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As you’ve no doubt noticed, I’ve been trying to host a debate about the future of the City Council.

I think it’s working. These are good talks to have, even in the midst of a stressful election.

First, some news: A source close to it all tells me that it appears that the council will put off holding an election for council president until after the four new members of the body are sworn in. The alternative many were considering was to get the current council to stick us with a new president as their parting legacy.

If the vote were held today, Councilman Ben Hueso would have the edge. But leaving it up to a new council throws the whole thing up in the air.

We’ll stay on top of the developments.

After my last post following up on the idea of essentially gutting the power of the council president, a couple of readers wondered what the problem was. Remember, Councilwoman Donna Frye and City “I’m Almost” Councilman Carl DeMaio’s complaint is that allowing one person to have control over what issues get discussed in the City Council — the president — means that person has too much power. What has Ben Hueso ever done to merit the influence that would come with having almost sole discretion over what the council talks about?

Remember my maxim: The person with the most influence on a debate is the one who gets to decide what exactly is being debated.

What people have said in response is that Hueso or whoever else becomes council president would deserve the power because he would have gotten the mandate from his peers — four of his colleagues would have to vote him into this position and essentially given him their trust. But this rationale is being sabotaged by the behind-the-scenes maneuvering to get the outgoing City Council to put him into this position before their replacements take over so as to make him a type of incumbent.

Other readers wanted to know what the big deal was. What, exactly, are some of the issues Donna Frye and others wanted to discuss that the autocratic Scott Peters supposedly ignored?

Frye read those comments and sent me this note:

Read your article about Carl [DeMaio] and my concerns about trying to get _something important docketed and having that request ignored. Some_who responded asked for some examples.__See my memos below:_

So there you go. Two items she wanted to discuss at the City Council, both relating to city employee pension benefits, both “ignored” by the council president.

Two questions, then, dear readers: Is she off? Did these issues not deserve discussion? If they did, do we just have to hope for a more reasonable City Council president in the future?

SCOTT LEWIS

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