Nichols’ term as mayor is up
Tom Campbell takes position for fourth time
Mike Nichols came to San Diego in 1997 with $800 in his bank account and a master’s degree. He just concluded his first year as mayor of Solana Beach. Not too shabby.
“I grew up in North Carolina at the beach back there, got involved with surfing and skateboarding and decided to move to California the first chance I got,” he said.
So then it is fitting that on his last night as mayor, the city staff presented Nichols with a brand-new woody skateboard, complete with his name incorporated into the design.
But it’s not like Nichols is skating off into the Solana Beach sunset.
“I’ll still be around,” he said.
The landscape architect has one year left on his term as a council member. Deputy Mayor Thomas Campbell is taking over the position for the fourth time.
“I think he’s a very straight-shooting individual, I admire that about him,” Nichols said of Campbell.
Campbell said he is once again more than ready for the opportunity.
“I’m just looking forward to serving in that role, representing the city in ceremonial functions, and continuing to chair the meetings and maintain the rule of the law,” he said.
In a short ceremony before the Dec. 9 council meeting, the five-member legislative staff voted unanimously to promote Campbell to mayor and Lesa Heebner to deputy. Those in attendance applauded Nichols, who in what he termed “his last act as mayor,” nominated his two successors.
Traditionally, at the end of each year, the councilmember with the most votes who has not yet served as head of the city is next in line. Each city councilmember is elected on a four-year term, with no limit as to how many more times one can run.
Campbell, a CPA, moved to Solana Beach in 1979 and first served as mayor from 1996 to1997. He took over for current Councilman Joe Kellejian, who has held the position three times. Campbell most recently acted as mayor from December 2004 to December 2005.
“I really don’t think there’s any significant difference, the city continues to evolve from the standpoint of projects and sustainability, we’re working on it,” he said. “I think the city’s in pretty good shape, we seem to be getting a lot of stuff done.”
Campbell currently serves on both the business and community relations committees, as well as on those that manage water treatment and emergency response. Nichols, who has worked to advance project “Walk 101,” will continue to do so as part of his City Council duties.
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