The people of Amarillo deserve answers from Amarillo's top unelected official.
This week, Amarillo city manager Jared Miller announced during the meeting of the Amarillo City Council that the City of Amarillo would no longer be recording public comment at meetings. Miller made allegations of "personal attacks" as the reason for discontinuing the policy. However, Miller has not explained what constitutes a "personal attack," nor has he elaborated on the penalty for a "personal attack."
While Jared Miller has been avoiding the Amarillo press on this issue, he did make time earlier this week to attack a citizen-led petition drive on ABC 7 Amarillo, outlining why he feels the petitions would be difficult to implement.
Still, while Miller will make time for interviews like this, he won't make time to answer for changing meeting rules that effectively limit citizen participation at City Hall. Why?
Jared Miller serves in a unique position at the City. As city manager, Miller is effectively the chief executive of Amarillo, tasked with implementing policy approved by the City Council. However, in the eyes of this writer, Miller's tenure has seemed to be marked by an air of arrogance, in which citizens are treated less than equal by the people who are supposedly there to serve them.
Miller owes the people of Amarillo answers for why this recording policy change was put into place and how exactly this policy will be enforced. Thus far, Miller has claimed "personal attacks" as the reason, but has failed to deliver any substantial proof to back up his claim. He has also said those violating the policy will be "barred from further audience" at City Council meetings, but has not answered questions on how long these bans will last or how they will be issued.