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Dust-up over Portola Valley council candidate's twitter account

Original post made on Oct 6, 2022

Portola Valley Mayor Craig Hughes said fellow council candidate Dale Pfau "should not be elected" because of questionable retweets in his Twitter account and his conduct when serving on the Wildfire Preparedness Committee.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 6, 2022, 11:20 AM

Comments (9)

Posted by PV Resident
a resident of Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on Oct 6, 2022 at 2:10 pm

PV Resident is a registered user.

You want the tweets?
I want transparency.
You can't handle transparency!!

I totally hid/deleted my tweets, but only because I was running for office and they were too complicated for PV voters to understand in context. Same thing with my email remarks about women volunteers. You were never supposed to find out about that. Let's not get distracted from my passionate advocacy, mm-kay?

Posted by Bob Turcott
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Oct 6, 2022 at 3:10 pm

Bob Turcott is a registered user.


Shouldn’t that have been the title of this article?

Instead of dealing with the pressing concerns of residents and working through conflicts directly, Mayor Hughes exploits media to promulgate his speculative smears.

How speculative are they? So speculative that the Mayor was forced to retract and apologize.

That’s no surprise. When accusations are based on out-of-context re-tweets and avatar images, the “evidence” is in fact a Rorschach test: so ambiguous that much more is revealed about the viewer than the poster.

(I’m still stuck on the image of the Mayor working late into the night, putting hours into digging through the social media history of a fellow resident and, failing to find useable quotes, spreads around “evidence” consisting of ambiguous re-tweets and avatars. Who does that???)

Instead of smearing people with different views or making broad, unsubstantiated claims about them, how about we engage with the substance of the many challenging issues we face as a community?

We need a Council that views differences of opinion as legitimate and healthy. One that recognizes that in exploring these differences and debating their merits we arrive at better solutions.

In other words, we need a new Town Council.

- Bob Turcott

Posted by Former PVSF board officer
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Oct 6, 2022 at 3:20 pm

Former PVSF board officer is a registered user.

Wow - the "politics of personal destruction" comes to Portola Valley! Will the Hughes campaign be rooting through their opponents' trash cans next? "Hughes says he owes Pfau an apology after having seen the fuller context of the tweet," but goes ahead with more personal attacks anyway. Is it too much to expect candidates in our small community to stick to debating the issues that affect us all?

Posted by Danna Breen
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Oct 6, 2022 at 4:25 pm

Danna Breen is a registered user.

This whole thing is terribly sad and unfortunate for our town. When I first heard about the tweets I called the candidate and said, I need to talk to you. I did not know him other than in passing. He came to my house. He was absolutely forthright and I chose to accept his explanations and move on. I laughingly confessed my passionate fascination with the Unibomber for decades. The comments about his committee members, he admitted there was a lot of change on this committee and found that frustrating.He was not permitted to know any specifics of being terminated. Btw I served on this committee for a year and never had an issue with him. So I did my homework. I interviewed the candidate, because I’m not familiar with him.
I was really looking forward to an open productive election process and am actually excited about the town resident gathering next Thursday evening in the community hall where we can all ask our own questions and visit with the candidates. I really hope there is a good population of residents because this is how you do your homework. Listening and asking good questions. Concerned about any candidate? Call them up and have a talk.!

Posted by Peninsula Local
a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2022 at 4:29 pm

Peninsula Local is a registered user.

Respectfully, please, just stop!! The constant attack of individual citizens is a stain on the town and you!  Focus on the issues please!  

Posted by Kristin Brew
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Oct 6, 2022 at 5:32 pm

Kristin Brew is a registered user.

As a 59 year old female surgeon who has had her fair share of sexist remarks thrown at her over the years, I am more upset at the current campaign tactics being used by the incumbent than any of the published emails/tweets I have read from the candidate profiled in the article. I have personally spoken to the candidate. I find him to be honest and upfront. I hope that the current election can return to a discussion of town issues and not personal attacks .

Posted by theater goer
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Oct 6, 2022 at 11:33 pm

theater goer is a registered user.

For many months, if not longer, a significant proportion of PV residents have been dissatisfied with the Town Council’s governance and have made their views known during zoom meetings. Some examples: failure to listen and respond to residents’ heartfelt concerns; undisclosed Council criteria for selecting members of key Ad Hoc committees (housing for example); Council failure to adopt the best-available fire danger maps of our Town; Council refusal to hold community meetings in which citizens could hold back and forth exchanges with Council members around key issues. Most of these actions/decisions were taken for reasons not explained to Town citizens.
I say that Mr Hughes has had his turn; it is time for new approaches and fresh ideas. We have four non-incumbents running for three seats. Let’s choose from among them.

Posted by PV Resident
a resident of Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on Oct 7, 2022 at 12:12 pm

PV Resident is a registered user.

Wait - is nobody standing up for the women who were diminished, dismissed and denigrated, both in meetings and email? We're saying that's ok?

I get that Dale apologized after certain facts became public. Here's what he didn't say:

"I realize now that I have a pattern of hostile and diminishing remarks and reactions to divergent perspectives, especially those of women. I recognize that bias in my past actions and pledge to actively work to be more constructive, fair, patient and inclusive while engaging with others. I plan on listening more and expressing humility for myself and dignity for others in my desired role on the town council. "

Posted by Former PVSF board officer
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Oct 7, 2022 at 12:39 pm

Former PVSF board officer is a registered user.

Your "Dale denigrates women" narrative is baseless. Correlation does not imply causation. As over 3/4 of Dale's fellow committee members around this time were women, it seems statistically probable that most or all comments would reference female members. None of the comments were sexist. (and where are you coming up with the "denigration in meetings"?)

Your narrative of "pattern of hostile remarks" is also baseless. Dale Pfau's endorsements include three current and/or former female members of town committees he has chaired or participated in. He served on the Woodside Priory board for eight years, two years as chair. Women who have served with him on the board of the Priory speak highly of him.

As context, the Wildfire Preparedness Committee at that time had far greater problems than Dale's careless emails. It had lost about half its members, couldn't raise a quorum and was facing a lawsuit regarding a Brown Act violation. Those wanting to dig deeper can reference Bob Turcott's June 17th posting (#163588) in the PV Forum. It includes several links, one of which links to a resignation letter from a Fire Preparedness Committee member.

If you view occasional disparaging remarks as an absolute disqualification for service, then you should in good faith also eliminate Craig Hughes from consideration, as his harsh remarks to and about residents are notorious. (Article above is Exhibit A)

my pronouns: she/her

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