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Gerry Miller

Assistant chief legislative analyst

City of Los Angeles

Specialty: Public policy issues

Name a major development project in Los Angeles that involved city money in the last couple of years, and chances are good that Gerry Miller played a behind-the-scenes role.

Staples Arena, Playa Vista and TrizecHahn's massive entertainment-retail project on Hollywood Boulevard are but a few of the projects in which Miller provided technical expertise and analysis.

About a month ago, the 39-year-old Miller moved from the Chief Administrative Officer's department to the Chief Legislative Analyst's Office, where he will grapple with at least two other huge projects: the Alameda Corridor and the Los Angeles International Airport master plan.

Miller graduated from Arizona State University in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in music and a minor in business. He worked a short time for Capitol Records before returning to graduate school and receiving an MBA in finance and marketing from USC.

Miller has held a variety of positions with the city, encompassing accounting and budget analysis. But he really made his mark while administering the city's debt. As the point person in the city's bond program, he has examined everything from police cars to sewers.

On the Staples deal, the city ended up approving a $70.5 million funding package through bonds and redevelopment funds to purchase some of the surrounding land and relocate existing tenants in preparation for future retail and hotel development. At the insistence of Councilman Joel Wachs, the developers guaranteed the package, taking the city off the hook if revenues don't meet projections.

Wachs Chief of Staff Greg Nelson said Miller was the key staff member analyzing the city's financial package, as well as land use and other issues. "He was always giving you the most honest, best, straight answer he could come up with," Nelson said. "Whenever we had a numbers question, it was, 'Let's call Jerry.' He had a way of explaining things in a language we could understand."

Miller said his role wasn't number-crunching so much as interpreting. "It was challenging to make it meet in the middle and come up with a deal that protected the taxpayers and was feasible for the developers," he said.

Elizabeth Hayes

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