New Year’s message from outgoing Riviera Ass’n president, Shelley Bookspan

What a dramatic ending we had to 2017!  Wind-whipped flames igniting the hills behind our homes!  Ashes and smoke the only “rain” we had for months!  Our neighbors unrecognizable behind their N95 dust masks!   Mass mandatory evacuation from our homes while over 8,000 firefighters and auxiliary personnel fought a heroic, relentless, and ultimately winning battle against the monstrous firestorm.  I personally feel deep gratitude for these heroes, not to mention awe at their success in containing what I had really thought–that particular Saturday morning–was unstoppable.  Wow.

Now that the Thomas Fire is behind us, and the new year is ahead, much of what we have to think about as a community has come into focus: water resource scarcity and allotment; population density and housing mandates; public safety personnel retention; street maintenance and capacity improvement; homeless and disability service provision, to name a few evident policy conundra.  I know we on the Board of Directors of the 85 year-old Riviera Association take our role seriously as advocates for our neighborhood, as well as our City.  As I sign off after the honor of serving for four years as President of the Board, I can say assuredly that although we residents of the Riviera may be a diverse bunch politically, we nonetheless are a group of solid, caring citizens. It is both my hope and expectation that the Association will continue its central role of service and advocacy for another 85 years, and beyond.

During 2018, my last year on the Board, the President’s “gavel” will be in the capable hands of Bill Tully, whom many of you met during our recent cleanup of Orpet Park.  As Vice-President, Dale Faithe-Aazam will succeed Addison Thompson, joining the Board’s executive committee, along with Diana Sloane and Wendy Edmunds, who will continue in their roles as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.  I retire from my duties knowing our stalwart organization remains in good hands.

Thank you, neighbors, for your support.  Best wishes to all for good health, peace, and charity in the new year.

Shelley Bookspan