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Mayor John Richards Message to the Community

Post Date:01/24/2018 2:58 PM

I am honored to serve again as your mayor.

My focus for this year will be to continue to maintain the character that Portola Valley was built on since the Town’s incorporation in 1964: a close-knit, cooperative, informal ‘rural’ community. We have always been at our best when we’ve known and worked with our neighbors, found harmony with the natural environment, and striven for a community that embraces its wildlife, views, and openness.

Additionally, I look forward to working with my colleagues on the following initiatives that are currently underway:

  • Housing: Portola Valley residents and workers alike are challenged by the housing market. Our community’s challenges of providing housing opportunities for long-time residents who no longer wish to live in larger homes, of adults who grew up here and can’t afford to live here, and workers who commute long distances to support us are clear. I believe that there are solutions that are entirely compatible with the nature of the town that has been successfully protected for so many years.

  • Town Safety: Continue to explore solutions to crime, fire, earthquake, traffic, and other town-wide safety issues, supported by our excellent volunteer committees and Town staff. We continue to expand our residential neighborhood watch program and work closely with our partner, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, to safeguard our community against crime. The Town’s ALPR camera system is installed and will be operational this week. The Emergency Preparedness Committee and Town staff continue to work diligently to prepare for potential disasters that can impact Portola Valley.

  • Community Engagement: Community volunteer participation is the backbone of our town’s success. Strengthening volunteer opportunities is key to preserving the town’s character, and we will continue to encourage people from all demographics to take an active part in the town’s ongoing evolution. There are volunteering opportunities available on various committees including Bicycles Pedestrian & Traffic Safety, Cultural Arts, Emergency Preparedness, Finance, Historic Resources, Nature & Science, Parks & Recreation, and Public Works. All of the Town’s committees and commissions help ensure the unique quality of life we all enjoy.

And of course, Council will continue to support our fabulous Town staff as they carry out the day-to-day efforts to address planning and construction permits, road quality, budget and financial operations, Town Center maintenance, and the myriad other issues required of them to ensure that the Town remains successful.

I am always available to hear from you on any issue. I can be reached at

Mayor John Richards

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