Welcome Aboard, Karen!

Tonight the Council interviewed six people who had applied for the interim seat created by Andy Klein’s resignation. After interviewing all the candidates the Council unanimously voted to appoint Karen Clapper.

I was impressed with how articulate Karen was in presenting her candidacy, and with the thoroughness with which she had considered both the appointment and the consequences of her being chosen. She even came prepared with a plan for helping the Planning Commission work through what will be an immediate 60% turnover (two other commissioners recently finished their terms, with the Council appointing two new individuals to replace them).

One statement Karen made resonated particularly strongly with me. In response to a question about how to foster/accelerate economic development in San Carlos while still preserving the community she spoke about the need to focus more on action and less on advising/studying. In my private sector experience virtually every corporate mission statement I ever saw or helped write included the statement that “we have a bias for action”. Any organization can benefit from that kind of forward-oriented energy, and the City is no exception.

All the candidates (see the following list) were qualified and devoted residents who want to help make our community a better place to live, learn work and play. As I mentioned after the interviews were over, I commend each and every one of them for putting their hat in the ring. It’s not an easy thing to do, so if you see them around town take a moment to thank them.

I wish Karen the best of luck in joining us, and I look forward to both working with her and getting to know her better.


  • John Hoffman
  • Inge Tiegel-Doherty
  • Farrokh Albuyeh
  • Karen Clapper
  • Ricardo Garcia-Pacheco
  • Steven San Filippo

Sally Mitchell, who was on the interview list published earlier by the City, withdrew her name today, citing the potential for an appearance of a conflict of interest as regards her renting office space from Aaronsen, Dickerson, Cohn and Lanzone, the law firm which represents the City.

Karen is currently the chair of the Planning Commission. Her appointment will create a vacancy on the Commission which the Council will have to fill. Anyone interested in serving on the Planning Commission should get an application from the City and submit it. If you have any questions about what the Commission does and what serving on it entails I’d be happy to get together with you to talk.

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