Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The turmoil across America has continued, and it has come to our area. Fortunately, there has been no violence locally. I have strong opinions about the situation, including our local responses, and I am happy to discuss them with anyone who is interested, but I feel that they don’t belong in this message. I’m writing these messages to share information and resources, not my own beliefs. I have communicated privately with County and other regional officials, representing both my opinions and your concerns where appropriate, and I encourage you to do the same. Also, feel free to contact me directly if you want my personal opinion; I’ll do my best to respond.
Pedestrian Farmers Market Starts Next Week plus Sponsor a Produce Bag this Week
While we prepare to bring back the pedestrian farmers market there will be no drive-through market this week. However, you can still sponsor produce bags to be donated to the PV School District to be handed out to student's families who are in need. These bags will be dropped off at the PV School District office every week. https://www.safeportolavalleymarket.com/#/
With the safety of our community and vendors in mind, we've decided to place each vendor booth 10 feet away from its neighbor. You will be able to point to the product you want, and the vendors will hand it to you. Please remember that masks are mandatory in San Mateo County. For your protection, we will have sanitation tables at both ends of the market. Please use sanitizer or wash your hands as needed. We’re excited to see you, but please remember to give yourself and those around you 6 feet of space.
Reminder – Coffee with Supervisor Horsley Tomorrow at 10
I will be hosting a Virtual Coffee on Thursday with Supervisor Horsley, the School District and the Sheriff’s office. Hear from Supervisor Horsley and his local colleagues on COVID-19 and other issues important to you. We will be taking questions after a short presentation. The meeting will be on Thursday June 4th at 10 am on Zoom. Get the meeting login here.
Reminder- Neighborhood Clean-Up Day - Postponed to August 1st
Neighborhood Clean-Up Day has been postponed to Saturday, August 1st. It is tentatively planned to be longer that day, to provide everyone with service in a safer manner. In the meantime, we wanted to let you know that, as GreenWaste customers, you have the following services available to you:
Mixed Compostables/Yard Waste Vouchers: all Residents received two vouchers with their February bill, each allowing for the collection of up to 96-gallons of extra Mixed Compostables or Yard Trimmings, picked up on your regularly-scheduled day of collection. The customer just needs to affix the vouchers to the containers.
On-Call Clean Up: Residents are eligible to receive two (2) On-Call Clean Ups per year. Residents need to call at least 48-hours in advance to schedule the Clean Up. The On-Call Clean Ups can be used for either two (2) Bulky items OR two (2) cans of Yard Trimmings. Yard Trimmings and clean (unpainted and untreated) wood must be containerized. Branches and/or stumps must be less than six (6) inches in diameter.
In advance of wildfire season, I wanted to share some of the work the Town is undertaking to support wildfire preparedness:
1. Last year, the Town Council created an ad hoc Wildfire Preparedness Committee. As with all the Town’s committees, the volunteers who support its work are our neighbors. The Council asked the Committee to work quickly through last year to present recommendations that were endorsed and adopted in December. Much of this work is underway, and while there is much more to do, I am proud of the work of the Committee and the broad scope of initiatives and programs the recommendations laid out.
2. Also starting last year, the Town embarked on an aggressive right-of-way vegetation management program, in conjunction with the Woodside Fire Protection District (WFPD). WFPD’s Fire Marshal and our town Public Works Director Howard Young are overseeing the project, which has (so far) resulted in ladder fuel reduction on a half dozen streets that either are important evacuation routes/support emergency equipment and gates, or simply required such fuel reduction. I hope that you’ll go out and look at the work so far; the most visible for most of us is on Portola Road near the Priory. While it does mean the Town may look different, such work is vital to reducing the risk of wildfire spread. This work will continue on additional streets, per the direction of the team.
3. The Chipper program is underway, and we hope you’re doing your part on your own property as well.
4. Our AM radio’s capabilities have been greatly expanded by boosting its power, which has resulted in coverage for the vast majority of residents. We are also working with our public agency partners to find a superior location for the AM radio equipment to further support coverage. Thank you to our outstanding Emergency Preparedness Committee for leading the effort on this.
5. What we’ve historically known as CERPP (Citizens Emergency Response and Preparedness Program) has transformed into WPV-Ready. This reorganization will expand the connections between the traditional CERPP activities and the Town’s formal emergency response system. I highly encourage you to visit their website, where you can learn how to get involved, prepare you and your family for an emergency, and take important classes in emergency response and preparation. Town Manager Jeremy Dennis serves on the Board of Directors of WPV-Ready.
6. Finally, our standing Emergency Preparedness Committee continues to serve you and work on a variety of important emergency prep initiatives. I encourage you to attend their meetings and read their annual report to Council.
The Town Council will continue to review additional proposals to support further wildfire preparedness as part of the annual budget process and in its normal course of duties.
With this new spell of heat, it’s important to take care of yourselves, and to check in on those neighbors who are on their own (and may not have air conditioning). This too shall pass, and hopefully we can get outdoors again. Take care and be safe.
Jeff Aalfs, Mayor
Town of Portola Valley