Meet the Candidates 2003 - Karen Tavenner

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What do you think are the three biggest problems facing North Bend?

As I watch one of the swollen tributaries of Ribary Creek start to recede I ponder the first question posed to candidates for this editorial. It seems to me that water is the key to all three.

The lack of water rights is why we are in a building moratorium; channel migration is why some residents are not allowed to remodel or rebuild their homes; flood concerns are a major reason we have such restrictive building regulations; and water recreational activities attract new growth and additional traffic.

North Bend is at an important crossroads in its history. How we address water, growth and traffic will impact future generations and leave indelible footprints on the environment. As an elected official, it will be my obligation to the citizens of North Bend to ensure we balance these issues while preserving the qualities we all treasure.

What is your vision for the future development of North Bend?

My vision for the future is of a thriving city with eclectic shops, outdoor dining, building murals and natural beauty. I remember shopping at Hoffman's Furniture and Wiseman Appliance when my husband and I first moved to town, and I would like to see an infusion of new retail businesses return soon. In order to reach that goal we must bridge the gap between property and business owners and seek common ground with the city. We must also break down the barriers of neighborhoods and realize that in any type of disaster we will all be relying on each other.

In the final days of this campaign, I would like to thank the citizens who took the time to talk with me when I knocked on their doors. There are several residents I will never forget because the stories they shared with me are forever etched on my heart. It has been this part of the journey that has made it all worthwhile. I would also like to thank the many friends who called or met with me periodically to make sure I was doing okay when the campaign trail started to heat up. New friendships have been formed during this entire process and for that, I am grateful.

Most importantly, I would like to thank my husband and daughter for allowing me to be absent from our family, especially during this past month. It has been a pleasure to serve as your voice on the City Council for the last five months and I look forward to what the future has to offer the citizens of North Bend.

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