You may have seen the news the other day that Greg Levin, the city’s comptroller, announced that he was leaving City Hall to take a job with a foundation tied to San Diego State.
Levin is best known for his work in bringing the city up to date on its audits.
But that’s old news.
Levin was increasingly consumed with his work managing the massive overhaul of the city’s computer system, the OneSD project — or ERP. And he apparently wanted out.
Yes, Wild ERP.
I’m telling you, this project is a huge deal. Its budget is $36 million (equal to the entire cost of running the city’s library system for one year to put it in perspective) but it is overdue by months — maybe even a year — and every minute city employees work on it longer than they planned is more money that wasn’t budgeted. This comes, of course, at a time when the city’s finances are more frightening than perhaps they ever have been.
It is argued — credibly — the new system will save the city money in the long term and make it more efficient. But it has to be implemented first and that’s not going well.
Levin was the project manager. And when it became clear in November that the city’s contractor in charge was not getting the job done, he and Mary Lewis, the city’s chief financial officer, decided to fire the firm. It was at that point that Levin asked if he too could hand off the project to someone else.
At least that’s what I heard.
I asked Levin to comment.
“Yes, I did I asked to be removed from the project because I knew there was going to be a change in direction and I wanted to focus on my first love which is accounting and financial reporting,” Levin said.
So what happened? The Mayor’s Office refused Levin’s request to be moved from the project.
A month later, the comptroller left — yet another manager to take this project, chew on it a little bit and either leave or be pushed out. The software changeover was the brainchild of Sanders’ former top aide Ronne Froman and it was initially managed by Rick Reynolds. Froman quit and Reynolds was fired. Then it was managed by Matt McGarvey, the city’s top information technology official. He quit. The city’s current chief operating officer, Jay Goldstone, juggled it along with about a dozen other major responsibilities.
And then he gave it to Levin and Lewis.
Levin’s done. I called the Mayor’s Office to see how they’d manage the project now.
Rachel Laing, the mayor’s spokeswoman, told me they were trying to figure it out now. The city has no current chief information officer, but an official named Nader Tirandazi was temporarily serving in that role. He would be taking over the project for the time being, Laing said.
“He will keep the ship running until they get someone in there permanently,” she said.