Brookdale resident George Wylie, a San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District trustee, said he was asked by several people in the community to consider a bid for supervisor, and after five years on the school board, he has decided to go for it.
“I thought I could bring leadership to the position,” Wylie said.
Wylie said his experience as a pilot and as the former director of programs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, along with his time on the school board, have prepared him for the role.
Wylie prides himself on being a hard worker and a “quick study, he said, and he promised he would take an in-depth look at whatever issues came to him before making decisions.
Wylie said his No. 1 concern is to shield the environment in the valleys — the natural beauty and natural resources of the area.
“I would like to retain, maintain and improve the uniqueness of the communities in the district and bring people together to best utilize the sharing of resources,” Wylie said, noting that since he moved to the valley 17 years ago, he’s come to understand the importance of the local natural resources to residents.
Wylie also hopes to keep up and even improve county services.
“I think it’s a requirement that we retain social services at an adequate level,” he said.
Wylie is proud of his time on the school board, including a stint as board president in 2010.
He was a cog in the Measure O general obligation bond campaign that raised $18.7 million for improvements to schools in the San Lorenzo Valley in 2007. He touted the results that have been finished on time and at or under budget, including the new SLV library, which is set to open by the end of this year, as well as multiple classrooms and labs and upcoming improvements to the high school performing arts building.
He has also been a factor in holding off “irreparable damage” to the school system while state funding has decreased year after year, even as test scores have risen in the district, he said.
“In years of, really, draconian budget cuts, we have been able to deal with those cuts to avoid layoffs as much as practicable and at the same time improve the level of education for kids, and we have improved test scores,” Wylie said.
He commended the staff at the district level and at schools for the job they have done in carrying out the plans in a smart manner.
Wylie says that he would be happy to represent Scotts Valley and the San Lorenzo Valley in a way that does not pit the areas against each other, despite their many differences.
“I’d like to engage in conversation so that we steer away from we/them so it becomes more ‘us,’” Wylie said.
Wylie said he’s a stickler for government transparency and would maintain that value as supervisor.
“We’re in this for the long haul,” he said of his supporters. “And we’ll do all the things necessary to expose my merits to the public.”
As for the role of representing the people as supervisor, “I’d love to do it,” Wylie said. “I love a challenge.”
BL's Weber enters race, too
Ben Lomond resident Susan Weber has also entered the race for 5th District supervisor. Weber, who previously served on the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District board of trustees for nine years, filed her papers to raise money for the campaign on Nov. 1. The Press-Banner will feature her in the upcoming weeks.
The race for the seat appears to be tight, even a full year before the November 2012 election. Boulder Creek’s Eric Hammer, Lompico’s Bill Smallman and Boulder Creek’s John Abel have joined the race ahead of Wylie and Weber.