Public comment returns to Amarillo City Council

Public comment returns to Amarillo City Council
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - It was a packed house at Amarillo city council this evening as public comment returned after a week long hiatus.

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After what those in attendance are calling a 'clapping controversy' that made headlines statewide, some residents stood at the podium to have their voices heard.

Two weeks ago, an Amarillo man was arrested at council in what those in attendance are calling a 'clapping controversy.'

Last week, city council did not host public comment and focused on reviewing rules for decorum during a meeting.

Shortly after, State Representative Tony Tinderholt from Arlington penned a letter to Mayor Nelson asking her to revisit those policies he believes limit expression.

This week, in front of a packed floor that overflowed into a neighboring room, residents took to the microphone to share their opinion on what's transpired.

"However, it's crucial those conversations are done in both a respectful and a productive manner," said one resident.  "Please don't let outside influences from down state groups who have no interest in our city have any weight on any decision you feel you need to make for the betterment of Amarillo."

"My question is simple, does the council's vision extend to our own community, our own inventors, our own ways of thinking? The answer has been no," said another Amarillo resident.

"Clapping was allowed for the last five, six, seven, eight years. Not unreasonable clapping but it could be controlled by the chair, 'okay, calm down ya'll,' it's just an expression," said another citizen.

"Enact more restrictions against disrespectfulness toward's ya'll. I call this community to unity and I applaud my leadership for their restraint that it has taken on the disrespect it has been thrown at," said an Amarillo resident.

While policy states that council can only discuss things specific to the agenda, Mayor Nelson did thank each person who came up to the podium.

After public comment, city council then continued on to discuss their regular work agenda.

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