Chief Financial Officer Bob Torrez has submitted his resignation to accept a position in the private sector. Torrez will continue with his responsibilities managing the financial affairs of the City through June 14, 2004.
Torrez has accepted a position as Senior Vice President of Public Finance for Kinsell, Newcomb & De Dios, Inc., an investment-banking firm with offices in Solana Beach. In his new capacity, Torrez will assist local governments in obtaining financing through the structuring and marketing of municipal bonds, leases and other securities.
City Manager Gerald R. Miller has informed the Council that City Controller/Budget Manager Mike Killebrew would be appointed Acting Director, Department of Financial Management, upon Torrez' departure. It has not yet been determined when an outside recruitment will take place.
"It is with mixed feelings that I submit my resignation. I have been truly fortunate to have had the opportunity to have a positive impact on the citizens of this great city. As I drive around the city, I see many projects that I played a key role in, such as the Pike, Aquarium of the Pacific, Rainbow Harbor, CityPlace, Towne Center and many others. These are projects that bring national and regional attention to the City and, when completed, will generate much needed revenue to pay for public safety and other community services. My most rewarding accomplishments involve being able to find ways to help other department heads maintain services, such as library, parks, recreation, and public safety during the tough economic times of the 80s, 90s and into this century," Torrez said.
Torrez is currently responsible for the City's Department of Financial management where he supervises the management of over $3 billion of bonds and equipment leases for the City, many of which involved refinancing, which have or will result in hundreds of millions of dollars of savings over the life of the bonds. During his tenure, the City's bond credit rating was upgraded to an Aa- in spite of significant budget challenges. In addition, Torrez is currently responsible for managing an investment portfolio totaling in excess of $1.2 billion for the City. The City's investment portfolio achieved an AAA rating from Standard & Poor's rating agency, the only City in California to achieve such a rating.
Other programs that Torrez is responsible for include Citywide Purchasing, City Controller, City Budget Office, City Treasury, and utility and business license billing, collection and customer service.
"Bob's departure is a great loss for the City. He leaves a void that will be hard to fill. I enjoyed working with him over the years. He is so creative and always has such a great attitude. We'll miss him," said Mayor Beverly O'Neill.
"Bob will be missed. He is an energetic finance professional with a statewide reputation. He has been highly effective not only at City Hall, but in the halls of the State capital where he has helped the City tremendously in preventing even higher losses from State take-aways. However, Bob leaves us in good hands. I fully expect Financial Management staff to take the reins and continue to maintain the pace and high standards that Bob insisted on during his tenure as CFO," said City Manager Miller.
In the late 80s and early to mid-90s, Torrez helped then City Manager Jim Hankla steer the City through some rough economic waters. Twice he helped bring the City's general fund back from severe deficits, caused by national recessions and base closure. He developed the blueprint for the Three-Year Financial Strategic Plan that was adopted by the Council in 2003, and has been a lead member of the City Manager's team charged with updating and implementing that Plan.
"I have made many friends both in and outside of City Hall during my 15 plus years with the City, and I will miss all of them after I leave. However, the opportunities available to me in the private sector are tremendous, and I am excited by the new challenges that lay ahead," Torrez said...