Name: Matthew Townsend
Occupation: General manager, Boise Food Service
Education: Home schooled
Prior political experience: Served as an Alternate Delegate from Ada County to the Idaho Republican State Convention in 2012.
Civic involvement: I'm a civil rights advocate and my involvement began in 2010. You may have been given a card, an informational flyer or seen me waving a sign that hit on any of the following topics: Jury nullification; self-defense rights, including the right to bear arms); the mercenaries In Syria and other illegal war activity; The Monsanto Protection Act; and the Federal Reserve being a private bank.
Social media accounts: Facebook.com/MatthewTownsend4Meridian
1. What makes you a better choice for voters than your opponent(s)?
I believe that the proper role of government is to defend liberty. I understand that the Bill of Rights was written as a restraining order against the government. I believe as Thomas Paine said, "Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one."
2. If elected, what are your top three priorities? How will you accomplish them? Please provide specifics.
1. Protecting private property rights. I will never vote or have any other part in removing someone from their home for the "good of the community."
2. Finding ways to hold police officers more accountable to the public. Creating a police review board could be a start. I have witnessed unnecessary intimidation, have seen local video and know of other situations that were completely unacceptable. Chasing witnesses into their homes with nightsticks to continue the private intimidation of an individual and unreasonable detentions are examples.
3. Doing everything I can to reduce wasteful spending while staying honest with the public. The Meridian City Hall project/dispute was a disaster as it cost $21.4 million after being proposed at $12.2 million.
3. What is the one thing your city should start doing to encourage economic development and create jobs? Lowering the cost of operations in general.
Keeping taxes on businesses as low as possible and encouraging the state to reduce or end the corporate tax would be great incentives for a business to build in Meridian and elsewhere in Idaho.
4. How do you envision your city 10 to 20 years from now? How should it change?
I would love to see Meridian to be continuing its growth, have the lowest unemployment in the state and be safe to live in.
5. Are you concerned about public apathy and involvement in civic matters? How would you get more people involved?
I am alarmed by the apathy of individuals concerning the violation of their rights. However, getting more people involved is not the role of government. As an individual, I share issues with others and encourage them to choose to be more 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?
Maintaining small-town, family-oriented values is not the role of government.
7. What are the top two issues facing Meridian, and how should they be addressed?
1. Future spending. The city is growing and proper planning is needed to be sure money isn't wasted.
2. Unnecessary state-initiated violence. Officers of the law should be taught the rights of the individual and held accountable for their actions.
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 work to lower taxes so that this upswing wouldn't happen. Let the people spend their money however they wish.
9. If more budget tightening is needed, where would you look first for cuts? Why?
I would continue to move to reduce state-initiated violence against individuals for victimless crimes. The drug war is dangerous for the officers involved and the entire community.