Archive for December, 2008

Shelley Holley named Frisco’s new Library Director

I am proud to announce that Shelley Holley has been selected to lead the Frisco Public Library.  

 

Shelley is presently is Frisco’s Assistant Library Director and Head of Public Services.  In that role, she provides supervision of the major direct service divisions of the Library including Adult Services, Youth Services, Circulation, and the Museum.  Shelley has been with the City of Frisco since 2001.   Previously, she was Head of Youth Services for the Lufkin, Texas Public Library.  She also had worked as a business and legal researcher.

 

Shelley brings a unique blend of library experience, knowledge, creativity, and enthusiasm.  Shelley is devoted to the strong customer service principles, which have allowed the Frisco Public Library to be so successful.  Being a part of the Library’s management team since 2001, Shelley has been instrumental in helping guide and direct the growth of the Library to its present operations.  She possesses the vision and management capability to see to the future of our Library.

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City Council Meeting 12/16/08

It is amazing how quick the year goes by.  I cannot believe this was already our last meeting of 2008! 

I had mentioned from last meeting that Library Director, Dr. Ron Heezen, is leaving us shortly.  He certainly has left a legacy behind.  This Tuesday, he and staff were presented with the 2008 Achievement of Excellence in Libraries Award.  The Southlake Library Director, who oversees the process for the Texas Municipal Library Association, was also on hand.  To be eligible for this award, the Library had to prepare a full binder of information for the application process.  The rigorous standards only resulted in 22 out of 565 Libraries in Texas meeting the guidelines for the award.  Congratulations to the Frisco Library for this prestigious honor!

For those of you following the budget, you will notice that November revenue collections are down from prior year.  November and December are high receipt months as most people and lenders with escrow accounts make their tax payments before the end of the year.  A few of our large lenders delayed their payment until December so we should see that correct itself in next month’s report.  Sales tax collections have a 2 month lag.  However, we were encouraged to see October have a 4% increase over prior year.  November and December are the highest sales tax months of the year so we are anxious to see how the economic conditions will effect Frisco this year.  Our building starts are also showing a very low trend, similar to all parts of the country.  In 2006, we capped at over 3600 building starts that year (over 300/mo).  Total for November and December combined for approximately 100.  This would put us on pace for far less than the already low 1200 permits we saw last year. We will be watching this over the next few months as well to see if we need to make any budget adjustments.

Council also approved a new communications tower for the public safety radio system.  This is part of the $8 million bond approved by the voters in our last bond election.  We currently share a system with Plano.  However, both cities are switching to new technologies and Frisco needs this plan to reach the entire city as we continue to grow.  Staff worked diligently looking at a variety of options.  Their recommendation was to invest in a single tower near the Police Station.  This is one of the highest points of the city and would provide the best coverage at the most affordable cost.  The tower will be a 260 ft self supporting tower with no guy wires.  While we would all prefer to not have to build towers, Council was unanimous in agreement that public safety is our biggest priority.  The other options of 2-3 smaller towers throughout the city did not provide full coverage and was also more expensive.

A few months back, I mentioned that all cities received an unfunded federal mandate to implement a Municipal Storm Water Utility System.  Most area cities have already implemented a fee to implement this over the next 5 years.  We received a staff recommendation to take the same approach.  The cost of compliance of this program will start at about $1.3 million in 2009 and grow to $2.1 million in 2013 under full implementation.  Under the proposed schedule, the average household would pay $2/mo in 2009-2010 and $2.60/mo starting in 2011.  This proposal is lower than what has been implemented in other cities.  The current proposal also has 3 tiers depending on lot size, with the larger lots paying more.  Council asked staff to bring back a single tier system for consideration at our next meeting.

Many of you know that the Dr. Pepper Stars Center is currently being expanded.  Kurt Thomas Gymnastics used to lease part of the space out but they moved out to another facility once construction began.  This is a very desirable location and the space has been quickly leased again.  Zoom Sports will take over the space once construction is complete.  Zoom currently operates a smaller facility in Frisco and is seeing this 12,000 sq ft space as an opportunity to expand their business.  Theyh provide physical therapy and sports training services.  You can learn more about them at their website.

Council approved the purchase of a tract of land near Frisco Square and the Heritage Museum.  The city owns much of the surrounding land and this purchase will provide the city with a great deal on control as to how that area ultimately develops.

If you recall from the 11/4 Council Meeting, we had tabled an item to consider the extension on the purchase option for land near Grand Park.  The item was tabled to work with the develop to change language protecting a pecan tree grove on the land.  Council and staff felt it was important to do everything within our power to preserve these majestic trees.  An agreement was reached and the extension was approved.  I look forward to seeing how they may utilize this unique tree farm in their development plans.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.  I’ll see you in 2009!

City Council Meeting 12/2/2008

I apologize for the delay in getting this summary out and appreciate your patience.  Dana and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary on December 8.  Between that and all of the great holiday events Frisco and our partners have offered, I have not been able to keep up!  Our meeting agenda was fairly light this week.

Proclamations:

  • The Texas Fallen Soldiers Project was recognized for the work they do.  The artist, Phil Taylor, creates paintings for families with fallen soldiers.  It is a project that has seen their demand explode with 2 requests a week.  Unfortunately, the artist can only deliver 2 per month so they are looking for additional support to be able to provide this service to all of the deserving families.  Mr. Taylor realized this passion when performing a tribute to Frisco Resident Ben Dossett.  Many of you remember Ben was a High School senior who lost his life in a motorcycle accident a few years ago.  Mr. Taylor presented the Dossetts with such a tribute and was touched by the response.  He quickly learned he wanted to be able to touch more lives in such a powerful way amongst a great tragedy.  You can learn more at www.texasfallensoldiers.com
  • Some of our local fire department were recognized for their hurricane recovery efforts.  Many of our finest served Frisco well by helping out other communities in their great time of need.
  • Dr. Ron Heezen, Frisco’s Library Director, was recognized for all of his years in service to Frisco and the Library. Ron is truly the best in the business and was instrumental in getting the new Frisco Library off to such a successful start.  His talents and his welcoming nature will be surely missed.

As many of you know, the legislative session is just around the corner.  Frisco does set priorities that we communicate to our legislative leaders.  We passed a list of priorities and topic opinions.  The list is far too long to detail here.  However, you may view the full document at the following link

There were some changes approved to the Sexually Oriented Business Ordinance as a result of findings from a study performed by the Texas City Attorney’s Association.

Council approved a water rate increase of roughly $.41/thousand gallons.  The rate had not been increased since 1994 and as a result, our water utility fund has been running negative.  Our new rates are still highly competitive with surrounding cities and are designed to balance the budget in our water utility fund.  The average family in Frisco will only see a change in their water bill by a few dollars.

Finally, Council made appointments to update the City’s Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance.  This group will work over the next 12 months with staff to provide direction in updating the future development plans of the City.  Given that Frisco is still less than half developed, this is an exciting time to be involved in a group such as this.  Those appointed are Steve Cone, Chris Fuller, Dustin Gibson, Michael Hottinger, Kevin Jerich, Donald Simmons, Bill Woodard, Jay Young, John Zapata, Baxter Brinkman, Barbara, Gallegos, Jim Gandy, John Hamilton, Steve Hulsey, Chris Hunter, Geralyn Kaminsky, Susanne Kerley, Robert Oullette, Jeanne Patterson, Lori Stroud, and Jim Wilson.  Thanks to all of those that expressed interest!