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Message from the Mayor May 20

Post Date:05/20/2020 5:58 PM

Dear Friends and Neighbors,


As you’re probably reading, cities and counties throughout the Country are working to slowly re-open various businesses and services. Here in Portola Valley, staff is working on plans to begin providing our Town services, with safety as our top priority. I want to take a minute to express my appreciation for all of the work our Town Staff does to keep Portola Valley a safe and enjoyable place for us to call home. While all our Town functions are important, today I want to acknowledge Public Works, in honor of Public Works Week.


Public Works Week

What does public works do? They do all kinds of things to keep Portola Valley safe and beautiful. From maintaining our roads and trails, to keeping our parks and fields beautiful and accessible, to reducing the fire risks in our right of ways. Our Public Works team is hard at work year-round, even in the pandemic, and I want to give them a huge thanks! Howard, Chuck, Justin, and Scott have kept our infrastructure up and running, not only during this challenging time, but all year round. Give them a wave and a “thank you” when you see them out at work around Town.


No Bikes on Shady Trail

Over the last few weeks, staff has received reports from hikers of increased bicycle presence on Shady Trail. Bicycles are not allowed on Shady Trail, and the Town has not made any emergency exceptions for their use there. If you know of anyone who has used Shady Trail for biking recently, I hope you will reach out with this message.


Click here to view the Portola Valley trail map and see what activity is allowed on each trail. Also, please review the trail rules for Portola Valley.If you are looking for great places to mountain bike you can find suggestions at


WPV Ready’s COVID- 19 Strategy Webinar

Tomorrow, Thursday, May 21, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Woodside Fire Protection District is hosting a live webinar on the state of the District in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. You will get to hear from the town managers of Portola Valley and Woodside, the Fire Chief, a representative from the American Red Cross, and some of the organizers of the WPV-Ready and WPV-CERT programs.


Join the webinar with this link:
You can also visit the website and click the link on the home page on the day of the event, at


Expansion of COVID-19 Testing Begins this Week at Three Locations

Testing for COVID-19 is now available in Daly City and East Palo Alto as well as San Mateo. Testing is available Monday through Saturday on a rotating basis among these three cities, and it is free to any resident, without a doctor’s note, symptom screening, or medical insurance. See all three locations, and how to schedule an appointment, at


Some of you have expressed concern about the County’s decisions moving forward with some re-opening of activities—particularly the difference between San Mateo County and our neighboring counties. I think these concerns are important; that said, having worked closely with Dr. Morrow, his staff at the County Health Office, and many other County employees, I want to assure you that the County’s approach to the pandemic is based on science, is rigorous, and is responsive to a broad range of input and commentary from County staff and elected officials. 


This is not to say that everyone is in perfect agreement—indeed, the questions around re-opening are complicated and fraught with uncertainty. What I can say is that your concerns are heard by us, your elected representatives, relayed to County officials (both elected officials and appointed professionals), and weighed alongside all the other data at hand. You may not agree with every decision, but please know that our County leadership is filled with dedicated, capable people making the best decisions they can with the information they have. As always, thank you for your curiosity, your insight, your skepticism, your commitment to the community, and your patience. Be well.


Best Regards,


Jeff Aalfs, Mayor

Town of Portola Valley