Action NOW for Frisco's tomorrow
During my first term on Frisco City Council, I have kept my promise to always keep Frisco's future in mind as we make decisions today that will impact us for generations to come.
Prioritize our infrastructure
Frisco has been growing by roughly 10,000 people every year, and we have now reached a population of over 230,000. A proactive plan for continued population increase has been one of my top priorities since joining Council. Additionally, Frisco's reinvesting strategy for our roads, buildings, and city services will help to keep our quality of life at the level we have come to expect. With all that needs to be done, we need to continue putting a focus on finding new ways to increase our city's revenue, without increasing our property tax rate to support our city's needs. For example, attracting new businesses and special events also increases our city tax revenues, without putting the additional burden on our property owners.
According to the City of Frisco's estimates, the average assessed household value is around $470k, with most properties continuing to increase in value. While these increases in value make your home a good investment, it also means property taxes are increasing as well. Keeping our property taxes as low as possible has been a top priority for me as a member of our Budget and Audit Committee. In 2022, I voted to increase our Homestead Exemption to 12.5%, and I have every intention of raising it even higher in the coming years. I also voted for implementing a Senior Tax Freeze, so our seniors will never be priced out of their home as our property values continue to increase.
Frisco has been rated the #1 Safest City in America by SmartAsset for the last two years in a row, a distinction we want to keep. We approved this year's budget with an additional 22 public safety positions to support our growing city and we recently approved a budget amendment to increase our pay ranges to be more competitive against the other area cities. For this upcoming budget year, we need to secure additional headcount to get ahead of staffing needs and to ensure we retain the best of the best, I am advocating for additional funding for salaries for our employees.
Frisco is approximately 80% built out. Completing that last 20% is much more challenging as we put the final pieces together, keeping future redevelopment in mind as part of the process. During my time on Council, I have consistently voted for developments that will be beneficial to our city, and I consistently voted against zoning I didn't believe was right for the location where it was being requested within our city.
Families want to move to Frisco because of our incredible schools, but with high demand also comes higher home values, and this naturally creates a demand for rental properties and apartments. My recommendation, which I have shared with multiple potential developers, is that instead of more apartments, we offer more smaller-format housing options like condos, townhomes, and zero-lot-line homes as alternatives. Additionally, these types of options would be multi-purpose, appealing to both young professionals and to our retired citizens who want minimal maintenance.
The city has been proactively working to manage population density increases from apartments which could negatively impact our existing communities. Thousands of previously granted multi-family apartment rights have been reduced over the last year by our continued work with land owners and developers to influence their plans to be in the best interest of Frisco and its residents. This is something I will continue to champion in my future years on Council.
More businesses coming to Frisco means local job opportunities. It means there are shorter commutes available, which can reduce our time on the roads, and relieve some of the traffic congestion. It also means additional tax revenue that contributes to the City's budget. This is the first step towards being able to do things like reduce property taxes, increase the homestead exemption further, or reinvest funds in our city.
The City of Frisco has an initiative to be a destination for innovation and entrepreneurship, and we are on our way with multiple companies having announced their grand opening or intention to open in Frisco. With previous experience in an early stage start-up, I am keenly aware of the needs of these organizations (access to pitching for venture capital funding, flexible workspaces, and shared support services to name a few). Start-ups typically provide slow and steady organic growth for the city, as well as bringing high-paying jobs. Both of these are attractive attributes in the businesses I would like to see us continue to recruit here to Frisco.
My pet project - our pets!
During my first year on Council, I drove the initiative to establish Frisco's first Animal Advisory Committee with the mission of taking a more proactive role in supporting our domesticated animals. This committee will help to educate our community on pet ownership and advocate for our pets.
One of the first topics this committee will tackle is how we can reduce the number of animals going to our county shelter. The main reasons people give up their animals are for behavioral and financial reasons. If we can provide resources to pet owners on how to better train their pets for behavioral issues, and make financial support available to them from within our community, we can help them to keep their pets in their family and out of the shelters. If we can prevent the number of animals going in, we can make a positive impact that helps save animal lives.
In terms of our having a more local shelter, I have been working to connect the city with a number of potential private partners that could help make this as cost effective as possible for Frisco. I believe a local shelter would be so much more valuable for our city than just a building nearby, providing an enhanced city service beyond what we have today.