Name: Treg Bernt

Campaign website: www.TregBernt.com

Age: 41

Family: Wife, Tiffanie. Three children.

Occupation and previous relevant work experience: Principal, L&K Carpet One, Inc.

Political experience, including campaigns: None

2017 campaign endorsements: Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd; Council members Keith Bird, Joe Borton, Luke Cavener, Anne Little Roberts, Genesis Milam, Anne Little Roberts; former council members Charlie Rountree and David Zaremba. Also, Meridian Firefighters Local 4627 and the Boise Regional Realtors.

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)? 

11 years ago, I was convicted of a misdemeanor, aggravated assault. This was later dismissed. A man came to my house late at night, with the intent of wrong-doing against my family.

Why are you running for this office? 

As Idaho's second-largest city, and one of the fastest-growing cities in the Western U.S., we have a lot of important issues in Meridian — traffic, growth, downtown revitalization and more. Now isn't the time for on-the-job training. We need proven, experienced leadership on the city council which can hit the ground running on these issues and more. I'm fully dedicated to ensuring that for Meridian.

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

Realistic, Collaborative Traffic Planning

  • People don't want platitudes. Like any employer, they expect candidates with solid accomplishments and a realistic plan for future actions.
  • As a Planning and Zoning Commission member, I've dedicated myself to ensuring traffic plans take infrastructure needs into account. It's important to me that residents' voices are not only heard, but also factored into, all traffic-related planning and zoning decisions.
  • As a city councilman, I'll continue making sure our traffic-related growth is reasoned and realistic. I'll also keep working with area residents potentially impacted by traffic-related growth, so their voices carry weight in city council deliberations.

Quality Development

  • When developments are proposed to the city, there are hundreds of things to scrutinize, and hundreds of questions which need straightforward answers. As a Planning & Zoning Commissioner, I know what to look for and ask so our growth is smart.
  • I’ve also come to value developments which are based on strategic plans which reflect the needs and wishes of area residents. The last thing we should do is destroy open space and put in a development we regret. As a city councilman, I’ll proactively work with area residents to ensure growth is well-planned and well-executed, and not rushed. Our neighborhoods and our city is stronger when we work together.

A Revitalized Downtown Meridian

  • Meridian residents have voiced a desire for a fun, family oriented, revitalized downtown Meridian, including more restaurants with outdoor music, pet friendly areas, fun areas where kids could play and congregate safely, and destination spots like an outdoor amphitheater or a cultural arts center. These are very good ideas. I support them 100%.
  • My campaign is advised by small and large business owners, moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, teachers and students – a fantastic cross-section of our community. As a city councilman, I want to expand this informal advisory group to as many people as possible, so as we begin to seriously discuss these revitalization issues, we can — together — make downtown Meridian the jewel of our city.

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.

Yes. Meridian's growth has been carefully planned and thoughtfully overseen. The fact that more and more good families are moving to Meridian proves it. However, we can do better. Our current Meridian City Comprehensive Plan is almost 10 years old. It needs to be updated to take into account the many changes our community has been through in the last decade as well as provisions to help us move forward into the future confidently.

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?

As stated above, as a P & Z Commission member, I'm passionate at ensuring residents' voices are not only heard, but also factored into, all traffic-related planning and zoning decisions. As a city councilman, I'll keep working with area residents potentially impacted by traffic-related growth, so their voices carry weight in city council deliberations.

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

I'm automatically concerned when I see the words "tax" and "increase" next to each other. In my opinion, and as a small businessman, I feel I'm already over-taxed by state and federal governments. I need to see compelling arguments to increase taxes on our businesses and families before casting any "yes" vote.

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

Yes, provided it’s with considerable input from area residents. It will be up to the city council to determine how more affordable housing options mesh with the city's comprehensive plan.

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

Like property tax increases, I need to see compelling projected usage numbers and indisputable Return on Investment (ROI) figures on any public transit options. I would assume the rest of the city council feels the same.

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

Yes, I'm definitely open to such suggestions. I think helping the homeless and especially victims of any violence (not just domestic) further strengthens our city as the best in the U.S. in which to live. How to execute those plans could be a good discussion topic with area residents.

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.