Mayor Kevin Faulconer is getting a new chief of staff: Out is Stephen Puetz. In is Aimee Faucett, the vice president and chief operating officer of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Puetz took a job with Axiom Strategies and will work on high-profile national campaigns but will remain in San Diego. He told me the mayor asked him to stay through the recent budget negotiations.
Puetz and Faucett are both longtime aides to Faulconer. But both represent different sides of Faulconer’s political brain. Puetz is a career political consultant, the strategist behind Faulconer’s successful campaign for mayor and a movement conservative with a feisty, ideological approach. He also ran former Councilman Carl DeMaio’s mayoral campaign.
Faucett is the consummate San Diego insider – an establishment Republican in San Diego less closely identified with political campaigns and Republican Party activism. She previously was deputy chief of staff to Mayor Jerry Sanders and is one of the former Sanders aides who maintains major influence on San Diego’s right-of-center policy agenda.
“I’d say we’re way more on the same page than not, and I consider her a friend,” Puetz said of Faucett. “She’s certainly going to provide a healthy different perspective. Five years from now [Faulconer will] look back and say it’s healthy he had some transition.”
Faucett was not immediately available for comment but confirmed the move.
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"Puetz said the mayor has focused on his constituents, not his donors". If there is a scintilla of truth to this statement, Mayor would not have taken the VINDICTIVE action he did after the vote...those who he is punishing care about their districts. How would he even know what his constituents want, he never reaches out to them other than at photo ops supporting benefactors (my perspective as a constituent). If our mayor really acts for the people and not his cronies why does he persist on having SECRET, CLOSED DOOR meetings and not disclose the contents of those meetings without being chased down? Maybe his new CoS can help him get back on track with the people of San Diego, hopefully she won't advise him to continue to dig his heels in...I do not think this is a good strategy and I don't think it will work. San Diegans are tired of government giving away our city for little benefit to anyone but developers and career politicians...show us how you are focused on your constituents Mayor. His desire for a special election looks self serving based on his track record and the fact that he has accomplished so little. I believe a majority of San Diegans don't trust his intentions, he should work to fix that, maybe do some research with the $5M he is holding out punishing CC with (be like Myrtle Cole, go high Mr. Mayor, not low). Punishing City Council members representing their constituents is not a step in the right direction and not a good example of civility in government. You wasted $ on a homeless consultant who did nothing and is now gone, yet you took $60K away from Chris Ward b/c he voted on behalf of his district, so he, we and the homeless are punished as a result...a key initiative for you...my grandfather used to say...don't cut off your nose to spite your face...good luck Ms. Faucett you have a fine challenge ahead of you.
Our Mayor is beholding to Big Business and Big Money and he has plans to ascend to the Governorship. someday. He will need these connections to fund future campaigns and his future ambitions. The homelessness issue became important when his detractors made it painfully clear that the police department , who has its own issues, is NOT responsible for social programs. The current sweep the streets when convention center has a convention is not a reasonable - certainly not socially acceptable answer to homelessness.
San Diego has so many corruption issues and self servers in our local (and particularly, State) government that Ronnie Reagan trickle down theory derives a new meaning in the form of special interests!
"Puetz said the mayor has focused on his constituents, not his donors." Please, most everrything that Faulconer proposes (which is not much) is to please the local hospitality industry, who are his biggest boosters. His convention center expansion proposal was their baby. The miniscule add-on of funds for the homeless and street repair was just a smoke screen to get that park-obliterating, view-blocking behemoth approved.
Interesting that Faucett, in her press statement, mentions many things, but doesn't mention Soccer City.