My family and I moved to Plano in 2003. I loved this city. I still do.

In 2003, I may have been oblivious to the divide in this city. Or maybe it didn’t exist—at least, not as much as it does today.

I started noticing it in 2013, when I ran for the Plano school board the first time. There was an “us vs. them” rift. In 2013, I was supported and endorsed by “us,” but in 2015, I was supported by “them.” Or was it the other way around?

And it only got worse with name-calling: “The Establishment,” “The Angry Crowd,” and the like. The divide only deepened.

Then came the Plano Tomorrow comprehensive development plan in 2015. And after that, a petition for a public vote on it. And a petition to recall a sitting council member, then a petition to recall a mayor. And then, a lawsuit against the city.

I miss the Plano we moved to in 2003. Or, at least, the Plano I thought we moved to.

It feels like the politics in Plano now mirror those in Washington, D.C. The focus is on getting a majority in the elections; and if you have a majority, you get to do whatever you want, and you have a license to ignore the others.

But here is the problem with operating this way: you don’t know who will hold the majority after the next election. A group that was referred to as a minority in the 2015 election got two out of eight council members elected. Then, after the 2017 elections, that group held three out of eight places. After the 2019 elections, the city council became perfectly split.

As long as there is no shared vision in Plano, the future will depend on who wins the next election. And it can change in the election after that.

This is why I volunteered to serve on the committee which was chartered with providing community input and feedback to the development of the city’s next comprehensive plan. I want to help create a shared vision—a vision that will be embraced by as close to 100 percent of Plano residents as possible, a vision that will survive the next elections and will not have to be overturned depending on who wins the majority.

I truly believe that if we get that shared vision, we won’t have to worry about who gets elected in the next elections. Maybe we won’t have the “us and them” in Plano anymore.

I did not volunteer to serve on Plano’s Comprehensive Plan Review Committee to be the voice of “us” or “them.” I volunteered to help create a shared vision for all in Plano. 

This is a commentary submitted and published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to submission@texasscorecard.com.

Yoram Solomon

Dr. Solomon is a creativity and innovation expert, author, public speaker, and corporate trainer. Solomon has worked as an executive in public technology firms, founded several companies of his own, and served as a Plano school board trustee. His latest venture is the Trust Building Institute.

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