City Council History

Councilmember Terms by Election Year


The City of Poway was incorporated on December 1, 1980. The 1st elected Poway City Council consisted of Bob Emery, Linda Oravec, Clyde Rexrode, Mary Shepardson, and Bruce Tarzy. The 2 highest vote recipients (Bob Emery and Bruce Tarzy) received 4 year terms and the remaining 3 (Linda Oravec, Clyde Rexrode and Mary Shepardson) received 2 year terms.

First Election


The City Council held the first election to fill 3 Council seats on April 13, 1982. On February 8, 1983, an Ordinance was adopted which consolidated future General Municipal Elections with the November Statewide General Elections to reduce cost and increase voter turnout.

Mayor Terms


Before 1990, the Mayor was chosen on a rotating basis between the existing 5 City Councilmembers. The term for Mayor was 1 year. In 1990, registered voters of the city of Poway voted to approve Proposition K, to elect 4 City Councilmembers and a directly elected Mayor. Any election materials prior to the city's date of incorporation are on file at the county Registrar of Voters.

Elected December 1980


Councilmember Term Service
Bob Emery 4 year term Served as Mayor August 4, 1981 to April 27, 1982
Linda Oravec 2 year term Served as Deputy Mayor April 27, 1982 to April 5, 1983
Clyde Rexrode 2 year term Served as Mayor December 1, 1980 to August 4, 1981
Mary Shepardson 2 year term Served as Deputy Mayor August 4, 1981 to April 27, 1982
Bruce Tarzy 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor April 5, 1983 to April 17, 1984
Served as Mayor April 17, 1984 to November 13, 1984

Elected April 13, 1982


Councilmember Term Service
Linda Oravec 4 year term Served as Mayor April 5, 1983 to April 17, 1984
Mary Shepardson 4 year term Served as Mayor April 27, 1982 to April 5, 1983
Served as Deputy Mayor November 12, 1985 to November 18, 1986
Clyde Rexrode 4 year term Died April 12, 1982

Appointed May 4, 1982


Councilmember Term Service
Carl Kruse 4 year term Appointed May 4, 1982, to fill the four year term of Clyde Rexrode
Served May 4, 1982 to November 1986
Served as Deputy Mayor November 13, 1984 to November 12, 1985
Served as Mayor November 12, 1985 to November 18, 1986

Elected November 6, 1984


Councilmember Term Service
Bob Emery 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor April 17, 1984 to November 13, 1984
Served as Mayor November 13, 1984 to November 12, 1985
Served as Deputy Mayor November 18, 1986 to December 1, 1987
Served as Mayor December 1, 1987 to December 6, 1988
Bruce Tarzy 4 year term Served as Mayor November 18, 1986 to December 1, 1987

Elected November 4, 1986


Councilmember Term Service
Linda Brannon 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 13, 1988 to December 5, 1989
Don Higginson, Jr. 4 year term Served as Mayor December 5, 1989 to December 4, 1990
Carl Kruse 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 1, 1987 to December 13, 1988
Served as Mayor December 13, 1988 to December 5, 1989

Elected November 8, 1988


Councilmember Term Service
Bob Emery 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 4, 1990 to December 3, 1991
Jan Goldsmith 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 5, 1989 to December 4, 1990

Special Election June 5, 1990


Proposition K passed authorizing direct election of Mayor to be effective in November 1990 Election.


Elected November 6, 1990


Councilmember Term Service
Jan Goldsmith 4 year term First "Directly Elected" Mayor December 4, 1990 to August 4, 1992
Elected to State Assembly in June 1992, resigned as Mayor, stayed as Interim Mayor until November 3, 1992, Special Election to fill remainder of his Mayoral position
Don Higginson, Jr. 4 year term
Tony Snesko 4 year term

Appointed December 11, 1990


Councilmember Term Service
Kathy McIntyre 2 year term Appointed to fill the remainder of the two year Councilmember term of Jan Goldsmith from December 11,1990 to November 8, 1994
Served as Deputy Mayor December 3, 1991 to December 1, 1992

