City Council postpones vote for new leader

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego City Council, Monday, delayed a vote on selecting a council president.

Council President Todd Gloria wants a third term, but the buzz at City Hall is Gloria may be challenged by Sherri Lightner.

Both will be termed out in 2016, and serving that job could be a springboard to higher office.

Nobody is willing to go on the record, but the four Republicans are unhappy with Gloria, and it is known some Democrats would not be unhappy to seat the first woman as Council President.

A lot of politicking behind close doors in the run-up to Wednesday’s vote to select the Council President.

When this issue first came up, Sherri Lightner was the first to say she wanted the job. She opened the door for the minority Republicans.

“The Todd Gloria of the last 6-months is not the Todd Gloria that we appreciated when he was interim mayor. He got a lot more political when he came back from the mayor’s office as council president,” said political consultant Jason Roe.

Roe is closely aligned with the Republicans, and said they have gone sour on Gloria.

He pushed the Barrio Logan Community Plan update for example, which the voters turned down. He followed up by advancing the minimum wage which is going to the ballot in 2016.

With a majority of Democrats on the Council, the four Republicans who will determine who the next Council President will be.

Republicans need only one Democrats to join them, and Sherri Lightner is more moderate than the other Democrats.

Nobody wants to upset the bipartisanship that has grown since Bob Filner was in office.

Right now, all the signs point to Lightner.

“I think there is, even on the democratic side, some recognition from other democrats on the council that you’re probably gonna get a more balanced fair approach to policy with Sherri Lightner,” said Roe.

The other thing going for Lightner is the gender factor.

While the Council is gender balanced, five-men, four-women, the city has never had a woman council president.

“I think Sherri is the best prepared to serve as council president of those four and so I have to think that the women see this as a significant break through,” said Roe.

Monday’s vote was about not selecting the Council President until the new council member, Chris Cate has a voice in who the new council president will be.

This is about a conflict between the Charter and the City Code. The updated City Charter says a council member’s term begins on December 10th.

The City Code says the first Monday in December which is Monday, but a vote on Monday would have denied new member Chris Cate vote, so council delayed the vote until Cate is seated on Wednesday.

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