Show Notes & Links:
- Cindy Asche’s Website
- Runoff Election Date: Saturday, June 18, 2016
Connect with Lifestyle Frisco on:
Scott Ellis: Welcome to the Frisco Podcast. I’m your host Scott Ellis and our guest this episode is Cindy Asche who is running for City Council, place 4 in the run-off elections on June 18th.
Cindy, welcome to the show, it’s good to have you here.
Cindy Asche: Good morning. It’s great to be here. Thanks so much for having me.
Scott Ellis: You bet. Thank you for coming out on a rainy day.
Cindy Asche: It was a little drizzing and damp today.
Scott Ellis: Yeah. I think by the time people hear this, it will be cleared up, but that’s okay.
Cindy Asche: It should be great.
Scott Ellis: You’re running for City Council, place 4.
Cindy Asche: I am.
Scott Ellis: They have gone to a run-off election.
Cindy Asche: Yes.
Scott Ellis: That means basically that in the first round, nobody got 50% plus 1 vote.
Cindy Asche: Correct.
Scott Ellis: The top 2 vote getters are now running the run-off on June 18th.
Cindy Asche: Yes. It’s kind of like Groundhog Day. We keep doing the same thing over and over.
Scott Ellis: You guys are ready for that to be over?
Cindy Asche: We are ready to be done, we really are.
Scott Ellis: Talk to us a little bit about how long you’ve been in Frisco, your history here, and what made you want to run for City Council.
Cindy Asche: Okay. My husband and I moved here in 2002. We’ve been here, it’ll be 14 years in June. Actually, we moved from Dallas. We were looking for a place that had a different quality of life than Dallas. We got concerned about some of the things in Dallas. My husband’s a Dallas boy. I grew up in Austin, so we’re Texas natives. Dallas was getting a little to crowded. We were concerned about some of the crime going on in our neighborhood even though we lived in a great neighborhood. We looked for a neighborhood and we found Frisco. We fell in love with it from the very first time we came.
Scott Ellis: So, you’ve been here for a big chunk of the growth that has happened and you’ve seen this thing blow up a lot since 2002?
Cindy Asche: We really have. When we first moved to Frisco, some of the biggest problems we had were tumbleweeds in our yard. Being the weeds we had to deal with and coyotes, being afraid that a coyote would get our dog in the back yard or something like that. A grocery store, we didn’t have a grocery store very close by. Just one on Preston Road. Now, there’s things everywhere. It’s just amazing to see the amount of growth that’s happened in the city.
Scott Ellis: Yeah. It’s been fun to watch in a lot of ways but it comes with its own challenges as well. I think that’s a good City Council question for you. One of the challenges that Frisco faces is the explosive growth that’s happening right now. What do you see as some of the, maybe some challenges associated with that, and how do you think we should go about addressing some of those things?
Cindy Asche: I’m so glad that you asked that because that’s one of the things that drove us into the race is making sure that we had smart, really balanced growth. One of the things that a number of folks had asked me to check into was the number of apartments that are being built. Went and looked at the city’s comprehensive plan and the newest plan, the 2015 plan has about 65,000 urban living and multi-family apartment units that are planned. What we see right now in Frisco is between the 2,200 and 11,000 units that they say are in the pipeline. That will be 6 times what you see today. If we follow that track, they’ll have 37% of our citizens living in multi-family housing or urban living apartment, very dense style apartments. That’s going to bring probably, not probably, it’s going to bring even great traffic. We hope that it won’t bring greater crime or anything like that but dense house dose have the connotation of having some issues like that.
Scott Ellis: Right, right. I didn’t realize the plan for quite that many apartments. When I first moved to Frisco in 2004, apartments were fairly scarce. If you wanted to live in an apartment, or if you needed one for a transition, you didn’t have very many option. Now it seems like there are a lot more of them going up and a significantly greater number that are going to be coming in the future.
