I scheduled a meeting on Thursday afternoon with Sabina Zafar, one of the two new candidates running for City Council. Right before the meeting my brother phoned from Maine that my 100+ year old mother was in the "care unit" of her retirement home. She was having trouble breathing and eating.
I was distracted by this news and was not prepared for the interview at 4pm. Sabina did most of talking. I listened but didn't take any notes. She gave me information on her background. She has lived in San Ramon for over a decade, has children in school, and works in Technology. She sounded very capable and explained why she's running for City Council and what she plans to do.
I said in a previous blog that we need a woman on the City Council again, and we should also have a Councilperson from Dougherty Valley. Sabina is both. Even though our City Council is operating well, we need new people with new ideas and more representation of the newer residents and neighborhoods. Sabina has lived in Dougherty Valley for more than ten years. Her neighbors should have representation on the City Council by now.
I received an email from Greg Carr endorsing and supporting Sabina's candidacy. "San Ramon now has an opportunity to re-diversify its city council. One new candidate stands out--Sabina Zafar. I support her."
Mr. Carr served on the City Council many years ago. I asked him to email me some history of his time on the City Council.
"When I was elected to the city council in 1991, the council at that time consisted of Jim Blickenstaff (filling Barry Nudelman's seat after he had to prematurely step down), Mary Lou Oliver, Pat Boom, Herman Welm, and me. There were 8 candidates running for the 3 open seats--the vote count was Mary Lou (1st), me (2nd), and Herman (3rd). Jim ran separately for and won the truncated 2-year seat vacated by Nudelman. Even though we all had a spectrum of views on some issues, that was a very good city council. We got thing done. We each had our own constituencies and spent the time and money to run for public office. It was not easy for any of us."
I moved to San Ramon in 1997 to take a job at Bishop Ranch. I knew there was some friction between real estate developers and the environmentalists, but I was very busy at work and did not pay much attention to local politics back then.
I asked Mr. Carr if he endorsed the other new candidate, Susmita Nayak. He replied, "Susmita Nayak has the courage to run for office, and will need more experience. All four candidates have my respect," but he is endorsing Phil O'Loane for reelection.