Reed said he will talk with community leaders and organizations in the San Lorenzo Valley, Scotts Valley and at the county level to “get a feel” for the climate and to find out if he’d be a good fit for the position.
“I have no idea what the response is going to be,” Reed said.
Reed jumped into the conversation after fellow Councilman Dene Bustichi, who announced his own bid for supervisor last month, was cut out of the 5th District when redistricting lines split Scotts Valley down Highway 17.
Reed, who grew up in Chicago and moved with his wife, Lea, to Santa Cruz County in 2000, has served on the Scotts Valley City Council since January 2007, including one year as mayor. The couple has four children, ages 4 through 11. Before joining the council, Reed spent 11 years in the technology industry, including six years with Nokia. He was the editor of the Press-Banner for a year the mid-2000s and now works in public relations and marketing.
Reed said part of his outreach will be a message of job creation.
“We need a supervisor focused all the time on creating well-paying jobs,” he said.
He says Santa Cruz County needs to use its coastline and temperate climate to drive year-round tourism, an area where it has underperformed in recent years. Reed, who stood behind the La Bahia project that was voted down by the California Coastal Commission this summer, said he worries that the vote will have a ripple effect on the county’s economy.
“I fear it will revive the stereotype that economic development and environmental protection are incompatible in Santa Cruz County,” Reed said.
“If I run, we’re not going to have a La Bahia (situation) anymore. That’s the last La Bahia that happens if I get elected supervisor.”
If he ran, Reed said, he would push for commonsense, centrist solutions to fix the government process. He suggests gathering the likes of Fred Keeley, John Laird and Bruce McPherson — all well-respected lawmakers who live in Santa Cruz — to develop policy that would usher local government into a new mindset of innovation, similar to the thinking of the organization California Forward.
Reed said he would like to see a supervisor reach out to the community more often — for example, calling on the two local chambers of commerce and three business associations in the 5th District to meet once a year to discuss job creation.
Reed also supports Senate Bill 14, which sets performance goals for the government rather than budgeting positions.
“If passed, it’s going to change the mindset, and the paradigm, of how government operates,” he said, noting that the planning department process in the county is a good example , although new Planning Director Kathy Previsich has begun to make positive changes.
Reed said he wants to see local government think differently about providing basic services, because of leaner budgets and fewer employees.
“If things aren’t working, we’ve got to change,” he said.