Torline retiring after more than two decades

Chad Frey
The Kansan

John Torline has always viewed North Newton as a special place — from his days as a little league outfielder playing on a team full of North Newtonians and attending school with those same kids in the Newton school system to his now 23 year career as city administrator for North Newton. 

"I have enjoyed this position and it is the one that I always wanted," Torline said. "... I have always viewed North Newton as a special place."

John Torline, city administrator for North Newton for the last 23 years, will retire March 31.

Torline has spent 40 years in public service, the last 23 of those as the city adminstrator for the city of North Newton. His professional career will come to an end March 31, as he retires the North Newton position. 

"He will be missed," said Jim Goering, a city council member for the city of North Newton. "I have had the honor of working with him the last eight to 10 years. When I learned to know him, there were to primary principals to John as a city administrator. One was the immediate well being of the residents of North Newton .... He was [also[ committed to efficient local government."

Torline began his career in public service in the 1970s, working several positions for the city of Newton before taking the position of city administrator of North Newton. He first learned of the position in about 1980, when Jim Heineke was named administrator. Eighteen years later he applied for, and received, the job himself. 

"I have concentrated my role largely in four areas," Torline said. "That is maintaining quality of life, maintaining infrastructure, creating and maintaining a strong financial position and trying to make North Newton as autonomous and independent as possible."

While he will no longer be on the payroll, he will continue to he involved in the community — and be in and out of city hall — he has helped guide for more than two decades. 

No formal agreement exists, yet, for his involvment with the city, but he will be involved. 

"The understand we have with John is that he is not leaving the community and he will be able to consult on issues he is interested in," Goering said. "... He has had a long association with the community and he knows where the power points are, where the issues lie."