SOLANA BEACH — Mike Nichols passed the gavel for the third time — this year to Ginger Marshall — during the annual mayoral rotation at the Dec. 13 City Council meeting.
“Thank you to the city for the honor and the privilege of being able to serve on your City Council and to sit as your mayor,” Nichols said. “It’s a real special thing to be able to do to give back to the community and it means a lot to me.”
Nichols, who also served as mayor in 2009 and 2013, thanked staff members, “who do a lot of work to make us look good,” he said, and his wife, Heather, “for all you do to help me be able to do this.”
“She puts up with a lot of stuff,” Nichols added. “This is not just a single person’s job. It’s a family’s job.”
Nichols also received words of appreciation from City Manager Greg Wade and former City Councilman Peter Zahn.
“Thank you for your dedicated service to the city,” Wade said. “It’s been a pleasure sitting next to you at the dais for the last year. I appreciate your attention to detail and keeping me on the straight and narrow, sometimes with an elbow or two.”
“You’ve served as mayor and council member with integrity and fairness and smarts,” Zahn said. “You really dig into issues. You don’t accept incomplete answers. You hold people to account. You strive for the best possible results for this city. And that is exemplary.
“You care a lot about this city and its residents and that shines through,” he added. “And on a personal note you helped me a great deal. You supported my candidacy for council. When I served you always gave me advice and encouragement along the way. … Thanks for all you’ve done this past year and all prior years and the great impact you’ve had on our city.”
“It’s a kind of thankless job but I’m here to say thank you for all you’ve done,” resident Gerri Retman said.
Nichols received the ceremonial gavel and a picture collage of 2017 highlights, including a photo of him skateboarding off a ramp during a fundraiser for the proposed Solana Beach skate park.
Marshall also thanked Nichols for his dedicated service, commitment to the city “and most of all keeping the meetings running smoothly and efficiently.”
She presented him with golfing gift certificates that included two rounds of golf at Lomas Santa Fe Country Club in Solana Beach.
“Tee it high and let ’em fly,” she said.
Nichols was elected to council in 2006, re-elected in 2010 and, along with Marshall, appointed in 2014 when they were the only two candidates for two vacant seats.
As the top vote-getter in the 2016 election, Councilman Dave Zito was appointed deputy mayor and, barring any changes, will take over from Marshall next year. Zito served as mayor in 2016.
Del Mar and neighboring Solana Beach are the only two cities in San Diego County that appoint rather than elect a mayor.