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bobatdeskIssues Important to Frisco

As we progress through the campaign, I will be sharing thoughts on the issues important to you and your neighbors. For me, this isn't just a list of topics for which I'd like to develop a policy, it's a review of the positions I promote and support every day. As your representative, I know you are concerned about these issues and I am committed to ensuring your voice is heard.

I'm excited to discuss any of these issues with you directly and I encourage you to contact me through any of our communication tools.

   

Questions from the Collin County Association of Realtors

Questions from The Dallas Morning News Voter Guide

League of Women Voters Voters' Guide

Regarding the pizza restaurant on western end of Frisco Square



Questions from the Collin County Association of Realtors

Question 1. Several cities across Texas have undertaken excessively restrictive measures on rental property in their communities in an effort to monitor landlords and generate local fee driven revenues through rental property. Some of these actions are registration of rental property and the inspection of rental property with permitting and other subsequent fees associated with these measures. Would you oppose such proposals to enact a rental registration or rental property inspection fee? Answer: Yes/No

Bob Allen - Yes, I would oppose any such type of program. In fact, I did oppose the proposal when it was brought forward by the Frisco City Staff in the past. I felt program would create an unnecessary layer of administration that would result in inflated consumer expense and very limited (and isolated) benefit. I felt that ultimately, most of the landlords were well meaning and well intentioned individuals that would be penalized by the actions of a few "bad apples". Ironically, it seemed more than likely that many of the "bad apples" could have potentially remained under the radar anyway, due to the burden of administration and tracking. Frisco currently supports a voluntary program of registration, which provides only that a landlord can be registered in the event of an issue or a problem. Registration is not mandatory and there are no fees.

Question 2. Do you have any specific ideas on how to develop and retain business in your city?  Answer: Yes/No

Bob Allen - Yes. It will be difficult to share all of my ideas here, but I can certainly share the outline of a basic strategy. Based on my nine years experience on the Frisco Economic Development Corporation (FEDC) Board, I appreciate that economic development comes in three distinct phases; job attraction, job retention, and job creation. It's also important to note that any city's development is typically based on three factors; first comes rooftops, followed by retail, followed by corporate/prime jobs. Economic Development in my mind focuses on the prime employers, not the service providers like doctor's or dentists; they will follow the rooftops.

Starting with my initial appointment to the FEDC Board in 2000, I have been focused on all three phases of providing prime jobs within Frisco (attraction, retention, and creation). As an acknowledged leader in Texas sales tax revenue (Frisco is the #1 combined 4A/4B city out of over 500 Texas cities), Frisco has a track record of aggressively using that revenue to attract top employers, interested in Frisco's well trained and well educated workforce. As we have in the past, Frisco must continue to provide economic assistance in a way that results in low (or no) risk to our taxpayers and maximum benefit to our employers.

As a member and former Chairman of the FEDC, I was a champion of Frisco's approach to identify by industry segment the businesses and prime job employers of tomorrow. Using this list, we must continue to work closely with the brokerage community to ensure we are on the forefront of any potential relocation opportunity. Equally important, we must proactively pursue commercial building opportunities to ensure we have the available office inventory to capitalize on potential relocations. Due to Frisco's rapid growth, we do not have a stockpile of available office space. This reality is both good and bad; bad that we will occasionally miss an opportunity with a short time window or a need for lower cost space, but good in that we can execute the building programs where they are most attractive and best suited. For example, I have a vision of multiple Class A and B office properties along both the DNT and SH121. These locations will result in best use for these corridors and provide the most marketable locations to employers.

Business retention is equally as important as attraction. Although there will always be extenuating circumstances which result in a employer leaving Frisco, the reason should never be for lack of a relationship with the community or its leaders. I am committed to ensuring the FEDC has a resource dedicated as a business liaison within the community, which will minimize potential surprises. Finally, we must continue to focus on limited governmental intrusions, while providing a business friendly environment suited to an employer's success.

Providing that business friendly environment goes a long way in the final category of business creation as well. In addition, Frisco has an additional tool in the North Texas Enterprise Center for Technology (NTEC). I am proud to have been a founding architect NTEC, which provides support to start up companies, such as OxySure and TissueGen. While it is true that Fortune 100 companies rarely move their headquarters, it is also true that all Fortune 100 companies had to start somewhere. NTEC is building the companies of tomorrow. These are companies that will not just change Frisco, but they will change the world forever.

