Beverly Hills Budgets Set for 2024/2025

The Beverly Hills City Council on June 18 approved a $651.2 million operating and capital improvement budget for the 2024/25 fiscal year, as well as other budgets funding the city’s marketing efforts, Rodeo Drive events and Chamber of Commerce initiatives.   

As the council discussed the 24/25 fiscal year budget in detail during a Study Session last month, Director of Finance Jeff S. Muir on June 18 provided a broad overview of the budget, noting there were only a few changes from the original proposal. 

The largest difference, Muir said, was the $7.9 million increase to both general fund revenue and appropriations that was associated with reimbursed Metro contracts approved by the council on May 21. Another additional item requiring the council’s approval was the authority to overhire five Beverly Hills Police Department officers in case of unexpected staffing shortages.     

Mayor Lester Friedman said he was proud that the city continued to invest so deeply in public safety and continues to allocate funds for the Beverly Hills Unified School District. 

“I think one of the most important takeaways from this is the fact that 52% of our budget is for police and fire and it’s worth every penny of it,” Friedman said. “Most people used to [and] still do come to our city because of police, fire and schools so I’m very proud of this budget.”   

The councilmembers noted that most of their questions and comments were addressed at the May 21 Study Session, though Vice Mayor Sharona Nazarian said the city should work towards a more “holistic” approach to private security, instead of “piecemealing it” by signing several different contracts.

Councilmember Mary Wells said she was glad to see Capital Improvement Project funds invested into the city’s reservoir management, electric vehicle charging stations and other infrastructure efforts, and added that it is important to begin planning against potential losses of revenue in the years ahead.  

While Councilmember John Mirisch thanked staff for working hard to compile the budget, he thought the city was “overcharging” residents and cast the sole dissenting vote, saying it had failed to secure good value for money.  

The council also approved a roughly $4.99 million budget for the Beverly Hills Conference and Visitors Bureau (CVB) 2024/25 work plan, which is aimed at maintaining the city’s reputation as a global destination for travel and business.

The plan includes sales missions to New York and Miami, which is to be paid for with $250,000 of carryover funding from last year, leisure travel trade shows aimed at the international market and a targeted social media campaign, according to a staff report.  

“All of our initiatives this year will be focused on safety and the quality of life in Beverly Hills,” CVB CEO Julie Wagner said. “And we’ll do that by making sure that we differentiate ourselves from the greater Los Angeles area by making sure that everybody understands that we have our own security, our own city services, our own revenue stream, and when you come to Beverly Hills, it’s like the Wizard of Oz. Everything’s greener, more beautiful, sounds better, looks better, feels better.” 

The work plan received strong support from several hospitality leaders, including Maybourne Beverly Hills General Manager Sam Jagger, who said the market for luxury travel has become increasingly competitive.  

“It is essential for Beverly Hills to continue to support and invest in our CVB not only to preserve its esteemed image but also to innovate and maintain a leading position in this highly competitive luxury travel market,” Jagger said. 

Wells, who serves as a liaison on the City Council/CVB Marketing Committee, said the success of last month’s Milken Institute Global Conference at The Beverly Hilton demonstrated how investing in the city’s capacity to hold large-scale conferences and events can bolster the wider tourism economy. 

Friedman, another committee liaison, also urged Beverly Hills hotels to work with LA28, the group responsible for hosting the 2028 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, to secure benefits for the city.  

“Whatever that level of cooperation is, of course, up to each individual hotel negotiating with LA28. But I think that there needs to be an awareness that it is important to the city of Beverly Hills,” Friedman said.

The City Council also unanimously approved the $197,988 2024/25 work plan for the Rodeo Drive Committee and the $553,245 work plan for the Chamber of Commerce.  

The bulk of the Rodeo Drive Committee’s funding request—almost $185,000—is allocated for website and social management, which is central to the city’s advertising efforts. The funding request for the Rodeo Drive Celebrates programs has been reduced from $26,000 to $13,000 due to a partnership with sculptor Richard Orlinski, according to a staff report. 

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