MERIDIAN -- It is a new day in Meridian. Idaho's third-largest city expanded its council from four to six seats this year, and swore in three new council-members just days ago.
Now, new and long-time council members are speaking out about what the change means to the future of the city.
I think it's overdue that Meridian add the extra seats, said freshman council member Genesis Milam.
Milam is one of the two new council members to fill those new seats. Neither has held a political position before.
I didn't come in to make some big huge changes, but I really do want to add some extra support for small businesses, said Milam who is a former small business owner. A lot of the time, community is focused on getting large businesses in that employ a lot of people, but it's all the little businesses put together that really employ most of the citizens.
The other first-time council member is Luke Cavener, a former city employee, who says he's not coming in with an agenda.
But, I think it's important that we share our voice, and often times, our perspective on issues that will be presented to the council will be different than some of our existing council-members, said Cavener. I think it's important that we stand on our feet and share those point of views.
He says he wants to focus on helping the community's many young families, and says the best way to do that, is just be there for them.
One of the biggest priorities for young families, when they look to their leadership, is accessibility and accountability, said Cavener.
Another new councilman, Joe Borton, is actually returning to the council after a few years away.
After former council president Brad Hoaglun stepped down, former vice president Charlie Rountree takes over the top post.
He'll join David Zaremba and Keith Bird. Bird, after winning election in November, enters his 17th year, making him the longest serving Meridian council member ever.
He says the biggest task of the council will be managing the city's growth.
I am thankful that we have a commercial industrial base. For years, we were basically a bedroom community, said Bird. And I always want it to be a community, not a city. I want people to feel welcome.
The council's next meeting is scheduled for January 21st.