Three candidates running for two seats on Del Mar City Council — so far

By Kristina Houck

The smallest city in the county will have at least one new community member take the oath of office as the current mayor has decided not to seek re-election.

Elected to the council in 2010, Del Mar Mayor Lee Haydu said she would not seek a second term due to personal reasons. She lost her husband and mother within the past 18 months.

“Being on the council has been a great experience and one of personal growth,” said Haydu, a Del Mar resident for more than 30 years.

Haydu said she and her fellow council members have worked on a number of projects she is proud of, including replacing the 21st Street sewer pump station, retrofitting the North Torrey Pines Bridge, obtaining a state-certified housing element, and improving the city’s relationship with the Del Mar Fairgrounds and city of Solana Beach.

“I’ve enjoyed serving my community,” she said.

Elected in 2010, Councilman Terry Sinnott is seeking a second term.

“It’s rewarding, and when you’re making progress, it’s worth doing,” said Sinnott, a native San Diegan, who served two tours as a U.S. Navy officer before joining San Diego Gas & Electric, where he worked for 22 years.

A Del Mar resident since 1976, Sinnott reflected on the city’s accomplishments throughout his time on the council. He said he is proud the city developed a 30-year projection of the city’s financial health, paid off a $3 million side fund pension liability, hired an independent consultant to review the Sheriff’s contract, and established a Business Support Advisory Committee to support business in Del Mar.

“Over the past four years, we have been doing some very positive things in the city,” he said.

Still, there are other projects he wants to help complete, including moving the city hall project forward, as well as developing a master plan for Del Mar Shores Park.

“There are projects that are underway that are going to very significant, but they won’t be completed, so I want to follow through and make sure we get those projects completed successfully,” said Sinnott.

Dwight Worden and Kevin Burke are also running for election.

Worden served as Del Mar’s city attorney from 1977 to 1983. From 1974 until his retirement in 2001, he served as general counsel to the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority, the San Elijo Joint Powers Authority, North County Transit District and Leucadia Wastewater District.

No longer actively practicing law, Worden said he is at a point in his life where he can run for council to serve the community he has lived in since 1981.

“I think that I have a lot of background and skills that could help the city,” said Worden, who has served on Del Mar’s Garden Del Mar, Form-Based Code and Fairgrounds Advisory committees.

“Overall, the city’s in pretty good shape,” Worden added. “I don’t feel like a fireman running to the rescue. There’s nothing on fire, nothing I feel like I have to go in and fix. But I think there’s a lot of exciting and challenging stuff facing the city.”

Some of those projects are the city hall project, the special events platform at the fairgrounds and the development of the Shores property, he said.

The deadline to file nomination papers was Aug. 8, but was extended by five days because both incumbents did not file.

Worden had officially filed by Aug. 7, according to Andrew Potter, the city’s administrative services director. Sinnott said he also submitted his paperwork.

Burke, a realtor with Burke Real Estate Consultants, pulled nomination papers but did not respond to a request to confirm he would be filing the necessary papers by the deadline.

Paul Von Petersen, founder and president of production company ESMI Productions, pulled nomination papers but ultimately decided not to run having recently signed on to a new film project.