A young woman stood before the Amarillo City Council the other evening and began to challenge one of the newly elected council members.
The video of that exchange is attached here:
It appears quite possible that we might have been seen a precursor to what we can expect as the debate over whether to build a multipurpose event venue downtown gets underway.
The councilman, Randy Burkett, ended up telling the young woman that he didn’t intend to get into a “shouting match with a teenager.” He was more than a tad condescending to the individual, one of his “bosses,” if you will.
It might be that the most curious response to something the young woman asked was that Burkett said it isn’t his job to come up with ideas regarding the planned renovation of downtown Amarillo. He doesn’t like the MPEV and I’d bet real American money he’ll vote “no” on the project when it comes to a vote in November.
But the woman asked him if he had any alternatives to the MPEV. He said, essentially, “It’s not my job.”
Uh, councilman? Yes it is, sir.
Burkett’s job isn’t quite as simple as he seemed to portray it Tuesday evening in that rather peculiar exchange.
You’ve heard the saying, I’m sure, that it’s good to “Hope for the best but expect the worst” when important events are about to occur. Amarillo is going to engage in an important community debate in the next few weeks involving the future of its downtown revitalization effort.
A group of young people, calling themselves the Amarillo Millennial Movement, has formed to become engaged in that debate. These young individuals say they support the downtown project and want their voices to be heard. With all the grousing and grumbling we hear from old folks about their concern that younger individuals don’t care about their community, it’s refreshing to watch a group of young Amarillo residents care enough to form a political wing dedicated to improving their city.
So, let’s have that debate.
While we’re at it, let’s respect everyone willing to engage in that debate. Or, as the Millennial Movement said on its Facebook page: “We want to be able to go to City Council meetings without being insulted. We want people to recognize that we are a serious force in Amarillo.”