By Lori Lee
NDG Contributing Writer
Election Day for Collin County is May 7, 2023, when voters will voice their opinions on who should serve in city councils and school boards across the county.
In Plano, candidates for City Council Places 1 and 7 will run unopposed, while Places 3 and 5 will be contested.
Rick Horne, who’s running against Colleen Aguilar-Epstein for Place 3, stands for quality construction and the redevelopment of expansive parking lots and underutilized retail into active mixed-use live, work and play communities. He criticizes Aguilar-Epstein as anti-business investment and anti-growth and claims she supports an approach that would stagnate the city with decaying apartments and outdated retail.
More focused on protecting property rights, Aguilar-Epstein calls for reduced taxes, which she says can be achieved through better budgeting while maintaining high-quality services, parks and green space. She calls for traffic studies to avoid overloading infrastructure. As her campaign website states, “All too often, developers over build, make their profits, and move on to the next town; leaving residents with increased traffic, slower police/fire/EMT response time, sporadic overcrowding in schools, and a decreased tax base per capita.”
In a similar way, Place 5 candidates Brett Cooper and Shelby Williams oppose each other on development philosophies. While Cooper takes a progressive approach, proposing a diverse live, work play environment similar to Horne, Williams calls for preserving and enhancing Plano’s existing, more suburban type landscape.
Williams seeks to keep population growth modest, while preserving and enhancing Plano’s suburban quality of life. Williams also supports improving DART and equipping the Plano Police Department and Plano I.S.D. to support public safety.
As a physician for Children’s Medical Center and UT Southwestern, Cooper says he would prioritize policies that improve health and well-being in all stages of life. This includes improving mobility through alternative transportation options, he says on his website.
Julie Holmer (Place 7) and Maria Tu (Place 1) each run unopposed, both with roots in the community. Julie Holmer, who grew up in Plano, has been active in Plano as a small business owner and through a number of volunteer efforts. She supports small business, the arts, and competitive salaries for city staff, first responders and teachers. Maria Tu, who has lived in Plano 25 years, supports enhanced public safety, crime and traffic reduction, and wants to keep taxes low.
Plano School Board Places 4, 5, and 7 will also be decided on May 6. Place 4 candidates include Tarrah Lantz, Lydia Ortega and Margaret Turner-Carrigan. Place 5 candidates are Michael Cook, Khalid Ishaq, and Greg Jubenville. The race between Katherine Chan Goodwin, Simon Salinas, Cody Weaver, and Nancy Schilreff will decide Place 7 in the school board race.
In Frisco, the Mayorial race will be hotly contested, as two candidates attempt to replace current Mayor Jeff Cheney. Software specialist Jonathan Spencer and public safety consultant Mark Piland will each run against the current mayor, in office since 2017.
Spencer has lived in Plano for one year, while Piland, who served as Frisco’s fire chief and emergency management coordinator, has been in the city nine years, reports local community reporter, Community Impact.
Frisco’s Place 5 City Council will also be contested, with incumbent Laura Rummell running for reelection against Anwer Azam. Azam, a certified public account and business owner living in the city two years, will oppose long-term resident and Jackson Hewitt employee Rummel, who was elected to City Council in 2022, they report.
Frisco’s Place 6 seat is uncontested, with Incumbent Brian Livingston running unopposed. According to Community Impact, Livingston, a commercial banker, has held the seat since 2017.
McKinney voters will decide on two council seats — Place 2, where Patrick Cloutier and Patrick Silva are running, and Place 2 (at large), in a race between Michael Jones, Tom Meredith and Taiwo Ajunwon. Rick Franklin will also run uncontested for Place 4.
McKinney voters will consider also a general obligation bond proposition for proposed new development at MKinney National Airport.
Richardson will elect all of six council seats, when Curtis Dorien will run against G. Scott Waddell for Place 1. Place 3 will be decided in the race between Steven Springs and Dan Barrios. Incumbent Ken Hutchenrider is also running against Todd Hunter for the Place 5 seat at large. Three candidates will be unopposed for seats. These include Jennifer Justice in Place 2, Joe Cocoran, Place 4, and Aerfin Shamsul in Place 6. A new mayor will also be elected when Bob Dubey runs against Janet DePuy.
In Allen, Baine Brooks will run unopposed for Mayor, as City Council Places 2 and 7 are contested. Nathan Polsky will also compete with Tommy Baril for Place 2, and a three-way race between James Holli, Bill Parker, and Brandon Villarreal will decide who is seated in Place 7.
The last day to register to vote is on April 6. General and special election is May 6, and early voting is April 24–May 2, with extended hours May 1, 2023 and May 2, 2023, 7: 00 a. m. to 7: 00 p.m.