2Q2020 Performance Evaluation: Represent Meridian Residents
Every night around our family dinner table, we ask each person about something good that happened to them, and a challenge. The challenge can be a struggle, an issue, or a new goal to tackle.
This post is the second installment in a series of performance reviews to give my personal opinion on how we are doing in meeting the promises and objectives outlined in the campaign. We will cover the good parts and the challenges. The first one in the series can be found here. Down the road, I'm thinking about revising and expanding the objectives. I might also condense these updates into a semi-annual cadence, do you have a preference? If so, feel free to reach out.
For now, we will continue with the first and most important performance objective: representing Meridian Residents.
The Good Parts: Utilizing Technology
If there was a silver lining to COVID, it was that the pandemic accelerated our adoption of technology to make local government more accessible to all residents of Meridian. I am happy with the progress that the City, Mayor, and Council are making in utilizing different types of technology to engage the public in our city. I am so proud of the City Clerks and other employees who have embraced a tremendous amount of change with little advanced warning. An outline of our new virtual meeting process and the various means of providing public testimony below is found here.
The public can now provide input and public testimony in the following ways:
Participate via Zoom
Participate via Phone
E-mail Public Testimony
Text in Public Testimony
Leave a Voicemail with Public Testimony
In person at City Hall using masks and social distancing
The virtual meeting scheduler has been great for personally connecting with Meridian residents, it is found here. I typically have a couple of meetings with residents per week.
The Challenges: Leadership and Strength in Hard Times
It has been a new challenge to represent Meridian Residents in an environment of highly partisan infighting, conflicting and constantly changing information, and conspiracy theories. I've received some very thoughtful disagreement from residents on issues, which I appreciate greatly. One thing I noticed right away, is that the hateful emails tend to come from out of state.
Idaho folks are very independent-minded and place a high value on their freedom. I have received a huge amount of correspondence regarding issues such as mask orders, social distancing recommendations, questions regarding our police department’s policies, and more.
My commitments to Meridian (and to myself) on representing Meridian when we have tough issues:
I will start by listening to community concerns from a variety of viewpoints
I will personally research issues and consult with relevant experts
After researching an issue, even where we do not agree on something, I will be clear about my thoughts and opinions on the matter
I will show courage even when it is not a politically-wise move to make
I will not settle for "its always been this way" when we deserve better
We should set a high bar and hold government officials accountable, speak out when things need to change and use tactics to engage the whole community in problem solving
I will be open minded and willing to revisit my own conclusions if facts change
In the coming weeks I will provide the quarterly performance evaluations on the other campaign objectives of smart growth, long term sustainability, and developing our economy. For more up-to-date takes on the issues of the day before I get around to blogging in more detail, please check via Twitter or Facebook. If you have a specific concern and live in Meridian, just click on the "Meet Liz" tab to schedule a virtual meeting!