Local Updates for August 30, 2023

What has been going on locally?

Plano ISD meeting of August 8th spent a great deal of time trying to figure out how to comply with House Bill 3, requiring armed security on each campus. Plano police does not have enough officers to cover all the schools, therefore Plano will have to go about hiring security officers who meet the state’s requirements which include psych evaluation. We pray this evaluation is not conducted by anyone who sees Donald Trump as a stable genius or that Ken Paxton is innocent of all charges. The meeting then broke down with members trying to find out where the lines would be drawn for the officers and their interactions with students, staff, and the general public in their duties. Good luck making clear lines with that. Having worked in education, a lot of good luck figuring that out. More strange untrained in education adults in schools can’t go wrong.
In another fine example of republican leadership, the state requires the security but does not provide the funding. Do as I require you to do with your own money is a Republican leadership motto. Plano ISD will have to find $4 million to fund these officers. Meanwhile because of the state strangling school funds, the teachers remain underpaid. Republican leadership, bankrupt in so many unique ways.

Frisco City Council Meeting of 8-15-2023

This was a standard business meeting which much of the business approved in a consent agenda. They avoided the previous month’s controversy about their policing, when a team of officers drew guns on a family before realizing that the officer had put the wrong state into her computer. So this month the police got to avoid that with the reporting an uptick in juvenile arrests. Some board members lamented the losing of the teen curfews which are supposed to begin when the new state law goes into effect on Sept. 1. Yet there is an uptick now with the curfews, I am not quite sure how keeping curfews stops this?

They presented a budget that will continue the city’s growth and presented the positions needing to be filled. They will likely max out the homestead exemption in Frisco, but also raise water rates mainly due to inflation.

Richardson City Council 8-14-2023

This was a budget meeting. While there is a surplus, the city leaders are worried about the empty commercial real estate, and of course inflation. The worries about inflation extending into the budgets of Richardson citizens has the council talking of some property tax relief. A public hearing on the budget, and a final vote ratifying the tax rate will be held the following Monday, Aug. 28th. If you think there is any room in this budget for a lower tax rate, please submit comments to Council and show up to the meeting to speak or at least submit written comments for the record. Meanwhile they approved raising wages so all city employees are above the livable wage. [Should there be a sort of hoopla for a city doing the right thing? The thing that should be done without thought? And does Dan Patrick approve? OK no debate on the last bit.]

Here too in this meeting there is mention of the rising water rates. Considering the heat of the summer and lack of rain and that this may be the future weather pattern with the climate change, water conservation probably should be a higher concern with all cities and long-range planning. Richardson seems to be thinking in that direction with an Environmental Outreach Manager position and creating a new Water Production Facilities Specialist position.

Parker City Council Meeting of 8-15-2023

The city of Parker had some public comments on freezing homestead exemptions for those over 65. This came after they discussed reducing the property tax setting the proposed tax rate of $0.322680 per hundred dollars valuation. This proposed rate may be changed before the final vote on it 9/5/23. The council also heard from Fire Chief regarding new fire truck and gave approval for the purchase of a brush truck for the Fire Department. The new fire truck vote was postponed, which I find upsetting because it is a new fire truck. New Fire Truck! Nothing more needs to be said to get my approval.