Filner Introduces Staff To San Diego Public
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner today presented his first 24 hires to the media. The mayor stressed the diversity of the group, noting that more than half are women, about a third are Latino and nearly a quarter are African American.
“I made a simple campaign pledge, that we would change the face of City Hall. Bringing in the full diversity of the community,” Filner said. “And I think the diversity of the city, of this nation, is reflected in the staff behind me.”
About half of the staff have worked for Filner before, either in his City Council or Congressional days. He said they have a confidence in each other and an understanding that he runs an "intense'' operation.
"They all know what they're getting into,'' Filner said. "I think they have an energy and a competence that is unmatched.''
The salaries of the staffers run the gamut, ranging from $25,000 a year for a mayoral assistant to $185,000 for the assistant chief operating officer. A national search is under way for a chief operating officer and a chief financial officer, Filner said. Jay Goldstone, who served as COO under former Mayor Jerry Sanders, has agreed to stay on until the yearly budget cycle is finished in April. Filner said he also planned to hire executives to oversee energy, housing and veterans employment issues.
Former City Councilwoman Donna Frye will make $100,000 as Filner’s Director of Open Government (she made just $75,000 annually as a council member). She will focus on transparency in the government.
However, Frye is currently classified as a provisional employee for the city and can not work more than 90 days a year. The municipal code does not allow former employees who are currently receiving a pension to also work full time at the city. Filner said he is working on a request to the City Council to make an exception for Frye.