SAN DIEGO - Todd Gloria was unanimously selected as president of the San Diego City Council on Monday.
The position gives him the power to shape the debate over civic issues by running the panel's meetings, and over deciding which items make it onto agendas.
"... I take this role extremely seriously," Gloria said right before the vote. "I want us to work as a council to really develop the strong council that I know we can and should be. I want to stay focused on fiscal discipline, making sure we don't give back what we built, and take it further."
He also said he wanted to cut into the city's extensive backlog of infrastructure projects, like repairing roads and sidewalks.
Gloria, who becomes the first person of mostly Filipino origin and the first gay man to lead the council, received rave reviews for his two years as chairman of the group's Budget Committee, in which San Diego's structural budget deficit was solved.
The councilman, who represents Hillcrest, North Park and downtown, succeeds Councilman Tony Young, who is leaving at the end of this month to become CEO of the American Red Cross San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter.
Gloria was nominated by Councilman Kevin Faulconer, who had also been mentioned as a candidate. Last week, however, Young threw his backing to Gloria, giving him majority support.
"I think it's important that we are a unanimous, bipartisan group," Faulconer said.
Councilwoman Lorie Zapf said Gloria, a Democrat, is "very bipartisan" when trying to find solutions to city problems.
Councilman David Alvarez said elevating Gloria was "a very wise move."
Of 18 public speakers, only one was outwardly opposed to Gloria's nomination. Several others had been prepared to speak on behalf of Faulconer, but deferred when he nominated Gloria.