Oh, I really and truly dislike doing this, but I’m going to do something that goes against my grain.
I want to call out my former employer on a key political matter.
The Amarillo Globe-News today published an editorial that was spot-on. It said that a vote — if it comes — that opposes the multipurpose event venue planned for downtown Amarillo would scuttle the city’s progress for years to come.
It’s in the attached right here. Take a look.
OK, having endorsed the paper’s editorial policy on the city’s downtown redevelopment proposals, I have a question to pose to my former employer.
Shouldn’t you to come to grips publicly with the recommendations you made in the May 9 municipal election that well might have helped elect three new members to the City Council, two of whom you’ve criticized roundly since they took office?
I ask that question with some trepidation. If the role was reversed — and I had survived a company “reorganization” scheme in the summer of 2012 — I might not care a damn bit what a former editor would have to say about the job I’m doing. Now that I’m on the outside looking in, well, I feel compelled to pose the question to my former colleagues.
The paper backed the candidacies of Mark Nair, Randy Burkett and Elisha Demerson in the race for the City Council. It offered no recommendation for mayor, even though the incumbent, Paul Harpole, was far superior to his challenger. The paper backed just one incumbent council member, Dr. Brian Eades.
Two of the three new council members — Demerson and Burkett — have taken serious shots from the paper over what the Globe-News has described as uninformed comments and votes on public policy matters. Nair, meanwhile, has been praised for asking relevant questions about the downtown projects at an informational meeting the other day. Nair also has called for the resignation of City Manager Jarrett Atkinson, who’s been a critical player in the downtown revitalization effort.
The paper backed the three “candidates of change” for the City Council. All three of them made their intentions clear. They want change at City Hall and they want it now. Surely they informed the paper’s editorial board of their positions when they interviewed for the offices they were seeking. Indeed, having sat through many of those over more than three decades in daily print journalism — in Amarillo and elsewhere — I know how that process works.
The newspaper has taken the correct position with regard to downtown revival efforts.
However, this resident of Amarillo — that would be me — is having trouble squaring the Globe-News’s backing of the three change agents with its view that the MPEV needs building and that it is essential to keep the downtown plan moving forward.
I don’t intend to diagnose anything here, but I am sensing a bit of editorial schizophrenia.