Mark Nair may becoming a sort of “swing vote” on the Amarillo City Council.
Just as Justice Anthony Kennedy helps determine which direction the Supreme Court tilts on key rulings, so might City Councilman-elect Nair be — in the words of a former president of the United States — a “decider.”
He’s one of three new guys to join the five-member council. He won a runoff election this past Saturday to win his spot on Place 4.
And he’s sounding like someone intent on changing the way business has been done at City Hall.
I remain a bit confused, though, regarding his intentions.
A lengthy newspaper interview published Monday noted a couple of things.
Nair said he doesn’t want to “undo” downtown redevelopments that already are under “contractual obligation.” He does, though, want to rethink the multipurpose event venue and plans to argue that it go before the voters for their approval.
Suppose, then, that voters say “no” to the MPEV. What happens next? Nair referenced the “catalyst projects” that already are under contract: the convention hotel and the parking garage. If the MPEV is torpedoed, does the hotel get built anyway? It’s always been my understanding that the hotel developer’s plans for the Embassy Suites complex is predicated on the MPEV and without the event venue, there’s no need for a parking garage.
It’s all tied together, correct?
Nair deserves congratulations for winning his initial elected office. He presents himself as a thoughtful young man. He said he wants to talk with City Manager Jarrett Atkinson — who he said he doesn’t know — about the problems that have beset the city. Things have to change, Nair said. The water bill SNAFU cannot go uncorrected, he said and he asserts that the manager, as the city’s CEO, is responsible for ensuring the place runs smoothly.
But the folks in charge of it all — the policy team — sit on the City Council. They have to operate as a team, along with the senior city administration. That was the mantra prior to the election.
We now shall see if the new guys can play well with each other — and those who do their bidding.
Mark Nair, the newest of the new fellows, vows to “work for the common good.”
Get busy, gentlemen.