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City of Meridian Blogs

Go Red This Week!

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 By Mayor Tammy

 Heart disease and stroke cause one in three deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds.  Fortunately, we can change these statistics, because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events could be prevented with education and action.  

That’s why for the second year the City of Meridian will participate in Go Red for Women Week, Feb. 1st – 5th. On Monday, the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council (MYAC) will be at Dutch Bros on Linder and Franklin Roads, participating in Hands-Only CPR training. Last year the group trained over one thousand people in one day – the most for any site in the Treasure Valley during Community CPR Day.

On Friday, we’re encouraging all City employees to wear red as part of National Wear Red Day and we will be promoting the Heart Walk in May. The City will once again be participating this year, with a goal to raise $3,750. I’m hopeful we can achieve this. I challenge you to bring this to your business or employer and participate in the Heart Walk too!  

Encouraging heart health through education and activities is important to us year round. Here are other ways we are working to be part of the change we want to see:

Our MYAC has helped organize the Red Out event at Red Robin which encourages healthy menu options and Dance Your Heart Out which is a dance competition and education event hosted by MYAC. Combined, both events raised over $2,000 for the American Heart Association.  MYAC has also partnered with the AHA/ASA and youth lobbyers for Youth Lobby Day and were able to secure the passage of Hands-Only CPR as a graduation requirement.  

 In addition, I regularly participate in Walk to School Day and in 2015 launched Mayor Tammy’s Walking Club to encourage healthy and active habits for our younger generation. Twelve elementary schools participated and 6,900 students walked a combined 83,161 miles. It was a huge success and something I definitely look forward to again this spring! 

 I hope you’ll join me in celebrating Go Red for Women Week – you don’t have to be a woman to participate! I encourage you to extend your support and activities beyond the Go Red week! Who knows whose life will be saved because of your involvement? It might even be yours. I hope to see you at one of our events encouraging heart health or education!

In 2015, Mayor Tammy was recognized for her work in promoting heart health and education. The American Heart and Stroke Associations named her Youth Advocate of the Year.

You’re Invited to my State of the City Address

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 It’s that time of year again – I’m busy preparing for my annual State of the City address.

The theme for this year is Building Meridian Together because it takes everyone working with one another to build a strong community. And it is a strong one; recognized nationally as the number one place to live in America! I’ve known this all along and now the nation does too; however, we should never stop trying to be even better.

In 2015, we added more events, amenities and infrastructure to our City. We started a movement of compassion with our “Do The Right” campaign and held a preview event for a Youth Farmers Market. We also added amenities like the Storey Bark Park and the Public Safety Training Center; and 2015 marked the end of construction on the Meridian Interchange – something this community was eager to see completed!

That’s just a sampling of highlights from 2015; I’ll discuss much more in my address.  I will also be talking about what’s to come in 2016 - from working on our strategic plan to some of the challenges we will be addressing in transportation, schools, and more.

 I invite you to join me at this year’s State of the City address to celebrate our accomplishments and find out where our City is headed this year. The event is Wednesday, February 3 at 3:59pm at Meridian Middle School. It is free to attend the address and $10 for the Taste of Meridian, a reception following my speech.  

This year the Taste of Meridian will feature the following local restaurants; Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Grant’s Neighborhood Grill, Lucky Fins, Noodles & Company, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Papa John’s, Sa-Wad-Dee, The Counter, and one of our newer establishments, Wingstop.  

I look forward to seeing you at the State of the City address and Taste of Meridian! 

To learn more or to purchase tickets, visit meridiancity.org/soc2016.

New Year, New Council

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New Year, New Council

By Mayor Tammy

 

It’s a new year and a new council! This month two new council members will be sworn in to office, and will serve our community for the next four years.

 

The first, Anne Little Roberts, is someone I have known for many years.  I have had the pleasure of working with Anne on many projects, more recently in her role as President/CEO of the Meridian Chamber of Commerce. She’s lived in Meridian for 23 years and has a husband and a son. Anne graduated from Boise State with a degree in Business Management and a minor in Human Resources. Prior to her current role, she and her husband owned and managed several businesses including a manufacturing business and a fitness studio.  As CEO of the Chamber she has become a voice for the Meridian business community, especially in areas of economic development and government affairs. She told me that she’s looking forward to continuing the collaborative efforts that have taken off the last couple of years of in our community – and has already proven this through her actions bringing the Chamber and City together. I’m excited to work with Anne in her new role on the council.