Effective Tax Rate

Question 3. Currently, when a taxing jurisdiction other than a school district, increases its tax rate by more than 8%, the taxpayers’ only recourse is through a burdensome petitioning process. Would you support increased accountability to the public through automatic referendum on tax rates that increase by greater than 5%? Answer: Yes/No

Bob Allen - Yes, as long as the increase was not based on actions outside of the city's control. For example, if the increase was due to additional expenses which had been approved through a vote of the citizens. Secondarily, if the increase is a result of unfunded mandates from the state or federal government.

Eminent Domain

Question 4. Currently, the Texas Constitution permits condemnation of land for public use. Before the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Kelo vs. New London, public use was understood to be for parks, roads, and other infrastructure. The following is a two part question: A). Do you support the taking of private property through the powers of eminent domain for the purpose of economic development? B). Do you support a local governments taking of private property through powers of eminent domain and conveying that condemned property to another private sector entity or owner?  A). Answer: Yes/No   B). Answer: Yes/No

Bob Allen - No and No. I'm personally focused on a narrow definition of public necessity, to include roads and infrastructure, or public safety. Frisco has been blessed to have an outstanding staff with the vision to look to the future. We must continue to proactively prepare ourselves for tomorrow. Land purchases should occur through the normal course of opportunity and procurement. At 50% developed, there is ample space for growth, without condemnation.

Local Real Estate Transfer Taxes 

Question 5. As local officials look for new ways to fund city and county services and transportation needs, proposals have been made to enact new local taxes, including a proposal that places a flat fee or percentage sales tax on all real estate transactions (a.k.a., “real estate transfer tax”). Would you support a transfer tax on real estate transactions of any dollar amount or percentage either locally or on the state level? Answer: Yes/No

Bob Allen - No. It would have a negative impact on real estate sales. Further, based on past examples, state revenue may well never find its way to the proper fund anyway.

Energy Efficiency Standards at Point of Sale

Question 7. Some city councils have proposed to mandate certain energy efficiency upgrades in residential properties which must be completed and certified prior to the sale of the property. These mandates would require all properties to be retrofitted to meet the standards of the mandates costing sellers thousands of dollars. If elected, would you support efforts to impose mandatory energy-efficiency upgrades in existing housing? Answer: Yes/No

Bob Allen - No. Frisco has a green building program for new home construction, which results in higher energy efficiency and increased home value. When it comes to the sale of older homes, it should be up to the individual seller to decide if those types of upgrades bring value, or increased marketability. It all works out over time and the market can decide.


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Questions from The Dallas Morning News Voter Guide

Length of residency in the city:

Bob Allen: 20 years. My family and I moved to Frisco on April 15, 1992

Length of residency in district (if applicable):

Bob Allen: 20 years

Occupation/main source of income:

Bob Allen: Coordinator of Business Systems Applications and Strategies for the Frisco Independent School District 

Current civic involvement/accomplishment highlights:

Bob Allen: •Currently serving as a member of the Frisco City Council – 2002-2007 and 2009-present ; •Member of the Frisco City Council Finance and Audit Committee ; •Member of the Frisco City Council Legislative Committee ; •Member of the Frisco City Council Governance Committee ; •Member of the Frisco City Council Election and Polling Committee ; •Member of the Frisco City Council Citizen Fitness Committee ; •Member of the Frisco City Council Tax Reinvestment Finance Board ; •Active member of the First United Methodist Church of Frisco ; •Administrative Board Chair for First United Methodist Church of Frisco Historian ; •Member Frisco Association of the Arts ; •Member of the Frisco Heritage Association

Previous civic involvement/accomplishment highlights:

Bob Allen: •First elected to Frisco City Council in 2002 and again in 2004, serving until term-limits in 2007 ; •Chairman of the Frisco City Council Technology Committee ; •Frisco Deputy Mayor Pro Tem – 2006-2007, 2009-2011 ; •2003 Collin County Bond Committee for Roads and Transportation ; •President of the Custer Creek Homeowner’s Association ; •Administrative Board Chair for First United Methodist Church of Frisco Outreach ; •Committee Chairman for First United Methodist Church of Frisco 160th Celebration ; •9 years Frisco Economic Development Corporation Board member – 2000-2009 ; •Frisco Economic Development Corporation Board Chairman/Vice-Chairman – 2003-2009 ; •A founding business architect of Frisco’s North Texas Enterprise Center for Technology ; •Chairman of the Platinum Park Master Planning Committee ; •7 years Frisco Education Foundation Board member – 2002-2009 ; •Frisco Education Foundation President – 2004 & 2005 ; •Named as One of 21 Leaders of the 21st Century, by Inside Collin County Business ; •Named as the Frisco Citizen of the Year for 2010, by the Frisco Chamber of Commerce ; •Chairman of the Frisco Ethics Review Committee ; •30 years business experience in professional and corporate leadership at Electronic Data Systems and the FISD ; •Youth Sports Coach and Team Booster

