October Events
October is full of great events!  On the 21st, Fast Forward will be announcing some big changes at Topeka's first Forgefest. This unique downtown event will include live music from Topeka's own Brail, followed by Toughies and our headliners for the evening, Hembree. 

You are invited from 5-9 p.m. to enjoy food trucks, beer gardens and, of course, the music at 9th and Jackson, near the Capital Building. 

Check out other October events here
City of Topeka New Website
The City of Topeka launched a new website - at the same URL, www.topeka.org - with the goal of making its information and services more user-friendly and accessible.

The major changes to the site include making topeka.org more mobile-friendly (roughly 40 percent of the site's traffic comes from mobile devices), and organizing the site by service, rather than by the departments that provide those services. For example, businesses quickly can find the current bid opportunities or how to apply for a zoning variance, without knowing those services are housed in different departments (purchasing and planning).

To ensure the website would meet consumers' needs, the City previewed the website to about 60 people. This outreach included six usability labs with about 40 people, from Topeka residents to employees inside and outside of City government, as well as to Governing Body members and City leaders.

If you have feedback for the new website, you can fill out the Website Feedback form available at the bottom of their  homepage.
Change Takes Time
Change Takes Time from Kristen's Corner

According to some of my old notes... We started discussing the chance of the National Park Service coming to Topeka in summer of 2015.

A few of the NPS architects visited Topeka on August 19, 2015 and they told us it would be an ENTIRE YEAR before they could come and do a design charette in Topeka. That seemed like forever at the time. Sure enough, a year later August 22-26 they came and conducted a splendid design charette. When the event finally arrived the team and community were slightly giddy.

Nearing the end of the week, myself and others of the public started asking what's next? Keep reading here...
Exploring Zillow
Interesting discoveries are taking place around the impact of recruitment for Topeka & Shawnee County based on online home buying tools and their ratings for schools. Realtors share story after story of families utilizing Zillow to search for houses. Zillow pulls Great School's ratings information to show how school districts rate. Families rely heavily on this when looking for homes sometimes to the detriment of our recruitment efforts.  In efforts to increase our positive communications with potential residents of Topeka & Shawnee County we are further exploring Zillow and the obstacles accompanying this. Here are some things we know... 

1. When consumers search on the internet for information about homes for sale, about 64% of those views happen on Zillow; 29% on realtor.com; 4% on Truilia.com and 3% on a long list of other sites.

 

2. Over 50% of the internet searches for homes for sale in Topeka are made from computers located outside of Topeka.

3. Zillow.com, realtor.com, Trulia.com, cjonline (The Capital-Journal's website) all include school district ratings as well as individual school building ratings on a scale of 1-10, allegedly based on the quality of the education received. All of these ratings are provided to the websites by the same source: GreatSchools.org.
 
Read more about this topic here. To get involved email Kristen Brunkow


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