By Libby Leyden
Scotts Valley City Council race is shaping up to be between two incumbent city council members and a political newcomer. Scotts Valley resident Derek Timm will be running against current city council member Stephanie Aguilar and Mayor Jim Reed for one of two available seats in this year’s election.
Timm, who runs his own real estate business, Montalvo Homes and Estates based in Santa Cruz, is widely known in Scotts Valley for his work with the Scotts Valley Educational Foundation. But now, for his first run at an elected office, Timm hopes to add a new face to Scotts Valley City Council.
“I have been watching what is going on nationally and I just had this moment where I felt I needed to do something positive,” Timm said. “I want to show my community and my children what leadership can be and how it can work in a small town.”
Timm and his wife have been residents in Scotts Valley since 2003 and have two daughters, who both attend schools in the district. And since the time Timm’s first daughter, now 15-years-old, was in first grade he found himself involved with the local school board. When Timm learned his daughter’s first grade teacher was getting pink slipped, he went to a school board meeting to learn more about why the district was in the position it was in.
When Scotts Valley Unified School District first went out for a parcel tax with Measure K in 2012, Timm was instrumental in helping the “Save Our Schools” campaign. The measure passed and it helped the district reach adequate funding levels again. This year the district finds itself again in a financial crisis and Timm is back spearheading a second campaign for a parcel tax on the ballot this November.
But, overall Timm said he supports taxes only when absolutely necessary and other options have been exhausted.
“If we are going to tax ourselves I think it should be to support local programs our community cares about,” Timm said. When asked about the city’s budget and the ‘fiscal cliff’ approaching, which leaves the city with a $1 million deficit, Timm said additional taxes may be necessary but there are other options. One of the proposed solutions, according to Timm, is to expand businesses locally, which add additional tax revenues.
According to Timm, the two basic important roles of government are: safety and education. “In our town those are the things worth funding locally if we are left in a bad situation by the state,” Timm said.
Current chair of the city planning commission, Timm is a proponent of expanding and encouraging public input on city planning projects. He stated he would be in favor of posting information on city council meetings and other planning projects on popular neighbor social media websites, such as My Scotts Valley, to help increase awareness and importance to community members.
“The best decisions are made when the public shows up,” Timm said. “That is when local government works the best. I see myself as not the decider but the conduit of what the community wants.”
Large housing projects have become a hot topic in Scotts Valley. From Timm’s work as a realtor he knows all too well that “there is a housing crisis right now.” Timm recently spoke in favor of the $140 million affordable housing bond that was put on the ballot by the Santa Cruz County Supervisors. From Timm’s perspective, with the affordable housing bond, there was adequate outreach to the community that scaled back the measure after hearing input from the public.
“It comes down to education,” Timm said. “If there is a local tax for something we can track locally, it has specific task and it is limited in duration and you can see the benefit for it—that is something you can get behind.”
Timm, who declared his run for candidacy August 10, said he looks forward to having an opportunity to serve Scotts Valley. He will make efforts to attend several local events leading up the election to talk to residents about why vote Derek Timm.
“I think the leadership I have shown in Scotts Valley is proven,” Timm said. “I have been an incredibly hard worker on behalf of the community and I’d like to continue that as a council member.”
For more information on Derek Timm’s campaign for city council: www.timm4sv.com.