Former Lemoore assistant picked to serve as city's interim manager

By Ed Martin, Editor
Ron Hoggard
Ron Hoggard

The Lemoore City Council, at last Tuesday's council meeting, approved an employment agreement to hire former Lemoore Assistant City Manager Ron Hoggard to serve as the interim manager upon current manager Jeff Law’s expected departure on March 5. Hoggard also did time as Hanford's interim city manager and ran for the Kings County Supervisor District 2 seat, which he ultimately lost to incumbent Richard Valle.

Hoggard was a longtime employee of the City of Lemoore, having served for 14 years with former city managers’ Allen Goodman and Steve Froberg. He served in several capacities during his tenure in Lemoore, including as an analyst and culminating as the assistant city manager. Hoggard went on to serve a number of years as the Corcoran City Manager upon leaving Lemoore.

Laws recently announced his retirement after two tumultuous years at the helm of the Lemoore city government. He was serving as the interim manager when councilmembers abruptly released former city manager Jeff Briltz. He later surprisingly was appointed the permanent city manager, despite having indicated he would not apply.

City Councilmember Ray Madrigal is upbeat about the choice of Hoggard citing his experience, particularly with Lemoore. “I think he is the most qualified of all the candidates,” said Madrigal. His experience is his biggest factor.”

And because he is a former employee, Madrigal said his transition to the job should be smooth. Hoggard will assist the council as it seeks a permanent replacement for Laws.

Hoggard will be expected to help with the new manager recruitment as well as help prepare the 2015-16 budget. He will also assist in the appointment of a new public works and planning director upon the expected retirement of longtime director David Wlaschin.

In other actions, city officials are recommending that the city consider awarding the Lemoore Chamber of Commerce a new five-year sum of $280,000 to provide economic development services, provided the funding can be identified in the city’s annual budget.

In exchange for the financial contribution, the chamber will agree to perform economic development services for the city, including activities such as festivals, celebrations, banquets, parades, concerts, seminars or any other mutually agreed upon activities.

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