Don Mosier | Rimini Road
Shaun McMahon, Senior Management Analyst for the City of Del Mar, has moved on to a new position with San Diego Gas and Electric. Shaun came to the city planning department as an intern in 2014, and I got to know him when we worked together on the California Energy Commission grant that largely funded the Civic Center solar system and battery storage in 2016. I spoke to Shaun about his decision to move on and some of the impressions of his time in Del Mar.
Shaun said he loved the time he spent in Del Mar, had the highest regard for his colleagues, loved the view from his office, and learned a lot while being challenged to take on many different projects. He will not miss night meetings and a long commute. His move will give him more opportunities for upward mobility, better pay, and much shorter 7-minute commute to his office.
We talked about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Planning Department. The good news was that they were able to quickly pivot to all digital plan reviews using Trackit and Blue Beam software. The bad news was that financial downturn resulting in the loss of 1.5 planning employees increased the workload for everyone else.
We talked about the effort of the Planning Department to conform to our 5th Element Housing Plan. The staff, including Shaun, has been working on analyzing every possible site for affordable housing for 2½ years, and the North Commercial Zone was identified as the best option. Our staff has also been meeting with the staff from the state Housing and Community Development (HCD) to forestall having our Housing Element plan decertified since rezoning some sites for 20 units/acre was required by 2015, so we have officially been in non-compliance for the last 5 years. Shaun was clearly frustrated by the council vote on Tuesday, September 8th, that essentially discarded all this hard work and negotiation with HCD and challenged the state law. He had already made his decision to leave Del Mar by that time, but it was clear he shared the pain with his senior colleagues.
Del Mar is lucky to be able to attract bright and dedicated employees like Shaun, and it is understandable that we lose some of them. Good luck to him in his new position.