April 24, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Introducing Mayor Barry Brucker

Barry Brucker, the new mayor of Beverly Hills, and family

Last month, the Beverly Hills City Council held its annual mayoral installation ceremony at the K. L. Peterson Auditorium at Beverly Hills High School. Some 300 people attended to witness the installation of Barry Brucker, a man who grew up in Beverly Hills and served two terms as Beverly Hills School Board President in 1999 and 2003.

Now that Brucker has moved from vice mayor to mayor, he has major plans for the coming year, and he’s got some big shoes to fill.

Outgoing mayor Jimmy Delshad was a local celebrity – becoming the city’s first Iranian-American mayor – with a paparazzi-style following. But there’s nothing flashy about Brucker, a businessman who serves as president and CEO of his own company.

 â€œWhat I lack in buzz, I will make up with moving forward a lot of the city’s projects, but I’ll still be able to handle all the ribbon cuttings,†he says, laughing.

Brucker confesses: “It’s been an extremely turbulent couple of weeks. Turbulent, but exciting.â€

The “turbulence†he’s referring to includes a massive expansion of the current Beverly Hilton Hotel, and the 9900 Wilshire Project at the former Robinson’s May site next to the Hilton (which was approved in a 4-1 vote by the city council on April 9). The Hilton expansion is ruffling feathers among residents who feel that the project will damage the look of the city and create further traffic congestion.

Brucker tackled the issue head on, holding a series of ongoing town hall meetings to allow residents to voice their concerns. “I don’t want any community member to ever say they didn’t have a chance to communicate,†explains Brucker.

Most of the city’s mayors hope to leave a legacy following their 12-month tenure, but Brucker has already made a mark during his term as vice mayor last year. He fought hard and won two major battles: a strict code of ethics for councilors once their five-year term on the council ends and a non-smoking policy in outdoor dining areas. Despite opposition to the smoking ban, the program, implemented last summer, has been extremely successful.

Still, Brucker hopes to implement two new communications programs. One, titled “Ask Bev,†is a program that allows anyone to go online and submit questions or requests to the city. The other, Ombudsman 3-1-1, would make a similar system available by telephone, which will allow residents to do everything from reporting a pothole to enrolling in a CPR class or requesting a building permit.

Brucker is also working on a program called “The Greening of Beverly Hills†to incorporate Green features into the city’s General Plan, currently undergoing review for the first time since 1977.

He’ll be tackling the city’s biggest bane: traffic. He’s co-opted fellow councilor Linda Briskman to chair a Traffic Mitigation Symposium. He’ll lobby in Sacramento and Washington for increased funding for the city. “I’ve been schmoozing my whole career. I’m a salesman by profession,†he said, when asked if he has what it takes to lobby senators.

Brucker relishes the year ahead. “It’s all about personal style,†he says. “And I’m very proactive, not afraid to take on challenges.â€

in News
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