MCFARLAND, Calif. (KGET) — McFarland Mayor Manuel Cantu has announced that he will be resigning on Friday.
Cantu has been mayor of McFarland for the past nine years. Cantu said in a letter to the city clerk that he is leaving to spend more time with family, travel and focus on personal ministry.
“The last nine years as mayor…have been a wonderful journey with all of you. However, after much prayer and consideration, it is time for me to step down and allow for new leadership to emerge,” he said.
Cantu said he’s confident that the city will select a new mayor that will bring a bright future for McFarland.
“I believe the City of McFarland and the current City Council will take advantage of the current opportunities it has before it to push past the city, past the goal line and secure its future for all residents and all its wonderful employees.”
Cantu’s resignation comes as the city has grappled with multiple issues, including the death of City Manager John Wooner last year, a dramatically reduced police force and, most recently, GEO Group’s attempts to get the city to approve turning two city prisons into ICE detention centers.
Cantu’s resignation comes the morning after the McFarland Planning Commission voted to deny the proposal to turn the prisons into ICE centers. GEO Group said today that it will appeal the decision and bring up the issue to the City Council.