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March 7, 2017 — Local Elections
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Local

City of Beverly HillsCandidate for City Council

Photo of Robert "Bob" Wunderlich

Robert "Bob" Wunderlich

Economist/MWD Director
1,948 votes (16.08%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Residential quality of life – Our City is attractive for residents and for businesses because of its distinctive character. We should invest in our City to ensure that the character of our city is maintained and enhanced into the future.
  • Accountable government – Govern openly and inclusively. Implement an independent internal auditor, reporting directly to City Council, to ensure our City has proper checks and balances in place and to provide an independent public voice.
  • Enhance infrastructure and walkability – Increase water conservation and develop sustainable water resources. Promote Beverly Hills as a walkable/bicycle friendly city. Mitigate traffic impacts from subway and Santa Monica Blvd. construction.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Economist / Business Consultant and Director of Metropolitan Water District representing Beverly Hills
Co-Founder and Principal, Discovery Economics Inc. (1999–current)
Director representing Beverly Hills, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California — Appointed position (2007–current)
Principal and Director, Law & Economics Consulting Group (LECG) (1998–1999)
Senior Manager, Deloitte & Touche (1994–1998)
Vice President, Intera West (1991–1994)

Education

UCLA M.B.A., Management (1990)
Harvard University Ph.D., Chemical Physics (1981)
Harvard University M.A., Physics (1978)
Columbia University B.A., Chemistry (1975)

Biography

My background as an economist/business consultant, business owner, government official, and scientist/engineer each contribute to the capabilities and judgment I would bring to City Council.  I describe my priorities for City Council in other parts of the Voter's Edge web site.  However in addition to those priorities, there will inevitably be issues that will emerge that no one knows about now.  I think the City’s stakeholders are best served by someone who will take a reasoned, principled, independent approach to making those decisions.  I think I am that person. 

In part it comes from my background. I was a scientist. I earned a B.A. in Chemistry from Columbia University, a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from Harvard University, and later became a registered chemical engineer. I do not know if being a scientist makes you a reasoned thinker or you become a scientist because you are a reasoned thinker, but that is who I am. After working as a scientist, I earned my M.B.A. from UCLA with emphasis in finance. For the last 25 years I have been an economic and business consultant, across many of the industries vital for our area, including entertainment, technology, real estate, health care and fashion. I know budgets and I know financing.

I also know governance from my almost 10 years on the Board of Metropolitan Water District.  Metropolitan is a larger entity than the city – a budget of $1.7 billion, 1,800 employees, and multi‐billion dollar construction projects. I have been Chair of the Audit Committee, Chair of the Personnel and Technology Committee, Chair of the Legal Committee, and Vice Chair of the Finance Committee. I have learned to work with my fellow board members by persuasion and cooperation. I always remember that it is other people’s money that I am spending when I act on behalf of the public. I seek to understand what principle is at the core of the decisions I am making on behalf of the public and whether I will be comfortable applying that principle in similar situations in the future.

I will bring all these parts of my background to my service on City Council.

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (1)

  • West Hollywood - Beverly Hills Democratic Club

Elected Officials (1)

  • Kathy Reims, Beverly Hills City Councilmember

Individuals (3)

  • Barry Brucker, Former Mayor Beverly Hills
  • Alissa Roston, Beverly Hills Recreation & Parks Commissioner, Former BHUSD Board Member
  • Mike Feuer, City Attorney, City of Los Angeles

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

 Why I am running for City Council

 Beverly Hills and our region face many challenges – growth, congestion, transportation, infrastructure, sustainable water supply, and others.  Beverly Hills is a beautiful, walkable city with a sense of community and high quality of life.  I want to be part of the solutions for Beverly Hills for now and for future generations.  I want to ensure the City is environmentally sustainable, financially prudent, and a leader in providing police fire, and other vital services.  I believe it will take a reasoned balanced approach to achieve that into the future.  That is why I am running for City Council.

More personally I decided to run for City Council to continue my contributions to public service. I have served as the Beverly Hills Director on the Board of Metropolitan Water District, the government agency that is the water wholesaler for most of Southern California, for almost 10 years. It has been a wonderful, rewarding experience. I receive enormous personal satisfaction from my role as a public servant, addressing the many issues facing Southern California and intensifying my connection to the community.  For me, the next step is City Council.

My Priorities

Beverly Hills must strike the right balance for now and into the future – maintaining a vibrant economy that provides the support we need for our city services, while ensuring that our commercial sector is always in the interests of our residents and is consistent with the character and sense of community of our city.  Beverly Hills must ensure that the city is governed in an open, accountable, inclusive manner.

My priorities and specific means of addressing my priorities include:

Residential quality of life – Evaluate development based on what benefits residents.  Our City is attractive for residents and for businesses because of its distinctive character.  We need to preserve what has made Beverly Hills distinctive.  We should invest in our City to ensure that the character of our city is maintained and enhanced into the future. 

Financial responsibility – Manage taxpayer dollars prudently.  Accelerate payment of unfunded pension and OPEB liabilities.  Our City will save significant money by paying off these liabilities now, rather than transferring them to future generations to pay.  We should dedicate a portion of one-time funds to accelerate payment of unfunded liabilities.

Accountable government – Govern openly and inclusively.  Implement an independent internal auditor, reporting directly to City Council, to ensure our City has proper checks and balances in place and to provide an independent public voice.

Support Police, Fire and Paramedics – Ensure resources are available to serve the aging population.  Increase neighborhood policing.  Enforce traffic restrictions.

Enhance infrastructure and walkability – Increase water conservation and develop additional sustainable water resources.  The City should dedicate a portion of one-time funds to provide funds for the Water Enterprise Plan, reducing the need for future water rate hikes.  Promote Beverly Hills as a walkable and bicycle friendly city.    Mitigate traffic impacts by ensuring that all conditions and timing of the Santa Monica Boulevard reconstruction and subway construction are enforced.

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