BOISE - With the new year comes new elected officials in the Treasure Valley.
KTVB was were there as Meridian and Nampa swore in new city leaders and we asked about their vision for the future of their communities. 2018 sparks changes and shake-ups in cities across the area, with new council members taking over in Boise, Meridian, Eagle, and Nampa - just to name a few.
Across the Treasure Valley, cities are confronted with aches and pains that accompany a familiar six-letter word: growth.
Meridian, the fastest growing community in Idaho, is really feeling it.
"When Idaho is the fastest-growing state in the country and Meridian being the fastest-growing community in the state of Idaho, growth is definitely an issue we see at the city council level all the time," said re-elected Meridian city councilman, Luke Cavener. "To me, growth isn't the biggest challenge; it's the negative impacts that come with growth, so congestion on our roads, overcrowding in our schools."
In the November election, voters in Meridian elected a new city council member and re-elected two incumbents.
Treg Bernt is shifting from his role on the Meridian Planning and Zoning Commission to fill Keith Bird's spot, the city council president who retired after 20 years serving on council.
Joe Borton and Luke Cavener were re-elected to continue their service.
"It really starts with city council being the lead voice on these issues. For far too long I think municipalities have waited for school districts, the highway district, the state, the federal government to come to our community. I really think that this is the time for Meridian City Council to really step up and be the leader in those discussions," Cavener said.
On Tuesday night just before 7 p.m., the trio was sworn in.
"Land use is a big deal right now in the city of Meridian. As you know we're growing like crazy. It's a huge blessing, it should be huge blessing. Experience matters," Bernt told KTVB.
"We have a responsibility to grow responsibly so our schools can maintain their success," Borton said. "Part of the comprehensive plan process we have going forward addresses traffic and make sure that we account for that with each and every project. It's a challenge sometimes not being in direct control of the roads but we make the best of it. We have a great relationship with ACHD and ITD."
"The real concern is traffic. So I think that's why, going forward, we need to continue to have a strong collaborative relationship," Bernt added. "Collaboration is huge and I think we need to make sure we're on the same page going forward."
Meanwhile, the City of Nampa swore in a brand new mayor, two new council members and one incumbent.
Debbie Kling is now at the helm of the City of Nampa. Among many things, she hopes to usher in booming business and growth.
"It's changing the image of Nampa and championing this great community," Kling told KTVB. "People matter, their voice matters. And I want people to realize that when they share their ideas and their vision for the city, we're listening."
The City of Boise is certainly not immune to challenges that accompany growth. Boiseans voiced their choice on the November ballot for who they wanted to spearhead the new changes and growth in the City of Trees.
Voters in Boise elected two new city council members and returned incumbent T.J. Thomson to office. Thomson along with Lisa Sanchez and Holli Woodings will be sworn in next Tuesday night (Jan. 9) at the Boise City Council meeting.