Special Election November 3, 1992


Councilmember Term Service
Don Higginson, Jr. 2 year term Elected to fill the last two years left on Mayoral term of Jan Goldsmith from November 3, 1992 to November 18, 1994
Bob Emery 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 1, 1992 to December 14, 1993
Served as Deputy Mayor December 14, 1993 to December 6, 1994
Susan Callery 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 6, 1994 to December 5, 1995

Appointed December 8, 1992


Councilmember Term Service
Mickey Cafagna 2 year term Appointed to fill the remainder of the two year Councilmember term of Don Higginson, Jr. from November 3, 1992 to November 8, 1994

Elected November 8, 1994


Councilmember Term Service
Don Higginson, Jr. 4 year term Re-Elected as Mayor
Mickey Cafagna 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 5, 1995 to December 3, 1996
Betty Rexford 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 3, 1996 to December 2, 1997

Elected November 5, 1996


Councilmember Term Service
Bob Emery 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 1, 1998 to December 7, 1999
Jay Goldby 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 2, 1997 to December 1, 1998

Elected November 3, 1998


Councilmember Term Service
Mickey Cafagna 4 year term Elected Mayor
Don Higginson, Jr. 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 7, 1999 to December 5, 2000
Betty Rexford 4 year term

Elected November 7, 2000


Councilmember Term Service
Bob Emery 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 4, 2001 to December 3, 2002
Jay Goldby 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 5, 2000 to December 4, 2001

Elected November 5, 2002


Councilmember Term Service
Mickey Cafagna 4 year term Re-Elected Mayor
Don Higginson, Jr. 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 9, 2003 to December 7, 2004
Betty Rexford 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 3, 2002 to December 9, 2003
Served as Deputy Mayor December 6, 2005 to December 5, 2006

Elected November 2, 2004


Councilmember Term Service
Bob Emery 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 7, 2004 to December 6, 2005
Served as Deputy Mayor December 11, 2007 to December 9, 2008
Merrilee Boyack 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 5, 2006 to December 11, 2007


Elected November 7, 2006


Councilmember Term Service
Mickey Cafagna 4 year term Re-Elected Mayor - Served until his passing on April 11, 2009
Don Higginson, Jr. 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 9, 2008 to April 28, 2009 Appointed to Fill Remainder of Mayor Cafagna Term from April 28, 2009 - November 2010.
Betty Rexford 4 year term Served until July 6, 2010 Recalled by Special Municipal Recall Election June 8, 2010.

Elected November 4, 2008


Councilmember Term Service
Merrilee Boyack 4 year term
Jim Cunningham 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 7, 2010 to December 4, 2012

Appointed April 28, 2009


Councilmember Term Service
Don Higginson, Jr. 18 months Appointed to Fill Remainder of Mayor Cafagna Term from April 28, 2009 - November 2010.

Appointed June 2, 2009


Councilmember Term Service
Carl Kruse 18 months Appointed to Fill Remainder of Councilmember Higginson's Term from June 2009 to December 2010
Served as Deputy Mayor July 7, 2009 - December 7, 2010

Elected July 6, 2010


Councilmember Term Service
John Mullin 5 months Elected to Fill Remainder of Recalled Councilmember Rexford's Term from July 6, 2010 - December 7, 2010

Elected November 2, 2010


Councilmember Term Service
Don Higginson, Jr. 4 year term Re-Elected Mayor
John Mullin 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 4, 2012 to December 3, 2013
Dave Grosch 4 year term Served as Deputy Mayor December 4, 2013 to December 15, 2015 

Elected November 6, 2012


Councilmember Term Service
Jim Cunningham 4 year term Re-Elected Councilmember
Steve Vaus 4 year term

Elected November 4, 2014


Councilmember Term Service
Steve Vaus 4 year term Elected Mayor
Dave Grosch 4 year term Re-Elected Councilmember
 John Mullin 4 Year term Re-Elected Councilmember

Appointed February 3, 2015


Councilmember Term Service
Barry Leonard 22 months Appointed to Fill Remainder of Councilmember Vaus' Term from February 2015 to December 2016 


Elected November 8, 2016


Councilmember Term Service
Jim Cunningham 4 year term Re-Elected Councilmember
Barry Leonard 4 year term Elected Councilmember

Appointed June 18, 2018


Councilmember Term Service
Caylin Frank 5 months Appointed to Fill Seat Vacated by Councilmember Cunningham from June 2018 to November 2018