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December 7, 2022

Timm-Timms Slate Rises Above Vice Mayor Reed In Early Results

At this time last year, Allan Timms wasn’t even an American. But by press time he had risen—if only slightly—above Scotts Valley’s Vice Mayor in his bid for a seat on Council.

So, how did it feel to see some success, as the vote tallies were starting to come in?

“Nervous,” he said around 9pm Tuesday, under a chandelier during a celebratory gathering at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel on Scotts Valley Drive. “At least I know some people have voted for me.”

By the next day, Councilmember Derek Timm, who served as mayor last year, was in first place with 1,198 votes—a solid 38.85% share—while Timms had 970 votes (31.45%)—and Vice Mayor Jim Reed was at 896 votes (29.05%). Twenty people (.65%) had written in votes for other candidates.

Scotts Valley resident Steve Simonovich, owner of Santa Cruz Pasta Factory—who was at the party—said he supported both Timm and Timms because he feels they have a positive vision for the city. And he believes they’d help Scotts Valley become more accepting of diversity.

“I voted for them because I felt that they represented the values that are most important to me and the Scotts Valley community in general,” he said. “I feel that we need to be more inclusive.”

Timm had set up a slate with Timms, who became a U.S. citizen earlier this year, in order to oust Reed. They argued the Vice Mayor wasn’t present enough in the community, in part due to his responsibilities as chief of staff to the San Jose mayor.

Hours earlier down the hill, on the third floor of the concrete bunker of a structure that is the Santa Cruz County building, two women answered calls coming in from across the county, providing answers to last-minute election questions. They’d received several inquiries from Scotts Valley residents, they said with a laugh.

Just outside the door was the line to vote in person. Cruising up and down handing out clipboards was a teenager from Felton with a fake flower garland around his neck. It was Nathan Lapioli, an 18-year-old San Lorenzo Valley High School Student.

“I’m in an AP government right now,” he said, noting his role in ensuring the smooth flow of democracy provided helpful fodder for class discussion. “It’s kind of sick.”

Lapioli’s mom has been working here for some time, and he’s volunteered before—but this is the first time he’s getting paid.

“I got here at 6am and we’ve been going since then,” he said, adding it got busy before regular working hours. “Then it got pretty mellow.”

By 5:15pm things had picked up again.

Lapioli thinks it would be a good idea for all civics educators to let students know you can make some extra cash assisting on election day.

“Government teachers should be talking about this,” he said. “It’s such a good experience.”

In-person voters were given the option of voting electronically or via paper ballot.

Election officials said more people seemed to be selecting the paper option than choosing to vote through the tablet.

Those filling out the physical forms did so in front of a multi-panel work featuring a dog, a rabbit, a cat and a bird by Marvin Plummer titled “Domino, Thumper, Mozart, & Katie” (2008) Charcoal on Paper (Santa Cruz County Art Collection).

All-in-all, despite the queue, it was a jovial atmosphere where the contentious spirit found in many corners of American politics seemed but a distant nightmare.

Tricia Webber, the county clerk, confirmed that things had been busy, but without hiccups.

“I think today’s been wonderful,” she said. “It’s been pretty constant all day across all of our voting locations, not just here at the County building.”

By 4pm, about 4,200 people had already voted in person, she said.

“It means the weather didn’t deter anybody,” she said, referring to the rare storm that had brought heavy rains and 4-6 foot waves. “I think about Santa Cruz County voters like postal service workers … (nothing’s) going to stop them from exercising their right to vote.”

As a former teacher, she can’t help but be touched by Lapioli’s eager approach to facilitating this key tenet of the American Way.

“The more you’re a part of something, the more you learn, and the more you’re apt to understand the process,” she said. “We have all found that with students—whether they’re student workers in the elections department, or student poll workers, they turn into more consistent life-long voters over time.”

According to the Elections Department, the next update to the voting tally will come today at 4pm.

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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