Name: Steven Yearsley
Occupation: Senior project engineer (civil engineer) Forsgren Associates
Education: Bachelor of Science in general engineering, Idaho State University
Prior political experience: None
Civic involvement: Chairman Meridian Planning and Zoning Commission 3 years; ACHD Capital Investment Citizen Advisory Commissioner 3 years; Rebuild Meridian Interchange Task Force Member; Board Member of the Tuscany Homeowners Association; former Meridian Parks and Recreation Commissioner 3 years; former Meridian Traffic Safety Commissioner 2 years; former Meridian Transportation Task Force Member; former ACHD Neighborhood Advisory Committee 2 years; Idaho Center volunteer usher 6 years; active member of my church
Years living in your city: 8 years
Family: Wife, Natalie; daughters Natassja and Brooklyn
Social media accounts: Facebook
1. What makes you a better choice for voters than your opponent(s)?
As a civil engineer, I have had the opportunity to work with many city councils, county commissioners and planning and zoning commissions, as well as volunteering on multiple city and highway district commissions and task forces. I have been actively involved in this community for six years, but I have worked with and made several presentations to various community entities throughout the state of Idaho. I believe my focus on building strong community partnerships, my ability to establish good working relationships with other entities, and my common sense approach to decision making will help attract new businesses to the city of Meridian.
2. If elected, what are your top three priorities? How will you accomplish them? Please provide specifics.
While managing growth and increasing industrial areas within the city are two very important issues, I consider the need to attract new businesses to the city to be of top priority.
I would take a proactive approach to attract business to the city of Meridian. I would suggest choosing several businesses that we would like to see in Meridian and showing them why they want to be in our market. I think we should look to successful California, Washington and Oregon-based businesses and show them what we have to offer. To make room for these businesses, I would suggest looking to amend the future land use map to designate more area for industrial usage, particularly in and around the railroad corridor. Managing growth of the city is a big task; we need to work with property owners and developers to make sure we have quality projects throughout the city.
3. What is the one thing your city should start doing to encourage economic development and create jobs?
We should begin by actively targeting successful businesses in other states. This would be a two-pronged approach. First we need to show them that we have an interest in their business by reaching out to them. Secondly, we will encourage them to relocate to this area by continuing to keep our city small business-friendly. Every new business that joins our community will have a positive influence on other businesses, and in turn, both economic prosperity and the availability of jobs will increase in the city of Meridian.
4. How do you envision your city 10 to 20 years from now? How should it change?
When asked this question, my daughter told me that she sees flying cars. I do not know if I see flying cars, but I do see Meridian continuing to maintain its family-oriented community activities, its progressive approach with the downtown revitalization, and possibly becoming the center of the Treasure Valley area. The city will continue its forward motion by making Meridian attractive to both new businesses and families, which will create more jobs.
5. Are you concerned about public apathy and involvement in civic matters? How would you get more people involved?
The city of Meridian is one of the fastest-growing cities in the valley and we continue to provide great services for every new family or business that joins the community. Our city can take it as a compliment that we do not have an overwhelming amount of complaints, because we work hard in the background to provide services that do not create dissatisfaction within the community. To encourage more involvement, I would like to see Meridian continue to utilize the popularity of social media. This would allow the city to generate interest in groups that may not know where to start getting involved.
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?
These values are not simply a location; they are a way of life. It is possible to continue growing the city while still keeping the small-town feel by preserving the current family-oriented and community event areas, while also adding new ones.
7. What are the top two issues facing Meridian, and how should they be addressed?
While I do not consider these long-term issues, I believe creating new jobs and alleviating traffic congestion in the city are important. Traffic congestion may become an added concern when the upcoming Meridian interchange gets underway. Facilitating a smooth period of transition is very important, and I would address this by maintaining a high level of communication with the public about the traffic pattern changes taking place throughout construction. As stated previously, I would begin building the job market by encouraging new businesses to join our community.
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?
If tax revenues increase in the next few years, the city should first set aside monies for future operations, as well as a rainy-day fund. Our current park system is already being utilized to the maximum, so I would like to see an infusion of cash to expand the parks and other community recreational areas.
9. If more budget tightening is needed, where would you look first for cuts? Why?
I believe all the citys programs are important and if cuts were needed I would look to spread small cuts throughout all programs, rather than put any one program at a disadvantage.