AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – The Amarillo City Council published the agenda for its meeting scheduled for Tuesday at 3 p.m., which will include discussions on items including the city manager recruitment process, emergency operations at the Hollywood Road Wastewater Treatment Facility, and another city’s resolution not to enforce “any mandates” regarding masks, vaccinations, or lockdowns imposed nationally or by the state.
According to the published agenda, the city council will discuss city manager recruitment in the wake of the August firing of former City manager Jared Miller, which included a separation agreement to pay Miller more than $730k in severance. While city officials appointed Assistant City Manager Andrew Freeman to fill Miller’s position in the interim, Miller’s permanent replacement has not yet been announced.
Meanwhile, the agenda also noted that city officials will discuss approving multiple emergency projects at the Hollywood Road Wastewater Treatment Facility, which has had at least three spills within the last two weeks that sent a total of more than 462,000 gallons of wastewater into Playa Lake 40. In the last week of September, issues with the plant sent it into emergency operations to remove sludge from the equalization basin, and officials noted that additional improvement projects were upcoming.
The projects listed on the agenda for Tuesday included approving the desludging operations for the Hollywood Road facility and transferring the sludge to the River Road Water Reclamation Facility, as well as the replacement of a motor and a pump at the River Road facility.
Another discussion item for the council listed on the agenda was the City of Odessa resolution stating that the city would not enforce “any mandates, such as masks, vaccinations, or lockdowns, imposed nationally or by the state of Texas.”
While the Odessa resolution appeared to focus on masks, vaccinations, and lockdowns in reference to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was unclear whether the resolution was also posed against other, longstanding vaccine requirements such as those for childcare and school attendance. Because of the nature of the resolution and how it specifically stated the intent to go against state and federal law, specifics about its enforcement were also unclear.
This discussion comes as Texas state lawmakers have set up to reconsider an effort to ban private employers from requiring workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine amid the third special legislative session.
The Amarillo City Council agenda also included non-consent items for officials to consider, including possibly amending the lease agreement with the Texas Panhandle Youth Sports Foundation to remove the Southwest Softball Complex in John Stiff Memorial Park from the leased area.
The full Amarillo City Council meeting agenda can be viewed below. The full agenda packet can be found here.