SOLANA BEACH — The Solana Beach City Council has bid farewell to a beloved council member and confirmed its first-ever representatives for the city’s districts 2 and 4.
Incumbent Councilmember Kristi Becker was re-elected to a second term over challenger Kristin Brinner in the November election, making her the first District 2 representative on the council. Councilmember Jill MacDonald was elected to be the council’s first District 4 representative after running unopposed.
Both Becker and newly-elected council member MacDonald, who also serves as president of Solana Beach Community Connections, were sworn in to their positions on the city council during a Dec. 9 meeting.
Councilmember Kelly Harless, who was elected in 2018 but unable to seek re-election because she does not reside in District 4, was given a fond send-off at the same meeting, with city staff and fellow community and council members speaking to her generosity and commitment to local service.
“This is the first time we’ve had to say goodbye to a council member just because of where they live in the city, and it’s kind of heartbreaking to lose you,” said Mayor Leesa Heebner. “You have been an outstanding colleague, amazing council member and I’m really gonna miss you.”
Community members from La Colonia de Eden Gardens also thanked Harless for her collaboration on COVID-19 vaccine clinics, and members of Never Again CA commended her for championing local gun violence prevention measures such as the safe storage ordinance and ghost gun ban.
Harless thanked city staff for their hard work and the community for their involvement, and reminisced on how she never imagined being a council member when she first joined the city’s parks and recreation commissioner in 2009.
“When I say it’s been an honor and a privilege, I mean it. I’d do it all over again in a minute, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to serve the community, and to work with all of you,” Harless said. “I can only hope that I have in some small way made a positive difference for the residents here in Solana Beach, and I can say with certainty that these past four years have changed me for the better.”