Every time controversy arises in Amarillo, it seems that the Amarillo City Council is nowhere to be found.
On Tuesday, multiple residents voiced concerns over the closing of Thompson Park’s pool. The oldest pool in Amarillo, many residents said during Tuesday’s City Council meeting that is a valuable community resource, and a cultural and historic landmark that should remain open. While the comments took place, Councilmembers seemed mostly disinterested. It is a shame that when there is this level of engagement from citizens, City officials seem completely indifferent to the comments made by those who attend meetings.
However, the one thing that can be said about today’s meeting is that all five Councilmembers actually did show up. This is not typically the norm when controversial issues are expected to be addressed, as certain Councilmembers have a tendency for skipping meetings.
All of this being said, I have a challenge for the City Council. On Thursday night, a meeting will be held at the United Citizens Forum on North Hayden Street, which will address the closing of the Thompson Park pool. A quorum posting has already taken place, so there is no excuse. I want to challenge every member of the City Council to attend this community meeting and explain the closing of the pool.
Typically, I have witnessed Councilmembers skip meetings where controversy is expected, with the limited exceptions of Eddy Sauer and Freda Powell. All five Councilmembers, including Mayor Ginger Nelson, should be at this meeting. Don’t just sit behind the dais and stare down citizens as they make comments. Attend this meeting and explain the City’s actions. As taxpaying citizens, the people at this meeting deserve answers. Let’s see if you respect them enough to give them the answers they deserve.
-Thomas Warren III, Editor-in-Chief