Collin County Politics: Let Us Work Together

June 28, 2022

Picture: Democrats Kim Vaught and Susie Machemehl support the Pride story time at the McKinney Library.

Covid Update: Collin County has 227,166 confirmed Covid cases. That’s 3,159 more cases than I reported last week and 1,514 of our Collin residents have died (4 additional deaths). That’s a sharp increase in both cases and deaths. I’m also hearing a lot of anecdotal stories about numerous people getting Covid, some for the first time. For those who haven’t been masking up, it’s time to start again!

Commissioner’s Court: Duncan Webb was absent from their 24-minute meeting last week. The “content” was boring but it got more fun later. The only thing they discussed was a non-issue they thought would make them look objective and fair, as if those who are knowledgeable will be fooled. Newsflash: we aren’t! They also had a 28-minute executive session right before Public Comments. This is not accidental; it’s an intentional obstacle to make it more difficult for citizens to watch and/or participate in the meetings. It isn’t bad enough that their meetings are always held in the middle of a workday but now people have to wait a long time even to even speak. It’s infuriating and antithetical to public service.

As usual, the Public Comments section is where the action happened. The awesome Josh Murray (if he doesn’t get elected to replace Chris Hill, it will be a crime!) pointed out they were holding a meeting on Juneteenth which is a federal holiday. Both Denton and Dallas County Commissioner Courts were closed but apparently, Collin County doesn’t consider Juneteenth a real holiday. I’m shocked. He suggested they add this holiday into their budget so county employees can have the day off as they should. I’m so glad he called this out! They treat their employees so terribly, I’m amazed they have any! More on that below.

Josh spoke again about needing a policy to ensure elected officials cannot use personal emails for official business. To wit: Josh has made 3 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for information related to Hill’s emails but hasn’t gotten anywhere since Hill sends out minimal emails using his official address. It’s so amusing to watch Hill refuse to look at Josh. He tried to interrupt but stopped when it was clear Josh was going to continue talking. Josh mentioned that, when Hill eavesdropped on Josh’s conversation with County Administrator Bill Bilyeu, it quickly became clear Hill doesn’t know how many employees the county has. The county has a little over 1,700 employees on staff and has never had the 1,900 Hill said we did.

Although he’s not legally allowed to respond – when does something being illegal ever stop Republicans? – Hill contested Josh’s statements. Hill clearly doesn’t understand just how weak and defensive this makes him look. It was super fun to hear his voice shake. I couldn’t tell from the video but I bet his face was red too. Hill tried to weasel his way out of Josh’s assertions by saying he doesn’t use a personal email for official business. Please notice he didn’t say that he only uses an official email for official business. He can’t say that because it’s an outright lie. What Hill uses (and I know because I get them all the time) is a campaign email. Darrell Hale does the same. This sidesteps any FOIA requests. In other words, they’re cheating and Hill hated that Josh called him on it. Hill continued pathetically defending himself by saying there’s a difference between active employees (1700) and authorized positions (1900). Nice try but no one’s buying it. We realized a long time ago that Hill doesn’t know much about anything. I do find it odd that he thinks admitting that we have 200 open positions is somehow an “own.” All that does is speak to the commissioners being lousy employers.

The next speaker eagerly approached the podium so she could read a statement in a monotone telling them our ES&S voting machines aren’t certified. Seriously, her animated expression both before and after her droning speech was oddly out of place. These people are too much! It’s always amazing to me that they don’t realize that attacking our voting machines means that all the Republican victories they spit out aren’t legitimate. I agree that Republican victories aren’t legitimate but I’m pretty sure that’s not what they’re trying to achieve.

The last speaker was a welcome return engagement by LWAN warrior Judy Dishong. She’s reporting on the Court for her church but told them the problem is she doesn’t get much information from the commissioner’s court, unlike what she gets when she visits the Plano City Council. Judy said this so sweetly that I laughed out loud. She suggested they have presentations or talk about community impact during meetings as many of her neighbors don’t even know the commissioner’s court exists or what it does. While I don’t know Judy’s neighbors, I can confirm this ignorance about the court is true of many people. This is by design. The commissioners prefer to operate in darkness so they can continue being inept and terrible without pushback. Judy pointed out that we haven’t gotten any information as to what happened with the election audit but she didn’t get an answer. Hill only responds to people he likes or those he thinks he can “own.” It’s always interesting to watch the commissioners when residents are speaking. Neither Williams nor Fletcher even bothered to look at Judy. It’s so disrespectful!

