By Matthew T. Hall
Staff Writer

December 15, 2005

A longtime Phoenix bureaucrat will become the San Diego City Council's first independent budget analyst, filling a prominent position created as a check on financial information coming from the mayor and his staff.

Andrea Tevlin, a deputy city manager in Phoenix who previously worked for Democratic and Republican mayors there, will start in mid-January and earn $180,000 a year, ranking her among the city's highest-paid administrators.

Tevlin will advise the City Council on a range of fiscal matters, including analyzing the mayor's annual budget proposal, gauging the economic effects of legislation and seeking ways to finance long-range capital improvements.

The council unanimously appointed Tevlin Monday. She will oversee eight workers in an office with a $1.2 million annual budget.

The position and the office were created as part of San Diego's switch to the strong-mayor system of government that voters approved last year. Local government splits into separate executive and legislative branches Jan. 1.

The council will operate with eight members and Councilman Scott Peters as its president. Mayor Jerry Sanders no longer will serve on the council but will assume powers over the budget and personnel that previously belonged to the city manager.

In preparation for that day, Sanders Tuesday named Jay Goldstone to serve as city's financial officer and Richard Haas Jr. to be the city's deputy chief of public works. They and other city employees essentially will work for the mayor, making an independent budget analyst crucial to the council's operation.

"You don't know for sure who's going to be sitting in that mayor's chair," Councilman Brian Maienschein said. "And while we have a mayor that I have every confidence in, that may not always be the case in San Diego."

The council interviewed five candidates behind closed doors Dec. 7 and the negotiations with Tevlin wrapped up Friday. The city will provide her with up to $10,000 for moving expenses and up to $6,000 for temporary housing.

When she starts, she will receive a BlackBerry and a $475 monthly car allowance.

To find Tevlin, the council hired the same recruiter used since 2001 to find a park and recreation director, a police chief, a fire chief and an assistant city manager.

Tevlin briefly worked as an aide for a Democratic mayor and was employed in the Phoenix Budget and Research Department for 12 years, five as its director. She was chief of staff to a Republican mayor for four years before being appointed as a deputy city manager in September 2001 to oversee water, information technology and the city's international airport.

As chief of staff, Tevlin helped secure voter approval of a $750 million capital projects and infrastructure bond and two sales-tax increases, for regional parks and for a light rail system, according to her résumé.

Peters said Tevlin's mix of financial, managerial and political experience – in a city bigger than San Diego in terms of population and budget – elevated her above the others seeking the position.

"If she wasn't No. 1, she was close to No. 1 on everyone's list," he said.