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LWVLeague of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Santa Clara County, CA November 8, 2005 Election
Smart Voter

Karen Holman
Answers Questions

Candidate for
Council Member; City of Palo Alto


Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

Questions & Answers

1. What specific steps would you support to balance the financial needs of the city with a changing regional business climate and potential effects on the quality of life in the area?

I support our designated neighborhood centers as they provide critical local services to Palo Altans, increasing our ability to retain sales tax dollars locally and to lessen the need for lengthy car trips. We are losing dollars to surrounding communities because we do not have local, diverse shopping opportunities here.

To be more successful in attracting new business, Palo Alto needs to improve its occupancy, remodeling, and event permit application process that now can take months longer than in other cities. I recommend an ombudsman be used to expedite the process for applicants and to identify permanent improvements.

I support increasing our hotel transit occupancy tax (TOT) to parity with other communities and a business registry that would facilitate the ability to identify complementary businesses, enhancing our shopping districts.

2. What are your priorities with regard to the balance of neighborhood issues and the broader needs of all Palo Alto?

Balancing neighborhood concerns with the broader needs of Palo Alto is addressed in the City's visionary document, the Comprehensive Plan. It considers compatibility of uses, transition in scale of development, and environmental impacts. These are requisite for the City to enforce. Some recent project proposals that have generated neighborhood opposition and that have failed have also been inconsistent with our Plan. My basis for balancing the needs of neighborhood and community at large are based on consistency with our Comprehensive Plan, our zoning rules and environmental impacts that also govern development.

3. Where do you stand on the goal of retaining socio-economic diversity in Palo Alto, and if you support that goal, what steps would you take to achieve it?

Healthy economies and social acceptance are dependent upon a diverse population. As a member of the Planning & Transportation Commission, I have supported the retention of small-unit cottage courts and opposed second floors on substandard lots. While I appreciate the needs of growing families, I believe the larger community need is the smaller, more affordable housing units.

I've proposed affordable housing overlays in appropriate locations, to eliminate the need for lengthy, expensive processes to create appropriate exceptions for such housing.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League. 

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: September 12, 2005 19:42
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