The Heat Was On Tuesday At City Council Meeting

Another marathon meeting in the books for the Amarillo City Council. 

Tuesday’s meeting lasted about six hours and included money issuances for things like software and agreement extensions.

Mayor Cole Stanley appeared to catch a few folks by surprise by announcing he has contacted an attorney in Austin to provide counsel and advice in areas he and council members struggle in such as Public Records Requests, AEDC and Texas Open Meetings policies. 

Hyde Kelly will serve in that capacity at a cost put forth by Mayor Stanley of $95,000.

However, it was the end of the meeting that provided the fireworks. The Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance was taken up, again, with another public hearing that featured those for, but a growing number of those voicing their concerns and siding with the ‘against’ group. 

At one point, Steve Austin of the initiating committee was facing questions from Councilman Tom Scherlen who wanted to know about the large companies in Amarillo that provide birth control measures as part of their health packages? How does this ordinance impact them? Austin appeared to smile, at which point Scherlen asked, “Please don’t laugh.” Austin later apologized, saying he was smiling but meant no offense by it.

Mayor Stanley sought input prior to seeking votes on both the original ordinance and the amended version. Both were voted down 4-1, councilman Don Tipps being the lone dissenting vote.

The meeting ended with one of the initiating committee members being escorted out, and Austin suggesting to the dais it was his understanding they (the initiating committee) would be provided 20 minutes to meet. Mayor Stanley said they would have to accept his apology and moved to adjourn.

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