Race for mayor in Frisco

League of Women Voters Guide

Maher Maso – Candidate for Frisco Mayor
Contact Information:
Background: The best training
and experience that qualifies me
for the office of mayor are my
seven years as a council
member, four years as Mayor
Pro Tem and three years as Mayor. During that
time, I have served as chair of budget audit
committee, numerous city, regional, state and
national committees. I hold a MBA with Asian
studies certificate from University of Texas at
Arlington, 500-plus hours TML training, four FEMA
certifications and Terrorism Incident training. I
chair the Collin College Education Foundation and
have chaired several other organizations, including
Leadership Frisco.
Finances: Frisco was very proactive in weathering
the economic downturn. A hiring freeze was put in
place and we have delayed or cancelled
purchasing equipment during this period. We also
put a hold on selling bonds, starting when I took
office in 2008, as well as keeping operational costs
flat for three years. All departments were required
to find ways to reduce costs. Meanwhile, Frisco
grew in population by over 20,000 residents during
this period. I will continue to support cost cutting
measures at City Hall and creating new jobs
instead of increasing what our homeowners pay in
property taxes.
Retirement: Frisco is part of the Texas Municipal
Retirement System. TMRS is governed by trustees
appointed by Governor Perry and by strict state
laws. As only one of a handful of elected officials
and other experts, I served on a TML committee to
recommend improvements to the system. Our
proposal has been introduced in a bill to reduce city
expenses by 15-18% while strengthening it for our
employees. I will continue to monitor and improve
our retirement system for both our taxpayers and
our employees.
Tax Rate: Since we have done a good job of
reducing costs at City Hall. Creating over 5,200
jobs and building tourism, we should keep our
property tax rate right where it is – one of the
lowest in all of North Texas. Low taxes are critical
for job growth. Generally, our tax rate is voted on
by the voters as we approve bonds. The city
estimates the rate and the voters get to choose
whether to fund infrastructure and projects. Frisco
has one of the lowest operating costs of any city in
North Texas.
Development: Frisco is blessed to have excellent
economic development program that is the envy of
other cities. Since I have been Mayor, we have
added capital investment in Frisco of $484 million
and 5,270 jobs. This has been a focus area for me
and I spend many hours meeting with CEO’s and
corporations as well as working with our economic
development corporation. Frisco is busier today
from an economic standpoint than we have ever
been. Because of our success, our challenge is to
get more office space built as there is more
demand than supply!
Homelessness: I will continue to work closely with
the Samaritan Inn as well as faith-based groups
and non-profits to stay ahead of any problems in
this area. It is especially disturbing to see children
without homes or part of homeless families. I have
volunteered my time with organizations that help
including Clothe-a-Child, Frisco Cares Clinic, Frisco
Family Services and Frisco Reach out. A recent
Frisco CDBG survey was completed and we are
working with school district to identify homeless
teens in the area.
Other Issues: As I have always said, while I would
love to narrow it down to just three, Frisco cannot
afford to focus on just a “few” issues. As Mayor, I
will continue my efforts on many issues, including
keeping our tax rate among the lowest in North
Texas, working to grow our economy, making our
neighborhoods safe, reducing traffic and fighting for
stringent controls on Exide to protect our families,
children and schools from harmful pollution.

Tom Smith – Candidate for Frisco Mayor
Contact Information:
Background: I have 15 years of
experience in business and law
that makes me uniquely qualified
to provide a fresh perspective on
governing the city of Frisco. In
addition, I have developed relationships with
county, state, and federal officials which will allow
me to advocate on behalf of Frisco and its citizens’
needs. I have lived in Frisco for nearly ten years,
and will bring a business oriented, fiscally
conservative, market based approach to city
Finances: The city should weather the current
downturn by tightening its belt. With a budget of
nearly $78 million, the city should constantly look
for ways to save money just as businesses do.
While historically Frisco has operated efficiently, I
believe the city can still find ways to save money
and reduce costs in a budget of this size.
Searching for savings protects taxpayers and
actually can result in meeting critical needs. For
example, finding $2 million in waste from the
budget would allow the city to instead fund a
needed fire station.
Retirement: At this time I do not believe changes
in the benefits package for city employees are
warranted, but as is the case in every city benefits
should be reviewed on an annual basis by the city
manager, and he or she should make
recommended changes or additions accordingly.
Tax Rate: I do not and will not support a tax
increase during my term in office.
Development: Frisco is the fastest growing city in
the country, yet it still faces some challenges
economically. For example, Frisco lacks sufficient
office space currently to attract a large corporation
to relocate. I would address these issues by
leaving the tax rate unchanged and exploring
incentives to encourage further commercial
development so the city can be better positioned to
attract large employers. Frisco also needs a
second destination retail center to coexist with
Stonebriar Mall. I will use the many years of retail
business experience I have to work with retail
executives and developers to do just that.
Homelessness: The best way to combat
homelessness is to have a growing local economy,
with low taxes and a streamlined regulatory
environment, along with a strong support network
of nonprofit organizations and churches to help
those in need. The citizens of Frisco are caring,
compassionate people who will reach out to help
those in need, and as Mayor I will see to it that
nonprofits and churches are supported by the city
so that they can carry out their mission to help
those less fortunate, including the homeless
Other Issues: The three most important issues
facing our City Council are controlling spending,
focusing on core priorities, i.e., roads and public
safety, and maintaining a low tax rate that will
continue to attract residents and businesses to
Frisco. The council must also ensure that the local
regulatory environment does not unduly
restrict builders, developers, corporations, or small
businesses from operating in Frisco. I will work
with the city council and city staff to achieve
success in all of these areas, so that Frisco
ultimately is recognized as the most dynamic
growth oriented city in all of Texas.

