1. Received an update from the Domestic Violence Response Team

Brandon Deck, an investigator with the Newton Police Department, told the commission that one in three women, and one and four men, have been abused by an intimate partner. In the last four years, nearly 2,200 cases of domestic violence have been reported to the Newton Police Department. The task force served more than 1,000 individual victims.

“Domestic violence is unique because it is prevalent in every kind of community,” Deck said. “... It is part of a larger, systematic pattern of intimidation and control.”

The team has been grant funded since 2011.

Terri Headrick, the current victim's advocate  for the city of Newton, will retire this week. Friday will be her last day.  Anna Rusche, a current municipal court clerk, will be taking the position of victim's advocate for the city.


2. Began the process of filling a vacancy

The commission formalized the process of filling an open seat on the commission. When former mayor David Nygaard passed away, it left an open seat on the commission.

The city will accept letters of interest through May 18. Letters are to contain a person's background information and be received by 4 p.m. May 18 by the city clerk's office to be considered. The clerk will create a list of all possible candidates for review of the commission.

Commissioners will write a ballot listing up to three persons. Those ballots will be read publicly at the May 22 commission meeting. The list will be reduced to candidates appearing on at least two commissioner ballots. Balloting will then be performed until  a commissioner makes a motion to appoint a new commissioner that is voted on and passed.



3. Appointed a new mayor

Kathy Valentine was appointed mayor for the remainder of the year, replacing Nygaard in the role.

“I wish the circumstances were different,” said commissioner Barth Hague as he moved to nominate Valentine.

The commission appointed Leroy Koehn as vice mayor to fill the spot vacated by Valentine.