There are people who have been contributing to the betterment of Brentwood for years and Brentwood Community Council (BCC) Chairman Larry Watts is one of them. However, Watts is now stepping down. It’s a well-deserved retirement, although I suspect we’ve not heard the last of him.
I recall when Watts and others conducted community business via a small group called the Brentwood Community Federation back in the early 1990s. The Federation was made up of representatives from homeowners groups and everyone agreed something was “missing.” To really be effective, we agreed representation was needed from the business community, volunteer groups, the schools, religious institutions and those who live in multifamily residences.
That conversation represented the beginnings of what eventually became the Brentwood Community Council in 1999. Back then, nobody was really sure what it would become or even if it would survive more than a year or two. Our then City Councilmember, Cindy Miscikowski, hovered over the BCC to make sure it took root.
While the BCC is neutral, doesn’t endorse candidates and has little actual power, the City nonetheless takes its voice seriously, and I think it is a success story.
All points of view are welcome and participants engage in some very healthy debates before taking a position. There is a structure in place and transitions like the one taking place now are fairly routine at this point.
Committee members really dig in deep and do their homework. Because many of the issues deal with zoning rules and regulations, they can also become quite mind numbing. However, the BCC folks eat this stuff for breakfast.
Occasionally, though, conversations can become heated, and Watts – normally very mild-mannered and very even-handed – can suddenly wield a very mean gavel. He held things together, he kept things moving and he did it all in a very classy manner.
So hats off to Larry Watts, who now hands the gavel over to Kyle Kozloff. Kozloff has represented the Crestwood Hills Homeowners Association for several years.
At February’s meeting, staff members from the offices of Senator Ben Allen, City Councilmember Mike Bonin, County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Mayor Eric Garcetti all presented well-deserved plaques of recognition to Watts.
You’ll be missed, Larry. Good luck, Kyle.