NewsCovering Kern County


Search for new McFarland mayor begins

McFarland City Council
Posted at 10:49 AM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 13:49:32-05

The city of McFarland is beginning to take the next steps toward replacing their mayor after the former mayor resigned earlier this month.

After nine years, McFarland Mayor Manuel Cantu Jr. submitted his letter of resignation, saying he did not think he could help lead the city in the direction he sees it heading.

Cantu submitted his letter of resignation last week, a day after the city's planning commission denied permit applications that would have allowed two state prisons to be converted into immigrant detention centers. He said that the decision and the recent death of City Manager John Wooner directly impacted his decision to resign.

The council announced during Thursday night's meeting that some of their councilmembers have expressed interest in the position. The interim city manager, Larry Pennell, told 23 ACB their new focus is to see who from the public would like to apply to be on the council. That way that person can immediately fill the council seat that would become vacant when a new mayor is named.

"We also directed staff to advertise for the possible vacancy at the city council level in the event one of the current councilmembers is elevated to the position of mayor. So, the staff will solicit letters of interest from the community for the possible vacancy on the McFarland City council."

Pennell also told 23ABC he is hoping to begin the process within 10 to 12 days and get both a council seat and the mayor seat filled as soon as possible.