I took a bit of a break from the Election Winners and Losers series of posts, as you’ve probably noticed. I want to see what happens today, when the Registrar of Voters is expected to give us pretty much the last — if not the last — dump of numbers from the ongoing vote count. I would assume that today we’ll have clarity about who won that vitally important City Council seat in Chula Vista and whether April Boling somehow caught up to Marti Emerald in the 7th District City Council race.

Kevin Faulconer waits for his leader.

But for now, let’s talk about the big issue coming up — finally — for a real public discussion: who will lead the San Diego City Council as its president. For months, we’ve had just behind-the-scenes speculation. We might actually get some of these people’s thoughts on the record for once.

First off, there do not appear to be enough votes to nominate someone now as council president. Councilmen Kevin Faulconer, Brian Maienschein and Donna Frye all signaled last week that they would not support letting the current City Council decide who’s going to lead the future City Council. Tony Young is sending similar signals. That’s four votes against nominating someone right now. With an eight-person City Council, and with Scott Peters, the current prez, saying he’s “personally” against choosing a City Council president now before the four new members are sworn in.

But the discussion will be interesting.

There seems to be somewhat artificial worry about what would happen in the time between when Prez. Peters leaves and when the new council convenes. After all, who would run the meeting? Faulconer, Maienschein and Frye think that the City Clerk could open up the Dec. 8 City Council meeting and the first item she called up would settle the question.

I suppose there could be some awkwardness if two or more members of the City Council want to be the ones to put out the first motion. But I’m not sure why the city clerk is in a bad position to do that.

Anyway, last week when I talked to Faulconer about his wins with Propositions C and D, I took the opportunity to get his thoughts on the council president situation. We know he’s against having the current council weigh in on who will lead the next council.

But what about the role of the council president? Would Faulconer be joining Carl DeMaio and Frye in their effort to defang the council president — to keep him or her from being able to set the docket in the future?

“I think with any new system have to take a look at what’s working and what’s not. Let’s have the discussion and see where it goes,” Faulconer said.

OK, well, did he share Frye and DeMaio’s frustration with the supposed games that Scott Peters played if they wanted to get something he didn’t like on the council’s agenda.

Faulconer, a Republican, said Peters, a Democrat, always worked well with his issues. And Faulconer pointed to Proposition C to make his point. Peters opposed Prop. C, which set aside a portion of the city’s budget for Mission Bay and other park maintenance. But, regardless of his opposition, Peters put the measure on the docket for the council to approve or keep off the ballot.

“I think Scott really tried to for the most part work well with the folks and get things on the docket,” Faulconer said.

With Young also signaling that he’s against the DeMaio-Frye reform, and Ben Hueso almost certainly hostile to it, it probably is going to have some difficulty passing. However, Frye and DeMaio have many other much less-significant ideas that should be considered.

How this plays out over the next two months will determine in large part what City Hall is like for the next couple of years.


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