Monday, September 24, 2012
Here is one thing I believe we can all agree - everyone wants to have good neighbors. Good neighbors can make your home life more enjoyable and increase the safety, vitality, and appearance of your neighborhood. Whether you live in a townhouse, condo, apartment or single family home it is proven, the best way to have good neighbors is to be a good neighbor.
On Wednesday evening, we have the privilege of honoring a number of Meridian residents and businesses with our Neighborhood Star Awards in a brief public ceremony at Meridian City Hall. These are local residents/businesses who have been nominated because they truly epitomize what it means to be a “good neighbor.”
The annual awards are the City of Meridian’s way of recognizing citizens who are exceptionally committed to preserving, maintaining, and improving the quality of life and safety in their neighborhoods and our community. Meridian is recognized for being a “Best Place” because of people like these who add character to our community.
These unsung heroes have each, in their own way, shown unusually strong dedication to their neighbors, neighborhoods, and community, and are deserving of our appreciation and recognition. We have some great nominees for this year’s 2012 Neighborhood Star Award and in my book they are all winners. I wanted to give you a brief preview about these individuals and businesses and why they were nominated.
• Dan Olson is a cost-conscious HOA president who donates hundreds of hours of his personal time each year to keep their neighborhood park, Baldwin Park, looking nice and running smoothly.
• Guy Colwell plays a tremendous role in keeping the Castlebrook and Chesterfield subdivisions clean and attractive. He can often be found at the community pool, making repairs, cleaning, or doing security checks.
• Lisa Bain offers an anchor of support to neighbors and community members dealing with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological diseases.
• Rick & Roma Herriott, longtime Fieldstone Meadows residents, created and maintain an outdoor miniature lending library filled with books to be enjoyed for free by neighbors of all ages and interests.
• Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill at Eagle & Fairview annually hosts a National Night Out Kick-Off Event for local law enforcement officers, firefighters, and elected officials. They also help local non-profits raise money through Saturday morning pancake breakfasts.
• Jim Rosetti is said to be involved, in one way or another, in just about everything in Meridian Greens that impacts the neighborhood in a positive way.
• Bob & Jeanmarie Wheeler work tirelessly to keep their Tustin neighborhood safe, clean, and socially connected. They are described as “superstar neighbors” who would be qualified to mentor the Energizer Bunny.
• Frank Thomason, editor of the weekly Valley Times newspaper, documents our community’s heritage and history. Best of all, he chooses to focus on the positive, share uplifting stories, and gets to the heart of what Meridian neighbors need to know.
• Bob Kobza has been the hard-working president of the Bedford Place HOA for several years. He spearheads its National Night Out events and created a website which helps the neighbors come together and communicate more effectively.
• Brady Murray energizes his Bear Creek subdivision neighbors through his passion for raising funds to assist with the adoption of Eastern European orphans with Down syndrome.
I hope you will join me Wednesday evening, September 26, at 6:30 pm at Meridian City Hall as we salute this year’s Meridian Neighborhood Stars and share more about their good deeds. Come as you are and be prepared to meet some truly inspiring Meridian residents. After the awards are presented in City Council chambers, cake and apple cider will be served in the lobby.
It promises to be a wonderful evening to celebrate those who are doing so much to improve the quality of life and safety here in Meridian!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
On February 3rd I had the honor of presenting the 2011 State of the City to residents, businesses, city employees, and leaders from neighboring communities. It was a great opportunity to reflect on the previous year, look to the year ahead and plan for the next decade.
One of our most noteworthy accomplishments was the financial stability of the City. Our Finance Department assessed what was happening locally and nationally and used a conservative forecast for revenues. After the City Council approved to forego the allowed 3% increase, we then set our budget. We didn't overspend; instead we saved when times were good, which helped us to be resilient during tough economic times. We were not only ‘in the black’ financially, we maintained – and in some cases improved – our services to our community.
