Beverly Hills water tower

Beverly Hills is a large community that resides in the heart of Citrus County. Following the economic downturn and housing-market crisis in 2008 the community has struggled to recover.

THE ISSUE: Creation of Beverly Hills Area Council.

OUR OPINION: A good step for the community.

A new group has formed to give vision and leadership to the community of Beverly Hills.

Under the guidance of the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce, the Beverly Hills Area Council has formed and begun the process of creating a vision and improvement plan for the community. The chamber already sponsors area council groups in Crystal River, Homosassa and Inverness. It makes good sense to begin the process in Beverly Hills.

The central Citrus community has suffered some setbacks in recent years. Most recently, Beverly Hills was snubbed by the county commission when the board was asked to fund repairs to the community pool.

Not our job, the commissioners determined.

Because Beverly Hills is not a municipality, there is no elected group of people who work on behalf of the community. The area council has now stepped in to try and unify businesses and civic leaders and create a unified direction for the community.

Beverly Hills businessman Tom Ryan was selected as chairman and more than a dozen interested parties immediately joined the effort.

This is a positive step for Beverly Hills. The community has numerous unique assets including a beautiful golf course, an enviable civic circle and a growing retail segment on both 491 and 486. What the community needs is a way to collectively address issues and work with other entities — inside and outside of government — to get things done.

Civic involvement in Beverly Hills has ebbed in recent years as original members of active groups started to age out. Many new families have now moved into the older sections of Beverly Hills, but they have yet to get involved.

The Beverly Hills Area Council is a first good step at trying to unify business owners and leaders to once again address the issues in the community. Outside groups, including county government, are more likely to assist when there is local leadership with a direction. The Beverly Hills Civic Association maintains its position as a place where citizens can get involved. The area council now gives the business community an opportunity to move things forward.

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