An unusually significant City Council election campaign that will replace two longtime powerful and influential councilmembers who have served over 13 years is underway. As the number of candidates for these seats continues to grow, now is a good time to make some suggestions about the substance of the campaign.
The purpose of these suggestions is to help residents understand what candidates intend to do if elected, and how they would approach issues facing our city.
We are most fortunate to have a very well-run, well-funded city. Unlike many other cities, we are as free from excessive incompetence or corruption as any organization that involves human beings can be.
However, nothing is perfect, and we can always improve.
Our residents/voters deserve to know what kind of council member each candidate will be. So, here are a few questions the candidates might consider addressing to better inform the voters:
What would you do about enhancing our residents’ feelings of security? If you think that hiring more police is an answer, how would you accomplish hiring them?
By the time that your term begins, our city should have a certified General Plan Revised Housing Element that will provide for very substantial (more than 3,000) additional residential housing sites over the eight years of the current RHNA cycle, two years of which have already gone by. What will you do to ensure that we comply with our obligations to effect changes or deal with the consequences if we do not?
Should the Mixed-Use Overlay Zone and related rules be altered and/or expanded? If so, to what extent and where?
What are your views about the dispute over the termination of the DuPont (abortion) Clinic lease? What would you do about it?
What should be done, if anything, to encourage our residents to use the new subway line going through the city?
What else can we do to improve mobility within the city?
What should be done with the Hawthorne School property at the end of 2024 when the site will no longer be used as a school? Should the city play a role in this?
Is our preparedness for catastrophic events such as wildfires or earthquakes sufficient?
If not, how would you improve matters?
What would you do about the now-stalled plans to improve La Cienega Park?
Should the city continue to subsidize residential solid waste trash collection?
All members of the council are elected “at large” and voted on by all registered voters throughout the city. Would you prefer to have geographic districts so that each council member would represent a district comprising approximately 20% of our residents?
Are our city commissions functioning well? What would you do to improve them?
What is your position on the proposed initiative regarding increased minimum wages for hotel workers and others?
Should our campaign financing rules be changed?
If our candidates for City Council would consider and be prepared to take positions on these and other issues during the upcoming campaign, our residents will be better informed when they cast their votes about what they will be getting.
Peter Ostroff is a Beverly Hills resident of over five decades who retired from a 50-year practice as a trial lawyer in 2017. Ostroff has served as a member of the Planning Commission since 2018. In addition to the Planning Commission, Ostroff served as Chair of the BHUSD 7-11 Surplus Property Committee and participated in efforts to develop the District Offices site on S. Lasky Drive and proposals for the use of the Hawthorne School property once its students are moved to the new El Rodeo School. He also served as Co-Chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the City’s Climate Adaptation and Action Plan now being prepared. He completed the Citizen’s Police Academy and is a graduate of Team Beverly Hills.