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February 5, 2023

Former Finance Director Named Scotts Valley Mayor

Optimism abounds as newly-minted American welcomed to Council

It was a festive scene of Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple-Cranberry and chocolate chip and sugar cookies, during a special Dec. 21 Scotts Valley City Council meeting as the new mayor and vice mayor were selected.

The evening marked the day Allan Timms—who became an American citizen less than a year earlier—climbed onto the dais as the newest Council member.

Councilmember Derek Timm—who ran for re-election on a slate with Timms—nominated Jack Dilles, the City’s former finance director, as the next mayor. He was voted in unanimously, save for Vice Mayor Jim Reed who was, again, conspicuously absent.

Timm then nominated Councilmember Randy Johnson for the position of vice mayor, a choice that all present Council members agreed with.

Johnson commended the outgoing mayor, Donna Lind, for a job well done.

“Coming out of Covid, the city had lots and lots of change,” he said. “I thought you just did such an excellent job at representing the city.”

Timm agreed.

“You built collaboration across our entire city,” he said. “Mayor Dilles, you have some big shoes to fill. I really think that Donna did such a good job for our community. You just built collaboration across our entire city.”

Dilles said Lind set a good example because she was very responsive to community members concerns, even when it required a difficult answer.

“And people really like that in the community,” he said. “Thanks for doing all the great things you’ve done.”

Timms said Lind was the first person he turned to when considering a run for Council.

“You must have one of those time-turner devices,” he said, referring to the critically-acclaimed science fiction movie Everything Everywhere All at Once. “You literally were everywhere all at once.”

The elephant in the room (or, perhaps more accurately, not in the room) was the situation surrounding the former vice mayor’s departure.

He made a few key missteps during the election campaign, including staking out seemingly at-odds positions—urging fiscal restraint while pushing for more money for Scotts Valley Police Department Officers (even though they recently got a big raise), for example.e

Multiple Council members told the Press Banner his relationship with the city manager had deteriorated to the point where he wouldn’t even meet with her in person.

Democratic party officials said his campaign caused a bit of a rift in the party, as he scored endorsements from former Assemblymember Mark Stone and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo.

“Jim, it’s a pleasure to endorse you for Scotts Valley City Council,” reads a post quoting Eshoo on Reed’s Facebook page. “You’re part of a fine tradition and I know you will make a significant difference for our community.”

Local Democratic operative Laura Gonzales replied with her disapproval.

“Jim Reed is the GOP-endorsed Republican incumbent,” she wrote. “NO local Democratic organizations support or endorse him. We are the ones who know what is going on in our community and we urge you to vote for Allan Timms.”

Reed told the Press Banner he had chosen to devote his attention to helping the new San Jose mayor Matt Mahan get elected, as a key fundraiser.

The Dec. 21 meeting also featured touching tributes to past Scotts Valley Mayor Paul Marigonda, who recently died after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Drew Penner
Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected]

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