On Monday, I officially fulfilled all of my campaign promises, a little over one year into my term. And I'm just getting started.
I ran on several key things, listed below, but it's important to note that these accomplishments were a team effort. I'm just one vote in eight, and I couldn't have done it alone. My deepest thanks to the council members and staff who made it happen.
Adopt the Effective Tax Rate at least two years in a row: with Monday's vote, we did just that, though this year, it's called the No New Revenue Rate
Act on the Plano Tomorrow Plan referendum petition: after nearly five years, this was finally acted on by council last month, and the Plano Tomorrow Plan was repealed. Several months prior to that, though, we began working toward creating a new comprehensive plan--intended to be one which the overwhelming majority of our citizens can get behind
Increase transparency, especially in the budget: this is something I discussed with the new City Manager, Mark Israelson, in our first 1-on-1, and he had much the same idea. He put this into place a full year ago, and we regularly discuss ways to increase transparency
Address Water Quality with Biologically-Active Filtration (BAF): this was also something that had been discussed when I was elected, and I'm pleased to say is moving forward
However, I'm only one-quarter into my term. Don't worry, I'm not going to rest on my laurels. I'm already working on a whole new list of initiatives with my fellow council members:
Campaign Finance Ordinance: with Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Ricciardelli, a draft ordinance will be on the agenda at the next council meeting
Rainy Day Fund: this was another priority for City Manager Israelson, which was hampered by the pandemic, but we're both committed to ensuring this happens
DART Reform: Sales Tax amounts to 8.25% in Plano. 6.25% goes to the state, while 2% is Plano's levy--yet half of that goes straight to DART. Plano residents don't see nearly that value
Traffic Improvements: Plano's traffic is bad. We've re-timed the lights and stepped up road repair while no one is driving, but when normal activity resumes, we need to be prepared. I've asked for exploration of extending dedicated turn lanes, and of implementing flyovers in Plano, to bypass traffic lights if you're not turning
Backyard Hens: What's the matter, Colonel Sanders? Chicken?? Though it's not my initiative, I'm one of the council members championing consideration of an ordinance to permit a small number of backyard hens (NOT roosters!)
Bond and Bond Election Reform: I'm exploring ways to ensure our bond elections and the bonds themselves are as transparent as possible, and are managed as responsibly as possible, no matter who is at the helm in Plano. See my article on municipal bonds for a deeper understanding
And that's just for this next year. Stay tuned...