City Council appoints Lee Haydu mayor of Del Mar

By Kristina Houck

The gavel has once again changed hands at the Del Mar City Council.

In a unanimous vote, council members appointed Councilwoman Lee Haydu as the city’s new mayor and Councilman Al Corti as deputy mayor. Haydu served as deputy mayor throughout the last year.

Active in the city for more than two decades, Haydu served on the Del Mar San Dieguito Lagoon Committee and the Del Mar Heights Elementary Site Council before she was elected to the City Council in 2010.

The council approved a resolution commending former Mayor Terry Sinnott for his service and contributions. San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts presented him with a signed proclamation and declared Dec. 9 as “Mayor Terry Sinnott Day.”

“Del Mar is a really special place, and it doesn’t happen by accident,” Roberts said. “It happens because of the people that live in the community, and also because of the people that lead the community.

“At the County of San Diego, we like to honor folks in San Diego County that really go above and beyond. ... You’ve gone above and beyond.”

Sinnott currently serves as city liaison to the Regional Solid Waste Association, San Diego Association of Governments, Fairgrounds Master Plan/EIR Advisory Committee, Finance Committee, Fire Services Subcommittee and Legislative Advocacy Subcommittee.

“We are the smallest city in the county, but we carry a mighty voice on regional matters and that is in large part due to [Sinnott],” said former Councilwoman Crystal Crawford.

Del Mar rotates the mostly ceremonial positions of mayor and deputy mayor among council members each year.

A native San Diegan, Sinnott was elected to the City Council in 2010. He served two tours as a U.S. Navy officer before joining San Diego Gas & Electric, where he worked for 22 years.

In a speech at the start of the Dec. 9 council meeting, Sinnott reflected on the city’s accomplishments throughout the last year, including hiring an independent consultant to review the Sheriff’s contract to determine how Del Mar could reduce costs and improve service, creating an ad-hoc Double Track Advisory Committee to develop a list of impacts regarding SANDAG’s double track and special events platform project, and paying off a $3 million side fund pension liability using the city’s general fund and water fund reserves.

He also looked ahead.

“I am particularly anxious to see the completion of the Torrey Pines Bridge, the proposals for new development of the Garden Del Mar and Watermark projects, and the implementation of a customer satisfaction survey for our residents and visitors. And, of course, we need to move forward on plans for City Hall.

“I want to thank city staff and my fellow council members for their hard work and dedication to Del Mar,” said Sinnott, who moved to Del Mar in 1976. “It has been a good year.