Lisa Holenko: Housing, child care and tourism will be my focus
Frisco Town Council candidate
Occupation: Next Page Books & Nosh co-owner
Years in Summit County: 9 1/2
Family: Husband, Doug; and two grown daughters, Valerie and Jeni
Civic involvement: Rotary sponsor, Chamber of Commerce member, Summit School District collaborator
I have lived and worked in Frisco for almost 10 years, owning a small business for over five of those years. Previously, I was a high school English teacher in New Jersey. My husband, Doug, and I live in the Peak One neighborhood in Frisco, and I have two daughters: Valerie lives in Denver, and Jeni lives in Washington. I am running for Frisco Town Council because the town has given us so much, and I feel strongly about giving back to this community to show my appreciation and to be a part of bringing this tremendous town into the future, for tourists, but most importantly for the residents of Frisco.
Priority No. 1: Housing
For almost a decade, I have watched the growth and change in Frisco. As co-owner of Next Page Books & Nosh, I have benefited from the expansion but also have suffered from the affordable housing crisis. My employees have had a tremendously difficult time finding homes, as so many other hard-working locals have. We have all seen the impact on our local businesses: stores with shortened hours, restaurants closed or unable to provide takeout. Will tourists continue to come to Frisco if they can’t get the services they’re looking for?
I wish we could say that we need to prepare for the future in regard to housing, and we do, but we need solutions now, too. Frisco is busier than ever, and that’s great, but our workers are paying incredibly high rents for, in many situations, less-than-ideal living situations. Buying a home in a system that offers few homes to dozens of workers — with no priority given to long-time locals — is a long, frustrating and often fruitless endeavor. We must give priority to our local workforce and their needs.
Priority No. 2: Child care
Housing for our workforce is vital, but so is accessible, affordable child care. Without it, our community loses valuable contributors. Without it, we as a community are saying that families are not a top priority in Frisco, and that is most definitely not the case. Being on a waiting list for child care doesn’t get parents to their jobs or get stores and restaurants fully staffed. It is imperative that Frisco provide the child care that our families need and deserve.
Priority No. 3: Tourism
As a resident, I have felt the impact of thriving tourism, both positively and negatively, but it is my nature to embrace change and to work with others to create positive results. During my time as a high school English teacher, I learned to work on committees successfully and to listen to co-workers, administrators, students and parents to find solutions. I learned from all of the aforementioned, as I do from my staff now, and will continue to listen and learn.
As a council member, my focus will be on making sure the perspective of locals is taken into consideration as we continue to navigate growth in Frisco. Tourism is incredibly important to our ability to live and work in Frisco, but locals and our small businesses are the lifeblood that make it all possible.
Lisa Holenko is a candidate for one of three open seats on Frisco Town Council.
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