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City of Meridian Blogs

Memorial Day Time Capsule

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By Mayor Tammy

The public is invited to attend the annual Memorial Day Tribute at the Rock of Honor Memorial in Kleiner Park on Monday, May 29, 2017 at 11am. New this year will be the burial of a time capsule, including community and military memorabilia. I am honored to have been asked to include the letter below for residents to read when it is opened in 2042 – in twenty five years…a lot can happen in that time! Aside from predicting our population at that time to be 175,000, I share the vision I see for our community based on work we’re doing today.

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It is with great pleasure that I write this letter to share with our Meridian residents in 2042 – I hope that I am here to read this letter to you in person. The time capsule from which you get this letter was put together in 2017, following a Memorial Day celebration at the Rock of Honor. We gather at the Rock of Honor twice a year to officially honor those from Meridian who have given the ultimate sacrifice in protecting and defending the freedoms that we enjoy each and every day. It is to those, who serve and have served, that I dedicate this letter as it is because of their service that we can continue to express our thoughts and I have the opportunity to write these words.

The Meridian of 2004, the year I first became mayor, was much different than the Meridian of 2017. In the span of just 13 short years Meridian grew from a small suburb to a bustling, destination community. Through our growth, however, we have not lost sight of our priorities of strong schools, beautiful parks, and outstanding public services of police, fire, water and sewer. It is my hope that these priorities are still thriving in the Meridian of 2042 just as they do today.

We have long focused on and held to our vision to be Idaho’s premier city to live, work and raise a family - and believe in 2042 we will be the premier community in the entire West.  Our vision for Meridian is a city with a vibrant and diverse business environment providing for living wage jobs; our strategic growth will ensure orderly development and a balance of resources; we will be a flexible and responsive government while safeguarding our health and safety; and that we will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the arts, culture and recreation. I am optimistic by the time this letter is read that Meridian will have achieved such status as the premier community in the West.

In the spirit of a time capsule, I would like to make some additional specific predictions of what your Meridian looks like versus the one I live in today.

Meridian’s population will be 175,000 and we will have a housing/employment balance of 55/45; Our Health Science and Technology District will be the finest health care center in the Pacific Northwest; The City will be surrounded on all sides (by Nampa, Star, Eagle, Boise, and Kuna); however, the visitor or citizen will know when they arrive, as we will have attractive gateways providing that sense of arrival; Employment centers will be distributed throughout the City offering jobs closer to where people live; and connected through transportation corridors, providing synergistic value and mobility to interconnect; Meridian will continue to host the finest educational experience in the state through our partners – West Ada School District, Idaho State University, Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine, College of Western Idaho-Meridian campus, and private institutions offering degrees ranging from vocational-technical to Law degrees.

To my fellow Meridian residents of the future, I applaud you and thank you. We have laid the groundwork, but it is you who will have carried our torch forward by now. When this time capsule is opened, I hope you can appreciate the heritage of our community and that you now will be looking to the future and planning for continued bright days ahead, just as we have done.

#GowenStrong – Important for our Community, Families and Economy

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 By Mayor Tammy

I support #GowenStrong and I am urging our community to join me. The Citizen Airmen and women of the 124th Fighter Wing of the Idaho Air National Guard at Gowen Field are being considered as an Air National Guard base location for the F-35. As one of five finalists, Gowen Field is a smart decision as a preferred location - for the military, our economy, and our neighbors, friends, and family who serve in the Idaho National Guard.

If selected, the Idaho Air National Guard could expect to see approximately 18 to 24 F-35s that would replace the same number of A-10s currently stationed at Gowen Field. If selected, aircraft would begin to arrive in Boise in 2021/2022.

This is critical in keeping Gowen Field relevant and energized. We support this because we have guard members who depend on Gowen Field in our community. As well, the City has employees who are guard members. These are citizen-airmen and women with full-time jobs and families in our communities. Gowen Field’s location allows them to train before and after the full time work throughout the month and on weekends. This ensures they meet requirements and are able to proficiently perform their duties in order to deploy at a moment’s notice.

You may not realize the economic impact of Gowen Field as well. The Idaho National Guard is Idaho’s fourth largest employer at 5,255 employees – behind only St. Luke’s, Walmart, and Micron – and the 1,300 full and part time airmen in the Idaho Air National Guard are a significant component of the overall Guard operation. The Idaho Air National Guard is responsible for over 2,800 direct, indirect, and induced employees across the state - representing over $136 million annual total labor income (direct, indirect, induced) and over $155 million annual total economic impact (direct, indirect, induced).

If Gowen Field is selected for the F-35 mission, it will bring even more civilian jobs and opportunities to our state. According to the Utah Defense Alliance, it didn’t take long after Ogden was selected as a base for Lockheed Martin to open up shop nearby. This kind of potential economic impact would be huge for the Valley and will last for decades.

