Congress Should Re-Authorize EX-IM Bank – by Mayor Maher Maso

Houston Community Newspapers
Congress should reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank
By Mayor Maher Maso
May 12, 2015
http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/friendswood/opinion/maso-congress-should-reauthorize-the-ex-im-bank/article_0099e14f-3ad0-5df0-9dfe-e63609707c7a.html

As Mayor of Frisco, I work with our City Council and City Manager to deliver results for my city’s residents each and every day – such as responding to public safety emergencies, delivering water and sewer services, meeting the needs of an expanding population, mowing the grass in the parks, and maintaining roadways.  Those results directly impact the economy and quality of life in our community They are crucial to Frisco’s success in improving opportunity, investment, and jobs to our city.

Similarly, the U.S. Export-Import Bank (also known as the “Ex-Im”), a small federal agency, makes a big impact for American companies trying to sell their goods overseas.  Frisco and North Texas businesses benefit from Ex-Im.

Exporting goods throughout the globe is a risky business. Problems ranging from political and economic instability to navigating the different economic and legal systems make it hard for traditional banks to extend credit to many customers around the world.  So, the Ex-Im Bank helps fill in the gaps in the private market – the proverbial roadway potholes in the international banking system – by providing financing, loan guarantees and insurance so American companies are protected when doing business around the globe.

Nearly, 9,000 American companies have used Ex-Im since 2007, helping them export about $300 billion in U.S. goods. During that time, nearly 1,700 Texas businesses exported $29 billion in goods, thanks to Ex-Im.

These exports supported 1.2 million American jobs – roughly equal to the entire population of Dallas. Without Ex-Im many of these jobs wouldn’t have existed.

Additionally, just this past month the Ex-Im was named one of America’s Top Government Agencies for Multicultural Business Opportunities.

Small businesses in Frisco and across the region rely on Ex-Im.  Companies such as Cornerstone Automation Systems, which manufactures equipment designed to help companies streamline their packaging, distribution, inventory systems, has been able to export $30 million of goods thanks to Ex-Im. Blade Energy Partners’ 70 engineers, scientists, and project managers help their clients safely drill for oil and gas in some of the most remote places on Earth. Ex-Im has helped them export $50 million worth of goods and services.

Also, Polyguard, a Texas-based manufacturer of protective coatings for pipelines, was able to break into the global marketplace thanks to Ex-Im starting in 2005. Before they found Ex-Im, executives couldn’t find private export insurance. They were told that they were just too small. But thanks to Ex-Im’s insurance and export financing, Polyguard now exports to 34 countries. They have been able to more than double their number of employees thanks to increasing sales by 338%. The companies President credits Ex-Im for this growth.

And there is Air Tractor, an employee-owned company that makes small airplanes used to fight fires or to fertilize crops. They have been using Ex-Im’s services for over 20 years. 60% of their business is selling these planes overseas.

Unfortunately, this agency that has enjoyed broad, bipartisan support since it was founded in 1934 is under attack.  In the rightful effort to shrink government, often targets could be wrongly hit causing real-world consequences.

Ex-Im is open to all American companies who sell goods abroad.  From what I know, there are not special favors given to the well off or well connected. Reports show that roughly 90 percent of Ex-Im’s transactions are with small and medium size businesses having no special influence in Washington, D.C, apart from the success they have in providing jobs to constituents.

Further, Ex-Im’s charter bars it from competing against private alternatives. Companies must show there is no commercial option before Ex-Im can even offer to help, so no private sector options are being displaced.

Ex-Im’s conservative, low-risk loan practices mean the Bank’s default rate is five times lower than that of average commercial banks. And since Ex-Im charges fees to foreign buyers of American goods on transactions supported by the Bank, Ex-Im is not only self-sustaining but it returns a profit to the U.S. Treasury every year.

Hopefully, our leaders in Washington will understand that jobs are based on trade market and that they will vote to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank before it expires on June 30th, so the Bank can continue its success aiding US companies in the trade markets  – just like we improve opportunity, investment, and jobs here in Texas.

