The Dallas Morning News recommends Ann Bacchus in the runoff for Plano City Council Place 7

As Plano leaders try to get a grip on growth that brings new wealth and some uncomfortable crowding, the City Council election has been a long debate about the nuances of city planning. No candidate is stumping for Wild West-style growth, and nobody is chaining herself to construction equipment to halt development, either.

Amid this debate comes the runoff for Place 7, and here we tip our recommendation toward Ann Bacchus. Bacchus, 53, supports the Plano Tomorrow city policy for deliberate growth, and the attorney articulates transportation ideas that reflect a future of fewer individual cars and more public transportation and private car services. Like most Plano politicians, she opposes developing more apartment complexes, but she does allow for mixed-use development that would include residential, retail and office space.

As Bacchus said in response to our Voter Guide questionnaire: “We want economic development because it keeps property taxes for city services low. However, growth must not come at the expense of existing homeowners. Identifying and achieving this balance between protecting neighborhoods, historic buildings and economic development is the heart of sound city planning.”

Her opponent, Lily Bao, 48, is an impressive candidate who aims to halt high growth in property taxes. But she also takes a strong line on development, is cautious about Plano Tomorrow and eager to protect Plano’s suburban character. The Realtor collected endorsements from a number of conservative Republicans, including some current and former members of the divisive Texas Freedom Caucus.

If Bacchus wins, we urge her to be judicious about ideas that might change the suburban feel of Plano, as Bao cautions, but we also hope the next council member will be creative in solving the growth conundrum. Plano is the elder sibling when it comes to handling the good and evil of suburban growth, and where Plano can solve these conundrums, the rest of the region can follow.

Ready to vote?

Compare candidates using our Voter Guide:

Early voting: May 28-June 4

Election Day: June 8

For more information:

Collin County: 1-800-687-8546

Dallas County: 214-819-6300

Denton County: 940-349-3200

Ellis County: 972-825-5195

Rockwall County: 972-204-6200

For more help, including how to check your registration status, contact the Texas secretary of state at 1-800-252-8683 or visit votetexas.gov

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