As we prepare for the tenure of Amarillo's new city council, I felt that it may be appropriate to showcase a difference in priority between Amarillo and one of our neighbors, Lubbock.
The City of Lubbock is currently searching for someone to fill the position of Chief Financial Officer. Strategic Government Resources, the firm conducting the personnel search, issued a brochure that features details about the position. The duties of the position are those that seem typical of a CFO, but one job role sticks out. The City of Lubbock says that one of the jobs of the Chief Financial Officer will be to "Create a plan to reduce current routine maintenance debt to zero within five years."
Meanwhile, four of the five incoming members of the Amarillo City Council publicly stated that they voted for all seven municipal bond propositions in 2016, which would have meant a 57 percent tax increase in Amarillo and over $300 million in new debt.
These differences in priorities between the two cities' leadership teams are troubling. My hope, however, is that our new Council will think about the financial state of the City before jumping off of any cliffs.
- Thomas Warren III, Editor-In-Chief