Collin County Politics: Let’s Lead Instead of Settle

May 24, 2021

Allen City Council: In the upcoming run-off election for Allen City Council, the residents of Allen have a choice to make. They must decide whether they’re going to re-elect a true public servant leader (Lauren Doherty) or scrape the bottom of the barrel. Although the race is supposed to be non-partisan, in some ways it’s a microcosm for what’s happening between the two parties at the national level. Will we proudly elect solid leaders with good ideas (the Democrats) or will we settle for those with challenging pasts who have nothing to bring to the table (the GOP)? For Allen residents, the choice is clear.

Ms. Doherty has spent her tenure on council advocating for what citizens want and need. Thanks to her efforts, the Allen community now has a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Taskforce. She believes in true representation and modeled her council work on that principle. She’s the only council member to hold office hours. Ms. Doherty heavily promoted other engagement and communication efforts and worked with city staff to make that happen. As a result, Allen residents can fill out more surveys, attend block parties to speak with public officials, get informed about upcoming developments coming earlier in the process, and (thanks to recently installed software), be apprised about the status of issues relevant to their lives, like public health information and crime reports.

Ms. Doherty has been a strong advocate for public health throughout the pandemic. She’s always been pro mask and pro-vaccine and was very supportive of the Allen Fire Department’s nationally recognized vaccine roll-out. As such, she was endorsed by the Allen Professional Firefighters Association.

She constantly considers new ways the city of Allen can improve life for all citizens. Ms. Doherty hopes Allen can pass an Equal Rights Ordinance, one that’s similar to the ERO in Plano that was responsible for bringing Toyota to the city. She also would like to implement a climate action plan like the one Dallas has. Since even the Pentagon has acknowledged climate change as a major threat to our national security, cities doing their part is critical.

Contrast Ms. Doherty – a Princeton grad with a degree in Astrophysics, a business analyst, and someone with a strong background of service to children – with Dave Cornette, her opposition. Based on his campaign page, I have no idea what he does for employment. The only thing he mentions is his military service (red meat for the base) and the fact that he’s bounced from state to state until landing in Texas. Lucky us. He also has a history of criminal behavior resulting in a number of arrests and one conviction. The charges include solicitation, failure to pay child support, jumping bail, and several others. Although some accept Mr. Cornette’s explanations for his criminal behavior, I prefer leaders who can serve as role models.

Ms. Doherty’s run-off isn’t the only one happening in Allen. The other has Phillip Brewer running against Mr. Cornette’s best buddy, Dave Shafer. Mr. Shafer is notoriously against apartments in Allen. This is an interesting stance to take for someone who lives in a Section 42 (subsidized) apartment complex himself. Hypocrisy, thy name is Republican.

Commissioner’s Court: Susan Fletcher was absent from this week’s meeting. Perhaps she wanted to avoid the over 40 minutes of public comments (the entire meeting lasted 58 minutes). Most of the speakers blasted Chris Hill for his inexcusable email complaining about the Justice for Marvin protesters. Interestingly though, there seems to be a disagreement between Hill and Darrell Hale as to what should happen. In contrast to Hill’s email, Hale posted in social media asking, “What is the outcome we want? To insist that every class C misdemeanor for going outside the approved protest route be charged? To ban protesting on public streets even with prior approval? Are we banning assembly?” Exactly.

June Jenkins, head of the Collin County chapter of the NAACP, showed up to lend her voice in support for justice for Marvin Scott III and also to request that the American Rescue Plan funds go to those who’ve been left out of previous funding. I hope the commissioners realize they’re on notice for equitable distribution of funds. We will be watching.

There were some Republicans who spoke to thank Hill for his stance on “law and order” and otherwise bleat out the pre-approved catchphrases. Clearly, they’ve been alerted that the Justice for Marvin protesters come to every meeting. It would’ve been interesting to hear a coherent narrative from the Republican speakers but they didn’t appear to have one. I don’t know which group organized these people (perhaps Hill himself?) but, whoever they are, they’re not sending their best. But some, I assume, are good people.

Plano City Council: In their upcoming run-off election, Plano voters get to decide between class leaders or class clowns. One of the leaders, Julie Holmer, is running for Place 7, Lily Bao’s former seat. Ms. Holmer grew up in Plano and has worked hard to learn about proper governance by graduating from the Leadership Plano program.

Kayci Prince, the other leader, is the Place 4 incumbent. Hers was an important voice of support during the Turning Point Rape Crisis Center debate and she’s been a champion for public health during the COVID pandemic. Like Ms. Holmer, Ms. Prince also grew up in Plano. She did her homework about proper governance by serving on the Parks and Recreation Board and the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Their opponents, two far-right extremists sponsored by the conservative Plano Citizens Coalition (PCC), are basically placeholders for the ballot. Neither have any civic experience or volunteer service and they’ve only lived in Plano for a few years. Chris Robertson is so clueless that he couldn’t name a single city board or commission. Justin Adcock wants to continue in the anti-apartment vein and, true to form, spouts easily disprovable lies.

Although these two are clowns, they could easily become dangerous should they be elected since that would give PCC five of the eight seats on the council. PCC has already gone on record stating that, if they achieve a majority, they’ll work to terminate city staff they don’t like (which has an authoritarian ring to it), privatize city amenities such as recreation centers (what could go wrong?), and eliminate all Plano city funding for the Turning Point center (no words).

Plano voters have a chance to let conservative naysayers know that they’re tired of bottom dwellers with no business in government. If voters want capable, knowledgeable leaders and not PCC puppets, then the only choices in the run-off are Julie Holmer and Kayci Prince.

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