Education:

Bob Allen: Degree in Computer Programming, Southern Ohio College, 1982 Brent Bilhartz: The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.

Previous public offices sought/held:

Bob Allen: Served on the Frisco City Council in 2002-2004, 2004-2007, and 2009-present

How much funding have you raised for your campaign?

Bob Allen: $8,250 to date

Who are your top three contributors?

Bob Allen: The contributions are spread across 49 separate families

Have you ever been arrested? If so, explain:

Bob Allen: No

Why are you running for this office and why should voters consider you the most qualified candidate?

Bob Allen: Frisco has seen great change in the past 20 years and I have been honored to be a part of that change. I have been fully invested in this community for those 20 years and I have a passionate vision for the future. In addition to serving the citizens of this community for 8 of the last 10 years on the Frisco City Council, I have served on numerous committees, boards, and regional initiatives. I have served as Chairman of the Frisco Economic Development Corporation Board, including 9 years of service and President of the Frisco Education Foundation Board, including 7 years of service. I have spent most of my professional career as a leader at EDS/HP. In my professional life, I have 30 years experience leading organizations and delivering successful results, while providing large scale financial management.

Frisco is ~72 square miles in size, but only about 50% developed. Frisco’s current population is just over 124,000 citizens, on our way up to an estimated build-out at about 280,000. Given these important factors, it is critical we have leaders that will focus on the master planning process and demonstrate the discipline to see it through. I am that leader, with a proven track record of success; and I have a vision for continued development that leverages the investments of the past, with an eye to the future.

During my service on the Frisco Economic Development Corporation, we were successful in attracting, retaining, and creating thousands of prime jobs. Frisco has created over 11,000 jobs in the past 5 years alone and we must continue to build on that success. Companies like Amerisource Bergen, FIServ, OxySure, Sanyo Energy, and many others have brought their operations to Frisco because of the business friendly environment and the highly qualified workforce that lives here. I was a champion of Frisco’s membership into the Texas One Enterprise Fund Program, as well as the creation Frisco’s Incubator/Accelerator, the North Texas Enterprise Center for Technology.

Our focus going forward, must continue to target the higher paid, clean industry jobs of the next century. We must encourage and proactively pursue the right kind of development along the highway corridors, so that we can be prepared to best respond to the opportunities to come. We must continue to focus our business development strategies in a manner that provides us revenue from outside of our borders.

Our future is not without challenges however. We must deal with the issues of public health, public safety, the protection of our natural resources, and the continued growth of this community. All of these opportunities require the same fiscal restraint that Frisco has demonstrated in the past, to keep the burden on our citizens as low as possible. Although Frisco citizens enjoy the lowest tax rate of any of our neighboring cities, we must continue to remain vigilant. As a public servant to the citizens of Frisco, I am committed to the continued growth, establishing positive public/private partnerships that provide winning projects, and maintaining my conservative approach.

What are the key differences between you and your opponent(s)?

Bob Allen: I am not familiar with my opponent so I cannot speak to any differences other than experience and previous involvement. I believe my past contributions are the best measure of my future performance. As can be seen in my current and previous areas of civic involvement, I have been actively engaged in this community since moving here in 1992. Considering that Frisco’s greatest changes began with the Stonebriar Mall in 2000, I have been an integral partner in the development of this community. Throughout my service, I have worked to ensure Frisco would remain a great place to live, work, play, and grow.

This (or any) election should however never be about the past; we must be focused on the future. Our continued successful development, during these continued times of economic uncertainty, demand that we effectively plan and prioritize our efforts. Investments made today must provide dividends, as well as remain viable well into the future. Corporate and office development along the DNT and SH121 corridors, successful expansion of projects and infrastructure along the 380 corridor, and development that takes advantage of the area from Main Street to the new Museum of American Railroads are key opportunities for partnerships.

