by Mayor Simison
Citizen involvement is an essential component for strong local government. We promote citizen involvement by inviting Meridian residents and others to serve on a variety of commissions, committees, and councils which are designed to assist the City in its information-gathering and decision-making processes. We want feedback, solutions, and direction on a wide array of community topics and challenges; serving on a commission provides just that.
Members of our commissions volunteer roughly 5-15 hours per month to the City of Meridian. They help with decision-making on a variety of topics, including our Impact Fee Advisory Committee, Parks and Recreation Commission, Planning and Zoning Commission, Solid Waste Advisory Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, Transportation Commission, and Meridian Arts Commission. Each have scheduled meetings within our City Council Chambers and, collectively, the members of these groups provide insight and experience with the goal of ensuring Meridian is the premier place to live, work, and raise a family.
Currently, the Parks and Recreation Commission is accepting applications for those interested in advising City leaders on park planning and capital improvements, park use policies, recreation programming, and budgeting. Some like to say this commission is the ‘fun commission’. This is true, and it also comes with a great responsibility to help shape our high-quality open spaces and recreation opportunities for residents and visitors.
We are also seeking candidates for the Impact Fee Advisory Committee. Unique to Meridian’s commissions and committees, this committee generally meets quarterly, with additional meetings as needed. Although it may be less of a time commitment, their work and recommendations to City Council is critically important. The impact fees that are established under the work of the Committee ensures that growth related to fire, police, and parks – such as capital needs like fire stations, police sub-stations, and park development – pays for itself.
Our Planning and Zoning Commission also focuses on how Meridian grows. This commission serves in an advisory role to the Meridian City Council on matters relating to land use, zoning, transportation, and housing issues as framed by the City of Meridian Comprehensive Plan, and it has some decision-making authority on some aspects of development applications. As development projects come before the City – be it projects in downtown or on the edge of the community – those who serve on this Commission provide direct input on the look and feel of Meridian.
Some may ask, “Do I have to live in Meridian to serve?” Not necessarily. In fact, for the Planning and Zoning Commission, one of the positions we are searching for needs to be someone who does not live in Meridian, but rather lives in our area of City Impact (either in a County enclave or outside of the current city limits, see map here.) Other commissions may require applicants to live in Meridian, and some are looking for specific skillsets to help us achieve our goals. So, no matter your situation, there may be an opportunity that works for you.
Overall, participating in a commission or committee is a great way to get involved, and I want to thank those who have interest and pursue an active role within one of our commissions. These groups ultimately help make the City what it is today. We want a variety of representation and voices on these committees to ensure that every resident’s opinion is heard in the decision-making process. More information on all of our commissions and how to apply can be found here.
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