Amarillo Matters supports all new council, incumbents react

Amarillo Matters supports all new council, incumbents react

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The political action committee (PAC) Amarillo Matters is spending thousands of dollars to support certain city council candidates, and none of them are incumbents.

The PAC has been lobbying in Austin for things like a vet school for Texas Tech and more TxDOT funding to improve Amarillo.

At the local level, they said they need strong city leaders to have a strong presence in Austin.

Members said they looked at each city council candidate's platform, background and experience and choose who they thought would best move the city forward.

"We've reviewed the candidates, we waited until we saw who all was running, and then it's been an effort to look at both their records, both their platforms and decide who we thought was the best leaders for our community to go forward," said Jason Herrick, a member of Amarillo Matters.

Amarillo Matters has garnered nearly 200 donors, giving thousands of dollars each, who said they want to make Amarillo better.

And many believe electing a brand new council is a step to achieving that goal.

"I think it gets the message out for people to think about who they're voting for," said Ron Boyd, a donor to Amarillo Matters. "Because last election, people got elected that should have never been elected. They all had their own personal agenda...and that just, that doesn't work."

But current city council members see this as a blow to the work they said they've accomplished over the past two years.

Incumbent candidates Mark Nair and Elisha Demerson think a total turnover would hurt the council.

"In more than 100 years of this city's existence there has never...been a summary turnover of all members," said Demerson. "There has always been at least one if not two of an experienced council member that went forward."

Nair supports the overall goal of Amarillo Matters - to lobby for the city - but disagrees that the current council has not helped Amarillo progress.

"This entire city council, we have really tried to progress into the future," said Nair. "It's sort of offensive when I hear, 'hey we need new people to make real progress.' Apparently they've got their own agenda of what they want to do and it's not one that I think is the agenda of the people."

For more on what Amarillo Matters said it stands for, visit their website.

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