Solana Beach council welcomes Kellejian as mayor

By Claire Harlin

In its yearly reorganization, the Solana Beach City Council on Dec. 14 voted in Joe Kellejian as mayor and Dave Roberts as deputy mayor. The two will serve for one year.

City officials and community members shared many kind words about outgoing mayor Lesa Heebner, including City Manager David Ott, who said the community many not realize the extent of what those who serve on the city council do.

“You truly are volunteers that love your community and you give so much to the community they never see, and it is truly out of the love,” he said, addressing Heebner. “The hours that you all spend is amazing to me.”

Ott pointed out that Heebner not only dedicated many hours on the council, but also in representing Solana Beach on a number of regional boards and committees.

“Your voice has been heard throughout the region,” Ott said. “We’ve had some very important issues come before us this year and you represented the city with dignity and professionalism, and you’re doggone good at what you do, too.”

Kellejian said he wanted to thank everyone on the council for considering him for a mayoral term.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my family,” he said.

Kellejian also mentioned some business-oriented initiatives that are on a list of things to do in his upcoming term. He said he would like to kickstart a “car-free vacation” that involves discounts on public transit and at local businesses.

“We’ve got the bicycle shop, walking paths, cabs. There are so many ways to get around this town,” he said. “We welcome you to come, but bring your footprint and not your car.”

He also said he would like to encourage businesses to take advantage of environmentally- sensitive features offered by SDG&E, such as motion-sensor lighting for restrooms.

“These are the types of things we can do to help our businesses if they do their part in trying to minimize the carbon footprint,” he said.

Business owner and resident Sean McLeod, who also represents the Cedros Design District Association, thanked Heebner for “all the incredible effort, love and humor brought to this tough job.”

“She also brought to the council the perspective of design, creation and sensitivity,” he said. “All good stuff.”