I also shared information about the expansion plans for two Meridian businesses that you may have recently heard about it the news – PKG (formerly ProMed Keyboard Group) and Scentsy, a
It was my pleasure to announce a tentative date for the opening of the long anticipated Ten Mile Interchange of May 17, 2011. This project has been a tireless effort for many in our community. This isn't just any road project - this is a huge improvement not only for
An important part of the speech was looking to the next decade, and how as a team we have been focused on the City's planning efforts. Five specific planning efforts were focused on: 1. the City's Comprehensive Plan, currently in the final steps of being updated; 2. the Destination Downtown plan, completed over the last year by the city's urban renewal agency; 3. the Ten Mile Plan which will help guide the development in the area around the soon to be opened Ten Mile Interchange; 4. our Comprehensive Pathway Plan; and, 5. the City's fiscally constrained long-term capital improvement plan. These plans for the future are strategic and measurable; they offer flexibility to adjust to changing conditions but set a strong direction for a city that's “built for business and designed for living”.
I also talked about our plans as the leader in using Class A reclaimed water. Reclaimed water can be used for parks, golf courses, your yard, and by our businesses for manufacturing or other services to customers. We are setting a goal to deliver 6.5 million gallons a day or 2.3 billion annually by 2020.
As part of the State of the City I presented the Mayor’s Legacy Award to Dr. Linda Clark, Superintendent of Joint School District No. 2.
As an individual who has worked in education for over three decades Dr. Clark has created a cost-efficient delivery system that offers individual choice in education. Under her tenure Dr. Clark has seen the
Her commitment to young people and their interests and needs is second to none and she has created a legacy that has many of our area Legislators talking about how they can replicate many of the programs this Dr. Clark has inspired and completed.
We all have the opportunity to set the course for our city and leave our legacy for others. You can access the complete text or a video of the State of the City address from the main page of the City’s website. If you want to share your view on the State of our City or know of an individual who is making a difference in
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Over the past 18 months I have used this blog to share with our community some of the many things we have to celebrate about in
Beginning in January CableONE subscribers can turn to channel 39 every Thursday at 8:00 pm for Celebrate Meridian, a 30 minute focus on our community. For those of you who don’t have CableONE, Celebrate Meridian can be viewed on the City’s website in the video section after it airs on channel 39.
Each month Celebrate Meridian will discuss timely issues and feature guests who will give perspective and provide information about our community. January’s guests include Senator Russ Fulcher and Representative Marv Hagedorn. Both legislators share their thoughts on the upcoming 2011 legislative session and how it relates to our community. This is great information for those looking to learn more about our community. I appreciate both of my guests for taking time out of their busy schedule to share their thoughts.
In addition to guests, Celebrate Meridian will include updates about community events as well as profiles on
This program is produced in partnership with the students at
I hope you will tune in or log on to Celebrate Meridian each month to learn more about our community. Do you have an idea for a future show? If so I want to hear about it. Email me at MayorTammy@meridiancity.org and together we can recognize those individuals and Celebrate Meridian as the premier community to live, work and raise a family.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Community service always plays an important part in our lives as we help one another in times of need and celebration. Just a few weeks ago, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and First Lady Lori Otter recognized 103 volunteers from throughout
- Meridian honorees in the Individual Category were long-time civic leader and volunteer Terry P. Smith, who was honored posthumously; Brian Simer who is driving force behind many of
’s youth sports programs; and Janelle Johnson who works tirelessly on projects benefiting the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Make-a-Wish, and the Idaho Food Bank. Meridian Meridian High Schoolstudent Janelle de Weerd was recognized in the Student Category for her leadership, advocacy, and long-term community service efforts, including lobbying efforts behind ’s recent ban on texting while driving and her leadership in a variety of youth-driven initiatives. Meridian
- UltraClean, owned by dynamic
Meridianentrepreneur and small business advocate Brandon Wright, was recognized by the Governor and First Lady as one of the top candidates in the Small Business Category for its numerous contributions to the community.
- The Meridian Kiwanis, who champion a large variety of programs and projects benefitting
Meridian’s family and youth, including the K-Kids Club at Meridian Elementary Schooland the Builder’s Club at , took the top prize in the Organization Category. Meridian Middle School
- Blue Cross of Idaho and Bodybuilding.com were both nominated for the extraordinary amount of time and talent their staff members donate to our community. And
’s Mountain States Equipment gained the top award in the Corporate Category, due in large part to their extraordinary efforts in collecting food for the hungry. Meridian
Is it any wonder that
Every morning I humbled at the opportunity to serve as your Mayor and am truly grateful for your trust to serve you well. If you would like to share with me who your brightest star is and why, email me at MayorTammy@meridiancity.org and together we can continue to celebrate
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
For many years
Texting while driving has received quite a bit of media attention over the past month, but it is important to share the reasoning behind the change. This issue has been spearheaded by members of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council (MYAC) – teens who see the dangers that occur when friends and family text while driving. Members of MYAC researched this issue and worked diligently to lobby the legislature last year; during that process I learned a lot of surprising statistics about texting while driving. Here are some you should know.
