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Mayor Cheney Running for Re-Election in 2020

Jeff-Cheney-2020

Mayor Jeff Cheney Announces 2020 Mayoral Run

The privilege of being your Mayor has been the highest honor of my life.  Thank you. I am running for re-election, want to serve you another three years, and am seeking your vote on May 2, 2020.

More jobs, expanding the tax base, creating beautiful neighborhoods, providing top-tier entertainment, and keeping you safe.  We accomplished this by working together: the six outstanding leaders on City Council, the most excellent City Manager, Frisco ISD, and all our education partners, City staff, members of our Boards and Commissions, our volunteers, and you.

Frisco was named the #1 Best Place to Live while still being ranked the fastest growing city.  PGA of America is relocating to Frisco, and together, we are creating a new epicenter for the entire sport of golf.  We won our first-ever Fortune 500 relocation, Keurig Dr Pepper, and was awarded the distinction for #1 in job growth in the US.  These big wins are a result of rebuilding the Frisco Economic Development Corporation and focusing on the original two initiatives of expanding the tax base and attracting jobs.  We worked to attract a top-ranked Tier 1 research university, the University of North Texas. UNT is building a 100-acre campus providing undergrad and graduate studies focusing on emerging technologies.   Every major medical and healthcare provider is open for patients or is building state-of-the-art campuses: Baylor Scott & White Medical Center, Baylor Sports Performance Center, Scottish Rite For Children, Medical City Frisco, Texas Health Resources, UT Southwestern and more on the horizon.  We continue to deepen our Sports City USA brand by adding the National Soccer Hall of Fame, professional lacrosse, and an esports team. Simultaneously, we are looking to become a leading center for the arts. You, the citizens, have demonstrated your desire for world-class performing and visual arts.

We have continued to invest in providing opportunities for an active lifestyle with the largest purchase of land designated for parks.  We codified my commitment to you for more protected open spaces in all our developments through a city ordinance. Also, I believe in conserving money.  We have widely implemented LEAN, a continuous improvement initiative, throughout the City of Frisco to become more efficient in all areas. And, we passed an ordinance to create a Homestead Tax exemption.  It afforded a much-needed 10% reduction to homeowners. Frisco’s families who purchase a home and live in our neighborhoods are the foundation of our city. As the intense growth has changed our community, we have made it our mission to welcome all people.  Practically everyone is new to Frisco and come from all parts of America and the world, however, once you are here, you are a Frisconian. Working alongside Frisco veterans, we have made Frisco a veteran-ready city. We have strived to keep an open dialogue with residents, provided weekly updates, and made my phone number available to everyone.

After being elected in 2017, we announced my 100-Day Plan to follow through on my commitments and jumpstart my long-term goals.  Expeditiously fulfilling these promises was crucial. Over the coming months, I anticipate continuing our conversation together on new ideas, aspirations, and what is next for Frisco.  While we have accomplished some amazing feats together, there is still immense opportunity to continue winning. I humbly ask for your support and encouragement.

01/04/19

Special Council meeting, St. Philips Episcopal, Lessons & Carols Service, Boals Elementary, FC Dallas new Head Coach

FCS Division 1 Championship

Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com


This week every year has become one of my favorite weeks in Frisco.  It is the week of the FCS Division 1 Championship Game.  The top two NCAA Division 1 teams come to Frisco for a week of festivities which concludes with the Championship Game.  On Wednesday evening, the returning champions North Dakota State University Bison and the challenger Eastern Washington University Eagles arrived in Frisco.  As the tradition, Visit Frisco, Frisco Chamber and many of us greet the two teams as they arrive in Frisco.  


Miracle League of Frisco

Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com

On Thursday evening, the Bison and the Eagles both participate in community outreach.  At Performance Indoor Training off of North County Road, both teams came to play football but for a special purpose.  Miracle League of Frisco provides opportunities for special needs children to play sports.  Each child was paired with a “buddy” from NDSU or EWU.  The children range in age from 5 to 19.  Some of them are in wheelchairs or need to depend on crutches.  It is so rewarding for everyone involved to see the excitement in these children’s eyes.


NTX BBQ Bowl

Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com

After the football game with the Miracle League, we went to the NCAA Great Texas Barbecue Bowl at Main Event.  The teams have an enjoyable evening of eating Texas barbecue and bowling.  These players worked hard to get to this position and this is one of the opportunities to relax and have fun.

Last year’s NCAA Division I FCS Championship Game impacted the Frisco and surrounding area’s economy by over $8.1M.  We want to provide a memorable and welcome experience to these teams so they want to stay longer and look forward to coming back, especially in the case of North Dakota State!  Frisco will be full all weekend.  So if you see a Bison or Eagle fan, thank them for coming to Frisco.


Special City Council Meeting

We had a special City Council meeting on Wednesday evening.  Normally, it would be held on the first Tuesday but it was New Year’s Day.  Council voted unanimously to approve an amendment to the 2012 Master Service Agreement with Exide Technologies.  This is a major milestone for Frisco.  We finally have a plan for cleaning up the battery recycling company’s closed operating plant site and protecting Stewart Creek from future contamination.  This agreement effectively ends pending litigation over the MSA and adds new details about how to clean up Stewart Creek and the former operating plant.  There are two important items to understand.  First, Council pursued a boardroom rather than courtroom strategy.  Several years back when I was on Council, we realized Exide was not good for Frisco.  Many wanted to employ litigation to force Exide to leave.  Thankfully, others along with City Manager George Purefoy, wanted to try to work out this agreement directly with Exide.  If we had pursued litigation on the outset, it would have cost the taxpayers dearly.  The lead plant stopped operations in 2012 and later filed bankruptcy.  Exide filed a lawsuit in early 2018 and Wednesday’s approved amendment ended it.  The other item of particular interest to many of our residents is the Exide land itself.  As part of this amendment, we have an agreed upon plan to remediate the land and Stewart Creek.  The Exide property is 93 acres located in the heart of our city, east of Dallas North Tollway and north of Stonebrook.  Due to the proximity to the future Grand Park, Downtown Rail District, and Frisco Square, we now have more options to connect these areas or expand them.  Closing out Exide has been a goal for the City and Council for many years.  However, there was always one person who would not give up and was determined to see it through, City Manager George Purefoy.  Thank you, George, for your wisdom and patience.  