 

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Mayor Maso Announces Re-Election Bid

Frisco Mayor Maher Maso Announces Re-Election Campaign Kick-Off

Maher Maso

Maher Maso

Frisco, TX, January 13, 2014—Frisco Mayor Maher Maso announced that he will seek re-election for his third term as Mayor.  Mayor Maso was elected to the City Council in 2000 and first elected as Mayor in 2008.  Since that time, Mayor Maso has presided over a remarkable growth period in Frisco despite a national downturn in the economy.

During his tenure, Frisco has enjoyed one of the lowest tax rates in North Texas and has maintained a low unemployment rate.  Mayor Maso’s vision and commitment to Frisco have played a key role in keeping Frisco on the forefront of quality growth and job attraction.

Mayor Maso, who was first elected as Mayor in 2008 and then reelected in 2011, has been recognized for his strong leadership by being twice appointed to State of Texas committees by Governor Perry.

Mayor Maso is proud to report that Andrea Wright (Campaign Manager) and Coach Del Harris (Treasurer) are both returning in their roles in his upcoming bid for re-election as mayor of Frisco.  Andrea, a long-time resident of Frisco and a trusted advisor, is excited to be part of the campaign.  Andrea has helped guide the Texas Legends D-League team as they have grown to be one of the most successful franchises in the D-League.

Harris, an 11-year resident of Frisco, has had success at every level in his many years of coaching basketball, including the NBA, collegiate and high school. He has served as head coach of the Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks, and before coming to the Dallas Mavericks as an assistant and then consultant, Harris was head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, earning NBA Coach of the Year in 1995. He is an active member of the Frisco community and works frequently with many local charitable organizations. Harris is honored to be part of Maso’s re-election team.

The Mayor Maso campaign team will be hosting a free kick-off party at The Westin Stonebriar in Frisco on Friday, January 17th from 7:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.  All are welcome and refreshments and light snacks will be served. RSVP by visiting the facebook page at www.facebook.com/mayormaso or emailing rsvp@masoformayor.com

The Mayoral Election will be held on May 10, 2014.

For more information on Mayor Maso’s re-election campaign, visit www.masoformayor.com or www.facebook.com/mayormaso.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Andrea Wright – Campaign Manager
andrea@masoformayor.com
214-546-1829
 
Chris Martin – Communications
214-232-8439

 

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Gov. Perry Appoints Five to Red River Boundary Commission

Gov. Rick Perry has appointed five members to the Red River Boundary Commission for terms to expire Dec. 31, 2015. Pursuant to House Bill 3212 of the 83rd Legislative Regular Session, the Red River Boundary Commission will oversee the redrawing of the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma in the Texoma area.

Texas State Rep. Larry Phillips of Sherman represents House District 62 and is partner at Siebman, Burg, Phillips and Smith LLP. He is chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Select Transportation Funding Committee, and a member of the Investments and Financial Services and the General Investigating and Ethics committees. He is also a member of the State Bar of Texas, Eastern District of the Texas Bar Association, Grayson County Salvation Army Advisory Board and Sherman Kiwanis Club. Rep. Phillips received a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and a law degree from the University of Houston Law Center. He will serve as chair of the commission for a term to expire at the pleasure of the governor.

Bill Douglass of Sherman is CEO of Douglass Distributing. He is a board member of the Texoma Health Care System, Austin College and Muhlenberg College. He is past board chairman of the Sherman Economic Development Corporation, Medical Plaza Hospital, Wesley Village Continuing Care Retirement Community, and Grace United Methodist Church, and past vice chairman of the Higher Education Authority of Sherman. Douglass served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps. He received a bachelor’s degree from Muhlenberg College.

Thomas “Ryan” Johnson of Sherman is a member of the Sherman City Council and an attorney with The LeCrone Law Firm PC. He is a member of the Texas, Oklahoma, District of Columbia, American and Grayson County Bar associations. He is also a board member of the Sherman Pregnancy Care Center and a member of North Texas Young Professionals. Johnson received a bachelor’s degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University and a law degree from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

William “Bill” Madden of Dallas is president of Madden Asset Management. He is a life member of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, past vice chairman of the National Association of Securities Dealers Board of Governors and past chairman of the Dallas Young Presidents Organization. He is also past board chairman of the YMCA of Metro Dallas Foundation and Episcopal Foundation of Dallas, a past board member of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and Holy Family School Board, and a past member of The Dallas Assembly. Madden served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He received a bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University.

