Mayor Bob Filner took office a month ago, but he’s only now getting around to introducing his staff. What’s taken so long? Who knows. But we do know one thing: He’s made headway on his promise to make diversity a top priority.
“Women make up more than half of Filner’s new staffers, and more than a quarter of the hires are black or Latino,” our Lisa Halverstadt reports. “Filner also brought in Asian and LGBT employees.”
More than half of the hires have worked for Filner before, including his chief of staff, deputy chief of staff and others. The biggest name among the hires is Donna Frye, the former councilwoman and almost-mayor. She’ll be the director of open government.
Filner is well known as a difficult boss with embittered ex-employees. Not surprisingly, he put a positive spin on that legacy, saying he likes to hire people he knows and who have experience with tension: “I’m a pretty hard driver of people. I demand excellence of myself and them and they know that and it’s important, I think, that you have people who understand that need for excellence because they’re used to it. It’s part of the experience and they can help train the others in that.”
Here’s an interesting tidbit: Filner’s salary is $94,074. Seven of the employees announced yesterday make more than that. (This PDF has the details.) The assistant chief operating officer is making the most — $185,000.