Letter: Former mayor supports Rath

In support of Tracy Rath for McKinney City Council
By Bill Whitfield

When I took office as Mayor of McKinney in 2003, one of the first challenges needing to be addressed was the fate of the old courthouse on the Downtown Square. The courthouse had been officially declared a historic building, so leveling it was out of the question. But it was an eyesore in the middle of our historic Downtown Square–empty and idle for 28 years—not a pretty sight.

The City Council—after study after study—discussed restoring it for use as office space. I believed it deserved a higher calling and was convinced that a performing art center could change the dynamics of downtown McKinney.

Tracy Rath was one of the women who led the effort to restore the historic courthouse—and convert it into a performing art center. The Council voted to fund the project in 2004, and Tracy volunteered to work with the contractor. When the City needed a liaison to work on a fulltime basis during the construction, Tracy was the obvious choice. She was hired as Facilities Manager, and she did a terrific job.

Our historic Downtown Square quickly became a meeting place. Before the McKinney Performing Arts Center (MPAC) existed, you could roll up the sidewalks every day at 5:00 when the shops closed. After its premiere? Well, we had another problem … finding a parking spot on the square … any night of the week.

My point? This letter is not about a building or our Downtown Square or our decisions—good or bad. It is about how much difference one person…like Tracy…can make. She’s running for City Council, and she has my vote…not because she’s a nice person (which she is), not because we’ve always agreed on every issue (which we haven’t). I’m voting for Tracy Rath because she is the best choice for our Council, and McKinney deserves the very best.

Bill Whitfield is the former Mayor of McKinney.

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Letter: Vote for Maso in Frisco

Letter by Del Harris

In my fifty-plus years of coaching basketball, thirty-five in the NBA, I have had the rare opportunity to have been in 49 of our states and more than half that many foreign countries. I have spent considerable time in every major geographical area of our country. Now that we can live anywhere in the world that we choose, we have chosen Frisco, Texas. When we moved here in 2000 there were less than 35,000 residents, but the folks here had the vision to invest about $500 million in bond money between the late 90s and 2005 to be able to facilitate what Frisco has become today. It is a fact that we have bragging rights for being rated among the best cities of 100,000 plus residents both state and nation-wide in nearly every category, including tax rate, infrastructure, safety and other essential elements of a world class city. Quite honestly, I had NEVER encountered anyone here who is critical of what we have here or less than thrilled to be a part of what we have built here–not until this bogus campaign of Chicago-style politics that is being run against Mayor Maso; one that is filled with personal agenda and stats that are turned to sound effective but in reality that speak half-truths.

Maso is a genuine public servant who has been involved as a part of the great leadership here for much of the past decade that has seen our population quadruple. But because of the vision of our leaders in that time, we have been able to keep pace with the infrastructure, to have the best schools in the area, increased jobs even in the recent downturn, 4th safest city in the US due to great police and fire depts. and wonderful facilities for youth, elderly, sports enthusiasts and on ad infinitum. This has been done while keeping taxes down to near the lowest level in the area. And the only debt we have is a result of expenses that the people voted for—i.e. taxation WITH representation, as it ought to be. This is what true conservatism is: keep government small, keep spending down, and answer to the will of the people. When the people vote to go into debt for items or services they deem necessary or highly desirable, it is up to that government to spend that money wisely, but in line with the voter’s wishes. Frisco does that. It is not a bridges to nowhere citizenry or government.

I hope that those who have not lived here as long, or are just passing through, can vote for the type of folks for mayor, council and school board who had the vision these past several years to keep our city ahead of track due to great planning. This is the critical need for a city that is projected to double in population in the next 20 years or so. To do otherwise is to go backwards. For that to happen we need to rer-elect the man with a positive approach to that vision instead of an outlook of hesitation, doubt and fear. Being mayor of a city of 120,000 is a full time job and that is what Maso gives it. It is not a start-up, part-time position, but one that requires positive public service experience. It is important to keep the same kind of leadership that has moved Frisco to the position it now enjoys. No going backward! Vote for Maso.

Del Harris, Frisco

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