Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Amarillo City Hall runs off the rails -- again

If you thought the stupidity out of Amarillo’s City Hall couldn’t get worse, think again. A story from
ABC 7 News reports that the city is considering making the $3 million Santa Fe Depot, which it bought with taxpayer money, into an “Intermodal Transportation Center.”

Normally I don’t quote a story this extensively, but I’ll make an exception in this case because you’ll have to read the verbiage to see how pathetic this is. The idea seems to have come from Downtown Amarillo Inc., which quoted DAI’s board chairman John Lutz, “We could take all of our transportation assets such as our busing — both private and public, our taxi system, and different things and put them all right here. This way they could be a better resource for the city at large.”

Yes, let’s do that, Mr. Lutz. All the assets, and “different things.” What different things? Like Amtrak? Oh, wait, the passenger train doesn’t stop here anymore. Does “all” include bringing the airport downtown?

Of course, that last little dig is mine, mainly to show how silly, ill-informed and scared the downtown development cabal is running. And if you want some more vague generalizations, check out the quote from Amarillo’s city manager.

“You're going to have the opportunity for many things,” said Jarrett Atkinson, City Manager. “You can take advantage of the space, take advantage of those historic buildings and keep moving forward.”

“Many things.”

“Keep moving forward.”

The city and DAI are grasping at straws, trying to generate some semblance of progress on downtown development. A few weeks ago, it was the Liberty Theater, with misleading information, if not lies, about how that icon of civil rights in Amarillo will be preserved. Now this.

You see, while the city, DAI, the Amarillo Economic Development Corp., the Local Government Corp. and the City Council were financially fornicating with Wallace Bajjali, and getting screwed in without even a kiss, the city sat on its butt doing nothing to get the Southwest Chief rerouted. Or, to explore other options that might have revived rail service for Amarillo. Can’t be done, you say? Look at other states: Illinois, the New England state; ones along the route of the Crescent up the East Coast.

Thanks for ABC 7 News for exposing another problem with a City Council that is at the heart of a mismanaged city.