State Of The Community: Continued Improvement

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Members of the Topeka community gathered Friday to discuss where Topeka is at and where its going.

Topeka Mayor Larry Wolgast and Shawnee County Commission Chair Shelly Buhler touched on the big issues facing the area, but also highlighted accomplishments that will help in achieving city wide goals.

Newly elected Mayor Wolgast said that a city is only as strong as its neighborhoods at Friday's State of the Community address.

As far as Topeka, he said some neighborhoods need fixing, but the future is bright.

"We have a great city, a lot of good things happening," Wolgast said, "but of course every place has issues and we have to develop a plan to achieve that and get that."

Commissioner Shelly Buhler said fixing neighborhoods, infrastructure and commerce will keep city leaders busy.

"This is always a good time to look back and see what we have accomplished," Buhler said, "and then switching to 2013 and see those opportunities and really working through those with our residents."

Buhler highlighted a few of the county's biggest accomplishments, such as city-wide street projects, bringing in the Mars facility and a community health improvement plan, among others.

Both Buhler and Wolgast said improvement lies in each resident actively participating.

"I think the neighborhood summit was outstanding that we had last Saturday. We had 1,200 people on clean up last Saturday, all these are good things, that's what tells about the city because that's where the people are," Wolgast said.

"We all contribute to the community and we don't hold back," Buhler said. "We want you to come and let us know how we're doing."

Mayor Wolgast said he is open to discussing improvements with any person or group.

H\e also pointed out that in eleven years, Topeka has lost only 701 jobs, a 1.1 percent decrease.