But things are apparently changing.
“In the last year-and-a-half people have started coming into town,” Aldana said. “Someone broke into my car and my wife’s car the same day, both of them were unlocked.”
Items were also stolen from a third vehicle in front of his house, Aldana said.
The burglary helped spur the 49-year-old to put his plans into action.
About 12 years ago, Aldana, who has lived in Scotts Valley since 1996, purchased the domain name www.myscottsvalley.com with the intention of using it to create a community-oriented site. After the break-ins, it was finally time to put it to use. He enlisted website help and put together a site that lists and maps all of Scotts Valley’s businesses including a forum where people can rate and comment on the food and services they received. The page is dedicated to give people access to everything in town and to give people a place to express their opinion.
Additionally, he launched the Facebook page, My Scotts Valley, in an effort to communicate quickly with people in Scotts Valley about events, businesses and the happenings in town.
“I started announcing My Scotts Valley in mid-September and we started with about 35 likes. We hit 1,500 on Christmas day,” Aldana said. “What that tells me is that the community has been wanting something like this and needs something like this. They took it in like a sponge takes in water.”
Aldana said the Facebook page was meant to complement www.myscottsvalley.com, but it has taken on a life of its own.
“It is a community for our people of Scotts Valley,” he said. “It’s a way to keep in touch with each other at a more personal level than myscottsvalley.com. It has really united us.”
Aldana is a full-time realtor at Bailey Properties and spends an additional two to three working hours throughout each day sorting through information to put on the site or Facebook page.
Once a week Aldana posts a video interview of someone he has talked to in Scotts Valley. Recent interviews include Retired Police Lt. John Hohmann and Matt DeWolf, the founder of a non-profit organization that makes memorial videos for those who have experienced a miscarriage.
Aldana posts several times each day on Facebook, discussing news and events he sees or hears about in town. During the holidays he held a Christmas lighting contest on myscottsvalley.com and had 17 Scotts Valley homes sign up to be judged by residents and a panel of judges. He plans to grow the contest next year.
“Every year, we’ll do it better and better,” he said. “It brought Christmas back more to our town.”
Aldana has a successful real estate career and has decided not to sell advertising on the site or the Facebook page. He will occasionally mention a property for sale, but said his goal is not to use the page as a sales platform. He has taken on the project because, he said, he wants to continue to build community in Scotts Valley. He said posts can easily garner 3,000 views within a day.
“People ask me if I have an agenda,” Aldana said. “Yes, I do have an agenda: To unite us more.”
In the future Aldana hopes to launch a non-profit foundation to help support other non-profits in the area and use the sites to help spread the word.
“The biggest thing I love is highlighting all the wonderful, positive people in this town,” Aldana said. “You can’t have ‘community’ without the word ‘unity’.”