By Mayor Tammy
I had already started writing my musing for this week when
the incident in Dallas occurred (and now the latest in Baton Rouge). I am horrified by what I see unfolding. That
musing will be saved for another day… My heart aches for Dallas and Baton Rouge. My prayers go
out to their law enforcement officers, their families, and their communities. My
thoughts and prayers are also with the families and friends of those lost in
shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota and their communities.
Such tragedy. Where is our moral compass at this time in our
nation? There is so much hatred everywhere. Unfortunately, we’ve seen a lot of
it channeled at law enforcement – even here locally.
Following the news out of Dallas, Meridian Police Chief Jeff
Lavey sent a note to his team that said this: “I’m feeling sad, frustrated and
angry about what happened in Dallas. I’m trying to wrap my mind about what the
heck is happening in our country. Now is not the time to become paranoid or
create gaps – it is not an “us versus them”. We must be diligent, aware and
watch out for each other. We must continue to do our jobs. Officer safety is
always paramount but we have a community to serve in partnership with each
other for the common goal of ensuring Meridian remains a great place to live
work and raise a family.”
I work alongside our police officers. I can attest to you
that our department is one that cares for our community.
Councilman Joe Borton summarized their service perfectly
after the Dallas incident when he said, “The Meridian Police Department does
care about the safety of our citizens, and its officers, and has been
proactively conscious of that mission every day. It is one of the factors
that makes our police department outstanding and our city safe.”
Our police officers get ready for work each day not knowing
what lies before them. Just last month, a Boise Police Officer was shot in the
line of duty. Our officers’ days could be filled with danger as they seek to
serve and keep our communities safe. It’s no accident that Meridian is one of
the safest in the state – it is thanks to the service of our department as well
as their relationships with our community.
Shortly after the Dallas events I received a couple of
emails asking for accountability in our police department. My initial
response was what makes people think our officers aren’t accountable? The
Meridian Police Department’s mission is “to provide the highest quality service
in partnership with the community to preserve and protect life and property through
education, prevention and enforcement”. The department is focused on
accountability and transparency – something enriched with the body worn camera
program. The department also has an Office of Professional Responsibility. This
includes a strict process of reviewing all public complaints, comments,
inquiries and even praise our employees receive and involves our legal
department. They have a professional policy manual that is reviewed to make
sure it meets or exceeds national standards at a minimum of twice per year,
which we hold our officers accountable to. Because of this, we are one of the
few law enforcement agencies that is accredited through the Idaho Chiefs of
Police Association. And many of you may remember the recent video we had go
viral - when one of our officers responded to a dangerous dog situation and
handled it without the use of force. This is because of the training
programs we use. We take public safety, officer training, preparedness,
and accountability very seriously.
Our department has 97 police officers and 26 civilian staff
dedicated to making Meridian a great place to live, work and raise a family.
I’m thankful for their service, as I am with law enforcement across this
nation. Unfortunately there are rare and tragic incidents that cast a shadow on
all law enforcement. We simply can't let that happen. Not in Idaho, not in
Meridian. All lives matter! It’s time to rise up and unite as people - as a
country - and stop spewing hate.
