City Council Meeting – July 1, 2008

The early Council Meetings certainly seem to be over.  We finally closed session close to midnight this week.  We began the evening with the swearing in of new Council Member Bart Crowder.  Bart recently run in a runoff race against Tim Nelson.  He is filling the place vacated by Dr. Jim Joyner, who had reached term limits.  We took a short break to honor Dr. Joyner for all of his years of service.  Shortly thereafter, the Council unanimously voted Tony Felker to be our Mayor Pro Tem and Joy West to be our Deputy Mayor Pro Tem.

We welcomed back our old friend Mayor Simpson for an award presentation.  We knew he would not be able to stay away for long!  Mayor Simpson had accepted an award at the US Conference of Mayor’s Meeting last month for being one of the most livable cities in America.  The project submitted for the award was our Juvenile Impact Project.  This initiative is tailored after the one done by Denton County that targets 10 to 18 year olds.  This program helps teens move away from delinquent conduct by educating them through programs given by local law enforcement, the juvenile justice system, and the Texas Youth Commission. The award was present to Frisco Police Officer Glynda Covington.

A proclomation was given to the First United Methodist Church of Frisco.  They are the oldest church in Frisco at 160 years old.  They firt established on July 13, 1848.  They shared the story of their formation and many moves throughout Frisco which was very interesting.

There was also a presentation from the kids from ‘Kids and Art.’  Their calss of 5 to 8 year olds created a framed Frisco logo to congratulate Maher Maso on his election to office.  Each child took a portion of the logo and created in their own style.  The logo was then assembled to create a very unique and artistic display of the Frisco logo.  I wish I coul get a copy for my office!

The highlights from the staff report section includes:

  • The finance department is keeping a close eye on our budget.  Recent announcements of budget shortfalls for Plano and other surrounding cities do not fall on deaf ears.  Things have slowed for Frisco as well.  Our sales tax revenue, while higher than last year, is projecting to be slightly lower than budgeted amounts.  In addition, our interest income is lower than budgeted amounts.  To be conservative, we chose to not sell as many bonds for capital projects over the coming year.
  • The Frisco Athletic Center continues to exceed expectations. The outdoor aquatics center alone is averaging over 400 visitors per day!  I asked staff about capacity.  While we are not at capacity yet, they are beginning to study how much more the facility can take in.  With the success of this project as well, it is clear we will need to begin thinking about future facilities as our population grows.
  • The Engineering Department updated us on Panther Creek Blvd.  This actually opened on Wednesday morning.  We were all there for the ribbon cutting.  After removing the barricades, it took less than 30 seconds for motorists to start figuring it out and using the new road.  This road was built in 12 months when roads such as these typically take 16-24 months.  Many kudos to staff for working so hard to make this project a reality and receive our NW Frisco residents as they await the completion of Eldorado.  The connection of Legacy from Eldorado to Panther Creek is anticipated to be complete in August.
  • Frisco’s estimated population as of July 1 is 101,393.

In the regular agenda, we spent the majority of our time discussing a few items.  The first was how to handle the interim City Secretary duties with the retirement of Nan Parker.  We ultimately decided to appoint Assistant City Manager, Ron Patterson, to this position temporarily while we hire a replacement.

The other issue was a request by the Frisco Square developers to allow a new partner into their structure.  This will make their partnership even stronger.  They have been great partners with the City and great for that project ever since they took over from the original developers.  In exchange for granting this request, Council asked the developers to maintain an escrow of 1 year’s worth of debt service payments owed to the City.  They agreed to do so which also protects the City’s interests as well.  It was a great solution that benefited all parties involved.

We also discussed the Ethics policy.  We had to apply the ethics policy for the first time this year when a complaint was filed against a former Council member.  In reviewing that complaint, it was clear the Ethics policy needed to be updated.  Our attorney recommended we review it this year and then update every few years.  Council decided to form an independent committee so all changes to the policy will be done independent from Council.

The final item was replacing Matt Lafata and Jim Joyner on the Budget and Audit Committee.  Bart Crowder and myself were appointed to be replacements on this committee, joining David Prince.

I hope to see everyone at the Frisco Freedom Fest on the 4th!

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