Name: Keith Bird
Occupation: Meridian City Councilman; retired from glass business
Education: Nampa High School graduate
Prior political experience: Meridian City Council, 16 years
Civic involvement: Optimist Youth Football, 46 years; Meridian Chamber of Commerce, 18 years; Meridian Athletic Association, 46 years; Meridian Dairy Board, 8 years; Meridian American Legion Baseball, 20 years; Associated General Contractors, 30 years; Construction Specification Institute, 20 years; Meridian Centennial Committee, 3 years; Meridian Friend of Parks, 15 years; Meridian Parks and Recreation Commission, 3 years
Years living in Meridian: 48 years
Family: Wife, Marjorie; three children; eight grandchildren; one great-grandchild
Social media accounts: Facebook
EndorsementsAda County Realtors and Building Contractors of Southwestern Idaho.
1. What makes you a better choice for voters than your opponent(s)?
My 42 years in the glass business and serving 16 years on the Meridian City Council has prepared me very well to run the city in a very conservative fiscal manner like Meridian has always been ran.
2. If elected, what are your top three priorities? How will you accomplish them? Please provide specifics.
1. To continue to make Meridian taxes the lowest of any full service city in Treasure Valley. You do this by keeping tight budgets.
2. To make Meridian the community in which we want to live, work, play and raise our families. We do it by making sure we maintain the proper city services needed to attract families.
3. Retain existing businesses and attract new business. We can do this by keeping the low taxes and keeping city fees to the minimum.
3. What is the one thing your city should start doing to encourage economic development and create jobs?
We have already in place an economic department that is working hard to retain existing business and to attract new business. By doing this we will be able to create new jobs.
4. How do you envision your city 10 to 20 years from now? How should it change?
I hope that we can maintain the community feeling forever and as we continue to grow we will embrace that community feeling so all citizens feels welcome.
5. Are you concerned about public apathy and involvement in civic matters? How would you get more people involved?
I am concerned but I also understand the citizens are working hard to make ends meet in this economy and dont have a lot of spare time outside of the family. I have found in Meridian when help is needed the public will be there.
6. Meridian is poised to become the state's second largest city. How do you embrace growth and expansion and still maintain your small-town, family-oriented values?
I believe we need growth to maintain jobs for our citizens so they dont have to leave the community to seek work. By working with growth like we did from 1998 to 2008 we were able to keep a community that people could work, live, play and raise families in and I will continue to see we do that.
7. What are the top two issues facing Meridian, and how should they be addressed?
1. Economic growth. Continue to work hard to retain existing and attract new business.
2. Small government. Continue to make sure Meridian has one of the lowest employee-to-population ratios in the state as I have for the last 16 years.
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 would make sure we kept the great service we have in all of the city but I would also look at giving back to the taxpayers in lower mill levy rates.
9. If more budget tightening is needed, where would you look first for cuts? Why?
You have to make sure city services stay good but I believe we can cut budgets in all departments if needed and still maintain great service but I dont see this happening because we have kept our budgets tight and our manpower low.