Courier Exclusive: Mayor Wunderlich Will Run for Reelection
Beverly Hills Mayor Robert Wunderlich has announced that he is running for reelection in June 2022.
In a Courier exclusive, Wunderlich told the Courier, “I am excited to announce that I will be seeking reelection to the Beverly Hills City Council. I am proud of what we have accomplished during my first term and in my initial months as Mayor, and I am eager to continue this progress during a second term.”
Wunderlich noted that the “guiding light” for his second term would be to preserve what is loved about Beverly Hills while positioning it for the future.
“By enabling a sustainable city, we will preserve our sense of community, our feel as a sophisticated village, our exceptional safety and other services, and our status as a world-class place to live, visit, and operate a business. We must strive to continue to be the place where people across the generations want to live, where people want to visit and shop, and where businesses that support our vision of Beverly Hills want to locate.”
Preserving and enhancing the village quality of the city is a key component of Wunderlich’s vision. He outlined for the Courier a multi-pronged strategy to further this goal in a second term:
“Ensuring the sustainability of the city into the future will enable us to provide the high level of safety and services that residents, visitors, and businesses enjoy and to attract the cross-generational mix of residents needed for a vibrant community,” said Wunderlich. He pointed to numerous accomplishments as well as future plans to further this objective. Wunderlich emphasized the importance of supporting an attractive and stable residential community and of attracting and retaining a mix of distinctive businesses for a vibrant commercial sector. He noted the importance of supporting an environmentally sustainable and healthy city, providing for water and other infrastructure necessary as the backbone of the city and creating engaging public spaces and street life, such as the OpenBH program and arts and cultural installations. Additionally, Wunderlich expressed his strong support for enhancing a pedestrian and bicycle- friendly village atmosphere. He also noted the importance of supporting schools and the need to “carefully control expenses and maintain prudent reserves, enabling the city to continue to provide a high level of services while emerging from the pandemic.”
Preserve Attractive Residential Neighborhoods
“Preserving attractive residential neighborhoods for homeowners and renters, with quiet residential streets and protections against overbuilding” is of prime importance, said Wunderlich. He is particularly concerned about preventing over-building in the hillside and other areas, prohibiting fractional ownership in residential neighborhoods, providing protections for renters, promoting the Slow Streets program and renewing an emphasis on traffic safety and reducing excessive vehicle noise.
Ensure Safety and Services
Beverly Hills is distinguished by the exceptional safety and services enjoyed by residents, visitors, and businesses. Yet, it is important to remain diligent in improving and expanding those services, said Wunderlich. He set forth examples of existing accomplishments and future plans on this subject, such as providing personnel and equipment resources for police and fire departments, adding additional resources to address security and homelessness concerns, evaluating a Metro sub-station, adding video cameras throughout the city and adding a city-wide warning system.
Promote Transparency in Government
Wunderlich laid out for the Courier some of his future plans on the important topic of government transparency. Those plans include creating an internal audit function (currently being restructured), supporting openness and public input for all meetings and improving communication regarding city initiatives and planning, including budgeting, developments, infrastructure, and Metro.
“This was the vision I described in my first campaign,” said Wunderlich. “I am heartened by the progress that we as a city have made and eagerly look forward to a second term to continue making this vision a reality.”
Wunderlich was elected to the Beverly Hills City Council in 2017 and is serving his first term as Mayor. Previously, for 10 years, he represented Beverly Hills as its Director at Metropolitan Water District, overseeing an annual budget of $1.7 billion and serving as Chair of the Audit Committee as well as in other leadership roles.
He also brings specialized talents to the Council, which observers note have served the city well.
“I was trained as a scientist. I am a reasoned thinker. I have been an economist, consulting for prominent business from industries vital for Southern California, including entertainment, fashion, and healthcare, for more than 30 years. I understand public governance, business, budgets, finance, and technology. I have used and would continue to use all of these parts of my background during a second term on City Council,” Wunderlich said.
Wunderlich’s education background includes a B.A. in chemistry (with secondary emphasis in English) from Columbia University, an M.A. in Physics and Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from Harvard University, and an MBA with emphasis in finance from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA. He is a Registered Professional Chemical Engineer.
Wunderlich and his wife Andrea Spatz have been married for 35 years and have two children who attended Beverly Hills schools.