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 Eric Reed.
Eric L Reed
Occupation: Father / Biotechnology Director
Former Planning Commissioner, City of Belmont, 2008-2013
Belmont 4-H Project Leader
MBA, Santa Clara University
Associate Director, Genentech, Inc.
Supervisorial District Lines Advisory Committee, Alternate.
1. What differentiates you from the other candidates?
Each candidate in this race brings with him/her a unique perspective on issues and a desire to improve Belmont. My perspective has been shaped by my experiences. I’ve lived my whole life in San Mateo County and I’ve seen how proactive economic development strategies can rejuvenate a city and I know we can do that in Belmont.
Working for a global biotech company for 23 years (Genentech) has helped me understand how innovation drives success and the positive impact that can have on a community. I have also learned that effective collaboration is the way to solve problems.
As a Belmont Planning Commissioner (for 5 years), I was able to see the impact that our planning processes and regulations have on homeowners and businesses and I understand that those impacts are not always positive. Lastly, being a father and a homeowner has helped me understand how critical it is that we continue to support our schools and how important the City-School Board relationship is.
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?Major improvements to Belmont’s downtown will only come with robust development, but we can improve downtown with a modest investment.
City-owned properties (e.g. the auto shop on Hill and ECR) could be screened with trees and landscaping. An underused patch of ground on Ralston across from Flasner Lane could be turned into a pocket park- trees, grass, benches and bike parking would make it an inviting spot to have coffee or eat lunch. The City could increase the incentive for facade improvements.
We could study the impact of the closure of Emmett to car traffic and make downtown “walkable.” Beautifying downtown is important, but it should occur alongside efforts to create solid tactics to spur economic development. I would start by reforming the Economic Development Committee so City and business leaders alongside residents like you can determine the best path forward for Belmont’s downtown.
Next up...Kristin Mercer (Tues. Oct. 29)
[Editor's note: Biographical information on each candidate, including a list of endorsements can be found at www.smartvoter.org.]