Dozens of Newton citizens serve on City advisory boards. These boards advise our elected officials and City staff and act as resources to the community. The various boards need people with skills in the arts, building crafts, planning and economics, and human social interaction. Participatory membership of these boards is what helps our system of government work.
The Newton-North Newton Planning Commission makes recommendations to the respective governing bodies on issues relating to zoning, subdivision plats, sign regulations and various other matters impacting the development of the Newton-North Newton area. The commission also serves as the Board of Zoning Appeals to hear and rule on applications for variances and exceptions as required under the zoning regulations, and to hear and rule on appeals from determinations of the zoning administrator.
The Planning Commission is a nine-member body appointed by the governing bodies of Newton and North Newton in April of each year. Members serve staggered three-year terms.
The Planning Commission meets on the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m. in the Commission Chambers on the third floor of Newton City Hall.
The City of Newton appoints three members to the board, Harvey County appoints three members, and the Cities of Halstead, Hesston, Burrton and North Newton and the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce each appoint two members.
The chief administrator of each City serves on the board as a non-voting ex-officio member. The immediate past president of the EDC will remain as a board member for the year following his or her term. Beth Shelton is the Executive Director.Harvey County Economic Development
A five-member board with two members appointed by the City Commission, two members appointed by the USD 373 Board of Education and one member-at-large appointed by the four Recreation Commissioners for four-year terms. Meets monthly on the second Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the Rec Center, 415 N. Poplar. Oversees the recreation program and operation of the Rec Center.
Ten members representing various community interests are appointed by the Mayor for two-year terms. The meetings are on the first Thursday of each month. The board administers the revenue received from the local hotel guest tax. The revenues are used for promotion of tourism and convention services here in Newton. Melody Spurney is the Convention & Visitors Bureau Director.
The Newton/North Newton Historic Preservation Commission meets at 6:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month at Newton City Hall, 201 E. 6th Street, Newton, in the third floor City Commission Chambers.
The Commission is composed of nine members, with six appointed by the Mayor of Newton and three appointed by the Mayor of North Newton. All members are appointed to three-year terms. Terms run from September 1st to Aug. 31st. Rebecca Likiardopoulos is the HP Coordinator.
This seven-member board is composed of the Mayor or designated City Commissioner, a County Commissioner, City Manager, County Administrator, one member appointed by the City Commission, one member appointed by the County Commission and one at-large selected by the Aviation Commission for three-year terms. The board meets on the third Monday of each month at 4 p.m. in the Airport Administration Building at Newton City-County Airport.
Duties include entering into leases, including amendments and renewals; establishing, assessing and collecting user fees; and establishing and maintaining Airport Policies and Procedures Manual. Director of Aviation Brian Palmer is the staff person.
A five-member board appointed by the Mayor for three-year terms. Two at-large members (suggested one architect and one engineer) and three contractors (1 Class A, 1 Class A, B or C, 1 Class C or D). Meets on the first Thursday of each month at 4 p.m. in the City Hall Conference Room. Duties include:
- Reviewing building codes.
- Recommending amendments adoption.
- Considering appeals and variance requests.
- Defining problem areas, i.e. service entrances, conductors for electricity.
- Providing a forum for communication between inspector and building trades.
The City's Building Inspector is the staff person.
The Fair Housing Board is a five-member board appointed by the Mayor for three-year terms. This board meets only on-call to hear complaints of alleged violations of the Fair Housing Ordinance that would involve discrimination in the sale or rental of housing for reasons of race, religion or ethnic origin. Unlawful discrimination is prohibited in the sale and rental of real property, advertising for housing, leases, sub-leases, loans, appraisals, insurance and zoning.
What Is Fair Housing?
Equal Opportunity for families or individuals to reside in, to buy, or to rent housing of their choice, in neighborhoods of their choice, and for which they financially qualify. Every individual within the state has the right to fair housing without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, or familial status.
Familial Status Defined
Familial status refers to households with one or more children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, those securing custody of anyone under 18, and pregnant women.
A disabled person is one who:
- Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits major life activity
- Has a record of such impairment
- Is regarded as having such impairment
Types of Discrimination
- Refusal to show, rent, lease, transfer, or sell housing
- Unequal terms or conditions imposed in housing
- Unequal services or facilities in housing, discriminatory advertising for housing
- Discrimination in housing based on association with a member of a protected class
- Denying availability of housing
- Harassment, intimidation or interference with anyone exercising fair housing rights
- Occupancy standards that are more restrictive than that of local city housing ordinances
- Blockbusting – promoting the listing or sale of real property in a discriminatory manner, such as inducing residents to sell because different racial or ethnic groups are moving into the area groups are moving into the area
- Redlining – Refusal to make loans or provide home insurance in an equitable manner in geographical areas with low property value.
- Steering – To “steer” a prospective renter or buyer away from desired property on the basis of his or her race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability or familial status
Who May File A Complaint?Any person who claims to have been injured; or any person who believes that he or she will be injured by a discriminatory housing practice that is about to occur may file a complaint with the City of Newton (see Complaint Procedure below).
Complaint ProcedureIndividuals may write, telephone or come in to City Hall for assistance in filing a complaint, at 201 E. Sixth St. City of Newton contact:
Chris Towle, City Attorney: 284-6018
Other Fair Housing Agencies:
Kansas Human Rights Commission
900 SW Jackson, Suite 851
Landon State Office Building
Topeka, KS 66612-1258
Fair Housing Enforcement Center
U.S. Department HUD
Gateway Tower II
400 State Avenue, Room 200
Kansas City, KS 66101-2406
Toll Free: 1-800-743-5323
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20410
A five-member board appointed by the Mayor for four-year terms. Meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 11 a.m. at Midtown Towers. The board provides the policy-making for management of the City's units of public housing, plus Section 8 federally subsidized, privately owned housing.
Newton Housing Authority
115 W. 9th St.
Newton, KS 67114-1970