Government

Iowa City Council seat open after Kingsley Botchway II resigns

New member could be elected, appointed for term through 2022

IOWA CITY — Council member Kingsley Botchway II has resigned, leaving an opening on the Iowa City Council.

Botchway has accepted a job with the Waterloo school district as its chief officer of human resources and equity. The school board approved his hiring Monday.

After that, Botchway, who was the Iowa City school district’s director of equity and management for four years, announced his resignation from the council.

Botchway, whose council term runs through 2021, initially considered remaining on the council and commuting.

Botchway was in his second term on the council after being re-elected in November.

Council members can appoint someone to fill Botchway’s citywide seat or hold a special election.

If an appointment is made, and residents instead want a special election, they have 14 days after the appointment to submit a petition with 637 signatures to force an election.

If the City Council calls a special election, it must be held “at the earliest practicable date,” said Dilkes, but with 60 days’ notice to the Johnson County auditor so ballots and polling sites can be prepared.

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There is a blackout for special elections around November’s general election — from Oct. 9 to Dec. 4.

“The timing will all depend on what the initial decision is, whether to appoint or whether to call for a special election. Until they make that decision, it’s kind of hard to talk about exact timing,” City Attorney Eleanor Dilkes said.

Dilkes said she plans to send a memo to council members this week outlining possible timelines.

In a statement, Botchway said, “I’ve been blessed and honored to be a City Council member in Iowa City for the last five years.”

He cited accomplishments such as the passage of an inclusionary zoning ordinance and the establishment of an affordable housing fund.

“I realized quickly that this vision was not my own, but a vision that materialized from countless hours in the community listening to your hopes and aspirations for the city,” he said. “We’ve accomplished so much of this vision in such a short amount of time.”

Iowa City Council members are paid $7,259 a year.l Comments: (319) 339-3172; maddy.arnold@thegazette.com

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