Battle for Place 5 in Plano

James F. Duggan – Candidate for Plano City Council Place 5
Contact Information:
Background: My 25 years of
running a successful business
combined with my serving as
Chairman of the Planning &
Zoning Commission for the past
four years provide me with the skills to make
difficult and necessary decisions. My background
as a CPA will be a valuable asset to the City
Council and staff during the budgeting process.
Those qualities make me uniquely qualified with the
capability to contribute immediately.
Finances: The city should weather the current
financial downturn by utilizing all the tools and
methods available. The City Council and staff must
delicately balance service cuts and quality of life. I
will focus on leveraging the use of technology and
increase the efficiency of how we conduct the
business of the city. Most importantly we must
maintain an aggressive economic development
strategy in order to create jobs, increase demand
for housing, and increase sales tax and property
tax revenue.
Retirement: The current retirement benefit
package for city employees is adequate and
competitive with neighboring cities. I support
maintaining it at this time because the city
employees are instrumental in delivering quality
services to our citizens. It is important we retain
them for Plano to be a vibrant and quality city.
Tax Rate: Due to the current economic conditions
we must make difficult decisions on the level of
services we deliver and the cost associated with it.
After exploring all methods of efficiency and
promoting economic development I would talk to
our citizens and understand what is most important
to them. With constituents approval I would
consider providing the staff with the resources to
effectively deliver the resources.
Development: The primary challenge Plano has
with economic development is competition from the
neighboring cities that are not Dart members. They
have more funds available to attract businesses.
The way we address that challenge is to continue
to provide value through the award winning
departments such as, the Police Department, Fire
Department, Library and Parks to name a few.
Homelessness: Homelessness is a reality that
Plano must face. The city will need to partner with
faith based organizations to leverage their
resources and volunteer base. Plano should also
revisit the collaboration effort with non-profit
organizations such as the Samaritan Inn.
Other Issues: The most important issues we will
face on City Council are balancing the budget while
maintaining the quality of services we deliver to
citizens. The next important issue will be attracting
and retaining businesses within the city limits. And
lastly, the consideration of redevelopment of
commercial and residential property. These issues
are all related and require a strategic approach to
solve them. It begins with a robust economic
development strategy that will create additional
revenue for the City. Those revenues combined
with efficient use of technology will enable the City
to deliver services in a cost effective manner.

Matt Lagos – Candidate for Plano City Council Place 5
Contact Information:
Background: Leadership Plano
– Class 28 member, double
major in Accounting and Finance
from UT Dallas, elected Student
Senator in UTD Student
Government, former member of City of Plano Self-
Sufficiency Committee and Youth Advisory
Commission, active Volunteer-in-Plano (VIP) and
Live Green in Plano, Officer-at-Large for Phi Theta
Kappa at Collin College
Finances: The City should look for common-sense
cuts within the City Budget that do not directly
affect Police, Fire Dept, or any high-quality city
services that Plano residents count on. We must
evaluate the 17 Funds within the Budget closely
and look for savings in non-essential areas such as
Admin and other non-essential programs. Once
economic conditions and revenues improve, we
can use the savings to grow our Days of Operation
buffer to at least 60 days of General Fund
Retirement: As members of the Texas Municipal
Retirement System (TMRS), city employees
contribute 7% of their pre-tax income into TMRS
that is matched 2-to-1 by the City. They earn a
minimum of 5% in interest (regardless of market
conditions) in addition to any return the City earns
on its match. As long as the City continues to fund
these long-term liabilities adequately, City
employees can rest assured the money will be
available when they retire.
Tax Rate: A tax rate increase is only necessary if
all opportunities for savings within non-essential
programs and services have been identified or
Plano faced an emergency situation that adversely
affected city services, infrastructure or our quality of
Development: We face increasing competition for
economic development from new projects being
built in neighboring cities. To address this, I would
communicate with our Planning department as well
property owners of vacant retail shopping centers
to identify potential mixed-use development and
other innovative development that will being new
jobs and tax revenue back to Plano. Furthermore, I
propose a business incubator that would offer free
rent, office space and high-speed Internet to
entrepreneurs that start a business in Plano.
Homelessness: I am encouraged by the work that
groups such as Family Promise and CityHouse are
currently doing to address homelessness in Plano.
Their track record shows we can safely address
this issue through public-private partnerships
bringing together Churches and other non-profit
groups. I would support establishing zoning
ordinances and guidelines that address
homelessness while protecting homeowners and
the public.
Other Issues: The most important issues facing
Plano will be declining tax base, protecting our
aging neighborhoods and adapting city services to
a diverse City. To improve the tax base, we must
work actively with Property Owners to identify
projects that will bring Developers and new
business back to Plano’s high-traffic centers. To
protect our neighborhoods, we must promote and
expand public-private partnerships such as “Love
Where You Live” started last year. To ensure our
City Services effectively serve a diverse Plano, we
must be proactive and meet with neighborhood
groups and business leaders.