Allen City Council: In a par for the course display of tone-deafness, the council recognized the 2021 P.R.I.D.E. Awards for the City of Allen. Given that June is Pride Month, one might be excused from thinking the council was following both Frisco and McKinney in making a proclamation honoring the LGBTQIA community. But you would be wrong. Instead, this PRIDE stands for People First, Respect, Integrity, Deliver, and Excel. While honoring employees who go above and beyond is an excellent idea, they could’ve waited until July for this recognition.

A public hearing was held for the readoption of the curfew for juveniles. The curfew applies to kids from 9 to 17 years of age and is Sunday-Thursday from 11 pm to 6 am and Saturday- Sunday from 12:01 am to 6 am. There are a lot of valid reasons to break curfew and Ken Meyers, the Deputy Police Chief, insisted police have a lot of latitude in responding. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, juveniles will receive a written warning for a first offense, a citation for a second offense, and arrest for any subsequent offenses. This doesn’t seem to be a major issue since there’ve only been 15 citations issued in the last 3 years.

Despite the lack of a problem, Nathan Polsky, Vice-Chair of the Collin County Libertarian Party who recently lost his bid for a City Council seat, argued that if the point was to protect juveniles, there shouldn’t be a $500 fine involved. His true issue with the curfew is that it violates parental rights to raise their children as they see fit. This belief was echoed by another speaker who added that mental health factors in and kids should be able to go out whenever they wished. Uh-huh. I love it when people who know nothing about mental health use it to justify their ridiculous arguments. I’m also suspicious of the “parent’s rights” people. They frequently have no idea how to properly parent and really just want the ability to control others. No thanks! The council apparently agreed with me as the ordinance passed unanimously.

McKinney City Council: Th council again rescheduled their vote on redistricting. Mayor George Fuller said he’s been approached by “owners” who’ll be impacted by redistricting and he needs time to reflect on their conversations. Ugh! It’s tiring to continually point out how our mayor’s priorities always align with businesses and developers. It’s also gross. Given the tabling of the redistricting discussion, the big news of the evening was McKinney’s proclamation of Pride month for June 2022. The number of public speakers supporting Pride month outnumbered those who didn’t but those watching still had to endure the miserable faux-Christians (have they even read the Bible?) whining about sin, hell, and drag queens. I don’t know why they pick on drag queens. They’ve clearly not had the great opportunity to experience how wonderful they are. It’s ironic the Angry Crowd is so worried about the children when it’s clear the kids would have way more fun at a Pride event than hanging out with their uptight parents. Maybe that’s what they’re worried about.

The best and kindest people at the meeting.

McKinney Library Protest: Librarians at the Roy and Helen Hunt Library decided to have a story time event geared toward LGBTQIA families in honor of Pride month. Good for them! The event was fully booked with about 50 kids signed up. Unfortunately, radical extremist pest Kyle KD Sims found out about it and actually organized a protest against storytime! About 12-15 Haters, including the so-called Proud Boys – while looking at them, I seriously wondered what they have to be proud about – showed up, some convinced it was a drag queen event and none having read the books. They were both underinformed and misinformed but didn’t seem to care. Typical. They also were lazy since they used the same exact signs they have when protesting at the McKinney School Board meetings. Most of them came in tactical gear and wore gaiters with a cartoon beaver (from Buc-ees) on them, causing someone to label them Beaver Babies. Fitting.

Thankfully, there are more good people than bad in the world and many of the good ones decided to show up, not to counter-protest but to protect young children and their families (ironic, isn’t it?). About 60 people comprising the Welcome Group came armed with loving and colorful signs saying “All Families Welcome,” “We <3 Books” and “Welcome to Story Time” alongside rainbows and smiling faces. They lined up at the entrance to welcome the kids. Their attempts were so successful that one child said afterward that she’d “been to a rainbow party at the library.” Several parents thanked the Welcomers.

Another group showed up to support the families as well. About 3 or 4 people dressed mostly in black with rainbows and other LGBTQ supportive things on their clothes arrived and referred to themselves as Antifa. They’d had no idea the Welcome Group would be there but were glad to see them. They’d found out about the protest from social media and from monitoring the North Texas Beaver Babies group. Apparently, they’d had some trouble with them in Dallas the previous evening. Since part of Antifa’s mission is to protect marginalized communities, they decided to show up just in case the Haters decided to storm the library (like has happened in other parts of the country) and the kids and families needed protection.

