“Lone wolf” candidate aims to address effects of overpopulation
When the state of California was gearing up for the June 5 primary election, Arun Goel had mind on bigger things of the smaller sort.
June 3, he announced at a small gathering he would run for mayor of Dublin and described his vision for the city.
Dublin on the East Bay is one of the fastest-growing cities in California. However, the people who were drawn to the town for its quiet, almost bucolic atmosphere, now balk at the increased traffic and overcrowded schools.
With his announcement, Goel, a Dublin council member, surprised family, friends, community leaders, entrepreneurs and city residents who came in to support him.
“A man with determination,” was how Ritu Nischal, a friend of 20 years described him. “I am certain he will succeed.”
Other described him as a visionary with leadership qualities.
Born in Hayward, California, Goel knows the area.
He told indica he stepped up because the people’s main complaint was not being heard.
“The primary concern that within the community was the excessive housing boom with a lack of infrastructure, [such among them being] school overcrowding and traffic congestion,” Goel said. He added that while other cities faced similar problems Dublin was the most impacted because it was one of California’s fastest-growing cities.
Goel, a civil engineer by training, was chair of the City of Dublin Planning Commission.
“I believe I can offer my unique experience having been an Intelligent Transportation Systems professional, an engineer, and project delivery professional to the advantage of the citizens of Dublin.” He said he has delivered on over $300 billion in infrastructural projects at the local and national levels, and that he has an understanding of government fund management, and of delivery with transparency and accountability.
He said he can help Dublin become a safer, more transparent and engaged community in the next two years, bringing businesses back there, by nurturing economic growth. He spoke of ways to establish a “new” downtown area, all while slowing the housing boom to allow for focus on infrastructure and schools.
Being an outsider Goel said that he was a “lone wolf” who faced many challenges but also has his priorities right.
“I believe that I can definitely be a voice of reason that develops unity with the ability to deliver to a revised vision meeting the objectives of the citizens of Dublin as a whole,” he said.
Goel’s wife, Bhavana, told indica she was surprised by his candidature because he was but recently elected (Jan, 2017) to the city council.
“But I have a feeling, his big potential and big plans will help him go further. I am going to support him all the way,” she said.
Shaina Goel 16, Goel’s eldest daughter said, “It’s a lot of work but we are supporting him. It will be challenging because he will be running against the current mayor. He [Goel] is the person who can bring change. He is very hard working and he won’t back off. You can trust him.”
Jay Vijayan, former CIO of Tesla and founder and CEO of Stealth, a startup, said he is supporting Goel for his strong leadership qualities and willingness to take a problem seriously.
Vijayan, who moved to Dublin six years ago said, “A lot of people liked the city but very soon I saw the city was moving in a different direction, getting more and more crowded. The city had no long-term vision and made a lot of [ineffective] short-term decisions.”
“The schools are overcrowded and people are worried about the kids. Arun was the only person I found talking about the real problems. And this is the leadership all about taking the hard problem and really going after it until it gets resolved,” he said