AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – During a meeting on Tuesday afternoon, the Amarillo City Council officially declared the results of the May 6 municipal elections and swore in three out of five incoming City Council members, as well as ordered the runoff elections for the two still-contested seats.
The Amarillo City Council met at 1 p.m. to officiate the municipal election results from May 6, order runoff elections for June 24, and designate polling locations. This comes after neither of the races for the Place One and Place Four seats on the Amarillo City Council resulted in a frontrunner receiving a majority of the vote.
After the Amarillo City Council voted to approve that resolution, the outgoing council made remarks to the citizens of Amarillo and wished the incoming council luck.
“Today, I am filled with mixed emotions. on the one hand, I am proud of the work we have accomplished together in my six years on the city council, on the other hand, I am sad to leave this position that has meant so much to me… I extend my congratulations to Cole Stanley and the newly elected city council. I believe they will work to make our city a better place and I wish them all the best as they take on this huge responsibility,” said outgoing City of Amarillo Councilmember Place Two Freda Powell.
“I am so humbled by the citizens of Amarillo that they would choose me to represent them and serve them on the city council these past six years. it has been an honor… I can’t even put it into words. I’ve had to make the hardest decisions and the easiest decisions of my life and there is not much looking back that I would change.” I am so grateful to have meant so many people that are for Amarillo. This service is so worth it. any of you all who are sitting out there considering it, it’s worth it… incoming city council, know I will be praying for you guys. I will be rooting for your success because your success means Amarillo succeeds,” said outgoing City of Amarillo Councilmember Place Three Dr. Eddy Sauer.
Former Mayor Ginger Nelson would thank all of the council members that served alongside her and addressed the chamber.
“If I didn’t love you people so much, this would be easier…the eyes of the nation are on us and it is our reputation that we are building… Amarillo, our engine is running and our tank is full. What a great time to be living in Amarillo, Texas… I have a lot of hope and excitement about the journey that’s in front of us as a city,” said Nelson.
The outgoing council would also thank the employees and staff of the City of Amarillo for all they do.
After the emotional speeches from the outgoing council, the new council of Amarillo City Council Place Two Don Tipps, Amarillo City Council Place Three Tom Scherlen, and Mayor Cole Stanley took the oath of office surrounded by family and friends.
After being sworn in, the new council would thank the outgoing council and address their future for Amarillo.
“One of my top priorities is to promote economic development in Amarillo. I will work closely with local businesses and entrepreneurs, and developers to create an environment that encourages growth and job creation… as your councilman, I will also commit to prioritizing public safety, our citizens deserve to feel safe in their neighborhoods, workspaces, and public spaces. I will collaborate with law enforcement agencies, community organizations, and residents to develop efficient strategies to address crime in the community,” said City of Amarillo Councilmember Place Two Don Tipps.
“I felt the challenges delivered today by the outgoing council. They challenged us to a job, they challenged us to an opportunity to grow upon what they have done and I take that challenge seriously… we are going to make some good decisions, we’ll make some bad decisions, but I’m sure I’ll live with any decision I make and thank you with entrusting your vote to me,” said City of Amarillo Councilmember Place Three Tom Scherlen.
“We have some large problems, we have some big issues. We are a big town and we are growing really fast and with growth comes growing pains. So I would ask for two things from you today, your prayers and your patience. As we set out on this, I pray and I ask for your patience to give us an opportunity to serve you well and to get down in the trenches and to get the work done,” said Stanley.
Stanley added some changes are going to be made to how the council does business.
“I think you’ll see in this next council meeting, you’ll see, maybe a few changes in which the way we run the meeting that will have to do a lot with what we are trying to do in making sure our citizen’s voices are heard, that we are listening to them, that we are working together as more of a team, that we are doing business out in front of our community and things are a little bit more organic… growth is the vision outside of that, what we got to focus on is how do we grow at the pace at which Amarillo is prepared to grow and how do we do that in the budget cycle that is coming up and prioritize fire, police, and streets,” said Stanley.
He said this council wants to be open and do business in front of the public.
“You are going to see lots of called meetings, lots of public meetings, lots of workshops, and things that we can do together where we may not say everything exactly like you want it said, but it’s just genuine, heartfelt. We are asking questions and we are all learning together,” said Stanley.
As noted in previous reports on MyHighPlains.com, Josh Craft and Dean Crump will face off in June for the Place One seat and Les Simpson and Claudette Smith will compete for Place Four. In the meantime, Place One is expected to remain vacant in the runup to the elections and outgoing Amarillo City Councilmember Howard Smith will temporarily fill Place Four.
Place One will not be filled in the interim because the current official holding the seat, Stanley, was sworn in on Tuesday as the new Mayor of Amarillo.
Further results from the May 6, 2023, municipal elections can be found here.
This is a developing story. MyHighPlains.com will update this article as new information becomes available.
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