By Kristina Houck
A familiar face is once again representing Solana Beach.
In a unanimous vote, council members appointed Thomas Campbell as the city’s mayor and Councilwoman Lesa Heebner as deputy mayor.
Campbell, who has served on the Solana Beach City Council since 1994, is beginning his fifth term as mayor. Having served as deputy mayor throughout the last year, he is replacing Mike Nichols. Solana Beach appoints council members to serve as mayor on a one-year rotating basis.
“Mike did an outstanding job as mayor,” said Campbell, on behalf of his colleagues. “Over these last 12 months, there have been some difficult issues. You did a really great job of reaching out to the community and making sure that everyone who came to speak got an opportunity to speak, but you were able to maintain decorum.”
In honor of his service, San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts presented Nichols with a signed proclamation.
“You’re always so nice. You’re calm; you’re respectful,” said Roberts, who served two terms on the Solana Beach City Council. “You try to give everybody a chance to speak. That doesn’t always happen throughout this county. I just think you have done a great job.”
Several community members, including Nichols’ wife, Heather, thanked the two-time mayor for his contributions to the city, including the revitalization of Solana Beach through projects such as the reopening of Highway 101.
“It’s so much information you’re absorbing, so many people you’re dealing with. I couldn’t imagine what you do,” she said. “I’m just very proud of my husband.”
A licensed landscape architect, Nichols has been an urban design and planning professional in the San Diego region for more than a decade. He moved to Solana Beach in 2000 and was elected to the council in 2006. He first served as mayor in 2009.
“It’s been an honor and a real pleasure and privilege to be up here and serve as your mayor,” said Nichols, who thanked his wife, colleagues, staff and community.