Kevin Faulconer sworn in as San Diego’s 36th mayor

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Accompanied by his wife and two children, Kevin
Faulconer was sworn in Monday as San Diego's 36th mayor.

Faulconer defeated fellow Councilman David Alvarez in the Feb. 11 runoff
election in which voters chose the successor to Bob Filner, who resigned in
disgrace Aug. 30 amid a sexual harassment scandal, barely nine months into his
four-year term. In the interim, Council President Todd Gloria filled in.

Faulconer, 47, told a standing-room only crowd at the Jacobs Center for
Neighborhood Innovation that his inauguration starts a new chapter in the
city's history — “a chapter written by the people of San Diego.”

“You sent a very clear message. You want a government that works for
you. You want a City Hall that will continue the reforms that you voted for,
reforms that will help create the city that we all deserve,” Faulconer said in
his inauguration speech.

Commenting on recent troubles at the San Diego Police Department, he
said he would ensure trust and integrity in the city's law enforcement agency.

“Together, we will revitalize the department from the ground up,”
Faulconer said. “We will ensure the highest standards so we are keeping and
attracting the best and brightest officers who will proudly and honorably serve
the residents of our great city.”

Last week, he named Assistant Chief Shelley Zimmerman as the successor
to William Lansdowne, whose decade-long stint as SDPD chief ends today. The
City Council is scheduled to vote on her nomination Tuesday.

“Shelley is the right woman at the right time,” he said to cheers.
“Not only will she become the first female police chief (in San Diego) but she
will be one of the finest police chiefs this city has ever seen — there is no
doubt in my mind.”

He also promised to boost morale on the force and give officers the
support they need. The SDPD has seen an outflow of experienced officers to
other agencies that provide higher take-home pay, though the City Council has
recently taken steps to stem the tide.

Faulconer also pledged to pave 500 miles of the city's roadways, invest
$900 million in neighborhood infrastructure over five years, and give area
businesses the “certainty” they need in dealing with City Hall.

He started his speech by thanking his parents and Gloria.

Faulconer said he plans to meet with Tijuana Mayor Jorge Astiazaran this

The mayoral inauguration was the first in the city's history to take
place in Southeast San Diego, according to the new mayor.

The race to replace Filner pitted labor against business, with Alvarez,
a Democrat, supported by unions, and Faulconer, a Republican, garnering support
from big businesses in San Diego for the nonpartisan post.

Upon his election win, Faulconer said he would continue fiscal reforms
instituted by Jerry Sanders, Filner's predecessor, and plow the savings back
into the city's neighborhoods.

The City Council must appoint a replacement in the next 30 days to serve
out the remaining eight months or so of his term representing San Diego's
beach and bay areas. That replacement is expected to be a Democrat, which would
give Democrats a veto-proof 6-3 edge over Republicans until December.

City officials have said they won't appoint anyone who plans to run for
the seat later this year.

Categories: KUSI