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What City Councilmembers Are Doing On Their Summer Break

From campaigning for the November election to dropping off a daughter at college on the other side of the country to recuperating from hip surgery, San Diego's elected officials have been mostly mixing business and pleasure during their long August recess.

On the campaign trail are Councilman Carl DeMaio, who is running for mayor against Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, and Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, who is fighting to hold her seat against challenger Ray Ellis.

Over the past couple of weeks, DeMaio has participated in debates against his rival and held a series of news conferences on his plans for San Diego's coastline. He begins a two-day trip to Mexico on Wednesday.


Lightner, the lone council member forced into a reelection runoff, hasn't left town since she took office in 2008, said Jesse Mays of her staff.

She spent the last few weeks arranging a job fair that took place at Golden Hall last weekend, he said. She also has voiced support for a campaign to keep La Jolla's downtown post office open.

Council President Tony Young dropped off one of his daughters, who has been dancing since the age of 3, last week at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

"Moving my baby girl into her dorm,'' Young posted on Twitter. "We are all very excited.''

He later tweeted, in reply to a DeMaio aide, "Cherish every moment with your kid. Too soon it will be you moving yours into the dorm.''


According to his staff, Young held meetings, spoke to San Diego Housing Commission employees about energy sustainability and was a celebrity server at the "Big Kitchen'' annual lasagna dinner fundraiser, which benefited San Diego Democrats for Equality, during the council recess.

The City Council's last regularly scheduled meeting was July 31. Since then, the entire 12th floor of the City Administration Building -- which includes the Council Chamber -- has been closed for a project to remove asbestos and install fire sprinklers.

Council members have also been kicked out of their regular 10th floor offices, which are being renovated to include space for the new Ninth District.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting is Sept. 10. One special meeting, which lasted around 20 minutes, was held Aug. 10. The Audit Committee has met twice.

Councilman Kevin Faulconer said the break was a good chance to get together with constituents.

"The neighborhoods never shut down,'' said Faulconer, who also took a short trip to Florida.

Councilman Todd Gloria has been involved with the restoration of the iconic lily pond in Balboa Park -- located in his district -- since it was damaged in a water gun fight that went out of control three weeks ago, said Katie Keach, his deputy chief of staff. She said he's also been hiking and taking time "to catch up on his favorite hobby, cleaning.''

Counciwoman Lorie Zapf calendared one week off to attend a family reunion in Northern California, said Alex Bell of her office. Otherwise, she took part in the recent California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce convention, toured the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Facility and spent time with her children before they return to school.

Having less fun was Councilman David Alvarez, who underwent hip surgery and is recuperating, Deputy Chief of Staff Lisa Schmidt said.

Mayor Jerry Sanders, whose routine is not impacted much by the City Council schedule, has been working but did take a few days off earlier this month, spokesman Darren Pudgil said.