The City of Wichita and Sunflower Community Action’s working relationship is improving after the nonprofit group’s meeting with city officials to discuss run-down properties.
The city agreed to provide updates to Sunflower in April and May after Sunflower revealed its “Dirty 20″ list of properties to City Spokesman Van Williams and the city’s Office of Central Inspections and Environmental Services department leaders. Both sides considered the meeting a success – the city was pleased with Sunflower’s grassroots efforts to clean up blight in Central-Northeast Wichita and Sunflower was pleased the city started cases on several of the properties.
“We got to talk to each other, and not through the media or other groups,” Williams said, “and the communication benefited from that.”
Still, four Sunflower members are going to trial on misdemeanor charges the city pressed against them for illegal dumping and trespassing during a protest at City Manager George Kolb’s house in December. The group hoped to pressure Kolb to clean up dumping at a house at 10th and Volutsia.