McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller’s update on nine-acre development southwest of historic downtown square

McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller and Karl Suchman on development by Robert Shaw, former Dallas Cowboy, in downtown McKinney.

The nine-acre site would maintain the historic square while adding high-end development, retail, office space and housing.

“Downtown is going to be the hub that keeps McKinney together as a community,” Mayor Loughmiller.

Shaw, Columbus Realty and JHP Architecture envision 320 apartments, a parking garage, 45,000 square feet of office space and 20,000 square feet of retail space on the nine-acre location where the old courthouse was (southwest of the downtown McKinney square) at McDonald St. (State Highway 5) and Davis Street. – Brian Bearden

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MORE COVERAGE

Learn more about Robert Shaw

Dallas Business Journal on Robert Shaw’s McKinney TX development

Dallas Business Journal on Roger Staubach, Robert Shaw, Dallas’ Trinity Groves

Dallas Morning News on Robert Shaw honored for Uptown Dallas TX

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Spirit of Christmas benefits local charities in McKinney TX

McKinney mayor Brian Loughmiller and The First Baptist Church of McKinney are excited to present The Spirit of Christmas concert to benefit local McKinney initiatives.

This musical extravaganza will feature local musicians from McKinney’s high schools and the community in partnership with the music ministry of First Baptist McKinney.

Proceeds from the concert will go to support The Samaritan Inn, Boys & Girls Club and the Community Lifeline Center. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to celebrate “The Spirit of Christmas.” 

When: 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6

Where: First Baptist Church of McKinney. Attire is Formal.

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Mayor’s benefit concert will be Dec. 6 in McKinney TX

McKinney mayor Brian Loughmiller and The First Baptist Church of McKinney are excited to present The Spirit of Christmas concert to benefit local McKinney initiatives.

This musical extravaganza will feature local musicians from McKinney’s high schools and the community in partnership with the music ministry of First Baptist McKinney.

Proceeds from the concert will go to support The Samaritan Inn, Boys & Girls Club and the Community Lifeline Center. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to celebrate “The Spirit of Christmas.” 

When: 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6

Where: First Baptist Church of McKinney. Attire is Formal.

Collin County DFW Headlines is an independent news source read by thousands in the Dallas-Fort Worth area every day. Local News – People – Events – Sports and more … All Local #FriscoISD #McKinneyISD #PlanoISD #AllenISD and more Follow on Facebook and Twitter @CollinCountyDFW

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McKinney Police Chief announces officer has resigned

McKinney Police Chief Greg Conley holds a news conference on June 9, 2015, after private pool incident at Craig Ranch. The chief announced one of the 12 officers at the pool incident has resigned.

McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller joined the news conference.

Collin County Magazine is an independent news source read by thousands in the Dallas-Fort Worth area every day. Follow on Facebook and Twitter @CollinCountyMag

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Story on Greg Conley being hired http://www.collincountyheadlines.com/2015/03/mckinney-tx-hiring-greg-conley-as.html

McKinney mayor running again

By Brian Loughmiller, McKinney Texas Mayor

It has been an honor and privilege to serve as Mayor of McKinney for the past 3 1/2 years. During the past 3 1/2 years, we have taken positive steps forward in the development of our city, in the areas of increasing commercial tax base, infrastructure improvements, quality of life projects through our parks and recreation department, and regulatory changes to make our local government more efficient.
Our City Council has continued a commitment to a balanced budget. And despite a difficult economy, we have continued to provide quality city services necessary in a fast growing community while maintaining healthy reserves. During my tenure as Mayor, our Council has maintained a policy of balancing our city budget with no tax increase. 

During my time of service on City Council and as Mayor, we lowered the tax rate three times and have maintained our current tax rate for the past six years without any increase. 
Our City Council has had – and continues to have – challenges as we live through the expansion of State Highway 75 and other major road projects that will ultimately pave the way for the next phase of development in our growing community. We appreciate the community’s patience as we work through these construction projects.
McKinney has received national recognition over the past few years, moving up the list of Money Magazine’s Best Cities in America: From No. 14 in 2008 to No. 5 in 2010 and No. 2 in 2012. We have also been recognized as one of the safest cities in America, one of the top 100 cities for young people, and one of the top 10 cities in which to relocate, according to Forbes Magazine in 2009. 
Through expansion and redevelopment we have a historic downtown that other cities emulate and try to replicate. 
As we move into 2013, as Mayor, with the support of our City Council, I remain committed to our strategic goals of bringing quality economic development to McKinney, while continuing to promote a family-centered environment for all of our community. I will continue to focus on policies that promote cooperation between private business and local government; and a conservative regulatory environment that meets the needs of our citizens while encouraging private investment in McKinney.
I have my business in McKinney, and I am proud to call McKinney my home. My wife and I have enjoyed raising three children, Chelsea, Reece and Cameron, in McKinney. And we have enjoyed the friendships that we have established over the past 23 years. I want to thank the citizens of McKinney for allowing me the opportunity to serve as the Mayor of McKinney since 2009. 
My goal has always been to help make McKinney the kind of place our children and grandchildren will want to call home, when they have families of their own. It is with the support of my family and friends that I announce my intention to seek reelection in May of 2013, to continue to serve you as your Mayor for the next four-year term.
Have a blessed and safe Christmas and New Year. I look forward to seeing you in 2013.