City of Allen mayor, council races

Source: League of Women Voters Guide

Steve Terrell – Candidate for Allen Mayor
Contact Information:
Background: I have served as
Mayor since 1997, and City
Council since 1991. During this
time, Allen has experienced
tremendous growth and business
developments. I have voted to lower property
taxes for 18 consecutive years. I serve on the
North Central Texas Council of Governments
Board of Directors, and the Allen Chamber of
Commerce Board. I am a member of the Allen
Noon Rotary and the Allen High Noon Lions Club. I
own a business in Allen, and am accessible to
citizens. Being Mayor is very time consuming and
fortunately, my business allows me to spend the
needed time as Mayor.
Finances: I was proactive two years ago in
adjusting our budget. We reduced our spending
then, and again last year, without reducing
services. Because of our added growth, the total
property value did not decrease. We increased our
sales tax revenues beyond projections. Our
reserve funds are healthy with 84 days, and our
debt ratio is 25% of the tax rate. For the second
consecutive year, the City received a perfect audit.
Allen has a AAA bond rating by Standard and
Retirement: The Texas Municipal Retirement
System did an actuary study for all Texas cities in
their system. It was determined that cities needed
to invest more money to keep the retirement fund
at a comfortable level. Allen has made the
necessary investments in the last two years. Every
two years, we do an actuary study on the retirees’
health plan. We put any needed monies into a trust
fund. At this time, I know of no major adjustment
needed for the benefit plans for retirees.
Tax Rate: The Strategic Planning process is an
annual work session that is conducted by the City
Council and upper level City staff. Each year, we
review our goals, concerns, and the possible
budget impact for the next 3 to 5 years. Budget
forecasting is an important component of the
planning session. In addition, council members are
expected to bring any ideas, goals, and issues to
the table. We discuss them with our department
heads, and together we find solutions. This
process has served our city well for many years,
and prevented budget surprises that would cause a
tax rate increase.
Development: I am focused on bringing economic
development to Allen. Business is the funding
engine for all of our amenities, and it has greatly
reduced the tax burden on the homeowner. Allen
has had extremely good results because we have
stability in our political leadership, and because I
actively participate in business development. I
make sure that City Hall has a business friendly
attitude without compromising our quality
standards. I support working with our current Allen
businesses to help in their growth and
development, as we have with Micron, Jack Henry,
Experian and more. We don’t have many
challenges, just opportunities.
Homelessness: The City contributes to Allen
Community Outreach which provides a one-stopshop
for social services. The religious groups in
Allen help to support ACO, the Samaritan Inn, and
the Family Promise. All of these organizations
work to help with the homeless in our community.
Allen is blessed to have so many volunteers who
give many hours and contributions to these great
Other Issues: Due to our growth, we must provide
for public safety funding increases. We need to
manage our water supply and conservation while
working with the North Texas Municipal Water
District to develop more sources of water. We
need to continue our efforts at water conservation.
And, we need to maintain a conservative budget
without affecting our award winning services.
Transportation is a serious issue for our region, and
will need additional funding. I do expect to see
more economic development projects throughout
the city, and I look forward to working through that

