Chicago Mayor Richard Daley last week replaced his chief of staff Paul Volpe with Raymond Orozco, who had led the Office of Emergency Management and Communications. Volpe will become budget director of the Chicago Transit Authority.
Volpe was named chief of staff in December 2008. Daley elevated him from budget director to chief financial officer in June 2007. In the city’s top fiscal spot, Volpe oversaw budgetary and capital spending, public-private partnership transactions, debt issuance, rating agency relationships, and pension issues.
During his tenure he faced dwindling revenue and growing costs. He helped shepherd negotiations for the $2.5 billion Midway Airport lease that was cancelled last year when the winning bidder failed to raise capital as well as the controversial $1.2 billion parking-meter system lease.
While the lease deal has helped the city remain in the black and the 2010 budget is heavily reliant on reserves set up with proceeds of the transaction, the mayor has faced criticism over its implementation.
The chief of staff position has been a revolving door during Daley’s administration.
Volpe is replacing the retiring Paul Fish as CTA budget director. The top fiscal position at the transit agency is held by Karen Walker, who took over as CFO last March. The CTA also is struggling with dwindling tax revenue and growing operational and capital costs.