Candidate Q&A: Frisco City Council Place 1

Ahead of the May election, meet the two candidates running to serve in the Frisco City Council Place 1. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Ahead of the May election, meet the two candidates running to serve in the Frisco City Council Place 1. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Ahead of the May election, meet the two candidates running to serve in the Frisco City Council Place 1. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Learn more about the candidates running for Frisco City Council Place 1 ahead of the May 1 election.

Editor’s note: An asterisk(*) indicates the candidate is an incumbent. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by last name.


Frisco City Council Place 1

John Keating*

Occupation: Frisco City Council, Place 1 (semi-retired)

Relevant experience: I’ve served on Frisco City Council since 2010. I previously served on Spears Elementary PTA, where I received the "Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers Honorary Lifetime Membership Award" for my fundraising efforts on behalf of Frisco ISD teachers and students. I’m a graduate of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce 'Leadership Frisco' program, and Frisco’s "Citizen Police Academy." I received the PepsiCo "Valor Leadership Award" in 2016, and U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson’s "Congressional Veteran Commendation" in 2017. I’m also a graduate of the "Senior Executives in State and Local Government," John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Why are you running for office?

JK: Experience matters! I am the only candidate who has served in the military, served on council, and has a proven track record of conservative leadership and fiscal responsibility. My personal goals and priorities include providing our first responders with the equipment, training, and leadership they need to keep Frisco’s residents and visitor’s safe. As a champion of tax relief, I voted for the homestead exemption, reducing the burden on the hard-working Frisco taxpayer. I’ve fought to reduce multifamily apartment zoning in Frisco, now down 60% since 2000. We must continue to enhance the quality of life for our Frisco families!

What are the biggest challenges facing the city? How do you plan to address these issues?

JK: Over the last 10 years, Frisco has grown from a quiet ranch town to a city of thousands of young families. We have responded well, with parks, great schools and dozens of businesses providing services to these new families. We also have thriving populations of retirees, empty nesters and millennials. City leadership must remain focused on the needs and interests of all of those demographic clusters, while recognizing our growing cultural diversity. We must continue to provide relevant services, jobs and consumer opportunities as we strive to be a vibrant community for all residents, in every stage of their life.

If elected, what would be your top priorities?

JK: I’m proud to provide leadership to Frisco City Council’s top ten strategic goals for 2021 (in no particular order). These goals are in addition to our core responsibilities including public safety, roads & infrastructure, and a low tax rate: Master Plan Grand Park; build a performing arts center with community partners; develop a reinvestment strategy to maintain a vibrant city; venture capital growth for new opportunities and innovation; World Cup 2026 in north Texas; traffic reinvestment; trail connectivity; entertainment districts; bring tourism back; state legislative strategy to address power grid, water and local control as we advocate for our residents.

What are some new ideas or programs you would like the city to explore?

JK: The Frisco success story is still being written! Frisco is about 70% built-out and growing exponentially. We’ve certainly become champions of public-private partnerships, and we’ve cracked the code for working with top global brands, resulting in significant private investment while minimizing our need to spend taxpayer dollars to attract world-class facilities, events, and destinations. Moving forward, I will continue to support innovative solutions and opportunities, such as a premium data center with secure transmission and storage capabilities, and a "Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility" or SCIF. I will always support our veteran heroes as they support Frisco with positive patriotic action.

JP Schade

Occupation: Envoy Air Flight Dispatcher/WBAP 820AM Reporter

Relevant experience: Rotary Club of Columbus Indiana reporter/scribe, past chairman of LDS YSA Conference for Greater Chicago, financial/membership clerk Ogden 7th YSA Ward, local government news reporter and anchor for WRZQ 107.3 FM Columbus, Indiana, and KUGR 1490 AM in Green River, Wyoming, and reporter for WBAP 820-AM in Dallas.

Why are you running for office?

JS: My wise mother taught me to "forget myself and go to work." I’m committed to serving my neighbors and want to be their advocate. I am willing to listen and willing to learn, striving not to become infected with the "disease of expertise." I will be a fresh voice and bring a perspective that will allow you, the residents, to have a continued high quality of life. In addition, I can better represent the growing younger demographic of Frisco. I want to ensure city employees flourish within their departments by promoting comprehensive dialogue, personal service and new ideas that maximize limited taxpayer liability and welcome private investment. It would be a privilege to represent Place 1 and see Frisco reach its full potential as a beacon to other cities throughout North Texas and the nation.

What are the biggest challenges facing the city? How do you plan to address these issues?

JS: Right now, COVID-19 recovery and vaccination, emergency and financial preparedness along with sustainable growth are all major challenges that need to be addressed immediately. As far as growth, I expect Frisco, at its current rate, to be over 90% developed within the next three to five years. The continued growth that helped fund a majority of city operations, through sales and property tax income, could start to plateau. We’ve already seen relatively flat sales tax revenues for the last three years, concerning since the city receives over 70% of its annual revenue from sales and property taxes. To address the possible revenue plateau, we as a city need to actively seek new developments that provide long-lasting financial benefit, i.e., multiuse development like The Star in Frisco or Legacy West in Plano. In addition, we should encourage city departments to continue lean and six sigma training to improve efficiencies, and thereby reduce cost.

If elected, what would be your top priorities?

JS: Reviewing our plans for emergency preparedness and financial solvency. Mother Nature left a dent this winter, leaving thousands of families without heat, water or clear communication. I will not be satisfied until I can bring to residents a comprehensive plan to prepare for and address disaster relief. 24-hour, 72-hour, 7-day,-14-day and 30-day plans need to be established. Secondly, I want to interact with residents on a personal level, whether that’s safely going door to door or conducting virtual town halls (and hopefully soon at in-person town halls). With a city that has grown so rapidly, I want to ensure that new and current residents feel like a welcome part of the dialogue. As a longtime journalist and media member, I will help the community and media relations department share with the residents what the city is doing right, where we are falling short and the vision for the future. Truth and transparency go a long way in building strong relationships of trust.

What are some new ideas or programs you would like the city to explore?

JS: I would love to see a new Frisco Airport, a business research park/incubator for UNT, a new multicultural event, and funding for Grand Park through private donations and foundation grants. A new airport on the north side of the city will accelerate business and job creation, allow quick transportation for PGA professionals and corporate clients, plus be a future self-sustaining commercial option, eliminating the need for a taxpayer subsidy. The population of the DFW metro area is expected to exceed 12 million people in the next 30 years; DFW International Airport and Love Field will not be able to handle all that traffic alone. I have several ideas for funding Grand Park, including substantial private investment from residents through the purchase of dedication bricks, benches or even trees. Frisco is blessed with a diverse community, and one way we can embrace and highlight our different cultures is through a rail district event called Ethic Expo that shares food, entertainment and arts from regions where our citizens are from.

By Miranda Jaimes
Miranda has been in the North Texas area since she graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in 2014. She reported and did design for a daily newspaper in Grayson County before she transitioned to a managing editor role for three weekly newspapers in Collin County. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 covering Tarrant County news, and is now back in Collin County as the editor of the Frisco and McKinney editions.


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