At its Nov. 23 meeting, the Next Beverly Hills (Next BH) Committee met with City Council liaisons Dr. Julian Gold and Mayor Robert Wunderlich to discuss the vice chair election, subcommittee appointments, and to explore the possibility of a citywide valet service. Last month, Next BH launched its new program series, “First Thursdays,” where participating businesses in the city offered incentives such as complimentary items, discounted goods, services and more to energize the city streets. “First Thursdays” takes place the first Thursday of each month from 5-9 p.m., with the next one taking place on Dec. 2.
At the start of the meeting, Wunderlich took the opportunity to address the group regarding safety in the city. “There has been that swarm of organized grab and go thefts from a variety of stores, including two attempts in Beverly Hills,” Wunderlich said. “And just to let people know, we have increased security, and we have an increased police presence and the private security presence in response to that.”
The committee gathered after the liaison meeting to begin the process of electing a vice chair. Currently, Noelle Freeman serves as chair, and Tiffany Davis as vice chair. Committee members will be able to nominate someone from the list of other eligible members to serve as vice chair. To be considered eligible, a member must have either attended over 50 percent of the committee meetings or be active on a subcommittee.
Nominations are open now through Dec. 1. Members who accept their nomination will be asked to submit a candidate statement by Dec. 8, with online voting to follow. Election results will be announced on Dec. 17. The new vice chair will be installed Jan. 20.
“It’s going to be a transition the next month, so it’ll be exciting to see someone step up,” said Freeman.
Citywide valet discussed
Last month, the committee discussed a new initiative exploring the possibility of a citywide valet service. The topic is timely, since the city is also considering long-term implementation of the OpenBH program.
Wunderlich confirmed that while the OpenBH subcommittees have started to meet to discuss safety, design and operational standards, there was nothing to report back yet. “Trying to find an appropriate way to continue the program going into the future, one aspect to support it conceivably could be the city valet,” Wunderlich said. Gold agreed, inviting Next BH members to bring the initiative before the council and city staff as the conversation develops.
“I personally find valet to be even more important now for safety,” Davis said. “I understand that not everyone has the same concerns if you’re not female, but safety is always our number concern, especially walking alone, walking back to a garage,” she added. “There are garages in the city I absolutely love and feel safe in, and there are garages in the city I try to avoid, because I don’t. So, I think that there’s a lot to look at there, but I think citywide valet would have a part in maybe helping deter some activity and bring some safety to those of us who are looking for it.”
A summary of the group’s consensus opinion on the pros and cons of a citywide valet will be prepared for a future meeting. The next committee meeting is scheduled for Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m.