Rightly so, as the 2019 local elections approach in Amarillo, all eyes are on the City Council and Amarillo’s mayor seat. Scandal after scandal in 2017 and 2018 have made voters’ decisions more important than ever for that particular body. Unfortunately, in the midst of the chaos, it seems two other important entities have not received the kind of attention they should be ahead of the elections.
In 2019, four seats on the Amarillo Independent School District Board of Trustees and three seats on the Amarillo College Board of Regents will be up for grabs. At both AISD and AC, three seats on each entity will be decided by the relatively unique practice known as “cumulative voting,” while a special election will be held for the fourth spot at AISD.
Both of these entities hold incredible importance for education, quality of life, and for the tax bill in Amarillo. Both Amarillo ISD and Amarillo College employ numerous individuals in the area and are charged with the important roles of ensuring quality education for those who attend the institutions.
AISD trustees have made news over the past year for issues like the renaming of Robert E. Lee Elementary School and for the departures of longtime trustee James Allen and district superintendent Dana West. At AC, it seems the board has made less news, but has still played an important role in setting the tax rate and spending habits of the college.
While voters should be watching the City Council elections, it will be important to watch both the AC and AISD races, as well. Don’t just blindly punch a button on election day. Research the candidates and make the right decisions. Plus, if you have ever wanted to work for your community in Amarillo, consider making a bid for one of these two entities.
Amarillo is counting on you.
-Thomas Warren III, Editor-in-Chief