Town Square

Post a New Topic

Remembering George Mader and the role of outsiders in Portola Valley

Original post made on Sep 24, 2022

I was saddened, as were so many, to hear of the recent death of George Mader, Portola Valley's longtime and trailblazing Town Planner.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 23, 2022, 12:00 AM

Comments (6)

Posted by Danna Breen
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Sep 24, 2022 at 4:49 pm

Danna Breen is a registered user.

I was going to let this go, but I feel challenged to respond since Dale Pfau’s comment was my responsibility and my fault. We were having a discussion about the General Plan and I told him that residents had always been involved with writing and changes to the plan, but I neglected to say that part of the General plan team team was of course the venerable George Mader and many of his firm who worked for forty years as planners for the town. George lived less than 100 yards from the town boundary and certainly always was able to look through the Portola Valley lens, and so did Tom Vlasic see the town very clearly. George and Tom were simply gifted.
What was wonderous was their deep appreciation for our self governance and their willingness to respect and and aide that.
Our General Plan is a gorgeous document and I hope as many of you try to read it as possible. What town wants to protect dark skies so the residents will see the stars at night?
Going forward, I hope the new town council will appoint a General Plan committee of residents to always be prepared to respond to any proposed changes to the plan. And I think our future will be very positive and bright.

Posted by Jon Silver
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Sep 25, 2022 at 2:32 am

Jon Silver is a registered user.

Danna -- you are in no way responsible for what a grown man said in his statement to a reporter for the Almanac. If Dale Pfau wishes to govern he must take responsibility for himself.

Nor are you responsible for similar inaccurate statements made by supporters of Portola Valley's new Big Money $$$ 501c PAC, a group that for the first time ever will attempt to "buy" our Council election for a sum in the neighborhood of $50,000 -- an obscene and ridiculous amount for a Town our size.

We have seen the corrosive effects of Big Money on our national and statewide governance. It's a shame to bring it to our small town.

PV residents of course should be involved in a hands on way with our Town's planning process. They always have, and always will be.

But citizen volunteers need the assistance, guidance and advice of the best experts available. Such experts need be selected for their excellence, not based on how many "yards" they live from our Town's boundary.

Your friend,

Jon Silver

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 25, 2022 at 7:56 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"What town wants to protect dark skies so the residents will see the stars at night?"

Los Altos Hills and Woodside are two that come immediately to mind. There are others.

Posted by Jon Silver
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Sep 25, 2022 at 3:38 pm

Jon Silver is a registered user.

Portola Valley does too. Many good volunteers and professional staff, including George Mader an his colleagues contributed to this as well.

Jon Silver

Posted by Martha McGuire
a resident of another community
on Sep 26, 2022 at 8:31 am

Martha McGuire is a registered user.

[Comment removed at poster's request]

Posted by Jon Silver
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Sep 26, 2022 at 3:36 pm

Jon Silver is a registered user.

Martha -- nothing I said was in anyway disrespectful of George Mader. He was my friend, and he will always be one of my heroes.

What is disrespectful is to forget his legacy and deny his tremendous contributions, as all too many today are doing.

Even more than that it is destructive to attack, and leave by the wayside, the type of informed, data-driven, and nuanced knowledge-based decision-making which George modeled and championed throughout his life.

While I never want to presume to speak for the dead, I will share that George told me in recent years that he found the contemporary rise of fear-based nativist attitudes, and the injection of so-called “alternate facts” into our body politic very troubling.

I was privileged to be able to keep in touch with George Mader over the years. You see, he actually was my valued friend.


Jon Silver

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Almanac Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Porterhouse San Mateo revamps its menu following move to new spot
By The Peninsula Foodist | 2 comments | 2,528 views

How well is City Manager Ed Shikada performing his job?
By Diana Diamond | 12 comments | 2,214 views

Farm Bill and the Organic Movement (part 5) Plus: Global Plant Forward Summit, April 18 – 20
By Laura Stec | 13 comments | 1,719 views