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Council to formally announce intent to appoint new mayor

The agenda for tonight’s Newton City Council meeting is perhaps one of the lightest in the past several weeks. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be tackling some very important matters.

Perhaps foremost on the schedule tonight will be the anticipated announcement that councilors wish to appoint a new mayor to replace Chaz Allen, who officially resigned Sunday. Councilor Mike Hansen has already thrown his hat in the ring for consideration, and was endorsed last month by Allen.

How the council will go about appointing the next mayor of Newton will likely be open for discussion. Iowa Code does not specify a process for appointing a new mayor, leaving it at the discretion of the City Council. City Administrator Bob Knabel has asked councilors to lay out its plan for appointment at tonight’s meeting.

As has been previously noted, there is a specific timeline that must be followed in the appointment process. In the meantime, Hansen, as mayor pro tempore, will preside over council meetings.

In other business, the council will:

• Consider the third and final reading of a change to the parking ordinance with regard to the 400 block of South Third Avenue West.

• Consider the second reading of a change to the city’s ordinances with regard to apartment buildings converted into “housing cooperatives.”

• Consider a revised version of the solid waste ordinance that includes the one-time registration clause for existing non-conforming fire pits in the city.

• Consider a resolution to purchase a used command vehicle for the Fire Department as discussed at the Sept. 17 meeting.

• Consider a resolution awarding bids and purchasing a gear extractor — equipment used to clean firefighters’ turnout gear — with the use of an Assistance to Firefighters Grant.

• Consider a resolution authorizing the city to enter into a liability release agreement with a property owner who has offered space for the Police Department to conduct training exercises.

• Discussion of the Newton Public Library’s annual report.

• Discussion of snow removal procedures with Public Works Director Keith Laube.

Bob Eschliman can be contacted at (641) 792-3121 ext. 423 or via email at

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