While Meghan Sahli-Wells is returning to her seat on the dais tonight, Goran Eriksson and Thomas Small will be seeing the council chamber from a new perspective. Culver City Crossroads had a chance to talk with each of them about their upcoming terms.
When we asked Meghan Sahli-Wells (pictured left) what she was most proud of about her last four years on the council, she said, “Helping to create real financial transparency. What the council did to separate the budget process from the workplan will stand us in much better stead in the future as we look at income and expenditure. They used to be part of the same process, and now we have two clear and separate mechanisms for planning and spending.”
The biggest challenge facing the council ? She felt that her biggest upcoming in issue would be “affordable housing. It is the issue that sits at the center of so many other issues the city is dealing with, and we are in a place to be a regional leader in taking this challenge on.” Newly elected Thomas Small (pictured right) also thought the biggest challenge would be in regard to development, but considered paying attention to the borders to be of paramount importance. “How we deal with the development in Los Angeles is going to be vital. What they do is going to affect us in ways that can be very impactful, particularly in regard to traffic. Diplomacy and strategy both need to come into focus.” Goran Eriksson (pictured below with Scott Wyant) declined to single out any one factor. “There are several big challenges that the city is facing that all will put a strain on our finances so we need to make sure that the city continues to develop and evolve in a resilient and sustainable way so we have the revenue that will be needed.”
With Both Eriksson and Small joining the council now, they had their own views on what pleasures lay ahead. Eriksson offered his enthusiasm towards all the people involved in the process. “[I’m looking forward to ] the opportunity to interact with residents, community groups and council members to develop and implement solutions that will make Culver City an even better place to live, work and play in.” Small had his eye on the open possibilities, saying “We are an even more extraordinary place than we give ourselves credit for. There’s so much we can do to make it even better. “
As a final question we wanted the council members – looking back from our NEXT centennial (in the year 2117) what would you like to see in Culver City? What would you want us to be famous for?
Sahli-Wells wanted to see “The Inglewood Oil field re-created as the most beautiful park on the West Coast. Like Central Park or Golden Gate Park, only better.” Eriksson wanted to be famous as “the city that took the lead and showed by example how to grow and evolve at the same time as minimizing and shrinking the environmental impact.” And Small? “Well, there is a lot you can do with architecture that brings out the very best of a culture. We’ve only just started to move in that direction. Imagine what we could do in the next hundred years.”