The Amarillo City Council sent an important message to voters on Tuesday, just days before the May 4th municipal election.
On Tuesday, the Amarillo City Council voted to appoint individuals to a variety of advisory boards. For the most part, the appointments were nothing to be concerned about, with the exception of two boards - Animal Management & Welfare and the Amarillo Hospital District Board.
Now, let me preface these comments by saying I do not know the appointee to either board and I wish them all of the best in their endeavors in their respective positions. My biggest concern is with the fact that the Amarillo City Council voted to appoint individuals to vacant spots on these boards just four days before the municipal election, when voters could potentially change the entire landscape of the Amarillo City Council. Both of these boards are arguably among the most influential and important in the city, making their role in policy advisory incredibly important. If even one new member is elected to the City Council on May 4th, it could alter the direction of the City Council’s agenda, which would affect one of these two entities.
The vacant spots on both boards should have been decided by the incoming Amarillo City Council, regardless of who that may include. It would not have been a major issue for the City Council to table appointments to these boards for a week, allowing for voters to make their voices heard before these appointments. Especially with the emphasis on issues pertaining to Animal Management & Welfare, postponing the appointments would have been the right thing to do, allowing the public to have a say before making an appointment.
Simply put, the City Council’s decision to make appointments to these boards on Tuesday was a slap in the face to voters. Essentially, the City Council showed a total disregard for voters, and may have actually have circumvented the will of voters who could make a change during Saturday’s election.
It is my opinion that due to the City Council’s total lack of regard for the will of voters, this is yet another reason voters must make a change to the composition of the Amarillo City Council on May 4th.
-Thomas Warren III, Editor-in-Chief