IOWA CITY — City Council member Kingsley Botchway II, re-elected to a four-year term eight months ago, has been chosen as a human resources executive for Waterloo schools but intends — at least for now — to remain on the council and commute.
He told The Gazette he’d accept the position as chief officer of human resources and equity, pending approval by the Waterloo school board.
In addition to being a council member and former mayor pro-tem, Botchway is the Iowa City school district’s director of equity and engagement.
For the immediate future, he said he plans to remain living in Iowa City and commute to Waterloo, which is roughly a one-hour and 20-minute drive each way. He said he’s working to figure it out whether the new role with the Waterloo district would affect his eligibility to stay on the council.
“Right now ... I’m still working on those details and trying to make the best decision — not only for my family but also for the city,” Botchway said.
He said he saw the new job as a promotion.
“It was an opportunity to take on a new challenge,” Botchway said, adding that he would be following in the foot steps of the retiring Bev Smith, who was with the district almost 30 years.
Jane Lindaman, Waterloo schools superintendent, highlighted Botchway’s experience in promoting diversity and inclusion.
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“His work within the Iowa City School District and as a city council member in Iowa City have been excellent experiences that will help him move us to the next level,” Lindaman said in a statement.
Council members must meet the state’s residency requirement for the elected position, but there are a number of differing factors, said City Attorney Eleanor Dilkes.
“It’s a fact-specific analysis,” she said. “It’s not something I can just give you a definition of.”
Elected officials have to be eligible electors in the place they were elected to represent.
“An elected official shall continue to be a resident of the state, district, county, township, city, or ward by or for which the person was elected, or in which the duties of the office are to be exercised for the duration of the term of office,” according to Iowa code.
As of July 1, Iowa City Council members earn a salary of $7,259.
If Botchway does decide to resign from his citywide seat, the council either can choose to make an appointment or hold a special election.
If an appointment is made, and residents want a special election instead, they have 14 days from the notice of intent to appoint or the appointment itself to submit a 637-signature petition calling for it.
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