PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – The controversy over a Plano city council member’s seemingly anti-Muslim Facebook post spilled over Thursday night at the mayor’s State of the City address.
Council member Tom Harrison did not attend the meeting but made an appearance in a video that was greeted with a mixture of loud boos and scattered applause.
Harrison apologized Wednesday after sharing a post on his Facebook page with the words “Share if you think Trump should ban Islam in American schools.”
The apology, though, wasn’t enough for more than a dozen people who gathered outside Plano’s Courtyard Theater to call for his resignation. “We have an elected official who is bigoted,” said Plano resident Asad Shalami.
Betsy Friauf, also of Plano, said, “All children have the right to wear a hijab, to wear a cross on a necklace, a star of David.”
Online, supporters have jumped to the council member’s defense with some accepting his apology and some vigorously insisting no apology was necessary. “We’re going to support Tom Harrison. He’s a good man,” said Allan Samara, with Smart Plano Future, a local organization that has opposed the mayor over the city’s plans for future development. “And, perhaps, he shouldn’t have raised this issue in the first place.”
A special Plano city council meeting has been called for Sunday to deliberate the “appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline, or dismissal” of Harrison. The council does not have the authority to fire an elected official, but it can vote to censure him, which would serve as an official reprimand.