The Plano City Council is scheduled to vote on the tax rate and budget for 2018/2019 on September 10th. That is the same day as Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). That holiday is one of the holiest days in the Jewish Calendar. Jews from all over the world celebrate this holiday whether they are religious or not.
At the time the council will be voting on the tax rate, Jews will be having their holiday dinner or attending synagogue. Naturally, Plano's Jews will not be able to go to city hall for the vote.
This means a good portion of citizens will not be able to attend. Plano is home to four synagogues and one Jewish Center. If there were not a large Jewish population there would not be four, as most cities don't have any synagogues. Plano thinks of itself as a diverse and inclusive city; however, when Plano City Hall picks the day to hold a very important vote on a major Jewish holiday, they are not being inclusive. When this was brought to the City Council's attention they did not apologize or consider changing the day of the vote.
This is not the first time the city has scheduled a public meeting that Jews would not be able to attend. The city council always holds their budget workshops on Saturday mornings, the Sabbath for Jews. Orthodox and some Conservative Jews can't even ride in a car on the Sabbath or major holidays, so they definitely will not go to city hall on those days, leaving them out of the meetings.
I don't think the city government is purposely excluding Jews from public meetings. However, I do think they are being ignorant and insensitive to some of the residents in Plano. In the future, I recommend the city look up the Jewish Calender, so they will know when not to schedule important workshops, city council public hearings, and important votes. This way everyone who would like to attend these event would be able to.
La Shanah Tovah to all our Jewish Friends
This is Plano's Political Pit Bull Signing Off.