Vote to rescind outsourcing of Topeka's Social Services Grant program fails

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Topeka's Governing Body met Tuesday night to vote on whether or not to rescind their previous decision to outsource the city's Social Services Grant program to a third party.

The proposal passed in December 2019 by a vote of 7-2.

On Tuesday night, councilwoman Christian Valdivia-Alcala made a motion to rescind that action. It needed 6 votes to pass, but failed with a vote of 5-4.

"I believe that the rescinding was the best move for the city, for our service to the taxpayer and to the service of agencies that are willing to work with us to tweak what we know is a rather broken system," she said.

Councilwoman Karen Hiller was also one of the 5 votes.

"The council has worked on it pretty hard over the years," she said, "It has needed tweaking, but there have been enough questions this time that I finally concluded to outsource it this year was probably going to be problematic."

One reason for the push back was some council members concern over money.

Hiller said, "There was discussion in the presentation of saving money but in fact, it would likely cost at least $20,000."

"One of the reasons we are elected is to watch over those dollars and make sure they go properly through the process and not outsource it," said councilman Spencer Duncan.

The proposal stated it would save the city about $30,000.

Hiller said with teh decision now made, she hopes they can get it running smoothly.

She said, "I think there's 100% commitment to doing the best we can to move this down the line."