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New economics director pitching for McKinney

Jim Wehmeier new CEO at MEDC

By Brian Bearden

McKinney city leaders see the next 10 years as an important time in McKinney’s history as the once small town prepares to rapidly grow again. City leaders privately will say they don’t want to blow it when it comes to keeping the small town atmosphere while attracting thousands each year as new residents.

New McKinney Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Jim Wehmeier knows he’s under pressure to bring in business that will make the city home to both residents and places for them to work.

“Our priority is not going to be counting rooftops,” Wehmeier said. “We will be focused on bringing in corporations, industrial and headquarters type development. This is a competitive business, and I love it. We are not just competing with Allen, Plano and Frisco. Now, we are competing for these worldwide companies with cities around the world. They can move anywhere they want, and we want them to move here.”

McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller said, “Our goal continues to be to promote quality economic development to the city focusing on new commercial development as well as retention of our current commercial tax base. With the new Economic Development director, we are evaluating our incentive programs, our land uses in undeveloped areas of the city, and our strategic plan for development as we move forward into 2013.”

“Mr. Wehmeyer was selected based on his experience as an economic development director,” Loughmiller added, “as well as his experience in working with various agencies at the county, state and federal level that may participate in economic development activity with the city. The timing for this is very good as we see additional activity and interest in McKinney over the past 12 months and continuing into this year with the addition of new projects like Wistron, Emerson’s new project at the Gateway site, potential college expansion, resolution of the hotel conference center issues at Gateway, and the improvements we have completed at the airport.”

Wehmeier (a German name pronounced We-meier) grew up on the soccer and baseball fields of Plano. He had planned to be a major league pitcher, but his baseball career ended early in surgery. It was either have surgery and hope to keep pitching, or risk a lifelong injury to his arm. Wehmeier decided to go with the long-term option. The end of his baseball career brought tears to his mom’s eyes as she saw her son’s hopes of playing in the big leagues slip away.

MOVING UP TO McKINNEY

Wehmeier, who began his rise in economic development in Hillsboro, Texas, loved his job as economic development director in Lufkin, Texas, too, but sees McKinney as both a challenge and great place to live.

“What brought me out of Lufkin was McKinney,” Wehmeier said. “We already love it here, and we are downtown on the square quite a bit. This is a great community, and one that grew 150 percent but still kept that small-town feel and took home No. 2 in Best Places to Live. That tells me about the leadership we have here in McKinney.”

City councilman Roger D. Harris confirmed what Wehmeier said, “Our economic development strategy included bringing in a hard-charging, self motivated ‘closer’ that will represent McKinney in the world of bringing in corporate tax-base. I think the MEDC Board has found the right person for the job, and I congratulate them for their hiring of Jim Wehmeier.

“Jim is moving to McKinney from Lufkin where he had a similar role. However, Jim grew up in Plano and will actually be returning home. Jim told me that he has always wanted the EDC job in McKinney. I think we have found someone who will be here a long time and will work hard to be a strong member of the city of McKinney economic development team.”

Wehmeier, who is still moving into his new first-floor office on Lake Forest and the SRT/121, knows his mission.

“Business retention is our No. 1 priority,” Wehmeier said, adding that the business climate in Texas remains attractive to companies around the country because of taxation.

“We have received multiple calls since the elections, not just the national, but the state elections around the country,” he said. “With the Recession, companies are looking around and saying ‘We definitely have to get out.’ The phone has been ringing. Companies around the country are looking for a better environment for business and a better quality of life. We have that in McKinney. If there is a shining light in the country, it is Texas, and in Texas, it is McKinney.”

ON THE FAST TRACK

Wehmeier said that the completion of the tollway to U.S. 75 and expansion of the Collin County Regional Airport has created momentum for the city’s growth.

“The tollway to 75 changed the game,” Wehmeier said. “I dare say you can get from McKinney now to DFW airport faster now down 121 and the SRT than you can from many places in Dallas-Fort Worth. You can now get anywhere fast from McKinney.”

He pointed out how driving around McKinney and Dallas-Fort Worth is now easier than sitting in traffic in Austin.

