By Ed Martin, Editor

The search for a new Lemoore city manager may be nearing an end. Councilmembers met this past Friday, May 15 in council chambers to interview several candidates for the vacant city manager’s position. Currently, former Corcoran City Manager Ron Hoggard, and a former Lemoore assistant city manager, is filling the spot quite nicely.

The interviews came on the heels of about a three-month search and review for the new city manager. Sources tell The Leader that there were fewer than 20 applicants for the job.

The new city manager search was prompted when former city manager, Jeff Laws, suddenly resigned on March 6. Laws was a surprise selection for city manager. After indicating he did not want the job, he got anyway despite his lack of managerial experience. Laws was the former police chief.

Laws was hired in November of 2013 following a five-month long search to replace former City Manager Jeff Briltz, who was unceremoniously dismissed in April, by a council led by then Mayor Billy Siegel.

Laws was the interim city manager for about six months prior to his hiring. Only 16 prospective applicants vied for the city manager’s job and four were selected for final interviews. Laws initially was not one of the final four, and professed to not wanting the full-time job. However, the meager applicant pool prompted him to enter the fray and he surprisingly got the job, despite a lack of experience in city management.