Mary Hufty


Portola Valley Town Council

Rural Values with a Conscience

Thank you supporters for all your hard work! We did it!

Running for the Portola Valley Town Council has been a humbling and educational experience. I am grateful for the engagement of each of the candidates and to the serving Council who has given so much time and talent to the well-being of the Town. Residents can expect honesty, transparency and inclusion from me. I will do my best in this leadership role and act with courtesy and curiosity. If I fail on any issues, I want to be held accountable and I will do my best to do better on the next try. In exchange, I ask my fellow residents to stay engaged! We need everyone’s expertise, organizational time and talent to sustain and further our unique role in the Bay Area.

Press Release:


Portola Valley is uniquely poised between pristine wilderness and a hub of human innovation.

Mary Hufty has decades of experience working to balance progressive values in Portola Valley with conservation of irreplaceable natural and rural environments. She has been a Portola Valley resident for 34 years, where she has raised two sons while practicing medicine in Palo Alto. Among other qualifications she brings to bear 40 years of experience overseeing fire research and management as a director of Archbold Biological Station.

Mary and her husband “walk the talk” with regards to Portola Valley’s home hardening ordinance, completely replacing their roof with fire resistant materials and completely adding new Hardie siding to their entire home.

Join Mary in her vision of a pristinely beautiful, socially just, and modern Portola Valley. Read her Candidate’s Statement and her “Voter Call To Action“. Vote for Mary in November!

What I Intend To Do

If elected, I will:

  • Recognize the Town’s watershed moment when facing our need for a mixed priced housing stock…Assure adequate infrastructure for residents present and future… Junior ADU’s and ADU’s must be set back safely for fire defense in our fire-prone community.
  • Embrace our community’s strengths following our solid General Plan for a small rural community.
  • Encourage fiscal integrity and transparency with an annual audit, overseen by an Audit Committee separate from the Finance Committee and Town staff, in order to insure independent oversight.
  • Ensure that safety is prioritized over development… that fire, earthquake, and flood resilience receives comprehensive attention with completed emergency evacuation exercises and triage rehearsals.
    • Complete an Evacuation Plan and implement an Evacuation Program before the next fire season.
    • Acknowledge the Moritz map as the best available fire hazard assessment of Portola Valley that we have available at this time.
    • Correct the draft Safety and Housing Elements so our policies are based on our best data — the Moritz map — as they have been since 2010.
    • Update the General Plan when better fire hazard assessments become available.
  • Embrace the quiet and the dark night skies that have remained in Portola Valley thanks to the careful crafting of our building guidelines… Renew our commitment to the environment and the role that animals and plants play in our health.
  • Avoid the excessive use of outside consultants that are not attuned to Portola Valley’s assets.
  • Support our astounding system of trail and conservation easements which is both aesthetic and democratic…and support our land’s wildlife green connections into surrounding open space.
  • Recognize and connect our trail system to the larger trail systems in the Bay Area and beyond.
  • Achieve an equitable and consistent housing plan with adequate town-based building inspection and safety oversight… administered efficiently, consistently and even-handedly to large and small property owners alike, under the guidance of the Town General Plan.
  • Foster a respect for the Home Owners Associations within our town.
  • Respect and strengthen the character of a unique engaged, rural community, imperiled by climate change and fire risk, situated on the cutting edge of a powerful, rapidly growing academic and industrial complex.
  • Recognize the positive effects we can have on climate change by protecting our watersheds and wetlands, maintaining our open spaces, and engaging the community in environmental science to lead the Bay area towards a more verdant future.
  • Work quickly towards carbon neutrality
  • Encourage and respect the independence of Town Committees to bring issues and solutions to the Council’s attention.


Town Volunteerism

Embodying the best of a Portola Valley Volunteer

Committee Member – Trails and Paths Committee (1995 – 2010): Leader in establishing Blue Oaks Trail system working closely with home developers. Leader in establishing Joan Targ Trail and its connectors. Established multi-use criteria, designations, and signage for PV Trail system.

Committee Member – Conservation Committee (1986 – 1990)

Westridge Architectural Supervising Committee (Board Member Jan 2021 to present; 1987 – 1992). Mary supports the Town working closely with all of our Homeowner Associations and other loose local groups to better the entire community.

Pandemic Pony Club (2020 – 2022): At the most frightening height of the Pandemic, Mary took note of children and their parents who were trapped at home without the support of friends, employees or schools. Single moms were particularly isolated. She realized one sport was naturally socially distanced: horse back riding. Icelandic horses are small, safe, smooth and kind. Mary’s three Icelandics and her barn became the source of friendship and sharing for these mothers and their children. At the vulnerable age for independence and competence (7-11 years old), the students began to understand another species and the physical need they have for space and peace. The group has moved beyond Mary’s ponies and are now trying out all aspects of equestrian sports: pentathalon, three day, vaulting, exploring with friends on our trails, and showing. This summer (2022) the group traveled to Iceland to explore another culture and how it cares for its animals.

