Del Mar council approves city manager pay raise

The Del Mar City Council granted City Manager Scott Huth a pay raise and bonus at the council meeting Dec. 3.

Following the council's 4 to 1 vote — with Council member Dave Druker dissenting — Huth will be paid $226,114, a 2 percent merit increase from his current base salary of $221,680, beginning Jan. 1, 2019. Huth, who was originally hired by the city in 2012, was also given a one-time 2 percent bonus of $4,434.

A majority of the council appeared to agree that Huth's efforts in financial management, as well as his efforts with the city's move to a new civic center and city hall, made him qualified for the pay raise.

Druker, who also voted against Huth's last raise in February, said he did not believe Huth has met expectations this year.

Druker and Mayor Dwight Worden voted against the city manager's raise in February following controversy over how Huth handled the firing of Pat Vergne, Del Mar's longtime chief lifeguard. Last year’s uproar spurred the council to bring in an outside expert to review Huth’s performance in unprecedented detail.

While he did not elaborate this time on why he believed Huth has not met expectations, Druker did say his decision was not based on the dispute between the city manager and Vergne.

"I understand that some of the council members somehow think that my view is jaundice based upon trying to appease a group of people in town that cannot ever be satisfied with anything the city does," Druker said. "I would have them look at what my background is."

He added that he's spent 14 years on council and has worked with three city managers.

Worden noted 2017 as "uncomfortable" but that didn't reflect his decision now.

"We should move on," he said. "That shouldn't color what we do now."

Worden added he believed Huth succeeded in meeting more with the community, attending more committee meetings, hiring good staff and managing the city's finances.

"I think a lot of what a city manager, including Scott, is responsible for is stuff that most people don't see, but it's really important," Worden said.

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