At Council, Frisco Fire Department explained the implementation of the Pre-Hospital Blood Transfusion Program.  The Fire Department knew waiting for a transfusion at the hospital after experiencing trauma could be fatal.  Frisco Fire Department worked to decrease the precious minutes for someone to receive life-saving blood.  They worked with the U.S. Military to learn how they administer blood products on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan.  It took two years to implement the program.  The first week they started the program, a construction worker at The Star was struck by 6000 pounds of material.  Frisco Fire Department was able to quickly move the 6000 pounds of construction material and provided the transfusion at the site of the accident.  He is now in “serious but stable condition.”  Thank you, Frisco Fire Department, for continually searching for more ways to keep our city safe.  Frisco is the first city in North Texas to have this capability.  


Frisco Amongst Safest Cities in America

Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com

This leads me to another award which Frisco was recognized this week.  Smart Asset announced the Safest Cities in America.  Frisco was listed as #6.  When you read stories like the one above, you really are not surprised that we are #6.  

Read the Article Here
 


Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com

Meet Frisco Artist, Brandi Mieger

On Thursday, I met Brandi Mieger.  She is the artist whose photography work is displayed this quarter in my City Hall office.  We change out the art every quarter to promote and bring awareness to local artists.  When I have meetings, people ask about the art and it gives me an opportunity to talk about it and our vibrant arts community.  Frisco has an abundance of visual artists.  In the past couple of years, the Visual Arts Guild of Frisco’s membership has more than tripled.  The VAGF works with our Public Art Coordinator to identify art and artists for the office Council and I share at City Hall.  Thanks, Brandi, for sharing your photography on Frisco.  Also, the art is for sale.


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8/24/18

Camp Gladiator

Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.comLast Saturday, I participated in Camp Gladiator at The Ford Center at The Star. Camp Gladiator is a national workout training company and once a year they host a huge stadium dash challenge in multiple cities. You will not be shocked to hear the event at The Star was the largest turnout in the nation. Every hour they would run a wave of participants running through the stadium with additional challenges at certain intervals. It was a lot of fun. Thousands of people were there. It was a great family event with loved ones in the stands cheering us all on.

Rise Frisco Kickoff
Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com
Sunday morning was the kickoff of Rise Frisco, a new church. They meet in Cobb Middle School. Pastor Grant Diamond asked me to come and support their first service. Congratulations to Grant and everyone who has supported this church along the way. We are glad you are in Frisco.

Cowboys Training Camp
Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com
Monday afternoon was the official opening ceremony of Cowboys Training Camp at The Star. The reason I love this is because Frisco City Council and I get to go on the field and welcome the Dallas Cowboys. It opened with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders performing. Then the Frisco Police Honor Guard presented the colors. Reedy High School choir beautifully sang the national anthem. Next, they let me welcome the Cowboys back to Frisco. The stadium was filled with cheering fans. So I was smart enough to keep my remarks short because I knew they were waiting for the players to come on the field. This is officially the beginning of football season!

photo credit: visitfrisco.com

Toyota’s Hydrogen Powered Truck

Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com

Tuesday I went to the Toyota headquarters to see a hydrogen powered truck. Toyota has been working to develop hydrogen cars and trucks. The 18-wheeler truck they had on display could handle just as much payload as a diesel powered truck, had zero emissions and was very quiet when running. The Toyota development team, nicknamed Project Portal, told us one of the truck driver’s comments is that the hydrogen truck does not shake or is not loud. The truck drivers finish their drive not as exhausted because they are not dealing with the vibrations and loud diesel engine. Also, another reason why Toyota is suddenly attracted to Texas with this new technology is because Texas has the largest supply of hydrogen. It turns out that hydrogen is a natural byproduct of Texas’s vast oil and gas industry. Toyota is not developing hydrogen-powered vehicles for next year but for the future. They said they want to be planning 50 to 100 years ahead. According to them, the electric-powered Prius was thought to be faddish. Now, every major car company in the world has an electric car. Toyota wants to keep developing and pushing for the next generation of transportation. It is great to have Toyota located so close to Frisco and to have a strong relationship with this global leader.

City Council Meeting Breakdown

City Council meeting was busy. We recognized our Frisco Fire Department for their outstanding work. They just received another ISO 1 rating. This is an independent 3rd party which rates fire departments. They said it difficult to receive a 1 rating but even tougher keeping it. And that is exactly what our Frisco Fire Department has achieved. This ISO rating affects your homeowner insurance. Frisco homeowners receive a built in discount on their insurance because of this superior rating. Thank you, Chief Piland and your entire Fire Department, for not only protecting us but for lowering our insurance cost.

At Council, we also passed an ordinance to allow brewpubs in Frisco and for Frisco Flyers to build a private badminton stadium. However, the big news of the night was Frisco EDC announcing the sale of Park 25. Frisco EDC President Ron Patterson explained that real estate development was not in their core mission. Ron announced the property was being sold to the Cowboys so they can build their distribution center. This will house all merchandise and be another Cowboys development. We could not be happier that the Cowboys has continued to invest in Frisco. They had several opportunities to build this distribution center in nearby cities but they are staying in Frisco.

Mayor’s Business Round Table

Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com

Wednesday we hosted another one of my Business Round Tables. It was sponsored by the Omni Hotel. Our special guest was Fehmi Karahan. Thank you Omni General Manager, Jeff Smith, for generously providing a ballroom and great lunch. We had 150 business leaders join us for the discussion on the 2500 acres recently purchased by Hunt Realty. Fehmi has joined with Hunt to master develop this beautiful land. We talked about the potential of this development and the importance of preserving its natural beauty.

Collin County Young Repbulicans

Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com

On Wednesday evening I spoke at the Collin County Young Republican meeting. They wanted to hear what was happening in Frisco. These millennials especially wanted to learn more about our autonomous vehicles pilot program with Drive.ai. I received several questions on property taxes and what reform should look like.

Next Veteran’s Social

Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com

Coming up next week is another Frisco Veterans Social. This one is sponsored by Balfour Beatty and will have a Purple Heart theme. We will be honoring the veterans who have received a Purple Heart and the sacrifice they have made. If you are veteran, you are invited to attend this free event of fun and fellowship. August 31st, 6:00pm at City Works.

