Name: Ty Palmer
Occupation: Monument engineer at Memorial Monuments in Meridian.
Education: Political Science major at College of Western Idaho; graduated Mountain View High School, 2006
Prior political experience: Served as the Virginia State Digital Director for the Romney/Ryan campaign.
Civic involvement: I've served off and on since high school as the Ada County Republicans Youth Committeeman, my priorities focused on educating and involving the next generation in government affairs.
Years living in Meridian: Except for two years I served my church in Virginia, I have spent my entire life in Meridian.
Family: My wife, Brenda, and I are looking forward to the birth of our twins, Reagan and Riley, the week of the election.
Endorsements: Idaho Sen. Cliff Bayer, R-Boise; Idaho Rep. Jason Monks, R-Meridian; Idaho Rep. Joe Palmer, R-Meridian; Idaho Rep. Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle; Idaho Rep. Gayle Batt, R-Wilder; Idaho Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa; Fred's Barber Shop; and the Building Contractors Association of Southwestern Idaho.
1. What makes you a better choice for voters than your opponent(s)?
I represent the next generation of Meridian residents that will have to foot the bill for the spending and decisions that the city makes now. I am also the only candidate (thus far) willing to declare a party, and am not shy of my conservative principles.
2. If elected, what are your top three priorities? How will you accomplish them? Please provide specifics.
1. Eliminate wasteful spending. The city, by way of its urban renewal district, spends an exorbitant amount of money they have taken from the owners of empty retail and office buildings in Meridian, to build additional office and retail buildings of their own in direct competition of the private sector. This needs to end.
2. Establish a "How can we help" attitude in City Hall. Many departments do a fantastic job, but some need some serious correction. It is ridiculous that a citizen can come to City Hall with a proposal and simply be told, "No, come up with a new plan, and try again." I understand the need for some regulation, but the city should play an active role in helping applicants meet requirements rather than simply demanding them.
3. Continue to promote Meridian as the greatest place in the country to raise a family. I've traveled the world, and never have I found another city in which I would consider raising my family. Meridian has a great future ahead of it, that future needs to be planned for, and looked forward to, not feared.
3. What is the one thing your city should start doing to encourage economic development and create jobs?
The city does a great job of encouraging economic development by making the case for businesses to relocate here. We should continue to recruit private industry, and foster the environment needed to produce business growth through limited government.
4. How do you envision your city 10 to 20 years from now? How should it change?
I envision a city that continues to grow at the rapid pace we have seen the past decade, I look forward to helping walk the city through that process.
5. Are you concerned about public apathy and involvement in civic matters? How would you get more people involved?
I am highly disappointed by the lack of involvement in civic matters, especially elections. Just four years ago, when the situation was similar, with just city councilman on the ballot, less than 1,700 citizens showed up to the polls. I've become somewhat of an expert in creating turnout for just such situations, and hope to have a slightly larger stage in which to implement that knowledge.
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?
People that move to Meridian, do so because they recognize the family-oriented value of the city. Not much will be required beyond what the city is currently doing to maintain that atmosphere. This is one area I feel the city does a fantastic job!
7. What are the top two issues facing Meridian, and how should they be addressed?
The top two issues facing Meridian are obviously growth and economic stability. Meridian won't have any problem attracting new people to the area if it keeps up what it's doing. To maintain economic stability, however, it needs to make some adjustments, just a few tweaks here and there to not only attract families, but businesses to employ them.
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?
None. In that case, the city should implement a combined tax reduction, and rainy day fund growth to weather future economic downturns.
9. If more budget tightening is needed, where would you look first for cuts? Why?
City Hall. There is no reason for city council to be giving themselves (and the mayor) raises, especially in the economic situation we are in, where cuts may become necessary. Also, it is not necessary that City Hall have a gym in the basement for its employees.