Three incumbents face one challenger in Belmont council race

BY EMILY MIBACH
Daily Post Staff Writer

Four people are running for three seats on Belmont City Council, including three incumbents who want to shepherd the city along its current path and one challenger, who said the council is not listening to some residents. Julia Mates, Charles Stone and Warren Lieberman are the incumbents, while Deniz Bolbol is the newcomer.

Warren Lieberman has been on council for 13 years and is seeking a fourth term. During Lieberman’s tenure on council, he has played a major role in negotiating with the fire department to be financially stable and enter into a joint powers authority with San Mateo and Foster City.

Lieberman said some of his goals if re-elected would be to ensure that the city’s fire department continues to provide its “great service” and to approve projects that will make the city more walkable and bicycle-friendly.

Deniz Bolbol grew up in Belmont and moved back four years ago to care for her mother. She is serving her second term as president of the Belmont Heights Civic Improvement Association and said she decided to enter the race after attending a council meeting where she saw a councilman rebut every public comment that didn’t support his position. She also said she’s seen the council prioritizing special interests over residents.

If elected, Bolbol said she will listen to all residents and not push a personal agenda. Her goals include fighting overdevelopment and preparing the city for wildfires.

Charles Stone was elected five years ago and said he is running again to “make sure the Belmont of tomorrow is even more wonderful for the children of today.” Some of Stone’s highlights since being on council are improving facilities at Alexander Park and the rebuilding of Davey Glen Park.

If re-elected, Stone said he will focus on creating a new rec center at Barrett Community Center. Stone’s other top priorities are to repair roads and storm drains and improve traffic along Ralston Avenue and Alameda de las Pulgas.

Julia Mates was appointed to the council in January after councilman Eric Reed died. Prior to that, she was the chair of the city’s Planning Commission.

She said she’s running in order to see through some of the items she passed while on the Planning Commission.

Mates said her priorities include reducing traffic along Alameda de las Pulgas and Ralston, and ensuring that police and firefighters are not trapped in gridlock when responding to calls. Mates also said she will work to reduce cut-through traffic in neighborhoods.

Whoever is elected in November will join Mayor Douglas Kim and Davina Hurt on the dais.

4 Comments

  1. Dear Editor,
    I am writing to express my support for Deniz Bolbol for Belmont City Council; the only independent voice for Belmont residents who want accountability and open government for all Belmont residents.

    Deniz has successfully worked with Oakland City Councils, SF Board of Supervisors, and State and Federal agencies to enact bipartisan legislation to stop animal abuse and understands the collaborative legislative process. In her 2 terms as neighborhood president, she has reinvigorated BHCIA, brought fresh ideas and demonstrated her commitment to inclusive government and respect for residents. Deniz does not seek any political endorsements and is accountable only to Belmont residents, not career politicians.

    The truth is that 3 years ago, the current pro-development incumbents pushed through 37 zoning changes against the wishes of the majority of residents, to allow 6,000 sf homes, reduce garage requirements and add secondary units. As a direct result of these proposed zoning changes, a new owner submitted a floor area exception plan for a 7,300 sf home on my small cul-de-sac – 3 times the size of neighboring homes, invading neighbors’ privacy and blocking views. Only through a grassroots referendum by Belmont residents were these ordinances overturned.

    The current council’s extreme pro-development vision will only worsen our traffic congestion and overcrowded schools. A more balanced and sensible approach as advocated by Deniz Bolbol is what is needed on our City Council.

    Jennifer Lien
    Belmont

  2. I am the real Jennifer Lien. I am not changing my vote. I made the original post (OCTOBER 16, 2018 9:59 AM) above supporting Deniz for Belmont City Council. All the fact check videos on Deniz4Belmont.com website are true. Whoever is impersonating me here should be ashamed of themselves! I will report this to the editor.

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