Mayor and City Council Corner
Andre' Davidson, Council Member
2014-15 Budget Process Begins
Last week the City Council received the City Manager's Recommended 2014-15 Budget and Proposed Community Investment Program (CIP). We will be busy over the next few weeks reviewing the Budget and CIP documents and conducting public meetings for citizen input. As a citizen of Plano, you have the opportunity to review these documents at any of the City's public libraries or online. You can also share in the public input process by attending any of the upcoming public meetings. We have created a Budget video that provides highlights of the Recommended Budget. A complete schedule of the public meetings is available on plano.gov. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1, 2014. Thank you for participating in the Budget process as we work to provide excellent value for your tax dollars and continue to offer the high quality services and facilities that make Plano the city of excellence.
July 2, 2014
Mayor Harry LaRosilier
Crafting a Vision of Plano Tomorrow – a Long-term Development Plan for Plano
Over the last year, the City of Plano Planning Department has been working hard to collect the public's input as we update the city's long-term comprehensive plan, Plano Tomorrow. The community meetings and surveys are complete, and now Plano's future will become a visionary plan supported by guidelines and policies. On June 30, City Council met with the Planning and Zoning Commission in a joint worksession to evaluate Plano's existing built environment.
City Council and I provided direction to staff and the Planning and Zoning Commissioners for moving forward with the development of the recommended comprehensive plan. The recommended plan will be presented during a Council Meeting later this year for City Council's final approval. Once the plan is approved, it will be available online for our citizens and businesses, and others considering living, developing or doing business in our city of excellence. As elements of the plan are drafted the Planning team is sharing this information through the Plano Tomorrow newsletter, which you can subscribe to for the latest details of the plan as it evolves.
June 24, 2014
Pat Miner, Council Member
Celebrate the Fourth of July with Us!
We love a good party in Plano and we have a great one planned to celebrate Independence Day.
Join the City Council as we kick off the holiday on Friday morning with the 2014 Plano Lions Independence Day Parade which begins at 9 a.m. at the Plano ISD Administration building,15th and Independence. City pools and parks will be open to enjoy the day with family and friends. Bring a picnic, take a dip, throw a frisbee or have a game of catch, and enjoy the lazy days of summer in Plano. You may want to visit Russell Creek Park which is the site of the National Youth Cricket Development Tournament, beginning July 4. We will host the top youth teams in the nation as they compete on the City's seven cricket pitches that make up the largest single cricket facility in the United States.
No Fourth of July celebration is complete without fireworks. Head to Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve to end the day with a bang at the annual July Fourth fireworks display. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m., but come early and bring your blanket, lawn chairs and bug spray, and take time to enjoy the beautiful preserve. There will be food vendors and pre-fireworks fun. Radio station KLAK FM 97.5 will simulcast patriotic music with the display again this year.
Take time this Independence Day to enjoy our community and all it has to offer as we celebrate our freedom and the privileges we enjoy as Americans and citizens of Plano. Check out the complete listing of Fourth of July Events at plano.gov.
May 27, 2014
Harry LaRosiliere, Mayor
Food 4 Kids - Plano
The Food 4 Kids Plano program is a collaborative effort between the North Texas Food Bank, the Plano Independent School District, and other partners in our community. This shared vision brings us together to not only feed children for weekends, but to nourish and inspire them for a lifetime. Although hunger is not visible to many in our community, the reality is that we have children who go hungry on weekends. This program addresses that concern.
The Food 4 Kids Plano program provides backpacks full of nonperishable, kid-friendly food for them to take home on Friday afternoons. Children take home the backpacks and return them on Monday so they can be filled again for the next weekend. It costs approximately $5 to fill each backpack with enough food to provide for about 60 percent of the child's weekend nutritional needs.
Plano is a caring community. Council Members and I believe community engagement is one of the cornerstones of our city's success, and is what makes Plano the City of Excellence. I can't think of a better reason to come together than to end hunger. Our community partners include local companies, faith-based groups, and citizens who use their time, energy and compassion to rally around our youth so they can perform well academically.
Mother Teresa once said: "The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread." The goal of this program is to address both needs.
You can assist with this program by volunteering later this fall with a canned food drive in September, assembly of holiday boxes in October, and a Thanksgiving turkey drive in November. For updates on this program and other Council activities, please visit Facebook at Office of the Mayor and City Council, Twitter @PlanosMayor and read the Plano City News. Please join us in rallying around this important initiative!
May 13, 2014
Lissa Smith, Mayor Pro Tem
Balancing Water Use with Economic Growth
We are receiving much needed rain but it is still not enough to quench the critical need for water in North Texas. Before the rain, Lake Lavon, which is the source of 30 percent of our water supply, was almost 12 feet below the conservation lake level and Lake Texoma, which supplies 28 percent, was more than 8 feet below level.
New residential and business development in Plano continues to drive questions about how this impacts Plano's water conservation efforts. It is important to understand, we share our water supply with 12 other growing cities through the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) and the decisions we all make impact the larger future. Even if we put a moratorium on growth in Plano, we cannot control what happens in other cities.
You may notice differences in how each city manages their watering schedules. We currently allow every other week watering while some cities allow weekly watering, and the watering days vary between the cities. All member cities have worked with the water district to develop distinct water conservation and drought plans that focus on best practices, triggers and goals. Frisco and McKinney's plans take into consideration their envirotranspiration (ET) programs that have mini weather stations with their city sprinkler system to only water when needed. The plans include reduction goals that cannot be adjusted. We are currently in Stage 3, which has a reduction goal of using 10 percent less water than the amount taken in 2010-11.
