City Council Meeting – 2/19/2008

Tonight we had a packed house with several hundred people in attendance.  Many were there to support their family and friends with some of the proclamations that were given.  It was a late night as we concluded the meeting as well as the annual review of our City Manager shortly before midnight.  I recently started Ron Lyon’s 5:30 am boot camp class and after the late meeting, this morning was rough getting there.  Throughout the night we covered a wide range of topics including transportation, multiculturalism, recycling, the budget, and even “blogging.”

The night started with Collin County Commissioner Phyllis Cole presenting a check in the amount of $390,000 for the land acquisition of 12 acres for future park development.  This is money awarded out of the Collin County Bond funds the voters approved this year.  In my previous entries, you will remember the importance of supporting this bond package and now we are seeing the benefits.  Commissioner Cole is currently running for reelection.  Please remember to vote as there are contested races in both Collin and Denton Counties.  Higher voter turnouts will help Frisco get the recognition we deserve in regional issues.

 Following the presentation we had the highest # of proclamations since I have been on City Council.  Those recognized include:

  • Christian Community Action “CCA” – You may know them as the brightly painted trucks that pick up stuff from your house.  CCA has 100 full time employees on a $10 million budget, half of which is generated from selling the donations you give them.  They have been serving thousands of people locally each year.  If you would like to learn more about what they do please visit www.ccahelps.org
  • Severe Weather Awareness Week – this was recognized by presenting a proclamation for the work done by the Frisco Fire Department, Andy Duckworth, Collin County Ham Radio Liaison, and Gene May, Frisco Emergency Specialist.  To learn more about emergency procedures, please visit www.friscofire.com
  • National Engineers Week – All City engineers were recognized including civil engineers, traffic engineers, public works, and GIS engineers.  They do so much for the City and are one of our busiest departments with our rapidly growing infrastructure.  We then sent them back to the office to keep working on the roads.  🙂
  • Staley and Pioneer Heritage Middle Schools – These 2 schools competed in a Future City Competition where they competed against 50 schools across the state to create a 3-D model to scale.  Pioneer Heritage won 1st place with a design that included an emphasis on green space, parks and trails, recycling, and alternative transportation means.  Their model was very impressive!  We will have to take a look at it for some future ideas.
  • Eagle Scouts – the final proclamation was to recognize several new eagle scouts as well as Troop 51.  Only 4% of US Scouts earn the “Eagle Scout” designation.  Last night, we recognized both Bradly Huffman and Eric Wombat for earning this achievement.  We also recognized all of Troop 51, including Scout Master Dave Simmers, for their impressive list of 6 Eagle Scouts!  This just shows the quality of our youth here in Frisco.

Transportation, in my opinion, is the single biggest issue we face in Frisco and the region.  Vic Suhm with the North Texas Commission was gracious to attend and discuss a presentation called “The Looming Transportation Crisis.” The message delivered discussed our transportation infrastructure is undersized to serve existing and future traffic, deteriorating due to age, and under-funded.  Many of the issues are related to our loss of purchasing power by not adjusting the gas tax rate for inflation and diversions coupled with rising construction costs.  This is going to be a hot topic for us as we lobby with our legislators to increase funding for roads in their next session.  Stay tuned on this issue as there will be much more discussion throughout the next year.  Vic estimated we are $59 billion short to fund the transportation needs required by the 2030 Mobility Plan.  To see the full presentation visit www.ntc-dfw.com

Community Waste Disposal, Frisco’s provider for garbage and recycling, gave us their annual presentation.  They receive .55 complaints per thousand people which is far less than the industry average of 1 per thousand.  Some of the recycling #s were staggering.  Since we changed to the larger recycling bin in 2004, our tonnage recycled has increased from 4.6 thousand tons to 12.6 thousand tons in 2007.  Much of this has to do with the education efforts done by CWD as well as our Environmental Department.  Congrats on a job well done!

