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Faulconer announces 32-member transition team

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer Friday introduced a 32-member committee that will help him make the transition from councilman to head of San Diego's municipal government.

Faulconer defeated fellow Councilman David Alvarez, 54.4 to 45.6 percent, in Tuesday's runoff election. He is expected to be inaugurated on March 3.

The committee, which will meet weekly over the next two months, will be co-chaired by Steve Cushman, vice chairman of the San Diego Convention Center Corp. Board of Directors, and former councilman Tony Young, who is now CEO of the San Diego and Imperial counties chapter of the American Red Cross.

"You represent the best of San Diego," Faulconer told committee members at a news conference. "You're here because you believe in this city."

The group is named the "One San Diego Transition Advisory Committee" because it contains representatives from every community, he said.

Among the members are homeless advocate Father Joe Carroll, retired Navy Rear Adm. Ronne Froman, retired Cox Communications General Manager Bill Geppert, architecture and design firm principal Vince Mudd and longtime LGBT activist Nicole Murray-Ramirez.

Also on the team is Michael Zucchet, a former councilman and now head of the San Diego Municipal Employees Association. Public employee unions strongly backed Alvarez during the election campaign.

Zucchet said Faulconer has shown an ability to put politics aside in the past and work for solutions to city problems.

"This is a great start; of course the proof will be in the pudding and the substance of the issues facing San Diego for the next couple of years," Zucchet said. "I'm very optimistic and I wouldn't be willing to be a part of this if I didn't think Kevin was looking for solutions instead of reliving a campaign."

The committee will help organize Faulconer's administration and open lines of communication with interested parties, like city employees, but won't get into the details of contract negotiations or the mayor-elect's desire to resume bidding-out city functions, Zucchet said.

The committee roster also includes Brian Marvel, who heads the San Diego Police Officers Association, three members of the clergy, leaders of the Asian and black business communities and teacher Blanca Lopez Brown.

Late in the afternoon, Faulconer added Ure Kretowicz, chairman and CEO of Cornerstone Communities, to the committee, along with Leslie Kilpatrick, president of the San Diego Association of Realtors, and Russ Thurman, the owner of Gould Electric Inc.

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