Please RSVP here http://www.mayorcheney.com/mayor-calendar.html

8/31/18

Our Helping Hearts

Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.comLast Saturday I was invited to visit a group of children who were making sandwiches for the homeless. When I arrived, I realized it was something much more. Let me start at the beginning. Frisco residents, Dax and Sonia Lopes, decided last Spring they wanted to help the homeless. Their son asked a few friends to join in the effort. In April, twenty people came together to make sandwiches for the homeless. The Lopes family posted it on Facebook and each month the number of families increased. When I showed up last Saturday, there were approximately 800 people making sandwiches for the homeless. Each family brought their own sandwich supplies and had a table to lay it out their assembly line. The cool thing is it was moms, dads, and kids working as teams making sandwiches together. I asked one family if they knew Dax and why they were there. The dad said they did not know anyone involved but saw it on Facebook and wanted to help. A woman said he brought a neighbor boy because his mom had to work and the boy raised money on his own to purchase the sandwich supplies. The boy was no more than 8 or 9 years old. One of the best parts of Frisco is our diversity. I saw families of all races and backgrounds working together to help others in need. On the day I visited, these Frisco families made 17,000 sandwiches. A Salvation Army representative was there to distribute some of the sandwiches. The Lopes family takes the rest to homeless shelters in Dallas. I love telling you this story because it represents the absolute best of all of us in Frisco. Thank you, Lopes Family, for taking the lead in such a simple yet profound and impactful way. You can connect with Our Helping Hands on Facebook.

DiverseAbility Forum
Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com
This week Frisco was the host city for DiverseAbility Forum. It was sponsored by Texas Workforce Commission and the University of North Texas. It was a gathering of Texas agencies along with small and large employers to discuss hiring individuals with disabilities. It was held at the Embassy Suites Conference Center. One of the reasons this specific location was selected is because the Embassy Suites in Frisco is one of the top employers in the state to hire people with disabilities. It was a discussion of why hiring employees with disabilities benefit the employer and how to actually hire them. I shared with the group that as Frisco continues to grow, we have a growing population of residents with disabilities. We want them to be gainfully employed in local businesses. We met CEO Don Crockett of Winco grocery stores and he was one of many businesses leading the way. Dawn Cruzan was there and has been a leading advocate in Frisco for the disabled. Thank you, Texas Workforce Commission’s Chair, Ruth Hughes, and UNT’s President, Neal Smatresk for leading on this necessary issue.

Frisco Fresh Market
Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com
If you are in town for Labor Day weekend, I encourage you to stop by our new Frisco Fresh Market. We are excited it opened a few weeks ago. Dana and I had a chance to tour it and we were very impressed. We went on a Saturday late morning and there were lots of families there. They had a guy playing guitar which gave a nice vibe. There is lots of food to eat on the spot or to take home and prepare. If you visit it, you will quickly see the different phases being developed. This farmers market is built first class and will only grow to be a future staple of our city. They are open Thursday to Sundays.

More info here www.friscofreshmarket.com

photo credit: visitfrisco.com

Frisco Arts Walk & 5k Run

Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com

Please save the date for October 6th. This is the annual Frisco Arts Walk and 5K Run. This year, they are incorporating a 5K run. My family enjoys walking the HALL Park grounds and enjoying all the active artists and performers happening throughout the area. Join me in running the 5K and enjoying a day of art. More info here https://friscoarts.org/frisco-arts-walk-and-run/

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3/2/18

Happy Birthday, Frisco!
Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com
In Frisco, buildings seem to spring up out of the ground overnight. Everything seems so new. For that reason, we are so blessed to have our Heritage Association who works to preserve our long history as a city. Did you know this last Sunday Frisco celebrated it’s 116th birthday? As Mayor, I am asked to pull the train whistle at each of our annual birthday celebrations. The Heritage Association planned a very special day for Frisco families to experience and learn more about our history. We had a birthday cake and sang “Happy Birthday” and there was animals and activities for children. Congratulations Heritage Association for another great celebration of Frisco’s historical past.

Townhall for Everyone, Anywhere
Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.comMonday evening was a City Town Hall. We host these occasionally throughout the year. It is an opportunity for our citizens to ask any question about anything. I lead the discussion along with Council and our City Manager, George Purefoy. We have all our City department heads present, ready and available for your queries. Dana Baird and her awesome Communications team work to make this event available to everyone. You can come to City Hall and participate or you can listen on the phone or watch on Facebook Live. We work hard to be open and available to you, our residents. We went until we had addressed everyone’s questions. We had approximately 30 questions and 40% were traffic/roads/transportation related. No surprise! There is several roads under construction, developments with all the technology integration and movement towards other forms of transportation. The rest of the questions were about Exide, apartments, future performing arts center, security in our schools, Wade Park and library expansion. The good news is if you missed the town hall, you do not have to wait until the next one. Just send me an email and I can either answer it or make sure it gets answered by the appropriate city staff. jcheney@friscotexas.gov

Thank you for your service, Councilman Tim Nelson

Tuesday night council meeting was a shorter one than normal. Councilman Tim Nelson was not there. He has been called back into active duty through the end of March and is stationed now in South Korea. Please keep Tim in your thoughts and prayers that he returns home safely. With the resignation of Fred Rogers as the Chairman of our Frisco Veterans Advisory Committee, I announced our new Chairman is J.P. Hogan. Colonel James P Hogan (JP) has been a long time friend and personal advisor and has dedicated his life to serving his country and fellow veterans. Congrats, JP, we know you will be a spectacular leader for our FVAC. In his monthly report, Chief Piland mentioned two separate successful rescues which he characterized as “two difficult calls that rivals anything I have seen in all my experience”. In the last month our Frisco Fire has been involved with a confined space rescue and a construction equipment extrication. Our Fire Department had the right training and the necessary equipment and resources to perform these sophisticated rescues. Because of the professionalism and expertise of our personnel, two men are alive today. Thank you Chief Piland!

Another Great MBRT
Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.comWednesday was our third Mayor’s Business Round Table. We host these quarterly events as an opportunity for me to speak directly with Frisco’s business community. It is important for me to have a connection with them and be available to listen to their needs and concerns. Each quarter a different business hosts it, selects the venue, provides the lunch and chooses the topic of discussion. Careington International Corporation was the host, the theme was “Smart City – Healthy City” and it was at the Dr. Pepper Arena. It was an interesting discussion to connect how smart city attributes like utilization of technology and conserving valuable resources leads to a healthier community. Barbara Fasola, CEO of Careington, a superstar who is recognized for her vision and leadership, lead our discussion along with Legacy ER’s CEO, Dr. Jay Woody and Sharecare’s SVP, David Toomey. We are living at an exciting time with the intersection of technology and healthcare. We have three major hospitals who have chosen to build in Frisco, Baylor Scott & White, Texas Health Resources and Scottish Rite. We are perfectly positioned to be in the middle of healthcare advancements. Thank you Barbara and her whole team at Careington, our panelists, and all the business leaders who participated.

Welcoming More Businesses to Frisco
Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.comWe had two ribbon cuttings on Thursday, Fresenius Kidney Care in Frisco on Legacy Drive and Hotel Indigo on Avenue of the Stars by the Dr. Pepper Arena. We welcome these two businesses to Frisco and wish them the greatest success.

