Our Anony-MOO-se Mayor

May 11, 2006

The staff of the Town of Woodside does not know who its mayor is. Or at least the Mayor does not think the staff knows her by name or sight according to an interview of Deborah Gordon printed in the Almanac on April 5, 2006:

“Quite honestly, a lot of the staff actually didn’t know who I was. I’m not a very well-known person in town.” (http://www.almanacnews.com/story.php?story_id=1475)

Gee — in our pasture, she is the queen bee and should be known to all of the worker bees and easily identified by every one else. If she is not a well-known person, how did she get elected? We are mystified.

As pointed out by one reader of the Almanac who has had experience with getting project approvals, apparently, not only does staff not know who the Mayor is but the Mayor does not know what the planning process really is. She referred to fixing a foundation as a “pretty large project” when it only requires a building permit. She did not have to go before the ASRB, the Planning Commission or Town Council. She did not have to submit to ASRB and the Planning Commission, she did not have to provide, a landscape plan, a floor area plan, a historic analysis and maybe not even a full site plan or septic field analysis.

The Mayor thinks that “The projects in Woodside can be much more difficult than other towns, because of the hillsides, the slippage” (http://www.almanacnews.com/story.php?story_id=1475).

Does she really think that from a geological perspective that Woodside is more difficult than Portola Valley, Los Altos Hills, Belmont, San Mateo, Pacifica, Half Moon Bay?. Does she really think the delays, inconsistencies and difficulties with planning and engineering are because of greater complexity than neighboring communities where there is an interface with commercial and industrial uses, where there is affordable and multifamily housing being built. Ask any professional and they will tell you.

If the staff does not recognize her, what does this say about our staff? And what does it say about our Mayor? With the many complaints and obvious problems in the building and planning department they should all be working closely together to identify and eliminate them.

We asked the town for a picture of the Mayor, but they indicated they don’t have any. If the Mayor is reading, perhaps she could provide a picture for us to post, so that the town staff as well as fellow citizens will be able to identify her in the future.

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