A voice of reason has left Amarillo City Hall.
James Allen, the Community Development director for the City of Amarillo, resigned on Friday, according to sources within the City. Allen has been the longtime director of the department and has always been on the forefront of issues dealing with community development in Amarillo.
The loss of Allen is a devastating one for City Hall. I have personally known James Allen for a few years and got to know him even better during the 2017 municipal election. Allen is truly passionate about his community and, with the exception of a handful of individuals, is one of the only people at City Hall who was willing to look out for Amarillo ahead of donors, special interest groups and downtown property investors.
Whether you disagreed with Allen or not, Allen has always been a fair guy with the right kind of temperament to be leading a City department.
Instead of seeing Allen promoted to a higher level at City Hall, residents have now lost Allen. One of the only people at City Hall who was a strong advocate for the people and communities in North and East Amarillo is gone.
The loss of Allen should show Amarilloans that they lost the wrong guy. Instead of losing a longtime bureaucrat who is only looking to pad their pocket, Amarillo lost one of the only real advocates at City Hall.
Mayor Nelson and city manager Jared Miller will have real difficulty replacing a guy like James Allen. Let's hope that whoever gets the job can do half as good of a job as James Allen did for Amarillo.
-Thomas Warren III, Editor-In-Chief