Will He Stay or Will He Go? Del Mar Council to Decide Fate of City Manager Following Unprecedented Performance Review.
The Del Mar City Council is expected to make a decision on the fate of City Manager Scott Huth by month’s end, pending the results of what Mayor Dwight Worden calls the most in-depth review ever conducted of a city manager in Del Mar.
In an unprecedented move, the city hired an outside consultant to conduct the performance evaluation. The consultant has interviewed around 30 people, from city staff and department heads to members of the community. The findings are expected soon.
The decision to conduct such a thorough review followed a petition signed by 300 residents that urged the city not to renew Huth’s contract.
Huth, who assumed the job five years ago, was initially a popular and uncontroversial administrator. But that all changed in May of 2017 with the investigation and subsequent termination of longtime chief lifeguard and Community Services Director Pat Vergne.
The city accused Vergne of a long list of misdeeds, including misuse of at least $200,000 in taxpayer funds and falsifying records. But a number of individuals in the community didn’t buy it. They had a hard time believing the beloved figure was guilty of corruption an accused Huth of orchestrating the firing as a form of political retribution. Huth has flatly denied those claims.
Once all the facts are in, the Del Mar City Council has several options it can pursue. It could renew Huth’s contract for three more years, terminate for cause effective within thirty days, terminate without cause and cough up nine months of salary and benefits as a result, or allow his contract to expire with a notice of non-renewal prior to July 1. In that case, no severance would be owed.
It’s unclear which way -- if any -- the council is currently leaning.
Asked for his take, Huth said he thought the review “went well.”