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Council Priorities FY 2018-2019

Post Date:07/16/2018 5:15 PM

Each year, the Town Council takes the opportunity to share with Portola Valley residents a vision for the year ahead.  This vision is set forth in the Council Priorities Fiscal Year 2018-2019 below:

Town of Portola Valley 2018-19 Council Priorities

1. Housing – With the adoption of the Town’s Housing Strategic Plan, the Council identified three Portola Valley centric housing issues:

a. Those who wish to age in the community they’ve lived in for many years and have few options to do so

b. Those who grew up in Portola Valley have extremely limited options to stay/return

c. Those who work in Portola Valley typically drive long distances and/or pay high rents and have very few options to be part of the community they serve

The Town Council has sponsored two community events to hear from community members on their own sense of the housing challenges in Portola Valley; these meetings have confirmed that residents desire an increase in housing options for seniors, those who grew up here, and the workforce.

Efforts that could be part of the FY 2018-19 priority work plan include:

  • Continued Engagement with residents
    • Second unit workshops and ordinance changes
    • Re-engagement of the Housing on Town-Owned Property Committee to further research potential sites for Town-sponsored housing
    • Continued outreach through the Town’s housing webpage
    • Continued work with Affiliated Housing Partners to examine potential housing options
  • Housing Strategic Plan- part 2
    • Prioritization of initial town efforts
    • Public discussion/feedback of efforts
    • Implementation of selected projects

2. Resident Resiliency – There are two basic truths that are part of living in Portola Valley: volunteer service is a hallmark of the town’s success, and Portola Valley’s relative isolation and rural character presents unique challenges related to safety and emergency preparedness.

Linking these two concepts under the moniker “resident resiliency” empowers the unique Portola Valley ethos of service and independence/interdependence. Town government’s role in this ethos is to provide residents with the maximum number of opportunities to participate while sharing tools and information to ensure that residents feel safe in their own community.

Efforts that could be part of the FY 2018-19 priority work plan include:

  • Emergency preparation outreach work, with special attention to wildfire planning
  • Continued neighborhood watch program support
  • A traffic/pedestrian safety study plan with Bicycle, Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Committee
  • Review the needs of youth
    • Youth Commission
    • Activities/programs at Town Center and Town spaces
    • Coordination of activities between Committees and Library
  • Continued focus on Town Committee support/recruitment and overall community-building efforts
    • Create new opportunities for residents to volunteer and support the Town

3. Town Strategic Planning – Over the past two years, a number of seemingly unrelated activities have been recognized by the Town Council as a starting place to begin longer-range strategic planning efforts, including:

a. Town Center Master Plan Committee

b. Housing-related conversations

c. Five-year capital planning efforts

d. Fiscal software purchases

e. Rodenticide discussions

The Town Council has requested that staff consider a suite of new programs to fully plan for the Town’s future. Many of the efforts considered will span multiple years and will involve significant community engagement and the tools to do so.

Efforts that could be part of the FY 2018-19 priority work plan include:

  • General Plan – Preparation for a General Plan update
  • Open Space – Continuation of Conservation’s planning efforts for all of the Town’s Open Space properties
  • Open Space Acquisition – review of criteria for future purchases
  • Trails – request for a similar effort as Conservation’s Open Space planning
  • Develop a plan to implement Town Center Master Plan recommendations
  • Refine five-year Capital Improvement Plan after the first year of use
  • Discussions on community-wide interests, including parking, dogs, and pedestrian/traffic issues

4. Health of Town Administration – Ensuring that Town government is “working well” is an important aspect of the Town Council’s duties, especially as the Town has the smallest government workforce in San Mateo County. Important components of this work include:

a. Making sure that the Town’s processes work equally and fairly for everyone

b. Transparency to all aspects of government activity

c. Ensuring staff satisfaction

d. Deploying tools to maximize equitability, transparency, and functionality

Efforts that could be part of the FY 2018-19 priority work plan include:

  • Staff retention efforts, including trainings, special projects, and flexible work schedules
  • Staff recruitment efforts for open positions
  • Implement Departmental budgets in the next budget book
  • Wellness program for staff
  • Training for Commissions and Committee, and Committee recruitment
  • Consideration of a funded maintenance budgeting separate from the operating budget, as a complement to the five-year capital improvement program
  • Survey of Town-used software
  • Upgrade Town’s servers and backup systems
  • Review and recommend updates to Town Center Use Policies, Applications, and Insurance Requirements

5. Community Engagement – The Town Council recognizes that Portola Valley thrives when the maximum number of residents have timely information about what is happening and are invited to participate in the decision-making. Sometimes the best way to involve residents is to simply ask them to be part of community events that celebrate the shared interests of the community.

Efforts that could be part of the FY 2018-19 priority work plan include:

  • Ten-Year Anniversary of Town Center (September 8, 2018)
  • Website review and refresh
  • Newsletter/Quarterly Staff Meet & Greet/Coffees at Town Hall
  • Introduction, adoption, and education on the use of Accela app
    • Exploration of two-way engagement opportunities embedded in Accela
  • Social media round 2
    • Deployment of other apps/platforms, including Instagram
  • Committee support for regular events and activities, particularly with the Cultural Arts, Parks and Rec, Nature and Science, Conservation, and Trails Committees, who offer incredible opportunities for residents to celebrate the best of Portola Valley

6. Sustainability – Efforts to preserve, enhance and protect our environment are a core principle in most of what the Town Council considers at a policy level on a regular basis. Portola Valley is a leader in the preservation of open space, encouragement of green-energy deployment, protection of local flora and fauna, and recycling and reuse. The Town will always consider new ways to lead and provide an example to other communities on how to fully embrace sustainable practices.

Efforts that could be part of the FY 2018-19 priority work plan include:

  • Green Infrastructure in Setbacks Ordinance
  • Town Center Micro-grid – Study and Potential Implementation
  • Climate Action Plan 2030 (how to integrate with update to General Plan and Sustainability Element)
  • Leaf Blowers – education, incentives and potential regulations
  • Potential future water conservation
  • Explore electric efficiency opportunities afforded by PCE
  • Smart water meter implementation through the next CPUC rate case 
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