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Yoriko Kishimoto named to open space district board Monday night

Former Palo Alto mayor and City Council member selected from trio of finalists

Former Palo Alto Mayor Yoriko Kishimoto was named to the board of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District Monday night (Nov. 29), following interviews with three finalists. She will replace the late Mary Davey on the seven-member board, representing Ward 2.

"The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District has forever changed the face of the Bay Area," Kishimoto said Tuesday morning.

"I am honored to be selected to help be a guardian of the mission to acquire, protect and restore our greenbelt of open space in perpetuity."

"I grew up hiking mountains wherever I lived, from New England to Japan. But nowhere else has done the amazing job we have in making so much beautiful open space and vistas so accessible to people who want to leave their neighborhood and start hiking for miles and miles," she said.

She noted that the district is facing its 40th anniversary in 2011-2012 and that it now manages nearly 60,000 acres in 26 open space preserves.

She quoted from author Wallace Stegner, who was actively engaged in the campaign to create the district. Stegner said the district would make available "some of the health that flows down across the green ridges from the Skyline, and some of the beauty and refreshment of spirit to any resident of the valley who has a moment, and the wit, to lift up his eyes unto the hills."

The finalists included three active environmentalists: Breene Kerr, Kishimoto and Ciddy Wordell. All reside in Ward 2, Davey's former ward of seven represented by the board spanning parts of both Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

Following the individual interviews, three members voted for Kishimoto with others voting for other candidates and board member Nonette Hanko abstaining because of personal friendships with two of the applicants.

Kishimoto received a four-vote board majority in a second round of voting.

Backgrounds and position statements of all applicants can be viewed here.

-- Palo Alto Weekly staff

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