By Tom Warren
I'm the first candidate in Amarillo to try and stimulate conversation on changing Amarillo City Council Elections to November of general election and mid term election years. Amarillo needs change, and we will need a charter amendment to make it happen. With a continuing discussion about low voter turnout in city elections, here are some of the benefits:
1. Increased voter turnout
2. More awareness of election times
3. Will likely save money
Did you know that in the current model, the City of Amarillo, AISD, Amarillo College, and other local entities utilize the same election process, but the City of Amarillo incurs the largest portion of the bill? Moving the election to May will allow us to utilize the exposure of the general election to increase turnout and get a better return on our election investment. Instead of spending tax dollars to provide an election for 15,000 voters, we could feasibly double or even triple the turnout. This also allows us to partner with entities like the county for voters to select the entire executive local government at one time.
This change will require a charter amendment by our voters, but it seems to be one worth pursuing. I would be interested in seeing this change sent to the ballot this November.
Just some food for thought. If you would support more positive, innovative change like this for our community, then I hope to earn your vote this May 4th!