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Lightner; among others participate in inauguration

An inauguration ceremony was held at San Diego’s Golden Hall today for Mayor Jerry Sanders, the newly elected city attorney and four new City Council members.

Sherri Lightner, Todd Gloria, Carl DeMaio and Marti Emerald were sworn in to replace termed-out council members Scott Peters, Toni Akins, Brian Maienschein and Jim Madaffer.

Superior Court Judge Jan Goldsmith took an oath-of-office to become San Diego’s next city attorney, replacing Michael Aguirre.

Sanders, who was sworn in to a second term after winning reelection as the city’s mayor in June, said in his inaugural address that the city faces “tremendous challenges’’ amid the current economic environment.

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“Every city and state finds itself at the same critical juncture - our revenues have plunged dramatically and it is not clear when, or if, they will return to their former levels,’' Sanders said. “For San Diego, this financial crisis will test our commitment to live within our means.’'

The mayor praised the four outgoing City Council members and sought cooperation from their successors.

“I am looking forward to working with these new council members, and with this new city attorney,’' Sanders said.

“They each bring a fresh perspective and energy to their offices,’' he said. “They know that our political differences are relatively trivial when compared with the responsibilities we share.’'

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Sanders added that in the coming months, “we must make decisions that will be difficult, and that I guarantee will make some people unhappy.’'

Following the mayor’s speech, Goldsmith was sworn. He said he has assumed a City Attorney’s Office that is in “turmoil,’' but a “strong foundation’’ remains among the office’s 135-attorneys to rebuild it.

“The last four years have been difficult,’' he said. “The city attorney’s office must be rebuilt into a well-run municipal law firm.’'

The tone of much of Goldsmith’s speech was critical of Aguirre’s tenure. He chided his predecessor for holding up projects and for demoting qualified attorneys for political reasons.

“We are attorneys, not politicians,’' Goldmsith said. “Moving forward, we can best help our city by maintaining our integrity, providing timely accurate and nonpolitical legal work - not necessarily the conclusions you may want to hear, but the law we must all obey.’'

Each of the outgoing and incoming City Council members spoke during the morning ceremony at Golden Hall.

Later today, the newly seated members of the City Council will convene a hearing to choose a council president to replace Peters.