Name: David Moberly
Occupation: Mortgage lender with First Mortgage Company of Idaho
Education: Associate of Arts with an emphasis in economics, Boise State University; Bachelor of Biblical Studies, Logos Christian College
Prior political experience: None
Civic involvement: Currently a member of the Meridian Chamber of Commerce and the Government Affairs Committee for the Chamber (2011 to present). Involved in various community events I have been involved with Old Town Cleanup in 2012, Dairy Days Parade/Float in 2011, and various involvements with local non-profits, including: Meridian Food Bank, Stanton Health Care and renovation work for Meridian School District buildings at Meridian Elementary.
Years living in Meridian: I have volunteered and worked in Meridian as an employee of a Meridian business for the past 4 to 5 years, but moved from West Boise to Meridian in February of this year.
Family: Wife, Katey
1. What makes you a better choice for voters than your opponent(s)?
I dont like to use the word better in such a great field of opponents; Ill instead focus on what makes me different. Im very strong on Constitutional Liberty (small government) and pro-life issues. These two items may seem a little out of place for a local election, but they set a framework for policy decisions that I will face. As a committed Christian, businessman and retail sales veteran, I have developed strong skills in business and communication and the value of being guided by integrity.
2. If elected, what are your top three priorities? How will you accomplish them? Please provide specifics.
One: Work to eliminate unnecessary and excessive spending at the local level. For example, this will include a balanced budget for the city and for all projects. It also includes avoiding large expenditures such as unfounded lawsuits that cost Meridian taxpayers millions of dollars. (See: City of Meridian v. Petra Inc.)
Two: Work to eliminate unnecessary business expenses and regulations, mainly regarding building codes. This will include not simply adhering to Idaho Building Codes, but working with builders and business owners on solutions that balance financial feasibility with safety towards the community and consumers.
Three: Continue the great work Meridian has done in building a positive business climate in Meridian. This will include working to defeat a local option tax should the issue arise, keeping levies low and seeing the road construction completed swiftly to keep the local businesses along the corridor profitable.
3. What is the one thing your city should start doing to encourage economic development and create jobs?
Meridian should be focused on creating an encouraging environment for businesses to thrive and for people to live. The city has done a fantastic job on the work of creating a wonderful place to live in the suburban areas; what Id like to see is continued focus on the downtown area as a potential for an urban market. Adding spaces for parking and options for foot traffic, as well as utilizing the existing 8th Street Park as a destination spot. The business development around 8th Street could become a thriving downtown for restaurants and professional or boutique businesses.
4. How do you envision your city 10 to 20 years from now? How should it change?
One word: Bigger. The challenges this brings have been addressed well by Planning and Zoning so far, but the lack is in streets and roads. Meridians roads do not adequately support the traffic that exists now and really does not support the traffic that a community of 100,000 will need. Id like to see continued expansion to five lanes for the thoroughfare roads, but only one at a time to alleviate traffic as a whole.
5. Are you concerned about public apathy and involvement in civic matters? How would you get more people involved?
Im not concerned about apathy I think Meridian residents and businesses do a fantastic job of staying involved in the community! I think there can always be a larger push in two main areas: Piquing the public interest in volunteer opportunities, and challenging the business community to take increased ownership in Meridians business development. Id like businesses to know that the city will fight very hard to keep local option tax authority out of our city, levy rates at very reasonable amounts and road improvements as a priority; knowing that we are counting on businesses to reinvest in the community. Businesses cannot reinvest if burdened with high taxes, and cities cannot fight for low taxes if businesses will not reinvest. So, that teamwork needs to be continued and can always be improved.
6. Meridian is poised to become the city's second largest city. How do you embrace growth and expansion and still maintain your small-town, family-oriented values?
The big key is keeping communication between leaders and citizens very open. I was excited about the move from four to six council members as that brings an increased opportunity for citizens to have their voices heard. Fueling growth while resisting the move to big city ideologies will be a challenge, but city leadership committed to accountability with its citizens is a strategy that will help this challenge in a large way.
7. What are the top two issues facing Meridian, and how should they be addressed?
Spending: We need less of it. Meridian has an eye on building for growth, which makes a lot of sense in terms of not rebuilding to accommodate growth in the future, but its important to balance spending with actual need, not just perceived future need. Meridian should adopt a policy of growth fuels growth, where budgets increase relative to growth, not relative to big ideas. Roads: The traffic in Meridian is quite a bit higher than a town of this size should face. The city (working with ACHD and ITD) needs to strategically widen some of the main congestion areas for reduced traffic. The key is being strategic and not closing multiple same-direction thoroughfares at the same time.
8. If tax revenues take an upswing in the next few years, which part of city government do you think most needs an infusion of cash, and why?
I see two areas, hopefully thats not cheating. Transportation and savings as previously mentioned, traffic is a real challenge that can be offset with an improvement in roads. Id like to see upswings in revenue met with future tax decreases once a surplus fund is established, but there is a need for an infusion of dollars for funding transportation needs in the present as well.
9. If more budget tightening is needed, where would you look first for cuts? Why?
If I were forced to look for cuts, I would start with nonessential items for the city to operate. Meridian does a great job with aesthetics and festivities, like: Christmas décor, new trees along Main Street every 10 to 12 years, parades, etc. However, in a budget crisis these would need to be the priority over job cuts or necessary expenditures.