DEL MAR — City Council members and staff, past and present, co-workers and residents were among the more than 60 people who gathered at the public works yard March 31 for a community reception to honor David Scherer, who was retiring after more than a decade as public works director.
The Public Works Department oversees all capital improvement projects and is responsible for water and sewer utilities, streets, storm drains, parks and city facilities.
Since joining the city on Sept. 5, 2000, Scherer became known as the “go-to” guy, notably working through solutions to improve neighborhood traffic impacts, keep the city’s landscape beautiful year-round and manage the many street and drainage projects that keep Del Mar safe and above water, according to a resolution commending him for his contributions to the city.
City officials credit him with procuring federal and state grants for the ongoing $13.6 million restoration and seismic retrofit of the North Torrey Pines Bridge. He was also instrumental in several other projects such as replacing the 21st Street sewer pump station, restoring water reservoirs and current negotiations to install a wayside horn system to quiet trains as they pass through the city.
Scherer is also responsible for “many other functions that are not obvious but which are so important in the daily lives of Del Mar citizens,” the resolution states. These include his efforts to control the ever-increasing squirrel population that lives in Del Mar parks and bluffs, “utilizing an interesting, if not effective, squirrel relocation effort.”
“We will miss him but the squirrels won’t,” Mayor Don Mosier said.
Mosier described Scherer as “an enormous source of knowledge who is filled with facts.”
“Instead of going to a computer, I could just ask David,” Mosier said.
City Manager Karen Brust said Scherer is “a joy to work with,” “innovative” and full of energy. “He has amazing political acumen and knows how to pull all the right people together to do great things for Del Mar,” she said.
Scherer, who is moving to Santa Barbara, thanked the city for “taking a chance on an engineer from Arkansas.”
“I leave with great pride in what we have accomplished,” he said.
“We wish you good luck and Godspeed in Santa Barbara,” Councilman Carl Hilliard said.