Cal Sheehy

Mayor Cal Sheehy

Campaign season is well under way even though there are still nine months before 2022’s primaries and more than a year for the general election.

Lake Havasu City Council members whose terms end next year — including Mayor Cal Sheehy — say they will likely seek re-election.

Although not much campaigning has been done yet by politicians in Havasu, more than half of the City Council’s seven voting seats will be up for grabs in 2022 with the mayor and three City Council seats on the ballot.

Sheehy’s first term in the office, along with the current terms of councilmembers Jeni Coke, Michele Lin, and Jim Dolan will expire in November of next year.

When contacted by Today’s News-Herald, all four incumbents noted that it’s still early to focus too much on next year’s elections, but Sheehy, Coke and Lin all confirmed that they plan to run again in 2022.

Dolan said he has not made a final decision on seeking a second term, but said he is leaning towards running again.

At least one Havasu resident is also already throwing their hat into the ring for City Council, as Planning and Zoning Commissioner David Diaz has confirmed that he intends to run in 2022.

Traditionally, elections and campaigning in Lake Havasu City kick off in January of the election year. So there is still plenty of time for mayor or council hopefuls to expand the field.

Although state and federal elections are already under way, city elections won’t officially kick off until January. City Clerk Kelly Williams said candidate packets for interested mayor and City Council candidates will be made available starting on Jan. 3. That will allow candidates who have submitted a packet to the city to start the process of collecting signatures.

Of the incumbents, Coke has been on the council the longest. She was first appointed to the City Council in 2012 to fill one of two seats that had been vacated by councilmembers running for other offices at the time. Coke, Sheehy and Lin were all elected to the council for the first time in 2014. Sheehy successfully ran for mayor in 2018, while Coke and Lin were reelected to the council, joined by Dolan for his first term.

Sheehy said he intends to run for a second term as mayor because he feels the city has been doing great work, and said he feels honored to serve the citizens of Havasu.

“I look forward to continuing to do the good work that we are doing, be of service to our community, and make the Lake Havasu City of tomorrow even better than it already is today,” Sheehy said.

He said he expects that water issues – particularly how the city’s water rights are affected by the drought – will be a major issue for the city over the next four years.

“We are going to have to have a continued focus on water to make sure that our water rights remain secure,” Sheehy said. “Obviously that takes knowledge and relationships that I’ve built over my first term as mayor.”

Sheehy also mentioned attainable housing, diversifying the economy, job creation, managing growth and quality of life as some of the top issues that will be discussed in depth while campaigning for the 2022 elections.

Coke said she has enjoyed serving on the council and loves the city and its people.

“The past 18 months have definitely been a challenge, however, our Mayor and Council have done the best of our abilities to keep Lake Havasu City safe and informed,” she said in an email. “Our city staff is top notch and take abundant pride in their city. It has been a pleasure to serve the community for the past nine years. If the community will have me then I would be honored to serve another four years. As for now, I still have another year of work to do, so I am focused on that.”

Lin also plans to be on the ballot in August. She said she has had community members ask her to run again, and she feels there are some important projects and decisions in front of the council over the next couple years that she wants to see through. She specifically mentioned that she has some concerns about the process and direction of the new municipal courthouse and the downtown catalyst project.

“I really want to be good stewards of our taxpayer money,” Lin said. “Since these are things I have already been part of an involved in, I want to still have that input. I have outside people telling me what their needs are, and I really want to be able to voice that. There are some big projects with water – talking about our water shortages, the water rates, and anything that has to do with water. These are all things that are really important to me. I have the background over the last two terms, so I want to be there when we make those decisions.”

Dolan said he hasn’t given next year’s elections a whole lot of thought at this point, saying he has until early January before he has to decide to pull a packet and start the process. He said he wants to take some time to consider everything from his family to his business before announcing one way or the other.

“I’m not a big fan of making a decision until I have to make a decision and I have all the information,” he said. “So until it gets closer, I would say I’m leaning towards running again. It’s a time commitment so I want to make sure I’m ready to commit to another four years if I get reelected. I want to be 100 percent in and know that I’m going to go for it. To me, right now, it’s a little early. I haven’t really thought about it really either way.”

