There’s been so much talk — much of it unfounded — about secrecy, lack of communication and even some nefarious motives associated with downtown Amarillo’s revitalization.
Well, tonight at 5:30, at the North Branch Library, Mayor Paul Harpole is going to expose himself — quite likely — to perhaps some more of that kind of disinformation.
He’s going to speak to residents who come to the library about some ongoing city projects. Yep, they’ll include downtown work, state highway construction, parks, perhaps some utility billing issues.
Then he’s going to open the floor up to questions.
I’m pretty sure residents will come prepared to pepper the mayor with questions about downtown, which likely will dominate the nature of the inquiries from the public.
I mention this because Harpole has taken some unfair criticism in recent months.
It’s come from individuals who haven’t been paying attention. The mayor, City Council members, senior city administrators, business leaders, civic leaders and anyone else involved in trying to move the downtown project forward have been talking to us about their vision for the city and trying to sell us on the notion that they have the city’s best interests at heart.
The naysayers haven’t listened. They don’t care to listen. They care instead to hear their own voices and aren’t going to be persuaded of anything that goes against their ingrained opposition to the kind of change being discussed for our city.
I understand fully that the contention of closed-mindedness goes the other direction as well.
For now, I am willing to give the mayor credit for seeking to push the city toward something quite different and exciting as it looks toward the future.
I also am willing to salute him for exposing himself to the barbs that are sure to come flying at him.