Andrew Kleine, Baltimore's longtime budget director, has resigned and his deputy will take over his position, according to city spending board documents.
Bob Cenname, the deputy, will begin his new job Nov. 18. The Board of Estimates is expected to approve an arrangement Wednesday that will allow Kleine to oversee the transition through the end of the year.
“This has been an incredible experience and one that really felt like a mission to me,” Kleine said. “I came to work every day with a sense of purpose.”
Kleine has led the city’s Bureau of the Budget and Management Research since April 2008. This year he emerged as the focus of city council members' frustrations about how the city was planning to spend its money in 2018. With Kleine looking on, the council’s budget committee voted to strip his office’s funding.
Unhappy with the state of negotiations over some extra money for children in the city's budget, members of the Baltimore City Council hit upon a ripe scheme Thursday: Vote to take away all funding for the mayor's budgeting office.
Once a budget deal was finally reached, City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young said he thought Mayor Catherine Pugh and the council had the same priorities but that Kleine’s office had come between them.
Councilman Eric Costello, the chairman of the committee, said he’s looking forward to what the mayor promised him will be a smoother budgeting process for the coming year.
“I’ve interacted with Bob before,” Costello said. “My sincere hope is that he takes a more collaborative approach with the council than his predecessor.”
Pugh thanked Kleine for his service to the city.
"I wish Director Kleine well in his future endeavors,” she said in a statement.
Kleine, who joined the city after a decade and a half working for the federal government, said the political squabble this year didn’t factor into his decision to resign, calling it something that “comes with the territory.” Rather, he said, he felt he had been in the job long enough and that he’d been thinking through his departure for some time.
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“The succession plan is the one I've been working toward for a number of years,” said Kleine, who made $156,000 last year.
Cenname joined the city in 2006 after working as a financial analyst at consumer goods company Procter & Gamble, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was paid $137,000 last year.
Kleine said he expected his approach of focusing on the effects of how money is spent — a philosophy that became known as outcome budgeting — to continue. Kleine said the idea was to give political leaders more insight into how the budget works and enable any cuts to be carefully tailored.
Within a few months of Kleine taking on his position, the investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed, plunging the world economy into crisis. He was responsible for navigating the city through the resulting decline in tax revenue.
“I feel we were very smart and strategic in how we managed the city’s finances through that economic crisis, and we've come out on the other end even better,” Kleine said.