Dallas Morning News Endorses Maher Maso for Frisco Mayor

Editorial: We Recommend Maher Maso

The Frisco mayor’s race comes down to what you think the mayor’s job should be. If you think the mayor’s job is mostly glad-handing and dropping by neighborhood association barbecues – then Matt Lafata’s your guy.

But if, like us, you think Frisco needs a mayor who works hard to understand how government could work better and is willing to represent Frisco as a leader on major regional efforts, then Maher Maso is the better choice.

Mr. Lafata himself acknowledges the distinction in our online questionnaire. When asked the greatest distinction between the two candidates, Mr. Lafata wrote: “The big difference that seems apparent is in our leadership style and people skills. In my and others’ observations, my opponent feels the need to do and know everything himself, when I don’t think that’s always necessary.”

But Frisco needs more than Mr. Lafata’s focus on boosterism. It needs someone who will hold city staff accountable. It needs Mr. Maso’s work ethic, dedication to regional leadership and deep understanding of policy.

For example, even though both candidates support the expansion of seamless rail throughout North Texas, Mr. Maso has participated in planning meetings with fellow elected officials in the region. A 44-year-old executive in retail and investment companies, Mr. Maso has learned a lot about the complexities of funding a rail line to Frisco.

All this is not to say there are no differences on the issues. On one major issue – the shared arts hall – we unequivocally side with Mr. Maso. Mr. Lafata’s voting record indicates past support for the Arts of Collin County performance hall. But of late he has said that Frisco should take bond money voters approved for the shared hall and put it toward a small theater and science center. That kind of provincial thinking – an overreaction to a construction funding shortfall – could undermine the greatest cooperative effort in the county’s history.

Voters approved a project with shared operating expenses. Going it alone is inefficient and illogical. Mr. Maso, who was appointed by all three participating cities as an at-large member of the arts commission, won’t give up on the performance hall project; he’ll help make it happen.

Mr. Lafata, 41, an executive with a human resources consulting firm, also operates a newsletter, which we have praised as a great tool for engaging Frisco citizens. That it accepts advertising from city partners has raised questions, but such distractions should not be a deciding factor in this race.

The bottom line is that Mr. Maso has a demonstrated eagerness to tackle the issues facing Frisco and represent Frisco on the regional stage.

That kind of leadership will serve the city well as it transitions from a booming exurb into a dynamic city.

DMN Suburban Editorial Board

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