Topeka City Council to vote on contract of next city manager

The City of Topeka announced Friday that the Governing Body will vote during the City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 14 to formally name Dr. Robert Perez to serve as Topeka’s next city manager. Perez comes to the city after serving as an Assistant City Manager for the City of Dallas, Texas.

“The Governing Body invested considerable time and effort into their selection process, and we’re excited that Dr. Perez has been selected,” said Topeka Mayor Michael Padilla. “I have full confidence in his ability to lead the City of Topeka and guide us toward our strategic goals.”

With over 20 years of municipal government experience, Perez holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Education with a concentration in organizational leadership, a Master of Public Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in political science.

His background is in Public Works, and he has published numerous academic articles covering diverse topics such as the nexus between data and infrastructure, as well as innovation in local government. During a vast majority of his most recent role, Perez provided executive leadership to the City of Dallas’ Department of Public Works, Transportation, Bond and Construction Management, Equipment and Fleet Services and Building Services. Through a reorganization, Perez was recently assigned to oversee the Department of Sanitation, Code Compliance, Animal Care Services, Homeless Solution, and 311 Customer Service.

“I’m extremely honored and excited to begin leading the City of Topeka as its next city manager,” Perez said. “Public service is important to me, and I look forward to getting to know and serving the community in the near future.”

Topeka’s Governing Body is expected to formally approve Perez’s contract during the May 14th City Council Meeting. The one-year contract includes Perez’s base salary, which will be $255,000.

While Perez’s start date is still being finalized, it is anticipated to be sometime between late June and early July. Perez will be moving to Topeka from Dallas with his wife, Harim Perez, and their miniature schnauzer, Sebastian.

On April 8, five City Manager finalists participated in interview panels with the Governing Body and community stakeholders. Following those interviews, the Governing Body conducted follow-up interviews with Perez and another candidate. Initially, more than 40 applicants applied for the position.