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Sunnyvale Holds Interviews to Fill Vacant Council Seat

Sunnyvale’s City Council will hold interviews on Jan. 31 and Feb. 2 to decide who will fill the seat vacated by former Council Member Mason Fong.

The City says nine people have applied for the position.

Jennifer Britton is a 37-year resident of Sunnyvale who works as an independent leadership coach and consultant.

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“I have a Master of Public Affairs which entails the study of public policy, public finance, administrative law, economics and budgeting that set me up to work at local, state or federal government and have had the privilege of working in three Ohio and three California cities, including Sunnyvale,” Britton wrote in the application.

Prashanth Channabasavaiah is a 12-year resident of Sunnyvale and is a software engineer by profession.

“Being outsider and immigrant, I bring in new perspective and thoughts that can help city future policy in making,” wrote Channabasavaiah in the application. “I always believe in providing equal opportunities for everyone to thrive and succeed. I have excellent organization and negotiating skills. Creative, flexible thinking and decision-making abilities.”

Sean Dechter is an 11-year resident of Sunnyvale and a third-grade teacher at Vargas Elementary School.

“As a city council member, I would bring multiple attributes to the city: leadership, a strong work ethic, good personality, intelligence, and creativity,” wrote Dechter in the application.

James Gavney is a 6-year resident of Sunnyvale and a patent lawyer.

“I work well with others. I believe I can provide an informed perspective and valuable input on issues that are before the City Council,” wrote Gavney in the application.

James Griffith is a 31-year resident of Sunnyvale, a software engineer by trade and a former council member who also served as mayor and vice mayor of the City.

“With Councilmember Fong’s departure and the Council’s decision to appoint a replacement, it makes sense to appoint someone familiar with the position and the issues – someone who can quickly get up to speed,” wrote Griffith in the application.

Nupoor Kulkarni is a 21-year resident of Sunnyvale who most recently worked as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Health Communications Consultant with Kaiser Permanente.

“I was raised by the City of Sunnyvale and I want to give back to our community as we collectively navigate the COVID pandemic, climate change and economic changes and stand for racial justice. Sunnyvale is a very diverse city and I want to build trust with our communities of color, encourage civic engagement and ensure that our communities of color see themselves represented by the Council and their needs addressed,” wrote Kulkarni in the application.

Richard Lesher is an 8-year resident of Sunnyvale with experience in corporate finance. He currently works as a US Army Reserve Logistics Executive Officer.

“Through the span of my professional career I have had experience in all three sectors covering Government, Non-Profit, and Private/Commercial,” wrote Lesher in his application. “Currently I’m a stay-at-home parent with school age children. The culmination of these experiences provides me a broad base of perspectives from which to draw from.”

Shantha Ranganthan is a 27-year resident of Sunnyvale ad a paralegal.

“I came in as a student and became a citizen and am deeply attached to the diversity of culture, race and ethnicity this country has to offer. Sunnyvale in my opinion is a microcosm of this country where you are surrounded by so much diversity in language, culture and people. As a first-generation immigration and a model minority I think I will be able to connect with many residents who have traveled the same path as me to professional and economic success,” wrote Ranganthan in the application.

Anthony Spitaleri is a 52-year resident of Sunnyvale, a former Captain in the Palo Alto Fire Department and a former Sunnyvale City Council Member.

“Public service is a calling that not everyone wants or has. I have the desire and experience to serve when I can and am able to,” wrote Spitaleri in the application. “Sunnyvale is a city where our families can enjoy life and I want to help to keep Sunnyvale a destination point for families to live, work and raise their children. When Sunnyvale needs help, I feel like it’s my obligation to step forward.”

After all the Sunnyvale City Council interviews all of the candidates, it will make the appointment to fill the seat vacated by Fong at the Tuesday, Feb. 8 council meeting. The appointed council member will serve the remainder of Fong’s term, which ends on Jan. 3, 2023.

Fong’s seat was one of three remaining at-large seats in Sunnyvale. Those seats will switch to district-based seats in the Nov. 8, 2022 general election.

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