As we approach the holidays and 2022 concludes, I want to express my appreciation for the great work of City Manager Mali LaGoe and Scotts Valley’s exceptional staff. As mayor this past year, I also want to share my appreciation to the community, which has been very supportive. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and a healthy New Year!
It was wonderful to begin the holiday season with the Community Tree Lighting Festival, “Light up the Night,” at the Scotts Valley Community Center. Much appreciation to the Exchange Club of Scotts Valley for taking the lead to bring back this wonderful family event.
In the past this event had been presented by the Scotts Valley Park Advocates. Even with heavy rains this year, the Community Center was packed with families anxious to see Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive in a Scotts Valley Fire Engine to meet with families and take photos.
Scotts Valley Police Officers were on hand to accept unwrapped toy donations for Valley Churches United, which was in attendance to accept food and cash donations. The Kiwanis Club of Scotts Valley, Rotary Club of Scotts Valley and Moose Lodge served hot cider, hot chocolate, coffee and cookies.
Scout Troop 614 sold Christmas wreaths and volunteered. We all enjoyed the local talent of all ages entertaining guests. This special holiday event was made possible by the generosity of several sponsors, supporters, and volunteers!
The Scotts Valley Theater/Performing Arts Center hosted their first ballet for the holidays with the Tiny Dancer Ballet School. These darling little dancers performed the traditional Christmas ballet, “The Nutcracker.” The Theater also hosted a Winter Concert for Kirby’s School, including performances by String Methods, Jazz Band, Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Jazz Choir and Chorus.
It’s heartwarming to be able to see the young dancers and musicians be able to perform on stage at the beautiful, professional new Scotts Valley Performing Arts Center!
As we move into 2023, there is much to look forward to, including new interest in the Town Center project. The Town Center committee has been working on an updated appraisal for the portion of the property that is owned by the City of Santa Cruz, which has recently expressed interest in selling the property.
City staff has been working with Santa Cruz staff on additional drilling and testing of the soil to determine where soil needs to be removed due to contamination that occurred decades ago.
As this work is completed, the Town Center committee is also considering the need to update the Town Center Specific Plan, originally adopted in 2008.
The City of Scotts Valley was blessed to have Ali Robinson step into the position of Scotts Valley Recreation Division Manager.
Ali came to us from the City of Santa Cruz, where she worked for Parks and Rec, Water and Economic Development departments. She grew up in Scotts Valley and knows our city well. She brings great energy and experience and has assisted with several activities and is currently working on rebuilding recreation programs. Ali recently conducted online and interactive surveys to hear community priorities.
Ali has been working with the Parks and Recreation Commission to kick off the Parks Master Plan and Recreation Strategic Plan, which will be developed in 2023.
She is also working to bring back several popular programs, including the swim program. The swimming pool maintenance has been completed and the pool refilled to be ready for swim activities this summer.
City Staff is also working on replacement of the young children’s play structure at Skypark next year, funded by Prop. 68 grant funding.
You may have seen surveyors and other professionals at the Granite Creek Overpass. They are working on a large project to improve the Granite Creek Overpass, including improved bike and pedestrian lanes and maintenance. This is a very heavily traveled area used by adults and students traveling to the three schools in the area. This project is funded by grant funding through the Regional Transportation Commission.
It’s been great to see community members at City Council meetings in person. The City completed a much-needed major technology upgrade for Council Chambers that allows us to hold hybrid meetings. The upgrade was funded using ARPA funding. Community members now have a choice of attending meetings in person or participating online. Livestream and recordings of meetings are also available on the City of Scotts Valley YouTube channel.
When you read this column, the City will have sworn-in newly elected City Council Members Derek Timm and Allan Timms. A new mayor and vice mayor will have been selected. It has been an honor to serve as your Mayor for 2022 and I look forward to the great work that will be done in 2023.
Wishing you all the best in the New Year!
Donna Lind is the outgoing Scotts Valley Mayor. To reach Lind, email [email protected] or call 831-438-4187.