Blake Beidleman – Candidate for Allen Mayor
Contact Information:
Background: I meet or exceed
all qualifications to hold the
position of Mayor. It is time for a
new voice and a fresh start. I am
not, nor ever intend to be, a
career politician. To the contrary, I am a hands-on,
ordinary, everyday “Allenite” who wants to bring a
new voice to the Allen City Council. I have over 20
years of experience in building rapport, listening to
people’s needs and working with them to overcome
objections, and offering solutions to meet their
needs. That takes a proactive person and that I am.
Finances: If elected, I will continue to demand
efficiency in city operations and enhance our efforts
to grow sales tax revenues that can be used to pay
for initiatives and maintain city services. We must
continue to take steps in the budget, so no city
employee loses their jobs and essential services
are maintained. Expensive new projects need to be
delayed until we are certain that we can maintain
our basic services and keep the right people who
provide those services. When the economy
improves lets look at projects that fill our wants, for
now we must look at our needs
Retirement: City employees give their blood,
sweat and tears to do their jobs and are already
being asked to do more with less. Our public safety
employees (Police and Fire) put it all on the line to
serve the people that live here. We should at no
time cut, change, eliminate or alter any retirement
benefit to any City employee as there are always
options to reduce or eliminate in other areas before
you have to impact the people that make the City
what it is. Without the people the City is nothing.
Tax Rate: I support all efforts to grow sales tax
revenue for the City of Allen. I think if we work hard
and grow that area and partner with all of our
businesses we will not need to ever consider
raising taxes. The only area that may need a look is
to help the AISD with a TRE and let the people
decide how much we can help. Eliminating
teachers and programs is nothing good for our kids.
We may have to take steps to help the schools if
there are no other options. Hopefully the State will
work out their issues.
Development: If elected, I will continue to bring
businesses and restaurants to Allen. We have a
great foundation to build from. We need to make
sure we are doing all we can. My plan includes
being proactive in working with the Allen Economic
Development Corporation and to use my training,
experience and skill set to market the great assets
of Allen. Bringing new businesses and restaurants
to Allen will lessen and stabilize property taxes. We
have to find ways to help all business thrive and
when we can do that and increase sales tax
revenue that is a win for everyone.
Homelessness: Allen is a forward-thinking
community, and everyone who calls Allen home is
blessed to have a safe, secure place to live. We
have several area resources that have kept this
issue at a minimum in Allen.
Other Issues: The main theme will be the
economy. A very critical area will be our
transportation corridor. Growth and development is
now and will be a continued topic. At times these
topics require some hard decisions but if you
approach each of these topics in a fair, unbiased
way with no regard for special interests and
collectively listen to the voice of the community you
will find the solutions that work best. Getting the
community involved and hearing all segments of
the community’s voice has to be a part of our future
and will lead to success.

Jim Gauch – Candidate for Allen City Council Place 2
Contact Information:
Background: 27 years in the
service / restaurant industry;
small business owner in Allen,
TX; serve on the Green & Story
Elementary Campus
Improvement committees; faithful members of our
local congregation supporting community & mission
outreach programs along with traditional family
Finances: That said, the best way to deal with an
economic downturn is to create incentives for
home-grown local businesses through fair tax
abatement programs similar to those offered to
larger businesses along with active participation of
our economic development program meeting the
needs of our small business owners through
education and mentorship. This will widen our tax
base and lessen the burden on individuals. Also,
we need improved water management with an
emphasis on an increased usage rate for those
who exceed standard water usage using existing
technology to aid our citizens.
Retirement: No. Currently city workers contribute
7% of their pay to their retirement account & Allen
matches that contribution 2:1 There is also little to
no long term health care benefits once they are no
longer employed by the city.
Tax Rate: Tax increases would be the very last
option as long as I occupy a seat on the council;
every line in every budget would be critiqued over
and over for cost savings before a tax increase
would even be an unspoken thought
Development: We are retailed-out meaning too
many resources are being paid to the large power
players in the retail community while very little
emphasis is paid to the local citizen starting a local
business. How many larger restaurant, movie, &
retail chains do we really need before we begin to
see the affects of “for every new business that
opens two small/locally owned businesses close”?
Our economic development forum should help
educate & enhance small business growth from
within Allen.
Homelessness: This is directly related to my faithbased
initiative whereby the City will partner with
faith-based leaders in an effort to continue &
enhance our Allen Beautification efforts as well as
providing adequate aid to the homeless & over-all
less fortunate in our community.
Other Issues: a. Dart Rail System coming North;
at a cost of approx. $70M per mile, the money does
not exist, thereby making it a non-topic of relevant
conversation; this is along with the crime
implications that could follow b. Water
conservation – please see my question 2
comments above c. Infrastructure: Expansion of
Stacy Rd; improved access on Stacy Rd from
Chelsea to Greenville Ave and increasing the
occupancy Allen Station Drive can handle due to
the increase in traffic going to Cabela’s, Top Golf, &
Andrew’s Distributing.

