Hansen to seek mayor position
Newton City Councilman Mike Hansen confirmed Monday evening that he plans to seek the Newton mayor position following the pending departure of Mayor Chaz Allen, who announced last week that he will be resigning in order to take on the role of executive director of the Jasper County Economic Development Corporation (JEDCO).
Hansen, who is serving his third term on the council, confirmed his plans during a phone interview.
“First of all, until Mayor Allen resigns, he is still the mayor,” Hansen said. “I know there are a few things he wants to see through.”
Although the council has not determined how it will fill the mayor’s position, Hansen said the council has chosen appointment over a special election in the past in order to avoid expenditures.
“Because I intend to seek the office, I will rescind myself from discussions on this process,” Hansen said.
Allen and the JEDCO board announced Thursday that he had accepted the director’s position. Allen said after the announcement that he will begin his duties at JEDCO between June 20-22 and will start a six-month transition period away from city hall. He is replacing Craig Hamilton who will be stepping down on June 29.
Newton City Attorney Darrin Hamilton said that the city council will have 40 days after Allen’s official resignation to either make an appointment or call a special election.
If the council decides to appoint the position, Hansen, who is mayor pro tem, would step into the role as an interim. According to Hamilton, the law stipulates that the people are allowed to call a special election by petition if the council decides to appoint. Any appointee must meet the legal requirements to be mayor. The candidate must be 18 years old, be a Newton resident and cannot be a convicted felon. A appointee or elected candidate would fill Allen’s remaining term which is up for election in November 2013, but Hamilton said Allen has not officially resigned yet.
If Hansen does indeed enter his name for consideration for appointment or election, it would leave a vacancy on the council for Newton’s second ward.
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