4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Taxpayers ante up for Faulconer's political spinners

Pay, car allowance, and benefits draw familiar faces to city hall

Kevin Faulconer
Kevin Faulconer

San Diego Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer, under fire from critics who fault his handling of the city's hepatitis A epidemic, has been on a PR and political hiring spree of late, and the cost to taxpayers is mounting.

Per an October 19 letter released by the mayor's office following a request made under the California Public Records Act, newly hired Deputy Chief Operating Officer for Special Projects Kris Michell is getting an annual salary of $195,000, plus a monthly car allowance of $475, along with a hefty benefits package.

Kris Michell

Pension money also figures into the deal.

Says the letter to Michell, "Because you have previously worked for the City of San Diego and did not withdraw your money from the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System (SDCERS), you are eligible to become a Member of the SDCERS defined benefit. You will be placed back in the Supplemental Pension Savings Plan with a mandatory contribution of 3.0% and are eligible for a voluntary contribution of 3.05%."

The letter goes on to say, "You will be eligible for Option C of the retiree health plan, and at which time you are age and service eligible a lump sum amount will be contributed to your health retirement account. The City's full medical benefit package will be available to you, or you can choose to opt out and receive a prorated amount of the $9,977 flexible benefit allotment over the remaining pay periods of this fiscal year."

Michell, who was last employed by the city as top political aide to GOP mayor Jerry Sanders, departed in December 2010 to head the Downtown San Diego Partnership.

There Michell was enmeshed in controversy regarding tardy lobbyist disclosure filings and last year's endorsement of the ultimately defeated Chargers stadium scheme.

While head of the Downtown Partnership, per a February 2017 federal disclosure for the 12-month period ending June 30 of last year, Michell received total compensation of $244,763.

Greg Block

Meanwhile, Greg Block, Faulconer's latest public relations specialist, is being paid $90,000 a year, according to a September 18 letter released by the city.

And a raise could be in the cards.

“Adjustments in the future will be determined by the Mayor or designee within a broad range established by the City Council.”

As a "new hire with no prior City Service," Block qualifies for an Interim Defined Contribution Retirement Plan, requiring employees "to contribute 9.2% of their compensation to the plan, which will be matched by a 9.2% employer contribution," the letter says.

As chief communications officer at San Diego State University, where he worked from 2008 until earlier this year, Block received total pay and benefits of $175,629 during 2016, according to the website Transparent California.

He left that position in February of this year for an eight-month gig as communications director at the Scripps Research Institute before signing on with Faulconer in September, per his LinkedIn profile.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

San Diego aggressive rollerbladers return in strength

Big Wheels invade Balboa Park, Liberty Station
Next Article

Superbloom lays claim to best café location in the city

On a patio overlooking Mission Bay, even boring mochas taste good
Kevin Faulconer
Kevin Faulconer

San Diego Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer, under fire from critics who fault his handling of the city's hepatitis A epidemic, has been on a PR and political hiring spree of late, and the cost to taxpayers is mounting.

Per an October 19 letter released by the mayor's office following a request made under the California Public Records Act, newly hired Deputy Chief Operating Officer for Special Projects Kris Michell is getting an annual salary of $195,000, plus a monthly car allowance of $475, along with a hefty benefits package.

Kris Michell

Pension money also figures into the deal.

Says the letter to Michell, "Because you have previously worked for the City of San Diego and did not withdraw your money from the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System (SDCERS), you are eligible to become a Member of the SDCERS defined benefit. You will be placed back in the Supplemental Pension Savings Plan with a mandatory contribution of 3.0% and are eligible for a voluntary contribution of 3.05%."

The letter goes on to say, "You will be eligible for Option C of the retiree health plan, and at which time you are age and service eligible a lump sum amount will be contributed to your health retirement account. The City's full medical benefit package will be available to you, or you can choose to opt out and receive a prorated amount of the $9,977 flexible benefit allotment over the remaining pay periods of this fiscal year."

Michell, who was last employed by the city as top political aide to GOP mayor Jerry Sanders, departed in December 2010 to head the Downtown San Diego Partnership.

There Michell was enmeshed in controversy regarding tardy lobbyist disclosure filings and last year's endorsement of the ultimately defeated Chargers stadium scheme.

While head of the Downtown Partnership, per a February 2017 federal disclosure for the 12-month period ending June 30 of last year, Michell received total compensation of $244,763.

Greg Block

Meanwhile, Greg Block, Faulconer's latest public relations specialist, is being paid $90,000 a year, according to a September 18 letter released by the city.

And a raise could be in the cards.

“Adjustments in the future will be determined by the Mayor or designee within a broad range established by the City Council.”

As a "new hire with no prior City Service," Block qualifies for an Interim Defined Contribution Retirement Plan, requiring employees "to contribute 9.2% of their compensation to the plan, which will be matched by a 9.2% employer contribution," the letter says.

As chief communications officer at San Diego State University, where he worked from 2008 until earlier this year, Block received total pay and benefits of $175,629 during 2016, according to the website Transparent California.

He left that position in February of this year for an eight-month gig as communications director at the Scripps Research Institute before signing on with Faulconer in September, per his LinkedIn profile.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Tofu House goes to college

At latest chapter of Korean favorite, a robot brings hot stone pots to the table
Next Article

Short boards easier to manuever

Wetsuit gets stuck to my body
Comments
1

Typical Kev-boy reasoning: Why spend taxpayer money on actually fixing things, when I can waste twice as much on appearing to fix them!

Nov. 1, 2017

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close