Cindy Asche: Right. I don’t want anybody to think that I’m negative on people that live in apartments. My husband and I both lived in apartments. I lived in an apartment until we got married, when I was almost 37. They have a great place. I think the issue is, making sure that we do smart planning and we don’t overgrow that particular component in our city. It’s interesting because some of the citizens in Plano … I don’t know if you saw this or read this. Just the other day, filed suit against their city for approving their comprehensive plan because it has to many apartments and they’re very concerned about that. I think the citizens of Frisco should be concerned about that as well. We are doing great things in this city and we have greater things left to do. Greater things that, you know, to be. I’m not sure that to many apartments fits in that plan.
Scott Ellis: Okay. That makes sense. What are some of the other ways that you have been involved in the city of Frisco? What are some of the other things things that you do that maybe cue you up to be a good city council person?
Cindy Asche: Okay. I started off as soon as we got here getting involved in my own community. I became a village rep for our homeowners association and did that for several years. Then I had twins. Any mom who’s had twins knows that you’re going to take a couple of years off to do that. We took a couple of years off and then I got back involved in that homeowners association and finally served on that board for about 4 years. First as treasurers and then 3 years as president. Along the way I’ve been pretty active in republican party politics and have been a delegate, will have served as a precinct chair when I lived on the Denton County side of Frisco. We moved 6 blocks and ended up on the Colin County side of Frisco.
I have been not only a precinct chair, but a delegate to all the state convention since 2004, when I was pregnant with those twins. Just making sure that we get really great quality people elected in the state, in the local level. All the way from City Council on up to Governor. It’s really, really important, a lot of times people thinks that the big issues in states don’t affect us here in a local level, but they do. It’s so important that we get good quality leaders elected.
My professional background is as a nurse. I’ve been a nurse for 30 years.
Scott Ellis: Very good.
Cindy Asche: Yeah, thank you. It doesn’t seem like 30 years. I don’t feel like it should be 30 years. I thought people that have been a nurse for 30 years could hardly walk. Some days I feel that way, but I’ve been a nurse for 30 years. The majority of my career, I spent in emergency management and trauma. I feel like I have a very good background for making sure that we address public safety issues. I don’t think there’s anybody on the council that has that kind of background. We have realtors, we have business people. I don’t think that we have anybody that can really truly address public safety from a standpoint of planning community wide disaster drills, and managing community disasters, and everything from communicable diseases. From Zika Virus, Ebola, to all the terrorist attacks, all of those kinds of things. I have a background in that and I think that’s something unique that can be brought to the city.
Scott Ellis: It is and those are the things that often times people don’t necessarily want or like to think about, but when the time comes, we are certainly glad that somebody did think about how to address those issues or respond to those kind of emergencies.
Cindy Asche: It’s so true. One of the things that I’ve learned in my career is, it’s really about planning. It’s really about strategic planning and making sure that you address possibilities and you have the resources to deal with things that you never want to have happen. You need to make sure that you got the resources to deal with them just in case.
Scott Ellis: Yeah. Any other issues specific to Frisco? Any other maybe hobbling items right now, things that are on your mind that are motivating you to run for City Council? Things that you would like to also address?
Cindy Asche: There’s 2 of them. One was an issue before, you know, when I got into the race and one of them has just popped up just in the last couple of weeks. The one that has been an issue and is really significant is property taxes. I know that our homeowners got their property tax assessment evaluations just in the last couple of weeks and because Frisco is doing so well, and our growth is so great, it’s such a desirable place to live. All of our property evaluations have just increased astronomically.
Scott Ellis: Yeah, that skyrocketed in the lobby.
Cindy Asche: Yeah. Just through the roof and that’s great if you want to sell your home. If you want to stay in your home, and then you have to pay that property tax burden, that’s a concern. That’s one of the reasons why I got into the race. Another one, to make sure that our motto for our campaign is, “Keeping Frisco families first.” We want to make sure that we don’t price ourselves out of the market so that families say, “You know what? I can’t afford to live here anymore. I’m going to have to sell my home and move.” That’s not what any of us move to Frisco for.
