NRI Pulse

City News

Q&A: Sunnie Agarwal on candidacy for Commissioner of Forsyth and vision for the county

BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
(With inputs from Veena Rao)

A testament to the rising political aspirations of the diaspora and the expanding diversity across the highest levels of public service, Sunnie (Sudhir) K. Agarwal has announced his candidacy for County Commissioner of District #5 in Forsyth County, GA.

In his interview with NRI Pulse, Agarwal spoke about his motivation to run, his priorities for the county, the importance of getting involved, and what sets him apart from his opponent.

Sunnie, also known as Sudhir, works as a Senior Executive in a top IT company. He holds a BTech degree from IIT (Banaras Hindu University), Varanasi, and an MBA in Finance and Marketing from IIM. Sudhir served as the President of the Asian Pacific American Council of Georgia (APAC) for a two-year term from 2022 to 2023. He was recognized by the Georgia Asian Times (GAT) in its annual list of Most Influential Asian Americans in Georgia in 2016 and 2023 for his community work. Sudhir is actively involved with various social and professional organizations in Atlanta. He served as the Chapter President of the IIT Alumni Association of Atlanta and the Indian Professionals Network. Sudhir, along with his wife Swati, initiated the ‘SprinklingSmiles’ campaign, through which they have donated more than 200,000 meals, including packaged foods, PPEs, and groceries, to the needy in the US and India.

WATCH: INTERVIEW WITH SUNNIE K. AGARWAL

“People tend to avoid participating in politics and, in turn, in elections. I say, if you are not at the table, you are on the menu. I urge everyone to register to vote and to participate in both primary and general elections. Each vote counts, and you should have a say in who is going to make decisions on your behalf,” Agarwal emphasized.

“Why did you choose to run for office?

After years of serving my community in various capacities, I realized that holding a position of authority would allow me to make a more significant impact. When my friends told me that my current opponent, who is a big supporter of term limits and has always advocated for two terms, would not be contesting, I saw an opportunity to step up and represent the interests of our district effectively. But now, she has changed her mind and is planning to run for a third term.

How do you think your background helps to serve as Commissioner?

My educational background from prestigious institutions in India, coupled with my extensive corporate experience, uniquely qualifies me to design effective policies and manage budgets for our county. Additionally, my ability to connect with people and my commitment to serving the community will be invaluable in this role.

How has your journey been since you announced your candidacy?

Since announcing my candidacy, I’ve had the privilege of meeting many supportive individuals who believe in my vision for the county. While there have been challenges and attempts to dissuade me from running, I’ve remained steadfast in my commitment to representing the constituents who deserve a voice in their governance.

What part of county government would receive priority if you were elected?

Infrastructure is a pressing concern for our county, particularly the congestion on our roads due to rapid growth. Ensuring adequate infrastructure development will be my top priority, followed closely by responsible budget allocation that reflects the needs and preferences of our community.

How would you propose the $114 million surplus taxpayer money be utilized?

As a firm believer in community input, I would advocate for a survey to gauge the preferences of residents on how to utilize the surplus funds. Prioritizing infrastructure improvements, expanding recreational facilities, and addressing critical community needs would be my focus, ensuring taxpayer money is used wisely and transparently.

What are the challenges facing Forsyth County and how do you plan to address them?

Infrastructure deficiencies, especially road congestion, pose a significant challenge. My approach would involve careful analysis of the impact of new construction on existing infrastructure, prioritizing investments to maintain the quality of life that attracted residents to Forsyth County in the first place.

Would citizens get more effective services at a better rate if more functions of the county were accomplished by contracting with private providers?

While certain functions are outsourced for efficiency, essential county administrative services should remain in-house to ensure accountability and continuity. It’s not just about cost-effectiveness but also about maintaining trust and familiarity with the services provided.

What outreach efforts or initiatives do you have in mind to ensure that the voice of the Indian American community is heard?

While I’ll represent all constituents equally, I recognize the importance of ensuring the Indian American community’s voice is heard. Establishing regular forums like ‘Breakfast with the Commissioner’ will provide an opportunity for dialogue and engagement, ensuring diverse perspectives shape county decisions.

What sets you apart from your opponent and why should people vote for you instead?

Transparency, responsible budgeting, and a commitment to term limits define my platform. I believe in empowering residents to have a say in how their tax dollars are spent, prioritizing community needs over unnecessary expenditures. My track record of integrity and accountability sets me apart, ensuring I’ll deliver on my promises to serve the best interests of Forsyth County residents.

Any message for the constituents?

If you are eligible to vote, please register if you have not. Please go and vote and make your voice heard. I always say, “If you are not at the table, You are on the Menu.”

STEPS TO VOTE:

  1. Register to vote. More info on the Forsyth County webpage.
  2. Find your voting place. More info on the Forsyth County website.
  3. Remember the dates. More info on the Forsyth County webpage.

Related posts

Conversation with Johns Creek City Council candidate Bob Erramilli

Veena

Pujari Desi Boisakhi Mela showcases Bengali culture and cuisine

Veena

Johns Creek reopening select parks and facilities on May 15

Veena

1 comment

Bill Blalock April 3, 2024 at 8:21 pm

I support your ideas for transparency, term-limits, more responsible budgeting and regular forums. I have lived in Fulton, Delakb and Gwinnett so I know what can result from uncontrolled building and spending.

Reply

Leave a Comment