by Adam Shear
WACO - McLennan Co. Commissioners will meet Monday morning to narrow down their search for County Judge Jim Lewis's replacement.
Starting at 10:00 a.m., commissioners will announce their top three to four choices for Lewis's replacement. The commissioners have looking at applications since Friday morning to decide their ideal candidates. Lewis announced he will resign at the end of the month.
After commissioners have named their choices, they will narrow the search to those candidates who were named by at least two commissioners. Commissioners will then interview that short list of applicants in the coming weeks.
According to Commissioner Ben Perry, there were 18 applicants for the position. Commissioners Perry and Joe Mashek, both initially expressed some interest in the position, but after they were told they would have been forced to resign to apply, they chose not to.
The majority of the 18 applications came from local lawyers and businessmen, but some are from other area elected officials.
Commissioners say they are hopeful to have Lewis's replacement by Sept. 30, but they also want to be thorough in their interview process.
"We're talking about replacing an individual who has been in office for 22 years," said Perry. "This is a major step for McLennan Co., in that we're identifying a leader that we want to carry us into the next several years ahead."
Commissioners say interviews could start as early as Monday, however, Perry believes Monday's session will most likely be used to just narrow the field.
Interviews will be conducted privately in commissioners court executive sessions.