I stand along with my fellow Mayors in the area, and before you, in demonstrating my public support because it is imperative in the selection criteria to see strong support of our base! If you would like to show your support, you can write a letter to one of our local newspapers, contact our congressional delegation, or sign up to show your support.  You can learn more about all of these options by visiting gowenstrong.com.

The time is now to show we are #GowenStrong. Join me in not only supporting a critical piece of our economy, but also the families in our communities.  I support them and am honored to be part of our nation’s effort in pursing freedoms.

gowen-strong

Get Your Questions Answered on Wednesday

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By Mayor Tammy

The City of Meridian is going “Unplugged” at the next Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, April 26, 6:30pm – 8:00pm, at Cole Valley Christian High School (200 E. Carlton Ave)! What do we mean by this? Well, we simply want you, our residents, to set the agenda for the meeting. We want to hear from you! This is your chance to share what’s on your mind with myself and other City leaders.

We’ve already received questions about whether or not Costco is planning to build in Meridian – and we’ll respond to this and other questions you might have at the Town Hall. You may also be curious about what’s happening in Downtown Meridian, or maybe you’ve checked out our new financial transparent site called OpenGov and have some budget questions for us? We will be armed and ready with answers!

There’s no better way to make a City stronger than to get residents and City leaders in one room talking about the items that are at the forefront of their minds. To submit a question, simply email Jodi St-Martin, our Community Liaison at jst-martin@meridiancity.org. This will give us an opportunity to be prepared to bring information that might be helpful in addressing the question. Or, simply ask your question at the event that night or via the City of Meridian’s Twitter or Facebook pages (@MeridianIdaho).

Several of our City departments will have booths set up with information about upcoming events, activities and future amenities such as Meridian’s three new parks that are currently under construction. You will also have the opportunity to participate in our City Survey, an important tool we are using to gather citizen feedback regarding City services and the community.

If you can’t make it to the meeting, don’t worry because we’re not only recording the Town Hall, but we will also be live streaming the meeting. So even if you are unable to attend in person, but have a question, you can send it to us ahead of time and check out the answer via the live or recorded stream. You can find it by visiting our homepage (www.meridiancity.org) or click here.

Please come out and join us – even if you don’t have questions or a certain topic you want us to discuss. It will definitely be an “Unplugged” night full of information regarding our wonderful community.

I’ll see you on Wednesday!

Town Hall - April 2017

Do The Right on April 12

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By Mayor Tammy

 You are all invited to join us for Do The Right Day on Wednesday, April 12, 2017! Two years ago the City of Meridian, with the help of many partners, launched Do The Right – one day to start a movement of compassion by encouraging residents to do something kind for the person to their right - neighbors, family members, coworkers, or classmates. With bullying and other negativity so prevalent in today’s culture, we began a mission to encourage people to put a smile on the face of someone else with a nice word, simple note, gift, or act of service.  The success of this event over the past two years has been amazing with an overwhelming response from the community.  We distributed 7,500 #DoTheRight stickers last year and social media was packed with pictures from all over Meridian – even reaching other communities in the state and as far away as Texas!

The City was moved to do something to spur a movement of compassion and kindness after discussing bullying and teen suicide with our Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council.  It is something that definitely affects teens in our community and adults as well. That’s why we decided to make this an annual event for our city. You never know how one act of kindness can change someone’s life! We live in a giving and compassionate community and we want to keep it that way. This world is full of criticism and negativity and it’s time to focus on the positive.

I’m looking forward to participating in Do The Right and I am hopeful that all of you will join me!  You can take part by doing an act of kindness for the person to your right – it may be a cup of coffee for your coworker, a nice note for your classmate or even offering a helping hand to your neighbor - just let them know they matter.

For more information about the event, visit our website, www.meridiancity.org/dotheright.  We also have postcards you can download on that site to spread kind messages. Thanks for being a part of this movement and feel free to share your experience on April 12, 2017 on social media with the hashtag #DoTheRight. Let’s start a movement of compassion that carries on throughout the valley!

DTR profile pic

Springtime in #MyMeridian!

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By Mayor Tammy

After the non-traditional winter we just encountered, I’m sure most of you are with me in cheering on the arrival of spring!

This is such a beautiful and active time in our community! Every spring kicks off with the Mayor Tammy’s Walking Club – a great time for me to walk with local elementary students, encouraging them to establish healthy habits at a young age. We also have partnered with Fleet Feet Meridian on a new event every Monday here at Meridian City Hall. People of all ages and fitness levels are invited to Meridian Mondays, a social run/walk from 6pm-7pm. With the warmer temperatures, it’s a great time to get active and enjoy Meridian’s outdoor space!

