Change

Our Town Council has been composed mainly of the same members for the last 10 years.   This group has promoted their own agendas rather than representing the interests of Town residents.  The Council has slowly closed the door on active and robust community involvement, ignored the serious concerns of fire safety and evacuation, and empowered Town Staff to make decisions and policies that are inconsistent with our General Plan.   

Consider just a few Council actions:

  • Council voted 1/14/2015 to elevate priority of the Housing Element over all other Elements of the General Plan, including Safety (see 2015 Housing Element, section 2409).

  • Refuses to comply with the CA State mandate to designate very high fire hazard zones (VHFHSZ).

  • Refuses to adopt the fire hazard zone recommendations made by the Woodside Fire Protection District and the Town's own consultant.

  • The buck stops with the five elected members of Town Council. Residents of this community had to find out through the grapevine that their homes were being publicly discussed and considered for possible rezoning to multi-family housing, without any direct outreach or forewarning given to the affected residents (see, e.g. Feb 28, 2022 AHHEC Agenda, p8). Whether intentional or not, it was cruel, hurtful and divisive, and suggests a breathtaking disregard for the residents of this community.

  • Changed the Town's handbook so that the Mayor can now unilaterally "remove one or more members of a commission/committee at any time, for any reason". (see 5/25/2022 TC agenda, p146).

  • Lobbied Stanford to develop dense housing on the Stanford Wedge, determined by expert consultants to be in a VHFHSZ, while ignoring the advice of the Fire Marshall and other professionals.

  • Removed a known fault which crosses the Stanford Wedge from the official Portola Valley Geology Map, apparently without following defined Town procedures.

  • Ignored a joint letter (available here, pg 173) from the chairs of the Wildfire Preparedness, the Geologic Safety, and the Emergency Preparedness Committees urging Town officials to prioritize completion of the Safety Element update before the Housing Element is decided. When one of the committee chairs asked to speak during the public comment period, he was denied, in violation of the Brown Act (California's Sunshine Law). A video summary is available  here.

  • Refusing to release Town financial audits for 2020 and 2021.

It's time for change!

This November, three Town Council seats are up for election.  We encourage all Portola Valley residents to consider running for Council.  Our Future Together's goal is to help promote and publicize the best candidates so we can put Portola Valley back on track. Please contact us if you are considering running!