I will use my experience in working together within Frisco, as well as with our regional partners, to continue building this incredible community. My 30 years of successful delivery and leadership experience, working for a large corporation, affords me the business skills necessary to deal with the difficult challenges we may encounter. I have been a strong fiscal conservative for my entire life and I will continue serve this community in the same manner. I am committed to listening to and representing the desires of our citizens, as their voice on the city council.

What are the three most important actions you would take if elected? How would you push for them and pay for them?

Bob Allen: There are many important issues that we must address for both the near-term and long-term impact to our community. These items include:

Exide and any public health concerns for our citizens - Public health and safety will always be a priority above economic development. I am engaged with city staff on a weekly (often daily) basis and will continue to push to a final resolution. Although this is already a top priority for the city, we must continue to focus on this issue and bring it to an acceptable conclusion.

Water conservation - Although the recent rains have provided some relief, we must continue to focus on long-term remedies and increased consumer education. Due to conditions outside of our control, we will not have access to 28% of our normal water source from Lake Texoma, until at least next year. Water conservation is not an issue that Frisco can address alone. We cannot (and should not) attempt to restrict building starts and we cannot expect to develop alternative water sources on our own. Thankfully, Frisco has built a strong regional partnership through our relationship with the North Texas Municipal Water District and our partner cities to address this critical issue. Only by working together with our regional partners can we meet the future needs of the region.

Continued job growth and economic development - Frisco is blessed with many new buildings and infrastructure, but we are challenged by a lack of available building inventory for new employers. In order to compete with neighboring cities that have older/available building stock and meet the demand of new employers, we must encourage office developers along the DNT and SH121 highways to build office products that will fulfill the needs of interested companies and investors. Quality office developments will increase our non-residential tax base and reduce the burden on our citizens. The employers we attract will ensure Frisco does not become a self-sustaining community. We must continue to focus our business development strategies in a manner that provides us revenue from outside of our city, our state, and even our country.
Construction of Fire Station #8 - The southeast quadrant of Frisco is quickly becoming the fastest growing section of our city. Just as we pushed for the construction of Station #7 last year for the far west section of Frisco, we must move forward with the construction of Station #8 for the southeast quadrant. Not only does the construction of a fire station improve response in the immediate area, but due to the nature of cross coverage among stations this new fire station will positively impact response times across the grid.

Regional transportation funding - This issue is two-fold. While I agree that we must be working with our regional partners to solve this regional challenge, I do not agree the resolution can be allowed to negatively impact Frisco’s ability to fund economic and community development. The 4A sales tax decision for economic development was made by our citizens in 1991, just as the decision was made in other cities to fund DART. In my mind, any discussion that suggests 4A/4B cities should redirect those funds to regional transportation is a non-starter. Lastly, while I recognize the transportation solution can take many forms, I do not see how the high cost of rail can provide a viable return on the investment within the outer boundaries of the metroplex.

Does your city deliver services in the most cost-effective manner to taxpayers? If not, what changes would you recommend?

Bob Allen: Yes. Frisco has been very successful in effectively maintaining a very competitive tax rate (lowest rate of any of our neighboring cities) and yet providing our citizens with an outstanding level of return on that investment. Frisco’s tax rate of $.461, includes $.198 allocated to approved debt and $.263 for Maintenance & Operations. The M&O rate is well below the average of our neighboring cities, yet provides the amenities and services desired by our citizens. For example, in a recent survey that was presented at a council meeting by a private employer, 90% of those surveyed indicated they felt Frisco was moving in the right direction, 94% said their quality of life was good to excellent, and 98% said Frisco was a great place to live and grow a family.

How has the current city leadership done in weathering the economic downturn? What ideas do you have on balancing the budget in light of uncertain revenue and the need to deliver services?

Bob Allen: Frisco has done very well in weathering the current economic challenges. Despite economic concerns, we actually reduced our tax rate last year, allowing us to provide relief to our citizens and still meet the critical needs for city services and development. Then, as a result of additional fiscal measures and improved revenue, we have been able to approve budget amendments which included all of the items which had been reduced in the original budget, as well as some additional investments, purchases, and staffing. As a member of Council, I will (as I have done in the past) continue on the path of fiscal responsibility, a competitive tax rate, and a solid return on the investment to our citizens.

Where does attracting residential and/or commercial development to your city rank on your list of priorities? How would you evaluate the job your city has done in this area and what, if anything, would you do differently?

