The City Council named Dr. William Brien the new mayor of Beverly Hills during Tuesday’s installation ceremony at the .
The council also approved the appointment of Vice Mayor John Mirisch, who takes over Brien’s previous post.
After being sworn in by former California Gov. Gray Davis, who said he was “very proud to administer the oath of office to Dr. Brien,” the mayor gave a speech outlining a number of goals for his year-long appointment.
“I want you to be heard,” he said of the community. “This year, I want to have a conversation about public service, about a healthy business community and about residents’ goals.”
He called for there to be town hall meetings at various locations throughout Beverly Hills because, “three minutes at a City Council meeting every other week is just not enough.”
Brien said that would be a priority during his term as mayor.
“We will create a vital community center. We will preserve green space,” he said. “We will have a facility that will be at a standard to meet the current and future needs for our community, including our seniors, our residents, our children and our youth sports programs.”
Regarding the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s announcement Monday that it is , Brien said he was “extremely disappointed and concerned.”
“Metro chose to overlook the scientific analysis provided by the city’s experts. Our technical analysis and data shows that there are serious safety concerns that Metro has not addressed,” he said. “As mayor, I plan to vigorously defend our high school. This issue will be taken up by the council at the earliest opportunity, which will be our next closed-session meeting. At that time we will be evaluating our options, including legal action.”
Brien also thanked outgoing Mayor Barry Brucker for the accomplishments of the past year, including the addition of more than 400 jobs in Beverly Hills due to the relocation of businesses such as MGM, , the United Talent Agency and .
“You have always done what you thought was right for the community, despite the pressures around you,” he said of Brucker.
During his first speech as vice mayor, Mirisch brought attention to the establishment of the new , an idea he proposed to council only a few months prior.
“This commission is not just about the preservation of our architectural treasures,” he said. “The commission is also about exploring, honoring and enjoying the rich history in our midst which has been created over the past 100 years.”
Mirisch also reconfirmed his .
“Upgrading the southeast has been and will continue to be an important project for the city,” he said. “I will continue to make it a priority.”
Like Brien, Mirisch was .
“I promise you I will do whatever I can to stand by our schools, and protect them against this unconscionable bait-and-switch and against those who would put the interests of well-heeled developers above those of our schoolchildren,” he said. “It’s not right and this community will not stand for it.”
Councilwoman Lili Bosse, who swore in Mirisch, said his speech was “inspiring.”
“I know that under your leadership as vice mayor, we will get these things done,” she said as the ceremony was wrapping up.
After the installation, guests enjoyed food from Via Alloro, the newest restaurant of chefs and brothers Giacomino and Tanino Drago.
“Tonight was an absolutely fantastic night,” Brien told Patch. “I say what I mean and I mean what I say. This is going to be a great year.”
Councilman Julian Gold told Patch he was “very excited to start this new year with our new mayor.”
“He’s got a lot of energy and some really good ideas,” Gold said of Brien.
Mirisch told Patch that although the next year is going to be a challenge, “We always have to focus on putting the residents first.”