Tough race ahead for Belmont Council

Toppling an incumbent can be a daunting task for any politician, but any newcomers hoping for a seat on the Belmont City Council will have to do just that, as the two available seats will both be defended by incumbents.

Five residents have pulled paperwork to make a stab at elected positions in this year’s county and city elections. Council members Dave Warden and Phil Mathewson have both pulled papers to run for second terms in their respective seats; incumbent city clerk Terri Cook and treasurer John Violet have both taken out their papers.

While it is not an official declaration of candidacy, candidates must first fill out the requisite paperwork and acquire 20 signatures to qualify.

Two-year Belmont resident Broderick Page is — as of Wednesday — the only non-incumbent who has shown interest in running. He said that it’s time for a change in the city.

“I want to see the community of Belmont taken in a different direction, with more efficient use of taxpayer money,” he said. “I’m not worried about [the incumbents] — the more people who run, the more choices the community of Belmont has.”

Page said recent heated issues like the proposed smoking ordinance and the feud with San Carlos over the Belmont-San Carlos Fire Department has been a misuse of public funds and time.

“There is a lot more the City Council should and could do to move the city in a direction that is more community-friendly and business-friendly,” Page said.

Incumbent Councilman Dave Warden agreed that community and business development was important, something he says would be best served by greater stability on the City Council.

“I think that things are going very well in the city, and one of the issues is that, as long as I can remember, there has never been a majority of council people not in their first term. That can contribute to some sense of instability,” Warden said.

All current Belmont Council members are in their first terms in office. The filing period for county and city elections runs through Aug. 10.

jgoldman@examiner.com

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