Frisco Mayor Pro Tem Will Sowell is seeking re-election for his seat on Frisco City Council. If elected, this would be Sowell’s third and final term on Council. He was first elected in 2012.
Community Impact Newspaper sent Sowell a list of questions about his candidacy. Below are his responses.
- Why did you decide to run for this office?
After having served two terms on the Frisco City Council, the last two years as Mayor Pro Tem, I realize there is still much work to be done to build the Frisco we all want. We are at a point in Frisco’s history where we are no longer just focused on what Frisco can become but increasingly on what will be the legacy of Frisco. It has been an honor to be part of the big wins over the past several years, but I also take seriously my responsibility to contribute leadership and bring innovative solutions to Frisco’s challenges, as we grow. Lastly, Frisco’s leadership is undergoing extensive change, with three Council members in their first term plus a new mayor. I look forward to remaining a consistent, experienced and accountable voice to support the city throughout these changes.
2. What experience, professional or politically, do you have that would prepare you for this position?
Politically, I have served on the Frisco City Council for two terms: one year as the Deputy Mayor Pro Tem, and the last two years as the Mayor Pro Tem. I have chaired the Budget & Audit Committee the last two years and am also currently the chair of the Governance Committee and serve on the Legislative Committee. I also represent Frisco on the North Texas Regional Transportation Council. Prior to my election to City Council, I chaired the 2010 Charter Review Committee, was on the committee that developed the city of Frisco ethics policy and am a graduate of Leadership Frisco, City Hall 101, and Frisco Citizens Fire Academy.
Professionally, over the past eight years, I have led fast-growing organizations and large teams in the financial technology space that resulted in taking one company public. My roles have allowed me to develop deep experience in developing strategies for success during periods of high growth while also maintaining a high level of service. These are skills that translate directly to the fast growth environment of Frisco.
3. If elected what would be your top priorities?
Frisco has many great attributes and has seen significant success over the past 30 years. However, past accomplishments are not an entitlement for or guarantee of future success. The challenge in this fast-growth environment is managing a broad set of priorities in difficult conditions. My priorities for a third term include responsibly managing Frisco’s growth, remaining focused on high quality development. I see several critical paths to this goal:
- Transforming Frisco into a regional job center where residents can find their jobs here instead of commuting across the region.
- Working with Frisco city staff, elected officials, and the RTC to develop local and regional solutions to traffic, utilizing not just expanded roadways but new technologies in creative ways to improve traffic flow.
- Ensuring that we continue to manage our residents’ tax dollars with care. I am proud of the recent homestead exemption we have enacted plus three tax rate reductions since 2012.
- Ensuring that, as a community, we take advantage of the growing diversity in Frisco and reflect that in our outreach.
- Ensuring that Frisco has a robust arts strategy to compliment other sports, entertainment and destination dining we have already delivered.
- Appropriately scaling all of our successful city operations, including public safety, to meet the needs of our growing community.
4. What else do you want your constituents to know about you and your background?
I have lived in Frisco now for almost 18 years. My wife Bobbie and I have been married for 30 years and have three kids and one grandkid. We are both veterans of the United States Marine Corps. I approach my elected office knowing that soundbites are not solutions for complicated problems—any more than the grandstanding we see in the media today represents effective governance.