For J. David Reed, or David as most people call him, returning to city council is much like riding a bike. It’s been a while since he’s taken it for a spin, but it’s all quickly coming back to him.
Reed previously served on the city council from 2000 to 2004, also serving a term as mayor during his service.
While one of the most challenging parts of returning over a decade later is adjusting to the new integration of technology, Reed joked, the new District III councilor has spent the last few weeks researching and getting up to speed on all the issues coming before council.
“Even having served on the council before, I’m still in a learning process at this point in time,” said Reed. “I want to make sure I have all the information before I jump in.”
The newly minted councilor was voted in by the city council last month to fill the vacancy left by former Councilor Roy Anderson, who had to resign his seat due to a family medical emergency.
Reed first moved to Montrose in late 1978 and began practicing law the following year. He spent his undergraduate school years in Louisiana and moved onto Texas for law school, but he always wanted to live on the Western Slope.
Reed said his background in municipal law where he served for a number of years as well as his previous experience as an elected official as a practicing attorney would help him meet the challenges of his new position.
As a councilor voted in during the middle of a term, Reed’s seat will be up for re-election next year. If he decides to go beyond this temporary seat, he will have to run again. For the time being, however, Reed hopes to focus on some of the bigger issues Montrose is facing.
“Right now I think it’s really important for us to look at our housing and livable wage situation,” said Reed of his goals. “Growth is really starting to heat up in Montrose and that includes all the issues that come with that growth. Those are just the major things we’ve faced in the past and will continue to face in the future.”
Reed added that as Montrose moves forward, the city council can come up with new and better solutions on how to deal with the issues.
“I would like to be a part of trying to figure out what the solutions are,” Reed said. “It’s a critical issue that really needs to be dealt with and not just talked about.”
Between the city, administration and the city council, Reed said that he thinks Montrose is moving in the right direction with “committed” city staff.
Reed anticipates that there will be times he makes a decision people will disagree with.
“Any time you take action, some people are not going to be happy with the action that you’ve taken,” said Reed. “We all live in this community together and we can’t always agree on everything, but we can be civil in our discourse and not adversarial. We need to build bridges with all of our citizens and not burn bridges.”
The councilor encourages citizens to disagree but “not be disagreeable about it,” adding that Montrose will be more successful if people collaborate “neighbor-to-neighbor, friend-to-friend and face-to-face talk about the issues we have to deal with.”
Cassie Knust is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press.