San Diego’s new independent budget analyst was praised Monday for his integrity, intelligence, professionalism, steady manner and commitment to focusing on the best use of taxpayer dollars.
Charles Modica, a nine-year city employee whose entire career has been devoted to analyzing public finances and legislation, was appointed to the job unanimously Monday by the City Council and given an annual salary of $220,000.
Modica’s appointment comes less than two weeks before Mayor Todd Gloria is scheduled to unveil a proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
In addition to analyzing budget proposals for the City Council, the independent budget analyst gauges the economic effects of legislation and explores revenue options for the city.
Modica was chosen from a group of four finalists the council interviewed in closed session March 7.
“Charles rose to the top because of his skills, his experience, his intelligence and the vision that he has,” Council President Sean Elo-Rivera said.
Councilmember Monica Montgomery-Steppe said Modica’s enthusiasm for community outreach has boosted her optimism about getting the public more involved in the city’s budget process.
Councilmember Raul Campillo had particularly high praise for Modica.
“You’re intelligent, professional, unafraid to reflect and improve on past practices, always keeping the best use of taxpayer dollars in mind, open to the community and their concerns for a transparent government and, lastly, you are a person of the highest integrity,” Campillo said.
Modica is replacing Independent Budget Analyst Andrea Tevlin, who retired in November after 16 years. She was the first and only person to hold the job, which was created when San Diego switched to a “strong mayor” form of government.
On Monday, Tevlin said she was thrilled Modica was chosen to replace her.
“Those of us who have worked with Charles over the years have high respect for him, not solely for his excellent and solid spot-on work, but his steady manner and positive demeanor,” she said. “He’s just a really smart, great guy.”
Modica served as a lieutenant under Tevlin from 2013 until 2018, when he took over the finance division of the city’s Public Utilities Department for two years. He returned to the IBA in late 2020 and was appointed deputy director last year.