Archive for November, 2007

NTTA Celebrates “Linking the Region” with SH 121

121Check 

Carrollton, TX – Officials of the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) today presented a “Texas-sized” $3.197 billion check to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and North Central Texas Council of Governments for the right to design, build, operate and maintain State Highway (SH) 121 in Collin, Dallas and Denton counties during a press event in Carrollton.

NTTA Board Chairman Paul N. Wageman presented the oversized check to Texas Transportation Commission Chairman Ric Williamson, and North Richland Hills Mayor and Chairman of the North Texas Regional Transportation Council (RTC) Chairman T. Oscar Trevino, Jr. during the “Linking the Region” press event that was held at Carrollton City Hall.

Also participating was Carrollton Mayor Becky Miller.  Public officials from the three counties along the corridor; Collin, Dallas and Denton, as well as from the corridor’s cities: Allen, Carrollton, Coppell, Fairview, Frisco, Lewisville, McKinney, Plano, and The Colony also attended the event.

Continue reading ‘NTTA Celebrates “Linking the Region” with SH 121’

How do they do that?

Have you ever wondered how the recycling process works?  I was wondering that myself and decided to look for the answer.  I found it on the website of Community Waste Disposal, who provides services for the City of Frisco.  Check out their site for a step-by-step explanation of how the process works.

CWD recycling process

City Council Meeting – 11/20/2007

Tonight’s meeting was our quickest since I have been on Council.  The agenda was relatively light this week with the Thanksgiving holiday.  We wrapped up before 8:30 tonight!  The highlight of the evening was recognizing the staff of the Frisco Athletic Club for their response to a young man who had a heart attack while playing basketball.  Their prompt response saved his life.  Congratulations to staff for a job well done and for having the proper procedures in place to respond to an emergency situation.

A few of our topics were tabled (ie postposted to a future meeting) due to further information being requested by staff. This included the decision to opt out of the Super Freeport Exemption, the nominations to the Citizen Advisory Committee to the Photographic Traffic Signal Enforcement System (Red Light Cameras), and a few contract items. 

The City has the option to opt-out of the super freeport exemption which exempts some businesses from paying taxes on property in transit.  The benefits would be to continue to generate tax revenue on this property. Some are concerned if we do not opt-out, companies will form shell companies to avoid paying legitimate taxes.  The downside to opting out is a possible disadvantage in attracting businesses that transfer goods.  I will keep you updated on the future decision.

The Citizen advisory committee for the red-light cameras will review the program’s effectiveness as well as give feedback on future cameras.  If you are interested in being considered for this committee, please let the Mayor and Council know.

We also reviewed the distribution of the Social Service General Revenue Funds. Frisco has committed to donating $1 per person to directed social service charities.  Council decided to review which charities should receive the funds based on a competitive application process each year.

My family is packing up to head to Columbus, Tx to visit family for Thanksgiving. I will, of course, be rooting for my Texas Longhorns to beat Texas A&M in football on Friday.  I am holding out hope we can still make our way into the Big 12 title game.  I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. 

Week in Review (ending 11/18/2007)

Monday – This afternoon we had our grand opening of Phase 2 of the Frisco Senior Center. The Senior Center is located behind City Hall and currently boasts an active membership of close to 1,500 residents.  I was impressed with the expanded facility as it offers a wide variety of options for our growing senior population including an exercise room, a craft room, card rooms, a reading room, and an auditorium.  The highlight of the afternoon was a performance by the more musically inclined members.

Tuesday – This morning was the kick-off of the Chamber of Commerce membership drive. The Chamber had not done this in a few years and so the members were very competitive.  Many Chamber members gave time away from their businesses to help support the Chamber.  By the end of the day on Thursday, we had generated 210 new Chamber members! It was quite a scene to see members ringing cow bells every time a new member committed.

Wednesday – Lately we have been joking that there seems to be a ribbon cutting or ground breaking every day in Frisco. Today was an especially important day as we broke ground on NTEC‘s new facility. The North Texas Enterprise Center for Medical Technology (NTEC) is a 501(c)(3) Not-for-Profit corporation that assists entrepreneurs with starting and growing new medical technology ventures. The Center provides a broad base of support to entrepreneurs, both internally and through its extensive resource network. NTEC is supported by the Frisco Economic Development Corporation (EDC).  Here is an article about the event.

Tonight we had our monthly Frisco-OnLine.com networking Happy Hour at Bonnie Ruth’s.  Bonnie is always an extraordinary host for our events and tonight was no different!  Thanks again to the “Tara’s” who took care of our group. We initially started these events a few years ago as a way for local businesses to interact and network.  However, it has grown to include many of our members and residents as a social gathering and a way for customers to be introduced to area businesses.  The events are open to everyone so keep posted to Frisco-OnLine.com and join us for the next one!

