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Karen Waite

Karen Waite
Karen Waite - Candidate for Mayor of Solvang

Candidate for Mayor of Solvang

Twitter: @KarenMWaite1
Other: Instagram: SYVGAL
Why are you running for office?: I believe the position of Mayor should not be uncontested. The residents of Solvang deserve to have a choice to elect a qualified candidate. I am that candidate. The primary role of a mayor is to lead a city council toward establishing and maintaining long-term goals for the City. My three years on Solvang City Council have shown me that we, citizens of Solvang, must focus on enhancing and upgrading our aging infrastructure to ensure that we have reliable resources for our homes and businesses for years to come. I will work to create community through safer pedestrian streets, reduced traffic congestion, and trails to accommodate the growing number of tourists, cyclists and equestrians. I will strive to build strategic partnerships with our neighboring communities to keep city government more affordable and allow us to improve our city services. Finally, I will promote transparency and hold the city financially accountable for your public funds.
What makes you qualified for the job?: Experience in local and county government. I am a 25-year resident of the Santa Ynez Valley. I am a full-time business woman, senior compliance analyst, managing compliance auditor, current 3-year city council member, active community volunteer, former board member on the Solvang Board of Architectural Review, former trustee and board president for ID#1, Santa Ynez River Valley Groundwater Basin, Eastern Management Area Groundwater Sustainability Agency Committee, an Elk and a Rotarian., BA Scripps College, Claremont, CA 1986, securities licensed 7,9,10,24,31,63,65,99 see less
What are your two main priorities if you win?: Prioritize updating a much-needed City General Plan and to proceed with overdue capital improvement projects to include Solvang's wastewater treatment plant, Traffic flow studies, cycling and equestrian Trials.

Work to re-open Solvang safely during the current COVID-19 pandemic increasing the footprints of our local businesses which currently allow them to thrive. Tourism is what drives this city and we must have thriving businesses to support tourism.
How will you interact with other governments?: I am currently the Solvang representative for the Santa Ynez River Valley Groundwater Basin, Eastern Management Area Groundwater Sustainability Agency Committee and would seek to continue as a Solvang representative for the Santa Barbara County Agency of Government's in order to give Solvang a vote when decisions are made that could affect our town.
What are your plans to help overcome COVID-19?: I have worked to reopen Solvang safely during the current COVID-19 pandemic by permitting the businesses to increase footprints into the open areas of Copenhagen Drive and other areas on the streets of Solvang, allowing them to continue to operate.
Which two issues are most important to you?: Increasing our revenue stream by supporting business diversity.

Marketing for Tourism as Tourism is what makes our town thrive, while maintaining its Old World Charm.
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