The pandemic that has felled so many people around the world also is altering the way governments function.
Elections, for example, are being delayed.
One local election that has caught my eye is slated to occur up yonder in Amarillo, Texas. City officials had planned to stage an election in early May, but the coronavirus pandemic has forced a major postponement until, get this, Nov. 3.
At issue is a bond issue of about $300 million that the city is asking voters to approve. The money will go toward (a) expanding and renovating the 50-plus-year-old Civic Center, (b) sprucing up the old Santa Fe Railroad Depot just east of the Civic Center and (c) relocating City Hall to what I understand is a still-unspecified location.
A May election, which the city — along with the rest of the world — would put too many people in jeopardy of catching the coronavirus. Social distancing mandates that we stay away from each other.
So, now the city is looking at a Nov. 3 election, tentatively, that is.
This is a big deal. Why? Because voters all over the land will be casting ballots for president of the United States on that day. The turnout for Nov. 3 figures to be far greater than it would have been in early May.
Thus, whatever voters decide could be — and should be — considered a significant mandate, even if the results reflect a close tally.
My only concern about the bond issue election, though, rests in what I believe has been a well-kept secret: the location of the new City Hall operation. City officials should make damn sure they divulge where they intend to relocate and what they intend to do in order to make the new site amenable to the kind of government operation it will contain.
I have a few snitches in Amarillo. They do their best to keep me informed of this and/or that development. They tell me that the city is still negotiating a deal for a new downtown site for City Hall.
OK, then. Get the deal done and tell the public. Pronto, man!