Name: Dom Gelsomino

Campaign website: dom4idaho.com

Age: 25

Family: (no answer)

Occupation and previous relevant work experience: Junior Loan Processor at Guild Mortgage Company. Previously a personal banker at U.S. Bank.

Political experience, including campaigns: Communications director for Sen. Curt McKenzie; campaign treasurer for Sen. Russ Fulcher; Republican candidate for Legislative District 18 Seat B in 2014; State chairman for the Idaho Federation of College Republicans; chief of staff for Sen. Russ Fulcher

2017 campaign endorsements: Sen. Russ Fulcher. As I've gone door to door and canvassed 2,000 homes and voters over the last few months, I have received the support of so many Meridian citizens who are excited about my vision for our city's future.

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?

Public Service has been a lifelong passion. When I mention public service it does not limit itself to politics, however. To me serving my community, my city, state, etc. comes in many forms. Whether it was volunteering my summers while in High School to my Church's local food pantry and thrift store that fed and clothed thousands of members of our city who were in need, to donating funds and resources to charitable organizations, and ultimately my involvement and ambition for elected office, service has been a lesson and characteristic woven into the fabric of who I am for generations in my family.

My ancestors during WWI and WWII housed and fed US Soldiers when they landed on the beaches of Sicily and freed them from oppression. They then handed down that commitment of service to their children who were farmers and small business owners who contributed to their community and city's economy and prosperity. It transcended each generation and will continue to do so.

I believe that my candidacy for this office will continue that legacy and it is my responsibility as an active and caring member of my community to provide my peers and the electors an opportunity to judge my vision for the future of Meridian and have a strong and viable choice for who should represent them in their local government.

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

1. A Stronger Economy:

Having been previously endorsed by the NFIB when I ran for the Idaho State Legislature in 2014, I'm confident that my vision of investing in and working with our small and local businesses can be a tremendous asset and catalyst to the continued success and prosperity of the City of Meridian. With my relationship with state legislators, I'd be focused on working together to improve Idaho's business tax climate and make it more competitive with respect to our neighboring states. With that, we would motivate Idaho's college graduates to remain in Idaho and start their businesses and ventures here and contribute to our overall economy.

2. Responsive and Accountable Government:

A government that is held accountable by its electors is a successful one. Meridian already does an incredible job at being responsive to its citizens. My vision is to further city government's responsiveness by being active and engaged with our community and events, with personal responses to constituent correspondence, and with outreach through modern social media and electronic outlets of communication.

3. Oversight of City Growth and Development:

Meridian has grown exponentially over the years and is projected to continue to grow, which will attract the attention of many across Idaho and across the country. As leaders of one the top cities to live in, raise a family, and do business, we have a responsibility to preserve this reputation and keep the momentum going in the most fiscally responsible manner possible.

I am a firm believer in the unlimited power of the free market and the individual, and believe that when individuals and a community are engaged and invested in, that their potential knows no bounds. Urban renewal and its relationship with the free market are a top issue to the citizens of Meridian, and I understand that the decisions regarding urban renewal and development affect everyone in many different ways.

The responsible path forward on shepherding the growth of our amazing city, is to judge each matter of urban renewal in a case-by-case scenario. With the economic boom coming from The Village, farming, small businesses, and developers, the City of Meridian has a strong revenue stream that allows flexibility on behalf of City Council and the Office of the Mayor to appropriately budget and reallocate funds in necessary projects, without the fiscal impact of raising taxes on citizens.

Over my years of involvement in state and local politics as well as my time in the private sector, I have built the necessary connections and professional relationships to where I can reach out to the right person and work together with them on solving the issues at hand and advancing our shared visions and goals for the city.

Whether it's in the state legislature or the networks I've made in my time as a banker and now currently a JR Loan Processor for Guild Mortgage, I know what it takes to work with the right people to achieve the right goal going forward.

Having been previously endorsed by the NFIB when I ran for the Idaho State Legislature in 2014, I'm confident that my vision of investing in and working with our small and local businesses can be a tremendous asset and catalyst to the continued success and prosperity of the City of Meridian. With my relationship with state legislators, I'd be focused on working together to improve Idaho's business tax climate and make it more competitive with respect to our neighboring states.

With that, we would motivate Idaho's college graduates to remain in Idaho and start their businesses and ventures here and contribute to our overall economy.

In addition to that, I plan to work with council members and leaders from not only neighboring cities but from other successful states across the country to share ideas on how to continue success and growth in our city and bring business and attraction to Meridian.

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.

The growth of a city as attractive and vibrant as Meridian is unavoidable. The growth Meridian has seen over the last decade has brought with it a lot of positive results in the betterment of the lives of its citizens.

I believe that the growth of the city for the most part has been managed and overseen responsibly, but nothing is ever 110% perfect so there's always room for improvement. By listening to the people we are elected to represent, we can make better decisions and stronger decisions in how to continue to responsibly manage city growth for the next decade ahead.

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?

My responsibility as a city councilman is to improve not only my city and make sure it is safe and structurally sound, but to also improve the quality of life of the citizens I represent and that inhabit it.

Part of my plan as city councilman is to energize and more strongly reach out to and engage the people of Meridian on such issues and receive their input. I'm running to represent them and their interests. My decisions and judgments on rezoning, annexation, etc. are heavily dependent on their feedback and my responsibility to ensuring their continued excellent quality of life.

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

As a fiscal conservative, I strongly disagree with the increase in property taxes to fund the next fiscal year's budget. Meridian prides itself in having one of the lowest if not lowest property taxes in the Valley, and we should strive to keep it that way.

When so many families live paycheck to paycheck we cannot at the moment ask for them to carve out more out of their hard-earned paycheck. A better alternative would be to see where we can reallocate funds to a more efficient use.

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

As someone who works in the mortgage and housing industry, and who lives paycheck to paycheck, I know what it means to dream of owning a home someday, being debt free, and achieving my American Dream. Ensuring that low income citizens and families in the city have affordable housing options is an important task of city council in conjunction with the state legislature who oversees and has broader influence over the state economy.

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

As the city continues to grow, city council, along with COMPASS, the Ada County Highway District, and the state legislature and Department of Transportation need to evaluate and assess the needs and flexibility in expanding and investing in our public transportation options in a responsible and conservative manner.

As a fiscal conservative, it is my goal that we make the decisions when appropriate and in a manner, that does not require us to add burdensome tax increases on the pockets of Meridian's citizens.

Should the city put more resources toward services for the homeless and domestic violence victims? Why or why not?

City Council must as one of its Top 3 priorities continue to ensure the standing safety of its citizens and improve on their quality of life.

I believe the city can work with nonprofit organizations, faith based organizations, religious leaders, business leaders, and others to continue to combat homeless and help those in need find a job and find appropriate housing or shelter.

In addition to working with the above-mentioned organizations and leaders, city council must work efficiently to ensure that no form of violence is permitted in our city. Meridian is ranked in the top safest cities to live in and we have a moral responsibility to ensure it stay as such. We can strengthen our community by empowering friends and neighbors to reach out and look out for one another. Together we make the strong and vibrant and safe city that is Meridian.

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