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City Council appoints new member

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Yuma City Council held a special meeting to appoint someone for the open seat left after former Council member Gary Knight passed away.

The City of Yuma mayor said they had two options for deciding the new member.

They could either hold a special election or appoint someone to the open position.

The council decided on Tuesday evening to appoint a new member, Leslie McClendon, to fill the seat.

“Gary was a very good friend of mine and it’ll be different. It is just an honor to be able to be in and help serve in what he would have wanted to be completed," shared McClendon.

The mayor shared what the council looked for in determining the final candidates.

“It had a lot to do with knowing the person had the experience and knew how things work so they can get up to speed right away. Right now, we’re in the middle of a budget session, that’s the toughest part of the year,” said Mayor Doug Nicholls.

While McClendon may have been appointed in the special meeting, she will be sworn in at Wednesday's Yuma City Council meeting.

As the newly appointed city council member, McClendon has this to say to the people of Yuma.

“I want people to know both that Gary and I have worked very hard with the community and I will continue to do so. Gary has always taught me a lot of things and I probably taught him a few things as well as being on council for so long,” expressed McClendon.

Mayor Doug Nicholls also wished to share the message for the newest addition to the council.

“We’re trying to continue in the same spirit Gary had been in the last 10 and half years and looking forward to the positive things in the future and really just representing our community well,” said Mayor Nicholls.

McClendon is set to fill out Knight's term until December 31, 2026.

Article Topic Follows: Yuma County

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Eduardo Morales

Eduardo Morales joined KYMA as a reporter in September 2023. If you have any story ideas or tips, email him at


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