Scott Ellis: Yeah.
Cindy Asche: Our City Council has done a good job maintaining the tax rate. They’ve not increased it. In fact, over the last couple of years, they actually dropped it slightly. We can do that again. We can drop it and then give our citizens property tax relief. I’m honored to say that I’m the only candidate in place 4 that not only applied but was endorsed by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. I don’t think my opponent even sought that endorsement. The [inaudible 00:09:54] and I have is, that we make sure that, that is something that our citizens know and that they have a champion that’s going to try and help keep as much money as possible in their pocketbook.
Scott Ellis: I’m sure there are a lot of people who like the idea of lowering property tax rates because home evaluations are probably not going back in the other direction any time soon. We don’t necessarily want them to, but that was my next question is then, how do you moderate the tax burden? The tax rate is the only thing I can think of. Is there anything else that the city can do?
Cindy Asche: The first and best thing, and the thing that the council can do directly is to drop that tax rate. I had a chance to visit with Senator Van Taylor not long ago, and if local municipalities don’t do that, then the state is going to take action. They’re already talking about that with the upcoming sessional legislature in 17. They’re already planning to take action to try and put the lid on property taxes. That’s not always the best way to make things happen. If you can get local leaders to do it at a local level, it’s a much better plan because sometimes you have the risk of unintended consequences. Sometimes the best legislation is no legislation. That’s the first thing.
The second thing is to increase our business growth. That’s very near and dear to my heart. I have a business degree as well as a nursing degree. Business truly is the engine of our economy here in Frisco. The more businesses we can bring … Texas is a great business climate because of our low tax rates and our right to work stated, and a number of those reasons. Businesses are flocking to Texas to leave the burdens that we see by regulations in other states. They’re just coming here in gross. Frisco is a great place for those places to locate and relocate to. If we can encourage business growth to help share that tax burden, that’s also another thing that we can do here in Frisco.
Scott Ellis: Okay. Very good. I think those are definitely issues that are going to be on peoples minds as they head back out to the polls. We’ve been advocates for a long time of encouraging people to get out and vote in the local elections as much as possible. I think we saw in the regular elections that happened back in May that there were about … I think we did a real rough calculation, but it was about 10.8% of the voting age population actually came out to vote in that election. Which means, and not all of those are necessarily registered voters. If you were to go look at just registered voters, that percentage would be even higher. That’s abnormally high for what we see in local elections. I think in many years past, we’ve seen 2 and 3%. I want to encourage people, when the run-offs come around, get out and vote.
The local elections, in my opinion, matter more than the big national ones that everybody focuses on. This affects your day to day life and the people that are making decisions about your day to day life and where you live more directly than anything else you’re going to do. There’s no electoral college between you and the people that are voting for you.
Cindy Asche: Nope. Nope.
Scott Ellis: Every vote really does count, and you’re going to make decisions that are going to impact them daily.
Cindy Asche: That’s so true, and I’m so glad you brought that up. Like I was saying before, there are significant issues right here in Frisco. One of them just popped up just recently over on the West Side, and that’s the building of an Encore sub-station on Legacy Drive across the street from 2 schools, and right next to homes. Citizens are very, very concerned about that. The people that they elect to the next city council will probably be the people that are the ones that get to say yay or nay on whether that sub-station is built. Not only that, that’s a health and safety issue like we were speaking about before. Not only that, but these things are guaranteed with the growth that we have going on. They’re guaranteed to continue to happen. We need folks of integrity who pledge transiency that you can reach, get in touch with. It’s hard to get in touch with your Senator, but you can get in touch with your council person.
On my business cards, I have my personal cell phone that I pass out to voters, so they can get in touch with me anytime.
Scott Ellis: Good. I hope your phone is not blowing up to much.
Cindy Asche: Not yet. Maybe after this, we hope.
Scott Ellis: Yeah, we’ll see how that goes.
Cindy Asche: Okay.
