Councilman Jeffrey Cooper was involved in many aspects of the city before he joined the panel 100 days ago. He served as chair of the Parks, Recreation & Community Services Commission, then as one of the founding members of "The Boneyard"--the city's only off-leash dog park--and helped start the "Cruisin' Back to Culver City" car show.
We sat down with Cooper to discuss the main issues facing Culver City today.
Culver City Patch: What made you decide to run for office?
Jeffrey Cooper: It was a natural progression of being involved with the community. I have worked for 15 years as a civic activist, and then as the Parks and Recreation commissioner. I found that I really enjoyed giving back to the community, and wanted to continue doing it.
Patch: How does your political life merge with your professional and personal life?
Cooper: It's not too much of a problem. Being involved with public life as a city commissioner for several years, I understood the dynamics of managing work with family life. As a councilman, I have had to cut down my involvement in some projects like the car show, but with effective time management, it's easier to manage all of my roles.
Patch: What is the biggest problem that needs changing in Culver City?
Cooper: The budget. It's not just about cutting back and trimming the fat. It's also about maintaining the businesses that we have in town, reaching out to businesses that enhance our community, and encouraging people that live here to spend their dollars here.
Patch: How do you plan on trimming the budget?
Cooper: We approved our new budget last month, where we cut off a lot of unfilled positions in the city. That will go a long way in helping us. We are also looking into ways of how we can be more transparent, and save money when making expenditures on behalf of the city.
Patch: What is the major issue that the City Council will be addressing in coming months that residents should know about?
Cooper: Apart from the budget, it will be the Parcel B issue, and the construction of the Metro line. Then there is the issue of the greening of Culver City and bringing community gardens to our town. We would like to see further expansion of the one small community garden we have now.
Patch: How do Culver City officials need to improve in keeping residents informed about issues that affect them?
Cooper: Communication is one of the most important things in running a government smoothly. As councilman, we do try to return as many calls as we can. When someone calls the city and doesn't get a live person, somebody in the department should be accountable and they should be returning calls in a fairly reasonable amount of time.
Patch: What is the one thing you would want Culver City residents to know about you?
Cooper: That I care and love the city as much as they do. My only agenda is to preserve all the good things that make up our community--and as everything expands--to keep the small town feel which makes Culver City what it is.
Got a question for Five Minutes? Comment below or post it on our Facebook or Twitter page.