Election Q&A: Two candidates to take part in runoff for Plano City Council Place 7

Candidates for Plano City Council Place 7 answered questions about their goals. (Community Impact staff)
Candidates for Plano City Council Place 7 answered questions about their goals. (Community Impact staff)

Candidates for Plano City Council Place 7 answered questions about their goals. (Community Impact staff)

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On June 5, Plano voters can head to the polls to cast a ballot in a runoff election for City Council's Place 7 seat.

In the May 1 election, no candidate received at least 50% of the votes, so the candidates with the two highest vote totals will proceed to the runoff election. Early voting will be May 24-June 1.


DALLAS-FORT WORTH



Plano City Council Place 7










Julie Holmer



Occupation: entrepreneur and community advocate








Why are you running for Plano City Council?



JH: I am running for Plano City Council because I love my city. I grew up here and am proud to raise my family here. I have taken full advantage of this amazing Plano community by serving on more than 20 different boards and committees in the past 10 years. City Council is the next step in giving back and supporting my community.



What are your qualifications for seeking this office?



JH: I am a graduate of Leadership Plano as well as the Citizens Police and Fire academies. I have a unique perspective as a small-business owner, having owned several businesses, including a brick-and-mortar store. I do not just give lip service to my beliefs—I volunteer my time and energy into improving our community, having actively served on many nonprofit boards as well as serving on my kids’ parent teacher association boards as well as being a longtime member of the Plano Chamber of Commerce. Recently, I was chosen by Plano City Council to serve on the 2020 Complete Count Census Committee. Overall, I have a wide and deep understanding of how our city operates.



If elected, what would be your top priorities?



JH: If elected, my top priority would be to keep Plano strong. First and foremost, this means keeping Plano safe. Funding for our first responders must always be the top priority. We need to make sure we continue to invest in our infrastructure, which includes maintaining our roads, parks, trails and facilities in a financially responsible manner. To keep Plano strong we also have to keep Plano's culture thriving. We need to continue to be a professionally managed city that invests in our arts, our education, and into ensuring that Plano is an accepting and inclusive city for all.



As Plano continues to grow and age, what do you see as the city’s top transportation and infrastructure-related concerns? How do you plan to address them?



JH: Plano will continue to grow and age, and we need to make sure that our transportation keeps up. To ensure Plano's longevity, we need to ensure that people settle near our transportation hubs. We should expand our public transportation, whether that means improving our Dallas Area Rapid Transit access or including people movers to the college and business hubs. Plano is a wonderful city, and we must strategically think of how people move in, out and around.



What do you see as the city's top issues related to housing and commercial real estate development? How do you plan to address them?



JH: We have very little land left to develop here in Plano. We need to make sure that all developments are strategic and shaped by input from our community. Any additional multifamily housing needs to be incorporated into mixed-use development to allow walkability and reduce traffic impact.



What else do you want voters to know about you?



JH: I am proud to say that I have been endorsed by people affiliated with all political parties as well as independents. I believe that City Council should remain a nonpartisan governing body to represent all constituents. When elected, I want everyone to know that I will actively listen with an open mind and heart to all Plano residents and will represent Plano to the best of my abilities.











Chris Robertson



Occupation: teacher








Why are you running for Plano City Council?



CR: My 20 years in the military has me grounded in a philosophy of selfless service. I want to continue to serve, just in a different capacity. I want to represent the best interests of the residents of Plano by serving on the City Council. Additionally, Plano needs leadership they can trust and who believes in transparency.



What are your qualifications for seeking this office?



CR: I am an experienced leader with more than 20 years of active military service. As an officer and platoon leader in the Army deployed to Afghanistan, I was in charge of base security and subsequently responsible for the safety and security of more than 500 soldiers and local Afghan nationals. I was also responsible for managing $18 million of taxpayer funded government property without incident of fraud, waste or abuse. These skills are absolutely critical when dealing with city budgets, managing infrastructure and prioritizing issues according to importance. My time as an Army officer has undoubtedly prepared me to serve you on Plano City Council, and I will do so putting your needs above mine.



If elected, what would be your top priorities?



CR: If elected to Plano City Council, my top priorities will be:



  • law and order: I will work to provide our first responders with the equipment and resources they need to keep Plano families safe. I will always prioritize public safety;

  • veterans: I will support our Plano veteran community, providing solutions, opportunities and resources for veterans;

  • quality of life: The suburban lifestyle and values that make Plano unique are what we must work together to preserve and protect;

  • economic development: I strongly believe in fair incentives for small and large businesses; and

  • taxes: I will work on finding solutions, such as better budgeting, to reduce tax burdens on our citizens.





As Plano continues to grow and age, what do you see as the city’s top transportation and infrastructure-related concerns? How do you plan to address them?



CR: Another one of my priorities is to make sure that we maintain and repair our aging roads and infrastructure. The residents of Plano have come to enjoy a certain quality of life, which must be maintained. I will support innovative solutions such as retiming our traffic lights and new asphalt overlays.



What do you see as the city's top issues related to housing and commercial real estate development? How do you plan to address them?



CR: My family and I decided to make Plano home, as we were attracted by the suburban lifestyle and high quality of life. Plano is continually ranked as one of the best places to live in our country, which means we continue to attract new businesses and homeowners. I will support a new comprehensive plan that encourages smaller homes for our seniors and new businesses.



What else do you want voters to know about you?



CR: I am the husband to a wonderful woman, Larci, who is my rock and confidant and who I have just celebrated 20 years of marriage with. We have two beautiful children, Hannah and Braden. We love spending time in downtown Plano and outside in the green spaces and walking on the trails. I am a middle school social studies teacher.


By William C. Wadsack

Editor, Plano

William joined Community Impact Newspaper in December 2019. He previously served as managing editor of several daily and weekly publications in North Texas and his native state of Louisiana.