By Mayor Tammy
I love summertime in Meridian! The
other day I was able to shop for produce at the Youth Farmers Market, attend
Dairy Days, cool off at the Kleiner Park splash pad with my grandkids and watch
the sunset from my patio on a gorgeous summer evening. As I watched the
sun go down, I thought of all of the amazing things we have to do, right here
in our own backyard! So if you are looking for some summer fun – here are 10
ideas to consider:
10. Youth Farmers Market
This year marks the first annual
Youth Farmers Market! This event is a long-awaited addition because it’s something the community
has wanted for some time, but ours is unique because the majority of vendors
are youth from across the valley. Bring the family downtown on Saturday
mornings, support our local youth and shop the fresh produce, baked goods,
crafts and more! (Now – Sept. 24, Saturdays from 9am-12pm, Meridian
City Hall Plaza)
9. CableONE Movie Night
Can you believe this is the 10th
year of CableONE Movie Night? I can remember when it began and it has
definitely grown to be a community favorite! Check out the schedule of movies
and share your pictures on social media with the hashtag
#MeridianMovieNight. (Now – Aug. 26, Fridays at dusk, Settlers Park)
8. Concerts on Broadway
This event grows in popularity
each year. Who doesn’t want to listen to some great concerts under the summer
night’s sky?! Join us for Concerts on Broadway here in the Meridian City Hall
Plaza! The concerts are free and there will be food trucks at each event this
year. (July 9, August 6, August 13, 6:30pm, Meridian City Hall Plaza)
7. Meridian Parks
There is plenty
of fun to be had in our parks this summer. The splash pads at Kleiner and
Settlers Parks are a great way to cool off and there’s fishing right here in
town at both of those parks! Our parks play host to numerous events throughout
the summer such as the Independence Day Festival at Storey Park, concerts,
races, vendor shows and more. And don’t forget to check out Storey Bark Park –
your dogs will love the amenities!
6. Kleiner Park LIVE
Speaking of our
parks - Kleiner Park Live is a Thursday night summer outdoor concert
series at the Kleiner Park band shell. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs and
enjoy some great evenings at the park. There will be food and beer vendors on
site. The next concert is July 7, featuring Hang Eleven. For more information
check out the list of shows and dates at www.meridiancity.org/kleinerparklive.
5. Roaring Springs/Wahooz
It’s probably one of the more
sought after destinations in our community come summer. Beat the heat at
Roaring Springs or check out Wahooz for some family fun!
4. Indoor Activities such as
Across town, you can stay cool by
staying indoors. Big Al’s, like Wahooz, offer specials throughout the summer
including Kids Bowl Free! Last year Big Al’s provided over 115,000 FREE games
of bowling at their three locations in the Northwest including Meridian. Other
options for indoor fun in town include Jump Time, Dart Wars, and Danik
3. The Village at Meridian
Aside from the great shopping and
dining, The Village is hosting events throughout the summer including Yoga at
Fountain Square, Kids Storytime, Ladies Night Out and Art Walks, and the Rock
the Village Concert Series that kicks off July 8 and is held every Friday night
through August 26. We’re seeing some other local businesses host summer concert
series this year including the Courtyard Marriott and the Homestead Bar and
2. Meridian Library
If your kids are getting stir
crazy this summer, the Meridian Library has plenty of fun and engaging options
for them! From the new unBound location in Downtown Meridian that hosts
programs each week, to the Summer Reading event that includes incentives –
there’s something for everyone!
1. Experience Downtown Meridian
And finally, I encourage you to
experience Downtown Meridian this summer. Learn about our community’s history
by following our Historical Walking Tour or check out the changes in downtown.
We’ve welcomed several new businesses and just revealed new updates along Idaho
Avenue including decks, planters and more!
Of course aside from my top ten
there’s community favorites like golfing at Lakeview Golf Club, Food Trucks in
the Park every Wednesday at Settlers, the Barn Sour Race (August 20), and
the Community Block Party in September. Plus, our Parks and Recreation
Department put together a Summer Activity Guide that is full of fun ideas and
activities for people of all ages!
You can always check out more
events online on our website – www.meridiancity.org. We look forward to seeing your
pictures and videos on social media from your summer fun in our community with
the hashtags #MeridianSummer and #MyMeridian.
By Mayor Tammy
This week – the old meets the
new in Downtown Meridian. A long time tradition and a new community tradition
will help us usher in the official start of summer – the long-standing Dairy Days
and the new Meridian Youth Farmers Market!
I can’t believe it is already
time for the Meridian Youth Farmers Market to kick off its inaugural season
(Saturday, June 25). It feels like just yesterday we were meeting in the Mayor’s
Office trying to figure out how we could make our community farmers market
unique to the valley. With the idea to create a Youth Farmers Market, we
launched something that had never been done before in the area – a market that
is focused on our youth. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this
market is a tremendous opportunity for our area youth. The focus on our kids
will give them the chance to learn ‘life skills’ and profit from their hobbies
and projects, but most importantly, their passions.
