This letter from Jon Silver, former Portola Valley councilman, was published in the Oct. 14, 2009, edition of The Almanac.
In 1964 the forbearers of Portola Valley incorporated our Town. They did this so that we, local residents, could exercise local, democratic control over the fate of our community.
Their vision has been remarkably successful for the succeeding 45 years. Portola Valley's bucolic natural environment endures, largely unblemished by the excessive and unwise development that has ravaged so many other local areas.
This environment likewise has continued to nurture the small-town community character which our town's people hold so dear.
In addition, Portola Valley's town government has been a model of frugal and effective administration. Developed around a core of diligent volunteers, the town has been particularly responsive and forward-looking. It is no small achievement that Portola Valley still maintains the lowest per capita expenditure of any municipality in San Mateo County.
Portola Valley voters face a critical choice this November to support the continuation of these traditions. A "Yes" vote on Measures Q and R is necessary for the continued funding of essential town services and preservation of open space.
If Measure Q doesn't pass, Portola Valley will face draconian budget cuts. Measure R for open space preservation can only succeed if there is a "Yes" vote on Measure Q. Unless these measures pass, funding for Portola Valley's open space acquisition program would be gutted.
These measures are renewals of our existing utility tax and expenditure limit. They are not new taxes, but ongoing support for what we hold dear. Maintaining and preserving open space has always been a cornerstone of what makes Portola Valley such a great place to live. So has been sensible support of essential town services.
Let's continue with our strong community traditions that support vital services and open space preservation by voting "Yes" on Measures P, Q and R on Nov. 3.
Jon Silver, Former mayor and 2003 open space honoree