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City rejects petitions on drainage utility and budget

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Amarillo, Texas - Amarillo City Commissioners rejected two petitions regarding the city's drainage fees and budget.

They're considered to be improper ballot initiatives and would violate various rulings by Texas courts that limit the power of initiative and referendum according to the city's statement on two petitions.

The first petition is to repeal the drainage utility and refund collected fees, and the second would limit annual growth of the city's budget based on population and consumer price index. But both were unanimously voted down for the first time in eight years.

Petition organizers say they believe there is more behind the rejection than supposed laws.

"When initiative referendum led by citizens that meet the requirements of the city charter and state law for the required number of signatures are denied before the city commission, the opportunity to vote on issues, then what kind of government do we have in Amarillo," William Sumerford, a petition organizer says.

Sumerford says they're not done yet. They will still be exploring other venues.

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