An Indian American businesswoman in San Ramon, California, has announced her intentions to run for the mayoral seat in the city.
Susmita Nayak, a member of the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and former city council candidate, recently announced her bid for the post, which will be decided Nov. 3.
A 15-year resident of San Ramon and local small business owner, Nayak has centered her campaign around strong leadership, fiscal responsibility and an opposition to development projects that do not fit the city's character or are not seen as responsible, according to a Danville San Ramon publication report.
Commenting on development in her city, Nayak further stated that she is the only candidate who has voiced opposition to the CityWalk Master Plan that proposes to develop 4,500 housing units in the heart of the Bishop Ranch property, the report notes.
"I am a passionate leader with a sharp vision, a problem solver, a good decision-maker with high values and integrity. Our city needs strong leadership that works for our residents to maintain a good quality of life by optimizing the city budget efficiently," Nayak told the publication.
"Our residents don’t want any further increase in utility bills or property tax which is overwhelmingly high. Instead, we should be focusing on creative strategies to utilize the funds in more judicious and economical ways," she added in the report. "Moreover, I am very concerned about the huge 25-year development proposal of the CityWalk Master Plan at Bishop Ranch during this unprecedented and uncertain time."
In addition to maintaining San Ramon's reputation as a safe community to live and prosper, Nayak has listed six key priorities for her platform: economic development, fiscal accountability, review and adopt ordinances, maintain open space with sustainable growth, traffic mitigation, and open-door government and collaboration, it said.
As a full-time small business owner in San Ramon, Nayak has a business background in her city and is currently serving in her third term on the Board of Directors for the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce.
A member of the chamber’s Governmental Affairs Committee, Nayak said her time with the chamber has helped increase her experience in civic governance and given her insight into the most pressing issues facing her community.
She further added that she has attended city events and meetings, collaborated with city officials and community leaders, and through her participation with the Chamber, has been "deeply involved in making decisions on several ordinances and bills,” the report said.
Nayak is also familiar with the region's school systems from a parental point of view, having, alongside her husband, raised two children who are currently attending San Ramon Valley Unified School District schools.
Nayak has a bachelor's degree in electronics and communication engineering completed in India and more than 18 years of experience in the telecom sector.
In 2016 she campaigned to join the San Ramon City Council but was defeated by incumbent councilmen Phil O’Loane and Scott Perkins – both of whom are up for re-election in November (see India-West report here: https://bit.ly/3g90C27).
"We are fortunate to live in such a vibrant city that embraces inclusion and diversity. I am stepping up for complex community challenges that I couldn’t ignore. Our city needs strong leadership and vision that leads us to a better future," she said on her campaign website.
Nayak is the third resident of San Ramon to publicly declare their candidacy for mayor, which will be left open with sitting Mayor Bill Clarkson terming out at the end of the year. The other candidates so far are City Councilwoman Sabina Zafar and Open Space Advisory Committee member Aparna Madireddi, the report said. (See earlier India-West story on Madireddi here: https://bit.ly/2XzmDA3)