|Gering City Council Ward II: Former city clerk cites experience for council seat|
|October 02, 2014 Jerry Purvis|
Kerri Schnase-Berge, who served a year as Gering City Clerk, wants to put her experience to work as the next city council member in Ward II.
Schnase-Berge said she loved her job as city clerk, but doctor’s orders kept her off her feet while awaiting the birth of her first son.
“That was a scary time, but family always comes first,” she said. “I’ve had some good jobs in the past, but that was my favorite.”
Because she enjoyed a job in city government so much, she decided to run for a position on the council.
“Economic development is always on the minds of people I’ve talked with,” she said. “Getting new businesses and jobs into Gering is something they care about.”
Schnase-Berge added she’s also heard from many people about the incivility that goes on at the council level. “I’m on a couple of boards in Scottsbluff and I’m tired of Gering being a punch line at some of my meetings. The fighting and nonsense is getting really old.”
Another concern in her ward has been the proposed meatpacking plant. “If you’re pro business and pro agriculture, that’s all we know right now,” she said. “There have been some valid concerns raised, like water and air quality, but we just don’t have enough information now to say we’re for it or against it.”
She said the entire discussion over the proposed plant could have been handled better, and that transparency in government is something the city should pursue.
“Gering has always been a beacon of tourism and we have so much to show people,” Schnase-Berge said. “I’d like to be a part of that.”
Although she and her husband, John, had worked in Washington, D.C., she said they always knew they wanted to come back to Gering because it’s such a great place.
A graduate of the University of Colorado, Schnase-Berge worked with the state Legislature and on a number of campaigns. She also served as a field rep for U.S. Senator Ben Nelson. After the couple moved to D.C., she continued to work for Sen. Nelson’s office and then was a confidential assistant to Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner John Norris.
She said the three main areas of her campaign are economic development, strong and safe neighborhoods, and efficiency and civility in government.
Schnase-Berge is challenging incumbent Rebecca Shields for Ward II Gering City Council seat in the Nov. 4 election.