Amarillo taxpayers want to know that their tax dollars are being spent wisely. Serving as the Council appointee for the audit committee allows Elaine to be intricately involved in reviewing all aspects of city finances. With constant resource constraints, it is important to evaluate and prioritize needs. Her financial background has helped her carefully analyze the City’s annual budget and provide input into the development of long-term capital improvement planning.
As one of the visionaries behind the Buy the Way, Keep it Local campaign, Elaine works closely with local entrepreneurs, small businesses, the Chamber of Commerce and city leaders to promote shopping local and using local services.
Sales tax dollars directly impact city services, including public safety. Since 2017, sales tax collections steadily increased, resulting in a $1.1 million revenue increase for the City’s general fund. This increase in sales tax collections allowed the City to hire an additional 17 police officers and five firefighters, along with modernizing the 911 call system.
Serving as the Council appointee for the Convention and Visitor Council (CVC), Elaine has helped strengthen the communication among the Council, the Chamber of Commerce and the CVC, working together to increase tourism and related Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) collections. The City is currently considering enhancements to the 50-year-old Amarillo Civic Center to make the most of Amarillo’s position as a destination city. Elaine is serving as Council appointee for this project.
Elaine fully supports the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine to be built in Amarillo. She is hopeful that the necessary operational funding will be secured during the upcoming legislative session and looks forward to working with Texas Tech to make this project a reality.
Economic development and education go hand in hand. It is important that Amarillo develop a highly skilled workforce, which will attract more industries to our area and provide higher wage opportunities for our residents. Elaine supported the THRIVE Scholarship Program, which aims to give Amarillo students a boost into college, and she’ll work with community leaders on future educational efforts.
Since taking office, the current Council has been investing countless hours in establishing sustainable policies that will guide our city for many years. Creating written policy is time consuming and tedious, but it is crucial in providing a solid foundation for future Councils.
Citizens deserve to feel safe in their neighborhood. Properly staffing and equipping first responders is one of Elaine’s top priorities. First responders have a responsibility to protect us all, and City leaders have the responsibility to protect the interests of those men and women. It is also important to take a proactive approach to building stronger relationships between first responders and the public. Increasing the size of our police and fire departments was a major priority during the budget decisions of 2018/2019.
The key to any thriving city is maintaining a good infrastructure. Working to improve and maintain our roads benefits taxpayers and helps attract new businesses to Amarillo. The City has a duty to make sure procedures are in place to ensure that repairs and maintenance are done right the first time and on budget. Proper allocation of funds means not having to face ongoing requests from taxpayers through bond proposals to cover shortfalls.