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Message from the Mayor - June 25

Post Date:06/25/2020 4:42 PM

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As I mentioned last week, I will now be putting this message out once a week on Thursdays. I will keep communicating what seems important, and if necessary, we will work to get additional information out as quickly as possible. You can also sign up for Town E-Notices, or download the PV Connect App, which are other sources of Town information. In the meantime, I’ll try to avoid cluttering your inboxes, but feel free to contact me (or Staff) if you have questions.

COVID-19 is still contagious

The County’s last health order has caused some confusion, leading some to believe that there is no longer a requirement to shelter in place, and that we can get back to life as normal. Unfortunately, that is not yet the case. There is still an order to stay home, except for essential activities, but now it is under the statewide Stay at Home order. Staff has reported seeing groups meeting in public spaces who do not fall under the statewide designation and rules allowed for gathering. If you are outside of your home, with anyone outside your “Social Bubble”, you need to wear a mask and maintain 6 feet of separation. 


Personal responsibility is now central to our strategy to curb the transmission of COVID-19. Remember, the new infection and death rates have been going up in our area—and going up even faster in other parts of the State and Nation. Like you, I wish this were over. But until we have a vaccine, we all need to do our part by wearing a mask, staying six feet apart, limiting our time out in the public, and washing our hands.

For those of you who enjoy graphs and data models, take a look at the State of California’s COVID Assessment Tool. The tool compares various models to compare what is currently happening around the state and forecasting future spread of the virus.


Town YouTube Channel

Now that our Town Council Meetings are on Zoom, we are able to post the recording of each meeting on the Town YouTube Channel.  The best way to stay informed about new recordings is to subscribe to the Town YouTube channel. We are excited to be able to offer up a new way for residents to stay informed. 


4th of July

Woodside Fire Protection District has asked me to remind you that there are no fireworks, including Safe & Sane, allowed within WFPD territory.  If you have fireworks laying around, you can safely turn them into the Fire Marshal. As the fire season starts, we need to think about how to protect our homes and our neighbors against wildfires. Woodside Fire has a new page dedicated to providing information and videos about home hardening and defensible space.


Town Hall

Town Hall staff is now working part-time on campus, but no in-person visits or drop-offs are allowed yet.  Programs such as the Styrofoam drop-off and the Electric Leaf Blower rebates are still on hold.  As soon as we can accept drop-offs, and when we begin to open the doors for more in-person services, a message will be sent out.  Until then, you can call and email Town Hall with your questions. We appreciate your patience as Staff figures out how to offer our services with the same high quality while keeping everyone safe.


Emergency Communication Day – Zoom event tonight

The Emergency Preparedness Committee is hosting the Portola Valley Emergency Communications Day tonight at 7 PM on Zoom. Join the event if you are interested in learning how the Town communicates in an emergency, and how you can stay informed and be involved. Learn more:


Town Council Updates

Last night the Town Council held our regular meeting on Zoom. The Council Summary can be found here.  If you would like to get updates emailed to you after every meeting if you subscribe here and choose “Council Meeting Updates” under “News”.


I’ll close by pointing out that the Council continued our discussion of the Town’s response to ongoing, widespread police violence against people of color, recently highlighted by the murder of George Floyd. Sunday’s protest at Alpine and Portola Roads was at least as well attended as the previous rally; thanks to those who organized this event, and all of you who are working elsewhere in the area toward liberty and justice for all. The Council has much more work to do to address systemic racism locally and we will be looking for your input and participation. I want to thank my colleagues on the Council, notably John Richards and Maryann Derwin, for their commitment to the cause.


Be safe and stay well.


Best Regards,


Jeff Aalfs, Mayor

Town of Portola Valley