Election 2018: Scotts Valley City Council candidates discuss growth, managed development

By Michael Todd, Santa Cruz Sentinel

POSTED: 09/02/18, 1:27 PM PDT | UPDATED: 1 DAY AGO

SCOTTS VALLEY >> Development. Education equity. And public safety.

The three candidates vying for Scotts Valley City Council shared their perspectives on the issues shaping the Nov. 6 general election.

Voters will select two candidates among Mayor Jim Reed, incumbent Councilwoman Stephany Aguilar and newcomer Derek Timm.

Aguilar has served on city council for 22 years, helped write the parks master plan and worked in education administration about 14 years.

She said public safety is one of the city’s attractions.

“Public safety is vital; it brings economic vitality,” said Aguilar. “Our residents want to move here because it’s a safe community and our schools and businesses appreciate that. We have a great dispatch center so the response times here are quick.”

Scotts Valley is a growing community that faces choices on how best to manage that evolution, Aguilar said.

“We need to balance growth, where you have different products available: apartments and single-family homes,” Aguilar said. “But we need a good mix of jobs.”

In his first political campaign, after serving multiple volunteer roles and promoting measures to equalize education funding for the district’s four schools, Derek Timm, 45, said the small city faces business and retail growth amid desires for a managed downtown core.

“People really want to see a downtown in Scotts Valley, but they don’t want to see us overbuilt with too much housing,” Timm said. “There’s going to be a community discussion about what we’re comfortable with versus what we want to achieve.”

And regarding education: “We are the ninth-lowest funded school district out of 344 districts in the state of California. We’re also the lowest funded in the county,” Timm said. “There are some inequitable funding formulas the state has set up that put us at this low level. Our parents are always asked to help out, not only donating to the schools to a tune of a million dollars a year in donations.”

Affordable housing continues to be an issue throughout the county, and in Scotts Valley, Timm said.

“It is challenging for our young families to start here,” Timm said.

Reed, 50, said Scotts Valley must protect its small-town appeal while preparing for commercial growth.

“The idea of a town center got me excited 20 years ago and it’s still the thing that gets me excited today,” Reed said. “We need a place, even if it’s a small space, with live music, a wine bar, a brew pub, maybe. But we’ve got to ensure that we are closely managing our growth.”

In his candidate statement, Reed wrote that the city’s appeal stems from collaborative common-sense leadership.

“I believe we can grow in a controlled, moderate, sustainable way while keeping the small-town character we all cherish,” Reed wrote. “Our incredible natural beauty, sense of community and unsurpassed quality of life are far too rare today, and well worth protecting.”

For more information on each of the candidates, visit votescount.com.