San Diego City Councilman Todd Gloria. Photo by Chris Stone

The City Council will be asked Monday to delay voting on a new president for a couple of days until recently elected council member Chris Cate is seated.

The proposal by current council President Todd Gloria stems from a conflict between the panel’s rules on when to choose a leader for the upcoming year and a City Charter amendment approved by voters that sets inauguration day for Dec. 10, or the first business day thereafter.

The way the dates fell this year, the council members would vote on their leader before incoming District 6 representative Cate is sworn in.

According to city documents posted online Wednesday, Gloria is proposing that the council suspend its rule for selecting a president and postpone the vote until after Cate is seated.

He wrote in a memo to colleagues that he planned to schedule a special meeting on Dec. 10, following Cate’s inauguration.

Gloria’s proposal comes amid a backdrop of talk that he could be challenged for the post by Sherri Lightner, who serves as the president pro tem, or second-in-command.

Both are among the majority Democrats on the technically nonpartisan City Council. Their margin is 6-3, but will shrink to 5-4 when Cate takes office. Lightner could win the post if supported by all of the Republicans.

Lightner’s office did not respond to a request for comment, while other council members have remained silent on the matter.

The council president wields considerable power over setting meeting agendas, determines committee assignments and often appears with the mayor in a ceremonial role.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.