'Massive' public records request escalates battle over Portola Valley's housing element | March 25, 2022 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - March 25, 2022

'Massive' public records request escalates battle over Portola Valley's housing element

Former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed represents homeowners who don't want their neighborhood upzoned to satisfy state housing requirements

by Angela Swartz

A battle is brewing over Portola Valley's state-mandated housing document, which must spell out the locations for possible new housing between 2023 and 2031. Attorney and former San Jose mayor Chuck Reed last week filed a huge Public Records Act (PRA) request for all documents and communications related to a town committee's work, and the Nathorst neighborhood homeowners he represents threatened to sue the town, according to Portola Valley Mayor Craig Hughes.

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Email Staff Writer Angela Swartz at [email protected]


Posted by Bob Adams
a resident of Portola Valley
on Mar 25, 2022 at 3:26 pm

Bob Adams is a registered user.

This is the same misleading 'article' posted in The Almanac (another Embarcadero Media publication) the evening of March 21st. I put the word article in quotes because even though it is identified as 'News' it should properly be identified as 'Opinion'.

If you go to the Almanac version you'll find a flood of comments showing and explaining the gross distortions alluded to in the 'editorial'. [Portion removed.] Yes, she went to Mayor Hughes and the plaintiff's lawyer for comment, but more importantly did she interview any of the 19 residents threatened with R3 zoning? I think you can guess that the answer is no. Mayor Hughes also referred to a group trying "bankrupt" the town. There were 14 people in this Meet the Mayor (called Donuts) meeting, and to a person not one of the 13 saw the threat highlighted in this article. Further, did the reporter try to interview ANY of the 13 attendees besides the Mayor. Again, you know the answer - NO.

Even in highly biased media publications there are a few lines providing another point of view from an interested group. I invite you to go back and read this editorial identified as news to see what you think. While you expect strong bias in editorials, most of us do not expect that in 'News' articles. [Portion removed.] This is not news, it is opinion.

Posted by Mondoman
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 25, 2022 at 5:51 pm

Mondoman is a registered user.

This is Silicon Valley. We are all educated and competent in dealing with workflow. Transparency in government - the expectation of open meetings and public access to government communication and deliberations - is likewise longstanding. Even such a document request as that described here should be easy to satisfy by any competently-run group. It's not like they need to annotate anything -- just mail a USB stick with however many gigabytes of stuff there is.

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