While the November election is still five months away, with the announcement that Councilman Harry Sachs will not seek re-election, an opportunity has opened up for at least one new face on the San Ramon City Council.
Three prospective candidates have already announced their intentions to run for council this fall: city and school volunteer Aparna Madireddi, 2016 council candidate Sabina Zafar and city parks commissioner Sridhar Verose. Two council seats are up for regular election in November; the other is held by longtime Councilman Dave Hudson.
The mayor’s seat — currently held by Bill Clarkson — which is directly elected every two years, will also be on the ballot.
While Mayor Clarkson has confirmed his intent to run, Hudson did not respond to questions asking if he intends to campaign for re-election.
Both incumbents have filed FPPC form 501 candidate intention statements and FPPC form 410 statements of candidate organization, however, indicating that Hudson is at least considering running again.
The official nomination period opens July 16. During the that time candidates who meet all the filing requirements will be deemed official candidates. Election day is Nov. 6.
Aparna Madireddi, a 21-year resident of San Ramon, intends to be a strong contender after being endorsed by Sachs to become his replacement.
Madireddi has broken down her campaign to highlight four key priorities: preserving the city’s open space, expanding public outreach, continuing to safeguard finances and creating a safer community through increased police interaction and cooperation with citizens.
“Let’s work together on issues that matter most to our families. Our city is on the threshold of attaining great things. It is growing and changing in many ways. Its bright future can get even brighter with a change in leadership — someone who can come up with new ideas and solutions, and do things differently,” Madireddi said at her campaign launch party.
While she has not previously held an elected position, Madireddi has experience working on committees and boards that directly affect San Ramon. She has served on the city’s Open Space Committee and Diversity Task Force, the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce, the school district’s Tax Oversight Committee, Communications Advisory Committee and the executive board of the Council of Parent Teacher Associations.
Madireddi is married with a daughter who graduated from Dougherty Valley High School.
She will be challenged by Sabina Zafar, a technology executive who will be running for a council position for the second time. She placed third in her 2016 bid for council, coming in behind incumbent councilmen Scott Perkins and Philip O’Loane.
Zafar has established herself as a candidate who will oppose the current status-quo of the council, advocating against the rapid growth of the city and the council’s “aggressive pro-development policies shortsightedly adopted by current city leaders,” she said.
“I look forward to bringing a new perspective to the table, that is more representative of our diverse city,” Zafar said in her statement of intent to run. “If elected, I will listen openly to the concerns of all our community members, with the goal of building a better San Ramon, one that thrives economically, while still maintaining that ‘small town’ feel in our neighborhoods.”
Zafar also lacks elected experience, but she has spent time in leadership roles for volunteer organizations. She has served on the board of directors for the American Association of University Women, is a member of the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs, has previously served on the city’s Transportation Advisory Committee and has spent time as a PTA volunteer in the district. She is also a graduate from San Ramon Citizen’s Police Academy.
Zafar is the mother of a 21-year-old son who attends U.C. Irvine and a 16-year-old daughter who will be entering her junior year at Dougherty Valley High School.
The final challenger for council is 12-year San Ramon resident Sridhar Verose, who works as a senior manager of infrastructure engineering for GSX Solutions.
Verose serves on the San Ramon Parks and Community Services Commission, where he also sits as a liaison to the Facilities Committee and Field Users Committee.
Verose has been endorsed by Councilmen O’Loane and Perkins.
“I will work tirelessly to promote a safe environment for our residents. I will champion ‘know thy neighbor’ programs that will help to promote an inclusive community, bring families together and celebrate diversified cultural programs,” he told DanvilleSanRamon.com.
As a member of the council, Verose says he would focus on community-based solutions for his priorities of preserving open space, partnering with local schools to create a safe place for children and promoting transportation and other services for the elderly.
A sports fan, he also founded the San Ramon Cricket Association in 2008. He is married with two children who currently attend San Ramon schools.
Incumbent Mayor Bill Clarkson will be running for his fourth term as mayor come November.
A 38-year resident of San Ramon, Clarkson has a long history of working in elected positions. In addition to serving as mayor since 2011, in 1998 he was elected to the San Ramon Valley school board and served for three terms, including three times as the board president.
“With the build-out of the City Center development, the renovated library, the new City Hall building and planned connections to Central Park, San Ramon will have a functional and vibrant ‘downtown’ that meets the needs of our residents and business community,” Clarkson said in a letter to residents describing the council’s accomplishments.
If re-elected he promises to pursue the creation of a downtown “Walking District,” a new park celebrating the city’s history in the Crow Canyon Specific Plan Area and the expansion of the Dougherty Station Library.
If elected, Clarkson will have held the mayorship the maximum-allowed four terms.
Clarkson is married with a daughter and two grandchildren.
Dave Hudson has served five terms on the City Council, which has no term limits. He also served as mayor in 2001.