By Thomas Warren III, Editor-in-Chief
Last year, Amarillo voters largely defeated Proposition A. And yet our local leaders seem ready to push for the civic center projects included in the tie anyway.
On Tuesday, Amarillo city council will vote on approving a pre-development services agreement with Garfield Public / Private LLC. According to the meeting’s agenda, this $ 494,200 item appears to relate to many of the same projects that were offered to voters last year in Proposal A. Here is a look at the description of the deal. on today’s agenda :
This position for June 22, 2021 is to consider entering into a pre-development services agreement with Garfield Public / Private LLC for their advice and guidance in the planning, design and construction of ” a project consisting of a modern arena, the rehabilitation and expansion of the Amarillo Civic Center complex, the rehabilitation of the Santa Fe depot and associated parking facilities to serve the citizens and businesses of the city and the General public.
The scope of pre-development services includes multiple areas such as assessment of existing conceptual design; update construction cost estimates; analyze the current operations of the civic center; third party review of environmental, geotechnical and market studies; public and stakeholder engagement and preparation of a public / private financing plan for the project. A final report will be presented to City Council at the end of the pre-development services phase.
Now, it should be noted that this element does not mean that a new Civic Center or “modern arena” will be built, that the Santa Fe depot will be rehabilitated, or that additional parking lots will be built. However, it should also be noted that we have been less than a year since the failure of Proposal A and our municipal leaders still appear to be focused on making these projects a reality, despite the sentiments expressed by voters in the election of. November.
Earlier this month, Amarillo city council voted 4-1 to move forward with a new city hall project, paid off by debt that was tied to the backs of taxpayers. This project was also included in the spending program that the November bond was offered to fund. Now we see this deal on the agenda, less than a month after the city council disrespected the voters’ wishes and pushed ahead with the town hall project anyway.
Amarillo should be grateful that Amarillo city councilor Cole Stanley stepped up and voted in favor of taxpayers on the point of town hall, and hopefully he will do so again on that point. However, taxpayers should also remember that Cole Stanley is just a voice, and the Ginger Nelson-led majority on city council has repeatedly shown it has no problem going beyond the will of voters.
If I were a gamer, I would bet my last dollar that this item will be approved on Tuesday, despite voters rejecting the Civic Center Project, the Santa Fe Depot Project, and last year’s parking lot project.
It is a real shame given that our city council cannot respect the will of the voters enough to at least wait more than a year before pushing the project again.
Unfortunately, because Amarillo voters did not come out and vote for Michael Hunt and the Save Amarillo PAC team, voters will be stuck with the Amarillo Matters PAC shenanigans at city hall for yet to come. two years. And I’m sure this is just the second of many actions you’ll see over the next couple of years where election results are broken, taxpayers are ignored and our community is increasingly plunged into the abyss. debt.
Buckle up, Amarillo. It’s going to be a bumpy race.