Name: Shaun Wardle
Occupation: CFO, Idaho Athletic Club
Education: Bachelor of Science, University of Idaho
Prior political experience: Meridian City Council 2004-2007
Civic involvement: Meridian Parks and Recreation Commission 2002-2003; Meridian Chamber of Commerce 2000-present; Meridian Kiwanis Club 2000-2006; Ada County Air Quality Board 2004-2006; Parent's as Teachers 2000-2007; Friends for Parks 2001-2003.
Years living in Meridian: 36
Family: Wife, Nikki; son; daughter
Endorsements: Ada County Association of Realtors
1. What makes you a better choice for voters than your opponent(s)?
Serving on the City Council requires leadership and experience. I have both of these key components, and am pleased to ask our community once again to elect me to public office. The ability to listen and gather input sets me apart in this race. I have proven experience in finding solutions to important problems. I will work tirelessly to make Meridian the best place to work, play, and raise a family.
2. If elected, what are your top three priorities? How will you accomplish them? Please provide specifics.
Public safety, economic development and transportation.
Currently public safety is a key priority. Meridian is a safe community through continued vigilance and improvements to our departments. Facilities and training for our police officers and firefighters should be our top budget priorities. Strong jobs help improve our community, and creating a welcoming environment for business is critical to our success. Traffic in Meridian continues to be a top community priority, and collaboration with connecting agencies is imperative to keep our citizens moving.
3. What is the one thing your city should start doing to encourage economic development and create jobs?
Meridian should investigate the barriers to creating or expanding a business. Removing these roadblocks should become the defining priority. As a small-business person I am acutely aware of the challenges many companies face while growing jobs.
4. How do you envision your city 10 to 20 years from now? How should it change?
I see a community of prosperity, where economic and employment opportunities are available. I see our community as the safest in America, where neighborhoods look out for one another. I see a community where children have the opportunity to play in our many open spaces, and take advantage of that regularly. I see a community well connected, who gets from one place to the next with ease. We have made great strides in overcoming "bedroom community" issues, but our city needs jobs. Traffic continues to be an issue and infrastructure improvements and connections need to be upgraded. Planning and funding must take place to keep our community safe as it grows, increasing service and reducing response times.
5. Are you concerned about public apathy and involvement in civic matters? How would you get more people involved?
Apathy from our community concerns me because there are so many great things to be involved in. I believe it starts at the neighborhood level, and can feed into further activity. Public service is a founding principle in my family, and I believe our community truly can embrace it at every level. Get your kids involved in doing something good for everyone.
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?
While this might not be your hometown, it is for your children. I believe our community has embraced this concept, and makes it the best place in America to raise our kids. Growth and expansion have brought shopping, entertainment, and recreation options to Meridian. Only through the renewed efforts of our neighborhoods and schools can we continue to foster a sense of community. Participation in traditional celebrations such as Dairy Days and the Winterland parade is important, but so are creating new ways for citizens to be involved.
7. What are the top two issues facing Meridian, and how should they be addressed?
Continued growth and the need for strong jobs are important issues facing our community. Properly planned growth can bring prosperity and opportunity to Meridian, but must be carefully executed. Infrastructure improvements to our police and fire departments will help maintain and even improve existing levels of service. More citizens means more kids who need spaces to play, so we must continue to develop our open space.
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?
Public safety gets my vote for any additional funding, and we must budget efficiently to make these improvements. It is imperative that our first responders have proper equipment, and the training to use it effectively.
9. If more budget tightening is needed, where would you look first for cuts? Why?
Administration. City Government exists only to serve our citizens, dollars that do not flow directly to the end result must be continually scrutinized. A certain level of administration is necessary to keep a community efficient, but it is also a place where improvements can be made when funding is tight.