Thursday – Today was a busy day in Frisco! This week was National Children’s Book Week and I had the pleasure of reading to a 4th grade class at Carroll Elementary.  The students were very interested in asking me about city politics and the new buildings going up in Frisco.  They were most impressed when I told them I had to write over 100 e-mails a day and periodically write in the newspaper.  The teacher asked me to share this information as they were learning the importance of writing in their future daily lives. I had a great time with the kids.  However, I wish I had picked anything other than Dr. Suess as the kids got a chuckle every time I was tongue-tied.

Tonight was the celebration event for the Chamber of Commerce membership drive. We had the event at Coach Joe’s Restaurant who also participated in the event.  The emcee for the event kept it high energy and loud…I just wonder what other people in the restaurant must have been thinking.  We had a great time, even if we had to watch the Mayor repeatedly “get on a chair and shake (his) hips dawg” at the request of the emcee.  Sorry Mike, I hope I never have to see that again.  🙂

All of Council had to leave the event early to get back to City Hall for a scheduled meeting with staff and the Planning & Zoning Commission.  We are going to have these meetings with our Boards and Commissions on a regular basis to have valuable discussions as well as for all of us to gain a mutually understanding of our vision and our expectations.  I feel the meeting was valuable and much was accomplished.  Our topics included required setbacks for homeowner’s additions (arbors, decks, etc), required setbacks for buildings downtown, possible changes in building products, and our requirements for off-corner gas stations.

Weekend – With the upcoming holiday, this weekend was a relatively quiet weekend in Frisco.  It could not have come at a better time as I need recovery time for a knee injury I suffered in our Friday night softball game. My wife keeps reminding me that I’m no longer 18 and do not need to be trying hook slides during a coed softball game. Adding insult to injury, not only was I out, we lost the playoff game by giving up 4 runs in the last inning.

I’m off to prepare for our Tuesday night Council meeting!

Week in Review (ending 11/11/07)

Monday – Tonight we had a team registration meeting for Relay for Life.  I was honored to be named the Honorary Chair of the event this year. I lost my Mother-In-Law to Pancreatic Cancer a few years ago so Relay For Life is an important event for our family to honor her life.  The last few years, our Frisco-Online.com teams have been the highest earning teams in Frisco, a title we plan on earning again this year!

Tuesday – Today was election day.  My wife and I went to Griffin Middle School to fulfill our voting responsibility.  I was pleased to learn the Collin County Bonds passed.   Tuesday night was our City Council Meeting.

Wednesday – We made our way to our annual Texas Municipal League Conference (TML).  This is an annual conference where City staff, Councils, and Mayors from across Texas converge to attend training sessions as well as to network.  There is a tremendous opportunity for an exchange of ideas as well as to develop relationships with regional leaders.  City Council and the Mayor, along with our wives, enjoyed a nice dinner this evening.  We have a very close Council and although we may disagree on issues periodically, we are good about leaving that at the office and enjoying one another’s company.

Thursday – I was in class all day.  The highlight of the day was the luncheon where the son of Gerald Ford spoke. He shared many interesting stories of growing up as the President’s son and their rise to the White House.  His funniest story was the story of their first night after being sworn in as President.  Nixon had not yet moved out all of his items so they had to send the next week in their regular home.  That night, Mrs. Ford was cooking dinner and turned to the family and stated, “I am the First Lady, I should not be slaving over the stove anymore!”  The most interesting story was his discussion of the Nixon pardon.  He stated that his father knew his political career was over when he did that but he did it for the benefit of the Country that was trying to heal.  He did not want the Nixon trial to blanket the country for 4-5 years.  The pardon, in his opinion, was an admission of guilt by Nixon when he accepted.  The entire discussion was a real treat and he was a great motivation for us all.

Saturday– Saturday morning was the Frisco Parade.  Kudos to Mayor Mike Simpson for all of the work he did for this event.  Congressman Sam Johnson was the Grand Marshall.  If you have never read the remarkable journey of Sam Johnson, from being a POW to the Congress, then this is a must read.

We rode on the City Council fire engine.  We were told we could not throw out candy which was a disappointment. However, when we reached the end we raced back to the beginning to jump onto our Frisco-Online.com float.  We had prepared with candy and were able to hand some out to the kids.  The turnout was great and everyone went home happy.  The Frisco Parade was a tremendous success and we look forward to it again next year…we are already talking about making our float bigger!

Behind the Scenes at a City Council Meeting

Have you ever attended a City Council Meeting or seen it on TV?  If not, I encourage you to visit us anytime on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month.  I am often asked what happens at the meetings and what happens behind closed doors.  This discussion is to give you some insight on how City decisions are made and the opportunities our citizens have to be heard.

Continue reading ‘Behind the Scenes at a City Council Meeting’

Collin County Bond Package Passes!

Thanks to the voters for the support of these important propositions.

Prop #1   68.75% in Favor

Prop #2   68.05% in Favor

Prop #3   64.68% in Favor