Bob and Sue Katz bought their lot on Mapache in 1958, even though they were living in the East at the time. Four years later they moved into their new home. It was two years before incorporation, and Bob became interested in the discussions within the community. Seeing the benefits of decisions being made by local people instead of by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors or Planning Commission, Bob led the campaign for local control. He still remembers a great celebratory party on June 24, 1964 when residents voted “yes” to incorporation.
He became the first chairman (and last survivor) of the first Portola Valley Planning Commission. He says that the town’s spirit of volunteerism began in those very early years of the town’s history.
He remembers those early years as wonderful. Twenty or thirty families all had children about the same ages, and everyone played together and walked to school together. The creek that runs behind and below the Katz house (and several others,) was a favorite spot. One day as one of the Katz sons came home after playing for hours down there, he said, “Every boy should have his own creek!”