There are six candidates seeking three open seats. Incumbent Warren Lieberman is running for re-election. Other candidates are Gladwyn d’Souza, Charles Stone, Kristin Mercer, Mike Verdone, and Eric Reed.
In this six-part series, Patch asks each candidate the same two questions to help voters gain better insight into some of these issues.
Each candidate’s answers are arranged individually, in reverse alphabetical order by the candidate’s last name, starting with Michael Verdone.
Michael VerdoneOccupation: Businessman / Consultant
UCSD BA Psychology
Vice Chair Legislative Committee
Belmont resident for 3 generations
1. What differentiates you from the other candidates?
During the eight years I rowed competitively on crew in high school at at UCSD, I developed the key team building attributes of drive, dedication and perseverance. A race isn't won by an individual, but a perfectly synced team, working together towards that common goal to pull the boat across a finish line. I consider myself a team builder, and hope to bring said skill to the Belmont City Council. This involves listening to all neighborhoods and stakeholders within our community to ensure due diligence has been executed for the greatest common good of Belmont. I hope to bring a fresh, new pragmatic prospective to local city government, one that works well with all.
2. How would you improve the downtown area that we already have? Given a limited budget, what ideas do you have to perk things up and make some immediate improvements?
Though there are few immediate remedies in sight, I would like to explore three that I believe will enhance our downtown. As an incentive, we can offer free WIFI to the public in the downtown area. Not only will this draw people from our community, it may enable businesses to advertise and also aid the City in disseminating pertinent information to the public. This is achieved by having a "splash" login page where Belmont can post bulletins and local business can purchase advertisement space for the week. This is a relatively inexpensive solution.
Holding more social events and fundraisers such as Save the Music Festival is a must to draw local and out of town residents to Belmont which may indirectly enhance our tax base. By adding adequate evening lighting to our downtown with safety lit crosswalks, people may be more likely to come out and enjoy our downtown.
There are numerous businesses downtown and I think if Belmont improved an enhanced, tranquil outdoor eating/ reflecting area, more residents may be enticed to come out and enjoy the beautiful weather. Our permit process needs to be streamlined to encourage new restaurants to establish downtown as a destination point.
Next up.....Charles Stone
[Editor's note: Biographical information on each candidate, including a list of endorsements can be found at www.smartvoter.org.]