I am announcing my run for Opelika City Council Ward 3 because I love this community and believe I bring a diverse background of experience I can leverage to help continue Opelika’s path of smart and responsible growth Michy and I have loved experiencing since moving here 13 years ago.
Before going further, I would like to thank Councilman Dr. Robert Lofton. Since his election in 2020, Lofton represented Opelika’s Ward 3 with the highest honor and integrity. Like many, Michy and I were shocked to hear of his Lou Gehrig’s Disease diagnosis that led to his resignation; both Robert and Lela are in our prayers.
I first met Lofton in June 2020 when he came over to our house. At the time I was considering a run for the Ward 3 city council seat and Lofton was planning to run. While talking I quickly realized that although we had very different backgrounds, both Lofton and I had very similar values and a passion to see Opelika responsibly grow and thrive. At the time, I also had a fair amount going on professionally having just opened Aja Financial LLC in May 2020, and my Navy Reserve duties as commanding officer for a US Fleet Forces Unit, MAO Tyndall, based at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. I recognized Lofton had a major advantage; being retired, he could dedicate more time to Ward 3 than my commitments at that time would have allowed. Departing, I told Lofton he would have my support. I was very happy to vote for him a couple of months later in the election, and then again in the run-off election. To this day, I am thankful Lofton asked to meet and I chose to support his candidacy. Almost a year and a half later, Aja Financial LLC is a successful registered investment advisory business and in January 2022 my Navy Command tour will be at an end, I will turn over MAO Tyndall to another commander, and move onto my next reserve billet. What I didn’t have before I will have, the time needed to commit to this community.
I have served as a Navy officer for 19 years. My career began as a helicopter pilot and I have deployed multiple times on ships and across four continents. I have had the privilege to work with professionals from all walks of life and from all parts of the world. Over those years, challenges have arisen, both big and small, and I have learned the key to overcoming those challenges always begins with listening to your team. No one is an expert on everything, but everyone brings their own unique expertise based on their experiences. I learned to successfully leverage that expertise from my first deployment as a young officer, discussing helicopter issues and potential solutions with my maintainers, and still depend on my team today having led my command to create Search & Rescue courses of action in case the Navy had been requested to deploy aviation assistance for Hurricane Ida relief efforts.
It was the Navy that brought Michy and I to Opelika in 2008 for me to serve a tour teaching Naval ROTC to aspiring Navy and Marine Corps Officers at Auburn University. As many had before us, and many have since, we fell in love with Opelika, the town, the people and the community. When I was deployed with Special Operations to Afghanistan in 2012, instinctively this community loved and supported my family. Leaving active duty in 2014, I was excited to live back in Opelika full-time while consulting for PricewaterhouseCooper’s Advisory Practice. In 2016 when I was recalled to active duty, again this community loved and supported my family while I was deployed to Djibouti, Africa. Today, this community continues to support me as an entrepreneur and financial advisor with Aja Financial LLC.
Opelika has been a blessing for my family. I have served nationally, and now I strongly desire to serve locally. I want to serve this community not only as a “thank you” for everything Opelika has done, but to help lead it into the future. I want to be part of Opelika’s continued smart and responsible growth trajectory that attracts successful businesses and tourists, while respecting the history and classic architecture that is the basis of our natural beauty.
I want to see our successes reinvested into the community, for example:
– Renovations to Ward 3’s Floral Park
– Improvements to Indian Pines Golf Course
– Basic financial literacy taught to all who would benefit
– Continued smart and responsible growth for Opelika.
Through reinvestment and strengthening of our foundations we will continue to grow responsibly. I ask for your support in allowing me to continue to serve, please share and support my campaign, and elect me as your Ward 3 Councilman on Jan. 11.
Timothy S. Aja