Chief of Zapf: Mayor’s stimulus guy accepts new post
Over at City Council-member-elect Lorie Zapf’s website, she explains why she decided to run for office:
I decided to take on the challenge of running for San Diego City Council in District 6, because like many San Diegans I’m concerned about the direction our city is taking. It’s time for new thinking and a new spirit in local government
Now that she’s been elected, it seems that direction won’t be completely new. While she won’t keep any of Donna Frye’s staffers, she is bringing on one of the more prominent members of Mayor Jerry Sanders’ team.
Yesterday, Sanders announced in a memo that his director of intergovernmental affairs, Job Nelson, has been appointed Zapf’s chief of staff.
“I loved my time here at the mayor’s office, but I’m looking forward to a new challenge,” Nelson tells CityBeat. “This is an exciting opportunity to build an office and work with a brand-new council member who will be learning the ropes of the city.”
As a liaison between the city and other government jurisdictions (kind of like an in-house lobbyist), Nelson has come before the City Council regularly to talk about issues such as stimulus funding. He won’t disappear completely from the public debate, but he does say that the new council member is “well spoken” and will be in the spotlight.
“We’re going to be focusing heavily on pension reform as well as doing all we can as far as balancing the budget,” he says, describing the office’s priorities. Public safety, parks and recreation and infrastructure are also on Zapf’s list, he says.
And for a gratuitous positive quote from the mayor’s office, we turn to spokesperson Rachel Laing:
“It bodes well that the council-member-elect chose to go with someone who’s very familiar with the workings of City Hall and has a lot of solid relationships in town,” she says. “Job’s extremely knowledgeable, and he’s a genuinely kind person.”
District 8’s incoming council member, David Alvarez, is bringing on his campaign manager Travis Knowles as his chief of staff.