Peters Elected To Second Term As City Council President
4:47 AM, Nov 13, 2006
The City Council Monday elected Scott Peters to a second term as president, an influential position that was created following San Diego's transition to a strong-mayor form of government."I am deeply grateful for your support today," Peters told the council following the unanimous vote."I look forward to working with each of you, along with the mayor, the city attorney and taxpayers, to build upon the foundation we have laid out in our inaugural year," Peters said.Peters has held the position since last November, when his colleagues unanimously chose him as the first council president.Electing a council president is part of the municipal makeover voters approved in 2004 to move San Diego to a strong-mayor form of government, instead of a city manager-led system.The transition, which took effect last January, gave the mayor executive duties previously held by the city manager. It also removed the mayor from the council and gave him veto authority.Peters was unchallenged in his bid for a second term."I think it is important that we have someone that has the ability to work with the mayor's office, with the attorney's office, with council members," Councilwoman Toni Atkins said.She said Peters was the "best person" to help the council begin to address the city's fiscal problems, which include a shortfall in the municipal pension system of at least $1.4 billion."I think our challenges are going to be bigger this year, not fewer," Atkins said. "I think you have done a good job trying to balance everything. I appreciate your level-headedness, your pragmatic nature."Peters said his priority will be reducing the pension debt, funding a plan to keep police on the streets, establishing "easy to understand" budget plans and securing federal funds for transportation."These are difficult problems we are dealing with," Peters told his colleagues. "We have established new roles and responsibilities under this new form of government.""We have hit some bumps in the road this year as you might expect with any major change," he said. "But the lines of communication between the mayor, the council and between the council members ourselves have been strong and open, and the relationships we have built this year will allow us to move quickly on our goals for the next year."Mayor Jerry Sanders issued a statement congratulating Peters."I share the respect and confidence in Scott's leadership that we heard expressed today by our City Council members and public speakers," he said."Scott has clearly defined what it means to be council president in San Diego," Sanders said. "His dedication, vision and ability to build consensus make him an ideal choice during this critical time in the city's history. While Scott and I may not always see eye to eye on every issue, I know that we share the goal of reforming and improving our great city."