TOPEKA, Kan. -- Deputy City Manager Randy Speaker publicly announced his retirement Friday from the City of Topeka. His last day will be September 17.
“It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Topeka for the past 10 years,” Speaker said. "I wish Topeka’s citizens, employees and elected officials well as they embark on the future challenges they will face in continuing to improve our community”. Mr. Speaker will be pursuing private interests outside of local government in the near future.
An item to repeal the designation of Speaker as deputy city manager was scheduled to be on the upcoming Topeka City Council agenda.
“We appreciate the dedication Randy had for serving the citizens of Topeka,” said Pam Simecka, Interim City Manager. “We wish him the best in his retirement and any future endeavors.” Speaker had announced his intentions to retire to Simecka on Tuesday.
Speaker began working for the City in May 2002 as Director of Housing & Neighborhood Development. He provided leadership and stability to that department which had experienced nine leadership changes within the three years prior to his hiring. In 2006, he became the City’s first Deputy City Manager with oversight responsibilities over all external service departments except Police and Fire. In this capacity, he also served as a liaison for economic development between the City, the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce and private businesses. As a result of reorganization due to severe revenue shortfalls in 2010, he also accepted direct responsibility for Public Works.
Some of his accomplishments as HND director included the reversal of HUD’s threat to discontinue Topeka’s CDBG and HOME funding and the creation of “Stages of Resource Targeting” (SORT) concept that provides a guide for public investment in low to moderate income neighborhoods. Accomplishments as Public Works Director included successfully appealing the South Shunga Creek Flood Map initially established by FEMA. More recently, Speaker participated in the review of Topeka’s first Community Investment District (CID) where an existing commercial development will be able to undergo major improvements. He also assisted with the redevelopment of the Sunflower Soccer complex.