The City Council will discuss whether to set a date for the selection of council president, an idea that was the subject of debate last year when the council flirted with the idea of picking a new president with four lame-duck members.
The council’s Rules Committee voted to move the item forward for a full council discussion during a Wednesday morning meeting.
Councilwoman Donna Frye and Councilman Carl DeMaio want to make sure the election will take place after new council members are sworn in. But new Council President Ben Hueso voiced support for the idea of holding the election around July, as Los Angeles does, so council members would have a chance to “get established” before picking the leader. He also favors the idea of a two-year term for the council president.
Though Hueso didn’t talk much about lengthening the term at Wednesday’s meeting, he believes a two-year term allows for the development of institutional knowledge and efficiency, said his spokeswoman, Michelle Ganon.
“It would benefit the council to gain and to be able to employ the expertise learned over the term,” said Ganon, who said Hueso discussed the idea at a previous committee meeting.
Committee members rejected Frye’s motions to move forward two other changes to a full council vote. One would have held one council meeting a month at night. The other would have allowed council members greater leeway to put items on the council agenda if three council members agree, instead of the current requirement of four members.
Councilman Tony Young said he opposed the measure because it would diminish the power of the council president, which he said was needed to counter the strong mayor.
“To have control of the docket is an essential piece of that,” he said.