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Message from the Mayor - March 24

Post Date:03/24/2020 8:00 PM

Dear friends and neighbors,


Tomorrow evening, the Council will be meeting online at 7:00. This is a public meeting, and details on joining will be available on the Town web site. We appreciate your patience as we figure out how to hold virtual meetings with your participation.


As we continue to shelter in place, I want to revisit a few questions and concerns that keep coming up in different forms, with regard to what “shelter in place” means:


1.          Talking with the County and other elected officials, beaches and parks in the County are being overwhelmed with visitors, making effective social distancing nearly impossible. Please get outdoors, but do so as “locally” as possible. Many of us here in Portola Valley can have a nice walk just outside our front doors. Try to minimize driving to get outdoors; in general, if you have to drive to a spot, try to find a hike or site you can walk to instead.


2.          Please don’t socialize up close with people outside of your household. I know most of us are not infected, but gathering in groups, even outdoors, defeats the purpose of sheltering in place


3.          Contractors and other workers coming into houses creates an unnecessary danger to both the contractor/worker and the resident. Construction-related activities, except for life/safety issues, are temporarily suspended, and the County’s Order has limited all but essential work, which does not currently include gardeners, nannies and other such workers.  Please don’t bring non-essential workers into your home right now.


4.          Some residents, often children, are moving between households (e.g. going to grandparents’ house, other family, or even between multiple family properties). While some of these movements are necessary, please use your best judgment about how often you move between properties, keeping in mind the importance of reducing the spread of the virus.


5.          Staff heard from the executive director at the Sequoias today, and we understand that there has been an increase in parking at their lot, apparently by people hiking at Windy Hill and other trails. This illegal parking is making it difficult for Sequoias staff to park. Please do not park at the Sequoias to access Windy Hill or any other town trail.


I know there’s a lot to consider here. Again, our top priority right now is to slow the spread of infections to spare our health care system from a deluge of patients. Please be safe and thoughtful about your interactions with others.


Emails like this are difficult to write, as I know that we’re asking a lot from all of you. Please understand that I would not be writing unless I thought it was absolutely necessary to stay focused on our collective top priority. 


Best regards,


Jeff Aalfs, Mayor

Town of Portola Valley