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City, foundation to host reception

DEL MAR — City Council and the Del Mar Foundation will co-host a welcome reception for government officials who were elected or re-elected on Nov. 6. 

Invited guests will include U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, California Sen. Marty Block, Assemblywoman Toni Atkins and San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts.

“The whole spirit of this effort is to bring our new representatives and council together — plus leaders in the community — and just have a chance to introduce and connect and talk about issues,” Councilman Terry Sinnott said at the Dec. 3 meeting.

Julie Maxey-Allison told staff the foundation could provide beer, wine and table decorations while the city would fund hors d’oeuvres. City Manager Scott Huth said $1,000 was budgeted for the event.

Council members support the idea as it will give them a chance to network with legislators who represent Del Mar at different levels of government.

But some were reluctant at first because the original guest list included newly elected council members.

“I must admit I’m a little uncomfortable spending city money to host a reception for Del Mar City Council members,” said Don Mosier, who was re-elected to a second term in the November election.

“Meeting with locally elected representatives has benefit to the city,” he said. “But spending public funds for a reception for ourselves, I would recuse myself on any vote because I don’t want to spend money to entertain myself.”

Councilman Mark Filanc agreed but said it would be a worthwhile event.

“You’re not going to get Dianne Feinstein down here, I don’t think,” Filanc said. “You get your money’s worth if we have networking with local elected officials. … We need to be on a first-name (basis) and be able to call up and talk to people (in Sacramento).”

Mayor Carl Hilliard said council members should not be named as guests because “they’ll certainly be there anyway.”

The event will likely be held at the Powerhouse Community Center in January, but no specific date was chosen at the Dec. 3 meeting. Staff is considering a Thursday, the day preferred by out-of-town legislators. The Powerhouse is currently available Jan. 17 and Jan. 24.

“It’s not a formal process,” Sinnott said. “It’s just more informal, making sure we know each other, which person is whom and really socialize if possible. I think it would be very positive for the community and I would encourage as many people in the community who are interested to participate.”