Ordinance restricting Plano City Council votes involving campaign contributors up for discussion

council chamber
The ordinance was originally sponsored by former Council Member Lily Bao and Place 8 Council Member Rick Smith. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)

The ordinance was originally sponsored by former Council Member Lily Bao and Place 8 Council Member Rick Smith. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)

Plano City Council is discussing amendments to an ordinance that forces council members to withdraw from any vote that may benefit a donor who contributed more than $1,000 to their campaign.

Mayor John Muns and Council Members Kayci Prince, Rick Grady, Maria Tu and Julie Holmer indicated at the July 26 meeting 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.

The ordinance was passed in December in a 4-3 decision. Place 3 Council Member Rick Grady was unavailable to vote at the time. Grady said he does not think the law accomplishes what was intended.

“You could get to a point where the entire council would have to [remove] themselves on an issue and never be able to deliberate because if an individual was now doing a project within the city and that person had donated to everyone over a period," Grady said. "I think the intention was to make much more truthfulness and transparency and openness as to where donations came from. We did not accomplish [that].”

Campaign donations for sitting council members are reported to the city secretary every six months. More frequent campaign finance reports are filed for candidates running for office. Grady said that process holds council members accountable because the contributions are a matter of public record.


The ordinance was originally sponsored by former Council Member Lily Bao and Place 8 Council Member Rick Smith. The measure, Smith said, is not meant to target any specific council member but to avoid a misperception from the community.

“What I intended was two things: One was to eliminate that [perception],” he said. “The second thing I had hoped would happen ... is try to control the crazy amounts of money that is spent and required to run for office. It’s getting ridiculous.”

After the discussion, Muns indicated the city secretary would begin working on potential amendments to the ordinance.

The entire meeting can be viewed here.


MOST RECENT

Plano Mayor John Muns and former Mayor Harry LaRosiliere attended the Sept. 24 groundbreaking event. (Erick Pirayesh/Community Impact Newspaper)
Groundbreaking held for $1 billion Collin Creek Mall redevelopment

The first phase of construction is expected to be complete in 2024.

Food.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit offering limited-time items at Plano locations for chain's 80th anniversary

To celebrate its anniversary, Dickey’s announced the launch of new, limited-time menu items such as Sweet & Smoky Pit-Smoked Wings, Dr Pepper Barbecue Sauce and brisket chili.

The Texas Secretary of State's office has launched an audit of 2020 election results in four of Texas’ largest counties: Harris, Dallas, Tarrant and Collin. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Texas Secretary of State's office announces audit of 2020 election results in Dallas, Collin, Tarrant and Harris counties

In a statement released Sept. 23, the office said it anticipates the state Legislature will fund the process.

Kyle City Council voted 6-1 and approved the new citywide trail master plan that will utilize 2020 bond election funds for trails that will help connect Austin to San Antonio. (Courtesy Pexels)
CI Nation roundup: Perfect Game coming to Cedar Park; Kyle City Council approves trail master plan to connect Austin to San Antonio and more top stories

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Sept. 24.

The West Grove mixed-use development will include about a 4-acre entertainment area called The Hub. (Rendering courtesy city of McKinney)
New mixed-use development planned for McKinney; Frisco raises water, sewer, solid waste rates; and more top news from DFW

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Several parents of New Caney ISD students spoke at the district's Sept. 20 board meetings about recent allegations that a student brought a firearm to Porter High School's Sept. 18 homecoming dance. NCISD Superintendent Matt Calvert stressed that no gunshots were fired at the event, and that the district is investigating the allegations. (Wesley Gardner/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI Nation roundup: Round Rock ISD trustees considered for censuring; New Caney ISD addresses allegations of student with gun at campus event and more top stories

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Sept. 23.

McKinney City Council considered design concepts for future wayfinding signs for the city Sept. 21. (Illustration courtesy city of McKinney)
McKinney eyes designs for wayfinding signs; Plano House of Comedy reschedules opening and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

People in a meeting.
Plano ISD board to allow temporary mask mandate to expire on Sept. 24

The temporary mandate, which allows for medical, religious, philosophical and administrative exemptions, has been in place since Aug. 26.

There are eight statewide propositions Texans will get to decide at the polls Nov. 2. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
8 statewide propositions on Texans' November 2021 ballot and what they mean

Brandon Rottinghaus, the University of Houston’s political science chair, breaks down each Texas proposition before voters head to the polls in November.

The case was proposed at the Sept. 20 planning and zoning meeting, but commissioners agreed to table the matter until Oct. 18. City staff recommended the commission approve the zoning request. (Erick Pirayesh/Community Impact Newspaper)
Mixed-use development proposed for Haggard-owned farmland in Plano

The more than 2-million-square-foot area is one of the largest undeveloped tracts of land in Plano

 Redistricting is one of the items on the Texas Legislature's third special session, and the state Senate released proposed maps on Sept. 18. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Senate releases proposed redistricting maps as special session begins

Redistricting is one of the items on the third special session, and the state Senate released proposed maps on Sept. 18.