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Frisco’s $268 Million Bond Package and What You Need to Know

Early voting for the 2015 Frisco Bond package starts tomorrow, Monday, April 27th, through Tuesday, May 5th.  Official voting day is Saturday, May 9th.  We all need to get out and VOTE for our FUTURE.

For the last decade, Frisco has held the #1 spot in the United States for sustained growth, occasionally falling to #2 and then bouncing right back up.  Drawn by our good schools, low tax rate and strong economy, more than 150 families move here every month.  And while past city leaders planned for our future, our infrastructure and basic services, let alone those additional items that we will need to become a first-class city, are starting to show the strain from our incredible growth.  Therefore, our current City Council saw the immediate need for a comprehensive bond referendum on the May 9 ballot.

Developed by a volunteer committee of residents and business leaders from all types of backgrounds, all appointed by City Council, the $268 million referendum consists of 8 NO-FRILLS Propositions to provide the basic services needed to plan for the future of our growing city.  This would include new streets, stronger public safety, more parks and playgrounds, a new senior citizen activity center, an expansion of our library, and a cultural and performing arts facility… All responsible projects that will improve our lives today and our children’s lives tomorrow.

“The school systems are about educating our kids, but the arts and sports are a part of that.  We have rapid sustained growth that we must plan for now.” ~~ Mayor Maher Maso on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at Citizens Supporting Frisco’s Future event

VOTE YES FOR ALL 8 PROPOSITIONS

Whether you participate in early voting starting tomorrow or on May 9th, for LESS THAN $10 per month in property taxes on the average priced home*, Frisco can responsibly invest in our future while boosting basic services today.

“Thank you all for coming out this evening to support our Bond Package.  I hope that all of the Propositions pass on May 9th… especially the arts piece.” ~~ Craig Hall, Founder Hall Financial Group, lifelong art collector, and in our opinion, a Founding Father of Frisco on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 as host of the Citizens Supporting Frisco’s Future event

The Citizens Supporting Frisco’s Future wish to make voting YES an easy decision for all citizens of Frisco, so here are all 8 of the Propositions:

  1. PUBLIC SAFETY:  $41,500,000   For immediate public safety needs including facilities, fire trucks, fire stations, equipment, and warning sirens
  2. STREET & ROAD IMPROVEMENTS:  $125,000,000   For traffic relief and much-needed improvements to streets and roads in every part of Frisco
  3. SERVICE FACILITIES:  $3,325,000   For improvements and additions to the fleet center facility, which is currently overcrowded due to Frisco’s fast growth
  4. EXPAND CITY HALL & LIBRARY:  $37,000,000   For improvements, expansion, and equipment purchase for the Frisco Public Library, City Offices, and Municipal Courts at the George A. Purefoy Municipal Center
  5. SENIOR ACTIVITY CENTER:  $9,000,000   For constructing a new senior activity center to meet the fellowship and fitness needs of Frisco’s growing retirement community
  6. PARK & REC FACILITIES:  $32,000,000   For the acquisition of land, constructing and improving parks, trails, and recreational facilities, as well as remodeling the administration building
  7. GRAND PARK & GREEN SPACE:  $10,000,000   For the funding of the Phase 1 budget approved by the City Council for Grand Park and Green Space
  8. PERFORMING ARTS FACILITY:  $10,000,000   For the construction of a cultural and performing arts center

However, we are aware that there are Frisco citizens and city council members who are FOR the first 7 propositions, but AGAINST Proposition 8.  We’ve seen their where’s-the-beef-throwback video, and frankly we’re embarrassed for them.  Especially when there’s no beef in that senior center bun either.  So, we respectfully submit a 10 counterpoints for thought…

1. Bonds must have a specific purpose only, not a specific plan. None of the bond measures can be tied to specific plans because so much change can occur within 5-7 years till the next bond election, and too many specifics would render the bonds unable to be sold.

2. Bonds #1-8 have language that is purposely broad to accommodate the flexibility for change. That means there are no specific roads that will be guaranteed, no specific land or plans identified for the senior center, etc.

3. Bonds are financial tools for the future. They are not blank checks and may never be sold. There are still bonds that remain from 2006 because the Council did not authorize them to be sold.

4. $4 million in bonds remains for a Cultural and Performing Arts Center from 2006. Rest assured that those bonds were never sold because there was no Council-approved plan.

5. Your vote YES on Prop 8 is a vote for the future of the arts, not for a specific plan. Plans will come later when Council approves one.

6. The cost of the entire bond package is $10 per month and ONLY if all bonds are sold.

7. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Let’s not forget to plan for thriving arts and culture in our city’s future. Arts and culture are the signature elements of any great community, and it’s time to close the loop on what makes us a world-class city.

8. This project is NOT the ACC, Arts of Collin County. That project is officially dead as of December 2014. Prop 8 is for a facility IN Frisco and BY Frisco. This is a brand new initiative; why keep digging up the past and letting it determine the future?

9. Frisco Association for the Arts is NOT the catalyst behind Prop 8. Proposition 8 is a citizen-driven effort by a member of the Frisco CBC (Citizens Bond Committee) and other arts advocates. Frisco Arts should not be implicated or mentioned in regards to Prop 8. The fact that citizens helped to plan for the future of Frisco within a Citizen Bond Committee appointed by City Council means it’s the “best kind of initiative,” according to Mayor Maso.

10. The performing arts center could be a public-private partnership like many of the successful facilities within Frisco. It’s possible that it will cost more than $10 million in bonds, but the facility will have public value either way; it will draw people to Frisco. Need a case study for a publicly-funded facility? Look no further than Dallas City Performance Hall: 100% city bonds, $38M, built in 2012, 749 seats. Very successful, and serves their small to midsize arts groups that are not resident groups of any other facility.

Here are the hard facts researched and proven by Americans for the Arts, a 55 year-old national organization that enriches communities, schools, and businesses through the arts.  Americans for the Arts is the only national organization promoting the power of all the arts to build better lives, better communities and a better nation, and they have proven:

And finally, because we all know it’s ultimately about the financials….

Visit AmericansForTheArts.org/aep for more information about “Arts & Economic Prosperity” studies

Christi Redfearn is a reporter for Dallas Morning News and mother living in Frisco, Texas

“Frisco is known as a city committed to excellence and innovation.  The Black Box Theater was a great start for the arts here, but we’ve quickly outgrown it.  It’s time to think outside the Box and dream BIG.  That’s what Frisco does best!  Let’s give our Council the financial flexibility to pull the trigger on a plan they approve for a Cultural and Performing Arts center IN Frisco and BY Frisco. Early voting starts Monday, April 27th, and every voice counts!”  ~~ Tammy Meinershagen, President of Frisco Association for the Arts, official arts organization for the City of Frisco

Look closely in this video and see THREE former Mayors who had a vision for the arts in Frisco…

What we do know is that a majority of the Citizen Bond Committee and City Council agree that we need all 8 propositions to truly be a sustainable, balanced city.  It’s now time for the voters to weigh in on the issues.

For more detailed information about the propositions, visit FriscoBonds.com.  Go VOTE for the FUTURE of Frisco!

*Based on an average priced home of $300,000