Meridian City Council Seat 5: Genesis Milam Oct 5, 2013 (…) Genesis Milam introduces herself at the Monday, Oct. 7, 2013 Meridian City Council candidate forum at Meridian City Hall. Genesis Milam is a Business Consultant/Real Estate Investor and has lived in Meridian for 13 years.FAMILY:Husband – Dean, Daughter – Hailey 16, Son - Tristan 5 Story continues below video × HAVE YOU HELD OTHER ELECTED POSITIONS?NoHAVE YOU BEEN A CANDIDATE IN ANY OTHER ELECTIONS?NoHAVE YOU EVER FILED BANKRUPTCY FOR YOURSELF OR FOR YOUR BUSINESS?NoHAVE YOU SERVED IN THE MILITARY? IF SO, WHEN, FOR HOW LONG AND FOR WHAT BRANCH?NoHAVE YOU BEEN CONVICTED OF ANY MISDEMEANOR OR FELONY CHARGES? (TRAFFIC CITATIONS NOT INCLUDED) IF YES, WHAT WERE THE CONVICTIONS AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES?NoARE YOUR TAXES PAID UP AND CURRENT? IF NOT, PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY?YesWHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS?Raising 2 wonderful children is a great accomplishment in progress. Professionally, I took a chance. I went out on a limb and opened a business when everyone around me thought it was crazy. I turned that one Anytime Fitness Club into seven successful locations within a six-year period.PLEASE LIST IN BULLETED FASHION THE FIVE MOST IMPORTANT (IN YOUR OPINION) ORGANIZATIONS OR GROUPS THAT YOU ARE A PART OF.1. My Family2. Meridian Business Day3. Boys and Girls Clubs of Ada County4. International Women Business Owners5. Prospect PTAPLEASE LIST ANY CONFLICTS OF INTERESTS (OR POTENTIAL PROBLEMS) YOU FACE IF ELECTED.NonePLEASE NAME THE ORGANIZATIONS OR GROUPS THAT HAVE ENDORSED YOU SO FAR IN THIS ELECTION.1. International Women Business Owners2. Ultra Clean SmokeOut Networking GroupWHY YOU INSTEAD OF YOUR OPPONENT(S)?Having been a successful small business owner, I have dealt with the obstacles that owners are faced with on a daily basis. I will be a champion to make sure that city regulations pave the way for home-based and small business formation and prosperity. I am also a mother. This gives me insight into how well our city works for parents and families. Safety, recreation and education are extremely important to me and I will make decisions to best represent our community’s families. As a property owner, property rights and taxes are issues that I will always take seriously.IN BULLETED FASHION, PLEASE LIST THE FIRST FIVE THINGS YOU WOULD DO IF ELECTED AND TELL US WHY THEY ARE YOUR TOP PRIORITIES.• Enhance Meridian’s business friendly environment. We should streamline city regulations to facilitate economic development.• Increase Civic Involvement. Our city will improve as we work together and solve problems with non-profits and community organizations.• Encourage entrepreneurship in Meridian. Through partnerships with local leaders we can facilitate seminars where residents learn about small or home-based business creation, finances, marketing and more.• Scrutinize our city budgets. We should make sure we’re spending our funds in line with residents’ priorities.• Develop Meridian Young Professionals. Programs like this are successful in other cities to empower, engage, and connect our young adult entrepreneurs and employees.CAMPAIGN WEB SITE:www.GenesisMilam.comTWITTER:www.twitter.com/genesisn2000FACEBOOK:www.facebook.com/genesismilam4meridiancitycouncilWHAT SHOULD THE CITY’S ROLE BE IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT?Creating an environment that is goes out of its way to facilitate business development – not just large businesses, but small and home-based ones as well. We must not “rest on our laurels” in ensuring Meridian stays a safe,WHAT STANDARD SHOULD ELECTED OFFICIALS BE HELD TO?The highest standard. As ambassadors of our city, they should not be above any law, for any reason whatsoever. Their honesty, integrity, transparency and accessibility should never be in doubt.DO YOU SUPPORT THE DIRECTION THAT THE CITY IS TAKING RIGHT NOW?Yes, our city officials and staff are doing a fantastic job. Can we do more, and smarter? I believe so – which is one reason why I’m running for City Council.PLEASE COMMENT ON THE CITY’S PROPERTY TAXES. ARE THEY TOO HIGH AND WHY? WHERE WOULD YOU CUT THE BUDGET OR HOW WOULD YOU FIND NEW REVENUE?Our city’s property tax rates are fair and equitable, especially considering what a nice city we have. In some cases our property taxes are much less than what other cities around us pay. Because our taxes are already reasonable, and Meridian residents cherish our safe, clean community, I would evaluate potential budget cuts in all city departments, leaving city services (water and sewer) and safety (police and fire) as the very last to receive cuts. By reducing regulations and increasing useful information that our small businesses have access to, we can increase city revenue because there will be more successful businesses.WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO MAKE YOUR CITY