Del Mar city manager receives raise, major kudos from the council

By Claire Harlin

After a conducting highly favorable performance review of his first year of employment, the Del Mar City Council on April 1 voted to increase city manager Scott Huth’s $180,000 salary by 2.5 percent, in addition to other benefits added to his compensation package.

Huth, the former Coronado director of public services, came in to his position with the city during the drafting of the Village Specific Plan, which involved numerous public meetings and demanded much time of city employees, council members said. In his first year, he also worked hard on the city’s lawsuit, filed with Solana Beach and the San Dieguito River Park, against the Del Mar Fairgrounds regarding its master plan.

“He worked hard to find all the information we needed and kept pounding until we got what we wanted,” said Councilwoman Lee Haydu.

The performance raise constitutes a $375 per month increase, and the city also approved paying for a short- and longterm disability insurance premium at about $2,000 annually.

A cost of living adjustment, not to exceed 3 percent annually, will also go into effect and be placed annually on Jan. 1. The adjustment will be based on the San Diego Regional Consumer Price Index (CPI) as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In terms of leave, Huth’s contract will also be amended to allow him to sell back up to 40 hours of leave per year once his leave balance reaches 400 hours. This was proposed due to the possibility that it may be hard to take allotted vacation time to due the work load, and the current situation would lead to the loss of leave.

Haydu said that she has received calls and emails regarding work from the city manager, even while he is on vacation — meaning that “a vacation is not truly a vacation” for the city manager.

Mayor Terry Sinnott said that although he supports the contract adjustments, he hopes to see the city consider bonuses instead of salary increases in the future, as well as revisit the terms of how it conducts compensation reviews.