New Mayor, council members sworn in during Amarillo city council meeting

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 9:28 PM CDT|Updated: May. 16, 2023 at 10:21 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Cole Stanley was sworn in as Amarillo’s 35th mayor and with it comes a farewell to Ginger Nelson and some of the council members.

The room was packed full to witness the end of an era. There were a lot of tears shed and memories shared, but there was also a lot of excitement coming with the new team.

Former Mayor Nelson says, in her six years some of the biggest accomplishments of the city of Amarillo team were the numerous economic wins.

5,000 jobs coming to the city, the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine, the opening of the baseball stadium, and the $24 million deal with AT&T.

However, she says the biggest accomplishment was the rollout of the vaccine clinic.

“Governor Abbott tweeted that we were Amarillo was the model for cities in rolling out their vaccines. We had national recognition for how quickly we were getting shots in arms and we didn’t turn anybody away and I think that’s a great legacy,” says Nelson.

She goes on to say, you can’t go through life without having regrets, and as mayor, she had many; however, her best advice to Cole Stanley would be to keep learning.

“What I really wish we had figured out how to solve was addressing misinformation, because there’s a lot of misinformation in our city,” says Nelson.

Nelson hopes the new council will keep chasing street repair throughout the city.

“I really think we need a street enterprise fund. A dedicated fund every year that goes toward repairing our streets and planning our future infrastructure in the city because we’re growing,” explains Nelson.

Nelson says she is rooting for and excited to see what this team will do, but believes they will struggle most with citizens not wanting to pay taxes.

“So they have to figure out how to do all the things you know, and still balance the budget,” says Nelson.

New City Council Member Place 2, Don Tipps, says he is eager to go to work.

“Actually sitting down at that seat making the hard decisions make really good decisions and just helping him really grow and just be better,” says Tipps

Tipps says topping the agenda is changing the structure of the city council meetings as well as the time they take place.

“We just want the community’s voice heard and if there’s any way that we can do that, that’s great. If we attempt them and they don’t do it, well, then maybe we go back to the other, you know, but we just want more options for the community to be able to engage. That’s what we want,” says Tipps.

The former team shared this, “The success of the new city council means success for Amarillo, and that is all we can hope for.”