City of Topeka announces new Public Works, Utilities directors

The City of Topeka announced Monday that two internal candidates have been named the Public Works and Utilities directors, two key leadership positions within the City government.

Braxton Copley, who had been serving as the Utilities Director and Interim Public Works Director, has been named the Public Works Director. Copley is a dedicated leader who’s served the citizens of Topeka in various roles for a combined 17 plus years. Copley has a bachelor’s degree from Colorado College, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas. Copley has numerous technical certifications that are nationally recognized in the field.

“Braxton’s dedication to the City of Topeka throughout his career has been remarkable to watch,” said Stephen Wade, Topeka’s City Manager. “His responsiveness to our constituents promotes excellence in customer service. I believe his talents and vision will be a great asset to the Public Works Department as we work to better our roads, improve our infrastructure, and make the City more efficient. I couldn’t be more pleased to have Braxton lead this great team at the City.”

Sylvia Davis, who had been serving as a Deputy Director in the Utilities department, has been named the Utilities Director. Davis has worked for the City for 18 years. Davis has a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University. Davis is also a Certified Public Manager. In September, Davis received a national leadership award from the Utility 2030 Collaborative.

“Sylvia’s recent national award demonstrates how highly thought of she is. Her people skills and passion for developing talent sets an example for us all. Sylvia has led our internal leadership training classes for years, and I believe she will build upon the excellent work of the two previous Utilities directors, Bob Sample and Braxton Copley. The Utilities team is in great hands with Sylvia,” said Wade.

Wade also stated that he felt it was important to fill both roles with the right people and in a timely manner as the City embarks on its annual capital budgeting process. He said both Copley and Davis will work to lead a focused team effort to prepare a quality plan for Topeka Governing Body consideration.

Copley and Davis assumed their roles Monday morning.