Every Saturday from 9am-12pm
(June 25 – September 24), I invite you to visit the market in the Meridian City
Hall Plaza and support our youth! You’ll find products such as fresh fruits,
vegetables, herbs, baked goods, refreshments and food trucks!
We’re excited to kick off
this new community event in the midst of the 87th annual Meridian
Dairy Days (June 23-26). The Meridian Dairy Board has put together an
even larger Dairy Days event this year, with more options and activities for
families. New to the event this year – an Art Festival on Saturday June
25 at 11am in Storey Park. This is the first time the Meridian Arts Commission
has teamed up with the Dairy Board to put this event together. It will feature
20 local artists, art classes for kids and performances by the Treasure Valley
Also at the Park; Brown’s
Carnival which opens at 4pm on Thursday, June 23, and the Pancake Feed that
same day at 4pm, benefiting the Meridian Food Bank and the Meridian Injured
Police Officers Fund. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are packed with family
activities including a bike rodeo, live entertainment and a fireworks show at
the Meridian Speedway on Friday at 10:30pm.
The large Dairy Days Parade
where thousands are expected to head to Downtown Meridian is on Friday, June 24
at 6:45pm with a new route! It will begin on Main Street at the Meridian
Speedway, run north to East Fairview, then south on 2 ½ Street.
I’m looking forward to this
weekend as we celebrate two traditions in Downtown Meridian, an old and new one
- giving residents even more options for activities in our great community!
For more information on
these events, visit week www.meridiancity.org and click on the City
News and Meetings tab.
By Mayor Tammy
As we wrap up the 2015-16 school year, it's appropriate to highlight a group of people who are near and dear to my heart. They are the ones who wake up each day and come to work with the sole purpose of protecting our kids. The Meridian Police Department School Resource Officer (SRO) program consists of 9 officers who are assigned to 13 elementary schools, 6 middle schools, 3 high schools and several alternative, charter and private schools in our community within the West Ada School District.
Our SRO’s do more than just enforce the law. They walk the halls of our schools connecting with our kids; they also attend events such as high school sports games – keeping our community safe. Our SROs are involved in youth education, mentoring kids in our community and working directly with them – as evidenced by an event that took place this past week at Mountain View High School. A few months ago, Meridian Police Officer David Gomez spoke with a local newspaper about the students he encounters who don’t have necessities, like shoes. After reading this article, local business Pulse Running and Fitness Shop donated 100 pairs of shoes to Mountain View students in need on May 31. Officer Gomez was thrilled saying “these shoes will go to kids at the school who desperately need new shoes and cannot afford them. I have given out three pairs of shoes today already.”
Officer Gomez is popular amongst the students and faculty at Mountain View but he’s also well known in the community for his Internet Safety for Families Class that he offers for free throughout the year. It’s an extremely important class in this age of technology, designed to teach parents and students about the dangers of social media and how to stay protected.
Another popular SRO in our community just announced he’s retiring! School Resource Officer Mike Lock has been with the Meridian Police Department for 24 years and has served many of those years as the SRO at Meridian Middle School. Officer Lock’s impact on our kids has been immeasurable. The community is invited to join us in celebrating Officer Lock’s retirement on Friday, June 10, 2016 at 3pm at Meridian City Hall.
I’ve called out two SRO’s by name, but it takes the whole team - and their caring supervisor - working diligently each day with our schools and youth. They are key to keeping our community one of the safest in the state and the number one place to live in America. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard from residents, even employees here at City Hall, about how an SRO has made a difference in the lives of a student. So as we close out this school year, I want to say thank you to the Meridian Police School Resource Officers who serve and protect our youth, each and every day.