Russel Head – Candidate for Plano City Council Place 5
Contact Information:
Background: Resident of Plano
since 1994. Two daughters, one
of whom is a teacher in PISD.
Serve on the boards of,
Assistance Center of Collin
County, Hendrick Scholarship Foundation, Dallas
Providence Homes, and Dallas Sustainable
Skylines. Member of Plano Sunrise Rotary. I am
keenly aware of the issues that our community
faces. Having had executive level positions at
Fortune 100 companies, to start ups, to working for
myself, I have managed multi-million dollar
budgets, and large staffs. More than anything
however, I am creative and have a passion and
vision for what Plano can be.
Finances: Since the City is required to pay the
debt portion ahead of any other expenses, I believe
that no other debt, other than that which is deemed
critical, should be taken until we are in a positive
cash position, and we have stopped eliminating
services. In addition, we need to reach out to those
companies that are receiving economic
development money, and ask that they become
more active corporate stewards in our community
and look to fund some of the programs that are in
jeopardy of being cut, for example, transportation
for the elderly.
Retirement: I would be in favor of changing the
eligibility requirements for new employees.
Currently a new employee is vested after five years
of service with the City. I would like to see that
moved to ten. By doing so the City would save a
substantial amount of money, and existing
employees would not be affected. I would also
support lowering our matching percentage by one
half percentage point.
Tax Rate: I would only support a tax increase after
I am fully convinced that I personally have looked
at every budget and every expense and am
comfortable that no excess exists, and that we
have cut to the bare minimum. I would only
support a tax increase if I believe that we are at a
junction where City services (police, fire, services)
will suffer as a result of not establishing an
increase. I would not support an increase if we are
looking to add to the debt for any non-critical
Development: We need to tie economic
development with our long term vision for what we
want the City to be. We have aging neighborhoods
(like Ave K) that are close to hubs that we want to
attract business and consumers to, for example
downtown Plano, the Collin Creek Mall area, that
can become a viable and vibrant part of the overall
development of the area. We need to be more
active in the small business community, looking to
local business owners to occupy so much of the
vacant retail space in our community, and
encourage hiring locally within the area.
Homelessness: First of all I think we need to
recognize that it is an issue, and then we need to
look to existing local agencies for support. They are
the ones that can offer assistance and referrals
within the community. I also believe that the day
labor facility is part of the issue. From my
conversations with local police officers, the area is
a concern. It also costs the City tens of thousands
of dollars to monitor the activity. I would
recommend that we close it.
Other Issues: First is certainly the budget, and the
projected shortfalls. We have to act quickly and
make the tough choices. I don’t believe that it is
good policy to have to react each budget year to
the same issues we face today. I believe that
whatever decisions we make should be reflective of
the next three years, and not a year to year
process. I don’t think that is fair to anyone
concerned. It is easier to react to positive economic
results as the economy improves than it is to
always be in a position of having to look for cuts.