Bob Allen: As I have mentioned in previous responses, both of these issues are very high on my list of priorities. As our population grows from 124,000 to 280,000, that growth and increased value will fuel our development in other areas. Residential growth should be a combination of single family housing with a diverse mix of lot sizes and street orientation, as well as some unique developments of mixed use, entertainment, office, and retail. Large commercial projects are particularly critical to meet the demands of opportunity and the attraction of prime jobs and employers. Quality office developments will increase our non-residential tax base and reduce the burden on our citizens. To date, Frisco has been very successful in the development of both residential and commercial properties. In fact MSN Real Estate recently named Frisco as the #1 Fastest Growing City in America. Based on current estimates of available housing and construction ready developments, activity in 2012 will most certainly be on the rise.

What demographic changes are happening in your city that your City Council should address? What, if anything, would you change?

Bob Allen: When we consider that the Frisco Independent School District has students that speak 59 different languages, representing cultures from all over the globe, it easy to appreciate that we have a changing demographic to address. Our most recent census provides an additional view: 77% White, 10% Asian, 8% Black or African American. As a Council we have been looking at various opportunities for everyone to become more involved in the community. Each year, the Board Application process provides opportunities for any citizens to serve the community. Frisco also has an outstanding volunteer program which provides a database of volunteers and volunteer opportunities. Finally, Frisco provides citizen opportunities through a range of unique programs such as City Hall 101, Leadership Frisco, the Fire Academy and the Police Academy.

What should the city or its Police Department do to address the issue of illegal immigration?

Bob Allen: Illegal immigration is not an issue that can be solved at the local police department level. As a city, we are however doing all we can. For example, Frisco is absolutely not a sanctuary city. We participate in the Criminal Alien Program and report any arrestee that was not born in the United States to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for a phone interview with the arrested person. After which the ICE can place an immigration detainer on the individual if they find it appropriate to do so. As a member of the Frisco City Council Legislative Committee, I support any state and federal legislation that will effectively help us to deal with this issue.

Do you favor or oppose a seamless regional transit system? If you favor it, what steps would you take to make it happen?

Bob Allen: If by seamless you mean all cities become a member of the Dart Rail Service, then no I would not support that position. Rail construction is a very expensive alternative, significantly subsidized by the taxpayer, which by the way may never use the service. Although I’ve been reading recently about conversations which suggest various local funding alternatives, I am not in support of any approach that could negatively impact Frisco’s ability for economic or community development. I do however favor continued cooperation with our regional partners to identify other potential solutions and working together to address the challenges to come.

How well does your city conserve water and what policies would you favor to improve that effort?

Bob Allen: Frisco has an outstanding program of water conservation, planning, education and monitoring. For example, staff has created programs that provide free individual sprinkler assessment, tuning, and instruction for both residential and commercial customers. In addition, using data from our internal weather stations, staff distributes a weekly update on lawn watering recommendations, allowing citizens to confidently water their lawns only as truly necessary. Moving forward, I favor an evaluation of the overall water usage and billing systems to provide a better method of rewarding the home and business owners that best conserve this valuable natural resource.

In what areas would your city and other North Texas communities benefit from greater regional cooperation? What would you do to encourage it?

Bob Allen: Water planning and conservation, regional transportation, economic development, and population growth planning and management are all critical issues that must be addressed regionally. Although Frisco was recently named the #1 fastest growing city in America, McKinney was named the #2 fastest growing. While this growth will significantly impact each individual city, it will have a compounding impact on the region. Economic development on the other hand is an area where our focus should not be on carving out a bigger piece of the pie for any individual city, but instead we should be concentrating on baking a bigger pie. When it comes to economic development, we can all celebrate when the region is successful.

What is an uncomfortable truth about your city that voters must confront?

Bob Allen: The uncomfortable truth is that this election, like so many past elections, will be decided by a relatively small parentage of voters. I always appreciate that folks feel compelled to get out for the November elections, but I don’t understand why they do not have the same commitment when it comes to local elections and leaders that can impact their day-to-day lives on issues such as water, sewer, public safety, and trash collection. As I do every year, I urge our citizens to educate themselves on the candidates and issues and ensure their voice is heard at the polls.


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League of Women Voters

The LWV URL is www.vote411.org. The questions and responses were:

What training, experience, and attributes qualify you for this position?

