Briem keeps a folder of all the news stories in which he has appeared, notably in Howard Jarvis' campaign to pass Proposition 13, the state taxpayer initiative that severely restricted the amount of property taxes. He is also credited by Harold Ezell, who co-authored Proposition 187, for his help in getting the initiative to cut state services for illegal immigrants on the ballot.
"I will miss being able to help influence the way things happen in the city," Briem said.
Still, the job was not without its drawbacks. Besides the disrupted sleep schedule, Briem was the target of several death threats and even wore a bulletproof vest to his retirement gala.
"I take (the threats) seriously," he said. "I'm not paranoid, but I know the facts. And there are some people who would like my head."
But starting next week, his concerns will switch to practicing scales; politics will take a back seat to music lessons. His new crusade is to learn to play the piano.