Candidates in the race for Beverly Hills City Council met again last week to voice their positions on issues affecting the community. Another forum is sheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.
The event last week was organized by the Southwest Beverly Hills Homeowners Association and focused on candidates' stances on real estate development, Metro tunneling under Beverly Hills High School, traffic and parking.
Moderator Ken Goldman, president of the homeowners association, asked candidates to speak about their two top priorities if elected. Here are their responses in the order in which they spoke at the forum:
Nancy Krasne: "Well, they're not sexy and exciting, but I really would like to have every utility pole in this city put underground for saftey reasons. They're old, they're antiquated and they're really not up to what we would consider the appropriate code, and Edison isn't required to do it. In the past they put them underground in the industrial area and other places but not in the residential areas.
"I'd like to mitigate the flow-through of traffic on residential streets. Everybody says that, but I have a real specific way that needs to go to the Parking and Traffic Commission. I haven't vetted it with anyone, but ... I'd like to see Charleville go one-way for two blocks and the next block over be in the opposite direction. ... It would make life a living hell for (drivers) if they tried to cut through residential streets."
Vice Mayor John Mirisch: "One would be establishing fiscal responsibility, and that does imply severaly very important points, one of which would be pension reform dealing with salaries and pensions. And the second one would be continued support of our schools. That doesn't only imply financial support, but it implies support in whichever way we can. And that would apply to their position towards Metro. ...
"One thing that you can do when it comes to pension reform is get the employees to start contributing to their own pensions. Currently our employees don't pay a penny toward their own pensions. That would create immediate savings and would create some fiscal leeway for us."
Brian Rosenstein: "I have said all along that my top two priorities, or my major priorties, are reinvigorating our business community so that we can provide our residents the necessary services that they want need and deserve.
"And restoring our public safety and emergency services to their highest levels. I think it's a matter of prioritizing, it's a matter of budgeting and making sure that our police and fire have all the necessary resources that they need."
Mayor William Brien: "Two of the most important priorities that I have right now are to complete the Beverly Gardens restoration, which is the redoing of the parks from Santa Monica and Doheny to Wilshire and Santa Monica and restore them back to the way they were when they were originally designed with color and the lili pond and the fountains.
"I think the second is, while there are a lot of things I'd like to do, ... maintining our strong budget performance and polices that have led to the $10 million that we now have, and most importantly, bending the curve so that currently our rate of revenue growth is exceeding the rate of our expense growth. If we can continue to do that, it will give us significant amounts of dollars to do other infrastructure investments and reinvest back into the community for things that benefit all of us as residents."
Katherine Cohan: "Definitely I'm for helping the schools in any way and shape that I can. I know that the schools are low in funds now, and hopefully, thank God, the city council has already, to my knowledge, awarded $3.45 million to the schools, but hopefully we can come together and get funds for the years to come. ...
"I'd like to also get involved in helping the senior citizens, more places for them to be able to attend. I know there's lots going on for the Roxbury Park, I'd like to be invoved in that."
Michael Talei is also running for a seat on the council, but he did not attend the forum.
Click here to view the southwest homeowners' forum.
This evening's forum is presented by the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce and the Beverly Hills Weekly. It will be televised Thursday at 7 p.m. on BHTV 10 and available for viewing on the city's website.
BHTV 10 will show all three 2013 candidate forums periodically between now and the March 5 election.