fund and containing more than 925 lbs of recycled plastic. New sidewalks connecting these amenities were also added as part of the park upgrade project.

 

The new restroom building in 8th Street Park is identical to a new restroom building recently installed in Centennial Park, located on W. Idaho Avenue beside the Meridian Community Center. Both restroom facilities were made possible through Community Development Block Grant funding which helps pay for upgrades that make older neighborhoods more usable for citizens.

 

Meridian Parks and Recreation Commission President Matt Stoll spoke at the event and cited other recent improvements to Meridian’s parks and pathways system, including a new section of Five Mile Creek Pathway near Bridgetower Subdivision which was recently completed. He also explained that the City of Meridian is about to begin the process of updating its Parks and Recreation Master Plan, and that public input will be an important element of the planning process.

 

Steve Siddoway, Meridian Parks and Recreation Director, also thanked project manager Jay Gibbons for his work on the project and Mayor Tammy extolled the virtues of Meridian’s six neighborhood parks which she likened to “hidden gems” throughout our community.  

 

 


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33 E. Broadway Ave., Meridian, Idaho 83642  |  208.888.4433 (Click link above to view map)