Topeka Council Makes Fire, Affordable Housing Decisions

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Two controversial issues were decided by the Topeka City Council on Tuesday.

First, the council voted unanimously to approve new affordable housing for 21st Street on the south side of Adams.

All eight members of the council (councilmember Haynes was absent) who were present said they received correspondence from opponents, but could not find enough reasons to vote against the measure.

Neighbors are afraid the new housing will bring less desirable neighbors.

Those who were present this evening said they felt like the council didn't listen to their concerns.

Alsoon Tuesday, the council decided to indefinitely postpone a proposal to change the way fire promotions are handed out.

Currently, when someone applies to the fire department, they must take a civil service test to become a firefighter third class.

The union says everyone must start at that rank.

Fire management says Chief Howard Giles is able to appoint anyone he wants to top administrative positions.

John Alcala spoke his mind saying, paraphrasing, Giles is "ticked off" and doesn't want to promote anyone -- and the buck stops with City Manager Norton Bonaparte.