Wednesday , 23 May 2018

Executive Director of McKinney’s Historic Chestnut Square Placed on Administrative Leave

By Angie Bado, TSB Publisher

Cindy Johnson, Executive Director of the Chestnut Square Historic Village in downtown McKinney, confirmed to on Wednesday that she has been formally placed on administrative leave. Johnson, who has served as executive director for six years, said the decision was made on Tuesday, April 23 following a strategic planning meeting by members of the board – the Heritage Guild of Collin County

In an email statement to TSB, Johnson said, “I was verbally placed on administrative leave by The Heritage Guild of Collin County Board Chair Pat Rodgers and Vice Board Chair Hamilton Doak on Tuesday, April 23.  The reason stated was insurbordination and lack of respect for the office of the vice-chair of the board. This occurred after a strategic planning meeting in which I questioned several proposed strategies put forward by the vice-chair.”

After financial struggles in recent years, Chestnut Square is now profitable, partly due to the weekly farmers’ market that is held on the Chestnut Square grounds on Saturdays during the spring, summer and early fall. Johnson was instrumental in bringing the market to Chestnut Square and has grown the market to include nearly 50 different vendors. The Farmers’ Market at Chestnut Square has been chosen as the second-best farmers market in Texas and third-best in the nation. 

Johnson also told TSB that she was just notified that she has been selected as one of the top 25 women in business in McKinney by the McKinney Chamber of Commerce.

Johnson said she received an email on Friday, April 26 informing her of a special meeting of the board scheduled for Wednesday, May 8 at 5 p.m. The subject of the meeting is a “personnel issue”and there is no agenda attached.

“I have enormous confidence in the staff, volunteers, and Farmers Market vendors and know that Chestnut Square will continue to function successfully during my absence. We have strong work processes in place and the staff is committed to continuing to deliver excellence to our customers,” Johnson said via email.

Although the Heritage Guild Board Chair Pat Rogers said that the board is not willing to comment on the situation with Johnson, she did confirm that Johnson will remain on administrative leave at least until the meeting scheuled for May 8.

“Our staff (at Chestnut Square) is very dedicated and it’s business as usual,” Rogers said. “The farmers’ market is going on without a hitch and the many programs we offer are functioning as usual. We are already working on plans for the Killis Melton Ice Cream Crank-Off, which will be take place on Saturday, June 8. Our focus is on Chestnut Square and we are looking to the future.”


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