Archive for March, 2009

City Council Meeting – 3/17/2009

Mayor Pro Tem Tony Felker was sitting in for Mayor Maso this week as the Mayor was out of town.  The agenda was kept very light and we were wrapped up before 8 pm.  I was not complaining about the light agenda as I had flown back from Disney World that morning.  I had planned to stay up late one night while on vacation to get through my packet and was pleasantly surprised by the light agenda so I could get to bed earlier than expected.  This meeting also fell on St. Patrick’s Day which made many people glad to get out early.  I was lucky that nobody noticed I had forgotten to wear my green tie!

There was only one proclamation which was for “Fix a Leak Week.”  The is the first nationwide effort to make citizens aware of the water we waste from unknown links through our home and sprinkler systems.  The average home wastes 11,000 gallons of water per year because of leaks and is the most common source of water waste (yes even more than over watering your lawn!).  This is a great time to remind people the valuable sprinkler audits Frisco provides at no charge.  I recommend everyone taking advantage of this program.  Here is a great resource to learn more:  Web Link

The Finance Department presented us with the Annual Report Dated 9/30/2008.  I had already review these in detail as I serve on the Budget and Audit Committee.  The auditors had provided us with a clean opinion on our financial statements and also praised the internal control environment of our Finance Department.  Nell Lange and staff do a tremendous job with not only our financial reporting but with our budgeting process as well.  So  much so that they are starting to pile up the awards.  The following awards were presented at our Council meeting:

  • The Purchasing Division received the Achievement in Excellence in Procurement award for the 4th consecutive year.  Frisco is only 1 of 16 cities in Texas who received this honor this year.
  • Tom Johnston received his Certified Public Purchasing Officer license
  • The Finance Department received the highest form of recognition in Government reporting for the 8th consecutive year by receiving the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.

Congratulations to the entire Finance Department for the high standard of excellence you have set for Frisco!

There were only 2 other significant topics on the agenda.  One was reconsidering the emergency exit for Chapel Creek.  This topic was tabled until the next meeting and I will review it more then.  The other topic was regarding a Mosque in downtown Frisco.  We approved this SUP nearly 2 years ago.  If you recall this was a fairly controversial topic at the time.  The Mosque had promised to be good neighbors and 2 years later they have done everything that has been asked and more.  The Mosque was seeking a 3 year extension on their SUP as the tough economic climate has pushed back their ultimate relocation.  In this request there was no opposition which states volumes about how they have been a good neighbor in downtown Frisco.  The request was unanimously approved.

With a light agenda this time around, I am sure we will pay for it with a tough agenda next week.

Thanks again for reading and I hope everyone enjoyed their Spring Break!

Advertisements

City Council Meeting – 3/3/2009

I want to first say that I have officially joined the Facebook phenomenon.  Many in Frisco are now using it as a great networking tool and I am working with communications to setup a City of Frisco page as another way to reach out to our residents.  My fellow tech geek Mayor Maso is also an active user and it has been helpful for me to watch his status updates to see which meetings he is attending.  Click here if you want to be my friend!

Tonight’s meeting was one of our longest in awhile, lasting until after 10:30.  However, there were many topics to discuss.  It was nice to find out many citizens were watching the live streaming. When I checked my email after the meeting several citizens had been watching online and emailing us questions.  We were also able to send out the discussions to interested parties.  As more people become familiar with this technology, it will really help bring Frisco government closer to the citizens.

Here is the link to our meeting

The following received proclamations:

  • Russell “Steven” Hankins, John Robert Polarinakis, and Garrett Samuel Williams were recognized for achieving Eagle Scout.  The line of the night came from Garret when he said if he would have known it was Garrett Williams Day in Frisco he would have made buttons.  Garrett certainly deserves the merit badge for thinking on his feet.  Congratulations to all of the boys as only 4% of all scouts reach the rank of eagle scout.
  • The Centennial High School Varsity Football team was honored for their first winning season and playoff birth.  Their first year of play was in 2004.  In addition, they defeated their rival Frisco High this year for the first time.  I look forward to watching these rivalry grudge matches for years to come.

I want to congratulate Chief Renshaw and the Frisco Police Department for being awarded the accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).  This is an accreditation that only 2% of Police Departments in the country have received.  Congratulations to Chief Renshaw and the entire Police Department for this well earned recognition.  We all knew we had the finest department in all of North Texas so it was nice to see them be recognized.

