Amarillo City Council members decided to start their new tenure off with far more than a bang.
It went off like a volcano.
Place 4 Councilman Mark Nair called for City Manager Jarrett Atkinson’s resignation. He was joined by his pal in Place 3, Randy Burkett. That’s two votes against the manager.
Where does a city councilman’s authority begin and end here? Can one, or two members of a five-member governing body make such a call?
The two men also called for the resignation of Assistant City Manager Vicki Covey, who then agreed to quit.
Given that the assistant city manager is hired by the city manager, do council members have any actual authority to call for a city manager subordinate to resign?
Suppose Atkinson doesn’t quit. Suppose he wants to go to the mat. He then can ask for a public airing of the grievances against him. State open meetings law exemptions do not require that personnel matters be kept secret; they only allow for it.
Would the City Council — in the interest of the transparency on which its three new members campaigned — be willing to discuss all this in the bright light of day?
The city is knee-deep — and maybe even deeper than that — in plans to redevelop its downtown district.
What does all of this mean to the city’s efforts and does it derail it if the top municipal administrator is no longer in the picture?
Change has arrived at City Hall. The new guys said they wanted to shake up the way things had been done.
Something tells me we’re about to see whether we reap the benefits of that change — or pay for it.