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June 02, 2004

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Publication Date: Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Clarifying details of Clarifying details of (June 02, 2004)gift to Portola Valley


I want to clarify details of a gift I made as an "anonymous donor" (which we still prefer!) for the new Town Center in Portola Valley.

Prior to the gift in a letter to the council, counsel, planner, and administrator, I had no prior contact with the town government. I gather it was a happy surprise! It immediately followed the unanimous decision by the Town Council, whom I have great respect for, on February 9, 2004, to locate the new Town Center campus on the present site, after a lively public hearing followed by a round of applause.

The gift was for five specified structures that I felt essential for maximum efficiency of government with many volunteer committees and other community activities -- and with the greatest benefit to a maximum number of resident adults and children.

There were no restrictions for location on the 13 acres, new or rebuilt structures, or other limitations for further public debate or council and Planning Commission decisions (given land and financial restraints).

I have nothing to gain financially or otherwise by the gift. For newcomers to our very special town -- or those who don't know us -- my wife and I have a long record of involvement with the town and good causes we feel are important. And, I do know the territory. There was definitely neither quid pro quo nor naming request with the gift inferred during the public hearing at last week's Council meeting.

There is no reference to limiting facilities to only the structures the gift specified. The gift was a pledge. The sum of $250,000 has already been paid to the town with the donors' hope that the new Town Center "will be designed with examples of green environmental qualities for a low key, beautiful, open space 'Sense of Place.'"

Bill Lane
Portola Valley

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