Maher Maso of Frisco is mayor of the City of Frisco and manager of Maso Asset Management. He is a member of the National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors, Dallas Regional Mobility Coalition, North Texas Commission, Regional Transportation Council, International Council of Shopping Centers, and Metroplex Mayors Association. He is also a board member and past chairman of the Collin College Education Foundation and chair of the Team Frisco NCAA Division I Football Local Organizing Committee. He is a past member of the Texas Select Committee on Economic Development and Frisco City Council. Maso received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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Frisco Mountain Biking Month Proclamation

WHEREAS,         The first two phases of the Northwest Community Park Mountain Bike Trail construction was completed in 2012; and

WHEREAS,         The construction was completed by fifty-five volunteers from the Dallas Off Road Bicycle Association, the Shawnee Trail Cycling Club and The Frisco Cycling Club; and

WHEREAS,         The 427 tireless volunteer hours resulted in a first class mountain bike trail with minimal expense to the City of Frisco; and

WHEREAS,         This new amenity can now be enjoyed by all Frisco citizens, as well as by residents of our neighboring cities.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Maher Maso, Mayor of the City of Frisco, Texas, in honor of their participation, accomplishment and valuable addition to the City’s park system, do hereby proclaim February, 2013 as:

“Frisco Mountain Biking Month”

And encourage all citizens to congratulate them for their accomplishment and to become active in the sport of mountain biking.

 

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Outdoor Warning Sirens

It has been a while since I updated the information for the outdoor warning sirens in Frisco.  I received a question from a resident and our assistant fire chief, Paul Siebert, sent this response:

…. You are correct in your assessment of the outdoor warning sirens, they are not designed or located to provide warning inside a home. Home construction today limits the amount of exterior noise that is allowed to penetrate the home, therefore to adequately cover the city with sirens to reach the needed decibel level would be cost prohibitive. As a result, we rely on several methods of notification and awareness for our residents (and ourselves) during times of severe weather or emergency.

The first and most important aspect of citizen emergency preparedness is awareness. Watching or listening to forecasts, the environment and other key indicators is critical to understand the potential for severe weather. Second, have a means of notification within the home. The National Weather Service maintains a notification system that activates weather radios during emergencies. This inexpensive radio can be purchased and setup in the home to alert when activated, and otherwise remain silent so as not to be an annoyance. This provides the necessary notification to address your concern of sleeping through any other notifications. Another service that has come about recently is the use of notifications from local TV/radio stations through “apps” for your phone. I believe almost every local TV station now offers this service. Third is preparation. Having a family plan in place so that knows the means of communication, meeting places and other vital information to help your family through a crisis.

You also asked about the use of the reverse 911 system during severe weather, which we have also considered. It has been our experience, through actual events and discussions with a variety of vendors, that a reverse 911 system is not adequate to provide the necessary notification to every citizen in a short term event such as severe weather. The time it takes to make 60,000+ automated calls does not allow for the relatively short identification time currently provided by the National Weather Service. The Weather Service continually strives to provide as much advance notification as possible, however the severity of a storm changes so quickly that the number of notifications we would send could quickly turn the reverse 911 system into something that our citizens begin to ignore.

We appreciate your interest in your family’s safety and I hope you believe that it is our primary mission as well. We continue to look for new methods and processes to increase notification capabilities. Thank you again for your input…

 

Good information by the chief. To add to chief Siebert’s comments, take a look at this video:

 

and you can read more about the sirens on the City of Frisco website.  I hope this helps!  – Mayor Maher Maso

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Newsletter is Out

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You can view the newsletter here:  http://t.co/zqrms8da

Looks like the DFW Rail Line map link I had the newsletter is not working. If you have a problem accessing it, a direct link is can be found HERE

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