Last look at Plano’s Place 7 race

Source: League of Women Voters
Pat Gallagher – Candidate for Plano City Council Place 7

Contact Information:
Background: Former
Chairman, member Plano Civil
Service Commission 2007-2011.
This Commission is responsible
for hearing appeals related to
promotional and disciplinary actions for Plano’s 750
Fire Fighters and Police Officers. Former IBM
Sales and Marketing Executive. Former Corporate
Officer of two highly successful public corporations,
CompuTrac and AMX. Currently serving public as
a Police Officer-Supervisor for the Town of
Addison. It is critical our Council members have the
courage and business credentials to manage in
tough times. I am the only candidate for Place 7
who has a documented record of success in this
Finances: The money going out must not exceed
the money going in! Most of Plano’s revenue
comes from property and sales tax. Until housing
values rise, consumer spending increases and
unemployment numbers improve we will balance
our budget by spending less. A painful formula but
one it appears supported by most voters. I have an
open mind on this issue and have reviewed some
very reasonable proposals for small tax increases
designed to guarantee level of services do not
decline. I believe you cannot simply tax yourself
into prosperity.
Retirement: Every dollar spent should be put
under a microscope and challenged. Keep the
employees happy and they will keep the customers
happy. Employee salaries have been frozen for
three years yet that reality mirrors what most
residents have faced the past three years. Most
businesses have asked their employees to
increase their personal contribution to their
retirement. It’s reasonable to explore that option. I
will work for our residents, but won’t place the
entire burden of a balanced budget on our
employees’ backs. Remember, Plano is an All-
American City because of the superior service
these men and women perform.
Tax Rate: Here’s the Catch 22. The Plano
Economic Development Board can’t recruit Fortune
1000 companies to relocate to Plano without
Plano’s world class services (great transportation,
great parks, great libraries, great public safety and
great schools) and the current economy may not
support these services at ‘world class’ levels.
These services will not deteriorate on my watch
and if a small tax increase is justified, then I’ll
consider supporting a tax increase.
Development: Challenge one, Competition.
Each city in North Texas has the same goal, recruit
new business to their city to increase their tax
revenue base. Plano Economic Team has to
protect our current loyal companies who have
already relocated and, at same time, continue to
explore new relocation opportunities. Challenge
two, Expense. It’s expensive to offer tax
abatements and other incentives to major
corporations, but they work and I support our City’s
investment in economic development. I have made
presentations to over 300 Senior Managers of
Fortune 500 companies and believe I bring value to
our City’s efforts in these projects.
Homelessness: City currently supports Samaritan
Inn for individuals unable to acquire or maintain
safe temporary housing as a short term emergency
shelter. Chronically homeless (as defined by HUD)
are aided by Salvation Army, Goodwill, churches
and private community programs. Each program is
understaffed and under budgeted. The economic
forecast for unemployment is dire, and this national
challenge will require substantial state and federal
funding. One light of hope is a current program,
started in Miami as a community funded
partnership claiming an 83% decline in
homelessness. Plano Council members should
Other Issues: Revenue, public safety and
economic growth. A weak housing market, weak
consumer spending and anemic job markets
indicate the revenue tax base may remain flat for 2-
3 years. We must decide if we maintain world class
services or cut to levels that match revenue. I
would consider small tax increase in lieu of service
cuts. Should voters choose no new taxes, then we
must focus efforts supporting, maintaining and
enhancing public safety so we continue to feel safe
in our homes and businesses. I will focus on
economic growth to allow us to continue to provide
superior services.

Mark Greer – Candidate for Plano City Council Place 7
Contact Information:
Background: I proudly serve
our community as Vice Chair of
the Collin County Park
Foundation Advisory Board. I
have also served on the Plano
Building Standards Commission and was selected
to the Board of Trustees for the Plano Heritage
Farmstead Museum. I am a respected North Texas
businessman in the Defense Industry. I am the
Director of Domestic Development on the
Executive Board of Directors for TSA & Defense. I
am a member of Leadership Plano Class 28.
Finances: We are at a breaking point as a city. In
2009, we cut over $2million from Police, almost a
million from fire and almost $500K from public
safety communications. Over the last three years,
we have cut over $32million from our budget. If we
continue to cut, the citizens of Plano will now begin
to feel the impact of those decisions. We need
council members who have the courage to be
responsible stewards of our long-term strategic
plan. This consists of a dedication to controlling the
cost of our local government while creating
economic opportunity for big and small businesses.
Retirement: We have the best employees in Collin
County – no question. We must offer competitive
benefits and compensation packages in order to
attract & retain the best talent in job market.
Tax Rate: We have a $9million deficit with a
$22million projected deficit for next year. Collin
County home values are projecting another 4.1%
decrease which significantly depreciates our tax
revenues. Consumer spending has not increased
as we thought it would and we have already
eliminated over 300 line items from our budget and
$30 mil in liabilities over the last 36 months. As
citizens and council members we have to be
realistic and realize that this city is greater than
ourselves and that the future and direction of our
community will be impacted by our decisions.
Development: Currently, Plano proudly holds a
healthy 50/50 tax balance relative to
commercial/residential revenues. As I meet with
neighboring city officials, they are envious of our
economic development situation. I do believe that
there are some zoning options that we can look at
as a city that will foster greater economic
development opportunities.
Homelessness: Homelessness will have a greater
impact on our community unless we take a serious
and proactive approach. I believe that we must first
identify our current homeless population (I was the
only candidate in my race that participated in the
2010 homeless census in Plano). We must then
identify the needs of that population and implement
a support system. Ultimately, the council must
empower the Homeless Coalition with full support.
Other Issues: Budget, Economic Opportunity,
Protecting our Quality of Life and our relationship
with the PISD School Board Trustees. We have to
make the right decisions, not the simple or
politically popular decisions. Remember, slogans
have never moved a city, state or country forward –
solutions move our community in the right direction.

