Angie Howard, the town manager of Portola Valley, said she hopes that before April 2012, the town will find a location suitable for several below-market-rate (BMR) homes and thus fulfill a longstanding state mandate.
Ms. Howard set the April deadline for herself because that's the month she plans to retire after 21 years in Town Hall, including 11 years leading the staff.
The BMR homes could go on two parcels the town owns in the upscale Blue Oaks neighborhood -- part of the deal in creating that subdivision -- or in another location. "We're still looking," she said in a phone interview.
And her focus between now and April? "I'm going to continue to keep things running smoothly," Ms. Howard replied. As for her successor, the Town Council will likely begin to address recruitment plans at its July 17 meeting, she said.
Truly a team
Ms. Howard came to Portola Valley 21 years ago as a deputy town clerk. She advanced through positions of increasing responsibility, and, after several years as town administrator, was named town manager in 2008.
Ms. Howard said she has hired everyone on the staff but Senior Maintenance Worker Skip Johnson and Planning Manager Leslie Lambert, who is on medical leave.
"This truly is a team and I am really honored and privileged to work with each and every one of them. It's just an amazing group," Ms. Howard said.
Asked whether her management style tended toward the hierarchical or the horizontal, Ms. Howard did not hesitate. "It's flat," she said. "We truly work as a team. I am the boss and ultimately I get to pull that word out, but everyone here knows they have a say in what goes on."
Ms. Howard said she had no specific plans for after she retires. "I hope to be able to travel, because I love to travel, and to find a volunteer project to keep me interested and feeling useful," she said.
Asked to comment on Ms. Howard's announcement, Ms. Lambert replied in an email: "Angie and I worked closely together for the past 20 years. If I can ever get back to work, I will miss her terribly. We are very close and have a good deal of history together. Town Hall won't be the same without her."