Saturday, March 27, 2010

Plano Special Runoff Election In March

Updated Wednesday March 27, 2010 @ 8:56 p.m.
Today was the Plano City Council, pl 3 special run-off election day between André Davidson and Kathy Fang.

With 100% of the precincts reporting the Plano Special Election results are - Andre Davidson 56.03% Vs. Cathy Fang 43.97% on 4,931 ballots cast.

Updated Saturday January 30, 2010 @ 9:06 p.m.
Plano Special Election final results were reported by the Collin County Registrar's Office at 8:47 P.M. Saturday January 30, 2010. Out of 144,389 registered City of Plano voters a total of 4,199 (2.9%) people cast a ballot for one of the three candidates with the following results:
  • Andre Davidson 1819 (43.74%)
  • Cathy Fang 1517 (36.48%)
  • Doug Shockey 823 (19.79%)
Since none of the three candidates topped 50% of the total vote, a special City of Plano runoff election between the top two candidates, Andre Davidson and Cathy Fang, will now be scheduled in March.

Beginning immediately in 2010 the Plano City Council must start identifying new ways to cut city spending and bolster city tax collections. Council members have already mentioned actions such as closing libraries on Fridays, eliminating school police patrols, ending taxi vouchers for the elderly and privatizing city government services as ways to cut city spending.

One of the two city council candidates André Davidson or Cathy Fang will soon add their voice to council discussions on how to make the difficult budget and tax choices that must be made in the months, and perhaps years, to come.
André Davidson has said, "It would be foolish to say we shouldn't look at everything - including whether we have to look at raising revenue." On her campaign website Davidson says she is committed to:
Continuing to provide quality city services, especially in the area of public safety, economic development to ensure a strong tax base and keep our community vibrant, and revitalization of our neighborhoods and commercial properties.
Ms. Davidson has been endorsed by the Plano Firefighters Association and a list of others.
Cathy Fang has said tax increases should be a last resort and that Plano should privatize city services and more closely scrutinize city spending.
On her campaign website Fang says, "I feel at this time, when the economy is not doing well, taxes are on the rise, our city government is not being accountable to the citizens..." [Fang campaign video] Fang has also said,
“Some tax increases are necessary, but there’s a limit -- the government cannot treat people like an ATM to get the money they’re lacking. Plano needs to be aggressive in the business market to attract bigger businesses and companies to bring jobs to the Plano community.”
Original Post Saturday January 3, 2010 @ 10:53 a.m.

You have probably heard that Plano plans to hold a special election to fill the City Council Place 3 seat of Mabrie Jackson, who resigned in November to run for the Texas state legislature district 66 house house seat left open when Rep. Brian McCall announced he would not seek re-election. The Plano special election day is scheduled for January 30, 2010 with several days of early voting starting January 13, 2010.

The Plano City Council initially wanted to hold the special election concurrent with the March 2 primary, however, Texas state election code prohibits the city from scheduling the election within 30 days of a primary election. State election rules also dictate that an election to fill the vacated council seat must be scheduled within so many days after the vacancy occurs. January 30th was the only date that satisfied the legal requirements for a special election. According to City of Plano officials, the cost for the special election will be about $80,000.

While voters citywide elect members to the Plano City Council's seven seats, four of its seven members must reside in designated districts for representative diversity across the city. Three candidates, all political newcomers, have filed to run in the special city election to fill the designated north-central Plano Place 3 District City Council vacancy. The three candidates André Davidson, Cathy Fang and Doug Shockey currently live in the Place 3 District and have each lived in Plano for approximately 30 years.

With the City of Plano facing projected budget shortfalls of up to $50 million through 2011 budget year, the city council will be forced to make even more difficult budget decisions in the coming months of 2010 than they already made in 2009.
In 2009 the Plano City Council approved a $400 million budget plan that already included millions in cuts to city services plus a hike to the city's property tax rates. That budget plan doesn't take effect until October 2010, but the most current economic projections for Plano now show that the projections used to write the 2010 city budget were too optimistic.

Commercial property taxes, which accounts for roughly half of Plano's tax base, is now on a trajectory to decline 10 percent more than initially projected by the council. The additional commercial tax base decline added to continuing declines in sales tax collections and a troubled residential housing market are now projected to leave a $20 million shortfall in the city's next 2010 budget plan.

Unless the economy rebounds significantly through 2010 the city will likely see an additional $30 million contraction of tax revenues leading into the 2011 budget year. The tax base contraction trend could continue and even deepen leading into the 2012 budget year.
League of Women Voters: Voters Guide for Jan. 30 Plano City Council Special Election.
You must be properly registered 30 days in advance of any schedule election in order to vote in the election. (Check your registration status online here.) Properly registered Collin County voters began to see their new Blue and White 2010-2011 voter registration cards arriving in the mail during mid-December. The Collin County Registrar's office automatically sent a new Blue and White registration card to every "active" registered voter in the county during December 2009.

If you did not receive a new Blue and White voter registration card, it may indicate that you are no longer properly registered to vote. You should call the Registrar's office to ask why you did not receive your new Blue and White 2010-2011 voter registration card.
800-687-8546 / 972-547-1990
For more information on the new Blue and White 2010-2011 voter registration cards, click here.

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