At age 25, Reuben Holober will be sworn into Millbrae City Council tonight.
The young new councilman was elected alongside appointed incumbent Anne Oliva to fill the two open seats. Oliva was appointed to the council in June after the death of Nadia Holober, former councilwoman and Reuben Holober’s mother. Mayor Gina Papan is termed out. Reuben Holober is also son of Richard Holober, a longtime member of the San Mateo County Community College District Board of Trustees.
“He has a lot to look forward to,” said Papan. “The city of Millbrae has a brilliant future ahead.”
Reuben Holober, who received a degree in political science and communication at the University of Washington, said it’s certainly different to be younger on a council.
“I’m ready for the task and spent time on the campaign trail getting to know the issues of the city well,” he said. “Everyone was very receptive to me. Being a little younger gives me a different perspective than some of other councilmembers. It is difficult for people my age trying to make it in the economy.”
As a worker at Natera, a San Carlos biotech company that does genetic testing, he hopes to be able to bring more high-tech businesses to Millbrae. Business development is very important for creating jobs and raising revenue, he said.
“There are very few tech businesses here,” he said. “We’re pretty well located on the Peninsula; we have BART and Caltrain.”
What does his father think of his new position?
“He seems very proud of me,” Reuben Holober said. “He was extremely encouraging the whole campaign.”
Reuben Holober, a resident of Millbrae for 22 years, adds that he won’t be replacing his mother when he joins the council.
“I’m not walking into her shoes,” he said. “She gave a lot to the city and it’s an honor to follow her. At the same time, I’m ready to carve my own identity here in Millbrae.”
Additionally, Reuben Holober is concerned about the city’s fire suppression assessment tax, which is set to expire June 30, 2014. Millbrae voters originally passed the $144 annual fee for fire services on single-family homes in 2004 as one solution to address the city’s budget crisis, which began in 2001. It was extended in 2009 and the tax brings in about $1.2 million per year to the general fund, according to a staff report.
“That is very important to be able to fund the fire department,” he said. “The key in the near term is the merger with Burlingame and Hillsborough in the Central County Fire Department.”
He said there’s definitely a lot of challenges coming up in the city, but he has a pretty good idea of what he’s getting into.
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