Scott Ellis: For those that haven’t heard though, let’s just talk briefly about the Encore sub-station.
Cindy Asche: Okay.
Scott Ellis: Not everybody is familiar with what’s going on. Can you just talk a little bit about what that is and why it’s a concern.
Cindy Asche: Okay. Encore has proposed to build a power sub-station along the Legacy corridor, south of Main Street, North of the Lebanon intersection. It curves around there. This would be a very large power sub-station in this area. Encore did a presentation to an HOA, Cheyenne Crossing HOA a few weeks ago and that’s how this issue became known. Someone from that HOA posted on the Nextdoor website that this sub-station was planning to be built there. Citizens were not aware of that. A young lady by the name of Jamie Height, who’s doing a tremendous job, getting this issue out there happened to read Nextdoor and found out about this.
Did a little investigating to find out that this sub-station, it’s plans, it’s about 200 yards long, it’s got 70 foot towers, or have high transmission wires, high voltage transmission wires, and it is not being built to serve the needs of the folks in that immediate area. It is being build, probably extensively, we’re not really sure even yet to fulfill the needs, the power needs of the 5 billion dollar mile, and probably the star. One of the Cowboy’s are going to go in and a lot of those big developments up there, the area where it’s going to be build, is an area that’s actually served by CoServ Electricity. The folks in this area are especially concerned. The piece of land that it is proposed to be put on is zoned as a planned development.
A number of the citizens in that area had checked before they purchased their homes to find out what was being planned for … They didn’t want to be living next door to a power station or some kind of industrial something so they checked. That’s another reason why they’re so concerned. I know that it’s a concern to a number of parents who children attend Allen Elementary. They’re concerned about the electromagnetic transmissions that come from power wires. We know scientifically, that’s inconclusive to say whether or not that contributes to things like childhood leukemia or anything else. None the less, in this day and time where everybody’s doing everything they can to make sure they raise healthy kids. From organic food to limiting the amount of technology their kids have and use, and spend time on … I know that those parents, especially the ones who’s children attend Allen Elementary and Legacy Christian Academy right there are concerned that they might have increased exposure to those transmissions.
In addition, it’s a big concern for property owners and the values of their property. There is no doubt, almost every realtor that you talk to says, “If your home is built right next to those transmission line, it will decrease in value.” I think that’s a concern. I think it’s a concern for number of those citizens. I was one of the very first people that, when I found out about it I contacted Miss Height and said, there is no reason, this does not need to be built here. It’s had a public hearing that was placed on the agenda accidentally. I think because of public outcry. The comment was made that it was placed on the agenda out of human error. The folks were not ready to address it, didn’t have the information necessary to address it. Because they had been told, they told the citizens they wanted to hear from them, citizens did have an opportunity last Tuesday evening to go and make their voices heard.
Miss Height did a great job speaking before the planning and zoning commission. That’s the first step. The first step is that planning and zoning will get to rule on this. There are 2 documents before the planning and zoning. One is a specific use permit for the actual power sub-station itself, and one is a change in zoning that they would need to hear. I think that’s the background and the nuts and bolts of it.
Scott Ellis: Okay. That’s a great overview. Thank you very much for that.
Cindy Asche: You’re welcome.
Scott Ellis: I learned a few additional things I hadn’t heard about along the way there. I appreciate that. Cindy, thank you very much for joining us today. I really appreciate you coming out on a wet and rainy day. We want to wish you well in the upcoming run-off election. That is again on Saturday, June 18th. If you went out and voted the first time, get back out there, do it again. It’s a super quick easy process. I’ve never had to stand in line for any length of time to vote in Frisco or anything like that. Just pop into the local polling location for you and cast your vote.
Cindy Asche: Yeah. It’ll probably take about 2 minutes.
Scott Ellis: Yeah, literally.
Cindy Asche: Probably will.
Thank you so much for having me today.
Scott Ellis: All right. Thank you again, Cindy. We’ll talk to you guys on the next episode of the Frisco Podcast.