· 60 percent of drivers admit to texting while driving
· The average teen sent 435 texts a month in 2007; now its 2,899 per month – 97 a day
· If you text and drive you are twenty three times more likely to get in an accident
· Drivers who text often have delayed responses similar to those found to be driving under the influence of alcohol
· Over 20% of fatal car crashes involving teens were the result of cell phone usage
While the legislature failed to enact legislation on this issue last year, our Police Department knew that texting while driving was a growing problem that needed to be addressed. Under existing laws, texting while driving could be addressed under “inattentive driving”. The problem in using this as the only enforcement tool is that even if the officer sees someone texting and not watching the road, they can’t do anything until they swerve in and out of their lane, rear-end another car, or heaven forbid kill someone. According to the third annual 2010 Traffic Safety Culture Index by AAA, 86% of motorists rated drivers who text and email as a very serious threat to their safety. That’s 1% more than people rated those who drive after drinking.
We have a vested interest in protecting other drivers, as this behavior puts others’ lives at risk, not just their own. The Meridian Police Department would like police officers to be proactive in texting enforcement and preventing future tragedies.
This new ordinance that was passed by City Council unanimously is known as “Kassy’s Law”. Kassy Kerfoot was a Meridian High school student who died last year in an accident she caused while texting; since that time Kassy’s family has been touring local schools and the country educating individuals on the harms of texting while driving. Her story reminds us that we need to intervene before texting while driving becomes deadly.
Currently 30 states ban texting while driving, and starting November 1 the Meridian Police Department began educating the public about the ordinance with warnings to drivers. In December, the offense for texting while driving will be an infraction with a $75 fine for the first or second offense, and the third offense will be a misdemeanor with the potential of $300 and/or up to 90 days in jail. While we all recognize this ban alone will not stop all people from texting, we do hope those individuals who do text will learn about the issue and be reminded that no message is worth losing a life over.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Recently the City of
Terry Smith was a man of faith, a man who loved his family. He was a banker, Meridian Kiwanis leader, President of and ambassador for the Chamber of Commerce, involved in preserving and sharing our rich history, a believer and supporter of youth and a train enthusiast. Terry was a community advocate and the energy behind projects such as the Eagle Road interchange, Generations Plaza, the creation of the urban renewal district, the Main Street LID that brought street trees and sidewalks…and dare I mention, the Split corridor and the years of debate. He was known through his service on countless committees and philanthropic involvements as an individual who unselfishly dedicated his entire life to the community and others. Terry was truly a man who has made a significant difference in our community! Personally, he was my mentor; he was truly an inspiration.
Like many of our residents, Terry had an opinion and he would often share it without solicitation. What made Terry unique was that not only did he always have great points to argue and loved a debate, he always had what was best in mind for his community…for our community.
His passion for
People like Terry have encouraged me to celebrate
I often refer to the popular “Starfish Story” by Loren Eisely. The story is about a young boy who is seen returning starfish to the ocean as the tide was going out. The boy is working feverishly in an effort to save as many starfish as possible, when the narrator questions how he can possibly save every starfish due to the countless miles of beaches. At this, the boy bends down, picks up another starfish, and throws it into the ocean. As it meets the water, he says, "It made a difference for that one."
We all have the opportunity to serve and to make a difference whether it is big or small. If you know of an individual who is making a difference in
Monday, July 26, 2010
I often use this blog as an opportunity to celebrate our community. It’s no secret that
Others are taking notice. In fact with in a weeks time, two national news publications recognized
On July 7th Family Circle was the first publication to recognize
As a community we had reason to ‘celebrate’ regarding the accolades from the Family Circle recognition. Then a few days later CNN/Money magazine identified
Together we have created, and are nurturing, a community that families want to be a part of; I have no doubt these collaborative efforts are why we continue to receive national attention.
So, I guess our secret’s out so let’s celebrate