We Recommend
Pelham for Frisco City Council Place 3

Frisco’s blindingly fast growth and ever-increasing wealth are surely the envy of cities around the country. But managing that growth in a way that ensures continued prosperity and considers the needs of working-class residents, whom rising property values and rising home prices might leave behind, is difficult.

Of the four candidates seeking to represent Place 3 on the Frisco City Council, one stands out as clearly the most prepared, the most knowledgeable and the most able to answer the challenges and opportunities Frisco will see in the coming years. That is Angelia Pelham.

Pelham, 52, is a deeply experienced corporate executive with years working in leadership at some of America’s most recognizable companies, including PepsiCo and Walt Disney.

She plainly understands city operations at a line-item level, from its finances to its budget to its development. She is able to identify relevant facts and figures about the city with a CFO’s precision.

What’s more important is she is prepared to apply those facts in ways that will benefit a city council that has already shown it is functioning in the best interest of Frisco’s growth.

Frisco’s prosperity is a double-edge sword. It is clearly becoming more difficult for too many people who work in Frisco to live in Frisco, whether they are teachers or firefighters or police officers.

Pelham was clear that additional garden-style apartments are not something most Frisco residents will accept — a political reality that makes creating affordable living spaces difficult.

Her approach to this was deft, however. Pelham said that the demand for multifamily housing should be answered with high-quality development that incorporates offices, hotels and businesses. That additional development can, over time, help increase the city’s tax base and lower what will become a growing burden on single-family homeowners.

Pelham was laser-focused on the economic reality that, absent increased commercial development, the bill for Frisco’s many amenities will eventually fall on single-family residents, something she wants to avoid by increasing the homestead exemption to 20% over time.

Of her opponents, Karen Cunningham, a longtime civic volunteer, also impressed us with her understanding of the city’s economic development needs. Cunningham, 50, has served as president of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce and vice president of the Frisco Community Development Corporation, among many other roles. Pelham, however, was more fluent in city operations, budgeting and other matters that a council member needs to master to be effective.

Sai Krishna, 51, a registered nurse who has worked in health insurance management, is passionate and his personal story is an example of the growing diversity Frisco should nurture. But his ideas for keeping Frisco affordable were not fully formed.

Dr. Jennifer White, a veterinarian, was unable to attend our candidate forum and did not return a call to discuss her candidacy. White, 51, is running to “make sure Frisco does not turn into Dallas,” a statement that suggests Frisco should remain a low-density bedroom community — a position that is no longer economically sound.

We strongly recommend Pelham as the most prepared and capable candidate in the race.