Karen Hiller


City Council
Why are you running?
We have tremendous movement going. I am fully engaged and proven. There is more to do.
How have you already been volunteering or serving in the city?
Absolutely. I spent my career at Housing and Credit Counseling Inc. (HCCI) and active in various neighborhood and community activities. I have served on the Council since 2009 - actively working on policy, budget, ensuring citizen engagement, streets and utilities, public safety, long-term planning and more. Current leadership positions include substantial change initiatives for property management, neighborhood revitalization and inclusion.
If you are elected, how will you solicit input from areas of the city outside of where you live?
I am known for answering calls and e-mails from anywhere in the community. I also led initiatives to establish more standard advance hearings on such things as zoning. I established the first-ever Crime Summits in my own district and later attended those in others. Earlier in Bikeways development and recently regarding Property Maintenance, I have led establishment of public input sessions citywide to which councilmembers traveled to listen.
How would you encourage more community engagement from young professionals?
First, we have needed to improve quality of place, so young professionals want to move or stay here. Then, steadily since 2009 when I first got on, we have affirmatively reached out to young professionals to be involved..and they have been great..and we have made change. We are beginning to hear now that yp's have chosen to stay or live/work here because Topeka IS a place you can find your niche and engage and make change.
What do you believe the role of the City Council should be in the development and support of the city's cultural and economic infrastructure for young professionals?
We need to take care of our fundamental responsibilities like streets and safety. Beyond that, we need to support private initiatives, always partner, facilitate when needed, make periodic strategic investments that will support good things happening....then get out of the way and let things fly!
If you are appointed to Council, list three goals you would like to see the City achieve during your term.
If you are appointed to Council, list three goals you would like to see the City achieve during your term.
Goal 1
Excel and set long-range sustainable plans for essential services - streets, utilities, facilities, fleet, police, fire and support
Goal 2
Create quality of place and jobs to support our citizens and attract and keep our young people.
Goal 3
Grow our city. We have capacity, and we need to add people back to refresh our neighborhoods and workforce and expand our tax base without raising taxes.
How can people connect with you?
People can e-mail at or, phone at 785-232-2917 or reach me via Facebook or my campaign webpage.


Are there any new or existing programs you would start, end, or expand? If yes, please explain.
We need to totally retool how we are doing property maintenance, how we work with our neighborhoods and how we profile and market our neighborhoods. Too much detail to even start with here, but info can be found in tracking activity regarding Changing our Culture of Property Maintenance, DREAMS and Neighborhood Health Maps. I am also working steadily to reduce our bonded indebtedness by searching for economies in our operating budget that can allow maintenance items that have been bonded for years to be shifted back in to the operating budget where they belong. Last, leading initiatives for inclusion and equity have been major priorities.