 

Our second new council member is making history as the youngest councilman to ever serve! We are eager to have Ty Palmer’s perspective on the council.  Ty has called Meridian home his entire life, with the exception of two years on a mission for his church. He comes from a family of public servants; his grandfather was the Ada County Sheriff in the 70’s and his father currently serves in the State Legislature. He is a Political Science major at the College of Western Idaho and is the Director of Asset Protection at Capital Auto Loan. Ty tells me he wants to keep Meridian focused on preserving the safe, family-friendly atmosphere for generations to come.  He will fit right in! Ty has a wife, twins (a son and a daughter) and another daughter at home. I look forward to working with Ty on the council and I appreciate his focus in keeping our community one that is a destination for families.

 

While not new, we have Genesis Milam returning to City Council having now been elected to serve a four year term following her initial election in 2014, which was for a two year term.  Genesis wears many hats including a successful business consultant, real estate investor and entrepreneur. She has been active in bringing the community Meridian Business Day each year, has received desired recognition for her civic involvement and actively participates in a variety of groups and associations. She has lived in Meridian for 15 years.

 

Ty will be sworn in on January 5, 2016, replacing City Councilman Charlie Rountree; Genesis will also take her oath of office at this time, as will I. We will hold a reception on that Tuesday, Jan. 5th prior to the meeting for family, friends, and citizens that will begin at 5:30pm. Anne will be sworn in on January 12, 2016 so David Zaremba’s last council meeting will be January 5 (he serves until she takes over). 

 

Of course we look forward to the new council but it is with heartfelt regret that we say goodbye to two of our veterans and dependable council members. They helped in building the number one City in the nation. Charlie’s expertise and leadership in transportation has been invaluable, advocating for projects that were very important to our community. David’s passion for planning and zoning, public transportation and his institutional knowledge about why things were adopted the way they were, will be unmatched. I’m so thankful I got the opportunity to work with these two public servants.

 

It’s a bittersweet time as we bid farewell to Charlie and David, but it’s a new year and a new day.  I’m thankful to our community for once again putting their trust in me as Mayor, and I look forward to all we can accomplish over the next four years! I’m thrilled to welcome Anne and Ty, who I know will hit the ground running for Meridian.  I’m also excited to be able to continue working with Genesis Milam, who was re-elected to Seat 5 and join council members Keith Bird, Joe Borton and Luke Cavener – all of whom share a passion for our community and a focus on keeping Meridian the number one place to live in America!

 

Connect with the Mayor and City Council at www.meridiancity.org/city_council.

 

A Time of Reflection

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 By Mayor Tammy

I love this time of year! Not only is it the season of giving, but it’s also a time to reflect on the past twelve months as we look forward to 2016. Each New Year brings new opportunities, new experiences and new memories.

Earlier this month we put together an interactive Christmas greeting for the community. The video captured some of the highlights of the past year in Meridian. We had a couple of “firsts” including 'Do The Right' day – one day designed to start a movement of compassion. We also held the Meridian Youth Farmers Market Preview Party – a sampling of a weekly event coming summer 2016. From new City facilities to road improvements and a number of significant groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings, it has been a tremendous year for our City. We even received national recognition for being the number one place to live in America, according to 24/7 Wall St.!

I will discuss these moments and more accomplishments in 2015, as well as, what’s in store for 2016 during my State of the City Address. So mark your calendars for Wednesday, February 3, 2016 and be sure to visit www.meridiancity.org/SOC2016 for more information.

In the meantime, I invite you to view our Christmas video highlighting some big moments from 2015 at www.meridiancity.org/2015. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year! I look forward to all we will accomplish as a community in 2016.

Winter Activities in Meridian

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By Mayor Tammy

As the community transitions to winter and the holidays, many of us move our families and activities indoors.  While the weather outside might be frightful at times, there still remains plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy our parks and open spaces over the next few months. 

With fewer organized sports in our parks during the winter, it’s the perfect opportunity to get together with friends and family members for a variety of activities and pick-up games when weather allows.  Nothing beats a friendly game of football or, after a good snow-fall, making snow angels or a snowball fight with loved ones. If you are looking to do something as a family, give Disc Golf a try. You can head out to Settlers Park or Bear Creek Park to enjoy this fun outdoor activity for people of all ages. The courses are only setup during the winter months.  Also, don’t forget we have paved pathways in our parks and throughout the City, if you need to get out and run or walk off some holiday calories.

When the snow does fly, many people head to the hill at the Kleiner Park band shell to do some sledding. You can also grab your cross county skis or snowshoes and head out to any of our parks for an afternoon of great exercise. And with the new fat tire bikes now available - getting around in the snow can be a breeze.

