Get to know Karen and the path ahead.

Get to know Karen and
the path ahead.


I’m prepared to represent the ratepayers of Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach on the MPWMD board during this critical decision-making period.

In my 15 years as a public advocate attorney for the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), I fought for the ratepayers of investor-owned utilities like Cal Am. In 2010 I became Chief Counsel of the CPUC’s independent Office of Ratepayer Advocates (ORA).

In the role of Chief Counsel, I managed the attorneys that advocated on behalf of ratepayers in a large number of energy and water utilities cases, including the San Clemente Dam project on the Monterey Peninsula.

Around the same time a PG&E gas pipeline in San Bruno exploded, killing eight people. For the next four years, I personally represented ORA in complex proceedings to hold PG&E accountable for its safety violations.

Award-winning Monterey One Water recycling plant in Marina.

Award-winning Monterey One Water recycling plant now in operation in Marina.


1. November 2018 – Measure J passed requiring the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (MPWMD) to determine if a Cal Am buyout is feasible and if so to proceed

2. November 2019 – MPWMD consultants determined buyout is feasible

3. Now – Certifying Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for buyout – Once completed, Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) must approve MPWMD’s right to buy out Cal Am and make minor boundary changes

4. MPWMD prepares formal appraisal

5. MPWMD makes Cal Am an initial offer

6. If Cal Am refuses to sell, MPWMD will begin Eminent Domain process by passing a Resolution of Necessity, which requires a 5 vote majority by the Board

7. MPWMD files a formal condemnation lawsuit, beginning the Eminent Domain process

Bench Trial

  •  Judge will determine whether a Cal Am buyout is in the public interest and is a public necessity

Jury Trial

  •  Jury will determine cost to buy Cal Am’s local system

8. If the cost is acceptable, MPWMD buys Cal Am’s local system and converts it to public ownership / management