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Council President Myrtle Cole’s Power Play

It’s been a drama filled week for members of the San Diego City Council both in front of and behind the cameras.

On Tuesday, the council failed to compromise on a framework to regulate the Airbnb business. The finger pointing was harsh and loud, and mostly aimed at Councilman David Alvarez for his change of heart on the issue. Alvarez was one of the signatories in the “Four Council Member” effort to regulate the industry, but on Tuesday decided he wasn’t going to support that original plan.

That meant all efforts to establish the framework would be defeated 5-4.

It will likely be months before the council takes up the issue again.

COLE REMOVES REPUBLICANS FROM LEADERSHIP ROLES 

Following the very public collapse of negotiations on the Airbnb issue, comes word that Council President Myrtle Cole has removed Republicans Scott Sherman, Lorie Zapf and Mark Kersey from key leadership positions.

As first reported by David Garrick at the San Diego Union-Tribune, Cole has replaced Sherman as chair of the council’s smart growth committee with Democrat Georgette Gomez. The Council President removed Lorie Zapf as chair of the economic development committee with Democrat Chris Ward, and maybe, most importantly, replaced Republican Mark Kersey as Council President Pro Tem with Democrat Barbara Bry.

Council President Pro Tem is the council’s second in command and leads any meetings the council president cannot attend.

Councilman Sherman was completely left out in the cold as he is the only member of the council to not receive a chair position for any committee in 2018. In the UT article Sherman was quoted, “It’s very disappointing and kind of shows the dysfunctionality of this body. If you’re going to give somebody your written word, just stick to it and have some character.”