Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Globe-News misleads citizen on city tax issue

On Aug. 23, the Amarillo City Commission published a notice that commissioners contemplated raising property taxes 8 percent, with consideration of the required two votes coming at meetings Sept. 10 and Sept. 17.

Readers of the local shill for the city of Amarillo, a former newspaper that has become a click whore, found an editorial Sunday that was more incomprehensible and misguided than the usual drivel. As best I can tell, the main points the poorly written piece tried to convey were:

  • The city of Amarillodoesn’t hide these decisions and has handled this openly and above board.
  • “No one” showed up to speak against the proposed tax hike except Joe Kirkwood, a former Potter County commissioner.
  • People will complain after the fact that the City Commission didn’t listen to the public.

It’s true that the city has given citizens plenty of notice for the upcoming vote. But it’s not true at all that Kirkwood was the only opponent to the tax hike. Bill Summerford and others along with Kirkwood have fought the imposition of more taxes and a video of the Aug. 27 City Commission meeting will show that.

The piece in the Amarillo Globe-News sidesteps another inconvenient truth: Commission Chambers could be standing room only in opposition to something the commissioners’ plans, and it won’t make a damn bit of difference. The history of the City Commission’ actions, at least since I’ve watched it closely and especially since 2008, has been to bull ahead. This is a juggernaut and it’s hard to see how it can be stopped short of a huge turnout at the next city elections with a slate of candidates to take the city in another direction.

I don’t see that happening. But I’d love to see it.