This is one of nine candidate profiles to be featured before the upcoming Nov. 7 city election in Newton. Lance C. Hawley is one of five candidates running for the at-large city council seat.
Name: Lance C. Hawley
Employment: Retired (military)
Years of Newton residency: 9 years
What do you feel is the most important issue Newton will be facing during your term on the city council?
Communication between the council and the people of Newton. Sitting down, face to face with the people of Newton. Maybe a town hall meeting that people ask the questions. Council members going to the homes for a sit-down. Listen, take notes, and act on them. I have been in Newton for nine years and not had one council person come to my house. I want to change that.
What do you think has been the biggest achievement for the City of Newton in the last four years and what do you think has been the greatest struggle?
The biggest achievement is the redevelopment of downtown. The greatest struggle would be getting more corporations into town. More jobs with good pay and benefits makes happier people. Happy people will bring in more revenue into Newton. More revenue in Newton will bring better opportunities.
What role do you think the city can and should play in economic development? What more/less should the city be doing for economic development?
I believe the city should play a major role in economic development. To do research on what economic developments would thrive in Newton. What needs to be done to achieve these economic developments.
Housing has been a major focus for the city in recent years. How do you see the efforts continuing and what ideas do you have for future growth?
I believe that Newton needs to look at the housing programs again. We as a town have enough apartments for lower income — which needs to come to an end. We need to focus a single-family housing. Keep taking down abandoned homes and placing new homes in their place. We need to focus more on getting revenue into Newton; now that Newton has all these living areas to fill.
Do you think there is an area in Newton the city should be focusing on that has not received attention?
I feel that Newton has done a great job of starting from the heart of town and working their way outward to make improvements. If I had to choose one area, I would say the Northwest area of town. I would like to look into a program to help people repair their homes. A program that would have a group of volunteers, who would help with house repairs. Neighbors helping neighbors. Neighbors using their skills to assist on making another neighbor’s life a little easier.
Why do you want to be on city council and why should voters choose you to represent Newton?
When I am elected to city council, I would like to visit with people of Newton. To do face to face at their homes. To hear their praises and concerns of Newton. To act on their concerns. I see great potential in Newton. I would like to see people come to Newton and want to stay. To make this happen for Newton, you’ll want to be that voice.
Voters should choose me to represent Newton because I will speak up. If I have questions, I will ask them until I get an answer. I am straight to the point and will not just say what you want to hear. I want Newton to be the perfect example of what a town should be and with my military experience; I believe I will be the perfect candidate to complete this task.