The formal Beverly Hills City Council meeting on March 7 considered a variety of issues, including the city’s preferred park program, ongoing tree felling on Robertson Boulevard, and a request to use the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts for the celebrations for the 75th Independence Day of Israel.
The Council approved the Israeli Consul General’s request in Los Angeles for one of the city’s free days at The Wallis. Israel’s Independence Day is observed on April 25th and 26th.
During the meeting, the Beverly Hills Police Department (BHPD) provided updates on the city’s preferred parking program. BHPD Lt. Robert Maycott and BHPD Sgt. David Tomlin was in attendance and gave a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation on conducting public outreach about the program at city events, including the Beverly Hills Farmers’ Market on Sundays. They also reported efforts to enroll residents in the program through community workshops, customer service representatives, warning quotes, physical mailers, and email reminders.
Warning notices for those who have not registered for the program were issued on March 1st. Full enforcement of the program is scheduled to take effect on April 1.
“Success is built on education and continued support,” Maycott said.
The recently launched program uses license plate reading technology as an alternative to hang tags for vehicle verification. The automated parking system program, police officials said, is an opportunity to offer residents, visitors and businesses greater flexibility, access and convenience through a new parking citation and permit management system with technology service provider Data Ticket, Inc. It will enhance security measures already implemented in conjunction with the city’s effective Real Time Watch Center.
Speaking to the council with Tomlin at his side, Maycott said police were keen to make the parks program “fair and equitable”.
“I can assure you that we are making every effort to ensure that this is fair and just for all residents here in the city – for all 76 [parking] Zones,” the BHPD officer said.
As of February 27, the Police Department has issued more than 7,500 parking permits under the new program, including day tags, attendant passes and night passes.
At the start of the bimonthly gathering, many viewers spoke by phone, in person, and email about an item not on the agenda: the ongoing controversy over the removal of 87 Ficus trees on Robertson Boulevard. In comment after comment, individuals, including representatives from the Robertson Boulevard Special Task Force, spoke out against the tree removal.
Attending the meeting in person, Tiffany said the trees provide much-needed shade in a warm climate.
“I’m here on behalf of the trees on Robertson Boulevard,” she said. “And I can’t help but think… they’re needed in this urban city.”
Another speaker, Laura, a self-proclaimed sustainability advocate and native of Angeleno, called the council to protest the removal.
“These distances are a misstep and a discrimination against stakeholders who can’t put more into your campaign coffers, plain and simple,” she said. “That has to stop.”
During a section devoted to comments from Council members, Council Member John Mirisch expressed a desire to pass a resolution against anti-Semitism. His comment sparked a debate among council members. Councilor Lester Friedman said the Council’s stance against Jew-hatred had been made clear; he did not consider it necessary to make a decision. The conversation was stimulated in part by Mayor Lili Bosse, who recounted an experience she had upon entering the meeting: a parishioner gave her a book about the Holocaust, which included details about her family.
The next formal Beverly Hills City Council meeting is scheduled for March 21.