Frisco Cares for Our Veterans

Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.comI was looking forward to Project Relo’s Casino Royale Night fundraiser. Casey McEuin moved to Frisco after leaving the military and brought the headquarters of his veteran service organization here, too. Project Relo works with CEO’s through three-day outdoors missions in conjunction with various military bases to help them understand the value of employing veterans. Thursday evening was their first ever large scale fundraiser and it was a huge success. World Series of Poker was one of the sponsors so there was a lot of charitable gaming, two fantastic live bands, donated food by the ever-generous owner Liz Brown of Bonnie Ruth’s restaurant, one Medal of Honor recipient Michael Thornton and many uniformed and non-uniformed military personnel and veterans. Thank you Casey and your entire team! Great job!

Be Your Own Boss

Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.comIf you are an entrepreneur or have been contemplating starting a business on the side, please consider coming to our first Inspire Frisco social gathering next Thursday, March 1st at 5:30pm at HALL Sip Lounge. We want to begin bringing together our entrepreneurs and let them know we are here to support, encourage and provide valuable resources to them. It’s free because entrepreneurs deserve a break.

Click here to RSVP
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/inspire-frisco-launch-party-tickets-42857769743?utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=order_confirmation_email&utm_term=eventname&ref=eemailordconf

9/7/18

First Baptist Church of Frisco Making an Impact

Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.comLast Friday afternoon I met with a pastor from First Baptist Church of Frisco.  Pastor Mark Caswell has been on a mission to make it known they support our schools and our city.  They took up a special offering for this effort.  FBC, Frisco has donated $1000 to each our 61 FISD schools, no strings attached.  They have also contributed to each of our fire stations and our police department.  I had the opportunity to be present when Mark presented the $1000 to Christie Elementary.  Thank you, Pastor Mark and FBC, Frisco for supporting our community in a very real way.  Our teachers especially appreciate your generous gift.


Frisco Veterans Social at City Works
Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com

Friday evening we organized another Frisco Veterans Social.  It was held at City Works at The Star and we took over the entire 2nd floor.  We had over 250 veterans attend our event.  Balfour Beatty Construction and JLL generously paid for all the food for the evening.  For this social, the Frisco Veterans focused on Purple Heart veterans.  We planned to honor 8 Purple Heart recipients including two WWI veterans who had passed away.  I read a proclamation from the city honoring these eight brave and noble men.  Councilman John Keating went the extra mile and made special challenge coins to present to each of the Purple Heart veterans.  Capital Grille gave $100 gift cards to each of them.  One of the six was Sgt. Dana Carroll.  He is 99 years old and turns 100 in November.  Sgt. Carroll fought in WW2, the Korean War and served in the Cold War.  It was such an honor to have Sgt. Carroll at our event surrounded by his family.  The entire crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to him.  The big surprise of the evening was four additional Purple Heart veterans came to the presentation whom we were not expecting.  This is a good problem.  Interestingly, two of them told their stories.  They shared that they were never welcomed home after the Vietnam War.  Both of these men were successful men who clearly had experienced great lives.  However, as they told their stories, tears fell from the corners of their eyes.  They said this was the first time they were recognized and appreciated for their sacrifice to America.  One of the veterans was given First Rights and thought to be dead, he suffered so dearly.  Thank you to JP Hogan, John Keating and Shenna Lawless for organizing this important event.  It was a special night.


Sunrise Rotary
Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.comTuesday morning after Labor Day I spoke at the Sunrise Rotary.  First, I need to remind you that I challenged this group to increase their flag program to over 1000 homes in Frisco.  Today, the Sunrise Rotary is well over 1100.  Congratulations!  I talked about the Fields estate, UNT coming to Frisco, the newly-announced Cowboys distribution center, the EDC being back on track and the Frisco Fire Department winning the national accreditation and earning the ISO rating.  The Rotary is an impressive group of leaders in Frisco.  Thank you for inviting me to speak, Geoffrey Davis and newly-elected President, Krista Ryan.


UNT Frisco Update

At our first Council meeting for the month of September, Dr. Jennifer Cowley, Provost of UNT, presented an update on what is happening with UNT in Frisco.  It was great to see their commitment to our community and to startups in conjunction with Inspire Frisco.  When I asked Jennifer what they wanted our residents to know about UNT, she unequivocally answered, “we are here today”.  UNT offers classes today at HALL Park and the new Inspire Park building, formerly known as the NTech building.


Congratulations on 30 years, HCL!

Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com

Wednesday morning I was asked to participate in commemorating HCL’s 30th anniversary in America.  HCL is a wonderful, Indian-based corporation who has chosen Frisco to grow their business.  Thank you, HCL, for choosing Frisco and making such a positive effect in our community.

 


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9/14/18

Frisco Fire Department 9/11 Ceremony

Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com

Tuesday was the 17th anniversary of the attacks on America.  Frisco Fire Department holds a somber ceremony every year commemorating the deaths of the 413 New York emergency workers who died that day.  It is held outside at Frisco’s Central Fire Station on Main Street.  This year it was raining as the bagpipes played and we all remembered.  Interestingly, Fire Chief Piland was at the Pentagon fighting the fires on 9/11.


Frisco Garden Club Ceremony
Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com

Later Tuesday, at 6:00 PM, Frisco Garden Club sponsored the 9/11 Ceremony which is open to the public.  It is held at the Warren Sports Complex up on the hill.  Approximately 100 people came.  It was nice to see families bringing their young children to this memorial.  When we say “we will never forget”, this implies we educate and share our stories with our children and grandchildren.  Thank you, moms and dads, for telling your children about your experiences of 9/11.  The Frisco Garden Club organizes an evening for all of us to remember that day.  Thank you, ladies.


Improving Off the Field Lives of NFL Players
Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.comThis week I met with Dante Wesley and his wife, Renetta.  Dante is a former NFL player and spent some time with the Dallas Cowboys.  His mission has changed since his days as a player.  Dante and Renetta are focused on improving the lives of NFL players and their families by focusing on their marriage and family relationships.  They shared with us the divorce rate in the NFL is 80%.  Dante and Renetta have teamed up with married Drs. Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt to create a program to restore these relationships.  Thanks, Renetta and Dante, we hope you can provide needed support for the players.


The New Modern Homes

Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com

On Wednesday morning, we broke ground for one of Frisco’s newest and most exciting residential builders.  The New Modern Homes chose Frisco to be the community where they first build.  The Frisco Chamber was there to welcome them and there was plenty of media capturing the news of this development.  The New Modern Homes are sustainable, energy free, and maintenance free.  They use solar panels to provide all the needed energy to run the home and even charge your car.  We are proud to be attracting this level of innovation to our residents.  Thank you, Jimmy Tanghongs, for choosing Frisco to build The New Modern Homes.

