LAWTON, OK (TNN) - Lawton’s new city manager is set to take his new position in February, replacing outgoing city manager Jerry Ihler.
The city council voted to hire Michael Cleghorn on Tuesday. He spent 21 years in the Army before retiring. After retirement, he spent around 14 years working in various positions in city government before getting the job in Lawton.
"I've had a goal since leaving the military to become a city manager," he said. "And I've worked towards that goal by my positions and increasing my education."
After retiring, he said he went back to school at the age of 50 and got his masters in leadership management.
Cleghorn said one of his sons went through basic training at Fort Sill which gave him and his wife the opportunity to visit Lawton.
"We were intrigued with the community before but didn't know if anything would come of that in the future and lo and behold Lawton advertised for a city manager and that fit those career goal, that location goal," Cleghorn said. "We applied, and we were very fortunate to be selected."
He said the one thing that stood out about Lawton is the people. Cleghorn said everyone made them feel welcome.
When it comes to city government, Cleghorn said he believes in efficiency and transparency.
"I'd like to make Lawton a place that's most beneficial to its citizens and provides the best high quality, most efficient fiscally and environmentally possible to the residents of Lawton," he said.
Cleghorn said he's excited about the things to come.
"There is a lot that Lawton has to offer, and I think there is a lot we can do in Lawton to increase the livability and functionality of Lawton for the citizens of Lawton," Cleghorn said.
Cleghorn is expected to start on or around February 11th. Bart Hadley, the assistant city manager, will serve as interim city manager until Cleghorn takes over.