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.
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.