"She's adeptly proven herself during the past 12 years on both the council and the planning commission. She knows what she's talking about and has been unafraid to speak out against the majority, without being offensive. Karen is direct, straightforward and does not gloss things over."
- Diana Diamond, columnist, Palo Alto Daily News, October 1 edition
Development and Traffic
Issues of traffic and parking, building design and scale, protecting our retail and environmental assets, and contending with state housing mandates have reached critical points and need to be addressed in a strategic and timely manner.
The current Comprehensive Plan update (Our Palo Alto) should provide a strategic plan to manage change in a fair and balanced way across our city. It should provide a vision for our future rather than allowing piecemeal decisions that cumulatively impact congestion, parking, density, air quality, and noise. It is imperative that the residents of Palo Alto are listened to and your concerns addressed in this process.
As a Council Member and previously on the Planning & Transportation Commission, I have fought for slowing the rate of growth and preventing development impacts. I will continue to advocate for only reasonable development and for protecting our environment.
Dollars and Sense
Serving on the Council Finance Committee this year, I successfully reduced staffing increases that would have worsened our structural budget deficit. I advocated that impact fees paid by commercial development must be adequate so that residents are not unfairly paying for costs associated with office growth. I also successfully pushed for an audit to determine whether parking in lieu fees and parking assessments are being correctly applied, collected and tracked.
The Public Trust
One of my first acts as a Council member was to initiate a Council directive for early release of staff reports on large projects, continuance of any project with late submittal of information, and discouraging private Council member meetings with interested parties prior to final Architectural Review Board and Planning Commission recommendations. The public records regarding 27 University demonstrate my criticisms about the poor public process used on that project. Going forward I will continue to advocate for open process and meaningful engagement with the public.
There's much at stake in this election. The voices of the people of Palo Alto have recently had impacts on our City. That's the way it should be. I will continue to listen, continue to lead, and continue to work on behalf of the people who live, work, raise families, pay taxes, and enjoy the qualities that make living here in Palo Alto so desirable.
Thank you for your support.