The Beverly Hills City Council continued its new tradition of meeting virtually at this week’s May 19 City Council meeting, approving a bevy of items including a contract for Dominick Rivetti to begin work as Interim Chief of Police.
Welcome Back Chief Rivetti
The City Council unanimously approved the employment agreement with Dominick J. Rivetti to serve as the Interim Chief of Police until a permanent chief is selected. Given Rivetti’s status as a retired person under the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), in order to maintain his benefits, he cannot work more than 960 hours in any fiscal year. Rivetti will be paid an hourly rate of $126.50 an hour, which according to his contract equates to approximately $23,660 per month. Per the contract, Rivetti will not be eligible to receive any benefits, incentives or any other form of compensation in addition to the hourly rate.
Rivetti takes over the position previously held by Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli for almost four-and-a-half-years, who retired earlier this month. This week’s appointment marks the second time Rivetti will take the helm of the Beverly Hills Police Department, previously having served as Interim Chief from August 2015 through early 2016 before Spagnoli was tapped for the position. Councilmembers Lili Bosse, Julian Gold and John Mirisch were all members of the Council last time Rivetti served.
“We are very lucky to have you at the helm and we are thrilled to have you back,” said Bosse, who requested to make the motion to approve Rivetti’s contract. “You know our department, you know our City and you’re well positioned to step up. Thank you for your service,” Mirisch said. “We look forward to all that you’re going to bring to the City, yet again,” Gold said.
Memorial Day in Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills Parks will remain open for Memorial Day, as opposed to closing as the City opted to due for both Mother’s Day and Easter in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City Council advocated that there be additional patrols in the park to ensure that people continue adhering to rules, including appropriate social distancing and face covering usage. Park Ambassadors are expected to offer “friendly reminders” about the rules.
Condemning Holocaust Denial
The City Council unanimously adopted a resolution condemning any attempts by the Lithuanian government to deny involvement in the Holocaust. A Committee of the Lithuanian parliament was drafting legislation in January 2020 declaring that neither the Baltic nation nor its leaders participated in the Holocaust, which included the murder of six million Jews. It is estimated more than 95 percent of about 250,000 Jews who lived in Lithuania when the Nazis invaded in 1945 were slain.
Seventy-five years on, Holocaust revisionism continues to increase globally. The resolution states: “The City of Beverly Hills condemns any attempts by the Lithuanian government to deny their historical state-sponsored, and other official acts facilitating the murder of Jews and others during the Holocaust.”
Council Agrees to Delay TOT Repayments
The Council agreed to extend deferred Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) payments. Hotels now have until on Oct. 1 to begin repayments for February, March and April, to be repaid over a six-month period. The City has thus far received $1.4 million of the $5.1 million it was due from hotels for February and March taxes. A joint letter authored by the hotel community to the City Council advocated for an additional extension of the repayment of 2020 TOT to the City. “This pandemic has been the most difficult challenge our City’s hotels have ever faced,” stated the letter of May 13, which was signed by Offer Nissenbaum (The Peninsula Beverly Hills), Sandy Murphy (The Beverly Hilton), Peter Humig (The Beverly Wilshire), Michael Bridges (Sixty Beverly Hills), Brittany Ruland (AKA Beverly Hills), Edward Mady (The Beverly Hills Hotel), and Vanessa Williams (Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills).
Meal Delivery Service Providers Face Caps
The Council agreed to further consider setting a 15 percent cap on delivery service fees for third party providers like Grubhub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash at its June 2 meeting. San Francisco, Washington DC, Seattle and New York have all enacted a 15 percent commission cap for third-party delivery services. City Attorney Larry Wiener is expected to draft an ordinance for the upcoming meeting. According to Beverly Hills Marketing and Economic Sustainability Manager Laura Biery, fees can range from five percent to 30 percent.