SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Tony Young was unanimously chosen Monday to be the president of the San Diego City Council, and he immediately promised changes to how the panel operates.
Young said his top priority was to address the structural budget deficit faced by the city.
"Don't be surprised if you see that on the agenda every week until that's corrected," Young told his colleagues.
Budget shortfalls that hit the city with the pension troubles and fueled the economic downturn have become chronic.
He said there would be changes to how important issues are handled, how the agenda is structured and how the council deals with the public.
His colleagues cited Young's fairness and support for open government.
"As chairman of the budget committee, he has opened the doors to government and let San Diegans in," said City Councilwoman Marti Emerald.
Councilwoman Sherri Lightner said she valued him as "an elder statesman on the council."
Members of the council also complimented Young for his performance in office and being well-liked.
"I can't tell you how touched I was, the fact that my colleagues, who I call my friends and teammates, (said) such nice things about me," Young said.
The council president presides over meetings of the full council and can place items on the agenda through the city clerk's office.
Young represents southeastern San Diego, where many of his constituents live below the poverty line.