Beverly Hills Mayor Robert Wunderlich was sworn into office on April 6, replacing outgoing Mayor Lester Friedman, who will continue to serve as a City Council member.
In his opening remarks and in a previously recorded video, Wunderlich stressed the importance of helping the city recover from the coronavirus pandemic and of emphasizing the “community feel of Beverly Hills that we all love so much.”
“We want Beverly Hills to be a place where businesses want to locate, that visitors want to come to, and to do that, we have to adapt somewhat to directions in which the world is moving and also to reinforce some of the things we already have in place,” Wunderlich said.
Wunderlich wants Beverly Hills to use its homegrown talent and existing attributes to position itself for future success. He accented this goal by featuring several local performers during the installation ceremony, including singer Ariana Escalante and poet and Beverly Hills High School senior Sophie Szew.
“We did it with art and culture. That’s our brand. We did it with talent from within our city, with talent from across the generations. That’s our strength. Now we move to emerge, to move to position ourselves for the future,” Wunderlich said.
Wunderlich’s colleagues were effusive in their praise for the new mayor and pledged their support.
“This is now a relay race, and Lester is about to pass the baton – or in our case, the gavel – to you. We know the challenges that we face and I’m confident that with your leadership, we’ll move forward from this pandemic, from this very challenging time in our history, and make this city stronger,” Councilman Julian Gold said.
“Bob, this is your time … Whatever problems we may face, the best way for us to get through them is as a community. Bob, may you enjoy and thrive in leading our city,” said Councilman John Mirisch, who was not present but submitted written remarks.
Vice Mayor Lili Bosse replaces Wunderlich as vice mayor. Bosse, who is in line to serve as mayor next year and who has previously served as mayor in 2014 and 2017, said she was “grateful” to serve as vice mayor.
“We are finally on a road to better days again … I share today with all of you, my colleagues and our incredible community … The best is still yet to come,” Bosse said.
In his final remarks before leaving the position of mayor, Friedman called his term an “honor and privilege,” and he noted that he served as mayor during “a year like no other.”
“As a City Council, we had our work cut out for us,” Friedman said.
Despite the pandemic, an economic downturn, and racial and political protests, Friedman noted that “the future of our city is bright.”
“My friend and colleague Bob Wunderlich is well-positioned to take us into the recovery phase … We as a city will emerge stronger than we were before,” Friedman said.
Despite the positive momentum, Friedman encouraged the council and the city’s residents to take advice from his mentor, legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, who advised his players to “be quick, but don’t hurry.”
“We are anxious to move on, but let’s do it in a confident, but safe and prudent, manner,” Friedman said.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.