Mayor William Brien gave his State of the City address Wednesday evening at , focusing on the city’s infrastructure, parks, preservation efforts, pensions and business community.
One of the first issues he discussed was the Roxbury Park Community Center. After numerous liaison meetings and City Council discussions, a consensus has been reached regarding the renovation of the aging facility.
“We will on the footprint of the existing building,” Brien said. “[We] will preserve green space and give Beverly Hills residents a recreational facility that we can all be proud of.”
Brien told attendees that the city has set aside more than $4 million to help revitalize Beverly Hills’ southeast area, including .
“I look forward to supporting these efforts to turn the area around La Cienega, Robertson and Olympic boulevards into a walkable, family-friendly, arts and entertainment district.”
The establishment of the Cultural Heritage Commission and passing of the was highlighted, along with the designation of the as the city’s .
Brien noted the , which is being spearheaded by Beverly Hills native Steven Gordon. The plans include bringing back the historic lily pond, refurbishing the cactus and palm gardens, and introducing some lighting elements to the grounds.
Addressing Beverly Hills’ fiscal status, Brien said the city will decrease it liabilities by more than $90 million over 40 years through a program that offers city employees the option of giving up their retirement medical benefits in exchange for a cash payment.
He also said that the city has negotiated a for public safety employees, which will result in an estimated yearly savings of $800,000.
In addressing business growth, Brien welcomed new businesses to town such as , H.O.M.E jazz club, and .
“The city has always had a close relationship with the business community, but I am struck by the diversity of partnerships that have formed in the past year or so,” he said.
Looking ahead, the mayor noted the city's upcoming centennial celebration and holiday events, which include an outdoor ice skating rink at . He also expressed his excitement for the opening of the , the Goldsmith Theatre and the new Visitor’s Center at 9400 Santa Monica Blvd., where the is moving.
In closing his speech, Brien thanked those who work to keep Beverly Hills running and its residents safe. He also thanked groups that volunteer for the community, such as and Friends of Greystone.
“We must preserve what is best about our past, bring joy in the present and plan a future that our grandchildren will want to be a part of,” Brien said.