Hueso selected new SD city council president


The San Diego City Council today selected Councilman Ben Hueso as its next president.

The City Council voted 6-2 in favor of Hueso over the only other person nominated for the position, Councilwoman Donna Frye.

Hueso, who was backed by labor, was also supported by council members, Marti Emerald, Carl DeMaio, Kevin Faulconer, Tony Young and Todd Gloria. Frye was backed by Councilwoman Sherri Lightner.

Hueso pledged to work with each member of the City Council to promote issues important to all San Diegans.

“Every single district is very important to me,’’ he said. “I have no intention of quieting any issue before this council.’’

Hueso said he will continue to support issues that impact the quality-of-life for San Diego residents, such as promoting high-paying jobs, creating better opportunities for small businesses and preserving the waterfront.

Hueso, who sits on the California Coastal Commission, replaces Scott Peters, council president for the past three years. Peters left office Monday due to term limits.

The City Council president position was created as part of the 2004 voter-approved transition to a strong-mayor of government. The council president runs the City Council meetings, appoints committee chairs and members and sets the docket.

Faulconer said Hueso would be a unifying figure.

“I believe Councilman Ben Hueso can work together well with a wide variety of groups and organizations,’’ Faulconer said.

Lorena Gonzalez, head of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, testified that Hueso would be committed to issues important to workers, such as living wages and universal health care.

“Ben’s commitment to people who work for a living is absolutely beyond reproach,’’ Gonzalez said.

Joy Sunyata, a downtown resident, however, was concerned that Hueso’s responsibilities on the Coastal Commission would hinder his ability to serve as president of the City Council.

“I’m concerned it will impact your ability time-wise to be our president on the council,’’ she said.

In response, Hueso promised not to take on more than he can handle.

“I will make sure I will not accept a responsibility if I cannot carry it out to my full ability,’’ Hueso said.

Hueso will serve a one-year term.