SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Todd Gloria said Thursday that being interim mayor has been a "humbling experience," and he thanked San Diegans for their support during his six months in the job.
Gloria, who succeeded scandal-plagued Bob Filner on Aug. 30, will be replaced Monday by Kevin Faulconer, who defeated fellow Councilman David Alvarez in a runoff election Feb. 11.
"This has been a humbling experience for this San Diego native, the son of a hotel maid and a gardener," Gloria said at his final weekly media briefing. "I thank San Diegans for being so supportive, the very kind and generous things they say to me when they see me when I'm out and about."
He said the city was "in a dark place" last summer, and it's great to see San Diegans being proud of their city again. Gloria has worn three hats over the past six months - interim mayor, representative of Council District 3 and City Council president. Councilwoman Sherri Lightner has lightened some of the council president load during that time.
The interim mayor said he attended 388 community meetings and events, while his staff has represented him at 426 gatherings. He pointed to numerous accomplishments, including the relaunch of tourism marketing efforts, filling numerous vacancies on city boards and commissions, opening the new Central Library and getting approval for a $120 million infrastructure bond.
"When I assumed the role as mayor, I said that our objective was to provide our citizens with a fully functioning city government with ethics, integrity and transparency," Gloria said. "I'm enormously proud of the stability that we've established and returned to a respectful, civil dialogue and productivity."
He thanked municipal employees for the city's turnaround. Questioned about his future, Gloria said he was looking forward to returning to the council presidency and promised to work collaboratively with Faulconer.
The two disagree on several issues before the city, including a controversial increase in a fee on construction to pay for affordable housing projects and Gloria's desire to increase the minimum wage. Gloria stressed that they differ on only a few items.
He deflected questions about what he might do in 2016, when he's termed out. His options would be to run for mayor, follow the path set by his council district predecessors and go to the Assembly, or run for Congress - he used to be on the staff of Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego.