April, A month in Review

Long time no talk!  I apologize to all of the readers who enjoy the Council updates.  I have had a very busy month and just now getting caught up. As I mentioned in my last posting, I took my family to Disney World for a long overdue vacation.  Unfortunately, when you are self employed, the work does not go away when you take a vacation!  Between my work busy season, kid’s Spring Break, City Council responsibilities, Frisco Education Foundation scholarship interviews and selections, and Relay for Life, I am  just now coming up for air.  I appreciate everyone’s patience.

The April 7th meeting was a full agenda.  This was followed by one of the shortest agenda we have ever had on April 21.  I will provide updates from both meetings in this single post.

Proclamations:

 – on April 7th we had a Relay For Life Proclamation.  Relay For Life is a passion for myself as well as Mayor Maso.  Mayor Masois a cancer survivor.  Our family has been touched by cancer as well including the loss of my Mother-In-Law from pancreatic cancer a few years ago.  We have been associated with the Frisco-Online.com Relay team for several years and our teams have been the top earning teams for several years.  I think we will pass the $50k mark this year for all of our team’s earnings.  Last year at Relay for Life, Maher proclaimed his team was going to unseat the Frisco-Online team from the top spot.  We had some light-hearted trash talk during the proclamation.  By the way, no chance he has of surpassing our team!  There are some strong teams this year so we have some work to do to keep our title.  The event is upcoming on May 1.  To learn more check out www.FriscoRFL.com

– on April 21 we had 3 proclamations.  The first was for the Dallas Diamonds Women’s Professional Football Team.  They are playing an upcoming game in Frisco and are looking to make Frisco their permanent home.  They are working toward their 4th World Championship this year after a 69-0 opening win.  The second proclamation was for Earth Day which was celebrated on Saturday, April 25th.  You may have seen some of the thousands of volunteers around town picking up trash as part of the Clean It and Green It campaign.  We also had another Chunk Your Junk events which has become very popular.  Finally, our Urban Forestry Board gave some Tree Identification Tours.  I went on this tour last year and learned quite a bit about the natural landscape in Frisco.  The last proclamation was for Andrew Chen who is now the #1 ranked table tennis in the World for his age class.  A few Council members had some fun with Andrew as a few of us feel we are fairly good at table tennis.  Between the Mayor, Scott Johnson, and myself, we had some legendary ping pong games at our offsite last year.  Of course, I do not need to tell you who ultimately won the crown in those brutal tournaments.  However, I want no part of Andrew as I sure he would have skunked me!

We also had a special visit from Collin County Commissioner Joe Jaynes who presented a check in the amount of $5 million for improvements to Independence Parkway.  This was part of the last county bond package that was approved by the voters.  We are thankful for the great relationship with Collin County.  We are also working hard to developing a similar strong relationship with our Denton County commissioners.

A few of the important things that were discussed in the last few meetings include:

– We passed our water efficiency program.  Council Member Crowder had asked for a delay on this vote to look at other market based pricing alternatives.  Gary Hartwell provided us with the requested information and also showed how we can add additional market based alternatives in the future.  We also reserve the right to raise rates at any time.  My preference was to see the effects of the new efficiency plan as well as education before imposing higher rates on our citizens.  We were required to submit our plan by May 1.  The goal of the plan was to set long term water goals as well as to make it easier for our citizens to understand when they should and should not water.  If you have never taken advantage of Frisco’s free sprinkler audit I recommend every schedule one at least every few years.

– We are excited to announce our newest tenant in Historic Downtown.  Music Maker Enterprises will be leasing the old City Hall space on Main Street to start the School of Rock.  They are focused on 7-18 year old’s performance based music education.  There are currently 60 schools in the country. This is the program that actually was the motication for the movie School of Rock.  We are excited to welsome them to Frisco!  Here is a link to one of their recent performances: http://lakewood-dallas.blackwhiteread.com/view/article/7740?r=3073

– Council approved the recommendations of our Ethics Committee.  The committe has been working very hard over the last few months drafting their recommedations.  It was interesting to hear how challenging the task became for them.  It was important for the committee to create a policy that created a public trust of the public officials.  They also worked to make the guidelines very clear so Council always knew what the public expects of us.  We are all very thankful for the hard work put in by the committee.

– After a lengthy discussion, Council approved a resolution supporting legislation relating to local options regarding mobility improvement projects.  We all realize the troubles we have with funding transportation projects.  TxDot claims they are out of funds.  Tollroads are popping up all around us.  The fuel tax has not been adjusted since the early 90s and diversions continue.  This legislation would allow local control over funding projects.  The citizens would have the right to vote on a variety of fees to fund transportation projects, which could include rail.  I do support more local control as we know better what our citizens needs than the state level.  Passing this legislation would not prohobit us from other funding ideas as well.  Stay tuned!

Early voting starts Monday, April 27th.  Make sure you get out to vote!

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