The certificate reads:

‘Be it hereby known that the Frisco (Texas) Police Department having fully demonstrated its voluntary commitment to law enforcement excellence by living up to a body of standards deemed essential to the protection of the life, health, safety and rights of the citizens it serves and having exemplified the best professional practices in the conduct of its responsibilities is hereby, upon the recommendation of the members of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc awarded this Certificate of Accreditation effective the sixth day of December 2008 and is recognized as an accredited law enforcement agency for a period of three year.’

 

 

Community Waste Disposal visited the meeting to give their annual report.  A few of the highlights of the report include:

  • The industry average for complaints is 1 complaint per thousand homes.  CWD averaged .56 complaints/1000 homes which is well below the industry averages. This is a steady decrease from each of the last 5 years. This is especially impressive due to the growth Frisco has experienced over the last 5 years.
  • Frisco recycled 14,000 tons in 2008, which represented 71 lbs per home per month.  This saves $1.40 per home per month in landfill expense.
  • Frisco ISD was voted as the best school recycling program in Texas.  Thanks Pippa!

They have a very interested slide show on how they recycle goods on their website.  We are thankful to have a great community parter in CWD.  Not only do they provide a quality service, but they go above and beyond by supporting many of our local charities and organizations. 

I want to thank our Parks and Rec staff for their prompt responses to some citizen concerns.  We received some emails regarding the lack of signage directing traffic to the Senior Center.  Within days, staff had erected signage on Main Street and John Elliott as well as began discussions with the Senior Center regarding funding for a monument sign.  In addition, there were some posts on Frisco-Online.com regarding a few issues with the Frisco Athletic Club which were all immediately addressed.  Staff solicits input from a variety of sources and is constantly looking for ways to provide excellent service to the residents of Frisco.

What’s in a name?  In this case, there is quite a lot.  We officially approved the name change of US380 to University Drive to maintain consistency with this section of roadway in Denton and McKinney. The US380 will remain on the sign but the official name will be referred to as University Dr.

A few of you may have seen the channel 8 storyregarding our water management plan. This item was tabled to allow more time for citizen feedback.  Gary Hartwell, Director of Public Works, developed a water management plan to make efficient water use for our residents easier to understand.  Many homeowners do not understand how much water their lawn actually requires and very often uses more water than necessary.  In addition, our experience from our last drought taught us that changing the stages and water restrictions often confuses our residents.  The proposed plan would call for a year round water efficiency program.  it would be based upon day light savings time allowing for 2 day a week watering during the summer and 1 day during the winter.  Watering days would be based upon trash day with an alternate day added during the summer.  The goal is to allow our residents to utilize all of the water then need during non drought conditions and eliminate the wasteful usage.  This program will help train our residents to water properly and efficiently.  The drought conditions would be slight modifications of the existing plan which would reduce confusion when these stages are required.  If our citizens are able to practice more efficient water usage, we may be able to delay or avoid completely the construction of one of our planned water towers.  If we avoid that expense, it would save the City roughly $15 million, not including the annual electrical usage.  Long term water planning will continue to be an issue for decades to come.  All that we are able to do now will only help future generations guarantee an ample water supply.  It is worth noting that a few Council members requested a study on how a price based model could result in conservation.  We currently have a tiered pricing structure in place.  However, there is a theory that if the tiers becoming increasingly more expensive, the prices will force people to use less water.  You will hear more discussion on this idea at the next meeting.

It was clear we had hit the wall when we started our discussion on the Grand Park Advisory Committee.  Staff was looking for direction for who to select for a small advisory group to assist in the design of the first elements in the park.  I think we gave them every direction but up.  Some wanted different board and commissions, regional partners, stakeholders, citizen groups, etc.  Staff is going to come up with the functions of the groups and a few options for us to look at.  I am certain they will have this item on the agenda earlier in the evening next time.

A few other items of note:

  • the discussion on rail was tabled until after our work session scheduled on March 24
  • we renewed our contract with out Delinquent Tax attorneys.  They have been serving Frisco for over 20 years
  • we approved the final contract for our new Police radio system that was approved by the voters a few years ago.  We have been sharing a system with Plano and both cities are upgrading their system.  Our new system will continue the level of excellence provided by our police and fire departments

As always, thanks for reading!