Now that Kevin Faulconer has been elected mayor, the big question for OB, Point Loma, and the rest of District 2 is:
Who will now replace Faulconer on the Council?
The tentative date for Faulconer’s inauguration is March 8th. The full Council – minus Faulconer but with David Alvarez – then has 30 business days in which to appoint an interim replacement for the District 2 seat to complete Faulconer’s term, which ends in December 2014. The Council will then be 5 to 3 Democrats to Republicans when the appointment is made.
And don’t forget, there’s an election to actually democratically fill the District 2 seat this year; the Primary is in June and the General Election is in November.
So, the City Council will appoint someone. Who will it be?
Often the Council appoints someone in a case like this who pledges to not seek the seat in the next election. That would leave out both Sara Boot (D) and Lorie Zapf (R) as they are the two party contenders right now for the office.
But the Council doesn’t have to do that. With Faulconer resigning from the Council in order to take over as Mayor, the Council Democratic majority could very well appoint a D to replace him. Interim Mayor Todd Gloria – who stays on as interim mayor until Faulconer’s inauguration – when asked if he thinks the council would consider appointting a Dem, said: “absolutely.”
KPBS thinks that Faulconer’s win will give Democrats more power on the council:
If a Democrat replaced Faulconer, the council would be made up of six Democrats and three Republicans, instead of the current 5-4 Democrat-Republican split. Because it takes six council votes to override a mayoral veto, Mayor Faulconer could then find his vetoes being overruled by the councilmember who replaced him.
So, who is likely to be appointed by the Council? Would they look to past elections and bring in former candidates for the office, like Michael Zucchet or Wayne Raffesberger? Zucchet – who represented District 2 – has a job and it’s the head of the Municipal Employees Association. Wayne is too partisan a Republican for the Dem majority to consider him.
What about Byron Wear? He’s a Republican and former District rep.
Then there’s the possibility of a downtown lawyer or someone with downtown interests. More on this below.
How about current and past leaders from the Peninsula, like Dave Martin, former prez of the OB Town Council and owner of Shades, a successful local business? How about Gretchen Newsom, current leader of the Town Council?
Or Rich Grosch, Community College trustee and long-time activist at the beach.
Or Denny Knox, long-time manager of the OB Mainstreet Association?
Can the Council look outside the District 2 boundaries to find someone? If so, how about Donna Frye?
Some of these questions have been answered.
Whomever the council appoints has to live in the same district of Faulconer, but not the current district—the old district boundaries from 2010, before redistricting in 2011, as both Alvarez and Faulconer were elected in 2010.
Because of this rule, somebody from downtown San Diego could be appointed even though the district no longer includes downtown. And a possible candidate from Clairemont would be prevented from being considered, as the former district boundaries did not include it. c
San Diego’s City Charter says that because both Alvarez and Faulconer have less than one year left on their council terms, the City Council will appoint someone to fill their seat instead of holding another election.
The council must then hold a public hearing with the applicants and give each three minutes to speak. The City Council will then vote on the new councilmember. All of this must happen within 30 days after the council seat is vacated.
Who do you think it will be? Who do you think it should be?