Currently, four candidates have filed for the three open seats on the Newton City Commission: Ron Eggert, Libby Albers, and incumbents Glen Davis and Leroy Koehn.
According to Newton Director of Communications Erin McDaniel, as well as the Harvey County Clerk's Office, if more than 10 candidates apply, there will be a primary election on Aug. 1. Otherwise, there will be a general election on Nov. 7.
The two candidates of the three with the most votes will serve four-year terms and the third candidate will serve a two-year term.
Those who would like to serve the community as a commissioner have until June 1 to apply at City Hall.
The Kansan reached out to the different candidates so far. Here is what that they had to say:
While a new candidate for the commission, Libby Albers said she has worked in public service positions for 20 years.
Throughout her career, she has worked closely with public works, water and sewer, environmental issues, parks and libraries. Albers said she has also done seasonal work with wildlife and parks, and has experience with project management and community building.
Albers said she is interested in public services because it focuses in providing for people's needs.
While Albers said the time has arrived for her generation (Generation X) to take part in more of these conversations, she also feels as though she has seen enough good and bad in other cities to help Newton (the community she chose to live in) approach more of the good.
Glen Davis recently ended his term as mayor and is now active as a commissioner. He has served on the commission (in both capacities) for six years.
Davis said he is looking to remain on the commission because it "is in a good place," has made progress by restructuring staff and has gained ground regarding some important issues.
Davis noted his main priority, if re-elected, will be to ensure that the progress already made on those issues is not reversed.
Another new candidate for the commission, Ron Eggert has been a citizen of the community for over 17 years. While he doesn't disagree with the way the city is currently being run by the commission, he feels he could serve as "fresh set of eyes" regarding city business.
Eggert, who was the first to announce his candidacy for the commission, has also attended a number of the city's public meetings, often advocating for needed transparency within local government.
This recent April marks Leroy Koehn's fourth year serving on the city commission. He has also served as Newton's mayor – prior to Davis' term as mayor.
Koehn said he is running for the office again because he serves as a "voice of reason, logic and common sense" within the commission.
Exercising prudence when handling the money of tax payers is important, Koehn said, and so are amenities for the people of Newton, as long as they are approached with fiscal responsibility.