City to change Amarillo Council meeting times to mornings
AMARILLO, Texas (KVII) —
It's been quite the talker throughout Amarillo, and now it's officially happening. The time for City Council meetings is being changed from evening to seven in the morning.
The City says it has a good reason for doing this. It will be just be a 90-day trail period to see how things go, but regular City Council goers are not happy.
Now having to get up bright and early, people who go to City Council will feel the busy rush of mornings before work or even school, to make it by seven in the morning.
"The better choice would be to leave matters as is, but there may be other details that come into play that we haven't heard yet," said Amarillo neighbor, Robert Goodrich.
Some regulars who attend meetings like Goodrich, are being patient to watch the city's plans unfold. But others like Michael Fisher feel the city is trying to silence neighbors by scheduling meetings at a time that he feels is less convenient for everyone.
"And that's what this is, let's just get this over with," said Fisher, expressing how he feels the city is approaching this new change. "[If] nobody comes, we can get on to business, [and] save ourselves 30 minutes of our day. "
"But guess what? Mike is going to be there," said Fisher.
Amarillo's City Manger, Jared Miller said this time change will make it easier to limit city employee overtime, comp time and flex time. He said these things all add up to be expensive.
"We're just going to see how it works out, there's a lot of cities that meet after five, there's a number of cities that don't, obviously it's in the minority," said Miller. "But it's not completely outside of the bounds."
Miller said the public comment portion will be right off-the-bat, and that by moving it to the morning, it will be more separate from the work day than it is now.
"Obviously we're not trying to silence people," said Miller. "I would say that no matter what time we choose for public comment, there's going to be people that cannot come."
Miller said they will work to still give everyone a voice.
"We're going to do the very best we can to accommodate peoples' needs," he said. "If they can't make it for public comment, obviously we will be available to receive their input, and make sure that, that input is provided to the City Council."
Miller said to make up for any inconvenience, city staff will be available for people to talk to via phone, comments on the city's website and by making appointment. He said September 4th, will be the first 7 am meeting time.