Yuma City Council candidates

Below are interviews with each of the candidates in the Yuma City Council election.


Dan Baucke knows a thing or two or more about being a Yuman.

He is running for another term on the Yuma City Council.

The lifelong Yuma resident graduated from Yuma High School in 1974.

He is a long-time member of the Yuma Lions Club, spearheading its popular Bingo Night twice per month at Indian Hills. Baucke was on the High Plains Recreation District’s Board of Directors for 30 years, and also has served on the Yuma Chamber of Commerce Board. He was a member of the Yuma Volunteer Fire Department for 31 years.

He has been in the mortuary and monuments business for 47 years, owning and operating Baucke Funeral Services & Monuments with his wife Jan, and now his son Chad, for decades. He has been the county coroner or deputy coroner for most of those 47 years.

Baucke and Jan have three grown sons, Justin, Seth and Chad, all of whom are married with a total of six grandchildren.

Baucke first served on the Yuma City Council from 2006 to 2012. He then stepped away but was appointed to fill an opening in August 2014 and has been on the council ever since.

Why does he want another term?

“I don’t know,” he laughed, then added, “the reason I do is because nobody else does. I would be happy to let someone else do it.”

Baucke said he thinks it is important council members are business people because of their experience and insight.

“I think it more qualifies you,” he said.

Baucke said a top priority for him is the city’s streets.

“They’re definitely an issue we need to keep addressing,” he said.

Snow removal, fixing pot holes and updating old streets is important. He noted that it takes a lot of money, and the city also over things to address, but streets need to be a priority.

Baucke said housing also is a key priority. He said the city has a prime post for housing with the big lot between Detroit Ave. and the golf course, but the gun club, which is part of the High Plains Recreation District, needs to be moved before any development can take place.

“We can’t really do anything until the gun club situation gets settled,” Baucke said.

He noted the council has budgeted funds for the city to hire a grant writer, which will help in securing funds for housing and many other issues facing the city.

One of those is the municipal swimming pool, which Baucke is imperative it get fixed.


Zach Diaz is the only newcomer among the candidates in the Yuma City Council election.

He graduated from Yuma High School in 2009, and is one of only a handful of state wrestling champions in the school’s long history.

Diaz married fellow YHS graduate Katie Newton 11 years ago. They have four children, Broderick, 10, Primrose, 9, Vera, 4, and Birdie, 2, with another boy due before the April 2 election deadline.

They have owned and operated Four Seasons Fencing for the past decade, and recently opened Four Seasons Fencing Supply off of Highway 34 at the east end of town.

With so much on his plate, why did Diaz decide to run for city council?

He said that, after it was published candidates were being sought for the upcoming elections, he received calls with a couple of days encouraging him to throw his hat in the ring.

“I thought about it and started looking into some things, and decided to go for it,” Diaz said.

He said a big issue with him if elected is snow removal.

“I decided you can’t complain if you’re not part of it to help and come up with a solution,” he said.

He said he can bring his business experience with him to the council.

As for the council’s role within the overall structure of the municipal government, Diaz said, “The government is supposed to work for us. We’re the voice for the citizens of Yuma, for the people…We need to be more vocal to the public about what we’re doing and why.”

He said he cannot really provide more insights and recommendations until he is elected to the council and learns more of the municipal government’s operations.

He is one of four candidates for three council seats on the ballot that arrived in your mail.


Tim McClung is looking to move from a council seat to the mayoral position on the Yuma City Council during the current municipal election.

McClung is on pace to be mayor as he is the only candidate for that seat. He has been on the council for the past four years. He has been on the High Plains Recreation District Board of Directors, as well as the Yuma Chamber of Commerce, since moving back to Yuma in 2008. He has owned and operated the McClung Insurance Agency on Main St. .

He and his wife Kathy have three grown children and eight grandchildren.

He graduated from Yuma High School in 1969, earned an associate of arts in technical drafting from Northwest Kansas Technical College in Goodland, then went to work for an engineering firm in the Denver area.

McClung and a partner started their own business for land surveying and real estate development in 1981 and has had other ventures. He served the school board in Westminster, including a stint as board president, served on transportation study groups, and was on the state’s Space & Aeronautics Commission.

He said he would like to see the community’s different entities to get back to having better communication. He recalled when community leaders would have a regular business meeting at Yuma District Hospital & Clinics, sharing what was going on with each entity.

McClung said he would like to have quarterly roundtables with business owners.

“We have lost of cohesiveness here,” he said.

“I am a person who always likes to give something back to the community,” McClung said. “Sometimes people like what you give, sometimes they don’t. When they don’t, it’s time to move on.

