Comment On End Of Mediation Discussions

Over three years ago, I took on the representation of five citizens in a lawsuit regarding a petition–signed by 4,300 citizens–calling for a referendum on the ordinance adopting the Plano Tomorrow Plan. The rule of law and the democratic process are important, and that lawsuit continues.

On July 10, 2019, there was a mediation involving the plaintiffs and city staff. The plaintiffs understood that the City Council would meet to repeal the Plano Tomorrow Plan and replace it with a new comprehensive plan on July 22, 2019. Obviously, such an action would have a legal consequence on the pending lawsuit and, to give the City Council an opportunity to act, the plaintiffs agreed to move a court hearing set for July 19, 2019.

The plaintiffs complied with their end of the bargain and moved the hearing to August 15, 2019. The agenda for the meeting on July 22, 2019 still reflects that a discussion of the repeal and replacement of the Plano Tomorrow Plan will occur. However, city staff has indicated in a press statement that they intend to renege on holding such meeting. We will find out soon enough what actually happens.

Over the last week, it became apparent that the city’s attorneys wanted to cast the replacement plan as a “settlement agreement” and needed my clients’ consent in order to make that characterization stick. Having failed to obtain that consent, the city staff have taken to the media to contend that an “agreement” fell through. The public should be deeply concerned that the stated intent of the staff was to secretly negotiate a replacement comprehensive plan for the city. I am proud of my clients for not giving in to the temptation to usurp a function that properly belongs to the City Council and the citizens of Plano.

We put an end to the improper negotiations and intend to proceed with the lawsuit to compel compliance with the law.

Jack Ternan