Commission Candidate Resources

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Commission & Mayor

Newton is served by five at-large City Commissioners. City elections take place in the fall of odd-numbered years, and new commissioners take office the following January. The top two vote-getters are elected to four-year terms, and the third-place vote-getter serves a two-year term.

A mayor is appointed each year from within the Commission. Traditionally, the highest vote-getter in the last election is appointed vice mayor and becomes mayor the following year.

The mayor is recognized as the head of City government for ceremonial purposes. The mayor conducts Commission meetings and executes contracts, deeds and agreements on behalf of the City, but has no additional authority or voting powers. The vice mayor generally fulfills this role when the mayor is not available.

Commissioner role 

New Commissioners 2009

City Commissioners work with one another to develop and enact policies and ordinances to be carried out by the City Manager and other City staff. These actions bring about changes in existing laws or new laws that the Commission believes will further the greater good of the Newton community long-term. Their authority comes only as they work together as a governing body, not as individuals.

The Commission is not involved in the daily administration of City government, and Commissioners should not function as customer service representatives. But Commissioners can act as liaisons between the public and the City staff to help make changes that will benefit citizens. Sometimes actions that will benefit one group may appear to be a waste of money or resources to another. The ability to effectively consider competing interests and garner support for these issues is an important quality for a Commissioner.

The City Commission is responsible for appointing the City Manager and City Attorney. The City Commission is also responsible for appointing citizen volunteers to serve on the various boards, commissions and committees that advise the Commission.

Meetings & time commitment

The Commission meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 7 p.m. at Newton City Hall. Work sessions are also frequently scheduled before meetings to allow for more in-depth discussion of issues and projects. Commissioners are expected to read background materials provided by staff and to arrive at meetings prepared to discuss and/or vote on community issues.

Commissioners are also often to attend other community meetings, presentations, and events, whether hosted by the City or other Newton organizations.

Commission salaries

Each commissioner other than the mayor receives a salary of $2,100 per year, as well as $25 for each special or emergency meeting at which formal votes may be taken. The mayor receives a salary of $2,700 per year, plus $30 for each special or emergency meeting.

Other resources



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