by Mayor Tammy

As you may have already heard, this year will be my last serving you as your Mayor. After a great deal of thought, deliberation and discussions with my family, I have decided not to seek re-election in November. This was a very personal decision and one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made. After losing my dad this last fall, I questioned my decision to run for re-election in November 2019. I continued to consider this decision up through the holidays. Being able to spend time with my mom, my kids and their families, and in talking with my husband I knew what that ‘next chapter’ would and should be. It’s time that I focus on them. I need to spend time with my mom. Two of my girls live overseas – I want to spend time with them. I have grandkids that I haven’t spent much time with, and another grandchild on the way – I will know this one much better. And my husband is traveling more and I want to experience the world with him.

Being the Mayor of Meridian has been the highest honor I could imagine. Serving alongside all of you, our citizens, our employees at the City, City Council members, our volunteers, local businesses, faith organizations, school and civic groups has been so rewarding – beyond expectations.  I have a passion for this community so this was not an easy decision, but I plan to work hard this final year.

This is not the end. We have a lot of work ahead of us this year and I’m excited to continue working with each of you. We have moved this city to great heights by working together!

We recently broke ground on our newest Fire Station, the sixth one, along Overland Road in South Meridian. This is a critical addition to that area of town, providing resources that continue to allow us to deliver premier services.

This spring marks a new beginning in Downtown Meridian. Josh Evarts and Pacific Companies plan to break ground on two, four-story buildings. This is at the former city hall site on Idaho Avenue, and at Main and Broadway. Plans call for 103 residential units, and about 16,000 square feet of retail and office space. There is growing interest in our downtown.

Projects like this become more viable in our downtown and the district to the east in what is called an Opportunity Zone. This was created by the federal ‘tax cuts and jobs act’ of 2017 to encourage long-term investments in certain census-tract areas. Opportunity Zones provide a tax incentive for investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains into opportunity funds. These dedicated investments can either defer or eliminate capital gains taxes. Bottom line: Invest in the future of our community and pay less in taxes.

Adequate transportation infrastructure is an ongoing challenge for Meridian, as the center of the Valley because all cars travel through us. Critical transportation areas such as the Union Pacific Rail corridor, Linder Overpass, State Highway 16 corridor, and Eagle Road need a comprehensive plan for moving cars and commerce that supports our employment centers. We will continue working with our transportation agencies to find funding solutions, needed now more than ever to further our road priorities and address our traffic challenges.

These are just some of the project highlights I intend to focus on this year. It will be the busiest year of my career as your Mayor! It is an honor to serve you I will work diligently on your behalf until this journey ends. 2019 will be the best year yet for Meridian.

Check out the annual report – it’s all online this year and is a great way to view the many projects we accomplished this past year and what’s ahead! www.meridiancity.org/2018

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