PEARLAND, Texas — Mayor Tom Reid has officially announced his intention to retire at the end of his term in May, 2020.
Reid’s announcement comes after he has dedicated 44 years of his life to public service in the Pearland community.
“I love what I do, being mayor, serving the community and making the community something special.” Reid said. “But I think it’s time to now end this chapter and focus more on spending quality time with family and friends.”
Reid started his career as a council member in 1973, where he served for five years before becoming mayor.
He held the office of mayor from 1978 to 1990 when he took a brief hiatus due to travel arrangements for his full-time job at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
“I had to fly to Cape Canaveral, and we flew on Mondays, so I couldn’t make the council meetings,” Reid said.
However, he remained in Pearland and won the mayoral election again in 1993 when his assignment gravitated back to the Houston area. He has maintained the elected position ever since.
One of his achievements while serving as mayor his achievements included securing 20 million gallons per day of Brazos River water for Pearland residents through work serving on the Gulf Coast Water Authority Board influencing transportation projects while serving on the HGAC Transportation Policy Council, and the development of the Pearland Neighborhood Center.
Reid has served on numerous regional planning, transportation, and civic agencies and groups.
Reid oversaw Pearland’s rapid growth population from 6,644 in 1970 to an estimated 130,000 in 2019 – more than 20 times the number of residents from when he started elected office.
“Our cosmopolitan suburb is a diverse reflection of the country and the world,” Reid said. “I love the energy and variety in our neighborhoods, parks, offices, residents, and restaurants.”
Reid believes his most important accomplishments revolve around promoting lifelong education.
“I said, ‘we need a library’ so we set up in the old pool hall on Grand Boulevard, and the men’s group from the Presbyterian Church donated the lumber and built the bookshelves,” Reid said in reflecting on the first public library in Pearland, now the city’s Melvin Knapp Activity Center.
To fill the shelves, he collected boxes of donated books every week from a library in Clear Lake that he frequently visited on his commute home to Pearland from Johnson Space Center.
The library grew to the point that it became a county library and the city dedicated a space in the newly-built Community Center next to City Hall so it could continue to grow.
When the library outgrew the Community Center, Reid was instrumental in helping to secure the funding for a stand-alone building across the street from City Hall, its current location and which rightfully bears his name.
Reid was also integral in securing the location for the University of Houston Clear Lake Pearland campus on Pearland Parkway.
Reid explained that even though he is retiring, don’t expect to see any less of him around Pearland.
“Maybe I’ll stay for of all the ribbon cuttings, we’ll see,” Reid said.
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