By Councilmember Todd Gloria
December 3, 2012 was a big day. I was sworn in for my second term as the Councilmember for District Three, started representing new communities and I was also unanimously elected Council President by my colleagues.
The role of Council President is relatively new to San Diego, and I am only the fourth in the City to hold the position.
My predecessors, Scott Peters, Ben Hueso, and Tony Young all helped shape the position, and I hope to further refine the role during my tenure. I would like to further strengthen the City Council as a legislative body and use my experience as the Budget and Finance Committee Chair to guide the Council in making fiscally responsible decisions.
The position of Council President was added in 2006 with the implementation of the voter-approved Mayor-Council form of government.
For most of the City’s history prior to that point, San Diego functioned under a Council-Manager form of government, with the Mayor presiding over City Council meetings and a City Manager overseeing City operations and City staff.
Under the Mayor-Council structure, the Mayor became the City’s Chief Executive Officer and assumed the authority and responsibility previously held by the City Manager. The City Council now acts as the legislative body and provides checks and balances to the Mayor.
The City Council elects a Council President annually. As the Council President, I am the Council’s presiding officer, meaning I run the City Council meetings and set our agenda.
I also oversee Council Committees. One of my first acts was to reorganize the Council Committee structure. I proposed creation of an Infrastructure Committee to deal with the condition of our streets, sidewalks, and public facilities.
This critical issue was previously split between three committees, making significant progress difficult. I am confident that the new Infrastructure Committee, which is being chaired by Councilmember Mark Kersey, will greatly enhance the City’s approach to this challenging concern. Further, I proposed combining two committees with overlapping responsibilities to create the new Rules and Economic Development Committee, which is being chaired by Council President Pro Tem Sherri Lightner.
I am honored to be the Council President and love my job representing District Three. I believe the additional responsibilities of the presidency only strengthen my ability to serve my district.