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San Diego City Council Prepares For Month-Long Vacation

San Diego City Council meeting February 25, 2014.
Milan Kovacevic
San Diego City Council meeting February 25, 2014.

The San Diego City Council goes on a four-week break after Thursday's special meeting, which will give members, and Mayor Kevin Faulconer, a chance to catch up with family and work on important civic issues.

"I'm taking my family up to see my mother and my stepfather in Ventura County," Faulconer told City News Service.

Faulconer grew up in Oxnard and came south to attend San Diego State University. His mother, Kay Faulconer Borger, is a consultant helping organizations with workforce development and was a longtime dean at Ventura College.


The mayor said he also planned to spend the time working on the city's response to last week's appellate court decision that voided the method for funding the convention center expansion project. He also needs to fill the upcoming planning director vacancy.

Faulconer additionally plans to work on economic development issues, including making sure that residents know the incentives available to them.

The City Council's next scheduled meeting isn't until Sept. 8, but another special gathering might be necessary, depending on when Faulconer makes good on his threat to veto an increase in the minimum wage. The council will have to take an override vote within 30 calendar days, which would be right on the cusp of the next scheduled meeting.

The responsibilities of being an elected official can add up to a huge time commitment, with numerous night and weekend community meetings and events infringing on family time, making the August recess especially important.

City Council President Todd Gloria plans to stay in San Diego over break, in large part because he's an uncle for the first time. Helena Linda Marie Gloria was born a little over two weeks ago to his brother.


Gloria's spokeswoman, Katie Keach, said he planned to take some days off to spend time with his niece.

The representative of downtown, Hillcrest and North Park said at a recent news conference that he would also spend the coming weeks drafting an enforcement ordinance to go along with the minimum wage increase.

Caring for a baby tops the agenda for Councilman David Alvarez, who will play Mr. Mom with his own son. The boy was born in March and the former mayoral candidate's wife, Xochitl, is going back to work following maternity leave, according to spokeswoman Lisa Schmidt.

The councilman, who represents Barrio Logan and San Ysidro, also plans to help open the renovated pool at Memorial Recreation Center in Logan Heights and kick off road construction on Palm Avenue in the South Bay.

Councilwoman Sherri Lightner will stay in town and work to build support for an ordinance that would drastically curtail the use of plastic shopping bags in the city, according to her staff.

She is also preparing for next week's California Coastal Commission meeting in Pacific Beach. One of the items before the state agency is the city's law that limits public access to the Children's Pool in La Jolla, which is in her district.

Councilman Ed Harris, who represents the beach communities, plans to take his wife and two children to Lake Arrowhead for a few days and will try to get in some spear-fishing locally. Harris, who is holding the seat on an interim basis until December, will also spend the month meeting with constituents, according to his spokeswoman.

Councilwoman Myrtle Cole is using her vacation time to help her sister move.

"For (Councilwoman) Cole, family comes first," council staffer Pierrette Storey said. Cole represents southeast San Diego.

Councilman Mark Kersey, whose district covers Rancho Bernardo and Scripps Ranch, is set to visit family in Ohio. His spokeswoman said he will also attend a high school reunion where his brother, Brad — who died from influenza in January — will be honored.

Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, who is slated to shift over to District 2 and take over for Harris in December, plans to spend her time touring places in her new communities, spokeswoman Alexandra Bell said. She also planned an out-of-town vacation with her family, but the location was not specified.

Scott Sherman's spokesman said thecouncilman for Mission Valley, San Carlos and Tierrasanta hopes to squeeze in some time fishing and was contemplating going out of town with his family. Meanwhile, he was set to hold a town hall meeting on fire safety and another one for first-time home buyers.

The office of Councilwoman Marti Emerald said she's planning to spend a week with family in Portland. Otherwise, she will be working with constituents on issues before the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee, which she chairs.