Liz New Logo.9.8.19.jpg
Represent Meridian Residents 
It is critical for our citizens to have a strong voice in their local government.  From hundreds of conversations in this campaign, I know residents want a bigger voice, especially with the amount of growth we are experiencing.  
My commitments: 
  • Weekly office hours for open booking during the week for meetings with residents and local business owners, including some early morning hours and late hours leveraging technology to accommodate working peoples' schedules NOTE: MY TERM STARTS JANUARY 2020, Click-scheduling will be activated soon. 
  • Town Hall Meetings where I will meet in different areas of Meridian regularly, I will encourage my fellow City Council members and the Mayor to join us and hear from our different neighborhoods about the challenges and opportunities they face
  • The Mayor currently assigns representation of different neighborhoods on City Council; I would like to formalize this arrangement and set expectations; I intend to regularly meet with residents in my assigned area
Smart Growth Approach  

The growth in Meridian needs to work for us in the long-run, with high quality development patterns limiting sprawl, meeting the needs of residents and businesses, and protecting our quality of life.  I want to see some changes to our approach to growth in Meridian and an emphasis on smart growth: 

  • We need to plan our growth and then follow our plan.  To me, that means there will need to be a significant public benefit to "upzone" properties outside of our Comprehensive Plan 

  • We need to make it easier for the public to review each completed development application and navigate them online 

  • We need to limit our area of impact to an area where we can manage services in coordination with our surrounding cities, and overall we need renewed regional coordination with ACHD, our neighbors in the Treasure Valley, and Ada County

  • Explore getting neighborhood meetings with developers included in the public record 

  • Safe routes to school and for residents to areas such as the new YMCA need to be required 

I am reviewing the new comprehensive plan now. We all need to give input on the plan!  I've asked the planning department to produce new land use maps shaded by each type of commercial real estate use (one at a time) for residents to better understand the land use changes. 

Ultimately, I believe better infill development of downtown and coordinating our area of impact with our surrounding cities are the keys to success. dynamic downtown that has a "live-work-play" environment is what I would love to see, including multifamily housing prioritizing denser and more affordable housing near a downtown corridor with a transit hub and not scattered throughout the city creating endless traffic issues.  Our retail environment should create a sense of place and be pedestrian and bike-friendly.  Finally, we need to partner more closely with the region to get ahead of traffic and transportation issues for Meridian.

Long Term Sustainability

Sustainability means long-term, cost-effective decision paradigms that make good use of taxpayer money, protect our resources, and resilience planning for when challenges come our way. I support:

  • Energy independence & supporting the new jobs and future businesses around alternative energy, new technologies and electric vehicles getting us away from carbon that is sending money and jobs abroad

  • The creation of green, open and recreation spaces goes hand-in-hand with growth

  • Continued development of pathways for different modes of transportation, exercise, and connection

  • Exploring transit options on a regional basis in light of our projected total population 

  • We need to support our clean air and water, and abundance of natural resources   

  • In the same way that many of us store food long-term or take other measures to prepare, our government also needs to prepare for bad times & the unexpected during the good times 

  • Ensuring the tax burden does not continue to shift from commercial to residential development by keeping up with impact fees for new development 

Role of Local Government

I believe that the role of local government is to do more than simply providing our vital fire protection and police services.  I am a supporter of Parks & Recreation, Civics, the Arts Commission, our Waste Water Treatment Plant, Refuse and Recycling Services, and more because when they are backed by sustainable fiscal management they contribute greatly to our quality of life, our business environment, and bring our community together

At the same time, a vital balancing act is ensuring that we do not take on irresponsible projects.  One example, is the sports stadium under consideration in Boise that is likely to lead to fiscal miss-management.  As a City Council member I will be critical of us considering any projects we do not have sufficient expertise in that have no clear payoff for our citizens. 

Welcoming Place

It is important that we continue our mission to make Meridian an amazing place to live and work.  The business community in Meridian and our families need a City Council member who understands both of these things and brings fresh perspectives to our local government.  It takes courage to move.  The forces that are causing people to move to Idaho are not changing; we need more thoughtful approaches to growth to handle our growing pains vs. blaming people for moving here.   

More Focus on:  Family Wage Jobs & Workforce Development 
Housing is just one side of the equation:  I would like to expand our focus to creating family wage jobs here in a variety of ways.  Programs that create a pipeline of skilled talent that will attract employers of good jobs to Meridian in the private and public sector, and real estate solutions to help businesses find contiguous office space downtown would help us develop our local economy.  A few ideas are: 
  • Partnership with local unions and skilled trades to market viable paths to jobs that provide for families and skill building for a pipeline of talent coming out of high school and college; currently there is a labor shortage in many areas
  • The City as an employer has opportunities in wastewater treatment, parks and many other areas that require skill and development, I would like to pilot work opportunity programs for any areas where we want to see labor develop (this has been used in other cities for example the EMT program in Boston) 
  • We need to position ourselves as a great location for Cyber Security (e.g. US Navy and military contracts) and build coding and technical skill development for jobs of the future into our kids' educations 
  • I would like to advocate for the view of unions as our partners.  We can take great care of the people that protect us while getting some flexibility in contracts.  Unions are not an obstacle to business, when we have a plan to succeed together they are an important training ground for talent and jobs, and a source of better trained workers, and handle some of the most important sectors that impact life and safety of our residents 
  • We need to focus on the working people in our communities by using better development patterns of multifamily housing that is centrally located near a transit corridor and smart spending