NOVI, Mich. (Diya TV) — In a move that concluded weeks of controversy, Novi City Council displayed unity by unanimously selecting Priya Gurumurthy to fill the seat left vacant by Justin Fischer’s election as mayor in November. Gurumurthy, 45, expressed her gratitude and honor for the appointment, emphasizing her commitment to giving back to the community.

Gurumurthy, a global IT director for Yanfeng International, moved to the U.S. from India in 2000, pursuing a master’s degree in computer science at the University of Texas at Dallas. With a background in serving on boards for the Tulip Time Festival and Herrick District Library Board in Holland, Michigan, she has been an active member of the Novi community since 2019.

Although Gurumurthy did not campaign ahead of the November election due to her time in India, she was one of more than a dozen candidates interviewed for the council position. Notably, she was not the candidate who campaigned and received 5,614 votes in the November election; that was Sujata Raman, the fourth-highest vote-getter who narrowly missed securing a seat.

Following the appointment, Raman expressed her disappointment during public comment, stating she was not a sore loser but felt the council had “ignored and invalidated” the voices of thousands of voters.

Council members acknowledged the well-qualified pool of candidates and expressed gratitude for their interest. Mayor Pro-Tem Laura Casey and council members Fischer and David Staudt emphasized the importance of selecting someone with experience serving on boards and commissions. Casey specifically sought an individual who could “hit the ground running.”

While some council members and residents believed Raman should have been appointed immediately after the November election, the council opted for an application process and candidate interviews.

Gurumurthy, now officially appointed to the City Council, outlined her goals, including optimizing road closures to reduce impacts on residents, expanding affordable housing, creating a senior-friendly community, fostering environmental leadership and climate sustainability, and promoting girls in STEM.

“I want to put my full energy in, learn, do a deep dive, and give my best,” Gurumurthy stated. “I want to work together to move our city to the next level with our goals…Together, we can work and make things happen.”