The NTMWD is looking to the future by adding resources to help with the projected growth. In June, the new pipeline to Lake Texoma is expected to come on line. Farther out, we will have the Lower Bois d'Arc Creek Reservoir in Fannin County coming on line in 2020. The NTMWD also has a contract with the City of Dallas to supplement our water resources if needed. The state is also planning for the future with the establishment of two funding sources, State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) and State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas (SWIRFT) that will help finance projects in the state water plan.
We are proactively addressing current issues and preparing for the future. Thank you for continuing to conserve water and for working with us to balance the needs of all citizens and our city.
April 24, 2014
David Downs, Council Member
Love Where You Live: Improving Our Quality of Life
Excitement is building for this Saturday when Love Where You Live comes to the Park Forest neighborhood with a sweet reminder of what living in Plano is all about. The Love Where You Live volunteers will be helping to clean up the neighborhood and make minor repairs. This service day culminates in a festive Block Party that evening. The program assists two neighborhoods a year, one in the fall and one in the spring. Preparations begin months before the service day as Planning Department staff meet with neighbors to prioritize concerns and develop a vision for the neighborhood. It's a program that empowers these citizens, creates a sense of community and promotes pride in being part of the city of excellence. Learn more about Love Where You Live here.
March 18, 2014
Mayor’s Summer Internship – Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders
The Plano City Council and I recognize our youth as our future and the next generation of leaders. That is why I am pleased to announce an exciting community initiative, The Plano Mayor's Summer Internship Program.
The Plano Mayor's Summer Internship Program is a partnership between the Plano Independent School District, The Hendrick Scholarship Foundation and The Office of the Mayor. The program is an eight-week, paid summer internship that introduces high school students to careers in industries where they have expressed interest. By pairing students with some of the best businesses in the country that are based in Plano, they will receive a world class education above and beyond academics.
The application deadline for the internship is Friday, March 28. To qualify, students must be at least 16 years of age, be rising juniors and seniors at any Plano public high school (PISD), and be able to work in the United States. Students must also have at least a cumulative 3.0 grade point average and have a solid attendance record. To learn more about the Plano Mayor's Summer Internship Program, visit www.planomayorsinterns.org.
March 4, 2014
Pat Gallagher, Council Member
Crime Watch Works
At last week's City Council Meeting I announced my upcoming retirement from the Addison Police Department. My career there has been very rewarding, but you don't have to be a police officer to make a difference in your community. Here is a recent example right here in Plano.
Earlier this month, a resident was in his driveway and heard breaking glass at his neighbor's home. He immediately called 9-1-1 to report a burglary. Then he and his father continued to watch the home and noticed two suspects looking over the fence. They knew these men were not their neighbors and chased them until eventually the suspects dropped the bags they were carrying. As the keen-eyed neighbors carried the bags back to the owner's home, Police located two suspects who matched the descriptions and apprehended one. The homeowner returned and confirmed that some of the items in the bag were their property but they also noted items that were not. Another burglary was reported later that afternoon and those items were confirmed to be in the possession of the same suspects.
This partnership with the Police ensured that their neighborhood would remain a safe place to live, work and play. This is neighborhood Crime Watch in action. I believe an alert and committed group of citizens is the greatest single defense against crime. To find out more about how you can be part of your neighborhood crime watch visit Plano’s Neighborhood Crime Watch.
February 11, 2014
Jim Duggan, Council Member
Plano Welcomes FedEx
February is unfolding with great news for our City of Excellence. We will become the home to the North Texas headquarters of FedEx Office & Print Services Inc. The company will be moving into a new development near the JCPenney campus in Legacy business park called Legacy West.Last night City Council approved an agreement that will bring 1,224 jobs to Plano. If all goes as planned, FedEx will move to Plano in late 2015.Legacy West is a new business development on a 240-acre tract of land at the southwest corner of the Dallas North Tollway and Sam Rayburn Tollway, one the most strategic and important intersections in the entire region. We are excited to welcome FedEx Office and Print Services Inc. to Plano.
January 21, 2014
Join Us for the State of the City
City Council and I would like to invite you to join us in honoring the vision of our past leaders - building on our vision of the future during the sharing of the State of the City on Feb. 6. Meet us in the Senator Florence Shapiro Council Chamber at Plano Municipal Center, 1520 K Avenue, from 6 to 7 p.m. During the address, there will be a presentation honoring the legacy of our past living Plano Mayors. Read more.
January 7, 2014
André Davidson, Council Member
Be Inspired to Serve in 2014
As you prepare for the new opportunities that arrive with a new year, I'd like to challenge you to be the change that truly makes Plano an excellent place to live. Our community is ripe and ready for citizens who want to invest through volunteerism. Thriving cities are built by people who invest their time and energy into making a community better for everyone. We need your bright minds and unique experiences to inspire excellent services.
We need volunteers to give time at the Plano Senior Recreation Center, the Plano libraries, the Plano Animal Shelter, and the Environmental Education Center and Community Garden. We also have intermittent community opportunities, such as the upcoming annual homeless count. Join us through volunteering, you’ll make new friends, change lives and learn valuable new skills. It’s a win-win for you and for Plano. Get Involved Today!