Del Mar appoints new city manager

By Claire Harlin

Scott W. Huth has been appointed city manager of Del Mar, after an extensive search of more than 106 candidates.

Del Mar City Councilmembers announced at a special meeting on Nov. 21 that the agreement was unanimous and Huth, who has served as the Public Services Director of the City of Coronado since 1995, was the top choice of the entire council. The council outlined proposed stipulations of the new city manager’s contract, which has not yet been finalized.

“Scott was on the top of list,” said Councilman Mark Filanc. “I’m really excited to have him come on board. It’s going to be good for the city, especially with the city’s desire to move forward with revitalization.”

Huth’s overwhelming support did not come without reservations, however. Terry Sinnott expressed concern and urged support for performance evaluations in regard to the new city manager’s proposed $180,000 annual salary, which also includes about $650 a month in stipends for expenses, such as cell phone.

“As a city of our size, we need to tighten our belts and make sure the total compensation is more in line with the outside world,” Sinnott said.

Deputy Mayor Carl Hilliard said city officials must be very conscious and prudent about how they spend public funds, but that the proposed salary is in the bottom tier of comparable salaries around San Diego County.

“We’re getting a quality individual for the best price,” Hilliard said.

Filanc said Huth’s proposed salary is in the bottom 10 to 15 in comparison to other city managers’ salaries in the area, but that’s “commensurate with the size of the city.” He also said he is an advocate of performance pay and this position doesn’t lend itself to that, but the city should be moving in that direction.

“That’s where the world is heading,” Filanc said.

Councilwoman Lee Haydu said Huth’s appointment was an “easy choice.”

“We may be a small city but we’ve got some big projects, and we’ve been getting things done, which has been very exciting,” she said.

Huth said he is honored to be selected as Del Mar’s city manager.

“I am thrilled to serve the City Council, the residents and the business community of Del Mar as their new city manager,” Huth said. “Del Mar is a beautiful, unique coastal community with a highly engaged population. I look forward to working with all members of the community and the dedicated staff to continue progress on the Council’s priority projects and to enhance the services we deliver to the community.”

Huth is a native San Diegan and has worked in local coastal communities for more than 28 years. As the public services director in Coronado, he oversees a budget of $11 million and 60 full- and part-time positions. Huth has also served as manager of the San Diego METRO Wastewater Joint Powers Authority since 2005 and chairman of the San Diego METRO Wastewater Technical Advisor Committee.

Huth holds a master of business administration degree from the University of Redlands and a bachelor of arts degree in resources and environmental geography from San Diego State University. He lives in the community of Mount Helix, with his wife Rhonda, son Ryan and daughter Britt.

Huth will start as city manager on Jan. 1, with a review after six months of employment.

“We are very excited to welcome Scott Huth to the City of Del Mar,” Mayor Don Mosier stated. “He is an accomplished executive with a strong record of working with residents, businesses and staff to serve the community. Scott will be a perfect fit for Del Mar.”