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Q&A With Mayoral Candidate Jeff Cheney

Cheney is the current mayor of Frisco
Photo: The City of Frisco

Local elections are quickly approaching, and three Frisco residents are running for mayor.

This year’s Collin County election is May 6, 2023, but voters must register by April 6 to participate in voting. From April 24 to May 2, residents can vote early, instead of waiting until the 6th to vote. Early voting locations can be found on the county’s website. Election Day polling locations can be found here

Mayor Jeff Cheney is running once more for Mayor of Frisco. The native Texan was elected Mayor of Frisco, Texas, in May 2017, and reelected in November 2020.

Why are you running for mayor?
Since my young family moved to Frisco in 2003, we started a business and wanted to invest in the community that would shape our lives. That is why I initially ran for city council in 2007. 

When I became mayor in 2017, I had a bold vision. Since then, Frisco has continued achieving unparalleled success. I am proud of my record and want to continue serving Frisco for one final term. Being the mayor of Frisco is the greatest job in the world.

How long have you been involved with the city? 
Frisco City Council Member, 2007 - 2016
Frisco Mayor, 2017 - Present

What makes Frisco stand out?
All of Frisco’s many awards and honors tend to catch people’s eye, like #1 Best City to Live,  #1 Safest City, #1 Best Place to Buy a Home, #1 for Highest Job Growth for Mid-Sized City, #1 Recession-Resistant City and many more. However, it is the people of Frisco who have made us number one. We are a city of dreamers — our residents have high aspirations, expectations and energy. They are also engaged and enterprising. 

Yet no matter how fast we grow, in population and diversity, the “Frisco experience” feels like a smaller city where residents are the heart and soul of the community. I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home.  

If elected, what changes do you hope to implement? 
Frisco is rich with talented people who serve our city through elected positions, on boards and commissions, and working as city staff. For the next 3 years, all of our teams will be working to continue executing the plans that were developed. One of those areas is public safety. Frisco has been named the Safest City in America for 2 years in a row — this is not by accident. Half of our budget goes toward funding public safety. This last year, we hired the most police officers in the history of Frisco. We are currently building Fire Station No. 10, with plans for number 11. Frisco wants to hold on to our #1 status. Public safety must always be a city’s top priority. 

What’s wrong with Frisco currently? What’s right?
No organization is perfect. However, at Frisco, we strive to be the best in all areas to provide our citizens the best city to live in, raise a family, enjoy restaurants and entertainment, play in our many parks and open spaces, and even aesthetically pleasing commercial office buildings to work. Frisco council and city staff work to provide the best city for our residents.  

One of the biggest surprises for people is when they realize that even with all our city amenities, we have one of the lowest tax rates in the region. We have a homestead tax exemption, senior tax exemption and a senior tax freeze. Frisco has earned a AAA bond rating from S&P and Moody’s. Frisco can keep your taxes lower than other communities because we broaden the tax burden through tourism and attracting corporations. This last year was Frisco’s biggest year for attracting corporate headquarters, including a Fortune 100, TIAA, that is relocating to Frisco. In 2022, the Frisco Economic Development Corporation brought 16 large companies to our city.  Since covid, Frisco’s tourism is rapidly building. Next month, the PGA Frisco will open, and they will host their first KitchenAid Seniors Golf Championship and Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks will be hosting the Academy of Country Music Awards at the Ford Center at The Star. All of this works to reduce the tax burden of our homeowners.  

How will the city change in the next 5-10 years?
In the next 10 years, our buildout will most likely, be almost complete. By diversifying the tax base, Frisco is creating a sustainable economy where we can preserve and reinforce older developments and infrastructure. In 10 years, we will have hosted five PGA major tournaments, operated as a host city for the World Cup, and many of our larger developments will be built.  The next 10 years will be exciting, with many openings, celebrations and achievements.  

What makes you different from the other candidates? 
I have been serving on city council and as mayor for 15 years so I have the critical experience that is needed to run a city the size of Frisco. But, even more than experience, the big difference is my vision for our city. When I was first elected I wanted to address the density concerns because I heard the residents say that they did not want to live in a dense city of over 400K people. By working with our developers to institute a minimum of apartments per acre, requiring 10% meaningful open space in all developments and requiring phasing of construction in mixed-use developments, we were able to lower our density numbers. These standards were not just new to North Texas but first in the nation. Frisco leads the way. Through these efforts, we were able to lower our future population estimates to approximately 325K at full buildout.  

What makes you qualified for the position?
I have been successfully serving as the Frisco mayor for the last 6 years.

What is the biggest challenge Frisco is facing? How will you navigate that? 

Being the fastest-growing city in America for more than a decade naturally makes staying ahead of infrastructure needs our biggest challenge. Providing quality infrastructure is critical to serving Frisco’s residents and business owners. Currently, the city of Frisco has $300 million in road construction projects underway, with $200 million of it mainly in northwest Frisco, preparing for the growth around the PGA. In the past, the city would wait until there was a pain point and then would add a lane or another arterial road. Now, we are not waiting but moving aggressively forward to finish the construction in the northern part of Frisco. This will alleviate the traffic in the central and southern sectors of Frisco.

How do you currently give back to the community?
Currently, I work as your mayor in nearly a volunteer capacity. Before that, I served as a city councilman for nine years. My wife, Dana, and I have always been committed to participating in our children’s education through supporting their schools, PTA and serving on the Frisco Education Foundation board.

My wife and I are the co-founders of Cheney Group. Through our local business, we employ Frisco residents and we are proud to support many local charities that serve our community.

What are you most looking forward to if elected?  
Finishing the small handful of projects that I have started and want to see to completion. The Rail District is currently being redeveloped and the city is investing $50 million in infrastructure, roads and sidewalk improvements making it more conducive to a historic downtown experience that will attract more small businesses. Another project is Grand Park which has just entered the design phase. Council and I are looking forward to finalizing the designs this Fall. In a few weeks, we will be celebrating the opening of our crown jewel in the north of Frisco, the Omni PGA Resort. This is the biggest resort being built in America and is already winning awards. Finally, I knew the performing arts center would be the most difficult but we haven’t given up.  I believe Frisco deserves a world-class performing arts center.

Why should voters elect you? 

As your mayor, we have achieved unparalleled success together. Even though we have checked off many of the original goals when I was first elected, I believe that we can push the limits to succeed at a higher level. I believe that Frisco is the best city in America. Let’s continue pushing the limits on what a city can accomplish. I am proud to serve as your mayor and want to continue serving one last term.

Local Profile reached out to the other two candidates, Jonathan Spencer and Mark Piland, but did not receive responses prior to publishing. 

For more information on this year’s local election visit the 2023 voter guide.