Kristi Becker and Jill MacDonald were sworn into new terms on the Solana Beach City Council on Dec. 9.
Becker, who was first elected to an at-large seat in 2018, won re-election to serve the newly created District 2. She received nearly 70% of the vote, and software engineer Kristin Brinner received about 30%. The district’s borders include I-5 to the east, Nardo Avenue to the south, Lomas Santa Fe to the north and extends west to the ocean.
MacDonald enters her first term on the council in District 4, which includes most of Solana Beach east of I-5. She is president of the newly formed nonprofit Solana Beach Community Connections and a onetime council member in Bunker Hill Village, Texas.
This election cycle completes the city’s transition to district-based elections. Due to potential litigation facing many small cities with at-large council elections, Solana Beach broke the city into four council districts with a separately elected mayor. The city previously had five at-large council members who rotated the titles of mayor and deputy mayor each year.
Under the city’s phased approach to switching to districts, it will be the first time that Districts 2 and 4 have council members. The seats for Districts 1 and 3 were filled in 2020 by David Zito and Jewel Edson, respectively. Zito, Edson and Solana Beach Mayor Lesa Heebner all ran unopposed in 2020.
Councilmember Kelly Harless, elected in 2018, completed an at-large term.
City Manager Greg Wade mentioned Harless’ advocacy on ghost gun legislation, working with local schools on adding crossing guards and other contributions to the community. Harless mentioned the challenges of COVID-19, working to get the city’s most vulnerable areas vaccinated and passing a building electrification ordinance as a few of the highlights of her term.
“I can say with certainty that these last four years have changed me for the better,” Harless said.