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San Diego Budget Analyst Retires

 September 29, 2021 at 5:43 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Wednesday, September 29th>>>>

San Diego's independent budget analyst retiringMore on that next, but first... let’s do the headlines….

This Thursday is the deadline for California’s health care workers to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Two San Diego hospital groups say they’re confident they’ll meet that deadline. One of them is Scripps Healthcare. Here’s its CEO Chris Van Gorder.

“Right now I’ve got 98% of our employees accounted for. So I’ve got, you know, 15,078 that are vaccinated. Another 180, they’re actually in the process of getting their second vaccination.”

Van Gorder says the hospital has granted medical or religious exemptions to around 570 employees.


Flu season is upon us as the fourth wave of COVID-19 lingers. For the third year in a row, the National City Fire Department and Point Loma Nazarene nursing program have partnered to administer free flu vaccines to the community.

Monique Sawyer is the associate dean of nursing at Point Loma Nazarene University.

“It comes back every year and now that we’re opened up, if you will, the flu has a lot more opportunities to spread. Just because COVID is here doesn’t mean the flu isn’t here either. They can exist together. We can be infected with both.”

Sawyer wants the public to know that both vaccines can be given at the same time.


A bill signed by Governor Gavin Newsom [on Monday] requires mail ballots be automatically sent to every registered voter for all future elections. Sacramento State political science professor Wesley Hussey [HUSS-ee] says the move will increase voter turnout. The practice of sending all active, registered voters a ballot started during the pandemic and continued for this year’s recall election. Before then, the vast majority of California voters were already casting their ballots by mail. Hussey says there’s no evidence showing the process is susceptible to widespread voter fraud.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.
Stay with me for more of the local news you need.

San Diego's independent budget analyst, Anne-drea Tevlin, announced her retirement this month after working at the city for 16 years. Her office was established by voters in 2004 as an independent check on the mayor. KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen sat down with Tevlin to reflect on her career.

AB: Andrea Tevlin, thank you so much for speaking with us.

AT: Of course, thank you.

AB: For those who are less familiar with the city government, what does the independent budget analyst do?

AT: The independent budget analyst was part of the ballot item, because we were switching from a city manager form to a strong mayor form. That means that the city manager is no longer here to advise the council on issues. So that's where I step in, but not just for the council, but for the public and actually for being independent. Because the council members have very different perspectives. And a city manager would come in and give various proposals or just different perspectives. And that's what we do.

AB: Your position was born out of the 2005 financial crisis that the city faced. What was going on at that time, and why was it determined that an independent budget analyst was necessary?

AT: From what I understand, there was a lot of concern about having factual information from the staff, even, at that point. The public did not understand the processes. So that's why they felt you should be independent. Because the council is varied, and then you have a mayor, who is political as well. And he's now running the city with 10,000 employees reporting to him. And they thought that this would help the public. It would help the council, because with factual information, that's how you get good decisions made. You don't get good decisions from a lack of transparency. That was the other issue that was huge, there was a lack of transparency here. And they wanted those two elements: transparency and independence.

AB: You've chosen to make this position a lot more about transparency than just analyzing budgets.

AT: And the community.

AB: Yeah. So why was that important to you?

AT: I guess just from my experience — I had been in this field for thirty-some years when I came here. And I just know that that's an important part of the process, because they can really make a difference when they're coming to the council or to the mayor if they have good information. I just felt a responsibility for it.

AB: What was one of the most difficult moments in your career at the city?

AT: My most difficult moments were in the beginning when no one understood what this office was going to do, particularly the mayor's office. And it was difficult to get into that point where I could convince people that we are here to stay, we're going to do our job, we're going to be factual, we're going to be transparent and that's it. It just took a while.

AB: What are some of the most joyful moments of your career at the city?

AT: I think the most joyful moments have been when people in the council, in the mayor's office, and other people in the community groups got to learn about what we were doing. And then it kind of just slowly continued to grow in our work and the respect that people had for us. And that is what made me extremely happy.

AB: The city is about to start looking for your replacement. If you could give that person some advice, what would you say to them?

AT: The most important thing, of course, is to not be political. But you have to understand politics, and you're in that world all the time. And you have to be really diligent about it, because obviously you're going to have some people who don't — even council members — who aren't happy with you.

AB: Andrea Tevlin, congratulations on your retirement, thank you for your service to the city and thanks for your time today.

