Brucker To Stress Accomplishments With State Of The City Speech
Once a year, residents, business leaders and politicians gather at Greystone mansion to hear the mayor of Beverly Hills deliver his “State of the City” speech. This year will be no different as Mayor Barry Brucker will take to the podium Wednesday discussing topics ranging from updating the General Plan to the City’s financial health.
He is also expected to stress three words that “are the very essence of this amazing City of ours: spirit, service (and) success.”
In excerpts of his speech obtained by The Courier, Brucker praises residents for their participation over the last seven years “in attending meetings, studying issues, reviewing documents and exchanging ideas in an effort to shape the City’s future.
“And, because of your hard work and dedication – and with your additional insights over the next few months, we expect to have the General Plan update finalized and approved by the end of the year,” Brucker said.
He is also expected to stress that the City remains in “solid financial shape.” Brucker will point out that while Beverly Hills hasn’t been immune to the economic downturn, the City has “remained exceptionally vibrant despite many of the storms that swirl around us.”
He said the housing market remains strong and businesses continue to seek out Beverly Hills for their restaurants, stores, hotels and firms. According to the Los Angeles County Assessor, Beverly Hills had the highest percentage increased of assessed valuation in the county last year, nearly 12 percent or $2.1 billion of new value.
In terms of tourism, the City’s Transient Occupancy Tax, or TOT, revenues are at an all-time high.
He said the City’s 14 first-class hotels generated nearly $24 million in tax revenue with occupancy rates at more than 78 percent and average room rates at $439.
The City also enjoys a vibrant shopping district, generating $1.45 billion in annual retail sales.
In total, Beverly Hills generates about $2 billion in taxable sales annually, which translates into $58,000 in taxable sales per capital.
“So in light of these numbers, I’d like to make one thing very clear, the Beverly Hills business community is the lifeblood of this City,” Brucker said.
“It contributes 75 percent of the taxes that enable the City to deliver its premiere services to residents. And, when you consider that only 9 percent of the land in this City is commercially occupied, that is a startling and phenomenal figure.”
During his speech, Brucker will also talk about the accomplishments made by the City’s police and fire departments as well his green initiatives and no outdoor dining smoking ordinance.
The Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring “An Evening with the Mayor” tonight at Greystone mansion. The program will be from 5 to 7 p.m.
“The chamber is proud to present ‘An Evening with the Mayor’ each year,” Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce Vice President Jennifer Corbo said. “It is a wonderful opportunity for members of the public and business community to come together with City leadership and discuss how we can all work together to enhance Beverly Hills.”
“‘An Evening With the Mayor’ is a chance for the business community to bring their own voices to the forefront” said Daniel C. Walsh, CEO for the Chamber.
“It’s an exclusive event, celebrating Beverly Hills’ achievements while planting the seed for future endeavors.”
Editor’s Note: The Courier will have full coverage of the mayor’s speech in Friday’s edition and online at www.bhcourier.com