MERIDIAN, Idaho — Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd announced during her State of the City address Wednesday that this will be her final year in office.
The mayor made the surprise announcement at the end of her 46-minute speech to a packed house at the Galaxy Event Center.
“Well, 2019 will be Meridian’s best year yet. It will my last year as your mayor,” said de Weerd. “I will not be running for re-election. My role as your mayor has been the highest honor I can imagine’
The mayor went on to say that her 15 years in office have been very rewarding and she still has more work to do over the next 10 months.
“The State of Meridian is strong. We are debt free. We have one of the lowest tax levies for full service cities. We are among the top safest cities in Idaho. We continue to rate among the best places to live,” said de Weerd.
The theme of the mayor’s speech was “The Greatest Home.” She highlighted many of the partnerships and collaborations that it takes to make Meridian great.
A big focus for 2019 will be to complete the city’s comprehensive plan update. The mayor says recent growth has facilitated significant changes to the plan.
Meridian residents say they want to preserve open space and the city continues to grapple with development.
“People want less density while desiring farm land preservation. Environmentally responsible and sustainable growth requires density. I’m committed to leading the discussion to address these competing needs,” said de Weerd.
During her speech the mayor highlighted new open space at Discovery Park. The first phase is 27 acres of the eventual 77 acres planned and is set to open this summer. The park includes sand and water play, dual zip lines, a climbing wall that is a map of Idaho, softball fields, an off-leash dog area and more.
The mayor also talked about new businesses in Meridian that are bringing jobs closer to where people live. One example is Ten Mile Crossing. The mixed-use development off Interstate 84 and Ten Mile Road has seen many new businesses move to the area in 2018 and will welcome Kristin Armstrong’s Pivot Lifestyle and Fitness as well as a Marriott hotel in 2019.
She also announced plans for two, four-story buildings that will house residential, retail and office space on the square block across from Meridian City Hall.
And the mayor awarded the 2019 Legacy Award to Charlie Rountree. Rountree has called Meridian home for 40 years and has served on the Meridian City Council, Planning and Zoning, Western Ada Recreation District, and the Parks and Recreation Commission. He calls it an “honor” to serve the Meridian community.