Another important topic discussed is diversity and multiculturalism in Frisco.  Our City is growing rapidly and becoming more diverse each day.  I feel it is our job as City Leaders to not only build infrastructure and buildings, but also build the community.  Part of this includes creating a comfortable environment for all of our residents and an environment that promotes inclusion of everyone.  In my opinion, forming a multicultural committee is a great way to get feedback from our residents on how we may best approach this.  In my opinion, the scope of this committee should include not only event planning throughout the year to educate our public on various ethnic and religious history, but also to advise Council on issues that require a diverse array of opinions.  Several citizens I have met with in the past showed up to speak and Council agreed unanimously to move forward in creating such a committee.  I think they will have a great opportunity to add value to Frisco as well as assist in advising Council on important multicultural issues.

Another topic near and dear to my heart is technology.  We had been approached to host a WordPress “bloggers” conference in our Council Chamber.  I actually use WordPress for this blog!  Our criteria for allowing groups to use the Council Chambers is generally limited to not-for-profits.  This organization is not a for profit business but they also have not registered as a non-profit.  I also had concerns about the comfort of such a facility for attendees who were using laptops.  However, the organizer was excited about the facility and said it would work well for them.  The bottom line is that we want our facilities to be used, this event will be great national marketing for Frisco as a high-tech City, and they are paying for all of the expenses.  Despite some reservations, Council voted 4-2 to allow the conference and you will be seeing more information soon.  I will likely attend so I can learn some new tips and tricks for this blog!

A few other points of interest include:

  • We approved an Atmos Energy rate increase.  This was a regional settlement between member cities and Atmos.  They had requested a system wide rate increase of $52 million.  The settlement reduced that figure to $10 million as well as restricted their rights to ask for future increases and resolved some other outstanding issues and litigation.  This is a case example of how working with regional partners can benefit the region as a whole more than working as individual cities.
  • Fire Station #6, located on Eldorado near Griffin Middle School, is schedules to be complete by March.
  • We approved the sale of bonds for construction of some previously mentioned capital projects including the arena expansion, the sports village complex, a parking garage, and the community theater.

With campaign season in full swing, we had many candidates in attendance last night.  In May, we will vote on a new Mayor and 2 new Council positions as Mayor Simpson and Council Members Matt Lafata and Jim Joyner are all at term limits. We will also be voting on the late night ordinance in May. I am sure we will be seeing much of the candidates in the next few months.

Have a great week and as always, feel free to e-mail me with questions.  I will also respond to comments left on this blog.

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7 Responses to “City Council Meeting – 2/19/2008”


  1. 1 Steve Burris February 21, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    Jeff,

    I love the Blog! This is a great way for us at Capstone Commercial to stay informed about important issues in Frisco. Please keep up the good work.

    Steve Burris
    Capstone Commercial

  2. 3 Jeanne Rubin February 21, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    Jeff,
    I appreciate your comments both here and on FOL regarding the idea of a Diversity Committee. Those of us who have been advocating for the creation of this committee are excited and ready to step up and work with the council to realize our vision of a more inlcusive Frisco!
    Thank You,
    Jeanne

  3. 4 jeffcheney February 22, 2008 at 4:05 am

    Jeanne – thanks for your comments and for showing up at the Council meeting last night. I look forward to working with you in the future to get this committee off the ground

  4. 5 karen February 26, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    you could have left out the shameless plug for ron lyons. you could have eliminated that sentence and the content would have remained on topic. i’m disappointed.

  5. 6 jeffcheney February 26, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Karen, thanks for reading the blog. Mentioning Ron Lyons was not intended to be any form of plug. Many of my readers are familiar with the class. On a personal note, I am rather proud that I have been able to get to the class so early and stay on track.

    From time to time, various businesses will be mentioned in the blog depending on grand openings, ground breakings, important news, etc. Many times it relates to newsworthy items. Other times I am trying to give people perspective into my day to day activity in Frisco. It is not intended to be a plug and I am sorry if you took offense. I will try to be mindful of the appropriateness of mentioning a business name as I am aware that competing businesses may take offense to that.

    thanks for the comment

  6. 7 Brian March 25, 2008 at 4:10 am

    THE ONLY THING SHAMELESS IS THAQT KAREN WOULD EVEN THINK THAT WAS A PLUG FOR A BUSINESS…GEE…DONT MENTION THAT YOU WENT TO TOM THUMB FOR ANYTHING….NEXT SHE WILL ACUSE YOU OF PLUGGING THEIR STORE TOO…


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