Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Lessons from the sessions

Advance Amarillo is on Facebook crowing about the great turn out and support for the Wallace Bajjali-Downtown Amarillo Inc. plan for downtown development.

“A big thank you to everyone who voiced their support for the plans to revitalize downtown today, it was a good day!” reads the post. And one of the supporters, a Sally Jennings, responded, “Today was a great day for the citizens of Amarillo!! Those that want to create and do something good and make this a great city spoke up and were heard. 99% positive comments!!!!”

Here are some major takeaways about the Wednesday session.

It is a dog and pony show

As I begin to write this at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday as I follow the ABC 7 News/KVII live streaming, Richard Brown, one of the key players on the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, Local Government Corp. and the lawyer who helped establish Downtown Amarillo Inc., is wrapping up his presentation.

It is now 3¾-hours past the time for public comment. It is a typical ploy to wear down the opposition to the topic of this. Further, the three-minute limit is a further ploy to stifle opposition to the agenda of the dog-and-pony show.

I urge the new councilors to stand strong on this.

I also know that the City Council has the power to conduct an investigation, using subpoena power and ability to put witnesses under oath. I urge them to do so to drill further down on some of the presentations today.

And so it begins …. change at Amarillo City Hall -UPDATED

The winds of change are sweeping through City Hall faster than a lot of people would have predicted.

Just hours after his installation as a city councilor, Mark Nair joined with Elisha Demerson and Randy Burkett to call for City Manager Jarrett Atkinson’s resignation and the resignation of the board of the Amarillo Economic Development Corp., according to ABC 7 News, which reported this first. Other media have jumped in to flesh out the story.

Mayor Paul Harpole and Councilor Brian Eades are in no position to halt the long-overdue clean-up of City Hall.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Ken Paxton issues a hateful opinion - and Reminds us of George Wallace

Ken Paxton, Texas’ criminally indicted attorney general, has issued an opinion that would, it seems, be an obstruction of justice and a contravention of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling making every citizen of this country equal under the law — allowing same sex partners to enjoy the rights of conferred with a state-sanctioned marriage.

Paxton’s opinion also assured those county clerks with religious opposition to issuing marriage license to same sex couples that a raft of lawyers are standing by to assist those clerks and Paxton in his obstruction of justice and violation of his and their oaths of office. The opinion arises out of a request for “guidance” from Dan Patrick, the hate-mongering lieutenant governor, although it’s unclear why and how Patrick would be impacted by this ruling. According to the hateful pressrelease, Paxton implies that religious freedom is threatened.

More Political Pornography

When the Local Government Corp. announced recently that it would join with the City Council, Downtown Amarillo Inc., Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone and others in a community meeting on July 1, TIRZ Chairman Richard Brown and others represented the meeting as one seeking input and discussion. It turns out now as a story unfolds in the AmarilloGlobe-News and on at least two Facebook pages (here and here), that this meeting is another ploy at propaganda to shove the Wallace Bajjali-Downtown Amarillo Inc. plan down our throats.

While the first clue that the meeting Wednesday wasn’t really for community input came from reports about Mayor Paul Harpole’s “Town Hall” meetings, at which he has been reported to reject an election on the Wallace Bajjali-DAI stadium, clear confirmation arrived Sunday with the story referenced above.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Waiting for an explanationi

The Supreme Court rulings on the Affordable Care Act on Thursday and on gay marriage have, rightfully, overwhelms the media — social, mainstream and lamestream. But in doing so, the local media have missed another story of some import, one that gives credence to the case that Downtown Amarillo Inc. and Amarillo City Council’s old guard has mislead us on downtown development.

In all the uproar Thursday, we received a press release from one Hayley Sitz, of the firm Weber Shandwick, announcing the commencement of construction of the new Xcel office building in downtown. The building is actually being developed by the Opus Group.

None of the local media have reported on this little announcement, despite the posting Thursday. So, I bring it up again. Why no coverage? And why no attempt to get DAI head Melissa Dailey and Mayor Paul Harpole and Councilman Brian Eades to reconcile their comments with the start of construction?

Love wins

To go on my blogs shortly:

An Open Letter to Greg Abbott, Ken Paxton and Myriad Others,

For the second time within a week, the United States Supreme Court has ruled on matters that you have strongly opposed. The first ruling was the declaration the Affordable Care Act was constitutional. Today, a majority of the justices ruled that the equal protection provisions of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution applied to everyone.

In your opposition to both of these measures, you have fomented hatred and lies, reflecting an indecency of human spirit and a hypocritical repudiation of the true message of Jesus Christ — a message which you try to convince us you so fervently embrace. Looking at your rhetoric, you fail.