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'We have to go back to the drawing board’: Mayor Ginger Nelson reflects on local election results

Updated: Nov. 6, 2020 at 11:58 AM CST
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Mayor Ginger Nelson joined the chat this morning to discuss issues facing the city, including the results of this week’s election.

Three propositions were on the ballot this year, but only one was approved by Amarillo voters.

One of the biggest issues on this ballot was Proposition A, which would have approved a $275 million bond for the Amarillo Civic Center and other downtown projects.

“I am disappointed that our civic center proposal didn’t pass,” Mayor Nelson said. “We have a very large building in the heart of our city that’s in disrepair and it is no longer relevant to the original market that it was built for...it’s not competitive and it leaves Amarillo on the sidelines economically.”

Viewers asked the mayor where the city would go from here in relation to the Amarillo Civic Center.

“I heard the voters say not now, not in this package, and I respect that result,” said Mayor Nelson. “So now we go back to the drawing board.”

The mayor also spoke about the passing of Proposition C, concerning the rate at which the mayor and city council meet.

The amendment allows council members to meet no less than 24-times per year, which allows the city council to fulfill half of its previous meeting requirements.

“This will increase the productivity of our staff,” she said. “Early on as mayor I thought ‘we’re spending a lot of time meeting'. We need to stop meeting and start working.”

Some citizens were concerned the reduction in city council meetings would keep the public from engaging with council members, but Nelson says that isn’t the case.

She said better back-and-forth communication with community members can take place outside of the city council meetings, as the council cannot engage with items not on the agenda for that day and many come to discuss comments on other issues.

“Elected officials are absolutely open to listening to all ideas...and we’ve been listening to those ideas,” said Nelson. “If you’re a citizen and you have an idea, I hope you will email me.”

View our full interview with Mayor Nelson to hear more.

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