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Ben Hueso, in his first press conference as council president, said he doesn’t plan to resign his seat on the California Coastal Commission because of his election to his new post.

“I want to finish up my term in May,” Hueso said.

Hueso said his first priority will be his city duties, but said he wants to make Coastal Commission meetings if he can. He also noted that he can also send his alternate, Lorena Gonzalez, to Coastal Commission meetings. Gonzalez, secretary-treasurer of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, spoke in favor of choosing Hueso at Monday morning’s meeting.

Hueso also said changes to council rules proposed by Council members Donna Frye and Carl DeMaio — which are slated to be discussed this afternoon — likely won’t be resolved in a single meeting and other public forums are crucial.

“I think we should have this discussion in an environment that involves the public,” he said.

While Hueso acknowledged that DeMaio and Frye held public meetings on the subject, he said the entire council “deserves to be involved.”

Asked about Councilwoman Sherri Lightner’s comments this morning that behind-the-scenes politicking for the council president position included “veiled threats” regarding council committee appointments, Hueso said he hadn’t talked to Lightner “at all” about the council presidency or committee appointments.

Hueso said he was asking all council members to indicate which appointments they were interested in to gauge who was the most qualified on specific issues.

Finally, in response to another question, Hueso said he’d consider copying the media on his public memos, but stopped short of committing to such a step.

“We’ll work on that … I just might do that,” he said.

— RANI GUPTA

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