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Orange County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Karen Haluza

Candidate for
Council Member; City of Fullerton

This information is provided by the candidate

Meet Karen

Karen's Experience with Land Use and Planning Issues

There is no more challenging time in our city's history than today when it comes to making decisions about our future. In my career as a professional planner I have dealt with many complex land use issues, faced community controversy, and weathered changing economic cycles. I have shepherded scores of projects, worked to bring about community consensus and tackled everything from hillside development to historic preservation to the effects of rapid urbanization. I understand the business and development community and have successfully worked to ensure that development projects not only achieve the developer's goals, but also provided benefit to the community.

My guiding principal has always been to include those people in the decision-making process who will be most affected by the decision. I believe strongly in the ability of good land use planning to make great communities. My experience in this area is unparalled. I will use this experience to guarantee that the citizens of Fullerton are not left with the results of bad land use decisions for decades to come.

Karen's Experience with Local Government Management

A municipal corporation, like the City of Fullerton, is a complex organization and managing it professionally ensures that we will continue to have access to the excellent city services that make Fullerton such a great place to live. With a Masters Degree in Public Administration from California State University Fullerton and extensive experience in municipal management, I am uniquely qualified to understand the complex issues facing the city.

Over the years in my role as both a community activist and a municipal staffer I have faced many difficult issues and successfully brainstormed creative solutions to these issues. I have administered multi-million dollar budgets, managed dozens of municipal employees, reviewed and approved hundreds of staff reports, participated in employee bargaining unit negotiations and conducted countless public meetings. This experience is vital for good decision-making. I have that experience.

Karen's Experience with Community Coalition Building

My passion for public service doesn't stop with my professional life. In 1997 I led a grass-roots effort that resulted in the creation of the Jacaranda-Malvern Neighborhood Preservation Zone. This effort required me to lead a team of volunteers that brought the neighborhood together in support of the re-zone with very little opposition and resulted in a process that was described by then-City manager Jim Armstrong as one of the most positive he had ever experienced.

I will continue to bring this passion for positive community involvement to my work on the Fullerton City Council.

Karen's Professional Experience

I began my career in local government almost 20 years ago as an intern with the City of La Mirada where I worked on grant funding for the Human Services Department and public relations for the Public Information Office. I next served as an Administrative Aide with the City of La Habra Heights where I did everything from getting the City Manager's car washed to managing contracts for slurry sealing. Working for this small, rural city, with a full-time staff of eight, I learned every aspect of what it takes to run a city.

My next position was with the City of Brea as an Analyst. I spent the next 13 years of my career in Brea taking progressively more responsible positions that finally resulted in my being appointed to the position of Senior Planner in the Development Services Department. During my tenure with Brea I was part of the dynamic team that implemented that community's vision for its downtown resulting in the award-winning Birch Street Promenade.

In 2004 I began serving as the Planning Manager for the City of Santa Ana where I manage the daily operations of the Planning Division, supervise a staff of over 20 professional planners and serve as the lead staff liaison to the Planning Commission and Historic Resources Commission.

I will use this wealth of experience to bring a new sense of professionalism to the Fullerton City Council.

Karen's Academic Experience

I am also an educator. I have been a frequent guest lecturer at California State University Fullerton, have participated in numerous conferences and professional seminars to provide training to fellow Planners, and for the last two years have taught Urban Planning Principles at California State University Fullerton as a member of the Geography Department part-time faculty.

I love sharing my knowledge and experience with others. I will bring this ability to build a deeper understanding of land use and government to my role as a member of the Fullerton City Council.

Karen's Family

My husband Mike and I moved to Fullerton as newlyweds 17 years ago. Our two sons attend our neighborhood public school.

Karen's Affiliations

American Institute of Certified Planners Orange County Chapter of the American Planning Association - Board of Directors Fullerton Chamber of Commerce Congress For New Urbanism Urban Land Institute U.S. Green Building Council - Orange County Chapter The Trust for Public Land League of Women Voters City of Fullerton Bicycle Users Subcommittee - Past Chairman City of Fullerton Transportation Center Study Working Group Fullerton Heritage - Past Vice President Fullerton Community Nursery School - Alumni Cub Scout Pack 1223 Past Den Leader and Outings Coordinator

Karen's Awards and Honors

Dean's Honor List - University of California, Irvine Phi Beta Kappa Municipal Management Association of Southern California - Ernie Mariner Award For Excellence in Public Service Fullerton Heritage - Preservationist of the Year and "Golden Hammer" Winner Orange County Section and California Chapter of the American Planning Association Award of Excellence for Comprehensive Planning for the Brea General Plan National Association of Homebuilders Gold Nugget Award for the Tomlinson Park Project SCAG Compass Blueprint Award for the Santiago Lofts Project Rookie of the Year 1988 Race Across America (RAAM) Transcontinental Bicycle Race

Karen's Education

B.A. in Social Ecology - University of California, Irvine B.A. in Psychology - University of California, Irvine Masters in Public Administration - California State University, Fullerton Secondary Teaching Credential - California State University, Fullerton Certificate in Geographic Information Systems - California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: September 26, 2008 00:10
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