PEARLAND, Texas – After more than four decades of service, Pearland Mayor Tom Reid has announced his retirement when his term ends in May 2020.
Reid, who is 94 years old, has been a key figure of Pearland’s political landscape for 44 years. He began his decades of service in Pearland in 1973 on the city council before becoming mayor five years later.
Now Reid is ready for a change of focus.
“I love what I do, being Mayor, serving the community and making the community something special.” Mayor 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 first became Pearland’s mayor in 1978 and remained in office until 1990 before travel for his job with the Johnson Space Center forced him to give it up. Once Reid’s job returned him to Houston, he successfully ran for re-election in 1993. He has been Pearland’s mayor ever since.
Reid obviously has presided over Pearland in it era of substantial growth. The population has grown from 6,644 in 1970 to an estimated 130,000 currently.
“Our cosmopolitan suburb is a diverse reflection of the country and the world,” he said. “I love the energy and variety in our neighborhoods, parks, offices, residents, and restaurants.”
Reid has also been instrumental in making sure the infrastructure was in place for the substantial growth. He secured 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.
Among his other great accomplishments as mayor, Reid was helped bring the first public library to Pearland, now the city’s Melvin Knapp Activity Center. To fill the shelve, Reid collected boxes of donated books every week from a library in Clear Lake that he often visited on his daily drive from Johnson Space Center to his Pearland home.
His hard work and diligence saw the library moved to the community center and then Reid secured the funding for the library to become a stand-alone building across the street from City Hall, where it remains to today.
Reid was also integral in securing the location for the University of Houston-Clear Lake Pearland campus.
“Pearland wouldn’t be what it is today without the vision, tenacity, and energy of Mayor Reid,” said Clay Pearson, who is the city manager. “He has set the tone for this great community. The impacts of his legacy will continue to permeate the community forever.”