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New Yuma Mayor, Council Members Sworn In

City of Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls and three new council members are eager to work together to shape the future of the community.

“Where are we going here in the city of Yuma?” Nicholls asked a large crowd gathered inside the Historic Yuma Theatre rhetorically during his inauguration speech Saturday evening.

“We are going nowhere unless we are united to move our community forward. We together look to the future and make that step forward together into the future. I want to be part of that future… the worthy cause of the future of Yuma.”

Nicholls, who won the Aug. 27 Primary Election against fellow candidates Jack Kretzer and Raul Mendoza by a landslide, succeeds former Mayor Al Krieger who served one term in that office.

Other city officials inaugurated Saturday evening were Presiding Municipal Court Judge James “Jim” Coil and Council members William “Bill” Craft, Gary Knight and Gary Wright.

“I am overcome,” Coil said. “I do not know how to adequately thank everyone who helped me get to this position. Obviously, my family takes the brunt of that thanks. I say brunt because it wasn’t always easy being with me and helping me achieve this.”

Coil promised the community he will “absolutely do my best to make you proud of the court of the city of Yuma.”

Craft said he is looking “forward to doing my best. Hopefully I can help with the other two council members that were elected with me with our brand new mayor.”

Knight said he is “very proud and very privileged that the voters of Yuma saw fit to elect me to this office. I’ll certainly do my very best. I think the main thing we have to keep in mind is we are not individuals up here. We are a team and we have to work together, and from talking to the council members, I think that’s not going to be a problem. I am looking forward to getting into the job and working with them, and I think we can get good things accomplished for the city of Yuma.”

Wright said he feels “very privileged to serve this community. We all have a vision. We all have a partnership and I learned long ago that it’s cooperation, communication, and believing in something that we can all do” together that will lead to a positive outcome.

Chief John Lekan of the Yuma Police Department, who was the master of ceremonies during the inauguration, welcomed the officials into their new positions.

“Congratulations and good luck to all of you,” he said. “You’ve now been bestowed the responsibility of leading the Yuma community into the future. Yuma looks forward to your leadership, your guidance, and direction in the coming years.”

While the inauguration was already very meaningful for Nicholls, it was even more so this year, as the city of Yuma approaches its Centennial Celebration on April 7.

“I am just excited about it,” he said. “How could you not be excited about a 100 year celebration? It’s definitely something I am looking forward to.”

He added he is pleased he will be able to help guide the city of Yuma into the next 100 years.

“That is actually kind of a unique spot to be – to kind of know you are starting a new century and I do look forward to that, although it’s really about working together” with the rest of the City Council, he noted.

“It is not so much me taking the reigns, but all of us working together to make the next 100 years even better than the previous” century.

Cooperation will be the “first order of business” on his agenda, he continued.

“We definitely want to be about working together and kind of moving forward together because if you are moving in different directions you are obviously not moving forward.”