City Council Meeting – May 20, 2008

Tonight was all about the changing of the guard.  We said farewell to Mike Simpson and Matt Lafata and welcomed new Mayor Maher Maso and Council Member Scott Johnson.  Council Member Jim Joyner will be serving another month while we await the results of the runoff election.  Although we are sad to see them go, we are also excited about our new team with Mayor Maso and Scott Johnson.  There is no question that Mayor Maso will continue the high level of excellence that our Frisco Mayors have displayed.  I look forward to working along side both or them.

The evening began with a special tribute to the Simpsons as we dedicated the Plaza in front of City Hall in honor of Mike and Sandy Simpson.  I cannot think of a more fitting tribute than to have Simpson Plaza in front of the George Purefoy Municipal Center. We then moved inside to continue the tribute.  Mike had a very touching tribute to Sandy that included photos of them over the last 6 years.  The significant others of the Council Members cannot get enough credit for the support they give us to allow us to serve the City in this manner.  I know I could not do it without the support of my wife, Dana.

I want to again thank Mike for being such an outstanding role model for me as a Council Member.  When I was elected, we went on our first work session less than a week later.  From the very beginning, Mike welcomed fellow Council Member David Prince and myself and encouraged us to share our ideas.  We were a part of the “team” from day one.  That is the mark of a leader.  I said at the meeting last night that when I get asked what a Mayor is supposed to do and act like, I simply respond by saying “Mike Simpson.”  Frisco has been so lucky to have Mike as a Mayor.  I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to serve with him.  I consider Mike a dear friend, a role model, and one of the most influential persons in my life.  Sandy has been a wonderful role model for my wife Dana and a fitting second mom to me.  Mike and Sandy Simpson are some of the most wonderful people I know.  Although I know they will be active in Frisco, I will miss seeing them on a daily basis and working alongside both of them.

I also want to thank Dr. Jim Joyner for being a good friend and mentor to me as well.  I sat next to Jim for the last year and we quickly became good friends.  If you do not know Jim then you need to know that he enjoys the title of resident comedian.  If you ever saw me start laughing at a Council meeting, it was likely because Jim just whispered one of his one liners to me.  Jim likes to make jokes at my expense, I think because I also have a good sense of humor and can laugh at myself.  He always follows them with the statement that “you will miss me when I’m gone.”  He is right about that. Although Jim and I disagreed on a few issues, we were able to sit down and have active debates for hours at a time.  At all times we respected each others opinions and I think we learned from each other.  I will miss having Jim on the Council. Thank you Jim for being a great mentor for me and a good friend as well.

Following the tribute, Scott and Maher were sworn in and then we took a break for cake.  We should serve cake more often as the attendance tonight was incredible!  The agenda was short tonight but there are still a few things many of you would be interested in knowing.

A resident spoke during citizen input for the request for Frisco to go hands free for cell phone use in school zones.  Some other cities have passed this type of regulation.  We should be reviewing this during our work session to learn more of the pros and cons.

Our Planning & Development Department gave us an update on our new housing permits.  This has been mentioned in many of my blog entries as a concern.  Although our permits continue to be down over 60% from the same period last year, we did receive some good news on out lot inventory.  Our lot inventory on the west side of Frisco is at 24 months while at 40 months in East Frisco.  Residential Strategies, a local expert on the real estate market, state that a 24 month supply of lots is a healthy amount.  Some surrounding communities such as Little Elm and Prosper have over an 80 month supply.  This should indicate that Frisco will be quicker to rebound than some other communities.

Many of you were impacted by the heavy storms and winds the last few months.  Frisco had 473 re-roof permits from February 1 through April 30!  I hope you were one of the few lucky ones that did not need a new roof.

Frisco sales tax remains strong.  We were #15 in the state for sales tax revenue last month.  Our sales tax revenue grew nearly 3% from the same month last year while many of the other top cities saw declines from last year.

In April, the Frisco Fire Department responded to 581 calls with an average response time of 4 minutes. These calls included 287 emergency medical calls, 55 motor vehicle accidents, 1 structure fire, and 4 vehicle fires.

Our Police reported the following stats for the month of April:

  • 53 reported assaults, 22 of which were family violence assaults
  • Of the 27 habitation burglaries, force was used to gain entry in 8 homes, 14 were entered through an opened garage door or unlocked window, and 5 had no signs of forced entry but is unknown on how entry was made.
  • Burglarized Motor Vehicles (BMVs) dcreased by 10 from last month. Of the 62 burglaries, 28 were entered by force, 28 were unlocked, and unknown on 6.

The Parks and Rec Department was busy on the agenda this week:

  • The construction of Hummingbird Neighborhood Park was approved with a bid of $623,482. This 4 acre park site is located adjacent to Sem Elementary near Panther Creek and Hillcrest Road intersections.
  • The extension of Beaver’s Bend Trails was approved with a bid of $885,503.81. This 1.2 mile trails will extend from the Beaver’s Bend neighborhood park west to BF Phillips Park.
  • The construction of Crescent Neighborhood Park (formerly Griffin Parc Park) was approved with a bid of $712,880. This park is located between Griffin Middle School and Pink Elementary near Eldorado and Teel.
  • The Frisco Sports Authority was approved to a member of the Frisco Sports Council.

Finally, we had appointments to the Frisco Square MMD Board.  All three members from Council (Simpson, Joyner, and Lafata) are stepping down this year.  Tony Felker and myself were appointment as replacements and Mayor Maso will fill the final spot following the runoff election.

Even with all of the celebrations, this is one of the earliest meetings we have had all year.  I know this likely means we will have a longer agenda next meeting.  However, it was nice to have a lighter agenda with so many seats changing and the focus being on the festivities. I hope everyone has a great week.  As always, feel free to e-mail me at



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