The Rancho Santa Fe Post

U-T Watchdog: HOA boss took medical leave, then hiked

As Pete Smith faced criticism in February about his $290,000 annual compensation as head of the Rancho Santa Fe homeowners association, he went out on medical leave and has not come back.

So some homeowners were surprised to learn he’s been spending his paid time off doing some rather strenuous activities.

Smith told the Rancho Santa Fe Review, owned by U-T San Diego, about his pursuits.

“An accomplished runner, he is currently training with his daughter to run the America’s Finest City Half Marathon in August and will spend some time learning how to swim to compete in the Carlsbad Triathlon this summer,” the paper said on April 22. “Smith will also do his annual rim-to-rim hiking trip of the Grand Canyon next month, with several association members joining him.”

Retired real estate developer and Rancho Santa Fe resident Terry Peay said Smith’s activity level took him by surprise.

“It was curious to us,” said Peay, a three-year resident. “He was out for quite some time. I thought it would be something severe, but it’s obviously not that severe.”

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