One group of Amarillo residents wants to have their say on a series of issues facing the City of Amarillo.
On Monday, a group of Amarillo residents led by chairman Michael Green, filed a notice with city secretary Frances Hibbs declaring the group's intention to initiate a petition drive on six municipal issues. The group is seeking to force the City Council into either approving or calling an election on a number of issues.
According to a news release, the group is seeking the ability to vote on banning red light cameras, banning paid parking on municipal properties, establishing a no-kill animal shelter, reopening the chipping sites and repealing the City's ban on camping. Perhaps the hottest topic on the petitions, however, is the group's demand that the City Council allow voters to decide whether the City Council should meet at 6pm for all future regularly scheduled meetings.
In a statement, Green said the petitions symbolize the public's right to be heard by elected officials.
"This City Council has repeatedly ignored the will of the people and it is time to give those people an opportunity to represent themselves," Green said.
According to the Amarillo Municipal Code, the citizens behind the petition drive are required to collect signatures from 5 percent of the total registered voters of Amarillo within 120 days to force the City Council to consider the ordinances. If that threshold is reached, the City Council can then choose to approve the ordinance, avoiding the election, or deny the ordinance. If the ordinance is denied, then an election may take place.
The 120 day time frame on the petition will push the initiatives past the November election, meaning that the earliest an election could be called on the issues would be the May, 2019 municipal and school district election in Amarillo.
For more information about the petition drive, or for information on volunteering, please call Michael Green at (806) 463-8471.