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SAN DIEGO —
San Diego’s City Council is filling a crucial budget job that helps check the mayor’s power by promoting a nine-year city employee whose entire career has been devoted to analyzing city finances and legislation.
Charles Modica is replacing Independent Budget Analyst Andrea Tevlin, who retired in November after 16 years. She was the first and only person to hold the job, which was created when San Diego switched to a “strong mayor” form of government.
The Independent Budget Analyst position analyzes the mayor’s proposed budget for the City Council, gauges the economic effects of legislation and explores revenue options for the city.
Modica served as a lieutenant under Tevlin from 2013 until 2018, when he took over the finance division of the city’s Public Utilities Department for two years.
He returned to the IBA in late 2020 and was appointed deputy director when Tevlin left and then-deputy director Jeff Kawar was appointed interim IBA until a permanent replacement could be found.
Modica, who has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California at Los Angeles, will receive an annual salary of $220,000 plus a car allowance, retirement benefits and other compensation.
Before coming to San Diego, he worked as a legislative analyst for the city of Los Angeles.
The City Council is scheduled to approve the appointment of Modica as new IBA on Monday at a meeting scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. He was chosen from a group of four finalists the council interviewed in closed session March 7.
Modica said on his LinkedIn page that taxpayers have been the focus of his career.
“I have dedicated my career to helping cities balance their budgets and diversify revenue streams to ensure city governments make the taxpayers’ dollars work as hard as citizens do,” he said. “My job is about more than just numbers, it’s about more than sound fiscal policy — it’s about ensuring that all people understand how local governments spend their tax dollars, and making sure everyone knows how they can be involved in the budget process.”
City leaders say that Tevlin will be a hard act to follow. She was hailed for boosting transparency and helping the city recover from a pension scandal in the early 2000s, and she was called one of the most respected and reliable voices at City Hall on a wide range of topics.
After city officials launched a nationwide search, 36 people applied to become the new IBA and a city-hired recruiter deemed 12 of them highly qualified. But the recruiter said last month that the pool of candidates could be considered disappointing.
San Diego’s relatively low pay and relatively high cost of living make the job less appealing for some candidates from outside the area, said the recruiter, Pam Derby of CPS HR in Sacramento.
Source: This post first appeared on sandiegouniontribune.com