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Topeka City Council 8

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    Spencer Duncan

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    Jeffrey J. Coen

Biographical Information

What is your position on the use of tax dollars to support economic development in the private sector? What, if any, conditions should be imposed on the use of tax dollars for economic development?

What are your ideas for addressing the problems of homelessness and availability of adequate, affordable housing in this community?

What are your ideas for improving police-community relations in Topeka?

What are your proposals for the city to facilitate a complete count of Topeka and Shawnee County residents in the 2020 U.S. census?

How would you improve the transparency of and citizen participation in city government?

Personal Biography Native Topeka. Husband and father. Small Business Owner of Capitol Connection, working in association management and government relations. Help businesses, non-profits education institutions, cities and counties. Leadership Kansas grad and former State Program Chair. Also operate a boot at the Kansas State Fair with his brother. Also has two cats, seven fish and is allergic to eggs.
Campaign Phone (785) 207-8985
Campaign Email
Campaign Web Site
Education Master of Business Administration from Baker University; B.S. in Journalism from the University of Kansas; B.A. in English from the University of Kansas.
Community/Public Service Member and 2-time President of Topeka West Rotary; Member and President of the Topeka Performing Arts Center; Member of the Stormont Vail Events Center Advisory Board; Former vestry member and parishioner at St. David's Episcopal Church.
Address 2513 SW Ashworth Place Topeka, KS 66614
Web Site
CampaignPhone 785-207-8985
Have to be looked at project to project. Cannot have a "one size fits all" program. Must ensure that there is accountability that comes with those tax dollars, including regular reports from the recipient showing exactly where the tax dollars were invested. Must also ensure that there is equal investment among businesses small and large. Should also look at additional factors when providing dollars to the private sector: number of jobs, benefits provided, pay rates, percentage of private vs. public investment, long-term commitment to community from private entity.
Focus on mental health, addiction and general health care access; revamp housing code enforcement; create incentive programs for developers to use rebuild/refurbish current housing areas instead of new construction; tougher laws for "slum" lords; finding ways to fund the affordable housing trust fund.
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Mandatory open records training for all elected officials; regular press conference; easy accessibility to elected officials; minimal costs for open records requests; rule that says any ordinance proposed cannot be voted on for a minimum of two weeks after it has been presented to the City Council; moving around community meetings to various parts of the community, instead of always holding in the same locations.
Personal Biography I am a husband, father, small business owner and long-time Topekan. I have a home-based I.T. business, serving many small to medium sized businesses in Topeka and the surrounding area. We specialize in Website Design, Graphic Design and Videography. I have 2 daughters, a dog and 2 fish. I have been a City Councilman for District 8 since 2015.
Campaign Phone (785) 230-9362
Campaign Email
Campaign Web Site
Education Crestview Elementary, McClure Elementary, French Middle School, Topeka West High School Class of '89, Kansas University, Washburn University and Topeka Vo-Tech.
Community/Public Service I am an active member of Grace Point Church in Topeka, Ronald McDonald House Charities of NE Kansas Advisory Board Member, Kansas Small Business Development Center Advisory Board Member, Topeka High Web and Digital Advisory Board Member, Shawnee Heights Digital Advisory Board Member, The Arthritis Foundation of Kansas City, Member Sons of the American Legion, Kansas Expocentre Advisory Board Member, Local Emergency Management Planning Committee, Transient Guest Tax Committee, Public Health and Safety Committee, Policy and Finance Committee, Shawnee County Medical Society HealthAccess Management Oversight Committee, Chair Social Service Grants Committee
Address 2146 SW Burnett Rd
Web Site
CampaignPhone 785-230-9362
We have an organization that is contracted to do Economic Development, their name is G.O. Topeka, and they are funded by $5M in tax dollars every year for economic development. Each incentive has to be approved by the combined City/County Joint Economic Development Organization (JEDO), and there are 'clawback provisions' with each incentive. If the organization doesn't meet their agreed upon goal of jobs and growth, the money is retained or returned. I also believe that more of these dollars need to go to the Entrepreneurial and Minority Business Development area. These help small business get started by providing matching funds for upgrades/replacement of equipment, office space renovation and building facade repairs/improvements. Small businesses are the life blood of our economy and we need to not forget those members of our community.
I would lean on those who are professionals in this area to help work to find a solution. For example what would Rev. Feaker recommend about providing the necessary services to help those get back on their feet as well as providing mental health services for those who need it. I supported the brand new Housing Trust Fund which will be funded by private (not public tax dollars) funding sources. We also have a code compliance problem, we need to be holding landlords accountable for maintaining their properties.
Sadly, over the last 10 years, the job by police all over the country has gotten more and more difficult, and I support any effort our Topeka Police Chief Cochran is doing to improve police-community relations, and we need to continue to improve police communication with the public.
I hope that the divisive rhetoric of Washington doesn't filter down to our neighborhoods. We have to have a Census to qualify for Federal and State program funding, and we shouldn't let divisive language stop us from counting everyone in our community.
I believe that the City already has taken the lead on this by televising the City Council meetings on Tuesdays. We also televise all committee meetings, too. At the direction of the Topeka City Council, one of our newest initiatives in transparency is called "The Checkbook", go there and see who is getting paid by the City: I would also like to see a review of city leadership travel budgets.