Amarillo city charter celebrates 100th anniversary

The Amarillo City Charter was written in 1913, and on election day (Nov. 5), Amarillo voters approved all 21 proposed amendments to the city charter, which until now has remained largely unchanged since in its 100 years of existence.

"It's not different that you would look at the constitution of the state or of a country," said city manager Jarrett Atkinson. "That became the founding document of Amarillo. It was a document created by Amarillo, for Amarillo, and that's now lasted us 100 years."

And this evening (Nov. 9), many of those who are most intimately involved with the city's operations and procedures marked the charter's centennial milestone with a special ceremony at the Rick Husband International Airport.

When the charter was first written, Amarillo became one of the first and only cities to adopt a governing process based on a city manager and city council, in a move toward a more open and democratic municipal government.

"Our forefathers really had some insight to set this up," said Amarillo Mayor Paul Harpole. "It really wasn't happening anywhere in the country; so we were one of the first cities, and really the first city in the southwest to do that. So it is significant, and it's carried us very well."