By Mayor Tammy
Memorial Day weekend is the first holiday of the summer
season and a time when the roads, airports, campsites, etc. always seem to fill
up in Idaho. For those families who just want to spend some quality time
together and avoid the stress of travel on a busy weekend, I’ve put together a
TOP TEN list of FREE VACATION fun right here in Meridian! There’s plenty to do
in our community that equates to lifelong memories with the ones you love.
10. Yoga at Fountain Square – Village at Meridian
Axiom is hosting FREE Yoga in Fountain Square at the Village
at Meridian every Saturday throughout the summer. Just bring your mat, water
bottle and some energy as you practice yoga!
9. Live at the Bistro – Courtyard Marriott
The Courtyard Marriott at 1789 S. Eagle Road is hosting a
summer series of live music. On Friday from 6-8:30pm enjoy music from Tom
Taylor, a singer-songwriter from the year who performs classic, modern, cover
songs and originals.
Check out our fishing ponds in Meridian! We have ponds in Kleiner, Heroes and in Settlers
Parks. Don’t forget adults need a fishing license, but kids under 12 fish free.
7. Historic Walking Tour
The Meridian Historic Walking
Tour highlights some of the historic properties in Downtown
Meridian. The new tour
is self-guided, and takes walkers through the streets of Downtown
Meridian, transporting them to yesteryear.
6. Meridian Library – unBound
Stop by unBound- Meridian Library’s newest location on Main
Street in downtown. On Saturday they are hosting a Family Make It event
from 11am-3pm. The program is focused on science, technology, engineering, art
and math - encouraging families to work
together on projects.
5. Storey Bark Park
Have you been to our newest park, Storey Bark Park? It’s a
great place to take your fur-babies and let them try out some of the agility
equipment and run off some energy.
Geocaching is a wonderful GPS-based treasure hunting and
trinket swapping hobby the entire family can enjoy. In fact, Meridian has
plenty of great geocache sites hiding right under your nose. Go online (www.geocaching.com) to learn how
geocaching works and where Meridian’s geocaches are carefully hidden!
3. Disc Golf
Try out Disc Golf! We have a course set-up at Kleiner Park -
it’s a scenic one that winds throughout the park and around the pond.
2. Splash Pads
What better way to cool off than at one of our splash pads
in the park?! Kleiner and Settlers Parks both have splash pads that are always
a hit with the kids. Just remember you’re never too old to splash around – so
parents can join in on the fun too!
1. Memorial Day Ceremony at the Rock of Honor
The number one event I encourage you to attend this weekend
is the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Rock of Honor Veterans Memorial in Kleiner
Park. It’s important to remember the reason for the holiday – a time set aside
to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we
enjoy today. Please join us at Kleiner Park at 11am on Monday, May 30.
You can always check out more events online on our website –
www.meridiancity.org- and click on
the Community Calendar. And here’s a bonus item of fun in Meridian this holiday
weekend: the Girls Fast Pitch Summer
Fun Kickoff Tournament. More than
40 teams and 500 players will be at Heritage Middle School, Tully and
Bear Creek Parks for the tournament. It’s a great option if you want to get
outside and enjoy the sunshine while supporting athletes ages 10-16 years old.
Have a safe and enjoyable Meridian Vacay! #MyMeridian
By Mayor Tammy
Early Voting for the Primary Election is currently underway
here at Meridian City Hall ahead of Election Day on May 17. This is an
important election and I encourage voters to get out and make your voices
Your ballot will include candidates for United States
Senator; United States Representative- District 1; Idaho Supreme
Court Justice; Appellate Court Judge; State Representatives and Senators; as
well as Ada County Sheriff, Prosecutor and Commissioners for Districts 2 and 3.
There are a lot of decisions to be made. I encourage you to educate yourself on
A ballot item that is receiving a lot of attention is the
West Ada School District Trustee Recall for Zones 1 and 3. The people who serve
on our board of trustees for the school district oversee a $400 million budget
and are critical to the vitality of our community and neighboring cities. When
I moved to Meridian, I did so because of our great school system. I
attribute much of our growth to the top notch education in our area. We
can’t afford to lose that quality education reputation – for our kids and in
retaining and attracting family-wage jobs. That’s why your voice is important.
