In Greensburg

A Wichita State journalism class looks for new angles and stories that haven't been done on the rebirth of a Kansas community

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Taking his protest to the top

June 5th, 2009 · 2 Comments

John Colclazier says he's had only positive comments on his roof.

John Colclazier says he's had only positive comments on his roof.

John Colclazier is a Greensburg native. He was a longtime volunteer firefighter, county appraiser for 12 years and served recently on the planning commission. He seems to be the kind of guy who works hard, but doesn’t appreciate being told how to do it — or when.

Maybe that explains the roof on one of the houses he is repairing in Greensburg. He bought the house and several others that were repairable after the tornado.

The yellow house on the northeast corner of Spruce and Grant — one of just a few that survived the May 2007 storm on the west side of town — has blue tarps on the front windows and a roof with shingles of different colors. But it meets city code, he says.

That’s Colclazier’s point. He says he was reacting to a city council member’s comment at a recent meeting about progress needing to be made on some of the vacant houses. That council member, Colclazier says, lives across the street from the house he is repairing.

Colclazier’s plan is to move into the house. He lost his home in the storm, along with several rental properties. Only his home was insured, he says.

He was planning to put a metal roof with flexible solar panels on the south-facing house, but his neighbor’s comment at the council meeting prompted him to shingle the roof. The leftover shingles came from a contractor in Salina.

Eventually, Colclazier said, he’ll put on the metal roof. When? Depends, he says, on what that city councilman says further.

He says he hasn’t had one person complain about the shingles on the roof. But, he adds, he’s had 20 or 30 people stop him to say they like it.

And the blue tarps that recently went up on the side facing the council member’s house? They’re there because of another of his comments at the council meeting about blue tarps not being a sign of progress.

Under the tarps, by the way, are perfectly good windows.

Colclazier roofed his home with leftover shingles he bought from a contractor in Salina.

Colclazier roofed his home with leftover shingles he bought from a contractor in Salina.

Tags: People · Rebuilding

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Your Neighbor // Jun 9, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I’m not sure who those 20-30 people are! Apparently they’re nobody that we know.

  • 2 I_Rule // Jun 11, 2009 at 8:04 am

    I gotta say, I’m liking this guy. I particularly enjoyed the part about the tarps!

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