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There is no more essential role of City Government than keeping citizens safe. There is room for improvement, and we must strengthen our efforts. As the only current member of the Council who is a graduate of the Topeka Police Citizen's Academy, I understand what resources are needed to effectively protect you.

I support wage increases for police and fire personnel. I sponsor recruitment programs, advocate for new equipment, and initiated a requested personnel residency change. I work with the Police and Fire Unions on reform issues. I will support our police and fire departments efforts while responding to citizen concerns, so you can feel safe in Topeka.

I have the support of Topeka Firefighters Local #83



As households face higher inflation, spiking energy prices and a slower economy, my goal is to keep your cost-of-living down.

My resolution lowered the City 2023 property tax mill levy for the first time in decades. My motion this year lowered the mill levy an additional 2 mills for 2024 - the biggest city decrease in more than 20 years! I won't vote for a budget unless it decreases property taxes. I voted NO on water rate increases. I'm sponsored the elimination of city property taxes for low-income citizens over 65, which take effect in 2024.

We must ensure essential services are paid for, but in a way that does not put unfair financial burdens on you. I continue to fight for common-sense solutions that expand our tax base without increasing your taxes and fees.



We cannot keep doing things the same way and expecting problems to resolve themselves. We must exhaust new options and be creative and efficient in how we approach infrastructure issues. I have directed more than $5 million in new spending to District 8 for roads, water lines, curbs, sidewalk and other projects. This is money in addition to projects already slated for the district. We must reexamine our approach to pot hole repair.

I believe in fixing what we have before building large new projects.

I constantly fight to ensure District 8's infrastructure needs are a priority, so your home is protected and our neighborhoods are properly maintained.



City government must be transparent in all processes. The public has a right to know how and why decisions are made. The Open Records process should be simple for citizens and not costly. Meetings must be easy for citizens to access and speak at while our various departments should be easy to navigate and ready to provide information on a regular basis.



Shawnee County lacks affordable housing options. Topeka must pursue Affordable Housing initiatives that address real needs. I made it a priority to get $1 million into the city's Housing Trust Fund, and through my efforts we hit that goal in 2023. I led the effort to create the Topeka Land Bank to directly address blighted properties.

We must increase code enforcement efforts and our overall program, focusing on the worst offenders and commercial properties and homes that have stood vacant for too long. We must work with the average homeowner who is doing their best to maintain their property, not penalize them for making best efforts.



The growing number of unsheltered in Topeka is a public health crisis that must be addressed. There are four essential steps we must take:

1. I co-sponsored the camping ordinance that prohibits camping within 500 feet of trails and 50 feet of sidewalks. This does not criminalize homelessness but stops long-term encampments from becoming cumbersome to neighborhoods.

2.  Better enforce current laws relating to trash, fires and the building of structures.

3. Review panhandling ordinances to ensure the proper intersections are in current law for traffic safety.

4. Continue to support the numerous programs the city assists with, including housing placement, mental health crisis assistance, addiction prevention programs, food and clothing help and programs that house homeless children.



As a small business owner and member of the Small Business Council, I understand the importance of making sure our city works with businesses, not against them. Creating a government that works with developers is essential to growing our economy and making Topeka a thriving Capital City. I have sponsored several ordinances that repealed unnecessary and outdated paperwork and fees for our businesses.

We have to have a planning department that is customer friendly, and works with our community by removing barriers, not creating them. I have worked with City staff to create more efficiencies and we have to take bold steps to continue to that work.

It is also important to listen to citizens when a new development or business is being built to make sure that it conforms with their needs and the neighborhood. Public input is essential during the planning and development process.



A top priority as your council member is to provide high quality constituent services. I am the only elected official in Topeka who holds regular open office hours for citizens. I have a track record of being responsive and accessible.

Whether it's picking up shopping carts from front yards, visiting completed road projects to ensure they have been done properly or answering your emails and phone calls - my goal is to take care of the issues that matter most to you. Your Priorities First.

Paid for By Duncan for City Council
Barbara Duncan, Treasurer
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