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
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
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.
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.
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!
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
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,
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
American Hero always comes through
To capture our hearts with a spirit so true
proudly are soldiers who march in harm’s way
Insuring our freedom, courageous they stay
others come forth as civilians so brave
Determined in purpose, so steadfast to save
should always keep clear a place in our heart
For each has a value beyond precious art
duty to country will not be surpassed
Please honor their courage, for some it’s their last
live in a world which can be hard to bear
Thank God for these people, how greatly they care
ponder new heroes and what they will face
And pray for their safety no matter their place
heritage brings out the best, we all know
Our great book of heroes is destined to grow
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.
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
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.