Other city departments contribute 28 percent of the cost of Mayor Gavin Newsom’s staff members — more than $1.3 million — a review of documents provided by the Mayor’s Office reveals.
With The City facing a projected $233million budget deficit next fiscal year, Newsom has fielded criticism in recent weeks for funding newly created and previously existing positions in his senior staff with money from other departments while placing a hiring freeze on vacant city jobs in other departments and calling for across-the-board belt-tightening proposals.
Newsom has deemed the criticism — some of which has come from members of the Board of Supervisors and legislative staff — politically motivated.
“Those individuals are doing work on behalf of the departments funding the positions,” Newsom’s chief of staff, Phil Ginsburg, said, noting its contribution to “interdepartmental collaboration and communication.”
“This is a very standard practice,” he said.
Last week, a budget analyst’s report said the Board of Supervisors should consider rescinding funding for 10 positions otherwise funded by other departments, but Newsom has blasted the report.
“It’s myth-making,” Newsom said, adding that “all of those new hires in the Mayor’s Office were existing, approved, budgeted positions where people had moved” with the exception of two newly created positions.
The total number of filled positions in the Mayor’s Office that are paid in part or full by other departments actually totals 19, according to documents his Communications Office provided to The Examiner.
Nancy Kirschner Rodriguez, the director of Government Affairs, and deputy chief of staff Catherine Dodd — both salaried at $143,123 — are funded by the Public Health, Economic and Workforce Development, and Human Services departments, among others. The newly appointed director of the Mayor’s Office on Criminal Justice, Kevin Ryan, has a $160,862 salary — 10 percent of which comes from the Police Department. The mayor’s education advisor, Hydra Mendoza, receives her $112,000 salary from the Department of Children, Youth and Families. All of these positions are noted within a list of 55 staff members — five of which are currently unfilled — provided by the Mayor’s Office.
Not listed among the 55 positions are three positions that were included in a Jan. 4 press release from the Mayor’s Office announcing Newsom’s “new team”: the Mayor’s Climate Protection Initiatives Director Wade Crowfoot, City Homelessness Policy Director Dariush Kayhan and Greening Director Astrid Haryati.
Crowfoot’s and Kayhan’s positions are newly created, and they earn $160,720 and $220,511 respectively, according to the budget analyst’s report. Haryati earns $140,856, according to the report.
The salaries of the 53 filled positions total more than $4.6 million, but of that total, $1,309,896 — or 28 percent — is funded through departments other than the Mayor’s Office or work orders (a contract from one department to another for an employee’s work).
The five vacancies in Newsom’s office include a deputy director of the Mayor’s Budget Office, deputy director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, a data analyst, an account clerk and an office manager, according to documents provided by his office.