Heartland Visioning looks ahead while commissioners question funding

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A group that takes community ideas and works to make them a reality wants to change the way it operates, but some commissioners don’t want to fund it.

At the city and county Joint Economic Development Organization, or JEDO meeting Thursday evening, Executive Director of Heartland Visioning William Beteta said he wants to hold about 20 small meetings in the Topeka and Shawnee County area by this fall to get a better idea of what residents want to see changed or improved.

“We’ve been working based on information that’s five years old, there’s a good chance that the information is still valid but the only way you can find out is to ask and since we are based on what the community has to say, we have to go out into the community, that’s our commitment,” Beteta says.

County Commissioner Bob Archer says he doesn’t want to continue funding the group.

“If an organization has to ask what they should be doing, perhaps they’ve reached the end of their usefulness,” Archer says.

Every year the city and county each contribute $30,000 of taxpayer money to Heartland Visioning. While some commissioners question if that money is necessary, Beteta ensures it is vital to operate.

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