Kris Michell, former chief of staff to both Mayor Golding and Mayor Sanders, contributed to the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System from November 21, 1994 through March 22, 1998.
Then she went on to non-governmental groups touting corporate welfare programs, such as the Downtown San Diego Partnership, which she headed beginning in 2011. There, she was a promoter of the still-pending effort to raise transient occupancy taxes for an expansion of the convention center, but also did yeoman work on the homeless problem.
In October of last year she was recruited to be the City’s deputy chief operating officer, with special assignments to handle and push through specific projects, such as the convention center expansion. At the time, it was rumored that she would soon be moved up to be chief operating officer, replacing Scott Chadwick. That happened in January of this year, as Chadwick left to be Carlsbad’s chief operating officer and Michell stepped into his City job.
At the time she was rehired by the City in October, there were rumors that she was brought back on board partly to fatten up her pension benefits. Here’s the skinny, according to Susan Youngflesh, associate general counsel of the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System: On December 22, 2017, while she was still at the deputy’s job, she purchased two years' worth of Purchase of Service contracts at a cost of $103,272.48. On April 26 of this year, after she was chief operating officer, she purchased a three-year agreement at a cost ofd $134,397.83. So she now has bought five years of purchase of service credits. She has not entered the deferred retirement option program, which mandates that members retire in five years.
Neither program is available to those hired after 2005.