Beverly Hills Thanks Dr. Gold for His 13 Years of Service

The Beverly Hills City Council Meeting of March 18 marked the end of an era, as two long-serving members, Mayor Dr. Julian Gold and Councilmember Lili Bosse, bade farewell. Both received considerable public acclaim at the meeting, in recognition of years of public service. In this two-part series, the Courier will look back at the significant accomplishments of two of the city’s most consequential officials.

Mayor Dr. Julian Gold is many things —a leader, an anesthesiologist, a problem solver, a future-minded thinker, a shrewd financial planner, an avid sports fan, a proud grandfather, and perhaps above all, a devoted member of the Beverly Hills community.

Summarizing his contributions to the city over his seven years as a commissioner, 13 on City Council, and three terms as mayor is a task too large to complete in a single article. However, when asked to name his greatest accomplishments, a few top hits came to his mind.

The first is the establishment of NEXT Beverly Hills in 2015, a committee of talented young leaders focused on innovative initiatives that address the lifestyle, economic, and civic needs of residents in their 20s, 30s and 40s.

“The creation of the NEXT Beverly Hills Committee came out of an epiphany that we needed to do something to attract more young people to participate in the city and to live here, because they will be our future,” Gold told the Courier.

Fast forward seven years and the committee has been a hit, fostering a vibrant community through its annual NEXT NIGHT Street Festival and training several young leaders who have already gone on to serve on other city commissions.

“Julian, you really touched my life when you created NEXT Beverly Hills. It’s such an amazing community and such an amazing effort,” said former committee member Derrick Ontiveros at the March 18 Council Meeting. “It really is something that was sorely needed in the city, and I think will long outlast your tenure on council.”


Gold with fellow mayors at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Ohio

The second major accomplishment that Gold believes will benefit the city long after his departure is his reimagining of community health through the establishment of the fire department’s innovative nurse practitioner program.

Gold, who has over 40 years of experience as a physician, observed major inefficiencies in how the fire department responds to 911 medical calls. As in most cities, they operated within an “all or nothing” model where they could either leave a caller at the scene or transport them to the emergency room.

In many cases, however, what callers need is something in between, such as at home urgent care or referrals to other medical services.

By embedding nurse practitioners with the fire department, Gold created the opportunity for a medical professional to remain on scene and work to resolve the underlying problem driving the call for service. This helps reduce the volume of repeat 911 callers, hospital transportation costs and frees up firefighters to respond to life-threatening emergencies.

The program has had a huge impact on Beverly Hills’ aging population, who make up the majority of repeat 911 callers. The nurses have been able to serve as a bridge to their primary care physicians, evaluate their mental wellness, connect them to social services and recommend in-home solutions to avoid falls.

“We as a council made a decision to fund this program, but the community at large has really embraced it,” said Gold. “I can go almost anywhere and hear a testimonial from somebody who says ‘they (the nurse practitioners) came and took care of my mother, my father, my grandfather, they did an amazing job, we love this program.’”


Gold’s election as California Contract Cities President, May 2023

The program has also garnered attention at the county, state and national level and representatives from the fire department have traveled across America to advise city leaders on how they can create similar programs.

“We have done so much good work that the county now will allow us to transport patients to mental health and urgent care facilities and that was not the case before, so we’ve helped unload the emergency room, reduced the cost of care and made a better experience for the patient,” he said.

The success of this program served as the basis of one of Mayor Gold’s three key initiatives for his third mayoral term: research into creating a Health Services Department that consolidates the city’s existing mental, physical and emotional health programs under one roof.

Gold said he is happy to see increased collaboration and alignment among the various arms of the city that address community health needs. He hopes that this will serve as a template for the creation of a formal department going forward.

Gold’s other two main projects this term—a commission to study the city’s finances and a committee to work on electrical resiliency—have also produced impressive early results.

The Blue-Ribbon Committee on Long-Term Strategic Financial Planning gave a report on the city’s financial future in the March 18 City Council Study Session. The report contained 10 recommendations for increasing the city’s revenues, which Gold hopes council members will use as a guidebook moving forward.

In addition, the Mayor’s Citywide Electrical Resilience Ad Hoc Committee presented its action plan in a Feb. 24 City Council Study Session. The plan outlined short-term and long-term strategies for developing electric independence and avoiding future power outages.

This includes energy audits for commercial and residential buildings; adding more backup power sources; dedicating a staff position to working on electrical concerns and improving access to real-time outage data.

“It’s been a very productive year,” said Gold, reflecting on the outcomes of his three mayoral projects.

In addition to these policy goals, Gold also spent his term closely interacting with residents through his “Office Hours with Doctor Gold” town hall meetings; “Mayor’s Minute” and “60 Second Shout Out” highlighting local business; and “People Helping People” honoring local humanitarian efforts.

Community connection is the entire reason he first became involved in local politics.

He vividly remembers the first time he realized the depth and strength of Beverly Hills’ community. It was in 2006 when he fell seriously ill and was in and out of the hospital, while his daughter Rebecca was attending Beverly Hills schools.


Gold with wife Michele

He was blown away by how friends, neighbors and school families rallied to support the family during this very difficult time.

“That’s when I got the sense of how this community is really like an extended family,” he said. “From there it’s not a big step to say you want to pay that forward.”

For Gold, City government was always where he wanted to focus his energy.
“If you want to make change, local government is really the place where you can do that,” he said. “You know if the streets are paved, the parks are pretty, the schools are good.”
“You get to see the tangible benefits of your work every day,” he added.
He is looking forward to passing the baton to the next generation of city leaders and has several key pieces of advice to share.

Firstly, have a thick skin.

“You need to listen to people and you need to be respectful, but sometimes it won’t come back at you that way and you have to learn to deal with that,” he said.

Secondly, you need to always vote the way you truly believe and not bow to the pressure of others.

Thirdly, always ask for help and admit you don’t know what you don’t know.

“The learning curve is significant and steep, and you have to put in the time to understand that and study things you don’t understand.”

Lastly, never lose sight of what makes Beverly Hills such a magical place to live.

“I think we live in a great place and we’re very fortunate for all of the things that come from that place including our environment, our police, our fire services and our schools,” he said. “Most of our lives are damn near perfect and those who get lost in that which is not perfect miss the bigger picture about how really special life around here is.”

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