News

Attorney Judith Hasko named to Portola Valley Planning Commission

Judith Hasko, a Portola Valley resident and attorney working in the life sciences industry, was named to the Portola Valley Planning Commission to complete the two years remaining in the four-year term of longtime commissioner Arthur "Chip" McIntosh, who stepped down in December.

The Town Council interviews candidates for the five-member commission in public session and then usually votes on the appointment. There were two candidates on Wednesday, Jan. 8: Ms. Hasko and Los Trancos Woods resident and former serial entrepreneur Mike Mokelke. The vote for Ms. Hasko was unanimous.

In remarks before voting, council members noted that both candidates were qualified for the position, but the fact that Mr. Mokelke lives in an unincorporated community weighed against him, given the centrality of Planning Commission decisions in town affairs.

One such decision was the commission's highly controversial 3-2 vote in March 2013 approving the use of artificial grass to resurface a soccer field at the Woodside Priory School. In an unusual twist, the council reviewed that decision two months later, without anyone having appealed it, and then reversed it on a 3-2 vote. The commission's action came up during Ms. Hasko's interview.

The Planning Commission handling of the matter was "balanced and allowed everybody to be heard," Ms. Hasko said in response to a question by Councilman John Richards about commission decisions that might have been handled differently. "I think it was the right process. I think that it should have been a hard decision and it was."

In a lighter moment, Mr. Richards noted that Ms. Hasko's appointment would bring to three the number of attorneys on the commission, joining Nate McKitterick and Nicholas Targ. "I wouldn't hold it against me if I were you," Ms. Hasko said in an amused but no-nonsense rejoinder.

Ms. Hasko and her husband Phil Reilly have lived in the Bay Area since 1994 and in Portola Valley since 2007, she wrote in her letter of application. Until her appointment, she chaired the Trails and Paths Committee and served on the Portola Road Corridor Plan Task Force and the Ad Hoc Affordable Housing Committee, all panels involved in key town issues.

She has a bachelor of arts degree in bio-psychology and a master's degree in the philosophy of neurobiology, and worked as a scientist at Genentech Corp, she wrote. The couple chose to live in Portola Valley "because we perceived that the town was built on values reflecting our own, and because it was a beautiful and peaceful place to live," she said in her letter. Her recreational interests include running, hiking and riding horses.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nate McKitterick
a resident of Portola Valley: Woodside Highlands
on Jan 9, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Judith has volunteered her time to the Town on important and difficult issues, listening to different viewpoints and helping the bodies on which she served reach a consensus. We are fortunate she is taking on this role! Of course, my family would argue that Phil's contribution to the Town is more important -- I will only concede that it is tastier . . . . I am looking forward to working with her again!


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Grab a Bowl of Heaven soon in Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 2,942 views

Don't fund the rape culture at my alma mater
By Jessica T | 36 comments | 2,728 views

Quick Check List for UC Applications
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 0 comments | 2,012 views

Palo Alto and Bay Area Election Facts and Thoughts on the Implications
By Steve Levy | 18 comments | 1,544 views

“I live near Sunset”
By Stuart Soffer | 5 comments | 762 views