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. Today's candidate is Charles Stone.
- Occupation: Father / Business Owner
- School-Force (Belmont-Redwood Shores Education Foundation) Endowment Chair
- B.A. in Political Science from UC San Diego with Minors in Law & Society and Psychology
- J.D. from Santa Clara University
1. What differentiates you from the other candidates?
I’ve always been able to listen to diverse viewpoints, efficiently analyze information, build consensus and make things happen quickly. My experiences, values, and viewpoint are unique. As a solo practitioner in downtown Belmont I understand the challenges facing our businesses. I know what it’s like to stare at the bottom line and wonder why our business license fees are so high. As a father of two young daughters and member of an education foundation board I believe in partnering with our education community to find win-win solutions. We should honor Belmont’s tradition of investing in our children while jointly confronting growing issues like traffic. My dual income family uses Ralston East and West to commute and I understand the true dynamics of this issue. With hard work and common sense, we can find solutions that work for all of us-- not just for bicyclists, just for pedestrians, or just for drivers because most of us fit into several of those categories. Belmont is an amazing place and together, we can make it even better.
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?
We should move quickly to implement zoning changes that attract the right businesses and work hand-in-hand with existing businesses to create the beginning of a walkable, vibrant, and tasteful downtown. Belmont should also partner with existing businesses to appeal to NDNU students and nearby technology employees. One way to increase patronage and boost sales is to create a rewards program tied to my “Belmont Bucks” platform. Each time a resident patronizes a local business or restaurant, they will receive “Belmont Bucks.” This virtual currency will be redeemable for things like “mayor for a day,” tours of the firehouse, police ride-a-longs, priority for park reservations etc. We should also work diligently look for other opportunities for the city to help existing businesses prosper and attract new businesses.
Next up...Eric Reed (Mon. Oct. 28)
[Editor's note: Biographical information on each candidate, including a list of endorsements can be found at www.smartvoter.org.]