AT: Thank you, I appreciate it very much.


The Mayor of San Diego is in Washington DC asking for help on several issues including the border. After a year and a half of restrictions for non-essential travel, the mayor is hoping to move the needle on the issue affecting border communities. KPBS reporter Alexandra Rangel has more from a local business leader who says it’s time to lift restrictions.

Mayor Todd Gloria left for the nation’s Capital Tuesday to meet with White House Officials and California senators.

According to his team, he’ll be addressing San Diego’s homeless crisis, infrastructure, pollution in the Tijuana River Valley, and the lifting of non-essential travel restrictions at the U.S. Mexico border.

It’s Gloria’s first visit to Washington D-C since he was elected mayor last year, but it’s not the first time he has tried to advocate for the full reopening of our southern border.

Local business leaders are glad to hear Gloria is pressing for the lifting of non-essential travel, but aren't sure what will come from it.

“Mayor Gloria , county supervisor Nora Vargas have been fabulous on this issue, unfortunately they have been ignored as I have.

Jason Wells with the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce says he’s also tried to bring attention to the matter.

Wells hopes October 21st will be the end of border restrictions.

Alexandra Rangel KPBS News.


The California corrections department is appealing a court settlement that would mandate dramatic reforms at a San Diego prison. As Sofía Mejías Pascoe reports, the legal challenge is well underway despite over a year of negotiation efforts.

MEJIAS PASCOE: Last fall, a U.S. district court judge ordered the state corrections department to make groundbreaking reforms at R.J. Donovan state prison. The decision came from a lawsuit against the department in which residents with disabilities alleged they were targeted and abused by corrections staff.

Now, a year later, negotiations over the reforms are coming to a close, but they face another challenge –– an appeal from the corrections department, which seeks to roll back court oversight over how the reforms are implemented.

Corrections officials have said they’re committed to improving the prison, but want to make the reforms without the court’s supervision.

Lawyers for Donovan residents will have to respond to the department’s appeal in court by next week.

That was investigative reporter Sofía Mejías Pascoe. inewsource is an independently funded, nonprofit partner of KPBS.


With the recall election past, lawmakers say they want to reform the process to remove people from office. But California’s number-two elected official isn’t on board with at least one idea. CapRadio’s Nicole Nixon reports.

Recent surveys suggest California voters would support changing some of the recall rules, like raising the number of required signatures or having a runoff election to choose a replacement.

Another suggestion is that if the governor is recalled, they’re automatically replaced by the lieutenant governor, rather than a new candidate.

But California’s lieutenant governor, Eleni Kounalakis, doesn’t think that’s a good idea.

“You shouldn’t have a system that incentivizes the lieutenant governor to want to see the governor fail.”

Kounalakis opposed the recall against Governor Gavin Newsom early on.

Lawmakers who oversee the Legislature’s election committees plan to host hearings in the coming months to discuss possible reforms. But any major changes would require voter approval.


Coming up.... There’s still some questions remaining about who, exactly, is eligible to receive a covid-19 booster shot. We’ll hash that out next, just after the break.

Following recent federal approval for booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine, San Diego officials are urging eligible residents to seek out the additional dose. Here’s County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.

CLIP>”This new authorization for the booster shot is another step and continuation of that effort.”

And while many Americans are eager to bolster their immunity against COVID-19, questions remain about who’s exactly eligible to receive the booster shot.

KPBS Health reporter Matt Hoffman spoke with our Midday Edition Host Jade Hindmon to answer those questions. Here’s that interview….

And that was KPBS Health reporter Matt Hoffman speaking with Midday Edition Host Jade Hindmon.

That’s it for the podcast today. Be sure to catch KPBS Midday Edition At Noon on KPBS radio, or check out the Midday podcast. You can also watch KPBS Evening Edition at 5 O’clock on KPBS Television, and as always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

San Diego's independent budget analyst is a position born out of the economic crisis of the mid-2000s. Andrea Tevlin has had the position for 16 years and she’s now retiring. She says her office was a source of clear and unbiased information for both the City Council and the public. Meanwhile, the California corrections department is appealing a court settlement that would mandate dramatic reforms at a R.J. Donovan State Prison in San Diego. Plus, while many Americans are eager to bolster their immunity against COVID-19, questions remain about who’s exactly eligible to receive the booster shot.