Yucaipa officially has a new mayor.
At a special meeting of city council on Dec. 12, Yucaipa Mayor Pro Tem Bobby Duncan was voted by the body to become the new mayor, replacing Councilmember Greg Bogh.
“I’m flattered,” Duncan said after assuming the position and taking his seat in the middle of the council. “I want to thank my colleagues for the nomination and for the vote, and I look forward to giving it my best for the next year.”
Duncan was nominated by Councilmember Denise Allen and seconded by Councilmember David Avila. He received unanimous support from the council.
“It’s been a very strong year for the city,” said Allen. “I want to commend Greg for his leadership and the way he served with dignity as the mayor of this community and how well he represented us at city events. He did an amazing job.”
Duncan agreed with Allen’s sentiment. “(Bogh) has done an outstanding job and he’s been at every event that he could. I really, really appreciate the work that he’s done.”
Bogh expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve as mayor and sounded an optimistic note for the future of the city.
“It was an honor,” Bogh said.
“I actually am going to appreciate sitting (to the side) and not having to give so many speeches,” he added with a laugh. “I appreciate it and I tried my best and I hope I represented well.”
Along with Duncan’s selection, Avila was voted unanimously to replace him at the pro tem position.
Duncan has served on the council since 2012, while Avila was first elected in 2014 and given a second term by voters last month in a closer than expected race against challenger Wyatt Padgett. Padgett received about 46 percent of the vote in District 1, which encompasses the North Bench area and parts of the Dunlap region in the western portion of the city.
When asked about his goals for the city, Duncan cited the development of the I-10 freeway corridor and the construction of the College Village as major projects he wanted to see accomplished.
He also said he had a deep interest in growing the city sustainably while maintaining its character.
“Yucaipa’s going to grow, there’s no doubt about it. But having sensible leadership that will manage it and try to keep the original intent of the citizens and keep it rural is my goal,” he said.
Duncan characterized his approach to governing as “open, straightforward dialogue” and said that he was “definitely conservative” in terms of his approach to political issues.
“I am a Christian, I believe the Bible is the Word of God, and I don’t believe that it’s wrong to take those principles into government,” he said. “In the absence of godly and/or spiritual values, leadership can’t lead right. That’s my opinion, and I’m not afraid to say it.”
He added, “I believe Yucaipa is a great city, and I want to help manage it to keep it great.”
Avila, along with Bogh, were sworn in to office for their new terms by city attorney David Snow. Both had their terms expire this year. Unlike Avila, Bogh was appointed to the position, as he faced no opposition in his district.
Under new rules adopted by city council last October, mayors will be limited to non-consecutive terms of one year. Council members expressed a desire to see a rotation of different people in the role.