After 12 years in office, Mayor Nexsen prepares to retire
He was clearly in the middle of something when his 2 p.m. appointment arrived. A half-dozen short stacks of papers were neatly lined up across Mayor Mark Nexsen’s desk, waiting to be reviewed or acted upon.
One got the feeling that Nexsen spent a great deal of time being in the middle of something at any given moment the past 12 years. Lake Havasu City operates under the city manager form of government, meaning that the mayor’s role typically is that of a figurehead who signs proclamations, leads council meetings and greets the municipality’s VIPS.
But not Nexsen. His campaign platform for the 2006 mayoral election stressed his business acumen as an enterprise owner and CPA. He vowed to put his skills and experience to work for Lake Havasu City. Sure, glad-handing was part of the mayor’s job, but only a very small part. As he saw it, he had far more important work to do.
“The job (of mayor) is what you make it. But (being a figurehead) is not who I am. I knew I could apply my past experiences to help the city’s needs. When I first started, they were kind of surprised that I showed up here at 8 o’clock every morning,” he smiled.
Nexsen will hand over the key to the mayor’s office at City Hall after his last day on the job Nov. 27. Mayor-elect Cal Sheehy will then take the reins.
Nexsen’s decision to retire from public office was a bittersweet choice. He’s always been popular with the voters and could easily have won another election. But at age 66, he felt it was time to change course again. He’d already retired from his Havasu CPA firm in 2014, so unchaining himself from yet another desk was the logical move for him and his family.
“Eileen (his wife) has always been supportive of me in this job. But once I’m out (of office), it means she can get in and out of the grocery store in less than two hours,” he smiled. “I’ll play more golf, but I don’t know. It seems the older I get, the worse (my game) gets.”
Knowing full retirement was on the horizon, the Nexsens put their Havasu home on the market a few months ago.
“We put the house up for sale and it was gone in seven days. We bought a place in Wickenberg. Eileen is already there. I’m living with my mom and my brother right now (in Havasu). I’ll move to Wickenberg Ranch – it’s a golf community -- after I retire,” he said.