“We have a great community here,” he said. “We have a group on council that is interested in looking forward, rather than the station-keeping we’ve been doing for a long time now.”

He said he decided to stick around and run for mayor when current Mayor Ron Swehla decided not to run again. He said he was only going to do it if he had the other council members’ support, so he visited with the various members.

“I think we have the group we need to move forward,” McClung said.

He said the emphasis will be on future planning, providing a road map for the council and city staff, then get community buy-in.

“I think we’ll see the support come in,” McClung said.

He said a plan for housing is taking shape, as well as moving forward with hiring a grant writer to help unearth funds for a variety of projects, such as housing. McClung said the goal by 2028 is to have 10 percent of the city’s total budget to come from grant funding.

“I would just like to see us have a positive trajectory for our community,” he said. “I think we can be more than we are.”


Daniel Ebersole is running for a new term on the Yuma City Council as a write-in candidate.

That means if one wants to vote for him, you must write in his name on the appropriate spot on the ballots that arrived in the mail late last week.

“When I saw there were only three candidates for three spots, I wanted to give people a choice at least,” he said.

Therefore, he entered as a write-in candidate by the deadline for the current council election.

Ebersole grew up in Yuma, graduating from Yuma High School. He spent 25 years in the Denver area working for telecommunications companies. He has one daughter, Kate. After tiring of city life, he moved back to Yuma several years ago and has worked at Shop-All ever since. He also has remained involved in the City of Yuma Animal Shelter.

Ebersole served on the council 2020-22, barely missing out on being elected to another term in the 2022 election by 12 votes.

He said he learned quite a bit while serving on the council, such as TABOR restrictions, tax revenue and other revenue sources.

“Running a city even the size of Yuma is a monumental task,” he said. “If you have an idea, you have to work and work on it to make it a reality. Just serving on the council was a huge honor.”

Ebersole said he fully made it a point to be an engaged and informed council member during his previous term.

“I definitely was dedicated,” he said. “To make every single meeting and workshop, to read everything you get between meeting, I took great pride in that.”

As for the council’s role, “for me one of the most important things is to get input from the citizens who elected us,” Ebersole said.

He said he got a lot of feedback from citizens while he was at work, and still does.

“The role of the council overall is to take input from the citizens and let their needs known in the council meeting,” he said.

Key issues to him are challenges with the budget, and the conditions of the streets. He said he would like to see the city pursue different funding avenues through grants, including state and federal monies. He also noted the only way to attract quality employees is through competitive wages.

“It’s an investment that pays off,” Ebersole said.

Daniel Ebersole, write-in candidate.


Marc Shay would like to remain on the Yuma City Council to take care of some unfinished business.

Shay has been on the council for the past four years, mostly as Mayor Pro-tem, and is running for another term in the recent municipal election.

“I thought about it off and on (running for another term),” he said, “and I decided we have some things started that I’d like to see finished up.”

Shay and his wife Marcia moved to Yuma 27 years ago to help re-establish the sugar beet industry in the region. After retirement, they chose to stay in Yuma, where he worked for County Express as a driver and the Yuma Hub supervisor for more than eight years. He also served on the Irrigation Research Foundation Board of Directors, and the Farm Show Committee.

Between Shay and his wife they have six grown children and multiple grandchildren, spread throughout the United States of America.

Shay grew up on a farm and ranch in Montana attending Montana State University earning a Bachelor’s of Science and Agriculture Education. He worked in the agricultural industry for 43 years. While living and working in Nebraska, he also served on a city council, became a certified Firefighter I, also was an EMT, and was a part-time instructor for the Nebraska Fire Services.

He said one of the things he would like to see if re-elected is street improvements. The city is working on a long-term plan, and is commissioning a study that hopefully will determine which streets require attention first.

Shay said housing is an issue, and though it is slow-going he said the city is getting closer to moving forward on that front. There are a lot of funds currently available for housing, and it is hoped the city will be able to access some that, particularly with the creation of a grant-writer position.

Shay also noted that, while it has taken awhile, the city is close to moving forward getting the swimming pool upgraded and reopened next year.

“I think we have a plan that will make our pool last a long time,” he said.

He explained that besides a strong physical infrastructure, it is important for a municipal government to have a strong social infrastructure, which will be strengthened when the pool is reopened.

As for the role the council plays in the overall structure of the city, Shay said “Number one is financial and financial accountability. We’re here to help give advise when called upon, but we shouldn’t be micromanaging things (on the day-to-day operations). We’re here to help, move these projects ahead.

“We’re here to serve not just short-term plans but long-term for the betterment of the community.”