John Keating is seeking re-election for Place 1 on Frisco City Council. He is running against K.D. Warach and Jason Money for the election in May.
Community Impact Newspaper sent Keating questions about his candidacy. His answers are below, edited for style.
Why did you decide to run for this office?
I’ve served on Frisco City Council since 2010. Over the past seven years, I’ve played a critical role in several of the city’s largest projects, including the Dallas Cowboys partnership, closing Exide’s battery plant, opening three new Frisco fire stations and renewing the contract for the NCAA Division 1 Football Championship. I also voted in favor of the homestead exemption, bringing relief to the hard-working Frisco taxpayers.
It’s an incredible honor to serve the residents of Frisco. I love my community and want to leave it better than I found it. With business booming, we have many incredible opportunities ahead of us. Vision and experience matter, and with your support, I look forward to serving on Frisco City Council for the next three years.
What experience—professionally or politically—do you have that would prepare you for this position?
I am a 13-year veteran of the U.S. Army where I received the best leadership training in the world and served as a senior counterintelligence agent. I deployed to Saudi Arabia during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. I left the military with an honorable discharge but continue to serve my community in various capacities. I am a member of Frisco VFW Post 8273 and Frisco American Legion Post 178. My wife, Leslie, and I founded the Frisco Education Foundation Keating Family Engineering Endowed Scholarship for a female Frisco ISD graduate. When my two sons entered FISD, I served on the PTA for nearly seven years and was selected by the Spears Elementary PTA to receive the Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers Honorary Lifetime Membership Award for my fundraising efforts on behalf of teachers and students. I am also the recipient of the PepsiCo 2016 Valor Leadership Award and U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson’s Congressional Veteran Commendation in 2017.
If elected, what would be your top priorities?
Frisco City Council conducted its winter work session Jan. 18-19, 2018, and agreed upon its 10 top priorities for 2018:
- Traffic: implement innovative systems
- Rebuild capital reserves
- Performing arts center: develop arts strategy
- Legislative plan to protect Frisco
- Downtown: finish the master plan and start projects
- Expand higher education opportunities in Frisco
- Implementation of Frisco Economic Development Corp. strategic and operational changes
- Create unique identity along northern corridor (US 380), including destination hotel
- Plan expansion of city facilities to meet service needs
- Master Plan Undeveloped Parks, Trails, and Flood Plain
I am fully aligned with council’s priorities and look forward to bringing them to fruition. My personal priorities include a balanced budget while maintaining one of the lowest property tax rates in the region; provide our first responders with the equipment, training and leadership they need to keep Frisco’s residents and visitors safe; preserve our quality of life with unique community features; reduce traffic congestion and eliminate toll roads; utilize innovative 21st century technology to solve transit issues; continue to build Frisco as a “drive to” destination, rather than “drive through;” continue to attract and retain the best municipal staff in the nation; and ensure Frisco remains a business-friendly community where we strive to support the free market, healthy competition and job creation.
What else do you want constituents to know about you and your background?
Faith and family serve as the foundation of my life. We moved to Frisco in 1999, and my wife, Leslie, and I will celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary in April. I’m very proud of my two sons, Zach (20) and Ryan (17). Zach is a sophomore at the University of Arkansas, and Ryan is a junior at Frisco High School. Our family attends Preston Trail Community Church.
I graduated from the U.S. Army Advanced Foreign Counterintelligence Training Course in Maryland, and earned an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Central Texas College in Killeen, Texas, while still serving in the U.S. Army. I went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from Towson University in Maryland, and was proud to see the Towson Tigers come to Frisco for the 2014 NCAA Division 1 Championship.