City manager steps in it


My trick knee is throbbing once again.

It’s not the weather that’s causing the throb. It’s this nagging sense that Amarillo’s interim city manager has stepped into a proverbial pile of … well, something unpleasant.

Terry Childers placed more than one phone call to the city’s 911 call center to report — get ready! — a lost briefcase. He became agitated at the way the dispatcher handled his call. She wasn’t prompt enough, I guess, or didn’t see the urgency that Childers apparently saw.

He wanted cops sent “immediately” to the hotel from where he reported the missing item. He said he wanted the place “shut down.” He told the dispatcher she “didn’t know” with whom she was dealing.

All in all, it sounds to my ears — and I listened to one of the calls — that Childers overreacted badly.

The brief case, by the way, was recovered. No harm no foul.

But wait. The interim manager got some changes at the call center. Cops and firefighters are now on duty at the site to work alongside the personnel already on duty. Police Chief Robert Taylor said the changes will improve the operation and that he had heard complaints from residents about the call center’s operation. Well, that’s news to me … and perhaps to many others.

This all sounds like the activity that begins with the word “cluster.”

So, what now?

The city is supposed to be looking for a permanent city manager. Childers will return to Oklahoma City when the new person signs on the dotted line.

My trick knee is telling me as well that the City Council — which makes precisely one hiring decision, according to the city charter — ought to fast-track its search for a permanent manager.


2 thoughts on “City manager steps in it”

  1. John, I did an internet search on Mr. Childers. Seems he was City Manager in OKC from 1986 to 1989. He left to start a construction business and when it failed, he declared personal bankruptcy. It’s my understand that his recent employer has been Abilene Christian in Abilene, TX. In my opinion, he needs to be relieved of his duties here in Amarillo immediately and sent back to Abilene or OKC.

    1. This is looking more and more like a severe overreaction on the city mgr’s part. Shame. The sooner the city finds a permanent exec the better. Thank you for your comment.

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