Greg Myer – Candidate for Plano City Council Place 7
Contact Information:
Background: I am a: Graduate
of Leadership Plano Class XXIII,
Former Member and Finance
Chair of Leadership Plano’s
Executive Board, Member of the Plano Youth
Leadership Executive Board, Member of the Plano
Chamber of Commerce Political Advisory
Committee, Graduate of the Plano Citizens Fire
Academy, Former Member and Chair of the Library
Advisory Board, Member of the Plano ISD Career
and Technology Education Committee, Cub Scout
Den Leader, Pack 18, Experienced and respected
IT Manager with fifteen years experience, Graduate
of the University of Missouri with Master’s Degree
in Healthcare Administration.
Finances: The City of Plano must continue to
provide the best services in the Metroplex,
including Police, Fire, Water and other
infrastructure. To accomplish this, the City must be
more efficient. We can do this in one way by
providing high-quality health care to employees in a
clinic setting, one that we might share with Plano
ISD, other municipalities and Collin County. I will
also be more streamlined in how we provide backoffice
functions like Accounting and Human
Resources, by offering to share these services with
Plano ISD, other municipalities and Collin County.
Retirement: For current employees, the City
should not change the retirement benefits package,
as I feel that would be breaking a pledge to them.
For future employees, the Council should look at
offering a retirement benefits package that is more
in line with what private employers are currently
Tax Rate: If the City was in a situation where
Public Safety personnel were going to be let go,
then I would consider an increase in the property
tax rate.
Development: The Economic Development Board
has done a tremendous job of luring large
companies to Plano and encouraging other
companies to increase their presence in Plano. I
would like to work with my fellow Councilmen to
bring the Economic Development Board together
with the Plano Chamber of Commerce and
business owners in and around Collin Creek Mall to
put together an action plan to revive that area of
Plano. This is absolutely critical now as this area
has much more competition in neighboring cities
than it did even two years ago.
Homelessness: I agree that homelessness is an
increasing problem, even in affluent sections of
Plano and Collin County. I would like to work with
the rest of the Council to partner with one of Collin
County’s great not-for-profit organizations to build a
homeless shelter facility that can accommodate
families in crisis as well as unaccompanied youth.
Other Issues: In the coming years, the Council is
going to have to find ways to erase budget deficits,
some of them significant. While there are some
more efficiencies that can be achieved, the Council
has already done a very good job of cutting
superfluous expenses. The Council will have to
make difficult decisions each year about setting an
appropriate tax rate, one that continues to be the
lowest in Collin County. At the same time, the
Council will have to focus on maintenance of core
services like Police, Fire, Libraries and Parks.

Art Walk returns to downtown McKinney on Second Saturday

Michael Martin Murphey pictured above.

Allen Rich and the North Texas e-News are reporting that historic downtown McKinney blooms as spring weather ushers in a cavalcade of colors and the McKinney Square will be particularly interesting May 14 as the Second Saturday Art Walk crowd tour local art galleries and Election Day swells the already burgeoning Collin County seat.

Read more and see more photos at

Cool Video by McKinney Vision

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