December 22, 2014      41.0°F (5.0°C) | Partly Cloudy
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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.  

 

 

Trunk or Treat, Dance to the Beat

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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 creativity!

   

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!

 

 

 

2014 Election Information - Make Your Voice Count

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By Mayor Tammy

On 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.

 

Most 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.

 

Also on 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.

 

This 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. 

 

Finally, the County ballot will also have an election for the College of Western Idaho trustees.

 

There is 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.

 

You can 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 location.

   

Thank you 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.

 


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