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/green/First-Energy-Free-to-Break-Ground-Wednesday-493031431.html


State of the University Address

Photo Credit: VisitFrisco.com

Thursday afternoon, we traveled to Denton to be at UNT President Neal Smatresk’s Annual State of the University Address.  Neal talked about all their achievements during the last year.  More students graduated, more money raised, more money spent on research, more buildings completed.  Do you see a trend?  Neal has been the President at UNT since 2014 and you can see the undeniable impact he has made on every aspect of the University.  Of course, one of the highlights for me was when he spoke so fondly of Frisco and the 100-acre campus they will be building on the Brinkmann Ranch property.  I recorded one statement in particular because he repeated it a couple of times and it was so meaningful.  “The union of creativity and technology is strategically important to our future and the growth of the creative economy around us.”  Neal explored the concept of a creative economy.  He said it represented 15% of the US GDP.  The University is strategically moving in that direction.  We see our city naturally moving into those business sectors like, sports, entertainment, arts and all the many related fields which support them.  Neal is truly a visionary and it is an honor that he and his incredible team has chosen Frisco for his expansion.


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6/15/18

Frisco Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual State of the City luncheon on Tuesday.  Thank you to everyone who organized this special event. Here is my speech 2018 State of the City Address:

 

Welcome and Thank you

Thank you, Tony, and the Frisco Chamber for hosting a fantastic event today.  Congratulations to the Frisco Leadership XXI on graduating and I am looking forward to seeing the community garden.  I would like to recognize my fellow Council members and our City Staff leadership who are here today including George Purefoy, Henry Hill and all our Department heads. I am privileged to work with this dedicated team of leaders everyday. We make a great team.

 

Introduction

I have the impossible job of trying to convey all that has happened in the last year and the vision we have in a 20 minute speech. Many of you are here today to get as many details as possible so buckle up, I am going to go fast and furious. However, let me first pause and say I am proud to tell you, the Future of Frisco is bright.

 

Practically every week, Frisco earns awards for outstanding city accomplishments and developments, earning our city tagline of “Progress in Motion”.  But, have you ever asked why Frisco is different? This is Cowboy country but fellow Texan JJ Watt and NFL Man of the Year says it best, “I want to go out and chase greatness.  That is all I want to do.”  The drive to be great at everything we do is a culture in Frisco that starts on the 5th floor of city hall and permeates throughout every employee and out into the community. Just like great companies want to work with other great companies, you are all here because you know something special is happening and you want to be a part of it.  We are all share the vision for Frisco to become a Great American city, something we will only accomplish if we are willing to go out and chase greatness everyday.

 

Today in my comments I will be giving you an update on all 9 planks I discussed last year as well as Council’s 2018 Top 10 list.

 

A Distinct Vision

Today, we want to announce the rebrand of our 10 mile stretch of the Dallas North Tollway as the Frisco North Platinum Corridor, a corridor thoughtfully designed to bring distinct districts all focusing on unique experiences and differing anchors. The southern section, formerly referred to as the $5 billion mile, has had tremendous success being anchored by the Stonebriar Center, The Star, Frisco Station, HALL Park and The Gate.  After 20 years, Stonebriar Mall is one of the most successful malls in the country and we believe continued investment in projects like Kidzania and the Hyatt Regency will keep it thriving 20 years from now. This area has proven the value in having great development partners, names such as the Perot’s and Hillwood, the Jones Family and Blue Star, The Moons, IGO’s Dr. Kozbari and Craig Hall among many others. Thank you all for developing and creating an impeccable Frisco standard.

 

The center section of our city is anchored by our historic downtown “The Rail District”, Frisco Square, City Hall, museum district, and the long-promised Grand Park.  Also, Toyota stadium, FC Dallas and the soon-to-be-opened, National Soccer Hall of Fame will become an even bigger destination. Thank you to the Hunt Family for your continued investment in Frisco.  And finally, Jim Newman announced his Railhead development which will bring the first Class A Office north of Main Street highlighted by a beautiful urban park the size of Dallas’s Klyde Warren Park.

 

We are now setting our sights on the northern part of our city. The 2500 acre tract of land, owned by the Fields estate will further define and distinguish us. We began working last month on what will be the largest zoning case in Frisco history. Unique by its terrain, creek corridors, and vista views, this is a rare opportunity to plan with the shared vision of creating something special.  We are chasing greatness all the way north to 380 by partnering with only the best developers who want to be in Frisco to do special projects.

 

UNT

Much of our undeveloped land will be influenced by the recent announcement of the University of North Texas building a campus in Frisco, an announcement which will affect Frisco generationally.  When I spoke to you last year, this is something i never dreamed I would be speaking to you about just one year later.

 

This has long been a dream of City Council and landed on ur 2018 Top 10 list. When I was running for Mayor, occasionally I was asked what my dream project would be.  My answer was always “attracting a 4-year university.” For Frisco to become the great American city, we must have an educational engine for our current and future workforce.

 

We needed a university who reflects our values, our drive for innovation and strategic partnerships.  When I met UNT President Neal Smatresk. Everything changed. I realized Neal, his leadership team and university, was the perfect partner for Frisco.  UNT has recently been honored as a Top Tier Research university by Carnegie and committed to training our students in cutting-edge technology so they are tomorrow’s leaders.   UNT is planning more than just building a permanent campus here. They are dedicated to partnering with our City in many ways including the Frisco Chamber to provide valuable research to better understand our businesses and their needs, with the EDC to present a united front when talking with prospective companies who are interested in relocating and with our existing companies to create and provide educational support.

 

The future campus will house their technological research efforts and will be targeting tomorrow’s workforce by specializing in A.I., robotics, virtual reality, big data, Esports and blockchain.  And, UNT’s world-famous musicians will be performing and participating in Frisco’s growing art scene. Also, UNT values veterans placing a high priority on providing education and transition assistance to propel them into our workforce as leaders. President Neal and his entire leadership team at UNT is already becoming active and visible.  I want to give a special thank you to Bob Brown because he was integral in making this deal happen. Please stand Bob Brown, Jennifer Cowley, Wesley Randall and your entire team.  We couldn’t be happier to welcome you to Frisco. Please join me in welcoming UNT and the Mean Green to Frisco.

