Q&A: Mukesh Parna vies for Frisco City Council, Place 2

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Mukesh Parna is running for the Frisco City Council Place 2 seat. He is running against Jeanne Weisz and incumbent Shona Huffman.

Community Impact Newspaper sent Parna a list of questions about his candidacy. His responses below have been edited for publication style.

This article is part of ongoing May 4 election coverage and does not constitute an endorsement of the candidate.

Why did you decide to run for this office?

Two reasons:

1. I am proud resident of Frisco. Frisco has been a very fast-developing city.

Along with such fast growth development comes the challenges, which I see as opportunities. I see some immediate opportunities that have been overlooked, like, for example, strengthening local small business, increasing visibility on key initiatives and big initiatives that did not go as planned, traffic congestion [and]tracking on incentives provided to companies.

I am very passionate to fix these in my city and make it right for each resident.

2. My experience in managing teams globally and achieving results, leadership and knowledge of technology, contracts and procurements makes me very uniquely qualified to implement these in my term.

My vision has a clear roadmap to achieve this if I were to be elected.

With my passion toward these opportunities and growing the small businesses, I will be focused on providing  a brighter tomorrow, together.

What do you think is one of the biggest issues facing Frisco today, and how do you plan to address it on City Council?

Frisco has abundant resources, and with a $507 million yearly budget and with a little dash of the right technology, we can improve the economic outcomes for everyone. We have done a good job with big and new developments, but there are opportunities that were overlooked.

Opportunity No. 1: We need to continue the same momentum and apply similar strategies to focus on growing and sustaining local small businesses in the city. Some of our small businesses have suffered unnecessarily, and with small changes we can correct that. The success of small businesses feeds the success of the larger businesses and the community as a whole.

This can be addressed by ensuring all new developments use local business services and hire local residents wherever possible for a minimum number of years. If city has provided incentives then even for longer periods of time.

We need someone to focus on local small-business growth and sustainability, and that would be me if I get elected as your councilman.

Opportunity No. 2: Tracking and measuring the incentives provided and the returns on these incentives. Metrics that will tell us how we can improve our returns, strengthen our local business and increase the local jobs created.

This can be addressed in a two-phase approach.

For past incentives: Leverage existing technology interface to add some metrics and make it visible to residents.

For future incentives: Leverage existing technology interface to broadcast proposed incentives to all residents in a simple language that a resident can easily understand and get feedback from residents before council votes.

True democracy is participative democracy by transparency and involving the residents.

Property taxes have increased significantly for all residents in the last few years. There needs to be an increase in commercial and corporate investments brought into city to increase the tax base, and that in turn will reduce the residents’ tax burden. This needs to be done with attention to detail and strict fiscal responsibilities with the thought process that every dollar given as impacting our bottom line.

Traffic congestion: See below for details.

Traffic is one of the top concerns for Frisco residents. What do you think are viable solutions to address traffic congestion in Frisco?

Traffic issues have only continued to increase for the last several years. There has been a very traditional approach which has been taken to fix this issue. The city has grown too fast, so a traditional approach will not work. [The] traditional approach is taking several years, and the cost will be very high, and that translates into more property taxes to residents again.

Fix: We need to leverage cutting-edge technology to read the data at traffic intersections, analyze the data to identify the congestion locations, identify the root cause of the congestion and then implement a solution to maximize the operating of those traffic light intersections at the highest efficiency levels. With my experience in implementing technology, I can be on the forefront of leading the technology selection and implementation.

With my experience, I will be focusing on low-cost and high-efficiency technology-based solutions.

The city in the past has used economic incentives and tax grants to attract companies. What means, if any, would you support the city using to attract companies in the future?

I think we as a city have done a good job of bringing some good entertainment-related corporations, and now we need to keep the momentum going for local business and bringing jobs to city.

First we need to focus on tracking and following on these incentives spent and know actually which incentives translated into how many local residents’ jobs or helped local small business. Once we have the above metrics, then we find ways to improve the returns on our incentives. We can then also know if we can create those jobs and small businesses by using our incentive money directly toward local residents or local businesses instead of giving to corporations.

The key here is we need someone to track carefully the returns on these huge incentives and create a win for the city residents. With my background in technology and passion to grow local small business, I will be focused on this if I get elected.

What else do you want voters to know about you?

I am an immigrant who has been in different states for [the]last 20 years. This country has given me a lot. I have been fortunate to be actively involved in several community activities helping the less fortunate and am also the founder of organizations, which focus on charity and social services. I have worked in several leadership roles in corporations in different parts of the country and finally settled in Frisco. I started my own company in Frisco and even named it after [the]Frisco city name.

I have created jobs in Collin and Denton counties, including Frisco, and continue to create more. I work very closely with various departments in cities like public works and land planning and zoning, and as you can see I have endorsements from three different city councilmen.

My civic involvement includes my role as founder of [a]local Lions Club, president elect; active in community well-being driving activities like low eye vision clinic for kids going to school; blood drives; providing shelter to homeless and providing food to people in shelters; fundraising for orphanages who keep homeless kids; and provide basic amenities and funds for kids to go to school in less fortunate places in the world.

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Lindsey Juarez
Lindsey has been involved in newspapers in some form since high school. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2014 with a degree in Journalism. While attending UTA, she worked for The Shorthorn, the university's award-winning student newspaper. She was hired as Community Impact Newspaper's first Frisco reporter in 2014. Less than a year later, she took over as the editor of the Frisco edition. Since then, she has covered a variety of topics and issues important to the community, including the city's affordable housing shortage, the state's controversial A-F school accountability system and the city's "Bury the Lines" efforts.
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