San Diego

Council Shake-Up Attempt In the Works

Most San Diegans know Todd Gloria as the young, energetic Council President who stepped in and eased a tumultuous period in the city's history, taking over as Interim Mayor in the wake of Bob Filner's resignation.

But now, the popular Council President, responsible for getting the gears of City Hall to turn again and for colorful, bureaucratic phrases like "sexy streets," is facing removal from the top spot on the council, which gets to set the agenda for what comes before the legislative body. /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";}

Sources close to both Republicans and Democrats on the City Council and at City Hall say there is definitely a behind-the-scenes campaign to have Councilwoman Sherri Lightner take over the presiding position on the council.

Lightner did not return an email request for comment on the effort.

A spokeswoman for Gloria sent this statement:

"The Councilmember for District Three is interested in serving as the Council President should that be the desire of his colleagues. People have commented that his tenure of fair, civil and decisive leadership has served San Diego well, and he would be honored to continue in the post and make more progress for the city through his collaborative work ethic."

Council bylaws require the selection of the council president on Dec. 8. That's two days before the newly-elected Councilman Chris Cate is sworn-in on Dec. 10.

Cate said he wants to take part in the vote.

"I look forward to taking part in voting for our Council President and working with whomever it may be," he said in a written statement. "My priority is to be prepared for the transition and becoming the next Councilmember for Council District 6. My staff and I will be working diligently to make sure there is a seamless transition to ensure there is no interruption of service for the people of District 6." 

If the City Council tables the vote until after Cate is sworn in, then the make-up of the council is 5-4 in favor of the Democrats. Republicans, who have expressed anger over Gloria's minimum wage proposal, would need one vote to replace him as Council President.

It remains unclear if Lightner wants to take the position.

Lightner, who currently holds the second highest post on the council, is also chair of the Economic Development & Intergovernmental Relations Committee.

Council presidents are elected for one-year terms. Gloria was first elected in 2013 and then re-elected by his peers in 2014, according to his online bio.

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