 

Communication

Dana Baird and her team have revolutionized the way we communicate with the community. Our Council is committed to bringing City Hall out to the community.  The City’s Communications is utilizing Facebook Live for Council meeting wrap ups and using more video showing us “Progress in Motion” including the award-winning, 100 Days of videos. We have a quarterly Mayor’s Business Round Table,  monthly Coffee with the Mayor at City Hall. We try to reach every resident with programs such as The Indian Affairs Committee, attending many HOA meetings and neighborhood town halls. Personally, I provide Weekly Words which is a weekly rundown of my thoughts, meetings, experiences.  And write a monthly article in the Frisco Life magazine. All of us are active on social media including responding to your questions and comments. Many of our council members have started their own outreach programs including Rolling with the Council by Bill Woodard for anyone wanting to get a workout in while drilling us with questions. If you cannot tell, we want to have open lines of communication directly with you as we want you informed and want to hear what you think.

 

Managing Growth:  We heard from our residents that wanted a focus on quality over quantity. Last year, Council passed an ordinance requiring 10% meaningful open space by all developers as well as maximum density policies, pushing them to design significant green spaces and amenities.  Also, the days of building multi-family and not completing the promised retail and commercial is over. We are holding our developers accountable to build what they promised, in the right order.

 

Downtown: This year we have been working on our Master Plan for Downtown and we are in the final stages.  You, our community, has actively participated in the discussion. The goal is to preserve and rejuvenate our historic downtown by adding to the historic vibe and charm to include walkability, gathering areas and more patios. One thing we know for certain is we have to get Main Street right. Council has a Top 10 goal this year to start a significant project to keep the momentum going. In the meantime, a local developer, Donny Churchman of Nack Development is moving forward with several downtown projects that will continue to add fuel to the fire.  

 

Arts: To be a great city, we need to cultivate the arts.  As many of you have witnessed, our arts community has exploded with excitement and energy.  The Frisco Arts organization has grown their membership by over 700% this last year. They are attracting world-class talent to Frisco to perform such as the recent sold-out Red Carpet series.  Artists and lovers of arts are enjoying this modern renaissance happening here in Frisco. The private sector is stepping up with developments like Frisco Music City which will be a first-of-its-kind, music venue including a 1002-seat full performance theater, outdoor stage with dining and pop-up chef stations.  Nack Development has plans to build a small, boutique theater in The Rail District which will provide much-needed space for our children’s theater. Hillwood is building Frisco Station with a focus on being smart, healthy and creative. I spoke with their CEO, Mike Berry, yesterday to discuss his idea for an outdoor performance area.

 

While this all fills a big need, we still have the dream of a performing arts hall.   Our Council committee on arts with Shona Huffman and Bill Woodard has worked to define how our bond money could effectively and potentially be used.  They have led a needs-assessment study which will be complete soon. The purpose is to provide the study to the private sector as a sign of commitment.  This project needs to be led by the experts, which is the arts community and the private sector.

 

Craig Hall has presented designs for a performing arts center to the city as part of a master plan redevelopment of HALL Park.  He is committed to the Arts, and has a strong history of philanthropy including offering to donate the land and capital. Right now, a group is forming of community leaders and arts philanthropists who will lead a capital campaign team.  While there is much work to be done, I am optimistic in the direction we are moving to have a world-class performing arts center here in Frisco.

 

Economic Development:

A research study was completed last year to analyze the effectiveness of the the EDC’s first 25 years.  Over 20% of all jobs are a result of EDC-related employers. Also, for every dollar spent, $4.77 is generated in taxes directly to the City of Frisco.  Even though these figures are impressive and some of the best in the nation, we want to see a significant increase in the job creation number and a bigger return on our tax dollars

 

They recognize the days are past when we could rely on our phones ringing for the next big deal.  While we applaud their successes and benefit regionally, It has been uncomfortable to watch our neighbors win some big corporate relocations.  We want to win Fortune 500 relocations to increase our tax base and provide jobs for our residents. For Frisco to reach these big goals, it is critical to have the right leadership for this momentous time.  Ron Patterson is the newly-appointed President of the EDC. Ron has decades of work experience in city management, including 18 years working under learning from the best, George Purefoy. Also, Ron served our nation in the United State Air Force and the Texas Air National Guard for 23 years.

 

 

The EDC Board of Directors and Ron recognize the need to shift away from projects which do not focus on the EDC’s core mission.  Owning and operating projects like the NTEC facility and the EB5, has caused time, talent and resources to be focused on matters other than the core mission.  Ron, along with our talented and dedicated EDC Board, are refocusing on the strategy of corporate relocation and job creation. They are moving quickly to restructure their personnel to realign along four strategic job functions: business development, compliance, marketing and administration.  They are aggressively initiating relationships with key site-selectors who are in the areas outside of our typical regional relationships expanding our horizon to both coasts and internationally. The EDC team is thinking big and we believe they are poised to achieve this ambitious goal. . I would like for our EDC staff and Board to please stand to be recognized.

 

Veterans:

Through our Frisco Veterans Advisory Committee, we have rightfully elevated veterans in our community.  With the call to action to Value Veterans, you, our business community has stepped up. Home Depot is now the corporate sponsor for the Distinguished Veteran Award.  Baylor, Scott & White Centennial Hospital and our new Baylor, Scott & White Medical Facility have each sponsored our social gatherings. And I want to especially thank the Frisco Chamber. For organizing a Veteran Chamber Committee and honoring all members who hire veterans.

 

 

All of our efforts have not gone unnoticed.  Next week, we have the Assistant Deputy Secretary of Labor coming from Washington DC to visit Frisco.  They have been told about our significant efforts to Value Veterans and want to learn more. Also, targeted companies for relocation are taking notice on our commitment to value veterans.  Thank you Councilman John Keating for your strong leadership in this effort and Councilman Tim Nelson for continuing to serve our nation in the United States Army as a Lieutenant Colonel. If you are a veteran, please stand.  And today is Womens Veterans Day in Texas as proclaimed by Governor Abbott. Thank you, ladies, for your service.

 

Getting Frisco Moving Again:

Many major roadways are under construction and Council just authorized the sale of all of our remaining road bond funds.  However, more lanes throughout our city is not the only or best solution. I believe we are in the midst of a transportation revolution.  We will see more advances in transportation in the next 10 years than we have seen in the last 50 years. Look for Frisco to be out on the forefront leading in mobility continuing to search for better ways to use technology to improve our transportation.  As discussed, we are leading the nation by deploying autonomous vehicles. We are utilizing the WAZE app and other connected car technologies to improve our drive time experience. Our city staff has challenged themselves to deploy best in class technologies and improve each day.

