Meridian is the fastest growing city in Idaho. Here’s what that means.
On November 5, Meridian residents will vote for a new mayor and three City Council members.
Already, four people have announced their candidacies for mayor since incumbent Tammy de Weerd announced that she would not seek a fifth term. Mayors and council members serve four-year terms.
Of the six city council seats, half are up for election this year, including those of council members Ty Palmer and Genesis Milam, who have said they will not run for re-election.
Candidates can announce anytime before Sept. 6. The Statesman will keep an alphabetized list of those who have announced here:
The mayor serves a four-year term and serves in the city’s top administrative role. She does not have a vote on the City Council, but can cast tie-breaking votes. The mayor will make $93,000 this coming year.
Why he’s running: “We’re at a crucial point where our city is growing at a huge rate, and we want to hold on to what makes it special while also having a clear vision for how to deal with the challenges and opportunities that come with so much growth,” he said in a news release.
He told the Statesman that his relationships in the Legislature, the Idaho Transportation Department and the Ada County Highway District would benefit Meridian.
Most important issues to the city: “We’re at a tipping point with the transportation issue,” he told the Statesman. “Whoever the next mayor is needs to make sure more funding be put into transportation.”
Anne Little Roberts
Current office: Meridian city councilwoman, Seat 1, elected in 2015.
Why she’s running: “I am proud of my work to enhance Meridian as a great place to live and raise a family especially during the city’s unprecedented growth,” Roberts said in a news release.
Most important issues to the city: Roberts said she wants to help small businesses grow. She also hopes to collaborate with the Meridian Downtown Business Association and help carry out policies outlined in Meridian’s comprehensive plan, which is currently under review.
Current job: Chief of staff to Mayor Tammy de Weerd
Why he’s running: “I have been listening to the citizens and working alongside the Mayor and community to implement Meridian’s vision,” Simison said in a news release. “I know and respect our employees, what is important to them to deliver quality services, and that I would have their trust to step in and continue to implement our vision.”
Most important issues to the city: Simison has said he wants Meridian to remain a city built for families. He said the he would continue to invest in pathways, recreation space, and investing in transportation infrastructure.
Current office and job: Chairman of the Western Ada Recreation District. Elected to City Council in 2003 for one term. Commercial real estate agent with Lee & Associates.
Why he’s running: “I’ve always dreamed of serving as the mayor of my hometown, and right now Meridian needs a CEO,” Wardle said in a news release. “My understanding of business principles will help our community be more efficient and find new ways to serve our citizens.”
Most important issues to the city: “Today our quality of life is good, but traffic continues to frustrate drivers. Our neighborhoods are safe, but accidents are on the rise, and crime continues to increase as our population grows. We must be innovative and find better ways to use our public resources. The time is now to make sure those moving to our town are paying their fair share.”
City Council candidates
Council members are elected to four-year seats and are paid part-time salaries. Currently, council members make $10,000 per year. The council recently voted to increase members’ pay to $13,500 next year and $15,000 the year after.
Seat 1: Elizabeth Strader
Current job: Managing director of Capital One’s Capital Markets Department in New York City
Why she’s running: “I want to give back to the community that has given me so much. I will work to keep Meridian the most welcoming place in Idaho with the best quality of life,” Strader said in a news release.
Most important issues to the city: “I have spent my career as a business woman. My unique background will bring an important perspective of long-term growth and sustainability to Meridian City Council. Our community is growing at an alarming rate, and we have to formulate a comprehensive plan that prioritizes the quality of life for current residents and future generations. Our expanding community needs a dynamic downtown that caters to our changing needs. But that plan must also include the open spaces and recreation areas that Meridian residents have grown up playing in.”
Seat 3: Brad Hoaglun
Current job: Communications director at Mission Aviation Fellowship. Was appointed to a vacancy on City Council in 2008, was elected to council in 2009, did not seek re-election.
Why he’s running: He has said that he wants to help deal with Meridian’s rapid growth.
Most important issues to the city: “My goal is to find a way to allow for growth that doesn’t exceed the city’s ability to provide adequate police, fire and other necessary city services and transportation infrastructure,” Hoaglun said in a news release.
Seat 5: Jessica Perreault
Current job and office: Associate broker at Boise Home Hunters, chairwoman of the Meridian Planning and Zoning Commission
Why she’s running: Perreault did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Most important issues to the city: Perreault did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Jessica Perreault’s employer. She is an associate broker at Boise Home Hunters.