Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Let's ask council incumbents some questions

I have already voted in the City Council, Amarillo College and Amarillo ISD races. As a result, I see
no need to attend the campaign ploy that Paul Harpole is running under the guise of being a mayor’s “town hall meeting.” That meeting was announced using city of Amarillo resources, by the way. The notice came from the city’s community relations coordinator and is posted to the city’s website (

If anyone goes, or knows of anyone going, please feel free to circulate these to pose to Harpole. In fact, if anyone encounters a city incumbent anywhere, perhaps these would be good questions to ask.

Why did the council ignore The Amarillo Independent’s findings about Wallace Bajjali? If The Amarillo Independent wasn’t good enough, why go to a law firm to investigate? Why not do your own due diligence?

Why did Alan Taylor retire? Was there any truth to the rumor that he disagreed with the downtown plan?

The Strategic Action Plan effort had fewer than 1,000 participants. Why did the City Council consider that representative of the city?

Why was the Herring not included in the land use planning? Why has the City Council ignored the Herring Hotel as a resource for conventions? Who is behind the squeeze play on the Herring?

What happened to the “citizen vote” that was promised? With such a pathetic voter turnout in 2013, how can you justify that this was a mandate or endorsement of the ongoing plans?

If the new hotel is such a strong asset, why does it need to be protected by a non-compete clause? Or revenue guarantees?

How does city ownership of the hotel square with this community’s prevailing Libertarian or Republican ideals of a free market, a market where government doesn’t pick winners and losers?

How is it that the City Council ignored university studies that showed the very cookie-cutter plans that Wallace Bajjali brought to you don’t result in economic development?

How can the city contract with the Southern Independent League without a city-owned stadium to play in?

Why does the City Council and city management stonewall public records requests?

Why does the City Council protect the Amarillo Economic Development Corp.’s and Downtown Amarillo Inc.’s incompetence?