Letter to Our Fellow Petitioners  (9/26/2022)

To our 600 fellow Portola Valley residents who appealed to the Town Council late last year to put public safety and wildfire prevention before new housing development, and were ignored...

It's time for a change in our Town Council and the way our Town management operates. Our Future Together believes Town Council candidates Judith Hasko, Dale Pfau, and Mary Hufty are the best candidates for this change. They are committed to addressing public safety (fire, earthquake, and emergency evacuation) before forging ahead with additional housing that will bring more people, cars, fire risk, and infrastructure strain to our town. They are commited to inclusive governance that once again listens to our local residents and committees. We feel these three candidates will work with all of us to achieve these common goals. With little over one month to the election we need your help in organizing emails, mail-outs, phone calls, and in spreading the word that these candidates will help keep Portola Valley safe and restore resident participation to our town management. Please volunteer by signing up below!

Brenda Munks, daughter of Town Co-founder Bill Lane, endorses Hasko, Pfau, and Hufty (9/27/2022)

On 9/27/2022, Ms. Brenda Munks, daughter of Town Co-founder Bill Lane, posted the following endorsement for Hasko, Pfau and Hufty on PVForum: "Thank you Neil for such a thorough explanation of the challenges facing our town and the need for an outreach effort on the part of the town council to involve residents in exploring alternatives to the state's usurping of our local control over housing decisions. You accurately described this state mandate as the most consequential point in our town's history. The lack of an organized town-wide outreach to determine whether residents want to accept these mandates or join other communities that are pushing back against the state is unacceptable. There have been several calls on PV Forum over the past months for just such an outreach effort but to no avail. I recently attended a meeting in Woodside sponsored by www.ourneighborhoodvoices.com . The mayors of Woodside and Los Altos were there speaking about a state-wide movement to put a constitutional amendment on the state ballot in 2024 that would give cities and towns ultimate control over their own zoning decisions regardless of any current or future laws passed by Sacramento politicians. This measure would allow jurisdictions that are in favor of these state mandates to continue to follow state requirements. Cities and towns that prefer to determine their own housing plans could do so without fear of draconian state penalties or takeovers. I recall many discussions with my Dad, Bill Lane, regarding his involvement in the incorporation of Portola Valley. He was very clear that he and the other founders were driven exclusively by the desire to have control over local zoning decisions. They didn't feel that the County of San Mateo understood or appreciated the concerns or desires of Portola Valley residents and they felt that those decisions should be made by the people who lived here. I have no doubt that he would be horrified at the notion of Sacramento politicians dictating to us how our community should change in such a dramatic way. I'm also sure that he would, in his very diplomatic fashion, encourage the town council to stand up to the state and fight to retain local control over zoning/housing decisions. It is a false choice to suggest that if you oppose these state mandates that you are against affordable housing. The housing crisis in California was decades in the making and much of it was the result of bad decisions coming out of Sacramento. It is as much an affordability problem as it is a supply issue. For the legislature to take the approach that every city and town has to "do their part" is taking the easy way out. Instead of rolling up their sleeves and addressing the issues that caused the problem in the first place and spending the money to build true affordable housing near jobs and transit, they are taking the "check-the-box" approach and making it everyone else's problem. This upcoming council election is a turning point for our town. We can dutifully accept these state mandates and build high-density housing on existing open space, turn Alpine Road into a high-traffic corridor among other negative impacts or we can fight to retain those types of monumental decisions for ourselves. If the majority of residents want that type of development in our town that should be our decision to make not faceless Sacramento politicians who have never stepped foot in Portola Valley. Neil listed several questions that the candidates can answer in order to clarify where they stand on this important issue. I've done my research and there are only three candidates that I feel will fight on behalf of our resident to resist this state overreach. I'll be voting for Dale Pfau, Mary Hufty and Judith Hasko."

 

Hughes' Record (10/9/2022)

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

Safety Element Fiasco (10/10/2022)

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DID YOU KNOW that in the current update of the Town’s Safety Element of the General Plan:

Town Council Misrepresents PV's Wildfire Hazard (10/11/2022)
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DID YOU KNOW that in 2022 Portola Valley’s current Town Council, under the direction of Hughes,...

Another Donut? (10/22/2022)

DID YOU KNOW that under Hughes’ leadership, the Town proposed to rezone many homes to high density development without discussing it with any of the longtime homeowners or their neighbors? Shortly after this proposal, Mayor Hughes initiated one of his “donut meetings” to listen to and discuss residents’ general concerns. This meeting was attended by about 15 residents. The day after this meeting, the residents who were in attendance were shocked to read a report in the Almanac specifically naming one resident at the meeting as having threatened Hughes. It was reported that the resident “threatened Hughes by saying “that if the town were to rezone his property, and the housing element isn’t to his liking, he and his neighbors intend to “bankrupt” the town with lawsuits.” Hughes then commented in the same article that “It’s important for the community as a whole to understand the explicit threat I got yesterday.” (Almanac News posted 3/21/2022) Residents who were at this meeting challenged this report maintaining that there were no “threats” made. A resident did comment that the proposed rezoning of homes could cause lawsuits to be brought against the town. A different resident commented that such lawsuits could bankrupt the town. These comments were not threats to Hughes. It was a cordial conversation between concerned citizens and their Mayor. Why does Hughes feel that he must vilify and smear anyone who disagrees with his viewpoint? Is this how you expect your mayor to listen to and discuss your concerns?