Some tense moments during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, including one council member seeking answers to a couple of items.

Mayor Cole Stanley was late in arriving, having attended a funeral. Mayor Pro Tem, Place 1 council member Don Tipps, got things started. 

While considering the Consent Agenda Items, Tipps asked if there were any questions from dais. Councilman Les Simpson then asked to have two items removed for further discussion.

They were the agreement with Tickets.com, which currently provides the ticketing system and support for the Civic Center Box Office. The other was an agreement with a local business to provide tree management and maintenance in conjunction with the Parks and Recreation department.

The Tickets.com agreement is for 5 years with the option of 2 additional 2 year extensions and had a total of $1.7 million listed for cost. The Amarillo Arborlogical, Inc. agreement is for 4 years and a fee not to exceed $1.8 million.

The root of Simpson’s questions and concern appeared to be council getting caught off guard at times with short-notice needs, noting the rolling agenda really had no information concerning the ticketing system agreement. “You kinda put council sometimes; when you kinda put us in these deadline crunches,” he told Interim Assistant City Manager/CFO Laura Storrs, adding later, “When it comes to bidding and that kind of stuff, you know, just kinda puts council in a little bit of a position.”

No action was taken on the Tickets.com item. Council did approve the Amarillo Arborlogical, Inc. agreement with a 5-0 vote.

Three firms seeking to assist in the search for Amarillo’s next City Manager made Zoom presentations. Afterward. the council chose to table any decision to the next meeting, set for Jan. 23.