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Thank You, Scott
A Personal Perspective
Don Mosier | Rimini Road

Scott Huth, Courtesy City of Del Mar.

I vividly remember a day in the spring of 2011 when then City Manager Karen Brust showed up at my office at The Scripps Research Institute with “bad news.” My worst fear was that she was going to tell me about a serious medical condition. Instead, the bad news was that she had accepted the City Manager position at San Juan Capistrano, and she would be departing Del Mar in a month. I was the rotating Mayor that year, and I was selected as chair of the search committee by then councilmembers Carl Hilliard, Mark Filanc, Terry Sinnott, and Lee Haydu. The council decided to engage a search firm (Terry Black & Co., LLC ) to conduct a nationwide search for a new city manager, a search that would take sufficient time that we needed to find an interim city manager until a permanent replacement for Karen could be hired. Mark Ochenduszko, the retired City Manager from Coronado, came highly recommended, and he was recruited for the interim position.

Over 100 applications for the city manager position were received. The search firm and the council narrowed the field to 7 candidates by mid-October 2011, and we conducted two rounds of interviews, first with all 7 and then with the final 3. On November 22nd, the city announced the appointment of Scott Huth to the City Manager position with the unanimous endorsement of the City Council.

I had come to know Scott through my appointment to the Regional Wastewater JPA in 2008, where Scott was the Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee that oversaw wastewater projects in San Diego County while also serving as Public Works Director for Coronado. Scott had the reputation of getting complicated projects done on time and on budget, and he was a respected leader of 60 public works employees in Coronado. He also had a working knowledge of coastal development regulations that distinguished him from other candidates.

I had a great working relationship with Scott during my second term on council from 2012-2016. Scott is a project guy and that is what the city needed to get many infrastructure projects completed including the Beach Safety Center and the new Civic Center. Sewer projects are not high profile, but the city decision to switch our sewer outflow to the San Elijo Water District will save residents millions of dollars over the next 30 years. This was Scott’s idea. Scott built an effective team of staff members that have worked hard to fulfill the many goals that each council has produced. The high staff turnover in the past few years is mainly due to the long work hours and the fact that highly talented individuals can earn more in other cities than in Del Mar.

Scott takes his lead from the City Council and has been immune to political pressure. This doesn’t suit everyone in Del Mar, but it does ensure consistent performance and, in my view, is essential for an effective city manager.
I wish Scott well in his retirement. He has made Del Mar a better place and implemented many elements of our Community Plan. That is a legacy to be proud of.



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