Mayor Loughmiller said, “As construction on 75 continues towards completion, we will be preparing for the next waive of development along 75 through McKinney that we believe will be possible with the expansion of 75 to eight lanes.”

The expansion of the county airport in McKinney probably won’t mean a commuter airline landing in the city. Wehmeier said he will be working to bring in more corporate jets, maintenance and industrial facilities because of the airport.

“Would you rather drive a few minutes down 121 to DFW, or fly three minutes to DFW from McKinney?” Wehmeier explained, saying most wouldn’t want to take off in McKinney only to have to connect at DFW.

“Our wheel house at the airport is the corporate jets and possibly cargo,” he said. “The airport is a huge opportunity. McKinney is a global city now.”

FAMILY LOVES MCKINNEY SPIRIT

Wehmeier said he’s had his eye on the McKinney job for years and knew what he wanted to say when a headhunter came calling this year.

“I look at McKinney for how it will be in the next 50 years,” Wehmeier said. “And, that’s the way the city leaders look at it. We don’t want short-term answers. We want to build it so that McKinney will be a great place for our grand kids to live and work.”

Wehmeier said he thrives on competition but has to be patient.

“I’ve learned economic development does not work on a schedule,” Wehmeier, a golfer, said. “We have to be consistent, and we have to keep building the city and keep doing a good job of outreach to business around the country and around the world. If we are consistently building business, we will attract the quality jobs along with the growth. Like I said, economic development is not about counting new rooftops. We want McKinney to be a great place to live and work.”

MORE INFORMATION
McKinney Economic Development Corporation

McKinney mayor, councilman on firing of police chief

Statement from Mayor Brian Loughmiller, Oct. 9, 2012

Over the next several days Council members will have the opportunity to give their views individually regarding the recent events of Friday October 5, 2012 with the reassignment of Chief Doug Kowalski. This message is not intended to express the views of the Council as a whole rather it is intended to provide the public my statement regarding the events and where I believe we are at this point.
As I stated on Friday, October 5, 2012, the City Council was informed that the City Manager had reassigned the police chief pursuant to his authority under the city charter as city manager. The City Council was first made aware of this decision after Chief Kowalski was informed of the reassignment by the City Manager. Upon learning of the decision, I requested the City Manager call a special council meeting to discuss this decision as well as the decisions relative to transition of the police department that were announced by the City Manager. This meeting was convened with the City Manager the evening of October 8.

While I did not agree with the decision made on October 5, 2012, I understand the Mayor and Council’s limitations of authority and the City Manager’s role of authority as expressed in the City Charter as it relates to personnel decisions of City Staff including Department heads. 

Addressing the issue of transition and moving forward as a community given the current status of the position, I have requested that the City Manager conduct a search for a new police chief open to all qualified applicants. 

With regard to key positions in the City under our Charter, the Charter authorizes the City Council to evaluate the City Manager, the City Attorney, and the Municipal Judge. While the City Council does not have authority related to personnel decisions over other positions, I believe that in order for us to be effective and operate in the best interests of our community, the City Council at a minimum should be given the opportunity to state opinions concerning key leadership positions on city staff that impact our community. 

I am currently evaluating charter language in the City Manager/City Council form of government that may address this issue for consideration by the City Council and City of McKinney in the future.

Concerning Chief Kowalski, I appreciate his service and leadership to the City of McKinney. Our city has received recognition for being a safe city and a family oriented community. I thank Chief Kowalski for being instrumental in creating a safe environment despite unprecedented growth in our community over past twelve years.

Statement from Councilman Ray Ricchi:  Oct. 9
I would like to address recent events at McKinney City Hall on October 5th 2012.  The purpose of this message is to provide the citizens with my views as an individual City Council member; I am not speaking for the City Council. I am fully aware of the City of McKinney’s charter language giving the City Manager sole authority on personnel matters and personnel decisions and this message is intended to be consistent with the City of McKinney Charter.
The City Council was presented on October 8th with the City Manager’s reasons for the action he alone took on October 5th with Chief of Police Kowalski. This was the first time any of this information was ever communicated to me in any way.  After careful consideration, it is my opinion the information presented would not warrant the reassignment of Chief Kowalski.
I understand the City Manager’s role is to evaluate employees, and while I respect that role, our job as Council Members is to evaluate the City Manager’s performance, including his exercise of judgment in the performance of his duties.
I intend to completely evaluate the City Manager’s job performance and will do so with an open mind.  I do not believe the information presented to me justifies the actions taken by City Manager Gray. Additionally, I feel that the manner in which Mr. Gray executed his decision was extremely disrespectful, unprofessional, and inconsistent with that which our citizen’s demand and city personnel deserve.

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