Retiring Mayor Takes a Look Back
Stresses "City of Kindness"
March 22, 2018
Culver City Mayor Jeff Cooper was beaming as he addressed over 400 residents and business people on Tuesday at the annual Mayor's luncheon.
"Culver City is at the cutting edge of cities around the country, in terms of what we have been able to accomplish, and what we plan to accomplish going forward," he stated during the luncheon where he discussed his tenure on the City Council.
The packed house listened as the introspective mayor listed the accomplishments during his eight years in office and his dedication to "our city of kindness"
"Construction of the Culver Connect Fiber network backbone, which began in 2016, is now 90% complete, within the approved budget, and will soon be delivering high speed broadband to businesses and schools throughout the community," he said. "Its 21 miles of underground fiber is designed for geographic diversity, security and redundancy.'
Cooper spoke about the progress the council has made during the past year in pursuit of the City Council's goals, including: Increase Civic Engagement; Enhance the Restoration and Utilization of Ballona Creek; Improve Transportation and Circulation; Promote Workforce Diversity and Development; and Identify New Revenue Sources to Maintain Financial Stability
Finance was another topic the mayor was happy to talk about.
"Through it all, our City Finances remain much stronger than those of our peer cities," he said. "This year we completed refinancing of all old Redevelopment Agency bonds, providing ongoing savings through 2028 that will benefit both the City and Culver City Unified School District."
The mayor also spoke of challenges the city continues to face, including homelessness, and the availability of affordable housing.
He also talked about the current political climate.
"We are at a moment of divisiveness not only throughout our country, but right here in our Mayberry...the place we call Culver City. I, for one, have been feeling a profound sense of sadness and anger as so many attempt to put a wedge in our community that separates people in a way that crosses political lines, and is just outright mean and nasty," said the mayor. "All of us from both sides of the political arena need to stand up loud and clear and say enough of this bull shit, Culver City is better than this!"
Cooper also paid tribute to community leaders who died in the past year, including Scott Wyatt, Madeline Ehrlich, Margaret Lindgren,Vince Motyl, MaryAnn Fernandez, and
"All were dedicated community members from different ends of the political spectrum, but the one big thing they had in common was their love for Culver City," he said.
He also paid tribute to the late Steve Rose, "the face of this Chamber and Culver City for many decades, and whose shoes will never be filled."
He stated that The "Citizen of the Year" – which was started last year by then Mayor Jim Clarke – will be renamed: the "Steve Rose Citizen of the Year".
The 2018 winner of the "Steve Rose Citizen of the Year" award will go to that "little flower, AKA, Earl Eskridge," he added.
The mayor also thanked his wife Rafia, his daughters and all who worked with him this year.
The full text of Mayor Cooper's speech can be found on the observer's website at: http://www.culvercityobserver.com