Lake Havasu City manager hunt continues

November 2, 2017 GMT

Lake Havasu City will get a new top administrator next year, but the search for a new city manager is far from over.

In May, City Manager Charlie Cassens announced his retirement after eight years in that leadership position, prompting the search for his replacement. According to Mayor Mark Nexsen, the city is about a third of the way through the hiring process, after appointing hiring consultant Springstead Waters to lead the search for a new manager. According to Nexsen, Springstead is now reviewing more than 50 applicants for the position.

“That list is quite long and has some differences depending on which council member you speak to,” Nexsen said. “I am looking for someone experienced in municipal government that is innovative, transparent and has a customer service philosophy, and much, much more.”

Springstead Waters representatives will narrow the pool of applicants before City Council reviews and assesses the resumes of those applicants remaining in the pool, according to Nexsen. The selection process could be completed as early as January, if not sooner, the mayor said.

When the new manager takes his position in Lake Havasu City’s administration, Nexsen will spend a considerable amount of time briefing him or her on city projects in progress, the Mayor said. Cassens’ shoes, however, will not be easily filled.

“Charlie has done well in his position based on his evaluations, which include community stakeholder feedback,” Nexsen said. “A quality of his that I am looking for in a new city manager is the ability to share information with me as it becomes available and to work in a collaborative manner.”

City Councilman David Lane is awaiting review of the final pool of candidates later this year.

“I’m looking for a visionary,” Lane said. “I want someone who can do things in a new way, and take the needs of Lake Havasu City into account. The city needs a team player.”

According to Lane, Cassens filled that role well as manager. “During the recession, he worked closely with the mayor and city council. He kept costs down and prevented tax increases. He’s done everything the council has asked of him – he was a team player.”

Final candidates for the position of city manager are expected to be reviewed later this month. Cassens’s retirement will become effective Dec. 29.