 

Tax Relief: We accomplished a significant objective last year by passing a  homestead exemption which reduced the City portion of your taxes by 7.5%, th First in Frisco’s history.  We also reduced the effective tax rate making Frisco one of the lowest city tax rates in the region while adding to our capital reserve fund.  Thank you, Nell Lange and her team along with Councilmen Will Sowell, Bill Woodard and Brian Livingston for working diligently on Council’s Budget and Finance Committee.  Recently, Moody’s upgraded our bond rating to Aaa, a distinction held by only 8% of American cities and the first time Frisco has held this distinction. By upgrading our rating, we can borrow money cheaper which reduces our interest payments which saves taxpayer dollars.  

 

We will continue to work with our Texas Legislature for real property tax reform while allowing best in class cities like Frisco to continue to have local control over our own budget processes.  We believe we set the model for the state and nation and will be leading the conversation on how Frisco’s best practices can be implemented statewide.

 

Parks: Lastly, Council believes Frisco’s legacy will be defined by our parks.  Over this past year, we have made significant advances in securing land, planning for and opening new parks such as Northeast park which included one of the largest skate parks in Texas. Last year Council made the strategic commitment to purchase 260 acres of the Brinkmann property, providing enough land to cover much of the future buildout needs.  Another one of Council’s Top 10 List of goals for 2018 is to finalize the hike and bike trail system throughout all of Frisco which will be completed this Fall.

 

Last year I committed to pushing forward with Grand Park.  Over this past year we have made good progress with federal and state agencies for this legacy project.  In the meantime, we have the opportunity to refine the plans for Grand Park. The goal is for Grand Park to be recognized as one of the great urban parks.  The good news is, we are exploring the possibility of being able to announce Phase 1 park improvements by year end.

 

How do you feel the progress we are making?

 

Give For Frisco

Quickly before I conclude, there are two new initiatives I would like to share with you.

 

First, Give For Frisco is a collaboration of our nonprofits to expand their reach.   I believe strongly the local charities are an extension of the City and provide critical services we cannot reach.  They are starting by today launching GiveForFrisco.com. It’s an online digital platform for all nonprofits who are headquartered or serve the Frisco community. It has been developed to provide another avenue to reach new volunteers and donors at zero cost to them, creating an efficient way to connect donors and volunteers with nonprofits in one easy website.  It provides an opportunity for us to encourage people to support our city by connecting with one or more of these local charities on Give For Frisco.

 

The Give For Frisco website is created and updated monthly by Lifestyle Frisco’s Wendi McGowan-Ellis and Scott Ellis and is always free of charge for all the nonprofits with any donations going 100% directly to the chosen charity.  Wendi and Scott have generously contributed their time and talent to provide this benefit to our nonprofits and our residents.

 

I believe Frisco is a compassionate community and now we have a tool to expedite and facilitate our giving.  Can Wendi and Scott and all the nonprofits who joined in the initial launch of Give For Frisco, please stand to be recognized?

 

Inspire Frisco

Last, I want to discuss Inspire Frisco.

 

Last fall, I realized we have many organizations who support and provides resources to entrepreneurs.  However, it was clear these groups needed to communicate and better coordinate their efforts. We started researching and looking to other cities who designed a serious effort to grow and support entrepreneurs.  Sheffield, England, one city who we have a relationship with, encouraged us to collaborate with a local university for access to intellectual property. San Diego Connect began in the 80’s and was based on leveraging research results into driving entrepreneurship, partnering with University of California – San Diego.

 

 

UNT will initially house the program organizationally and physically at their new facility which they purchased from the City of Frisco.  Today they announce it will appropriately be called, Inspire Park. Inspire Frisco is an organization which will utilize intellectual property created and developed by researchers at UNT.  They will partner directly with Frisco’s entrepreneurs and will be supported by a group of executives who will guide, mentor and counsel. Also, we will be working to attract investors to support these new companies.  My vision is for Frisco to be the center of entrepreneurial activity. Our residents in Frisco are educated and ambitious. Inspire Frisco will present a program for entrepreneurs to learn and grow.

 

Conclusion

We do not just talk about ideas we make them happen here in Frisco.  Thank you to everyone here for supporting our efforts. Let’s continue to chase greatness each day and commit to our goal to become the greatest American city.  With your help, Frisco is destined to become a great American City. Thank you

 

4/20/18

Last Friday morning, we hosted a special Coffee with the Mayor in Council Chambers at City Hall.  We invited Frisco ISD and Frisco Police Department to hold a community discussion on school violence and how we can improve safety.  Police Chief Bruce participated and FISD brought all of their senior staff along with Superintendent Waldrip, School Board President John Classe, and Trustees Bryan Dodson, Anne McCausland, Chad Rudy, and Debbie Gillespie.  Chief Bruce showed a video on the SAFER program which is a coordinated effort between the City and FISD to protect our schools. Superintendent Waldrip explained they are reviewing many aspects of their security with the focus being on: identification, intervention and prevention.  Many of the concerned parents were pleased to learn FISD is considering hiring more counselors and using a new app for students and parents to anonymously report concerns. Even though conversations are continual between the City and FISD, it was important for our residents and especially our parents to witness the partnership and collaboration between us in person.  Thank you everyone for participating in this crucial discussion. As I said last Friday, this is not a one time conversation. The safety of our children is our most important job. If you missed Coffee with the Mayor, you can watch all the presentations along with citizen’s questions and comments. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpvonYQJspM&feature=em-uploademail

We held our 2nd Frisco Veterans Social on Friday evening at City Works.  We were blown away at the number of veterans who came. There were over 200 people.  It was such a fun time to talk to and meet all the veterans. Baylor, Scott & White was the major sponsor of the evening with Neil Farren’s Strykz and Patrick Walker’s Expedia CruiseShips financially assisting.  Baylor, Scott & White’s new CEO, Trevor Castaneda, came and spoke, too. The whole evening was a big success and everyone cannot wait until the next one. Thank you to the entire Frisco Veterans Advisory Committee for organizing the social with a big shout out to Shenna Lawless for her outstanding leadership on this social.

Saturday was a very busy day filled with fantastic events.  I started the day early welcoming all the runners and volunteers to the 3rd Annual Texas Big Star Half Marathon.  This is a labor of love for the two main organizers, Paul Simon and Dustin Paschal. It is not just a run but a fun festival for the whole family with food, music and lots of giveaways.  Thank you, Paul and Dustin, for working to make this great race a Frisco tradition.

Later in the day, the Main Street merchants held their annual stEATS festival.  They bring in 60 food trucks and have lots of vendor booths and of course, the best music.  I had the privilege to introduce my favorite Dallas band, Emerald City. It was still chilly in the afternoon but the weather did not stop the crowds.  strEATS is one of the many ways our private sector is working to revitalize our historic downtown by increasing the foot traffic. Congrats, Mark Piper, President of the Downtown Merchants and big high five to Kim and Steve, owners of Manny’s.

