City Council President Tony Young is resigning to take a new position as CEO of the American Red Cross San Diego-Imperial Counties Chapter, he told VOSD Thursday.

Rumors of Young’s departure have been circulating for days. He confirmed the move in a phone call Thursday evening.

“This is a great opportunity to continue to serve the residents of this region in a really special way and I’m really excited about that,” Young said.

The city charter requires a special election in District 4 within 90 days of Young’s departure. That will come at a cost, as 10 News noted Wednesday:

The San Diego County Registrar of Voters estimates the cost for a district-only special election at $355,000 to $385,000. That could be trimmed, though, by about $100,000 if it were to be tied to the special election to replace Juan Vargas in the state Senate. Vargas has been elected to Congress.

Jill Esterbrooks, Young’s communications director, said the new Red Cross CEO would take over on Jan 1, 2013.

Though the city council is generally considered nonpartisan, Young’s resignation will at least temporarily throw off the city council’s current political balance. With Young, Democrats hold a 5-4 majority and are more likely to help incoming Democratic Mayor Bob Filner usher in his new agenda. Without him, the council will be evenly split until the special election and there’s a chance District 4 voters could pick a Republican to take Young’s seat.

Young, a moderate Democrat, has served as council president since December 2010. That means he’s largely dictated the council’s agenda and discussions for nearly two years. The city council must vote on a new leader in coming weeks.

Will Carless and Lisa Halverstadt are reporters at Voice of San Diego. You can reach them at and, or by calling 619.325.0525.

Like VOSD on Facebook.

Disclosure: Voice of San Diego members and supporters may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover. For a complete list of our contributors, click here.

Will Carless was formerly the head of investigations at Voice of San Diego.

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.