Plano voters will get the final say on Tom Harrison's fate as a City Council member. The Plano City Council voted 6-0 with two abstentions Monday night to schedule a recall election for the council member, who's been the center of controversy since February, when a series of anti-Muslim posts were discovered on his Facebook page.
Last week, a group called Our Plano, One Plano turned in 4,400 signatures calling for the electio
n, about 1,500 more than what's required to trigger a recall. On Monday, Plano City Secretary Lisa Henderson certified the petition.
"I can earnestly say this agenda item brings me no joy," Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere said Monday. "It brings nobody here joy, but it's not about me, it's not about our council, it's about our people, and 4,400 people signed a petition."
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LaRosiliere and Our Plano, One Plano have both called on Harrison to resign before facing the election. Harrison has refused on multiple occasions, saying that while he is sorry for those who may have been offended by posts on Facebook page suggesting Islam should be banned from public schools and tying Muslims to modern-day slavery, he is neither a racist nor a bigot.
He told reporters after the council meeting Monday that he intended to continue to do the job he was elected to do.
"I was elected by 60 percent of the people, the voters in Plano. I'm promised them I'd finish, and that's what I'm doing," Harrison said. "I've made a promise, and I've kept all my promises."
Harrison hoped the council would schedule a public hearing so he could defend himself on April 23 before calling for the election, but the council decided schedule the election based on the advice of City Attorney Paige Mims, who said it had no other choice in light of the valid petition. Harrison will still have the opportunity to defend himself, but it will come with the election already on the books.