Setting goals is essential for the City to be successful. The City Council discussed and approved nine strategic goals for 2023-24 to allow Scotts Valley to focus on the most important issues we face. Seven of these goals follow. Others will be described in a future article.
• Identify additional revenue sources to support a thriving City.
Ensuring long-term financial stability is important because you can’t spend what you don’t have. The Measure Z sales tax measure allowed the City to weather Covid-related economic hits and fully staff the Police Department. However, the City needs to increase maintenance staffing. Scotts Valley does not have ongoing resources to maintain parks, streets and other infrastructure to the level residents expect. The City has strived to do all it can, relying upon existing revenues, grants and hardworking staff. The City needs to identify new revenue sources.
• Plan for the future by completing the General Plan update, Housing Element and facilitating the future development of the Town Center.
These are critical undertakings. The General Plan describes what kind of city is envisioned. The Housing Element, under State law, must be updated by December and the City must plan for 1,220 more homes to be built over eight years. Complying presents a challenge. It is likely that Scotts Valley will need to rezone properties and identify opportunity sites for denser housing. For the Town Center, a City Council subcommittee is working with a consulting firm to rethink our development strategy.
• Explore new ways to connect and partner with local businesses to explore Scotts Valley’s brand and competitive advantage.
Scotts Valley’s unique location and quality of life give us a competitive edge but also puts us in the shadow of our larger, more famous neighbors. Partnering with the business community to hone our economic development strategies is key to raising Scotts Valley’s presence as a community of choice for new and expanding businesses. My belief is that future success will include a focus on recreational opportunities.
• Re-establish recreation programming that supports the diverse interests of our community.
The City knows that residents value recreation. Recreation staff are building a 2023 program based on community input and are excited to utilize the new Scotts Valley Cultural and Performing Arts Center. New classes and activities will result from partnering with local instructors and community groups. The Siltanen Park pool was repaired and the City is looking for an operator to run day-to-day activities starting this summer. The Community Garden was also repaired and awaits spring gardeners.
• Prioritize implementation of critical Wastewater infrastructure projects.
The aging Wastewater Treatment Plant needs major improvements and new funding to modernize operations and maintain our prized recycled water system. In addition to the plant, the City maintains 46 miles of collection pipes and eight lift stations (pumps) to bring all waste to the plant, and a 6-mile outflow pipe for treated water to safely flow to the ocean. During recent storms, the plant reached critical capacity and staff had to work incredibly hard to keep the plant safely operating. A budget of $3 million has been programmed for improvements in 2023 and another $2.8 million is needed over the next four years.
• Invest in improvements to bike and pedestrian safety.
Scotts Valley has been busy improving bicycle and pedestrian safety, relying upon grants and its Active Transportation Plan. Bicycle and pedestrian improvements are planned for the Granite Creek Road overpass. As striping is refreshed on city streets, bike lanes will be marked as identified in the Active Transportation Plan. As new development occurs, developers are asked to include bicycle infrastructure.
• Support cultural events, art and projects that celebrate Scotts Valley.
The City’s Arts Commission promotes cultural events, including past Art Walks and the upcoming Poetry Contest for youth and adults. Also, the City welcomes its first professional theater! The Scotts Valley Community Theater Guild opened the Scotts Valley Cultural and Performing Arts Center by the Library. Watch for plays, dance performances and the upcoming Alfred Hitchcock Festival. The City is also partnering with the School District for this year’s Multicultural Fair to be held at Skypark on May 6.
Let us know what you think about our strategic goals.
Jack Dilles is mayor for the City of Scotts Valley. To reach Dilles, email [email protected] or call 831-566-3180.
“Support cultural events, art and projects that celebrate Scotts Valley” and then cancel the Independence Day Fireworks?
Listening to the staff comments at the city council meeting it looks like the main reason is they don’t like to work that day – because they sure like to rack up overtime every other opportunity they can.