Bob Allen: Frisco has seen great change in the past 20 years and I have been honored to be a part of that change. Since moving here in 1992, I have been fully invested in this community for those 20 years and I have a passionate vision for the future. In addition to serving the citizens of this community for 8 of the last 10 years on the Frisco City Council, I have served on numerous committees, boards, and regional initiatives. I have served as Chairman of the Frisco Economic Development Corporation Board, including 9 years of service and President of the Frisco Education Foundation Board, including 7 years of service. I have spent most of my professional career as a leader at EDS/HP. In my professional life, I have 30 years experience leading organizations and delivering successful results, while providing large scale financial management.


How should the city weather the current financial downturn: reduce services or personnel, increase fees, increase the tax rate, delay construction, other measures?

Bob Allen: Frisco has done very well in weathering the current economic challenges. Despite economic concerns, we actually reduced our tax rate last year, allowing us to provide relief to our citizens and still meet the critical needs for city services and development. Then, as a result of additional fiscal measures and improved revenue, we have been able to approve budget amendments which included all of the items which had been reduced in the original budget, as well as some additional investments, purchases, and staffing. As a member of Council, I will (as I have done in the past) continue on the path of fiscal responsibility, a competitive tax rate, and a solid return on the investment to our citizens. We may need to slow down some construction, but it should not be any construction related to public safety or public health. It's always a good idea to analyze fees to ensure the basis is correct.


What challenges will the continuing growth of this city present, and how would you address them with respect to residential development, commercial development and open space?

Bob Allen: These issues are very high on my list of priorities. Frisco is ~72 square miles in size, but only about 50% developed. Frisco’s current population is just over 124,000 citizens, on our way up to an estimated build-out at about 280,000. Given these important factors, it is critical we have leaders that will focus on the master planning process and demonstrate the discipline to see it through. As our population grows, that growth and increased value will fuel our development in other areas. Residential growth should be a combination of single family housing with a diverse mix of lot sizes and street orientation, as well as some unique developments of mixed use, entertainment, office, and retail. Large commercial projects are particularly critical to meet the demands of opportunity and the attraction of prime jobs and employers. Quality office developments will increase our non-residential tax base and reduce the burden on our citizens. To date, Frisco has been very successful in the development of both residential and commercial properties. In fact MSN Real Estate recently named Frisco as the #1 Fastest Growing City in America. Based on current estimates of available housing and construction ready developments, activity in 2012 will most certainly be on the rise.


Homelessness is an increasing problem. What should the city do to address this issue?

Bob Allen:  Frisco has a Workforce Housing Trust Fund Board that is working to assist first time home buyers. Frisco also has the Housing Board that provide low income apartments for those in need. Finally, I have been working with the various faith based organizations in an effort to build an organization that will work directly with the McKinney Samaritan Inn organization in an effort to expand their operations and increase private funding.


What issues does the city have with water supply and demand and how would you address them?

Bob Allen: Although the recent rains have provided some relief, we must continue to focus on long-term remedies and increased consumer education. Due to conditions outside of our control, we will not have access to 28% of our normal water source from Lake Texoma, until at least next year. Water conservation is not an issue that Frisco can address alone. We cannot (and should not) attempt to restrict building starts and we cannot expect to develop alternative water sources on our own. Frisco has an outstanding program of water conservation, planning, education and monitoring. For example, staff has created programs that provide free individual sprinkler assessment, tuning, and instruction for both residential and commercial customers. In addition, using data from our internal weather stations, staff distributes a weekly update on lawn watering recommendations, allowing citizens to confidently water their lawns only as truly necessary. Thankfully, Frisco has built a strong regional partnership through our relationship with the North Texas Municipal Water District and our partner cities to address this critical issue. Only by working together with our regional partners can we meet the future needs of the region.


What measures would you support to improve transportation? How should they be funded?

Bob Allen: I believe that we must be working with our regional partners to solve this regional challenge, but I do not agree the resolution can be allowed to negatively impact Frisco’s ability to fund economic and community development. I also struggle with the implementation of rail for the outer boundary cities. Rail construction is a very expensive alternative, significantly subsidized by the taxpayer, which by the way may never use the service. The 4A sales tax decision for economic development was made by our citizens in 1991, just as the decision was made in other cities to fund DART. In my mind, any discussion that suggests 4A/4B cities should redirect those funds to regional transportation is a non-starter. I do however favor continued cooperation with our regional partners to identify other potential solutions and working together to address the challenges to come.


