Our View: Hoping for ambitious plans under Mayor Cal Sheehy
Tuesday will mark a new era for Lake Havasu City as Mayor Mark Nexsen passes the baton of leadership to Cal Sheehy. Thanks to Nexsen’s astute leadership over the past 12 years, Sheehy inherits an easy job in many ways.
The city is on firm financial footing, and that will remain true for some time because of smart planning efforts led by Nexsen, including the restructuring of the city’s sewer debt and the push for voters to approve Prop. 409 in the August election.
In other ways, the job won’t be so easy. The challenges before Cal Sheehy and the rest of the Lake Havasu City Council are nothing to shrug off.
Havasu’s boom-and-bust economic cycles require tremendous foresight and planning to avoid chaotic budgets. When Nexsen took over as mayor 12 years ago, it was amid an economic recession, and he had to manage through some pretty lean times. He leaves Havasu during a period of prosperity, but those lean times will cycle around again, and the city needs a deft hand to guide it through.
Importantly, Havasu’s experiencing one of the larger building booms since Robert McCulloch first set foot into this city. Good leadership is as important as ever, and Havasu needs an ambitious leader who can implement the ideals fo the Vision 2020 plan formed two years ago. Fortunately, Sheehy was among the chief architects of that plan and still sings its praises two years later.
We hope Sheehy will prioritize the need for greater attention to economic development in this town. Havasu needs to be more than a great place to retire. To continue to thrive, this city needs a diversified base of businesses rather than being so dependent on the cyclical nature of the hospitality industry. It needs to work with the Parnership for Economic Development to recruit head-of-household jobs, and provide the kind of infrastructure those employers require. Good thing Sheehy knows a thing or two about jobs — as general manager of London Bridge Resort, he’s responsible for one Havasu’s largest employers.
Sheehy appears to be the right man for the mayor’s job.
As an elected official, Sheehy has a strong record of fiscal responsibility and he’s brought a businessman’s accumen to an organization that can be overly bureacratic and rigid.
That’s the kind of leadership Lake Havasu City needs.
Good luck, Mr. Mayor.
— Today’s News-Herald