To carry on fiscal tradition, elect Arun Goel for mayor, Sri Muppidi and Samir Qureshi for City Council
From 2010-19, Dublin was the fastest-growing city in California. But as the city begins to run out of large parcels for major development, the pace of construction approvals is slowing.
Meanwhile, through the building boom, Dublin leaders have preserved the city’s core conservative financial roots — avoiding debt, maintaining strong budgetary reserves and contracting out for many city services to provide staffing flexibility and avoid building up large retirement obligations that have plagued many other cities.
As a result, despite losses of tax revenues from the pandemic-induced economic downturn, the city remains fiscally much stronger than most cities were even before the novel coronavirus. There have been no layoffs or furloughs, although some seasonal jobs and a couple of full-time job vacancies were not filled.
The question now for voters in the Nov. 3 election is which mayoral and City Council candidates would carry on that tradition of fiscal prudence. And which would make smart use of the buildable land that remains to ensure construction of enough affordable housing to support people who work in the city and Tri-Valley area.
The candidates best prepared for that are Arun Goel for mayor and Sri Muppidi and Samir Qureshi for City Council.
Mayor – Goel
With current Mayor David Haubert running for Alameda County supervisor, two current council members are vying to replace him.
Goel and Melissa Hernandez are each finishing their first term on the council. Either would make a good mayor, but Goel has a clearer grasp of the city’s finances. His conservative financial approach seems driven in part by his work experience as a cost-control manager for large construction projects.
Goel also brings a determination that developers integrate their required affordable housing into each project rather than paying in-lieu fees that delay eventual building of the much-needed below-market homes.
City Council – Muppidi and Qureshi
With Goel and Hernandez running for mayor, their seats are open. Of the nine candidates, three stand out. Narrowing it to two recommendations is not easy.
Muppidi, 25, is the least experienced, with no city service history. But she grew up in the Tri-Valley, and has returned to live with her parents in Dublin after finishing her Stanford master’s degree in Management Science and Engineering.
She has mastered key details of the city’s finances and also brings a combination of a younger-generation perspective — she’s deeply concerned about being able to buy a home someday in Dublin — and an excellent resume of public policy analysis experience.
Samir Qureshi, a former Dublin planning commissioner, has held several top management global sales positions for major corporations and currently works for Seagate Technology. He understands the city’s finances and stresses the need for focusing development around the city’s two BART stations.
Finally, although we’re not endorsing him, a plug for Michael McCorriston, a global finances executive and member of the Dublin Human Services Commission. He, too, has a solid handle on the city’s finances and presses for transit-oriented development.