How would you balance the needs of job and economic growth with environmental health and safety concerns?

Bob Allen: Public health and safety will always be a priority above economic development. During my service on the Frisco Economic Development Corporation, we were successful in attracting, retaining, and creating thousands of prime jobs. Frisco has created over 11,000 jobs in the past 5 years alone and we must continue to build on that success. Companies like Amerisource Bergen, FIServ, OxySure, Sanyo Energy, and many others have brought their operations to Frisco because of the business friendly environment and the highly qualified workforce that lives here. I was a champion of Frisco’s membership into the Texas One Enterprise Fund Program, as well as the creation Frisco’s Incubator/Accelerator, the North Texas Enterprise Center for Technology. Our focus going forward, must continue to target the higher paid, clean industry jobs of the next century. We must encourage and proactively pursue the right kind of development along the highway corridors, so that we can be prepared to best respond to the opportunities to come. We must continue to focus our business development strategies in a manner that provides us revenue from outside of our borders.


What are the most important issues you think will come before the City Council in the next few years? What are your views on these issues?

Bob Allen: 

Exide and any public health concerns for our citizens. Public health and safety will always be a priority above economic development. I am engaged with city staff on a weekly (often daily) basis and will continue to push to a final resolution. Although this is already a top priority for the city, we must continue to focus on this issue and bring it to an acceptable conclusion.


Water conservation. Although the recent rains have provided some relief, we must continue to focus on long-term remedies and increased consumer education. Due to conditions outside of our control, we will not have access to 28% of our normal water source from Lake Texoma, until at least next year. Water conservation is not an issue that Frisco can address alone. We cannot (and should not) attempt to restrict building starts and we cannot expect to develop alternative water sources on our own. Thankfully, Frisco has built a strong regional partnership through our relationship with the North Texas Municipal Water District and our partner cities to address this critical issue. Only by working together with our regional partners can we meet the future needs of the region.

Continued job growth and economic development. Frisco is blessed with many new buildings and infrastructure, but we are challenged by a lack of available building inventory for new employers. In order to compete with neighboring cities that have older/available building stock and meet the demand of new employers, we must encourage office developers along the DNT and SH121 highways to build office products that will fulfill the needs of interested companies and investors. Quality office developments will increase our non-residential tax base and reduce the burden on our citizens. The employers we attract will ensure Frisco does not become a self-sustaining community. We must continue to focus our business development strategies in a manner that provides us revenue from outside of our city, our state, and even our country.

Construction of Fire Station #8. The southeast quadrant of Frisco is quickly becoming the fastest growing section of our city. Just as we pushed for the construction of Station #7 last year for the far west section of Frisco, we must move forward with the construction of Station #8 for the southeast quadrant. Not only does the construction of a fire station improve response in the immediate area, but due to the nature of cross coverage among stations this new fire station will positively impact response times across the grid.

Regional transportation funding. This issue is two-fold. While I agree that we must be working with our regional partners to solve this regional challenge, I do not agree the resolution can be allowed to negatively impact Frisco’s ability to fund economic and community development. The 4A sales tax decision for economic development was made by our citizens in 1991, just as the decision was made in other cities to fund DART. In my mind, any discussion that suggests 4A/4B cities should redirect those funds to regional transportation is a non-starter. Lastly, while I recognize the transportation solution can take many forms, I do not see how the high cost of rail can provide a viable return on the investment within the outer boundaries of the metroplex.


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Submitted from our website: Please explain why there is a pizza restaurant being built on the western end of Frisco Square. I thought that the square was a city park and not considered commercial property. Thank you for your time.

Bob Allen: Thank you for the note. No, the square was never designated as a park. The Council's decision to allow the restaurant was based on the desire to continue to develop the charm and character of the area with a combination of passive space, services, and retail. The restaurant will be an old style looking building with a stone fireplace pizza oven. There will be patio seating on the east side of the building where families can sit, eat, enjoy a beverage, listen to music, and even watch the kids play in the grass of the square.  I am hopeful that it will be a great addition to the area and will become a favorite spot for everyone, no matter if they are planning to go to a movie, stop by the library, or just spending some time shopping in the square. Thank you again for the note. Please let me know if I can provide any additional information.


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Political site paid for by Bob Allen for Frisco, Ed Szczebak, Treasurer, 7433 Reflection Bay Dr, Frisco, TX 75034