On Tuesday Aug. 14, 2018, District Judge Mark Rusch ruled that the recall petition for Councilman Tom Harrison is invalid. Judge Rusch determined that the petition did not have the required number of signatures. He based his ruling off of the original City Charter filed with the Texas Secretary of State in 1961. That Charter says the amount of signatures a recall petition has to have will be based off the number of voters in the last municipal election. Since the petition organizers (Democrat Ann Bacchus and Planning and Zoning Mayor appointee and socialist Michael Thomas) did not collect enough signatures, the petition was not valid.
Judge Rusch also ordered the City of Plano to pay Councilman Tom Harrison $3000 for attorney fees, and vote to cancel the recall election at the next City Council meeting. The next meeting will be this Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018, at 8:00 am. This meeting was already scheduled as a 2018/2019 budget work session for council. The council has added, “Consideration of an Ordinance to rescind Ordinance No. 2018-4-3, canceling a Special Election to be held on November 6, 2018.” to the agenda.
So this long saga that began in February with an offensive Facebook post will finally come to an end on Saturday. Now we have another problem that must be fixed. The City of Plano has been following an invalid charter for 50 years. That must be resolved before we can move forward. I wrote about the dueling charters in the post The City Of Plano Files A Lawsuit Against Itself which you can read at https://planospoliticalpitbull.weebly.com/posts-about-council/the-city-of-plano-files-a-lawsuit-against-itself . In that post I wrote…..
“What if Article 6 is not the only article with different words between the two Charters? The City Charter is basically the Constitution of the City. It is the foundation of how the City is to be organized and run. Suppose that the city has been using the wrong Charter for over fifty years. If that is true, it would have huge legal ramifications. So that we can understand the magnitude of these ramifications, let's look at the following hypothetical. What if this new found Charter says that all ordinances must pass the City Council by a super majority. However, the Charter the city has been following only calls for a simple majority to pass an ordinance. If the newly discovered Charter turns out to be the “true” Charter, every ordinance passed by a simple majority since 1961 could be thrown out. If we have been using the wrong Charter, that also means we have been amending the wrong Charter. Therefore, all of the amendments that have passed could get thrown out. One of those amendments was the number of city council members the city should have. In 1961 we only had five council members and a Mayor. If we have amended the wrong Charter, can we conclude that we have the wrong number of City Council members? What happens to the two extra we have now? Would their elections even be valid? Would they have to step down from Council until a new Charter election takes place? If two have to step down, which two would it be? According to the two 1961 Charters, Council members did not have place numbers, so how would the city decide who steps down? I don't know the answers to any of these questions. The one thing I do know is the discovery of this second Charter has the potential of throwing the City into its own constitutional crisis.”
This is Plano's Political Pit Bull Signing Off.