An Ohio-based company has been hired to oversee all city investments, previously the responsibility of the city treasurer.
Jeff Niven was removed from the treasurer's job in April amid criticism of the city's fiscal strategies, including the borrowing of $62 million to deposit in the Orange County investment pool, which collapsed last year. Niven continues to serve as the city's manager of fiscal services.
United American Capital Corp., a company headed by former Ohio state treasurer Dennis Yacobozzi, will be paid a maximum of $7,000 a month to manage the city's $325-million investment portfolio.
Company officer Carole Gierhart, an Oceanside resident who is also city treasurer for the San Diego County cities of Oceanside and Vista, will oversee the portfolio on a six-month trial basis.
Council members last month delayed filling the treasurer's position because of concerns over how far away the three finalists lived from the city. Because the position is part time, city officials said, they do not expect Gierhart to move near the city.
"The positive in my mind is that the firm is from outside Orange County," Shea said.
Despite a potential $38-million loss to the city from the county bankruptcy, City Manager Paul O. Brady Jr. said that Irvine will end the current fiscal year with a $10.8-million surplus because of rising city revenue and cost-containment measures implemented in the wake of the county bankruptcy.