Thank you for Nick Welsh’s insightful tribute to Bob Klausner. Bob could engage Paul Relis in those deep conversations at the Community Environmental Council because CEC was then in the Lobero Building, and Bob was president of Citizens Planning Association, 60 feet away, across the driveway. Paul was ably assisted by Bob and Lutie Fitzgerald. Klausner, by June Sochel, Michael Feeney, Mary Looker, intern Jackie Campbell, et al., with whom he waged his great water, energy development, growth management battles.
Bob shared Relis’s “Think globally, act locally” philosophy and brought ideas here from all over the world. Some flew, some crashed, many just needed more time. Bob believed we should live in the present, respect the past’s lessons, plan for a better future, then prioritize which was which. CPA members couldn’t always adjust to the velocity at which Bob raced, and he sometimes grew frustrated over how long it took to convince them.
“Jobs/housing balance” was his phrase for where the private sector, evolving community needs, and government authority met. Workforce housing, which most people in diverse communities and economies could locally afford, became his passion. Persuading chambers, Realtors, electeds, agencies, preservationists proved harder.
As Bob and his wife, Betty, prepared their Bay Area move, Bob was fascinated that Steve Ainsley, Jon Clark, et al., reconsidered “regional jobs/housing balance” via the Economic Community Project. It triggered lively debate, but failed to gain traction. Perhaps some issues are too complex and parochial for even our best and brightest to prevail. RIP, Bob.