City of Yuma
Steve Moore grew up in Hayden, Arizona. After graduating from the University of Arizona Law school he hitchhiked around the world for almost three years. During that time he visited 36 countries and had various jobs, including working in three Olympics, a movie in Holland (“A Bridge Too Far”) and a brewery in Western Australia.
He served as the assistant city attorney in the City of Yuma for about two and a half years before going into private practice. He then became the city attorney in 1986 and has been the city attorney for the City of Yuma for 29 years. Moore’s responsibilities include both civil and criminal (prosecutor’s office ). In Yuma, the risk management department is also part of his responsibilities. During Moore’s tenure, he’s worked for eight mayors and eight city administrators (including interims). The City of Yuma has grown from approximately 60,000 people to almost 100,000 people while he’s been in office.
Moore says he has been fortunate to have been elected to the Yuma County Bar Association, twice as president of the Arizona City Attorney’s Association and president of the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA), which is comprised of the city attorneys of the United States and Canada. He was also only the second president of IMLA from the state of Arizona and the first in 30 years.
In general city attorneys have a position similar to a corporation counsel for a large corporation. In Arizona a municipal corporation handles contracts, claims, demands, law suits, legal advice, human resource issues, personnel issues, bond financing issues, purchasing regulations, etc. The only difference is particular types of municipal corporations have public safety personnel and issues that are usually not present in other large corporations.
One of Moore’s proudest accomplishments in this position is being part of a small group of individuals that was responsible for increasing the net water resources available to the City of Yuma from the Colorado River by approximately 80%. He thinks all city attorneys are rewarded in practicing through the diversity of issues in their jobs.
“About the time I think I’ve seen it all, something unique comes through the door,” Moore says. “When I took the city attorney’s job, I said I would quit if it got boring. Twenty nine years later it’s still not boring. “