What experience related to city government would you bring to the City Council?
With my experience and learning on the Planning Commission, and as a community/neighborhood leader, I will work to enhance the quality of our lives. I have worked extensively with Saratoga Public Works in neighborhood projects. As part of my corporate role at IBM, Cisco and now as General Manager of a cloud services venture, I have worked on leading teams with large budgets.
In my role as a community volunteer, I have launched and initiated many new programs like Saratoga Cares Foundation, Saratoga’s Got Talent, with the purpose of building a unified connected community, and collaborating to address needs within our community. That experience and success will prove useful on the council. I am also an involved member of the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce, managing their social media strategy and has chaired Chamber sponsored events sub-committees (Celebrate Saratoga, Farmers Market, Saratoga Wine Stroll and Holiday Party)
My professional experience, community work that cuts across many different spectrums within Saratogan and planning commission experience uniquely qualifies me.
What concerns are of particular importance to the city and how would you address them?
It is our amazing citizens of Saratoga that make our community so special. Firstly, the folks who made some well thought out choices almost 60 years ago– that set up on the path for success. Folks who have brought their leadership and volunteerism to bear to make Saratoga such a special city. I have met folks who have lived here for decades; their love and almost reverence for our city is so very perceptible and real. There is so much energy that I notice with our seniors, a fire in their belly to do their best for Saratoga. How could we not embrace that model – it is the inevitable. Our current batch of seniors made the right choices, and we are benefiting. To continue making the right choices, and teaming with our citizens, listening to them, bringing our energy, dedication and volunteering passion is what I seek to bring to the city council.
The most important issue in Saratoga is the preservation of quality of life that is centered on our families. We are a family oriented city, and our offerings and challenges lineup with this core value. What contributes to our quality of life is fast efficient city services for our citizens, a laid-back semi-rural ambiance, protecting our trees, a well maintained park and trails system, and streets that mostly have free flowing traffic, and quiet neighborhoods. On the council, I will continue to enhance the quality of life for Saratogans, based upon their input, ideas, my understanding of Saratoga, while building a framework of active community engagement.
We like to maintain a family conducive environment, happy, contented, relaxed lives, raise smart, happy, successful kids and provide the right opportunities for them to thrive and grow. We have a fairly large senior population and we like to address their needs in the community - along with the needs of the young families that are trickling into Saratoga.
I have been involved in our city to enhance the civic engagement model, informed, collaborated and brought our community together, always encouraging the process of dialogue. While doing so, I encouraged the democratic process of open decision making, educating our citizens with the facts to help make choices. I will continue doing that on the council.
I want to continue to make smart choices that works for our citizens, take pride in our city, our homes, our schools ensure that our community is always prosperous and successful! I will listen to our citizens and make prudent choices for Saratoga, that will keep Saratoga thriving, successful and an even more exciting, desired community for all of bay area. That will be an accomplishment that will mean a lot to me personally!
How would you balance the needs of the City as a whole with groups' interests?
Our city of Saratoga is a thriving, successful community. I see myself as the community volunteer of Saratoga. Being part of the council – a part time, not a paid job – continues the volunteering, but takes it to the next level – where you can take your vision, leadership, energy and innovation to benefit the community – make a difference. It gives us the opportunity to give back to our community and make a difference to “Keep Saratoga Great”. That is exactly what I want to do and reason I am running.
I want to continue to make smart choices that works for our citizens, take pride in our city, our homes, our schools ensure that our community is always prosperous and successful!
And it comes from the simple idea of keeping Saratoga great. And how do we do that? The most important issue in Saratoga is the preservation of quality of life that is centered on our families. We are a family oriented minimal service city, and our offerings and challenges lineup with this core value. As long as we go back to this basic premise, with which our city was founded – we will end up making smart choices that will keep Saratoga thriving and successful.
To all my friends, supporters, neighbors, community members/leader - I truly appreciate you being part of this journey. I couldn't do this without you. Thank you for your support! - Rishi Kumar