TOPEKA (KSNT) – Karen Hiller, the Topeka City Councilwoman for District 1, joined the 27 News Morning show to talk about moving forward with a new council, after Tuesday’s general election.
“I’m pleased to see our two incumbents coming back,” Hiller said. “And I think our two new council people are going to fit in really well. I think we are going to have a really good council.”
She emphasized that every person on the council has a different skill set that will be advantageous in moving the city forward in a better direction. As far as when those new members will be sworn in, Hiller said we still have to wait a little bit.
“A few years ago, the state changed our election cycle,” she said. “So, we moved to the November cycle. And when that happens, the election happens in early November, but you don’t actually get sworn in until early January.”
Hiller said, in the last two months of the year, the council will focus on smoothly wrapping up any work and preparing for the new members’ transition.
“And we will swear them in the first week of January and get things rolling,” she said.
In reference to the new homeless ordinance set to go in place Nov. 17, Hiller advised 27 News to “stay tuned”. She said the council felt like a message needed to be sent, and that’s what they did in creating the ordinance.
“The city manager sent us a message as recent as yesterday (Tuesday), but they are still diligently working on it,” she said.
She said they are “still up in the air” about what exactly the council wants to do with the homeless population. They are still deciding whether or not to move people, or outline where is off limits.
“Can it be public, or can it be private,” she said. “Can we leave it up to them, or do we need to tell them where to go? Staff is diligently working on that right now.”
Hiller said finding a new city manager is one of the first orders of business when the new councilmembers get into place. The original plan was to get a longer-term interim city manager to replace Richard Nienstedt before the council worked on finding a permanent player. Hiller said, as far as she knows, that is still the plan.
To hear more from the District 1 Councilwoman, watch the full interview linked above.