During a discussion about a master plan for downtown Wichita at this morning’s Sedgwick County commission meeting, talk got off track about whether the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation should be more transparent.
The group is a key proponent of the downtown master plan. When a speaker in the audience challenged the group to be more transparent, its former chairman, Larry Weber, said the district attorney’s office ruled that the group is private and doesn’t fall under the Kansas Open Records Act. Weber said the group wasn’t obligated to respond to requests for information such as salaries and “all that crap.”
County commissioner Richard Ranzau noted that the group gets much of its money from public sources such as the city and county and urged it to be more open. At that point, Weber said he would be happy to sit down with Ranzau and tell him how much president Jeff Fluhr earns in his job. Ranzau said he didn’t want the information; the public wants it. Ranzau said there’s a difference between the letter of the law and the spirit of the Kansas Open Records Act.
Weber is property manager for the Garvey Center. He still serves on the WDDC board.