MERIDIAN -- State legislators met with Meridian city leaders at their second town hall meeting Wednesday.
Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd said their aim was to open up the lines of communication with those who represent folks from Meridian in the statehouse.
Representative Thomas Dayley, Representative James Holtzclaw, House Assistant Minority Leader Grant Burgoyne, House Majority Caucus Chair John Vander Woude, House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, Speaker of the House Scott Bedke was at Wednesday's Meeting. As well as, Senate President Pro Tempore Brent Hill, Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder, Representative Reed DeMordaunt, Senate Majority Caucus Chair Russ Fulcher, and Representative Steve Harris.
The legislators heard from a number of folks from the city: the mayor, the police chief, public works, and the fire chief among others.
We're hoping to share, as the third largest city in Idaho, a community perspective on what issues are of concern of us, said Mayor de Weerd.
Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder said it's important to listen to those he represents.
Because we are elected officials we feel that we are accountable to the people that vote for us, and therefore we need to have their communication and they need to hear what we're working on and we need to know what their thoughts are, said Winder. And this is a way to actually understand what the city's going through.
One of the issues they discussed was the personal property tax, which Governor Otter said in his State of the State address he wants to cut. Winder said eliminating personal property tax could effect schools, cities, and some special use districts. Mayor de Weerd said she wants to attract industry and family wage jobs to Meridian. However, she cautioned the legislators on the impact cutting personal property tax could have on local government.
Another issue Mayor de Weerd talked about at the town hall meeting---the legalization of marijuana.
De Weerd is a member of the Idaho Association of Cities, and the chair of their drug task force. She said the association is concerned about the legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado. De Weerd said they have seen data that shows negative societal issues attached to marijuana legalization. The association is concerned about how close Washington and Colorado are to Idaho, but they're more worried about what this is saying to kids.
We have a growing concern about the legalization of marijuana and the mixed messages that it sends to our youth, in particular, said de Weerd.
De Weerd said more than 80 cities came together. They sent a letter to President Obama asking him to enforce federal law that says marijuana is illegal.