New council members take oath in Solana Beach

Office Oath
Solana Beach council members David Zito, Judy Hegenauer and Jewel Edson (l-r), display their official certificates of election after taking their oath of office on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at Solana Beach City Hall.
Joe Tash

The two newest members of the Solana Beach City Council were sworn in, and two departing council members stepped down after receiving gifts and kind words from their colleagues, at a combination meeting and ceremony held at City Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 14.

After taking the oath of office, newly elected council members Jewel Edson and Judy Hegenauer took their places on the council dais, alongside Councilman David Zito, who won a new four-year term on Nov. 8. Zito also took the oath of office Dec. 14.

Council members Lesa Heebner and Peter Zahn stepped down, after both opted not to run for re-election. Heebner served 12 years on the council, while Zahn had served four years.

Following the swearing-in ceremony, the new council selected Councilman Mike Nichols to serve as mayor for the coming year, and Councilwoman Ginger Marshall to serve as deputy mayor. The largely ceremonial mayor’s post rotates among the council members on an annual basis.

Zito served as mayor for 2016, and will now revert back to his council seat for the coming year.

In his final remarks, before taking his seat in the audience, Zahn said he was proud of maintaining a balance between accommodating growth and maintaining Solana Beach’s “small-town charm.”

He also offered advice to the council going forward.

“Act boldly and innovate. I hope residents will encourage that, that is how progress is made,” Zahn said.

Heebner said she also ran for council with the goal of preserving the community’s character while making progress on a number of fronts.

“I know I’m leaving this gem in capable hands,” she said. “I’m ready for the next chapter, what it is I have no idea yet. That’s the fun part.”

Along with praise from members of the public and their council colleagues, both departing council members received proclamations from Third District County Supervisor Dave Roberts, himself a former Solana Beach councilman and mayor. Roberts attended Wednesday’s meeting and presented the framed proclamations to Zahn and Heebner, recognizing their service on the council.

Roberts, who narrowly lost his re-election bid to Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar, will be stepping down soon from his seat on the county board. His last Board of Supervisors meeting took place earlier on Wednesday.

Zito, seeking his second term on the council, led the field of six candidates with 3,820 votes. Edson came in second with 3,422, while Hegenauer came in third with 3,378 votes.

Edson is a small business owner who also serves on the city’s View Assessment Commission. Hegenauer is a retired special education programs administrator with the California Department of Education, and a founding member of the Solana Beach Climate Action Commission.