While this event turned out well, things don’t seem to be calming down in McKinney. McKinney Mayor George Fuller has gotten death threats following his Pride Proclamation. Sadly, not all 50 kids showed up to the Pride storytime event, only about 30 did. While there are always people who sign up but don’t show, you have to wonder how many decided to stay away after hearing about a protest. However, there were some positives that came from it. The kids who did come had a good time as did the Welcome Group. If you see pictures, you can see the joy in their faces. Also, there were way more of us than there were of them. We also got some national media exposure which, while sad that it was necessary, is still good. People need to know what’s happening and what Democrats are doing about it. I was especially happy to see Democratic Candidate Extraordinaire Jesse Ringness prominently quoted. Although it’s exhausting to keep doing this, it’s clear we need to keep showing up.

If you’ve come here to help me, you’re wasting your time. But if you’ve come here because your liberation is bound up with mine, let us work together.

Seen on a human-rights poster in South Africa during apartheid

Local Politics: As a long-time advocate for reproductive freedom (I’m talking DECADES of activism. I marched in the early 1990s in Austin where I was barely a few feet from Ann Richards!), I’m absolutely devastated by the radical extremists overturning Roe v. Wade (for anyone missing Ann Richards and Sarah Weddington, read this amazing history of the law by Molly Ivins). Their decision is part of a larger agenda. Although the unqualified hacks will twist the Constitution into a pretzel to safeguard guns and evangelical Christianity, their bigger aim is to return us to a states rights situation. That’s what I was talking about with their decision in Shinn v. Martinez Ramirez and that’s what they’ll do with birth control, gay marriage, and other rights we all thought were settled law. We’re firmly on the path towards fascism now. The only thing that will stop it is us.

Republicans don’t care about democracy or even something as basic as the law. They’ll say and do anything if it’ll get them where they want to go. Just look at what they did on January 6th or, more locally, pay attention to the case of Frederick Frazer, Dallas police officer, former McKinney city council member, and GOP candidate for HD61. Last week, a Collin County grand jury indicted him with two counts of impersonating a public servant, a third-degree felony, after an investigation over accusations of sign-stealing during his run-off campaign. You know it’s serious because the Dallas Police Department placed Frazier on administrative leave. This won’t matter to Republicans though. If the Republican DA doesn’t let him off with a misdemeanor (which he absolutely will because this is Collin County), they’ll still vote for him because most won’t know he’s been charged with a felony and he’ll have that R next to his name on the ballot. That’s been true for the twice-indicted Ken Paxton for years. Why should this be any different?

Pictured below: Sheena King is the Democratic candidate for HD61. Unlike her opponent, she picks up trash in order to serve her community instead of acting like trash in order to serve herself.

We cannot rely on Republicans to do the right thing, not even those you know and love. We can solely rely on ourselves: Democrats, liberals, progressives, and (hopefully) independents. We outnumber them if we all vote. We outnumber them if we all show up, at the voting booth and at governmental meetings. They’ll only fear us if they know we have power and our power is in our numbers. Not a single one of us can continue to stand by. We must push ourselves outside of our comfort zones, speak up, and demand we fight like Ukrainians to keep our democracy.

But you don’t have to do it alone. Sign up to join the team covering your city council or school board. Everyone is welcome. Contact me at and let me know you’re interested.

If you think your voice doesn’t matter, it does. I noticed some election signs (Jimmy Angelino, Don Huffines, and Frederick Frazier) up long past the deadline and notified both Allen and McKinney about them. The signs are now down and none of us have to look at them any longer. It may be a small thing but speaking up made a difference.

Comments 2

  1. Regarding the library story time, I am so proud of the welcome team! 🌈❤️🎉🌈❤️🎉🌈Thank you!!! We have been to one with our grandson before and knew how crowded and wild it could be so when I saw it was sold out, we stayed home. I wish i had thought to just show up and walk in. ☹️

  2. Thank you for this report, chock full of information, both good and bad. I would like to add that, as someone in attendance at the McKinney City Council meeting who heard the faux-Christians and their hate speech, I very much enjoyed Mayor Fuller dressing them down for their ugly words and their hypocrisy. I also want to thank Councilmember Justin Beller for speaking up in support of the Pride Proclamation (the Mayor is the one who issues the proclamations). No one else did. Also, I just had to shake my head at the Allen P.R.I.D.E. event (that had nothing to do with Pride Month). How hard is it to look at your Google calendar to notice it’s Pride Month and perhaps you might delay your awards by a month? Finally, this Dobbs decision is horrifying. Our country is circling the drain … and I only wonder if it’s too late to stop it? P.S. Jesse Ringness and Sheena King ARE awesome!

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