Iowa City Council at-large member Kingsley Botchway II submitted his resignation to the Iowa City Council at the council’s meeting on Tuesday. The resignation took effect at end of the meeting.
“I’ve been blessed and honored to be a city councilor in Iowa City for the last five years,” Botchway said in a prepared statement at the beginning of the council meeting. “From the young age of 27, you embraced a Southerner with a vision for our community.”
Botchway explained he was resigning to take the job of chief officer of human resources and equity for the Waterloo Community School District. The district announced his hiring on July 3. For the past four years, Botchway has served as director of equity and engagement for the Iowa City Community School District.
Speaking on Tuesday, Botchway listed passage of “the first inclusionary zoning ordinance in the history of Iowa” and the creation of the affordable housing fund among the accomplishments of his time on the council.
Botchway was elected to his second term in the November general election, and was only seven months into his new four-year term when he resigned. The city council will be holding a meeting to determine what is to be done with the now vacant at-large seat.
“The council has two options,” City Attorney Eleanor Dilkes told Little Village. “They can make an appointment or they can schedule a special election.”
Because of recent changes to Iowa state law, the at-large position can’t appear on the ballot in the November general election and a special election cannot be held either a month before or a month after the election.
If the council chooses to appoint a replacement, it must do so within 60 days, Dilkes explained. The appointment would last until the fall of 2019, when the at-large seat would be on the ballot in the November’s municipal election, unless citizens file a petition demanding a special election. The petition would need at least 637 signatures, which would be 10 percent of the total votes cast for all the at-large candidates in last year’s election.
There were three candidates for the two at-large council seats up for election last November. Botchway received the most votes — 5,638. Mazahir Salih, who also won an at-large seat, received 5,574 votes. The third candidate, Angela Winnike, garnered 1,389 votes.