The Solana Beach City Council has appointed former Councilwoman Lesa Heebner to fill one of two vacancies created after Councilmembers Mike Nichols and Ginger Marshall unexpectedly resigned three weeks apart.
Down to three members, the council unanimously chose Heebner to serve the eight months left in Nichols’ term, beating out four other applicants during a special session an hour before the council’s regularly scheduled April 11 meeting. Among the contenders was Joe Kellejian, who served on the council for 20 years, most recently in 2012. He is one of two people in city history to serve five terms.
A few residents and councilmembers said they preferred Heebner for having served on the council more recently, and for having a similar vision as Nichols, particularly on environmental issues. Heebner served three terms, from 2004 to 2016.
“She’s been up on what’s happening, she’s more current in her past service, and she does share the goals and values of Nichols, which I think is quite important in this case,” said Councilwoman Jewel Edson.
In accepting the appointment, Heebner agreed not to run in this November’s election.
Nichols cited family matters in his March 12 resignation. Marshall resigned April 5, days after casting the sole vote against the city’s resolution calling for tighter gun controls and a ban on the Del Mar Fairgrounds’ five annual gun shows.
Both of their terms were set to end in December.
Applications for Marshall’s seat will be accepted until 5 p.m. April 19, with selection to follow at the council’s April 25 meeting. After some debate, the council decided to try to select and swear in Marshall’s replacement on the same night.
“It seems like we really need to move forward, even though I’m not in favor of hurrying,” said Councilwoman Judy Hegenauer. “I feel like we need to get back to some sort of normalcy.”