Outgoing Del Mar Mayor Al Corti reflects on 2015

Del Mar recently gave thanks to outgoing Mayor Al Corti while welcoming a new mayor.

The City Council on Dec. 7 unanimously appointed Deputy Mayor Sherryl Parks as the city’s new mayor and Councilman Terry Sinnott as deputy mayor.

Recognizing his contributions to the city, the council also approved a resolution commending Corti for his service, which Parks presented in her first act as the newly appointed mayor.

“Mayor Corti is commended for his calm demeanor and good humor at meetings and his successful efforts to make the public feel welcome to share their views,” she said. “We wish him the best as he rejoins the ranks of his council colleagues.”

San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts also presented Corti with a signed proclamation and declared Dec. 7 as “Mayor Al Corti Day” throughout the county.

Roberts praised Del Mar’s role in hosting Special Olympics athletes over the summer. Under Corti’s leadership, the city, along with neighboring Solana Beach and Encinitas, welcomed athletes from Ghana, Swaziland and Thailand. Roberts also pointed out that Del Mar, the smallest city in the county, received the largest grant from the Third District in his time on the board. The $60,000 grant will help extend River Path Del Mar from Jimmy Durante Boulevard to the Lagoon Viewpoint at Grand Avenue Bridge.

“We are just so proud of your leadership,” Roberts said.

A Del Mar resident for more than two decades, Corti was first elected to the council in 2012. He served as mayor throughout the past year, replacing former Mayor Lee Haydu.

The mayoral position is a one-year role that rotates among council members.

“I want to thank the public, the staff and my fellow council members for allowing me to be your mayor in 2015,” said Corti, who moved to Del Mar in 1990. “It truly was my privilege and an honor.”

Corti set several goals for 2015 when he was first appointed mayor. With the New Year just weeks away, the first-time mayor reflected on the past year.

“While time has gone by quickly and continues to march on, I think it is healthy to pause for a brief moment to reflect back on those goals and do a report card of oneself to assess how I did, how I could have done better, and what I learned in the process.”

Under his leadership, the city moved forward with long-awaited plans for a new civic center. In November, the council approved designs for the project, which would replace Del Mar’s deteriorating facilities at 1050 Camino del Mar with a new city hall and town hall equipped with administrative offices, meeting rooms, a catering kitchen, an outdoor public plaza, view terraces and a parking structure and surface lot.

“I am optimistic that if we stay focused and continue to make decisions in the best interest of the entire community on a few more critical points ... we will cross the goal line in the next few months and break ground in 2016,” he said.

Corti also talked about how the community participated in a citizen satisfaction survey early in the year, which helped the council set short-, mid- and long-term goals for the city, and ultimately assisted in crafting a two-year budget.

The city also continued its sidewalk improvements, with Corti cutting a ribbon in July to mark the completion of the Jimmy Durante Boulevard segment.

Corti worked closely with the Business Support Advisory Committee, which was formed about a year ago to identify ways the city could be more business friendly. Also a council liaison to the Finance Committee, he thanked the committee for its role in assisting the city in long-range planning and overall financial health.

Although he attended every scheduled Community Relations Committee meeting, Corti said the city’s relationship with the Del Mar Fairgrounds did not improve as much as he had hoped.

Overall, however, he gave himself a “B” as mayor.

“Obviously, there is room for improvement and while excellence may never be attained, search of it is worth the effort,” Corti said. “I vow to work harder in my next year as your Del Mar council member.

“With my self-assessed report card now open to scrutiny and history, I want to thank our citizens for allowing me the opportunity to be their mayor and allowing me to work on their goals and objectives,” added Corti, who thanked his council colleagues, city staff and citizens. “None of these efforts can be accomplished by one individual, especially me.”