Update (4:31 p.m. Sept. 20)

Amarillo City Council member Cole Stanley provided the following statement to MyHIghPlains.com surrounding the petition

“This petition meets all requirements by law. It appears the city is choosing to disenfranchise over 12,000 citizens of Amarillo. I am disappointed that the council is refusing to listen to the citizens of Amarillo and yet again silence the voice of the voter.”

Cole Stanley, member of the Amarillo City Council

Update (2:23 p.m. Sept. 20)

In a statement provided to MyHighPlains.com from Amarillo Businessman Alex Fairly, the individual who filed a lawsuit against the city of Amarillo surrounding the ordinance authorizing tax notes for the expansion and renovation fo the Amarillo Civic Center Complex, he said:

“We are evaluating the City’s position. I and many Amarilloans were hopeful that some of our four Council Members would listen to 12,000+ voices. But those 12,000 folk’s message is still clear, so we will move forward – first with a trial two weeks from today, and secondly with preparing a vigorous action to defend the petition’s legitimacy.”

Amarillo Businessman Alex Fairly

Update (5:17 p.m.)

In a statement provided to MyHighPlains.com from Dan Rogers, the Potter County Republican Chair and one of the two citizens who delivered the petition to the city of Amarillo, he said:

“All petitions were presented in booklet form with circulator affidavits attached. We presented them as we were advised by more than one election law attorney. This is another attempt to disenfranchise the voters by elected officials who despise good ordinary people. It is time we take our city and our county back. Now!”

Dan Rogers, Potter County Republican Chair

Original Story:

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the city of Amarillo announced Monday that the city secretary is not authorized to submit the recent referendum petition surrounding the Civic Center funding ordinance because it does not conform to portions of the city charter.

According to a news release from the city, officials from the city of Amarillo said that the petition does not include “several elements in order to be certified and forwarded to City Council for consideration.” Some of the reasons listed included that the petition did not include a valid “affidavit of circulator,” something which officials stressed is mandatory under Article II, Section 23 of the Amarillo City Charter.

A group of Amarillo citizens began the petition process, seeking to overturn Ordinance No. 7985 in August, delivering the petition to Amarillo City Hall on Aug. 29. According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, the petition was reportedly signed by 12,575 individuals, aiming at repealing the ordinance, which issued the use of tax notes to fund improvements and the expansion of the Amarillo Civic Center Complex and to bring that issue back to the voters in an election.

“Cities have no ability to depart from state and City Charter requirements for certifying a petition,” City Secretary Stephanie Coggins said in the release. “These charter requirements were established by the citizens of Amarillo and they must be adhered to. If a petition does not include all the required elements, then by law my office is not authorized to submit it to the City Council.”

For the latest Amarillo news and regional updates, check with MyHighPlains.com and tune in to KAMR Local 4 News at 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00 p.m. and Fox 14 News at 9:00 p.m. CST.

This is a developing story. MyHighPlains.com will update this article as new information becomes available.

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