Small Business Survey Supports Topeka Fire Chief, City Manager

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Controversy surrounding Topeka Fire Chief Howard Giles seems to have divided officials of the local fire fighters union and city leaders.

The Topeka Independent Business Association released a survey that says small businesses support the city's decision not to fire Giles.

The group says they regularly send out surveys to their members and potential members and the survey about Giles got the biggest response.

Of 200 surveys, they've received 70 so far and calculated results from 58.

The poll asked 15 questions. It started by asking if Seniority or merit should be the key factor in promotions...a key difference between the union and Giles.

79% of survey responders say they disagreed that seniority should be a key factor while 93% agreed merit should be the key factor.

70% disagreed that Giles should resign voluntarily. 83% don't think City Manager Norton Bonaparte should fire Giles to please the union.

Union president Kent Dederick says he's not surprised by the results of the survey and that he doesn't think it's representative of Topeka's public opinion.

"It's a very small segment and I think the way it was presented, it's skewed a little as well."

TIBA chairman Ken Daniel admits their survey isn't scientific, but gives a good idea of what Topeka is thinking.

"Over half the people in this community own or work for a small business."

Click the link above to read the entire survey and comments people taking the survey included.

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