Trail Philanthropist (mid 80’s to present): Mary and her husband Daniel, enjoy caring for and monitoring Pea Picker Trail, which runs completely along their property in Portola Valley to Woodside. The couple generously open the trail to the public. Pea Picker was named for a former owner of the land, Tennessee Ernie Ford, who made the design of the trail possible. As Mary often shares, “he embodied the spirited and musical legacy typical of Portola Valley.”


Making a difference

Founder – Portola Valley Neighbors United (Jan 2020 – Present) as of 8/5/22 Mary suspended her activities as a member of the Board during her campaign and would continue to do so if elected in November.

  • Created to inform residents of the Woodside Fire Department’s concerns about the existential risk of fire and evacuation that development along the Alpine Scenic Corridor will create.
  • Currently providing research and educational information to over 600 subscribers on a bi-weekly basis.

Member Board Of Directors – Organization of the Biological Field Stations (Jan 2014 – Present)

  • Act as organization historian as we celebrate 50 years of service to the science community. Member of organization for 45+ years.
  • Recipient of the first Local Hero Award – recognized for instilling enduring responsibility for organization field stations.

A Founding Director and Past Chairman of the Board of Trustees – Archbold Biological Station (1977 – Present)

  • Current member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors

Advisory Committee Member – Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) (2005 – 2010)

Executive Board Member – Equestrian Trails Advocacy Committee (2003 – Present)

Board Member – Bay Area Barns and Trails (2018 – Present)

Mary Hufty (left) engages Gary Neilson (far right with microphone), former Portola Valley Mayor, discussing the early history of open space in Portola Valley in general, and at Dorothy Ford Park in particular. 2022 Photo Credit Dan Quinn


Making a living

Family Physician – Palo Alto Medical Foundation (1987 – 2018)

  • Creator of the PAMF and Sutter Health’s Preventative Healthcare Guidelines. Migrated the paper-based medical record chart system to the electronic healthcare record system.
  • Founded the Environmental Impact Committee for PAMF.

Mary in the News

Passionately outspoken

Five running for three seats on PV Town Council

Seeking broader representation, longtime Portola Valley resident joins council race

Portola Valley woman adopts tortoise refugees

Portola Valley trail named in honor of Admiral Quilter

Portola Valley: Residents’ letter raises alarm over Stanford housing proposal

Portola Valley: Town to spray herbicides on trails despite objections

Portola Valley: location of Town Hall puts town budget in limbo

Portola Valley town debate: setting term limits for committee chairs

What People Are Saying

A real advocate for wildfire resiliency…Mary wants to see real progress in the Town’s fire prevention measures and is ready to roll up her sleeves and work with the fire department to initiate new fuel reduction projects throughout PV and tackle perfecting a community wildfire evacuation plan. She would make an effective Council person.

Retired Woodside Fire Marshal, Denise Enea

In 1964, after nine years of intense study and discussion, the residents of this valley voted to incorporate, allowing them to make their own local decisions that maintained respect for the environment and for the rural ambiance. Now that self-rule is being tested. It is up to us, with leadership from the council, to come together to form plans that allow for meeting the challenges of modern problems without losing that prized legacy. Mary Hufty’s voice on the council would be important to those discussions. 

Nancy Lund, Town Historian

My Dad (Bill Lane) would be so proud of Mary for rising to the challenges of these times with a good heart, clear mind and a deep love for what makes Portola Valley unique.

– Brenda Lane Munks

I enthusiastically endorse Mary for a seat on our Town Council. Mary is a consensus builder with a deep understanding of the issues facing our community. I respect Mary’s appreciation of our environment and her commitment to addressing the needs of all community members including those without a voice. It has been a delight to work with Mary on our trail system and I believe our community will benefit from her years of experience working with various agencies and community members to build and maintain connections to our environment and to each other.

– Gary Hanning, Chair, Trails and Paths Committee / Trustee, Portola Valley School District

Mary Hufty has been a consistent voice for nature and open space in Portola Valley. She will work to maintain our natural beauty and parks while addressing the need of its citizens.

– Susan Ford Dorsey

Mary is acutely aware of the position of this town and its rural tradition of open space, now huddled up against the booming Silicon Valley.  She understands the needs of this community and indeed of the whole Bay Area including housing, transport, and quality of life on the San Francisco Peninsula.

Ward Paine, Co-founder and Board Member at POST (The Peninsula Open Space Trust has conserved 64,000 acres in the San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties)

Mary is passionate about providing a healthy natural environment for the benefit of people and wildlife in our region and particularly in Portola Valley. Her intimate knowledge of our local environmental issues and her willingness to take action is what we need now more than ever.

Curt Riffle, Board Vice-President, Mid-Peninsula Open Space District

Mary Hufty is a superb candidate for the Portola Valley Town Council. She cherishes all the values and priorities that make Portola Valley truly unique among mid-Peninsula towns. Mary is informed, capable, and effective. She will work diligently for our residents to make the Portola Valley of the future consistent with the place envisioned when our Town was founded. I hope she receives widespread support and is elected.

George Parker, Dean Witter Distinguished Professor of Finance, Emeritus, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

There is no one better qualified to serve as a positive, inclusive, and collective voice for Portola Valley than Dr. Mary Hufty. Her extensive knowledge of the town’s green spaces, effective fire mitigation, and daily interactions with a diverse swath of community members make her an exemplary candidate. Additionally, Dr. Hufty’s contributions to our trail system, our wildlife conservation efforts, and preservation of rural character will be felt for generations to come.

