Morrisville, NC – This is an installment in our Candidate 2019 series, in which candidates get to respond in their own words to the same three questions.
We publish the responses in the order we receive them. This questionnaire is submitted by Satish Garimella, running for Morrisville Town Council in an At-Large District.
Why are you running?
I have two motivations:
First, it is a privilege to serve the people of Morrisville on the Town Council. Community is important to me. Addressing the problems and needs of individual residents and their families inspires me, and I recognize the value and positives I contribute. As well, there is nothing better than the feeling of making a difference in people’s lives when we cut the opening-day ribbon on a complex project that required months and years of focused and committed work. It is in that moment that you realize the importance of public service in cultivating and strengthening the bonds of community that so are vital to Morrisville’s residents.
Second, my training, experience, and skills in engineering and executive leadership make me well-suited to service on the council. I have built strong relationships with both public and private sector leaders in Morrisville and beyond. These qualities help explain our success over the past four years. Rather than consuming Cary Citizen’s column inches with a list of those results, the specifics can be found at Satishformorrisville.com.
What are your top three priorities and how will you accomplish them?
1. Transportation and Traffic Alleviation. For nearly two decades, Morrisville and western Wake County have grown at roughly 10% per year, leading to many traffic issues. Traffic alleviation was first among my campaign promises four years ago. Since then, we’ve secured more than $300 million in road construction and improvement projects, such that, today, most of Morrisville’s traffic congestion problems are attributable to those construction efforts. As a trained engineer, I’ve been closely involved with the planning and timing of these initiatives, seeking the best balance between rapidly addressing a problem that couldn’t be ignored and mitigating the degree and duration of construction-related gridlock. While our congestion problems should soon improve (as current projects are finished), close coordination and timing management will remain a priority for a number of remaining projects. Importantly, this includes traffic-flow improvements on Highway 54, which will improve access to northern Morrisville, I-40, and RDU.
2. Town Infrastructure Investment. As we’ve focused on other, more-pressing challenges over the past four years, we’ve modestly fallen behind in other areas. For example, we need to invest in two additional fire stations to ensure adequate coverage for our expanding population (to be located in the Park West area, and the second, on land donated by RTP near Cisco’s campus). The expansion of Highway 54 will also require the relocation of Fire Station 2, and we need to add an additional EMT bay to enhance emergency response capabilities.
Moreover, transportation improvements and expanded Parks and Recreation offerings (including greenways) increases the need for a public works building, supplying maintenance support for Morrisville’s roads and our Parks and Recreation equipment. Existing town property at International and Aviation should suffice, but the design and construction details are important considerations for members of the Town Council.
Although some may think of K12 education as falling outside of the Town’s purview, schools are vitally important to this community, and I will continue to be a strong advocate for expanded K12 offerings in Morrisville. As well, there are a number of intra-community efforts related to sidewalks and intersections that, while relatively small in scope, are important to sustaining the culture and quality of life in Morrisville.
3. Parks and Recreation. Morrisville has addressed parks and recreation over the past four years – having built and completed the Church Street/Cricket Park, Northwest Park, and an assortment greenways. We have, however, prioritized more strongly on transportation and several other issues and initiatives, such that we’ve delayed building one additional park, in order to address parking issues at the Church Street Park, and expanding certain recreation offerings. Each is important to sustaining Morrisville’s quality of life as our population has expanded. Payment in-lieu funds and our larger tax base should suffice to cover the costs, but sound and prudent decisions will be important for the Town Council, and I look forward to closely supporting these efforts.
Give us a brief bio and tell us about your relevant experience
The son of two University of Mumbai professors, I earned my undergraduate degree in Electronics Engineering from Mumbai University, India and, later, earned a Masters in Computer Science from University of Tulsa, OK . Today, I am an executive leader in the telecommunications industry, overseeing a number of tech-focused teams located on five continents and in ten time zones around the world. While my public service efforts originated within the leadership of my faith community, my interest in town policies truly began as a Director on my community’s HOA Board – rising to the position of President of that board. I was elected to Morrisville’s Town Council four years ago, with additional duties representing our town on the Wake County Fire Commission, the Board of Directors for The Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, The North Carolina Education and Workforce Innovation Commission and the Wake County’s Complete Count Committee (CCC) for 2020 Census effort.
Name as it will appear on the ballot: Satish Garimella
Facebook: Satish For Morrisville
Read more in the Candidate 2019 series.