Coastal cities select new mayors

COAST CITIES — Del Mar and Solana Beach ended the year with new leaders as the county’s two smallest cities held the annual mayoral rotations during their final meetings of 2011.

Carl Hilliard was selected Dec. 12 to lead Del Mar for the next year. It will be his second time serving in that position since being elected to the council in 2004.

He replaced first-time mayor Don Mosier, who joined the council in 2008.

“Don is not the mild-mannered laboratory scientist one might expect,” Hilliard read from a light-hearted resolution of commendation for Mosier, “but rather known only as motorcycle mayor in San Diego County, where friends and acquaintances can recognize him from blocks away as he drives toward them wearing his distinctive yellow and gray motorcycle jacket and snow white beard.

“During Don’s short one-year term as mayor the city has suffered bad luck, such as losing a city manager, suffering a bomb scare, street closure and a communitywide power outage, thus motivating the City Council to rotate the mayorship to avoid further catastrophes such as floods, tsunamis and earthquakes,” Hilliard read before presenting Mosier with the traditional plaque and gavel.

“I can’t take credit for all the bad things that happened,” Mosier said. “It’s been a distinct honor and privilege to serve as Del Mar’s mayor this past year.”

“Don has been a fantastic asset to this council,” Hilliard said. “He brings a depth of knowledge and wisdom that has been enormously helpful. He’s a great resource … and he’ll be a tough act to follow.”

Terry Sinnott, who was elected to the council in 2010, will serve as deputy mayor in 2012.

In Solana Beach, Joe Kellejian took over from Lesa Heebner to begin his fifth time leading that city since he was first elected to the council in 1992.

“I can’t thank you enough for your dedication and your hard work,” Kellejian said to Heebner, who completed her second stint as mayor since being elected in 2004.

“This has been an exceptional year for … not only you but for this council as a whole and for the city,” Kellejian said before presenting her with gifts and certificates from Solana Beach businesses from council members. “You’ve done a wonderful job leading us.”

“You’ve represented the city with dignity, professionalism and you’re doggone good at what you do, too,” City Manager David Ott said before giving Heebner a jacket and gavel from the staff.

Dave Roberts was selected as deputy mayor. He previously served six months as mayor in 2008, when Kellejian split the term with his colleague.

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