Did you know in the last election, trustees were elected with less than .01
percent of voters in the district? That means out of 20,000 potential votes per
zone (40,000 total), one trustee received 185 votes, the other 389. It is a
privilege and responsibility to vote and to have a voice, especially when we
are talking about our kids and a majority of your tax dollars – so get out to
the polls and decide the direction of our school district!
Another item to be aware of as you head to the polls, is
where the Ada County Commissioner candidates stand regarding the courthouse
issue facing Meridian and Garden City residents, and eventually residents
in all other cities in Ada County. The issue stems from a 22-year-old
court order that says our two cities must build a courtroom. This order should
have become null and void when Ada County residents overwhelmingly voted to
consolidate court facilities in 1996. Our courts are a countywide
responsibility and that deserves a countywide solution, rather than singling
out two groups of residents to pay twice (Meridian and Garden City). I urge you
to find out where all of the candidates for Ada County Commissioner stand on
this issue before the election. It is our hope that commissioners will sit down
at the table with us and find a solution that works for all. You will find more
information on this issue on our website at www.meridiancity.org/courthouse.
Primary elections matter and there are some important
decisions impacting Meridian that will be made by the people we choose to
represent us at all levels of government. While early voting makes it
even easier to get out and vote, you need to know the people and what they
stand for before heading to the polls. You can vote here at Meridian City Hall
until Friday, May 13 from 8am-5pm. On Election Day, head to your regular polling
place which will be open from 8am-8pm. Ada County has set up a great page with
more information on the Primary Election, polling locations and more at www.idahovotes.gov.
Get informed about the issues and the people
involved. I look forward to seeing you out at the polls, where together we
will define the future of our community and state.
I always look
forward to connecting with the community. That’s why Town Hall meetings top the
list of activities I enjoy as Mayor. These quarterly meetings give me a chance
to update citizens and connect face-to-face.
is hosting our next Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, April 27. You are invited
to join us as we discuss a variety of topics.
Department will be on hand to talk about crime prevention, including
door-to-door solicitors. They will also have “Summer Safety” tips for your home
and neighborhood as we head into the season.
We will also
hear an update on North Meridian Developments from our Community Development
Department. In fact, when it comes to that area, I’ve received quite a
few questions about the land at Linder and Chinden. As I write this, no
applications have been filed with the City by any business, so I know just as
much as you do. That being said, if there are any updates on this project, and
any others, we will be sure to share those with you at the Town Hall.
concerned with traffic on Chinden (aka State Highway 20/26)?! Our Highway 20/26
Task Force is off and running. The Town Hall meeting will be a great
opportunity for us to discuss our goals and let you know how you can get
involved! I established the Task Force in an effort to bring needed
transportation improvements to Highway 20/26 (Chinden Blvd). The goals for that
corridor include; reducing congestion, improving safety and creating economic
opportunity. The Task Force is focused on engaging community members,
legislators and the Idaho Transportation Board to prioritize funding for
additional travel lanes and widening intersections along this key east-west
corridor. We believe that by investing in 20/26, ITD can relive the bottleneck
in this area, make a connection to the Highway 16 extension that makes sense,
and solve a problem that frustrates businesses and commuters alike.
And finally, as
you may or may not have seen, we are hoping to come to the table with Ada
County Commissioners to find a fair solution to courthouse funding that does not
involve the residents of our community paying twice for courts. I will discuss
this issue in further detail and answer your questions at the Town Hall
a big goal of ours, so we aim to make it as easy as possible for our community
to engage. That’s why we will be live streaming the Town Hall meeting and a
recording of the meeting will be posted to our website. You can find this
information at www.meridiancity.org.
I look forward
to seeing you on Wednesday, from 6:30pm – 8pm at Ambrose School! As you
can see, we have a lot to discuss!