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Debunking Hughes

On his campaign website Craig Hughes makes a number of inaccurate and misleading statements, and it is instructive to consider just a few:

Hughes: “The main issue that Portola Valley faces in 2022 is not greatly different from 1964 when it was founded...”

Really? The only issue in 1964 was local control. The main issues today are local control and safety. Today’s wildfire danger has dramatically increased and has been inadequately addressed by Hughes.

Hughes: “For the last few years..."

1. "I have worked hard on the council to balance growth with sustainability."

Really?  How will adding high density housing be sustainable in a town where we cannot currently keep our power, phone and internet services working?  Adding 253 more housing units could easily add another 500 residents - a 12% increase in population.  How will our inadequate infrastructure provide for this population explosion?

2. "I have worked hard on the council to comply with California law but preserve what makes Portola Valley special.”

Really?  We believe that our Town should join other California towns to challenge the recent laws and rulings such as SB9, SB10 and the State housing allocation regulation (RHNA).  Hughes refuses to join in this challenge.

3. “I have worked hard on the council to maintain property rights, while improving fire safety.”
Really?  How does proposing to rezone numerous longtime residences in Portola Valley to high density housing (20+ per acre) maintain property rights or improve fire safety?   Hughes refused to consider the Fire Safety Petition filed by over 600 residents!
4. “I have worked hard on the council to handle increasing demands for services while keeping budgets balanced."
Really?  On Hughes’ watch, the Town’s budget has not been audited for three years so we don’t know if the budget is being balanced and how our money is being spent.
5. “[I] Support the work of our town volunteers.“
Really?  Hughes has consistently displayed a complete disregard, disrespect and dismissal of the recommendations from town volunteers and residents. As an example, a highly qualified resident and research scientist volunteered for an open position on the Wildfire Preparedness Committee and was denied by Hughes with no explanation.  The rejection occurred shortly after a public exchange of opposing views between the resident and Hughes on the importance of building separation for increasing structure survival in a wildfire. Have we reached a point where  residents wanting to serve and give back to the community must be in agreement with Hughes on policy matters as a prerequisite for service on town committees?
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