The Amarillo Pioneer

Amarillo's only free online newspaper. Established in 2016, we work to bring you local news that is unbiased and honest.

 

22 Percent of Council Board Appointees are Campaign Donors

Over twenty-two percent of individuals appointed to their first terms on municipal boards by the Amarillo City Council in 2017 have donated to the campaigns of councilmembers.

According to information from campaign finance reports, six of twenty-seven individuals appointed to municipal boards for their first term in 2017 were donors to the campaign of at least one councilmember's warchest. Of the members of the City Council who voted for the appointments, Councilmember Elaine Hays received contributions from three of the six individuals. An individual who was appointed to a board was also recorded as donating between $500 and $1,000 to each member of the City Council.

The appointments were made during November 28, 2017 and December 5, 2017 meetings of the City Council. During these meeting, Councilmembers also voted to reappoint seven individuals to municipal boards who supported a councilmember's campaign with a contribution. For the most part, reappointments made likely extended the terms of individuals appointed by one of the two prior City Councils.

As of July 2017, there were about 400 pending applications for individuals seeking spots on municipal boards in Amarillo.

While the appointments to municipal boards by Councilmembers has been ongoing among various Councils, appointments of campaign donors have also take place in Austin.

According to the Texas Tribune, of Governor Greg Abbott's eight hundred board appointees through 2017, around seventy-one appointees had contributed to the Governor's campaign. One individual had contributed over $1 million to Governor Abbott's campaign through May of 2017.

In the City of Amarillo, advisory boards are typically made up of individuals who submit applications requesting a position to serve their community. While some boards do have jurisdiction to make decisions for entities, most boards serve as an information board which reports back to the City Council on issues dealing with its entity. Occasionally, boards will also feature City staff, serving in non-voting roles.

If you would like to be considered for appointment to a municipal board, please visit this link.

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