The impact of our city’s rapid growth on our police and fire departments is unprecedented and needs to be addressed. A low response time to incidents has become harder to maintain because of both distance and congestion on our roadways. We must be vigilant in keeping our first responders adequately staffed and located as close to our citizens as possible.
Regarding our police force, we currently have 114 sworn police officers and 37 non-sworn, but we need at least 20 more sworn officers to provide a proper level of service to our citizens.
Regarding our fire department, we are currently building the first new fire station in over 10 years and only our second one south of the Interstate. As Meridian continues to grow, more fire stations are needed.
For the safety of our community, I am dedicated to keeping both our police and fire departments fully staffed and properly trained.
With our population growing so much in recent years, I want to ensure that families living here have economic opportunity. Therefore, I will work hard to connect with high-quality companies and bring high paying jobs to Meridian.
But I also know that economic development is not just about big companies with big names. When I was president and CEO of the Meridian Chamber of Commerce, I was fortunate to work with hundreds of small business owners in our town, and thousands upon thousands of employees who make Meridian their home. I am acutely aware that small businesses are the economic backbone of our community, and that it’s our Meridian families who work in those businesses. Therefore, I strongly believe in the need to create a healthy environment, not only for our businesses but also for our families.
Also, in my role as President and CEO of the Meridian Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Meridian City Council, I have been a strong supporter of the Boise Valley Economic Partnership and will continue to work closely with them to support strategic economic development.
As the Treasure Valley grows, it becomes even more critical for our city to be communicating well, not only with partners within our city, but also with our surrounding communities.
It is crucial that the City of Meridian works closely with The Meridian Development Corporation, Meridian Downtown Business Association and with the cities of Nampa and Boise.
The Ada County Highway District (ACHD), West Ada School District and the Idaho Department of Transportation are also key partners in maintaining and building a strong community. In both my role as President and CEO of the Meridian Chamber and my seat on the City Council, I have worked with the leaders of these organizations to maintain open and productive communications. As mayor, I will build on these relationships to make sure we grow wisely.