Rebecca Shostak

Mary is a true team player – when working on an issue, she listens, she researches, she decides and most of all she cares.  Mary’s lifelong commitment of service as a physician, mother, committee member and so much more – I am proud to call her my friend.

Rita Comes Whitney

Mary understands the needs of local businesses. People like me who work in Portola Valley but cannot afford to live here need alternatives for housing that are subsidized in some way. I believe that Mary will research opportunities and do her best to overcome the obstacles to making them available. Vote for Mary!

Halima Sabrane, Local Business Owner within the ​Antonio Cremona Salon

Mary has dedicated her life to conservation and community initiatives, and is passionate about the town that we all love.
She will do her best to serve the current and future residents of Portola Valley, and we wholeheartedly support Mary for Town Council!

– Jane Daniels and David Pejcha

Mary combines outstanding credentials with a track record of highly effective community advocacy. She is a leader who brings a deep understanding of the town’s history and what makes our unique community a very special place to live.

Brian Dombkowski, Former Vice Mayor of Woodside

Mary Hufty leads a group of hikers along Alpine’s scenic corridor. 2022 Photo Credit Dan Quinn

A Partial List of Mary’s Supporters

Sean Agoliagi
Daniel Alegria
Lupe Alegria
Maria Alegria
Angelo Aloisio
Gibson Anderson
Mickie Anderson
Barbara Andreini
George Andreini
Dick Babb
Liz Babb
Valerie Baldwin
Vanessa Bartsch
Kathleen Bennett
Jane Besio
Margo Blair
Wally Bortz
Sean Bourke
Danna Breen
Rosie Breen
Ryan Breen
Tenley Breen
Joan Bresnan
Bea Brown
Paul Brown
Helen Buckholtz
Tom Buckholtz
Denise Bullwinkel
Cynthia Campbell
Cathy Carlson
Bliss Carnochan
Brigitte Carnochan
Joanne Cashin
James Coker
Rita Comes
Chuck Corley
Kristi Corley
Alden Corrigan
Don Creevy
Ginger Creevy
Antonio Cremona

Jacquelyn Davis
Kristin Day
Rusty Day
Joi Deaser
Mary Des Jardins
Dolores Dolan
Brian Dombkowski
Susan Ford Dorsey
Troy Douthit
Barb Eckstein
Denise Enea
Mary Enright
Patrick Enright
Win Farrar
Noel Fenton
Sally Fenton
Ellie Ferrari
Roy Ferrari
Walli Finch
Chrisi Fleming
Bob Giles
Hilary Giles
Teresa Godfrey
Peg Goodrich
David Gorsulowsky
Joan Green
Michelle Green
Anthony Guichard
Bev Guichard
Tom Hafkenschiel
Wendy Hafkenschiel
Gary Hanning
Michael Headley
Brenda Herrington
Jim Herrington
Lisa Hill
Paul Holland
Lynn Holthaus
Sharon Humphries
Walter Jelich
Clair Jernick
Jay Jernick
Roberta Kerwin
Jerry Kohs
Leslie Kraus

John Lannin
Beverly Lipman
Judy Lipman
Peter Lipman
Nancy Lund
Tor Lund
Rebecca Lynn
Syrus Madavi
Linda Mallard
Steve Mallard
Thomas Malloy
Tina Malumphey
John Matlock
Kathy Matlock
Bella McKay
Bridgett McKay
Jennifer McKay
Kendall McKay
Mimi Meffert
William Meffert
Sinda Mein
Eileen Morganthaler
Gary Morganthaler
Lori Muffly
Mathew Muffly
Chris Mumford
John Mumford
Brenda Munks
Greg Munks
Dot Nel
Mary Paine
Ward Paine
George Parker
Joan Parker
David Pejcha
Jane Daniels Pejcha
Peninsula Dog PAC
Veronica Picciofuco
Lynne Pieron
Ana Prado
Jose Prado

Ron Ramies
Anotina Ramirez
Kathy Reavis
Curt Riffle
Julie Rivera
Halima Sabrane
George Savage
Nancy Savage
Ezra Scheff
Barb Seipp
Nan Shostak
Rebecca Shostak
Rob Shostak
Amy Siegel
David Strohm
Katie Switer
Sally Tennyson
Mike Tevis
Minty Tevis
Sylvia Thompson
Cornelia Tilney
Ellen Vernazza
Deider Walz
Susan Walz
Qingqi Wang
Ann Whitcomb
Paul Wick
Valerie Wookey
John Wookey
Don Yates
Jane Yates
Linda Yates
Rob Younge
Charles Zaffaroni

Please leave your comments, questions, or endorsements!
Reach out by email:
maryhufty at gmail dot com
or with our contact form

or call / text: 650-400-1424.

Ask for a yard sign!

Mary hates waste…note that her signs are recycled, reused, and she provides full service delivery, installation, and removal. If you find a sign that is misplaced or want one removed please text 650-400-1424.