FRISCO — Thousands of Frisco residents signed a petition calling for a vote on funding for the Collin County Arts Hall. If Frisco backs out, it could sink the whole project.
But the petitions, as they were written, were not valid to force an election.
Frisco Tea Party officials say that's OK. They say they just wanted to deliver a loud message to the City Council.
“The people want their voice merely to be heard,” said Toni Faber, a Frisco taxpayer.
Tea Party leaders say their petition was non-binding. Ultimately, it's up to the City Council to decide whether to call for an election to revoke the remaining $16 million in bonds to help build the tri-city Arts Hall.
City Attorney Richard Abernathy told Council members that the petition — as it was written — could not mandate another vote.
“I believe we did make our statement," said Lorie Medina, co-chair of the Tea Party. "We had 1,370 people that signed this in good faith, making a statement that they wanted this voted on again in November. There's a lot of people in Frisco that want to see it on the ballot. And I sure hope it happens.”
The Tea Party claims the Arts Hall bond package Frisco voters approved in 2002 called for four cities to help pay. But McKinney voted against it, leaving Frisco, Allen and Plano to foot the bill.
Formers Frisco Mayor Mike Simpson, who now heads the Arts of Collin County, wonders when it will all stop.
"What if they come back and get another petition against it? This could go back and forth and forth," Simpson said. "The people who voted for it in 2002 are saying, 'When does my vote count?'”
Frisco City Council members can still choose to call for a vote on August 2, 90 days before the November election. Tea Party officials say they won't decide their next move until they see what the Council does.