Ross Obermeyer – Candidate for Allen City Council Place 2
Contact Information:
Background: Completing 9th
year of service on the Allen City
Council. Serve on the Board of
Directors of: Allen Parks
Foundation, Connemara
Conservancy, and Community Development
Corporation. On the Advisory Board for Friends of
the Library Endowment Fund. I am the Council
liaison to North Texas Municipal Water District.
Graduate of Leadership Allen Class 3 – 1992.
Served on Parks and Recreation Board 1992-1994;
Appointed to the Planning & Zoning Commission in
1994 and served 8 years, 4 years as Chairman.
Elected City Council in 2002, 2005 and 2008.
Recipient of 2009 “21 Leaders for 21st Century”
Collin County Business Press Award.
Finances: Our council has maintained a very
conservative fiscal position in our budget process,
regardless of economic conditions. We have
worked hard through economic development efforts
to keep Allen well positioned to remain financially
viable. As a result, we continue to see increased
revenue, new retail and businesses opening,
housing starts continue, and our economic status
remains strong. We also continue to budget
millions of dollars toward infrastructure for future
maintenance to allow cash purchases rather than
having to sell bonds and create debt, ensuring we
continue to meet our infrastructure needs while we
maintain our financial strength for the future.
Retirement: No. The City of Allen proactively
reviews our retirement benefits and in a recent
actuary study, it was determined that additional
funds will be needed to meet the retirement needs
in the future. We have initiated a trust fund which
will insure our contributions will be adequate to
meet these needs.
Tax Rate: A tax increase would be the absolute
last option to invoke when addressing a financial
shortfall. If the shortfall was of the magnitude that
would impact public safety (fire and police) or a
significant reduction in critical services or
infrastructure needs, then a tax increase could be
considered. For the record, the City of Allen has
reduced its tax rate the last 18 consecutive years.
Development: None. The City of Allen ranks at
the top of the DFW communities for successfully
attracting both commercial and residential
development. This will remain a priority for our
council, but we have been extremely successful in
the last 2-3 years. Allen is now a destination for
the Metroplex with restaurants, hotels, retail,
hockey and arena football that provide an overall
entertainment experience and equally important, a
strong incentive for businesses to relocate to Allen.
Adding several million square feet of retail and
business increases our tax base and allows for
continuing the quality of service and amenities the
city provides.
Homelessness: Providing for the homeless is a
complex issue that would be best addressed at the
county level with ALL cities in Collin County
participating in a common solution. The problem
cannot be effectively addressed by one city. There
is a broad mix of homeless people including
transients, individuals that move from shelter to
shelter and only in bad weather, single parents with
children, mental and physical dependencies, and
families that want a stable place with an opportunity
to find a job and move to their own residence.
Other Issues: The development of the SH121
corridor between Custer Rd. and US75 will be
critical to the landscape and economic vitality of
Allen. We have a very solid comprehensive plan to
guide us and this development will be a major item
as we approach final build-out. We must also
continue to be proactive in our approach to water
conservation and regional transportation issues
and maintain our high level of quality public safety
and municipal services we provide our citizens.

McKinney councilman Ray Ricchi thanks voters for support; Letter supports Dankel

Thank you for the support you have given me since I announced my re-election plans last November. Serving you in the City of McKinney is an honor and duty that I do not take for granted, and I am grateful you have believed in my candidacy. Your support was vital in our efforts, and the commitment you have made to my campaign has had a direct impact on our success. I am humbled and privileged to represent District 4 and will continue to work hard for you and all of the Citizens of McKinney.

The deadline for filing to run for City Council has passed, and we did not draw an opponent for the May 14th election. My term will continue through May 2014.

Thank you again for the encouragement you have given me. I am grateful for your support and friendship.


Letter to the Editor
Support for Amy Dankel

We would like to offer our support of Amy Dankel for McKinney ISD School Board. Amy is a talented and dedicated retired McKinney ISD educator who wants to bring her passion for education and the well being of children to the MISD School Board.

We have known Amy and her husband Roger for many years through bible study, church activities, and volunteering opportunities (they are both very active in the community with Habitat for Humanity and Smiles Charity) and have personally witnessed her leadership skills and dedication to family and community.

Amy brings with her a sense of accountability and strong moral compass. Along with these, we are confident she will bring the full force of her experience, knowledge and commitment to the MISD School Board. She is who the community needs to move McKinney ISD from good to great!
Thank you.
Wendy and Steve Shelley

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