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.
By Ken Corder
The Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council (MYAC) has brewed up another magical
event that just might put a spell on you and spice up the Halloween spirit for
the whole family. We are proud to bring back “Trunk or Treat and Dance to the
Beat” for its second year.
On October 29, Meridian businesses, service organizations, churches and
more will transform the back of their cars or trucks into spooky and festive trick
or treat locations for Meridian families to visit and enjoy! This is a
creative way for our MYAC teens to give back to the community by offering trunk
spots free of charge. To help bolster business or to enhance outreach, the
trunks will be handing out candy to passing kids while anything promotional
will land in parents’ hands. Due to the event’s popularity last year where 50
trunks dished candy and treats to more than 2500 attendees, our MYAC team has
increased this year’s trunk number to 80. With the vaunted ‘Golden cauldron’
award looming for the best decorated vehicle, we anticipate a plethora of
This event isn’t just about the candy. There will also be a costume
parade and dance party in the City Hall Plaza. Meridian Police Officer David
Gomez will be our guest DJ for the night and he promises to get the entire
family on their feet. Festivities are from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. The price of
admission is a canned food item for the Meridian food bank to kick start their annual
holiday food collection campaign.
See you at City Hall for a truly “spooktacular” event!
By Mayor Tammy
November 4, we get to enjoy one of the greatest freedoms allowed in our
country, namely, exercising our right to vote. We will go to the polls and make
many decisions about who to elect to various public offices. Most of us know we
will choose who should represent us in Washington D.C., that there is a race
for Governor and other constitutional officers, and that our State
Representatives and Senators are on the ballot. But perhaps what people don’t
realize is there are many other opportunities to vote further down the ballot
for other equally important candidates. I want to take just a moment to share
information on the other races you can impact on Election Day.
people know that we will be voting for County positions, such as Commissioners,
Treasurer and Assessor. While it’s not something we typically think about, we
can also elect County Coroners. Not much is known about this job, which makes
this vote a difficult one. According to the Ada County website, the
primary role of the Coroner is to determine and certify the cause and manner of
death for those cases which fall under the jurisdiction of the Coroner. The Ada
County Coroner works with our Police Department and is an important part of the
process in determining whether a crime has been committed.
the ballot is district #4 of the Ada County Highway District (ACHD). This
district represents Meridian residents who live south of Interstate 84. An
important fact to know is that the City of Meridian does not handle road
issues. ACHD is the road authority and its Commissioners are responsible for
our local roads, bridges, streets, alleys and sidewalks in our community. If
you care about the roads you travel and where you or your family walk, this is
where you can cast your vote for the person who will make decisions about where
to invest to meet our varied transportation needs.
election will also have Judges on the ballot – both to select a new Judge in
the Fourth Judicial District Court and to retain the current Magistrates in the
Fourth Judicial District Court. Magistrates are responsible for traffic
and misdemeanor criminal cases and civil issues. District Judges can hear any
case, but generally hear felony and civil cases involving more than $10,000.
They also hear appeals from decisions made by the magistrate judges.
the County ballot will also have an election for the College of Western Idaho
also another election that Meridian residents in a specific service district
can vote on - the candidate for Nampa Meridian Irrigation District (NMID)
Director. NMID is responsible for delivering irrigation water to many of the
residential and commercial lands in Meridian which use pressurized irrigation.
All qualified voters in this district can vote in this election. To see if you
are in the NMID boundaries, visit www.nmid.org or call 466-7861. To vote in this
election, you must do so at one of three locations; in Meridian, the polling
location is the Meridian Middle School and ballots are available upon request.
visit the City of Meridian website, www.meridiancity.org, where we have posted a link to the
Ada County Elections page, as well as the Nampa Meridian Irrigation District
page. From there you can see who is on the ballots in the above mentioned races
in order to be an educated and informed voter. You can also find your voting
in advance for taking this opportunity to express your opinion next Tuesday,
November 4 and vote for the candidates whom you believe are best suited to lead
our country, state, county and various districts.