San Diego City Council’s newest political pair — Donna Frye and Carl DeMaio — met with the media this morning to unveil the formation of a study group that they hope will improve how the city’s legislative body conducts its business.

“We need to stop the politics, stop the Democrats vs. Republicans, reformers vs. anti-reformers, good vs. bad,” Councilwoman Frye said, speaking of the atmosphere surrounding the current council.

Added Councilman-elect DeMaio: “Right now there is no trust in City Council among the people of San Diego.”

They make for an unlikely pair: the blond-haired, smoky-voiced grand dame of Democratic San Diego and the pale-faced Republican who rode into town five years ago selling himself as a good-government guru.

But both say they share a desire to fundamentally reform San Diego government and want to get started right away. They say the council has lost its way under the strong mayor form of government, a 2004 ballot initiative that was implemented in 2006. Both emphasized that voters approved a “strong mayor/strong council” form of government, but that the council has not been very strong.

Among other things, Frye and DeMaio want the council to reform how committees are structured, how public input is handled, the role of the council president and how a budget gets passed.

The two, who stood shoulder-to-shoulder at a podium in the city administration building’s 13th floor press room — sometimes finishing each other’s sentences, say they will hold a series of town meetings over the next five months to get the public’s ideas.

Check back later for a more complete report of their plans.


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