San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, besieged by critics who blame him for mishandling the city’s epidemic of hepatitis among the homeless, has gone on a public relations hiring binge. Last month he snapped up ex-SDSU flack Greg Block, and last week he hired Kris Michell, vice president for public relations for the Padres in 1998, touting a public subsidy for the baseball team that has cost taxpayers over $13 million in annual debt payments.
Before the mayor picked Michell to be his senior advisor on homelessness coordination, she ran the Downtown San Diego Partnership, which lobbies for various business interests. A champion, like Faulconer, of the now-defeated downtown stadium for the Chargers, Michell was paid $220,000 during 2015, according to federal disclosure records.
In addition to her work among the homeless, a September 28 announcement by city chief operating officer Scott Chadwick stated, “Kris will manage the departments of Special Events, Corporate Sponsorships, Commission for Arts and Culture, and Civic San Diego. This position will report directly to me.”