The Amarillo City Council seems hellbent to change every aspect of municipal function in a way that over complicates the already bureaucracy littered field of local government. However, this might have been the establishment's plan all along.
Take a look at the record of this City Council and it is plain to see that there have been no real accomplishments bettering the lives of citizens. While certain members of the City Council, like Elaine Hays and Howard Smith, have occasionally seemed to be open to working for the citizens, other members of the body have stonewalled the public at every chance.
Because of a lack of accomplishment, running for re-election may be a very tough thing for the current members of the City Council, as there is no real positive record to run on. However, with the introduction of things like the 7am meetings, it is possible that the City Council is hoping to make up campaign issues for the next election cycle.
As has been noted in the past, the 7am meetings have been called a three month "temporary" change to let the elected officials experiment with the time change. Luckily for the Council, the time change will end in January, just in time for filing on the next election to begin. One can't help but wonder whether the City Council is planning to stop the time change in January, to attempt to paint a facade of engagement with the public.
This still won't cut the mustard, though. Looking at the City Council's record, like citizens being arrested in meetings for clapping and citizens being shut out of the City Hall area home to the mayor's office, it is plain to see that this City Council has not been the most engaging bunch.
Rumors have also circulated that a Civic Center issue may be on the ballot at the same time as the City Council elections in 2019. This has not been openly discussed, however, but observers should rest assured that such an issue would increase turnout. As residents have been shouting concerns for years about the aging facility, perhaps the City Council would use this issue to attempt and sway support. Still, nothing is official, but stranger things have happened.
In summary, I really don't know whether the City Council is attempting to make up campaign issues to salvage re-election hopes in November. But, many of these conveniences and coincidences seem too good to be true.
-Thomas Warren III, Editor-in-Chief