June 19, 2024

Newton City Council seeking applicants to fill Ward 4 vacancy

Interested parties have until June 21 to turn in their information to the city clerk

The Newton City Council is seeking applicants to be appointed to the Ward 4 seat which will be left vacant this month following the resignation of council member Vicki Wade.

Following council member Vicki Wade’s announcement this past month that she would soon resign from her Ward 4 seat on the Newton City Council, the elected body on June 3 voted to officially give notice of its intent to fill the vacancy by appointment and is now soliciting applications from interested parties.

Of course, those who want to be appointed to the seat must reside in Ward 4, a point that has been made frequently by Wade. According to the city’s maps, the Ward 4 seat largely covers the southwest quadrant of city limits. Those who live in this ward and want to be appointed to the seat must contact the city clerk.

Applicants need to provide their name, address, phone number and brief biographical information to the city clerk no later than noon on June 21.

The notice of intent is scheduled to be published on June 11. Wade is resigning from the city council on June 19, and the vacancy will be active starting the next day. By July 1, the council will meet for its regularly scheduled meeting to determine who will be appointed to the seat.

It is the second time this year the Newton City Council has had to fill a council seat by appointment. Newton Mayor Evelyn George vacated her at-large seat after winning the 2023 mayoral race. Her opponent and then-city council member Randy Ervin was later appointed to serve the remaining two years of her term.

Iowa Code requires city councils to fill vacancies within 60 days. Which means Newton City Council could choose to delay its decision to appoint someone at a subsequent meeting and not at the July 1 meeting, but the deadline to fill the vacancy is no later than Aug. 18.

Council members decided against holding a special election, an alternative that would end up costing money. But citizens who want the city to hold a special election may still petition the council by gathering enough signatures. Residents have within 14 days of appointment to petition for a special election.

For more information about applying for the Ward 4 seat or filing a petition for a special election, contact the city clerk at Newton City Hall, 101 W. Fourth St. S.

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig has a strong passion for community journalism and covers city council, school board, politics and general news in Newton, Iowa and Jasper County.