A Conversation with Jeff Cheney
A new day has come for the city of Frisco. We have a new Mayor. Allow me to introduce, Mayor Jeff Cheney. Jeff has been a resident of Frisco for many years. Alongside his family which consists of his wife Dana and his three children, Zachary, Mason and Katelyn.
I had the privilege to sit down and ask him some candid questions. I think you will find him as likeable as I did.
K.A. Let’s start with a little background; how did you get from point “A” to here?
J.C. Well, first and foremost, I have always been passionate about politics, about budgets, all of that “nerdy” stuff. I graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with my Bachelor’s and Masters in Accounting. I kept a 4.0 GPA through hard work and perseverance. From there I did work with Pricewaterhouse Coopers and after our first child Zachary was born decided (after some soul searching) that the seventy hour work week wasn’t creating a good enough balance. I quit that job and that is when the real estate company came into the picture.
Quick fun note: He mentioned that through each transition in his career path, he made a major life change when each of his children were born. Kind of neat, isn’t it?
K.A. Very nice. Can you tell me more about the real estate company? How has it acted as a stepping stone to your success?
J.C. We had always wanted to stay active in the community. Dana and I have always had a passion to want to help shape this community, and after investing in real estate and growing that business, that passion has only continued to grow. After our second child Mason was born, I became “Mr. Mom” for a while. Dana was building our real estate business and the major life change I made after having Mason was placing our entire life savings into Frisco Online. Luckily, this venture turned out to be successful. Then once we had Katelyn, my major life change was I decided to run for City Council for Frisco. I was on the City Council for nine years, was then a Mayor Pro-Tem for five years and in charge of the Budget for eight years. That brings us up to recent.
Mayor Cheney certainly had the experience and passion to run for Mayor. I talked with him about our city and what he would most like to see run differently.
K.A. What is your vision for the City of Frisco/What changes would you like to see?
J.C: This city has about 40% that is still not developed. I would like to see less wall-to-wall concrete and instead see more greenbelts, more parks, more trails within neighborhoods. I want to see this city become more interactive. People move to Frisco for our excellent schools, parks, amenities, and a high standard of living. I want to make sure each of those facets remain in tact and flourishing so that each resident is offered the highest quality of life possible.
K.A. Can you expand a little on this?
J.C.: Absolutely. I want each neighborhood to have areas where there are connected trails for biking, jogging, and sharing in those kinds of experiences, I would like to have our restaurants be places that we can go and enjoy a meal without looking out at parking lots; I would like to see more restaurants offer patios that look out to greenbelts, ponds and the like. I want to see new innovations, and building the open feel culture. It would be nice if new office buildings were able to offer to hold their team meetings outside and not in a stuffy conference room. If we could offer citizens options to walk to work instead of drive. I would like to challenge and rethink everything we do.”
K.A. What is the day in the life with you as a Dad look like?
J.C. I would describe our family life as “organized chaos”, we are a very active family. I coach my sons’ basketball teams and help with football. We love to stay busy, no matter what. Every day is different, just like any other normal family. I have a mix of school functions, the business tasks as well as the city responsibilities.
K.A. What is one piece of advice you give to all three of your kids?
J.C. I believe in leading by example. I think kids learn the most by watching their parents. I have already seen some of my leadership qualities for instance in my own children lately. Our son, Zach for example spoke to a number of voters and helped with the campaign. I see these kinds of leadership skills in each of my children.
Okay, now the fun questions,
J.C. Mexican Food, by far
K.A. Favorite thing to do in your free time?
J.C. Coach my son’s basketball teams, Run 5K’s
K.A. Favorite music?
J.C. Country; currently enjoying some Eric Church
K.A. Destination you’d like to visit?
J.C Dubai; the architecture and technological advances are intriguing to me
K.A. Favorite workout?
J.C. Running and now trying Hot Body Yoga. (that’s right Frisco, our Mayor does Yoga)
K.A. What do you want the citizens of Frisco to know the most?
J.C. The biggest thing is, I want everyone I may come into contact with and meet along the way to feel comfortable to talk to me. In fact, I hope to even implement activities such as “Meet the Mayor” in people’s backyards. I want to have an open-door policy. If a citizen has a question or concern, their mayor should be approachable. That is very important to me.
Well, it sounds like we’re in for a lot of changes, Frisco; and good ones at that. And who knows, you could be flipping burgers in your backyard and in walks our mayor. How cool is that? Frisco is lucky to have such a friendly and ambitious mayor for our city. We look forward to seeing what the future holds. We’re ready Mayor Cheney!