Two longtime Sugar Land residents who were neck-and-neck May 4 are still vying to replace the outgoing Bridget Yeung for Position 2 on Sugar Land’s city council.
First-time candidates Naushad Kermally and Nabila Mansoor will square off in a June 8 runoff election to replace Yeung, who did not seek re-election because she reached her term limit.
Kermally was the leading vote-getter in the election that end May 4, having been listed on 39.2 percent (1,634) of ballots, while Mansoor received 34.2 percent (1,428) of the votes.
Early voting for the runoff will take place May 28–June 4 at various locations around Fort Bend County. For more information on the election and voting locations, visit fortbendcountytx.gov/.
Here is a rundown of the candidates:
About 23 years ago, Kermally made the decision to move his family to Fort Bend County and eventually Sugar Land, believing it was safe and well-run.
Since moving to the city, Kermally has served on the board for Child Advocates of Fort Bend and various committees around the county, and now serves as an executive at a privately held wireless company in Sugar Land.
He is running for Position 2 in order to use the experiences he’s gained during more than two decades in the city to help it stay on a forward track as it moves into the future.
“I along with my entire family are passionate about our city and have always loved everything about it,” Kermally said. “We have a beautiful city that we can all call home and we truly love living here, working here and also playing here. I want to keep our city vibrant and continue to attract businesses which our 118,000 residents desire.”
Kermally’s top priority is public safety and quality of life for Sugar Land residents, similar to Mansoor.
One of his focuses if elected will be on better ensuring emergency authorities have the necessary tools to serve the Sugar Land community.
“I have always been a strong proponent of safety of our citizens. Our police do a great job of keeping us safe and the stats prove that we have very low crime rates and year-over-year decreases in crime as well,” he said. “I have also supported the men and women in blue by partnering with them for their annual Back the Blue event.”
According to Kermally, mobility and drainage are key issues facing Sugar Land and ones he would address immediately if elected.
“Although the city has a plan for this already I feel we can speed this up and get things moving quickly together for the residents,” he said.
A 17-year resident of Sugar Land, Mansoor is a longtime grassroots advocate, having been a Youth Leadership Organizer for Mi Familia Vota, and served with OCA Greater Houston and Emgage USA.
“I really thought about what is to be an effective city council person, looked at my skill set and realized that there was an overlay there,” she said. “A lot of times with advocacy work, we’re trying to make change by convincing leaders to bring that change around, and when you’re actually in a position of leadership it’s going to be much more effective.”
Mansoor said her goal in running is not so much a complete overhaul, but bringing a different perspective.
“Having come from a nonprofit background, I think I have a different idea on how city council policies impact people on the ground,” she said. “I think that perspective is one that’s critical, and one that might be lacking.”
Among Mansoor’s primary concerns is putting an emphasis on public safety when it comes to the area’s infrastructure.
“We know the Brazos River is being eroded, and those rainfalls are not going to stop coming. I’d like to look into how we can make sure our city is safe, not just next year, but the next 10-20 years,” she said. “Help is going to need to come in our own purview, in our Fort Bend County government and Sugar Land city government. It’s a concern, and I know it’s a concern for my neighbors.”
Another issue that gives her pause is what she says are underutilized retail spaces in the city.
“I want to see my city thrive, see it move forward economically – not stagnate,” she said. “I would like to put more of an emphasis on how we bring that economic development back into Sugar Land and make sure those spaces are filled and thriving, and that we’re a place small businesses want to come.”
Mansoor assured the citizens of Sugar Land that her priority is them and them alone.
“What’s important to them is someone who cares about how Sugar Land is going to move forward into the future and someone who will take responsibility for being the steward of taxpayer money,” she said. “We want to make sure we are intelligent about using those funds, not wasting them, and making sure we allocate it to work well for everyone.”
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