Name: David McKinney

Campaign website:

Age: 52

Family: Wife Wendy; 3 children

Occupation and previous relevant work experience: I am an attorney, and have practiced law for almost 20 years. Specifically, I am a registered patent attorney, and run my own intellectual property law firm in Meridian, Progress Patent Law, PLLC.

I am also a civil engineer, and prior to law school worked for several years for an engineering firm in the Boise/Meridian area, designing roads, bridges, water systems, etc. I handled many projects for the Ada County Highway District and Idaho Transportation Department.

I also served for nearly six years on the Planning and Zoning Commission for the city of West Jordan, Utah, and was the Chairman of that Commission until I moved back to Meridian in 2012. Like Meridian, West Jordan was experiencing explosive growth.

I believe I have the perfect background for serving on the City Council.

Political experience, including campaigns: I have been a state and county delegate to the Republican party conventions multiple times, and am active with the Ada County Republican Party. This is my first campaign for elective office.

2017 campaign endorsements: (no answer)

Have you ever filed bankruptcy for yourself or for your business? No

Have you been convicted of any misdemeanor or felony charges (traffic citations not included)? No

Why are you running for this office?

I want to KEEP MERIDIAN GREAT. Meridian is one of the fastest growing cities in the country — because it is a great place to live. But if Meridian keeps growing the way it is now, and the City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission continue to roll over and give developers (especially commercial developers) everything they want, it won't be as great a place to live in another generation. That's because developers are primarily interested in making money, and not as much in building a city where the people really want to live. They have short term interests, while the residents have long term interests.

I am running because I want Meridian to still be a great place to live when my grandchildren come to visit. That requires careful planning and the backbone to stick to our plan.

What are the top three issues facing the city, and how will you address those issues?

1. GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT I will insist that all development standards and requirements are enforced, and that additional standards (as needed) are put into place. I am also in favor of impact fees on developers, a broad open space ordinance to preserve more open space in the city, and more walkable neighborhoods. I also favor better architectural standards, to make our city more attractive. Finally, the city should be willing to honestly acknowledge when services and infrastructure are not sufficient for a new development, and say "no" sometimes.

2. TRAFFIC. I will work with ACHD and ITD to give greater priority to highway improvement projects in Meridian. I will also ensure that the City Council stands strong on highway access standards, so that every highway does not become like Eagle Road — so many driveways and access points that it does not function as intended.

3. SCHOOLS. As a result of rapid development, the school district can't keep up. School construction is way behind where it needs to be. Since the City does not build the schools, it cannot directly solve this problem. However, the city can do at least two things: 1) mange the pace of residential development to give the school district a chance to catch up; and 2) help the school district promote charter schools, which cost much less to build and operate, and which take some of the burden off of the neighborhood public schools.

Do you approve of the way Meridian has grown over the past 10 years? If so, please explain. If not, please explain what you would do differently as a City Council member.

Not completely. Growth is great, and I am happy to welcome all comers to Meridian. However, the City has tended to allow developers to do whatever they want, even if it does not truly follow the Comprehensive Plan or City ordinances, or is not in the best interests of the City. We are in danger of becoming an endless sea of suburbia, punctuated by typical strip malls with their acres of asphalt, and traffic that is as bad as any big city.

As a City Council member, I will work to ensure that development rules and standards are upheld, especially for commercial developments. I will work to ensure that developers bear a proper share of the burden that their development puts on our roads and other city services. I will enforce standards that are already in place, and push for additional development standards that make our neighborhoods more walkable and integrated with neighborhood commercial centers so that Meridian remains an attractive and livable city, so that it will still be great a generation from now.

Though Meridian doesn't manage roads or schools, how would issues of traffic congestion and school capacity influence your decision to approve or deny an annexation, rezone or comprehensive plan amendment?

The pace of approval for new development needs to be balanced with the speed of road improvements and school construction. We should take a two-step approach.

First, work with ACHD and ITD to place Meridian projects at a higher priority, and also work with the West Ada School District to coordinate residential development projects with school construction.

Second, the City must be willing to say "no" sometimes, and deny approval where the pace of development is getting too far ahead of the pace of infrastructure improvement. The standards for doing this are already in place. What we need is coordination of different stake-holders and a willingness to slow down development in a way that is least disruptive.

What is your stance on the city taking the allowable 3 percent property tax increase for the next budget year?

I am in favor of it, but only because it is a temporary measure with a specific designated purpose, and will automatically go away at the end of the year. Every city has short-term needs that can require a temporary boost in revenue. But it is wise to make it a temporary thing, not a permanent tax increase.

Does Meridian need more affordable housing options? What is the City Council's role in this issue, if any?

Yes. The City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission have an obligation to ensure that the city has a variety of housing types — from apartments and condos to single family homes on large lots. But developers will build what people want to buy, and the city should not try to dictate what gets built.

The first step for the city to take is to establish zoning areas for the different housing types, and to allow higher density (and therefore usually lower priced) developments in appropriate places. These zoning areas should be small, and established near areas of other housing types, in order to create a good mix.

If done right, affordable housing can still be very attractive and contribute to keeping Meridian a great place to live.

Does Meridian need more public transit options? What is the City Council's role in this issue, if any?

In a spread out place like Treasure Valley, more public transit always means more financial burden on the bulk of the population. Where population density is low, public transit usually is not economically viable, and must be government subsidized. Those who do or will use it always want more, and those who don't (the majority) wonder why they have to pay for it.

Because the public has to financially support additional transit, this should be a voter issue, and not primarily decided by the City Council.

One thing the City Council can do is promote the construction of walkable neighborhoods that provide amenities and employment near where people live, thus reducing the need for transit for those who may not have a private automobile. This goes hand-in-hand with zoning areas for affordable housing.

Should the city put more resources toward services for the homeless and domestic violence victims? Why or why not? (no answer)


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