After over 20 years of serving on Scotts Valley City Council, Stephany Aguilar has no desire to stop serving her community.
Aguilar, who was first elected to Scotts Valley City Council in 1996, is up for re-election this November for one of two available seats.
“I love this place,” said Aguilar, a resident for over 48 years. “I have seen things in the community I have invested in and the community has invested in come to fruition, and there is still more to do.”
A longtime supporter of public safety, education and the environment, Aguilar has served three terms as mayor and also served eight years on the Parks and Recreation Commission, where she assisted in writing the parks master plan.
One of Aguilar’s first actions when she was first elected was to form the Scotts Valley Advocates, a nonprofit that assists financially in implementing Scotts Valley’s parks master plan. Along with raising funds for various parks and recreation projects, Aguilar has assisted in helping with donations for the Scotts Valley Skate Park.
“Providing services and safety, those are the key things to me,” Aguilar said.
If re-elected, a top priority for Aguilar is to improve the fiscal health of Scotts Valley. Aguilar is in favor of renewing Measure U, scheduled to expire in 2022. The half-cent sales tax is necessary to keep Scotts Valley fiscally sustainable, according to Aguilar.
But according to Aguilar, with the City of Scotts Valley only receiving 7 percent of the 1 percent residents pay in property taxes, and the possible estimated loss in 2022/23 of $1.3 million in Measure U sales tax revenues, “it will take community investment to maintain the safety of our city and provide quality services.” Aguilar wants to encourage business development and jobs that will assist in expanding the economic base of the city.
Another important issue for Aguilar is affordable “workforce” housing. Aguilar is in favor of working to establish a housing policy that allows teachers, police officers and firefighters among others, to work and live in Scotts Valley. However, when asked about the $140 million affordable housing bond on the ballot, Aguilar said she is hesitant of passing it without waiting for other pieces of legislation, already passed, to start going into effect.
“There have been several bills passed in our legislature and I am not sure why we are not waiting first to see how those moneys are allocated,” Aguilar said. “I believe that we need to look at expanding on Senate Bill 2 - Atkins to further fund workforce housing.”
A third issue, of value to Aguilar is providing recreational facilities and programs for the community. As one of the founders of the Parks and Recreation Department, Aguilar said she wants to continue to work to maintain and enhance the city’s park facilities.
As for topic of growth in Scotts Valley, Aguilar said it is exciting to see the community get more involved with educating themselves on the future projects.
“I think more developers should do outreach to the community,” Aguilar said. Aguilar cited that city hall is understaffed, so having developers help with getting information out on projects it only stands to benefit the community.
Additionally, Aguilar wants to work towards to having adequate staffing and services for the people who service the community.
“I would like to see continuity,” Aguilar said. Aguilar cited that many staffers at City Hall work two to three jobs, beyond their expectations. According to her, this why supporting measures like Measure U are needed so the city can continue to have the foundation to provide services.
“I have a track record of proven leadership,” Aguilar said. “You never do anything alone, we have done it together.”
For more information on Stephany Aguilar’s 2018 campaign: saguilar2018.com.