Editor’s Note: This is an Op-Ed submission from former Santa Monica Mayor Nat Trives.
For those of you who I haven’t had the pleasure of knowing, I am a very long time resident of our city by the sea – some even call me “Mr. Santa Monica.”
I’ve worn a wide variety of hats in this city. I’ve walked our community on the police force, directed policy as a City Councilmember, and served our city as Mayor. I’ve been a Personnel Commissioner for the Santa Monica – Malibu Unified School District and a Senior Staff Member at Santa Monica College.
I have also been active in the Santa Monica Rotary Club, YMCA, and Chamber of Commerce along with a number of other organizations that strive to improve our community. Each hat I have worn has given me a unique perspective and helped me to better understand the city that I aim to serve.
I’ve monitored the discussion surrounding the approval of the Bergamot Transit Village closely and would like to weigh in with my perspective as a long-time resident and community member. I support the Bergamot Transit Village approved by City Council because I believe it will improve the lives of Santa Monicans. The benefits provided by this project will strengthen the spirit of community in Santa Monica and improve our standing in the region.
As an education advocate I support this project’s contribution to early childhood education. I am a proud father of an SMC department chair and I look forward to local students gaining job training through internship programs. I also believe in providing them with priority access to full-time jobs upon graduation which this project does through a local hiring program.
As Mayor, I was part of the Council that adopted Landmark and Historic District Ordinance. I support the contribution to historic education programming this project will provide which will allow youth to learn about the history of their community.
During my time on Council we were able to add Virginia Avenue Park and Clover Park as places of recreation in our city. Providing new park space in a built out environment is a challenge. This is why I support the over two acres of new open space Bergamot Transit Village will create. This project will provide community gathering spaces which allow families to enjoy watching the ball-game and new neighborhood parks where children can toss a ball. A park the size of Euclid Park will be added in a part of our city that is desperate for more green space.
While I was on City Council we provided seed funding to the Center for Healthy Aging. I am happy the project will provide elderly and disabled residents with ADA accessible units that will allow them to age in place.
I also support the fiscal benefits this project will bring to our city as I understand the city could face a budget deficit within a few years. As a former police sergeant I support the fiscal benefits of this new development because I know it means more funding for public safety. As a member of the Chamber of Commerce I hope we can retain quality employers within our borders by building the facilities start-ups and growing companies need to thrive.
I have worn a number of hats in my years in Santa Monica which gives me the perspective to know that this is a well thought out development proposal. I’ve watched Santa Monica evolve and get better each year. I look forward to seeing continued progress in our city and hope that Bergamot Transit Village will be a part of our continued path to improving the lives of Santa Monicans.
Nat Trives, Former Mayor