Community engagement has always been an area where government has seemed to fail. There is no quick fix, but there might be some options if the City of Amarillo actually wants to see increased engagement with taxpayers.
Back in 2017, I seem to remember quite a bit of discussion on how to increase community engagement in Amarillo. Councilmembers promised to host town hall meetings, which had not historically happened. Some Councilmembers also promised to create newsletters and have town halls online. It seems that there has not been much movement on any of these things. However, there are still some options if the City is truly serious about increasing community engagement.
Personally, I like the City of Canyon Unplugged blog that has sprung up from our neighbors just south (you can see that blog here: https://cityofcanyontexas.blog/). The blog features crime reports, letters from some City officials, community updates and more. These are all things that haven't really happened in Amarillo. For the most part, Amarillo's City Hall has been shut off from the people. I have personally seen senior City officials refusing to answer questions from citizens or media in Amarillo and referring those questions to spokespersons. While I understand some practicality with that, I do not agree with shutting down citizens, as these City officials cash paychecks that are funded by tax dollars. It is especially concerning, considering the rhetoric about engagement that we heard from this current City Council during the last municipal election.
This blog is just one suggestion. There are countless ways that the City of Amarillo could go about creating new engagement. Let's hope that the City Council makes good on their promise of community engagement, instead of letting it fall to the wayside like several other campaign promises have done.