City Council Conducts a Heartfelt Changing of the Guard

April 2 marked the end of an era and the start of a new chapter for the city of Beverly Hills. 

The community bid longtime Councilmembers Lili Bosse and Julian Gold a teary goodbye, extended new Councilmembers Craig Corman and Mary Wells a gracious hello and gave newly appointed Mayor Lester Friedman a heartfelt welcome back. 

Held in a packed auditorium at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, the City Council Reorganization/Installation was full of powerful speeches that left many an eye watering. It was a time for expressing deep gratitude, recalling fond memories and charting new visions for the future of Beverly Hills.

“It was bittersweet,” Friedman told the Courier. “I’m really thrilled that I get another opportunity to serve the community as its mayor.”

“Having to say goodbye to Lili and Julian was a very moving experience for me,” he continued. “But I really look forward to working with our two new members, both of whom are very bright and experienced.”

During the meeting, Friedman outlined his goals for his second mayoral term, which include enhancing public safety, strengthening the city’s finances, improving electrical resilience, preparing for the 2028 Olympics, opening an early childhood education center and combating antisemitism.


Sharona Nazarian was sworn in as Vice Mayor by her father, as her husband and sons looked on.
All photos courtesy city of Beverly Hills

“Beverly Hills is positioned for a bright future,” he said in his mayoral remarks. “I look forward to working with Vice Mayor Nazarian, Councilmembers Mirisch, Corman and Wells to provide the residents and community of Beverly Hills with leadership that secures a safe, healthy and strong future.”

Prior to his formal installation, a significant portion of the meeting was dedicated to recognizing the many contributions that Bosse and Gold made to the city during their 13 respective years on the  council. 

Supervisor Lindsey Horvath, West Hollywood Mayor John Erickson, Santa Monica Mayor Phil Brock and Culver City Vice Mayor Dan O’Brien personally delivered their thanks as did representatives from the offices of Congressmember Ted Lieu, Senator Ben Allen, Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur and Los Angeles County Assessor Jeff Prang.

“To outgoing councilmember and always Mayor Lili Bosse thank you very much for your strong leadership, your passion and your example,” said Horvath. “You have been absolutely radiant in this role, it looks so good on you, I can’t believe you are leaving.”

“Dr. Mayor, President, Chair Gold thank you quite sincerely not only for your leadership, but for your friendship. You have been a remarkable mentor,” Horvath continued. “You have left an indelible mark on the community and on all of us.”

City staff honored both departing council members with personal videos encapsulating key moments from their time in office and presented them with a series of gifts including Beverly Hills swag, a crystal gavel, street signs with their names and a symbolic key to the city. 

Sharona Nazarian, who was sworn in as Vice Mayor during Tuesday’s installation, and Councilmember John Mirisch also delivered their sincere thanks to the outgoing council members. 

“Your commitment to our constituents in the community has been evident through your three times as its mayor,” said Nazarian, addressing Gold. “You spearheaded NEXT Beverly Hills, which I was a part of, and now my children serve on, which shows the incredible legacy you have left behind.”


Craig Corman is sworn in as a new council member by his wife Karen, with his mother Nan Corman standing alongside them.

“There’s something very special about local government when done right; It’s really the closest to home and It’s the best form of government because of that,” said Mirisch, addressing Bosse. “It’s home and it’s community and it’s extended family and that’s how I will always feel about you, and I’m happy to know that you will be there for advice whenever we need it.”

Both Gold and Bosse were deeply moved by the depth of gratitude expressed by local leaders and community members.

“It’s been an incredible journey,” said Bosse. “And as I’ve always said, the best is yet to come. Even on the hardest days I always say that we have to find something to be grateful for and what I’m most grateful for is everybody here.”

The pair of outgoing Council members also remarked upon the great sense of fulfillment and purpose they gained through their time on Council. 

“Muhammad Ali said, ‘service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth,’ and I think that’s well said,” said Gold. “I’ve been happy, very happy, to serve in this role.”

While Gold and Bosse’s leadership is a tough act to follow, the incumbent council members shared their faith in the capabilities of Corman and Wells who both took the oath of office surrounded by family members. 

“To say their shoes will be hard to fill is putting it mildly, but one of the reasons for the enduring success of our country is that in the long relay race of history, someone always picks up the baton,” said Corman. “All the councils that have come before us have given us a great start. It’s our turn now to run the race.”


Mary Wells is sworn in as a new council member.

Friedman’s first mayoral address of his second term rounded out the evening with many exciting announcements.

Among them, the news that Beverly Hills will host the 2024 North American Mayors Summit Against Antisemitism in December.

“Our city was one of the first to show our unwavering support for Israel and, along with the Israeli Consul General, presented a powerful flag art installation to recognize all of the nations who lost citizens during the attack,” said Friedman. “We will always stand with Israel and speak out against antisemitism when we see it.”

He also outlined new steps that the council and the Beverly Hills Police Department are collaboratively taking to enhance the safety of retail and residential areas. 

This includes amplifying the capabilities of the Real Time Watch Center with a network of cameras inside local businesses and the addition of 12 new sirens to warn the community in the event of a public safety emergency or natural disaster.

“As I look forward to the year ahead, maintaining the safety and security of our community continues to be job number one,” said Friedman. “Chief Stainbrook and the outstanding women and men of our Police Department are leading the way in technology, crime reduction and community relations.”

In addition, Friedman intends to continue the work of two initiatives spearheaded by Gold during his recent 2023 mayoral term: a Blue-Ribbon Committee to provide a roadmap for a healthy, responsible and prosperous financial future as well as the Mayor’s Citywide Electrical Resilience Ad Hoc Committee. 

Friedman will continue the tradition of the “60-Second Shout Out” highlighting local businesses; “People Helping People” highlighting community good deeds; and provide his own town hall style meetings under the moniker “Les is More: An Hour with the Mayor.”

He will launch a new video segment called “A Day at the Office” showcasing the work of city staff and unveil the city’s new website and centralized customer service model “ASK BH.”

Lastly, he will lead efforts to prepare the city for the challenges and opportunities of the future such as the opening of a Metro station in Beverly Hills and the 2028 arrival of the Olympic Games.