Council President Ben Hueso’s controversial incumbency

On Monday, two new members of the San Diego City Council will take their seats and two will be leaving. One is Council President Ben Hueso who has been, at times, a controversial figure.

Hueso has run into problems with campaign funds, was fined by the ethics commission, and he's run the day to day business of the council oftentimes without consensus.

It was not uncommon for the Council President to cut off speakers, including his council colleagues, in effect stifling debate on certain issues.

Many people felt as a staunch ally of the Labor Unions he would docket, or withhold from the docket items at their request. Eliminating terminal leave, for example, a union perk. Terminal leave passed on first reading, then was quietly pulled from the docket apparently to kill it.

Hueso also ran into trouble when he shifted 25-thousand dollars to the campaign of his brother, illegally. When caught, he retrieved the money. He then hired three of his brother's staff for a month at a cost of 11-thousand dollars and he paid his own staff 13-thousand dollars in bonus money. These funds are now denied to David Alvarez who will replace Hueso.

David Alvarez will take Hueso's council seat for district 8 on Monday. KUSI's Steve Bosh asked him about Hueso's tenure as Council President, “there's been some progress in some of the neighborhoods in district 8, I'm very ambitions so I want to make sure that more happens, there is more dynamic activity, economic activity, creating jobs locally” said Alvarez.

Alvarez would not be openly critical of the Council President, but he does say it's time to move on.

That terminal leave was one of the 10-reforms in Prop D. It passed before the election, then was pulled after the election. Its likely to come back up for a vote with the new council.  

Categories: KUSI