Keep it in the open, City Council

The Amarillo City Council agenda for Tuesday has been posted.

It’s in this link:

As you scan it you’ll notice that the council plans to discuss City Manager Jarrett Atkinson’s “status” and requests for his resignation. The item is posted as part of its open session. Not in closed, or executive session, which the Texas Open Meetings Act allows.

Here’s what I think ought to happen.

I believe the council should keep the item out there, to be discussed in full public view — if Atkinson agrees.

Why? Well, the call for his resignation came a few days ago in fairly dramatic fashion — and it was done publicly. The council’s newest member, Mark Nair, had taken his oath that day. Then he said, in public, that Atkinson should resign.

Nair is an agent of change, according to the election results for Place 4. So, by golly, he wants change and he wants it sooner rather than later.

So, why not allow a full public airing of the gripes against the city manager? State law allows it. It doesn’t require governmental bodies to meet in private; it merely allows them to do so. “Personnel” is one of those items that can be discussed in secret.

Nair and fellow new council members Elisha Demerson and Randy Burkett all seem to think a change at the top of the city administration is in order.

Why? Let’s hear it, gentlemen.

You’ve called for “transparency.” Here’s your chance to deliver the goods.

Oh, and be sure to let the city manager answer whatever assertions you intend to make point by point.


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