New City Council members take oath of office

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Georgette Gomez, Chris Ward and Barbara Bry are new members of the San Diego City Council.

SAN DIEGO — Mayor Kevin Faulconer, City Attorney Mara Elliott and three new City Council members were sworn in to office Monday in a ceremony at the Balboa Theatre in downtown San Diego.

Faulconer completed the term of scandal-plagued Bob Filner, who resigned in 2013, so is embarking on his first full four-year term. He was reelected in the June primary.

“It is truly an honor and privilege to serve as mayor of this great city, and I am grateful and humbled that San Diegans have placed their trust and confidence in me,” Faulconer said. “It is with a great sense of optimism and responsibility that, together, we begin this new chapter.”

He touted progress made since taking office in March 2014, and said he looked forward to working with the new officeholders.

Elliott, who defeated Deputy District Attorney Robert Hickey in the general election last month, helped create a culture that made the City Attorney’s Office successful, according to her predecessor, Jan Goldsmith.

“She will improve up (the culture) with her own style and own priorities,” Goldsmith said. “She is tough, tested and ready to lead.”

Elliott told the audience that she would be an independent city attorney accountable to the people, and fight for the interests of the city and residents. Her office defends the city against lawsuits, ensures that municipal policies are implemented legally and prosecutes misdemeanor crimes.

“San Diegans need to know that this office will protect them, and criminals need to know that we will prosecute them,” Elliott said. “There’s no better way to measure our success.”

Also sworn in were new City Council members Barbara Bry, who represents Carmel Valley, La Jolla and University City; Georgette Gomez, who represents the College Area, City Heights and Southcrest; and Chris Ward, whose district covers downtown, Hillcrest and North Park.

Mark Kersey, who represents Rancho Bernardo and Scripps Ranch; and Scott Sherman, whose district covers territory in Linda Vista, Mission Valley and San Carlos, took the oath of office for their second terms after being reelected in June.

The council members will meet at 3 p.m. to select a council president. Councilman David Alvarez and Councilwoman Myrtle Cole have both expressed an interest in the position.

The council president position comes with considerable power. He or she will shape the debate over civic issues, set the panel’s agenda, run the council meetings, determine committee assignments and appear often with the mayor in a ceremonial role.