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Taxpayers Assn. head steps down

After seven years as president and chief executive of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, Lani Lutar is leaving to become executive director of the Equinox Center, a think tank focused on improving the region’s environment, economy and quality of life.

Under Lutar’s leadership, the association spearheaded the Proposition B initiative to change San Diego’s pension system and helped craft the package of proposals that led to the city’s strong mayor form of government and the creation of an independent city auditor and independent budget analyst.

Greg Stein, who chairs the association, credits Lutar with increasing its membership and stabilizing its finances.

“We would love for Lani to stay, as she’s been exceptional, but we’re very happy for her,” said Stein.

Chris Cate, the association’s vice president, will serve as interim president and CEO until a permanent replacement is found. Lutar’s last day will be March 8 and she will start at Equinox on March 18.

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