The little coffee shop North of the river my husband and I frequent hosted a "Meet the Manager" event this morning, so we decided to go check it out - find out what was on people's minds. We got up early (well, early for me - Doug has to be to work by 9!). It was a pretty good gathering at Nibs House of Coffee - maybe not all of them were there to specifically to chat with Topeka City Manager Norton Bonaparte, Jr., but he introduced himself to everyone and did have several guests there to chat. The first reaction from many people was how nice it was to even have such an event in North Topeka. People talk a lot about downtown development, reaching out to the east side and all the action on the west side, but north sort of hangs out by itself. They also talked about the Topeka Blvd. Bridge and how much they're looking forward to its reopening later this year. They talked about what communities do to attract business. They talked about the Hwy. 24 study and the impact it could have on North Topeka. Bonaparte has always said these are a chance to chat in an informal setting, and it is. He didn't bring any entourage, he didn't sit in a corner and read his messages. If nothing else, it's good P.R. But at it's best, it's a chance for people who don't want to speak in a public meeting to bend the ear of someone in charge. Nothing can be changed if people don't say they want it changed, so let's hope that's what these sessions are all about. Bonaparte has one more on the schedule - 7:30 to 8:30 am, May 22, at Joe Vagabaun’s, SE 29th and Croco Road. If nothing else, you can enjoy a cup of coffee with friends!