BULLHEAD CITY — With the idea that many voices joined together are stronger than a single voice, eight mayors from Colorado River cities have come together to form the Colorado River Mayor Coalition.
“The Colorado River we share is one precious resource,” said Bullhead City Mayor Tom Brady. “If we can act as one voice in items that are of importance to all of us, it gives us stronger power with the legislature of the state. For instance, we spent a lot of time talking about the water transfer issue last night and that’s not an issue that is unique to this city, it’s happening elsewhere. By learning from each other what’s happening in our respective areas, we can all benefit.”
“It’s not just about tackling the things that are big issues, but it’s also supporting a more cohesive strength along the river,” said Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls.
The mayors from five river cities announced the formation of the Coalition during a news conference to promote the
Colorado River Review trip, a three-leg water passage from Yuma to the Hoover Dam.
Present were Brady, Nicholls, Parker Mayor Daniel Beaver, Welton Mayor Cecilia McCollough and Quartzite Mayor Norm Simpson.
“I’m very happy to also have Lake Havasu City Mayor Mark Nexsen, Somerton Mayor Jose Yepez, and San Luis Mayor Gerardo Sanchez on board to work together to promote our issues and to advocate for things that are great for our communities,” Nicholls said. “I look forward to growing our communities together as we move into a new era in the state of Arizona.”
The trip’s purpose is to educate mayors and related agencies on the full reach of the lower Colorado River, discussing issues that are common to river cities, including water conservation, river management, economic development opportunities and challenges, and other issues.
“One of the things that was highlighted along the river is how we need to protect that water that belongs to each community,” McCollough said.
Brady said, “Tuesday (on the Lake Havasu to Bullhead City leg of the trip) I got a real education on the cleanliness of the river; it was one of the main reasons I wanted to do the tour. I was looking for trash and talking to the boat captain about how we can better clean up our river for all of the abuse it takes all year long. In my mind, it was one of the most beneficial things that came out of yesterday.”
Along the way, the mayors worked with other local elected officials, stakeholder entities in
partnership with federal officials and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to better serve their river constituencies and to support each other’s communities.
“The whole way we’ve talked about issues,” Nicholls said. “We’ve talked about water issues, not just water supply, but water quality and habitat. We find the river is the common element that binds our communities together and while not all issues are river issues, all our issues are those of rural Arizona communities.
“We’re all looking to grow our communities — we’re all looking toward the future and looking to see how we can have an impact, not just within our own cities but within the communities surrounding us. Those are common threads that as mayors we all share — it reflects the attitudes of our communities.”