After a procession of impassioned comments from Plano residents and an extended back-and-forth between City Council during its Aug. 9 meeting, the decision to change or repeal an ordinance concerning campaign contributions was pushed to a later date.

Mayor John Muns said council would hold a future work session to discuss potential amendments to the ordinance. It requires council members to withdraw from any vote that may benefit a donor who contributed more than $1,000 to their election campaign.

At a previous July 26 council meeting, Muns, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Maria Tu and Council Members Kayci Prince, Rick Grady and Julie Holmer indicated they would be in favor of repealing or amending the ordinance. Council Members Rick Smith, Shelby Williams and Anthony Ricciardelli expressed willingness to discuss potential changes but said they would not be in favor of a repeal.

In response, nearly 30 Plano residents spoke at the Aug. 9 meeting, nearly all of whom were in favor of keeping the ordinance.

Among the speakers was former Council Member Lily Bao, who lost the mayoral race to Muns during the May election, and Justin Adcock, who lost the Place 4 race to Prince during the runoff election.

The ordinance was originally passed last December in a 4-3 decision. Grady was absent for the vote.

Ricciardelli said he does not believe council members are influenced by campaign donations, but the ordinance is still important.

“Repealing this ordinance would damage public confidence in this council,” he said. “I agree this ordinance is not perfect ... but rather than throw our hands up and give up, let’s make it better.”

The ordinance was originally sponsored by Bao and Smith.

“I am shocked by what is going on right now, that this is even on the agenda,” Bao said at the meeting. “This is a landmark ordinance, really one of the best we have had.”

Tu said the ordinance should be repealed or amended because it is difficult to enforce and does not have “enough teeth.”

“I just don’t believe any type of ordinance ... with no penalty, should ever be [passed],” Tu said. “I wanted something that was stronger.”

Tu proposed two changes to the ordinance, one that would enforce an all-encompassing limit on campaign contributions by individuals, companies and political action committees.

“We want to hold our elected officials accountable,” Tu said. “So, make it accountable. Make it so it penalizes them.Make it so it penalizes me.”

Grady said one flaw of the ordinance is that an individual can give $1,000 but so can their spouse and their child and so on.

“To me, that’s not right,” Grady said. “When I start seeing those duplications, it is a little bit of collusion that a group of people have gotten together and decided, ‘This is how much were going to give, and we’re going to give it in steps.’”

Grady said the ordinance also doesn’t address the amount of donations candidates receive from entities outside of Plano.

“When I see donations coming in from ... Andover, Massachusetts, and California and Colorado and the state of Washington,” Grady said. “I begin to wonder what vested interest they have in the city of Plano.”

A date has not yet been announced for the work session that will include a discussion on amendments to the bill. To view the entire ordinance, click here.