November 2011 home page


Engineering Good Design 
Anthony Corso | Stratford Court


Photo courtesy David Mighdoll


Previous issues of the Sandpiper introduced recent Design Review Board appointees and discussed the importance and challenge of the Board in terms of maintaining and enhancing the “village environment.” David Mighdoll was recently assigned to the Board; he brings a number of unique attributes, areas of expertise and past experience to the position. He has been a Del Mar resident for over 16 years and recently retired after a distinguished professional career spanning a period of over 40 years, during which time he served as a business executive, marketing and sales manager, and high-tech engineer.

One of his “unique attributes”—one that nurtures his value as a Board member, is his love of dogs or more specifically his love of “Great Pyrenees.” As the name suggests they are one of the largest and oldest breeds—one that needs to be taken daily on long, brisk walks. In this regard, David is frequently seen walking his Pyrenees, “Lucy,” exploring all of Del Mar’s neighborhoods. This continuing stroll has fostered an appreciation of the “texture” and idiosyncratic physical characteristics of various neighborhoods—all those characteristics which contribute to the beauty of what he refers to as “our cherished coastal community.”

Several years ago he determined that he would find some means of contributing to the City when he retired. He reflected upon what he might have to offer. As an engineer he was familiar with construction trades and the application of contemporary building technology to current construction methods. As a successful business executive and manager he honed his skills in reaching consensus among persons holding differing values and perspectives. As a professional engineer he was accustomed to following the blueprints and the mandates of his profession, a process he judges not too dissimilar from that followed by the Design Review Board. He sees the DRB decision-making process as making “fact-based decisions”-- uncovering the facts and judging proposals according to the requirements (the blueprint) of the Del Mar Community Plan and related ordinances.

As for the future, he urges a closer relationship between planning and implementation noting that planning in the business world is strategic, subjected to a careful scrutiny of costs and benefits and alternative steps for implementation. He feels that there is minimal patience for an “obsessive planning process”—one that results in continual plan production without enough accomplishment. He would urge the City to more actively engage in programs of transformation and change. He maintains that enlightened change, one in conformity with the Del Mar Community Plan, no matter how minimal it might be, can lead to further and greater improvements. His experience confirms that implementation wedded to planning leads to a “celebration of success-” an appetite for continual positive change.


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