Jane Wilson, a resident of Portola Valley for nearly 12 years and a native of Great Britain, is the newest member of the town's Architectural & Site Control Commission (ASCC), a panel of five volunteers charged with maintaining the rural character of the town through its oversight of building projects.
In a unanimous vote on Nov. 11 after interviews of four candidates for two open seats on the ASCC, the Town Council appointed Ms. Wilson and reappointed Commissioner Megan Koch, both to four-year terms.
With Ms. Wilson in England, the council interviewed her by phone. Ms. Koch came to the council meeting in person, as did candidates Rebecca Flynn and Terry Lynn.
Later that evening and also on unanimous votes, the council reappointed Judith Hasko and Nicholas Targ to four-year terms for two open seats on the Planning Commission. The commission oversees policies that govern land use and development.
The council also interviewed Emily Jagoda, a resident of unincorporated Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde community.
In Ms. Wilson's application letter, she listed her volunteer activities, including membership in Friends of the Library for nine years, the Parks and Recreation Committee for three years, the parent-teacher association (as an executive) for the Portola Valley School District for three years, and as co-chair of the town's annual holiday fair for seven years.
Ms. Wilson bought her first house at the age of 19 and has been a landlord for 30 years. She has dealt with "all types of tenant, craftspeople and contractors," she said in her letter. The ASCC "is the one (panel) I think I'd be most suited for," she told the council.
The ASCC's current issues, as she sees them, are protecting trees and preserving the community's character while trying to solve problems that come before the ASCC "so that everyone's happy," she said.
Councilwoman Ann Wengert asked Ms. Wilson how it would sit with her to enforce an ordinance she doesn't agree with. "That sits very well with me," she said.
In an email, Ms. Wilson told the Almanac that her experiences living in Britain acquainted her with strict rules and their enforcement, and that she "will not have a problem with enforcing ordinances in line with them."