One Amarillo businessman is looking to give voters a say on the Amarillo City Council’s plan to move forward with building a new city hall, despite the project’s defeat last year.
Craig Gualtiere, owner of a coffee shop chain and former Randall County commissioner, announced on social media this week that he is intending to gather enough signatures from voters on a petition to force the city hall item to be placed on the ballot. Gualtiere said in a social media post that the item is not about whether citizens support or oppose the item but is rather about giving taxpayers the opportunity to have a say on the $35 million project.
“I need 5,600 signatures to allow you the taxpayers to vote on whether you want to build and pay for a $35 million city hall,” Gualtiere said. “This petition is not about being for or against, it’s just to have your right to vote on it. I need your help to make this happen and make history. This has never been done before in Amarillo.”
His petition drive is the first formal attempt to place an item on a municipal ballot in Amarillo through petitions since 2018. That year, a group of taxpayers attempted to gather enough signatures to place six items on the ballot but were ultimately unsuccessful in collecting the proper number of signatures. Organizers later stated that their two most successful petitions—to establish a no-kill animal shelter and to repeal red-light camera contracts—received over half the necessary signatures.
Additionally, Gualtiere told Texas Scorecard he has filed a lawsuit to dispute the validity of the city council’s use of certificates of obligation for the new city hall project. While the petition for the ballot issue is important, Gualtiere said he believes the lawsuit is the most
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