Mayor Ginger Nelson was a Dyer’s Bar-B-Que in Amarillo on Tuesday night, making a pitch to a group of Republican women on why she should earn another two years in office.
In front of a crowd of about thirty people at the High Plains Republican Women dinner, Nelson outlined her platform and why she believes her positions qualify her for another two years. This was Nelson’s first appearance before the group during her two years in the office, officials said during Nelson’s introduction, as she did not appear at the group’s campaign forum during her original run two years ago.
Nelson outlined what she saw as “momentum” during her address, and mentioned her meetings at the White House and at the Governor’s Mansion as examples of her appearances to advocate for Amarilloans. Nelson also discussed her promise to “change the tone” from two years ago.
On public safety, Nelson addressed her thoughts on the issue’s relation of education, saying children in Amarillo must be properly educated, so that they don’t fall into a life of crime. Specifically, Nelson said she believes Amarillo’s children should become skilled laborers to eventually have careers in the city.
“Every time I talk to kids, I tell them, ‘you belong to us,’” Nelson said. “‘We invest in you.’”
Regarding taxes, Nelson appeared to sound open to future tax increases, saying that Amarillo is “starving” in the budget for more funds.
“As a whole, we are starving as a budget with the lowest tax rate for a city this size in Texas,” Nelson said. “What we operate on is half that of other cities.”
Nelson also talked about the hot button issue of trash carts during her speech, saying she believes the new service will benefit Amarillo.
“Once we get over [change], it will be an improvement in service,” Nelson said. “I’ve had so many citizens stop…and tell me, ‘I’m so glad to be rid of the dumpster behind my house.’”
The Mayor went on to say she does not know what is in store for the trash cart service in the future.
“What’s going to happen in 2045? I don’t know,” Nelson said. “Will the whole city have trash carts? I don’t know. I guess you guys can come get me then if I misrepresented something.”
On other issues, Nelson addressed the purchase of a warehouse across the street from the Amarillo Civic Center, saying the warehouse was proper for the storage of Civic Center equipment. Nelson said the City of Amarillo chose not to use other vacant municipally-owned facilities for storage, such as the Santa Fe Depot, due to her hope that something “cooler” will happen to those facilities.
“We have some people looking project wise for a depot,” Nelson said. “It would be a lot cooler than using that space for storage.”
Aside from Nelson, several other candidates were also in attendance. Treva L. Harper and Claudette Smith, both announced City Council candidates, were in attendance, along with incumbent District Clerk Carley Snider and Randall County Commissioner Mark Benton.
Nelson’s stop was made as she approaches re-election season in Amarillo. Nelson will face Smith and former judge Richard Herman in her race. Filing for spots on the ballot ends February 15th.