One of my favorite events of the year is always held at the beginning of spring – ‘Do The Right’ Day (April 12). It’s one day set aside to encourage community members to do something kind for the person to your right. It’s a movement of compassion designed to carry on throughout the entire year!

Also in April - Unplug and Be Outside week (April 22-29), and this year’s event is bigger and better than ever!  The community is invited to the kickoff celebration for Unplug Week on Saturday, April 22 at Storey Park from 11am-3pm. This is a great time to pick-up our schedule of family friendly activities taking place throughout the week. Also at the kickoff event – a bike rodeo and helmet fitting and jump rope lessons from the popular Summerwind Skippers. The Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council (MYAC) will be there with a healthy demonstration along with many other vendors. For more information about this event and the activities throughout the week visit www.meridiancity.org/unplug.

New this spring is the Paws in the Park Dog Fair on May 20. Storey Bark Park has become a very popular gathering place for our community so it seemed appropriate to celebrate with a new event! Those who attend will have the opportunity to get a free, one-year City of Meridian dog license. This is important because licensed dogs make it easier to reunite dog owners with lost dogs. The event also includes K9 demos, vendors, music, food, beverages, dogs for adoption, and prizes.

Our Parks and Recreation crews are busy with events, and the construction of three new parks.  Soon we will celebrate the groundbreaking of Hillsdale Park – and two other parks, Reta Huskey and the Keith Bird Legacy Park are also under construction. These three parks are scheduled to open later this year!

It’s sure to be an eventful spring for our community – I look forward to seeing you out and about – enjoying all that our City has to offer!

For more information on City of Meridian events, visit www.meridiancity.org/events.

#HealthyMeridian Challenge

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By Mayor Tammy

As the Mayor of Meridian I am constantly looking for more ways to get fit in our community! In fact, we just started up a new program called Meridian Mondays with Fleet Feet Meridian - it has been a blast to connect with other people of all fitness levels and get active in our beautiful downtown!

Now I’m gearing up for the 3rd annual Mayor Tammy Walking Club! This has been an extraordinary project! Every Fall and Spring I walk with area elementary schools. Last year 69-hundred students walked over 165-thousand miles! That’s equal to 6.7 times around the earth!

So this year I’m turning to you – the community! I want you to join us in getting active this spring – the #HealthyMeridian iniative! I challenge you to find a walking route near your home, in one of our amazing parks or on our pathways, or indoors if necessary. I’m also planning to bring some community leaders on board – who along with the Meridian City Council will be joining me at my Walking Club events.

Let’s team up to get healthy - show us what you are doing to get active! Share your photos on social media with the hashtag #HealthyMeridian - because let’s face it - a #HealthyMeridian is a happy Meridian!

Meridian Mondays is held every Monday, 6pm - 7pm, at Meridian City Hall - it is a social run/walk designed for people of all fitness levels. The group also enjoys food and beverages at a local restaurant following the run/walk.

A Needed Transportation Option for Residents

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 By Mayor Tammy

As I meet with citizens or gather feedback through our citywide surveys – one of the number one issues that always surfaces is public transportation. Not everyone needs it, but it is essential for those who do. The City of Meridian has contributed to several different options which have included an express or commuter service and a limited route service. We worked with Valley Regional Transit (VRT) for months on a service that would address a great need to our seniors and persons with disabilities. I’m pleased to announce the latest partnership that launched called Harvest Transit!

Valley Regional Transit has partnered with Harvest Church in Meridian to pilot the Lifestyle Transportation option for Meridian residents. This new on-demand service is designed to address the daily transportation needs of seniors and those with disabilities. It provides a reliable, direct, and easy to-use service. The service includes one driver for the north region and one for the south region of the community. An accessible vehicle is used to transport individuals, free of charge, to any location within Meridian – with a connection if needed to the south and north areas of service.

Service hours are from 9am-3pm, Monday-Saturday and are directly operated by Harvest Church.

The City of Meridian has contributed financial support of $60,000 for the program’s implementation and first year of operations in order to meet the needs of our community. Other revenues are also helping to fund the program through transportation grants.

Eventually this is a service that will operate valley-wide, with implementation of approximately nine service areas in Ada County, four areas in Canyon County, and eight areas in the surrounding rural areas by 2021.

I appreciate the feedback I’ve received from citizens, highlighting this component as something that is needed in our community. For this reason, we are able to come together, with the support of community partnerships, to make it a reality. As a community we need to continue to work on making transportation accessible for all – so it’s easier for everyone to get around Meridian and enjoy all that it has to offer!

For more information including contact numbers to arrange for a ride, visit www.harvestransit.com.