Hello Collin County,
This week covers McKinney, Richardson, and Parker news from city council meetings. You’ll also find an update on some ridiculous bills at the end. Make sure to get out and vote this week after you call the lawmakers down in Austin. We’re in the final stretch of the election season! Once you’ve caught your breath, we could sure use the help covering city councils and school boards across Collin County. If you have any time to spare, this is a great way to get involved at the local level. Now, go vote!
McKinney City Council
At their April 18th work session and meeting, the McKinney City Council discussed plans to connect the downtown area across State Highway 5 for pedestrians. Three options were presented. One option was an enhanced pedestrian crossing at street level. The other two options were deck parks. The city council favored the most affordable deck park option and will vote on the final plan at a future city council meeting. Councilman Beller encouraged staff to make similar plans in the future for other intersections that cross Highway 5. During the public comments section, a citizen asked the city council to consider approving Segment D over Segment C for the U.S. 380 bypass project. Mayor Fuller confirmed that he is reaching out to TxDOT with the relevant information. Another resident, during the public hearing for the yearly budget, asked the city to consider a tax freeze for residents over the age of 65.
Richardson City Council
At their April 17th work session, the Richardson City Council heard presentations on The Counseling Place and updates to the International Codes. Representatives from The Counseling Place, a mental health service provider who partners with the city, described their accomplishments over the past year. They work closely with the Richardson Police Department to provide a second chance to youth first-offenders. They also work with the police directly to provide mental health resources to officers, something I think should be a priority in police departments in order to improve the police. Unfortunately, The Counseling Place had to turn away approximately 100 people last year due to a lack of funding. They laid out plans for more staff and more involvement in Richardson ISD classrooms to improve mental health for students. Richardson residents should remember this when budget discussions begin. We should advocate for anything that can improve the classroom environment and policing. A more mindful police department means less discrimination and police violence. The meeting closed with a presentation on the Cottonwood Art Festival. The festival will take place on May 6th – 7th featuring a wide range of works from local artists as well as live music.
Parker City Council
At their April 18th meeting, the Parker City Council struggled to make quorum. The 6:00 pm meeting was delayed until another councilmember could show up. Once they began, citizens commented on a recent successful pecan tree planting. The city council then accepted some donations and discussed some retail zoning options for the Comprehensive Plan. No decisions were made, so stay tuned to Parker city council meetings for future actions.
Bills are now advancing through the House and Senate. Several we have discussed previously have now moved closer to becoming law. It is vital that we keep calling senators and representatives to make our voices heard.
HB 900 is a bad book-banning bill that has now been passed by the House. The bill will now be assigned to a Senate committee for a public hearing and a vote. Make sure your senator knows to vote this bill down.
SB 17 bans DEI offices and programs on college campuses. This bill has unfortunately been passed out of the Senate and is awaiting committee assignment in the House. Call your representative and tell them to vote this bill down. We shouldn’t be banning inclusion.
SB 1072, Texas’ own Don’t Say Gay bill, unfortunately passed out of committee and awaits a vote on the Senate floor. We must fight against this bill. Call your senator and tell them to vote no on this bill.
One bill that we haven’t discussed yet is SB 1515. This is the bill that would require the “Ten Commandments” to be displayed in public school classrooms. This is an extremely unconstitutional bill and a gigantic waste of time. Unfortunately, this bill has passed out of the Senate and is awaiting committee assignment in the House. Please make sure your representatives know to vote this unconstitutional bill down.
Us the following link to contact your senators and representatives and make your voice heard: https://capitol.texas.gov/resources/contacttext.aspx
Thanks for tuning in!
Justin Wray Neth