Ted Driscoll stepped down from the Portola Valley Town Council on Dec. 11 after five terms of office and five stints as mayor, an unprecedented 20 years of service to our town government. I sat on the Town Council alongside Ted for eight of those 20 years, and I have deep admiration for Ted's tireless devotion to every facet of our community life.
Over the past two decades Ted has been a steadfast guardian of all that's best about Portola Valley fiscal responsibility, protection of the environment, and citizen engagement in public affairs. Ted brought a brilliant, creative mind to bear on all the issues facing the town. No problem was too small for Ted's attention, right down to squabbles between neighbors.
Ted played a pivotal role in the redevelopment of the Portola Valley Town Center, which was completed on time and under budget in 2008. Over the past 20 years he attended untold numbers of citizen committee meetings, always helping shape discussions in constructive ways.
Behind the scenes he defused innumerable conflicts among residents with his quiet diplomacy. In Town Council meetings, he constantly sought to understand the perspectives of residents, even those whose attitudes were hostile and who were sometimes misinformed on the facts. Never once did he lose his composure from the dais.
Ted once told me that his volunteer service on the Town Council stemmed from a desire to set an example for his children to give back to a community that had given his family so much. He has left a profound mark on Portola Valley, and we are all the richer for his service.
Steve Toben, Santa Maria Avenue, Portola Valley