Shortly after arriving at Greystone Mansion for an Evening with the Mayor on Sept. 28, Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse and a group of friends began dancing to the smooth jazz played by a saxophonist walking around the property.
She then delivered her State of the City address with the same celebratory attitude, recounting the initiatives that have defined her tenure and helped the city continue its post-pandemic recovery, focusing especially on her efforts to bolster the Beverly Hills Police Department and foster the city’s reputation as a business destination.
Bosse also highlighted some of the prominent developments coming to the city, including the Cheval Blanc project proposed by LVMH, as well as community building programs like the Mayor’s Mental Wellness Series and reforms to get more residents involved with the City Council.
“In the remaining months of my term, I will continue to put the safety and health of our community first, champion our local businesses and listen to you,” Bosse said.
She touted the city’s financial investment in the BHPD, noting that the city has ensured that its officers are the highest paid in Southern California.
Technology is another key component of Bosse’s police initiatives, with officers using drones, text alerts and the city’s extensive closed circuit TV network to tamp down on crime.
Successes have included arrests the week before of suspects in a high-profile smash-and-grab on South Beverly Drive, Bosse said.
“We have become a model for law enforcement agencies and have been approached by other cities interested in creating a similar program,” she added, referring to the city’s CCTV surveillance system.
She also encouraged residents to sign up for the BHPD’s text alerts, which alert residents to police activity “the minute it happens.” To sign up, residents can text “BHPD Alert” to 888777.
Just In Case Beverly Hills, a program that creates neighborhood emergency response teams that activate if a major disaster delays help from the fire and police departments, gives residents an extra layer of security, Bosse said.
Along with public safety reforms, the city’s business achievements were a focal point.
Thanks in part to new measures that relax parking restrictions and allow rooftop dining, the city has attracted new restaurants and hotels, while initiatives like Business with Bosse further highlight the city’s restaurants and hotels, Bosse said.
“There is vibrancy and electricity on our streets, and it’s thrilling to spend time together again,” she added. The mayor also stressed that the city’s four biggest tax bases have continued to bounce back from pandemic-era lows.
Property values have increased, and the city’s business and sales taxes have recovered to or exceeded pre-pandemic levels, while the retail tax has recovered to 85% of its pre-pandemic level, Bosse said.
The mayor has also tried to get residents more involved with government, hosting monthly livestreamed town halls and previewing City Council agendas before the council meets.
She highlighted improvements at the city’s schools, with Beverly Hills High School opening two buildings that house a medical center, career and college centers, and a mental wellness center.
Additionally, the Board of Education has expanded the transitional kindergarten program to strengthen early childhood learning and established a community pledge that aligns with the city’s commitment to civility, Bosse said.
With sponsors including Aston Martin and complimentary hors d’ouevres and cocktails, the event, hosted by the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, was a classy affair, drawing more than 700 guests.
“I truly believe we’re very fortunate to be in the city that we are. We operate businesses in a community where the leaders are accessible, helpful and create a small town feeling in a world famous city,” BHCC CEO Todd Johnson said.