City secretary will not present Civic Center petition to Amarillo City Council

A petition from a committee seeking to repeal Ordinance No. 7985, which was approved by the City Council in May and involves the issuance of debt for the renovation and expansion of the Amarillo Civic Center, will not be submitted to City Council. 

City officials claim the petition does not conform to the referendum provisions set forth in the City Charter since it did not include a valid Affidavit of Circulator.

“Cities have no ability to depart from state and City Charter requirements for certifying a petition,” said City Secretary Stephanie Coggins. “These charter requirements were established by the citizens of Amarillo and they must be adhered to. If a petition does not include all the required elements, then by law my office is not authorized to submit it to the City Council.”

Amarillo City Council member Cole Stanley said he believes the petition "meets all requirements by law."

"It appears the city is choosing to disenfranchise over 12,000 citizens of Amarillo. I am disappointed that the council is refusing to listen to the citizens of Amarillo and yet again silence the voice of the voter," Stanley said.

According to Texas statute and the City Charter, a valid petition must include several elements in order to be certified and forwarded to City Council for consideration. The elements of the Affidavit of Circulator are provided for in Article II, Section 23 of the City Charter and are mandatory. 

Potter County Republican Chair Dan Rogers was one of the citizens who delivered the petition to the city of Amarillo. He disagrees with the claim the petition was not properly presented to the city.

“All petitions were presented in booklet form with circulator affidavits attached. We presented them as we were advised by more than one election law attorney. This is another attempt to disenfranchise the voters by elected officials who despise good ordinary people," Rogers said.

Amarillo businessman Alex Fairly said "we are evaluating the city’s position" concerning the petition. 

"I and many Amarilloans were hopeful that some of our four council members would listen to 12,000+ voices. But those 12,000 folk’s message is still clear, so we will move forward – first with a trial two weeks from today, and secondly with preparing a vigorous action to defend the petition’s legitimacy," Faily said.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post