Saturday, February 17, 2007

City comes down on blight protestors

This is ridiculous. The city of Wichita allows a homeowner in a minority, working class area to keep what can only be described as an junky eyesore for years and when a community group out of desperation holds a protest at the city manager's house and leave a letter and 11 posters, the city brings criminal charges.

According to the Wichita Eagle

4 headed to court over protest at Kolb's house

Four members of the nonprofit Sunflower Community Action group will appear
in court next week on misdemeanor criminal charges stemming from a December
protest at Wichita City Manager George Kolb's house.

City Attorney Gary Rebenstorf filed the charges, which include criminal
trespassing and illegal dumping, Dec. 9. The group left 11 poster-board signs
and a letter addressed to Kolb at his home after the protest.

At least 15 Sunflower members -- upset about illegal dumping at a house
in central-northeast Wichita at 10th and Volutsia -- staged the protest Dec. 9
at Kolb's house in the 13500 block of East Buckskin Court, near Harry and 127th
Street East.

Kolb was not home at the time.

The charges are pretty serious.

An illegal dumping conviction carries a mandatory fine between $240 and $1,000 and a potential prison sentence of up to 12 months, Rebenstorf said. A trespassing conviction carries a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail....

And who believes this comment from city attorney Gary Rebenstorf:

"If it happened at anybody else's house, we would have followed the same procedure."
The city manager have declined to prosecute this case. He's a highly-paid public servant and if he can't take the heat of a few posters being left on his front porch, then he's probably in the wrong line of work.

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