Diaz has owned property in Lake Havasu City for about six years. Since then he has retired and moved to Havasu full time about two years ago. He was appointed to the Planning and Zoning Commission this year and said he is also involved with several clubs in town. Diaz said he decided to throw his hat in the ring and has already started talking to a few groups.

“I wasn’t asked to run for City Council but it was strongly recommended that we need some new blood and new voices. Now that I’m retired I have the time to do it,” Diaz said. “I think there is a lot of good change that happens at the local level. That’s where it starts – with the school boards, city councils and so forth.”

Diaz said his main priority would be to make sure that, as the city grows it does so intelligently with an eye on things like water conservation, attracting the right types of business development, keeping up with infrastructure needs as larger developments like Havasu Riviera are built and occupied.

“There is a lot of growth happening, so we need to make sure it’s smart growth,” he said.

He also said affordable housing needs to be a major focus of the city, noting that many businesses are struggling to maintain normal hours of operation due to worker shortages over the last year or two.

Dates to know

  • Jan. 3 – City Council candidate packets made available.
  • Aug. 2 – Primary Election
  • Nov. 8 – General Election
  • November – Elected officials take seat during the second council meeting of the month.
4
2
1
1
13

(18) comments

hvnfun

Nice guy, has done a great job during pandemic and being handed crap by the previous admin including irrigation district ending, very poor development agreements that gave away money. Hope he keeps up the good work.

shutthefrontdoor

After the recent City Manager faux pas, the costly gymnasium purchase for the new city "jewel", a.k.a. the municipal courthouse, the sewer/water rate debacle, the ineffective city management through the pandemic and the continued use of consultants ($$$$!) whose suggestions usually take us nowhere I propose we look elsewhere for a Mayor and some of those council seats we need to fill. Maybe we should seek candidates from Disneyland instead of the current choices from Mayberry RFD like the Barney Fife's and Goober's of the world!

IcePick

I will vote for Sheely if he addresses the Blue Chair Music obnoxiously blaring during Concert/Music under the bridge. We Had Steve March Torme, Mel Torme's son playing Tonight under the bridge. Really cool, except some one didn't get the memo

only in havasu

Would be willing to support the Mayor and various council members for a second term, however; - they need to clean out their eye balls when it comes to certain people in leadership positions who have absolutely pathetic communications and general people skills. Why are citizens ignored and dismissed? All you have to do is ask questions. When you have countless employees actively seeking outside employment, Department wide morale issues, and ineffective leadership things start to erode from the inside out. People rarely forget how you make them feel, and right now City Hall leaves very little to be desired.

simon1dog

What about Bob?

NorthLong

lol. Now that would be funny.

1947

Nice guy but he comes up short in leadership abilities.

#remove46

[thumbup]

shutthefrontdoor

1947! "Nice guy but he comes up short . . . .", no, no, no, that was the last Mayor.

LET'S GO BRANDON!!!

Let’s talk about the crime in the city. The city council needs to start paying more attention. And don’t blame the undermanned police department. The court is a joke, basically a catch and release system. Our police work hard with the little they have to stop crime. They make arrest, many of whom are recidivist. The municipal court on the other hand cuts them loose with a promise to stop. Look at the warrant list, thousands who laugh at the municipal court system. Our city council needs to find a way to get this crime problem under control. Otherwise Havasu will be like other cities around the country with zombie junkies and increasing crime problems.

Third Eye

Good Lord Brandon, where are you getting your data from? We just got 8th safest city in the state. With crime so low why would we pay for extra officers? I don't want my taxes going up, we don't need them.

shutthefrontdoor

Yep, like I said earlier we have Barney Fife on the payroll from Mayberry RFD[beam]

#remove46

Uh, I would be a no vote on Sheehy.

#remove46

Uh, he's going to be a no for me.

1502

People talk about taxes what about modernization of this city. Get rid of the overhead power lines, new asphalt, curbs, more real bike paths, and modern street lighting.

BigBob

02 - And you're more than willing to pay all of those taxes, right?

Too old for this

Can you even imagine what the taxes would be if we were to commit to those things?

1947

The utility would have to pay for going underground with the utility lines. They would ask for cost recovery through increased user rates. Bike paths are a waste of taxpayer dollars. Roads are in poor shape and need to be addressed. There are some very unsafe areas that may warrant street lighting, but street lights in general are not an improvement.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.