By Derek Timm, Mayor, Scotts Valley
As summer started, there was elation in the air. A sense of relief as mandates were rolled back, and vacations, gatherings and travel were again embraced. However, the past few weeks have felt like the string on the yo-yo ran short, and we have been quickly pulled in the opposite direction.
As smoke from wildfires again tinted our skies this week, I have had several friends remark with sadness about the world’s state of affairs from climate change — to Covid — to Afghanistan. Even as I write this message, I can’t escape the hazy red glow of the moon outside my window, as its light attempts to pierce the smoke in the sky. It is hard not to feel overwhelmed.
However, I was reminded this past week of the hope that can come from focusing on the good things that are happening in our community. Our Chief of Police conducted a badge-pinning ceremony for two new officers who are joining our police department. It was the first time we had been able to welcome new officers in-person in over a year.
It was hard not to be inspired by the ambition in their eyes, as the shiny new badges were presented to each of them.
Our Chamber of Commerce also hosted an incredibly successful Art, Beer and Wine Festival. I worked at the event along alongside a dedicated army of volunteers.
While we were setting up, I had a chance to chat with several of the artists. For many of them, this was their first opportunity display and sell their art at a festival in nearly two years, and they expressed their gratitude for the event planners and the community.
For those who attended, the dog show and the Cops & Rodders car show were highlights.
As the weekend came to a close, my highlight was sitting in the sun with my family and friends listening to James Durbin and the Lost Boys belt out some of my favorite tunes. Moments like that cannot be beat.
There is also buzz in Scotts Valley with our community welcoming new businesses to the Hangar. Penny Ice Creamery will be the first to open in this beautiful new destination on Mount Hermon Road on Labor Day weekend.
Other tenants with planned openings at the Hangar before the end of the year include Faultline Brewing Company and Home by the great minds at Zinnia’s. The patio will compete with the best beer gardens in the Bay Area and looks to be a destination for families and mountain bikers alike.
Next door to the Hangar, Target has finished the design process on their new store, and construction is expected to begin soon.
The shops in the surrounding shopping center are also about to receive a major upgrade. I am happy to announce the shopping center owner has just submitted plans to undertake an extensive remodel of the rest of the center, promising to make it one of the nicest in the area. The center will bustle once again and include expanded outdoor dining areas and local artistic elements.
As a City, we are also looking to the future. Although our hearts are heavy with our City Manager departing to Coronado, we have made quick progress to ensure the transition is smooth.
This week, we selected Brian Haddix to become our interim City Manager. His background includes an incredible resume with over 30 years of work that spans the local, state, and federal levels, with numerous awards under his belt.
In addition to helping us advance our City’s priorities and goals, he will also work with us on identifying a permanent City Manager.
We also recently hired Chris Lamm to oversee public works. We are extremely lucky to have such a talented individual assisting our community, bringing a great deal of experience to the department. We are excited to have them both on our team.
All of this good reminds me, that if you can see past the haze, there is always light on the other side. The smoke will lift and with community cooperation, the Covid numbers will drop.
There is a lot to look forward to on the horizon, and we need not look further than our own community to see it.
Derek Timm is mayor of Scotts Valley. Email him at [email protected].