Be sure to check out the Meridian Parks and Recreation Department’s Winter Activity Guide that comes out this week for more activity opportunities in our community. You can always find it online on December 11 at www.meridiancity.org/activityguide.

Our parks can be a great source of entertainment year round for everyone – even when the days are a little shorter and the temperature a little colder. Regardless of what you do, I encourage you to be safe, have fun and experience all we have to offer as a community.

A Magical Time in Meridian

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 By Meridian City Councilman Luke Cavener, Guest Contributor

I love the holiday season in Meridian.  There is something truly magical about the time where friends and families come together to celebrate our blessings, freedoms, and all that our community has to offer.  For many the meal is a precursor to mid night shopping sprees and early morning discounts.  Others, (like me) will sleep off the turkey hangover and wait for Small Business Saturday - a day to celebrate and support our small businesses and all they do for our community. We have so many amazing businesses throughout Meridian with many located in our downtown; great restaurants, amazing service providers, fabulous entertainment options, and retail stores for the whole family. 

And speaking of downtown, following the big shopping weekend, the Downtown Business Decorating Contest is November 30th thru December 3rd. Be sure to head to one of the participating businesses and vote on the “Best in Show” and most festive decorations!  December 3rd, you’re invited to the City of Meridian’s Christmas Bazaar at City Hall featuring several local craft vendors. Then on December 4th our Parks and Recreation Department kicks off Christmas in Meridian with the family favorite Winter Lights Parade and Tree Lighting. You can also participate in the Winter Lights Fun Run that initiates the start of the parade, beginning at Storey Park at 6:30pm. Racers will get to run the parade route ahead of the brightly lit floats. 

Wrap up the week of Christmas fun on Saturday, December 5th at the Children’s Winterland Festival from 10am to 3pm. Bring your kids to Meridian City Hall for pictures with Santa, cookie decorating, toy building and much more! There’s no cost to attend the event, we just encourage all to bring an item to donate to the Meridian Food Bank. Also on Saturday, the Holiday Classic Volleyball Tournament at Heritage Middle School and the Meridian Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas Concert that includes a sing-a-long and an appearance by Santa himself!

 Visit our website for more information on our Christmas in Meridian events: www.meridiancity.org/christmas.

There’s so much fun to be had right here in Meridian – it truly is a magical time of year for our community. This year – I want to see your pictures around town and at these events! So snap a photo and post it to social media with the hashtag #ChristmasInMeridian.

Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving and I look forward to seeing you all out and about this Christmas season!

 

Meridian is the Best Place to Live in America

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The secret is out - Meridian is the Best Place to Live in America.  I have long believed that to be true and according to 24/7 Wall St, they know it’s true.  So what is our secret sauce in Meridian?  Our people of course! The people who live here are willing to roll up their sleeves and work together to get the work done.  For it is together that we are building this great community.

According to 24/7 Wall St, one of the reasons they selected Meridian was our safe city. In Idaho we perform well against our peers, often being the safest city in Idaho for our size.  24/7 Wall St also looked at the national violent crime rate and saw that Meridian’s violent crime rate is a fraction of the national violent crime rate.  We have only 80 per 100,000 people compared to the national rate of 366 per 100,000. 

People will say I am biased when I say that our Police Department is second to none, however to me this says more about the people who are choosing to call Meridian home. People who live in Meridian are drawn to the area because it’s safe and because of our family friendly environment with our community events, outstanding parks and abundant recreation opportunities.  Parents want their kids in our schools; grandparents want to live near their grandkids, and people want a community that cares for one another. This is Meridian.

Another notable criteria 24/7 Wall St highlighted was our economy.  All you have to do is drive down the road and see the new construction or opening soon signs to know our economy is on the move. And with an unemployment rate of just 4.1% and the number of jobs being created by our new and expanding businesses, we are a destination of choice for employers and employees alike.

Being selected as the Best Place to Live in America is great recognition for this community because of what we have achieved by working together. We have so many people who are doing what they love every day to make our community great.  From events like the recent Trunk or Treat, where the Mayors Youth Advisory Council and hundreds of businesses, school, and non-profits provided an amazing opportunity for thousands of people; to citizens stepping up in support of our schools by passing the levy -- we are a community that cares.

As I wrap up this musing, I want to say that I am honored to have been reelected to serve four more years as your Mayor.  Your continued trust is humbling and I want to thank you for your vote of confidence.  I truly believe that optimism works and there is nothing we can’t accomplish together as a community.

Meridian is the best place to live in America….Shh, don’t tell anyone!