Monday, July 22

NWWNC business stakeholder – Josh Trifunovich, Kevin Crummy and Alex Helmi


(Daily Bruin file photo)

(Daily Bruin file photo)


Josh Trifunovich

A North Westwood Neighborhood Council business stakeholder should have the business know-how and local connections to effect change in Westwood.

Josh Trifunovich, owner of Rocco’s Tavern, has that.

This board endorses Trifunovich for a business stakeholder position on the NWWNC because of his essential business voice and experience working in Westwood. He clearly knows how to handle his business – and the board believes he’ll help others manage theirs.

His platforms prioritize engaging with the Westwood community, honing in on the council’s messaging in particular. He wants to send word that Westwood is open to business and that the NWWNC is more inviting than its crankier predecessor, the Westwood Neighborhood Council.

He plans to do this by pushing for the council to create more business-friendly policies and support new businesses opening in the area. He also wants to pass around newsletters with relevant information to owners, which would help develop relationships in the Village.

And Trifunovich has the experience to pull these goals off, serving as an NWWNC member and chairing the outreach and communication committee.

He has also seen the perils the WWNC posed to business, has worked in the Village and knows the importance of communication in shaping the future of Westwood.

Westwood is only just beginning to become a place where businesses have the possibility to thrive.

Trifunovich is someone who can lay out the welcome mat.

Kevin Crummy

Kevin Crummy is a lukewarm candidate.

He has business acumen and familiarity with Westwood Village’s residential and commercial problems. As the treasurer of the Westwood Village Improvement Association, he knows how to manage money and how zoning regulations convolute an already convoluted land use system.

But he has a crass way of talking about some of Westwood’s problems. He’s dismissive of criticisms surrounding low voter turnout at recent neighborhood council elections. He has a distinct dislike for high-rises in Westwood – an outdated ideology, considering the need and prevalence of high-density development in Los Angeles.

And yet Crummy is an endorsable candidate for business stakeholder on the North Westwood Neighborhood Council. His ideas include increasing development that’ll strengthen diversity of opinion in the council. He said he does not want there to just be development for the sake of development, but that there should be targeted growth with stakeholder consensus.

As the chief investment officer of real estate company Douglas Emmett, he has the expertise to know how regulations can work against businesses and wants to identify key development areas that would receive the least pushback.

Crummy’s ambivalence won’t help the council improve in its outreach, but his experience makes up for it. The Village has a business and housing problem – and he’s prepared to fix it.

Alex Helmi

The North Westwood Neighborhood Council needs somebody who can mind their business – literally.

Alex Helmi can do that. In fact, he already has.

Helmi has been a Westwood business owner for nearly four decades – and he’s seen it all. He knows what Westwood can be like when it’s a place businesses thrive, and he also knows all too well what an overly critical council can do to make them fail.

Helmi, the owner of Damoka Rugs, wants to extend sidewalks to make Westwood Village more pedestrian friendly, update the Westwood Village Specific Plan to make it easier for businesses to open and create a nurturing environment for fledgling businesses.

He doesn’t have the specifics for this; but he wields a bravado about these plans that stems from his close relationships inside and outside the Village. He should put that confidence to good use by ironing out a game plan for building the Westwood he wants to see.

The board endorses Helmi as business stakeholder on the NWWNC for his years of experience and ideas for helping the Village grow.

Westwood has a lot of problems – and he’s not intent on sweeping them under the rug.

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