Tag Archives: George Mader

Portola Valley Celebrates its 50th Anniversary

Sunday, September 21, 2014 was the culmination of a year of planning for the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Portola Valley’s incorporation as a town.   The ad-hoc 50th Celebration Committee was headed by Cindie White and Danna Breen, who made this dream become a reality, along with many volunteers, Town Manager, Nick Pegueros, and Town staff.

Danna Breen and Cindie White
Danna Breen and Cindie White

The day started in an InterFaith Service at the Town Center and included the simultaneous ringing of bells.

Interfaith Service at Town Center included the simultaneous ringing of  bells from all the churches in Town.
Interfaith Service at Town Center included the simultaneous ringing of bells from all the churches in Town.

The Town invited residents to a BBQ and lots of events through out the day including gathering materials for a new time capsule.

50th Anniversary Celebration photo by Paige Bishop
50th Anniversary Celebration photo by Paige Bishop

There was an informative panel presentation moderated by Nancy Lund. It gave residents an overview of how the Town was formed and where its values came from.  Speakers included Sam Haltsed, George Mader, Sue Crane, Bill Cotton, Tom Vlasic and Alex VonFelt. Jon Silver also spoke eloquently from the audience describing Portola Valley as a “Garden of Eden” for democracy.

You can see the presentation here:

Nancy Bovee, Laure Woods and Steve Dunne performed a new Portola Valley song which they composed for the 50th Anniversary gathering.

What a great way to celebrate Portola Valley, the place we all call home.

Portola Valley 2014 Planning Retreat – Parts 1, 2 and 3.

Parts 1, 2 and 3 – Background and Legal Issues

This is a video of Portola Valley Planning Retreat held at the Town Center May 18, 2014.  It contains the general background information about history of the General Plan and its implementation along with legal issues and responsibilities.

The stated objectives of the retreat were to review land use planning and the framework for planning decision making in Portola Valley with a critical eye to the future

This video is over an hour long and includes Steve Toben’s remarks, “Relic or Blueprint” (also included as a separate 14 minute video on this blog), Planners George Mader, Tom Vlasic and Ted Hayden’s remarks (starts at 14.13 minutes) along with those of Town Attorney, Leigh Prince.(starts at 49.54 minutes).

This was a public meeting with Town Council, Planning Commission and ASCC in attendance  along with members of the general public.

George and Marjorie Mader


George and Marjorie Mader, long-time Ladera residents, know more about Portola Valley and its residents than most people who have lived in town for a long time. Marjorie was a reporter for the Almanac for decades, and the Portola Valley School District was her beat.

DSC_2438 June 9 2012
Marjorie and George Mader, June 9, 2012

She has witnessed the passage of countless school boards, has worked with parents, teachers and other community members and thus has a comprehensive understanding of how the district works. George was the town planner from 1965 until 2011.

 As a county planner, he worked on a study of Portola Valley before it was incorporated. His remarkable vision in planning strategies to implement the will of the councils has been instrumental in preserving the beauty of the land as development has occurred.  A pioneer in planning for geologic safety, he has crafted the technical ordinances designed to protect life and property from landslides and earthquakes. He has carried the Portola Valley story around the world to countries endangered by faulting to pass on the knowledge learned here. The Maders were Blues and Barbecue honorees in 2001.

George’s insights into how planning in Portola Valley has evolved from early days can be seen in these two videos. They are lengthy and quite detailed.

Part I

Part 2