- Main article: Evaluation of Kansas city websites
|Transparency grading process|
This website was last evaluated Jan. 24, 2013.
- Meeting agendas and minutes are posted.
- Budgets are posted.
- Budgets are archived to 2005.
- Audits are posted.
- Audits are archived to 2002.
- Elected Officials
- Council members are listed with individual contact information under each district.
- Public Records
- Administrative officials are listed with contact information in each department webpage. 
- There is no information on Taxpayer-funded lobbying.
Topeka has 1,152 full-time equivalent employees.
The Topeka City Council is composed of nine members elected by district. Each City Council Member is elected to a four-year term of office. There is no limit on the number of terms that Council Members are allowed to serve.
The City Council conducts the business of the city by voting on ordinances, resolutions, applications, plats, zoning petitions, receiving reports and other items. The City Council elects a Deputy Mayor every year, who presides over Council meetings in the absence of the Mayor, makes committee assignments, and chairs various Council committees. All Councilmembers are members of Topeka/Shawnee County JEDO (Joint Economic Development Organization). Three are voting members.
Serving on the City Council is considered a part-time duty. The majority of Council members have full-time jobs in addition to their City Council duties. The compensation for each City Council member is set by charter ordinance at $10,000 per year. The City Council employs an assistant who helps respond to constituents, conduct research and assist with other official business.
Topeka's mayor is William Bunten.
Bunten has opposed a proposal for a domestic partner registry.
The mayor has been named in a lawsuit. A citizen watchdog claims the mayor and two other city officials defamed him.
The City Manager serves as the city’s chief executive officer and is responsible for providing professional leadership in the administration and implementation of all city operations and the policies, goals and vision set forth by the Mayor and City Council. The Manager is appointed by the City Council.
Topeka is seeking a permanent city manager, as interim City Manager Dan Stanley has announced he is not seeking a permanent position.
Norton N. Bonaparte, Jr. was City Manager of Topeka from March 2006 to June 2011, when the city council voted to end his employment and gave him a $100,000 severance package. He was originally contracted to be city manager until January 2012, but in the wake of his involvement in a controversy surrounding city employees selling scrap metal for profit prompted the council to terminate his contract early.
Topeka's 2012 budget calls for a 1.9% increase over the 2011 budget.
|Function||2010 Actual||2011 Estimate||2012 Adopted|
|Allowances & Reimbursements||$111,629||$108,487||$116,130|
|Individual & Contractual Services||$16,435,366||$36,915,925||$25,297,695|
|Contributions to Agencies||$3,071,178||$2,786,650||$3,067,041|
For 2011, the City’s budget, approved by the City Council, is $222.2 million. This is a decrease of $2.1 million, or almost 1 percent, from the 2010 budget of $224.3 million. The decrease was due to a 3.3 percent decrease in the general fund (excluding the contingency), which was cut by $2.7 million – from $82.7 million to $80.0 million.
14.3 percent of the budget’s financing comes from property taxes; the rest come from sales tax, fees, licenses, fines, etc.
Types of City Expenses:
|Employee salaries and benefits||36.8%|
|Grants and claims||5.5%|
|Depreciation of assets||6.4%|
For 2012, employee benefits make up 8% of the city budget. Costs for city employee retirement systems increased $3 million or 19.7% from 2011 to 2012.
Topeka employees are in the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) or the Kansas Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (KP&F). In 2010, the city paid $1,805,616 into the KPERS system and $4,053,917 into KP&F.
Topeka has accrued $18,737,527 in unfunded liabilities for other post-employment benefits other than pensions.
The 2012 mill levy is 36.0, up 3.15 from the previous year.
- Topeka's official site
- Topeka Chamber of Commerce
- Topeka Public Schools USD 501, Kansas
- Visit Topeka
- U.S. Census Bureau "QuickFacts," Accessed November 22, 2011
- Topeka, KS "Meeting Minutes," Accessed Jan. 24, 2013
- Topeka, KS "City Budget," Accessed Jan. 24, 2013
- Topeka, KS "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report," Accessed Jan. 24, 2013
- Topeka, KS "City Council," Accessed Jan. 24, 2013
- Topeka, KS "Open Public Records," Accessed Jan. 24, 2013
- Topeka, KS "Zoning," Accessed Jan. 24, 2013
- Topeka, KS "Permits and Inspections," Accessed Jan. 24, 2013
- Topeka, KS "Current Solicitations," Accessed Jan. 24, 2013
- Topeka, KS "Contacts," Accessed Jan. 24, 2013
- Department Directory
- Topeka, KS "2013 Budget," Accessed Jan. 24, 2013
- Sales Tax
- Topeka, KS "Mayor," Accessed November 22, 2011
- KOAM TV 7 "Topeka mayor questions domestic partner registry," Accessed November 22, 2011
- WIBW "Bill Bunten, Vic Miller Named in Lawsuit," Accessed November 22, 2011
- City Manager
- Topeka Capital-Journal "City to hire search firm for new city manager," Accessed November 22, 2011
- Topeka Capital-Journal "Bonaparte: Topeka has a bright future," Accessed November 22, 2011
- 2011 Budget Brief
- Topeka, KS "2010 CAFR," Accessed November 22, 2011
State of Kansas
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