The property tax issue in Plano--and the rest of Texas--is out of control. Our city property taxes have increased nearly 50% in just five years while taxpayers are misled about what's really going on.
The Council boasts about lowering the tax rate while in reality, they've been increasing your actual tax burden. Do you care about the rate, which is just a ratio? Or do you care about how much of your actual money is going to the tax man? When questioned, the Council points the finger at the School District, which takes even more in taxes; the School District points the finger at "Robin Hood" which takes 1/3 of their tax revenue, and everyone points the finger at the County Appraisal District whose only job is to try to figure out the market value of your home.
Most of them advocate taking ever-more of your money--real money you could use for your children's education or your own retirement--but few are championing responsible stewardship of your tax dollars to drive maximum value. I am.
The #1 job of any city is public safety, and I will make sure our brave men and women in Police and Fire have both the coverage and the equipment they need to continue to make Plano one of America's Safest Cities.
Plano already has the 2nd highest population density of any city in Texas our size or larger. You can feel it in the worsening traffic, and greater density means greater strain on city services.
We want Plano to continue to be a beacon to people all around the world, and rather than give the signal of "Full steam ahead!" to increasing urbanization and growth, I will work to ensure the growth we do have is measured and carefully managed to ensure that whether you've been in Plano all your life, or are new to the Plano family, the attractiveness of our community and the quality of life that you came for to begin with are preserved and enhanced.
The chlorine burn is coming up, just in time for the elections. A recent Herald Banner article says, "While a nuisance and possibly worse for those with a high sensitivity to chlorine, NTMWD officials maintain that the chlorine levels are well within safe standards”
I don’t expect my water to be “a nuisance or possibly worse.” I expect it to be clean, pure, and safe at ALL times, and I will fight hard to make sure the North Texas Municipal Water District implements bio-filters in a timely fashion and is subject to the stringent oversight for which the area City Councils are responsible.
Citizen participation in local government is alarmingly low. Part of this is because it's difficult for citizens, with our busy lives, to follow what's going on--especially with budget and taxes. I want to foster as much citizen engagement in our local government as possible, ensuring everything is out in the open, and closed meetings are strictly limited to the provisions in the Texas Open Meetings Act.
The City Council's #1 job is oversight, and when it comes to taxpayers understanding where their money is going, I'll work to make the process as transparent as possible, so the people can hold their elected representatives fully accountable.