We closed out Saturday evening at Phillips Creek Ranch neighborhood.  Our Indian Affairs Committee organized another Chai with Cheney. It is beneficial to hold these types of open discussions regularly in our neighborhoods rather than City Hall.  Deputy Mayor Pro Tem John Keating and Councilman Bill Woodard joined us, too. We had the usual questions about roads and construction but, also about opportunities for senior citizens in our city.  One of the highlights was when Raghu Tadimeti spoke about the historical importance of the day. Raghu told us it was the day Lincoln was assassinated. He went on to inform everyone of the importance of Lincoln in the history of America by fighting for our country to remain united and the end of slavery.  Thank you Ram Majji, Gopal Ponangi, Krishna Bhaskar, Khushboo Rawlley, and Neetu Patil for organizing this neighborhood event. And, thank you, John and Bill, for participating, too.

Frisco Chamber of Commerce hosted a candidate forum on Monday evening.  They invited the candidates in the school board and city council races. I must admit, it was nice to just be in the audience.  Dana and I are very familiar with what it takes to be a candidate and run a campaign. We thank each and every one of the candidates for running.  It means you care about our community. Because of my experience with Mayor Pro Tem Will Sowell and Deputy Mayor Pro Tem John Keating, I have endorsed them both for reelection.  I know their character and what each brings to the Council. Frisco needs to re-elect them both. School Board President John Classe is running unopposed. In the Place 7 open seat, I have chosen to endorse Rene’ Archambault.  I believe she has the best experience and preparation to serve our FISD Board. Early voting begins next Monday, April 23rd, 8:00am to 5:00pm. No matter which county you live in, you can vote at any polling site in your county during early voting.  Please go vote on Monday for John Keating and Will Sowell for City Council and John Classe and Rene’ Archambault for School Board. For more information on early voting and polling sites click here https://friscotexas.gov/1421/2018-General-Election

One of the highlights of City Council was Director of Development Services, John Lettelier, gave an analysis report on our Open Space ordinance.  Frisco’s Open Space ordinance requires all developments to provide 10% meaningful open space. When we passed it late summer 2017, we thought there would be possible exceptions for small retail or fast food restaurants where the open space requirement would not be manageable.  We were pleased to see John’s many examples of different types of businesses and developments and how the 10% requirement has worked in every case. Previous to the ordinance being passed, John and has team worked with developers to encourage more meaningful open spaces. He said after the 10% open space became a official requirement, it created clarity for him and his team.  Thank you, John, for your excellent work for Frisco and for this informative report. This ordinance helps to keep Frisco more green and ultimately improve the quality of our developments.

4/27/18

My job on Monday was to go bowling!  Every year, in conjunction with our Mayor’s Youth Council, Frisco’s elementary schools choose 38 outstanding fifth graders to learn more about our city and hang out with me.  I can imagine for a fifth grader, the entire day was a blast. I would have loved this when I was a kid. They were given a special tour of our Central Fire Station on Main Street, rode bikes around Safety Town, ate pizza and then bowled with me.  Big thank you to our Fire and Police Departments who participated and of course, Neil Farren of Strikz Entertainment.

Our City Hall 101 students graduated Monday evening.  If you have not been through the City Hall 101 class, I recommend it.  It is a free, 13-week class provided by the City of Frisco to give our residents a glimpse into city departments and what it takes to run a town like Frisco.  It is usually an interesting combination of people who have just moved to Frisco and residents who have lived here for years. No matter the amount of time you have been living here, everyone walks away from this academy for an appreciation of our city staff and their commitment to our residents.  Congrats, City Hall 101 graduates, and thank you for investing in Frisco.

Frisco Arts awarded grants on Wednesday evening to their 2018 recipients.  Sixteen arts nonprofits who provide various programming in Frisco receive funding from Frisco Association for the the Arts.  The winners go through a fairly rigorous process to qualify for the funding. Frisco Arts was budgeted $175,000 from the City of Frisco which comes from the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT).  These are the taxes people pay when they stay in our hotels. The vast majority of that money is generated by our strong tourism. It is great our tourists are funding arts in Frisco. Frisco Fine Art hosted the event at their beautiful venue on Main Street.  It was fun to see all the people and organizations who are benefitting. Thank you, Tammy Meinershagen, and the entire Frisco Arts team.

Later on Wednesday evening, I went to the Shaddock Creek annual HOA meeting.  Occasionally, I get to attend these neighborhood gatherings. It is a nice opportunity when I can talk with and listen to our residents directly.  Typically, I am asked the usual questions about traffic, road improvement projects and “what’s being built on that corner?”. There is so much happening every week, I understand it is difficult for our residents to be up date on everything.  If your neighborhood is having an HOA meeting, let me know and if my schedule permits, I would be happy to come.

This week our Frisco Economic Development Corporation made a big announcement.  As you remember, Jim Gandy, our first and only President of Frisco’s EDC retired earlier this year.  Ron Patterson, who was our Assistant City Manager, was appointed as the Interim President. Ron jumped into the position and immediately began impressing everyone in the City, the EDC Board and the business community.  We made it official this week by naming Ron Patterson our official President of Frisco EDC. Congratulations, Ron. I am so excited to work with you on many projects and to bring a more corporate focus to Frisco.

Dana Baird-Hanks, the department head for our city’s Communications Department, hosted the annual Volunteer Appreciation Reception.  This is the one time each year when we thank all the volunteers who work so diligently to make Frisco a great city to live. You may not realize we have volunteers in many areas of our city who contribute hundreds of hours each year to our public library, our Fire Department at Safety Town, our Police Department and Parks & Recreation at our big city events like Merry Main Street.  This year we honored Carol Thomas as our Volunteer of the Year. Carol has been working for many years in our library. Thank you, Carol, and all our volunteers for your commitment to Frisco. https://www.facebook.com/CityOfFriscoTX/videos/1615450491825347/

Early voting started on Monday and goes through this Saturday, 8:00am to 5:00pm.  Then next Monday and Tuesday, it is extended to 7:00am to 7:00pm. Saturday, May 5th, is Election Day and the polls are open again 7:00am to 7:00pm.  Unfortunately, very few people take two minutes out of their day to vote. Your votes select our leaders. Because you have chosen Frisco as your home, take a moment and vote.  

As I am looking ahead to next Friday evening, please consider coming to Memorial High School Stadium and joining me and the American Cancer Society for their annual Relay for Life event.  Particularly for those who have lost loved ones to cancer or are currently battling this disease, come out with your family and walk a lap to remember. It is May 4th from 6:00pm to 11:00pm.