Matt Bevens And Karen Hiller Sit Down For Debate

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Voters in one Topeka City Council district got to know their candidates a little better at a town hall debate.

The questions were determined by the audience members; neither Karen Hiller nor Matt Bevens knew them before the debate began.

They are two very different candidates. Bevens is running on a platform of tightening public safety and repairing infrastructure. He says his youth will give the council a different perspective.

"We don't really get the voice of votes of those who are my age," Bevens said. "Our generation's kind of been left out of the dialogue and I'd like to bring us back to the table to talk with people and to discuss what we want Topeka to look like."

Hiller has a history of housing projects under her belt. She says her experience makes her the best choice.

"I get it. I know what we'v got that's great," she said. "I know what we could improve and I've got the time at this point, having retired and being familiar with City Hall already."

Bevens, a junior at KU, is new to City Council elections, and invited Hiller to the debate. She is seeking her second term.

Both agree young people are important.

"If we can help educate more voters and get young voters more comfortable with voting I think that's great," Hiller said.

Bevens thinks young voters have a big impact on the future of the city. "I think what I have to bring to the table is a voice so the people my age have the option to change Topeka to make it a city that we'll be happy living in and raising families in in the future."

Municipal elections are April 2.

Topeka mayor and council districts 2, 3, 5, 7 and 9 are also on the ballot, along with several area school board races. A bond issue in the Seaman school district will be decided on as well.