Five candidates are vying for two open seats on the Belmont City Council in November, with two incumbents hoping to stave off newcomers.
Eric Reed is a first-time candidate who describes himself as centrist and an independent thinker. The Peninsula native has served on the Planning Commission since 2008.
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If elected, he would try to create an economic development committee to generate new ideas for developing downtown. A similar committee was disbanded by the current council, Reed said.
Reed also wants to improve “strained” relations between the city and Notre Dame de Namur University, since the school pumps tens of millions of dollars into Belmont’s economy every year.
Incumbent David Braunstein stressed the benefits of his strong relationship with the school.
“I speak the language of teachers and educators, and they trust me,” Braunstein said.
Besides roadways, sewer collection and adult recreation, Braunstein’s priorities include improving community ties to stop the spate of burglaries the city has seen during the past year. Braunstein leads a National Night Out citizens group for his street.
Incumbent Christine Wozniak hopes to stay in office to see various projects through to completion, including the soon-to-be independent Fire Department.
Her achievements include finishing a road improvement plan that gives all streets a letter-grade rating, and working to reduce retirement and benefit payouts to public-safety employees. Wozniak also helped form a citizens advisory committee on high-speed rail “to keep residents in the loop.”
Political newcomer Paul Brownlee is a “one-issue candidate.”
He said he’s running to make sure high-speed rail runs along U.S. Highway 101 and not the Caltrain railway.
Brownlee said the planned rail system would “Balkanize” Belmont and hurt small businesses along Caltrain tracks.
Michael McGuinness did not respond to requests for comment on this story. He ran for City Council in 2009 and finished last.
Job: Incumbent, world studies teacher at Carlmont High School
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