MORE ATTRACTIVE TO POTENTIAL EMPLOYERS?A three-pronged strategy:1. Large Business: Heightened efforts at business recruitment around the freeway/transportation corridors.2. Small/Home Business: Work with local community partners to give expertise and training to make these business owners successful.3. Quality Community: Continue current efforts to ensure Meridian is *the* premiere Idaho city potential employers want to call their home.WHAT KINDS OF JOBS SHOULD THE CITY ATTRACT AND WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO GET THOSE JOBS?We need to aim high by targeting employers who pay professional-level salaries. For example, Meridian residents need more positions in these fields: Management, Business and Financial, Operations, Computer and Mathematical, Architecture and Engineering, Physical and social Science, Community and Social Services, Legal, Healthcare Practitioner and Technical.SHOULD THE CITY TAKE STEPS TO ADOPT AN LGBT ORDINANCE SIMILAR THE ONE THE CITY OF BOISE RECENTLY ADOPTED?As I’ve gone door-to-door for my campaign and asked people about which issues matter to them I haven’t heard them talk about this one. It has been my experience that Meridian residents are very tolerant of others, even if we have differing opinions. I’d like to see if our residents feel the need for an ordinance before I decide that the city should take steps toward adopting one.HOW DID YOU VOTE OR HOW WOULD YOU HAVE VOTED ON THE DECISION TO CONTRACT WITH IDAHO HUMANE SOCIETY AND CLOSE THE MERIDIAN ANIMAL SHELTER?I understand the city’s contracting the Idaho Humane Society to provide shelter and animal control services. Still, the contract is $114,326 more than what the city was spending for services. I support city efforts to expedite finding its own shelter, enabling the city to provide services at a lower cost.WHAT ROLE SHOULD CITY COUNCIL PLAY IN ADVANCING MERIDIAN’S PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS?Transportation is an important issue to our city, the more time we have to spend driving means less time with our families. City council should have a meeting with neighborhood associations and proactively outreach to existing and potential businesses, and truly listen to their concerns. Then ensure those concerns are a guiding star as we work with ITD and ACHD in planning future projects.WHAT INFRASTRUCTURE, ZONING OR POLICY CHANGES ARE MOST CRUCIAL TO PREPARE FOR MERIDIAN’S FUTURE POPULATION GROWTH?We need to ensure adequate infrastructure is in place as we recruit and attract new, large business development along major corridors as well as closer to the city, where small businesses are typically located. These efforts can be enhanced as we use the city’s website to maximize publicity of potential and existing infrastructural improvements.NORTH MERIDIAN HAS SEEN NEW ROADS, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENTS AND PARKS IN RECENT YEARS. HOW WOULD YOU ENSURE THAT THE NEEDS OF SOUTH MERIDIAN RESIDENTS ARE ALSO BEING ADDRESSED?We need to proactively seek out opportunities to meet with and listen to South Meridian residents, and then ensure their concerns are heard by city elected officials. We should also be developing the city fairly We are one city, and no resident should feel that another sector of the city.PLEASE COMMENT ON THE PROGRESS MERIDIAN HAS MADE IN ITS DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION EFFORTS. WHAT IDEAS WOULD YOU BRING TO THE TABLE?We have a beautiful downtown, and I like the changes that the revitalization has done so far. But it still needs some work. Some small business owners have told me they would have liked to open an office or store downtown, but the two story requirements made it impossible. We also have some historic buildings that could be put to good use by small businesses if we can restore them through local partnerships and make them available to our entrepreneurial community.WHAT IS YOUR VIEW ON THE CITY’S PROPOSED $4.5-MILLION PUBLIC SAFETY BUILDING?With the massive growth that our city is facing it is imperative to have well trained first responders. It is an investment in our safety. Although it is a lot of money, it will help ensure the safety of our community in every day activities as well as in the event of a disaster. In the long run it will be less expensive to have one place for all of our departments to train as opposed to building several smaller facilities. Through rental of the shooting range, we will also be able to recoup some of the investment over time. Comments Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language. PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK. Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything. Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person. Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts. Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article. 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