Top Ten Priorities
The property tax issue in Plano--and the rest of Texas--is out of control. Plano's city property taxes on existing homeowners increased 40% in just the five years from 2014-2019.
In 2020, new legislation passed by the Texas Legislature will limit the extent to which local taxing authorities (cites, counties, school districts, etc.) can raise your taxes without you being able to vote on it; for cities, that's 3.5% per year, but I'm proud to say we didn't wait for January 1. As one of my first acts in office, I'm proud to have kept taxes flat for the first time in 24 years. That's right--no new taxes!
Get educated in the future. Some boast about lowering the tax rate while in reality, your actual tax burden has increased. Do you care about the rate, which is just a ratio? Or do you care about how much of your actual money is going to the tax man?
When questioned, cities point the finger at the School Districts, saying, "They take even more in taxes," and the School Districts points the finger at "Robin Hood," which takes 1/3 of the School District tax revenue, and everyone points the finger at the County Appraisal District whose only job is to try to figure out the market value of your home.
Most advocate taking ever-more of your money--money you could use for your children's education or your own retirement--but few champion responsible stewardship of your tax dollars to drive maximum value. I do.
The #1 job of any city is public safety, and I'll make sure our brave men and women in Police and Fire have both the coverage and the equipment they need to continue to make Plano one of America's Safest Cities. I started this year by voting to approve full funding of Police and Fire, with a pay increase.
Population Density & Urbanization
Plano already has the 2nd highest population density of any city in Texas our size or larger. You can feel it in the worsening traffic, and greater density means greater strain on city services. This came to a head with the contention over the Plano Tomorrow Plan--the comprehensive plan which has been tied up in a lawsuit for the past four years.
One of my very next acts on council was to push for a new comprehensive plan, dubbed Plano United 2050, which is now in the works, including the creation of an ad hoc citizen committee to ensure the plan is reflective of the people of Plano.
We want Plano to continue to be a beacon to people all around the world, and rather than give the signal of "Full steam ahead!" to increasing urbanization and growth, I will work to ensure the growth we do have is measured and carefully managed to ensure that whether you've been in Plano all your life, or are new to the Plano family, the attractiveness of our community and the quality of life that you came for to begin with are preserved and enhanced.
The chlorine burn comes every spring. A 2019 Herald Banner article says, "While a nuisance and possibly worse for those with a high sensitivity to chlorine, NTMWD officials maintain that the chlorine levels are well within safe standards”
I don’t expect my water to be “a nuisance or possibly worse.” I expect it to be clean, pure, and safe at ALL times, and I will fight hard to make sure the North Texas Municipal Water District implements bio-filters in a timely fashion and is subject to the stringent oversight for which the area City Councils are responsible.
Transparency & Accountability
Citizen participation in local government is alarmingly low. Part of this is because it's difficult for citizens, with our busy lives, to follow what's going on--especially with budget and taxes. I want to foster as much citizen engagement in our local government as possible, ensuring everything is out in the open, and closed meetings are strictly limited to the provisions in the Texas Open Meetings Act.
The City Council's #1 job is oversight, and when it comes to taxpayers understanding where their money is going, I'll work to make the process as transparent as possible, so the people can hold their elected representatives fully accountable.