Monday I attended the ground breaking for Traxxas North America, a manufacturer of radio controlled model cars. Traxxas is building a $40 million dollar complex on 30 acres in Craig Ranch located at Collin McKinney Parkway and Stacy Road. This new facility will house over 200 employees, a meeting theater seating 300 people, a 75,000 square foot car museum, similar to the National Corvette Museum out side of
Bowling Green, a distribution center, a retail store and several small model car race tracks to be used for consumers. If you have never operated one of their cars, you are in for a treat.
As dignitaries were introduced and were allowed to speak for a few minutes, I was struck by the comments of Mike Jenkins, President/CEO and Owner. In his remarks he said a number of times that if it were not for the persistence of Mayor Brian Loughmiller they would not be relocating from Plano to McKinney. Brian took it upon himself to approach Traxxas’ management staff and Mike Jenkins to convince them of McKinney’s viability. The next meeting was with David Craig, President of Craig International. David can be pretty convincing. After some hard negotiations, Traxxas agreed to come to McKinney.
The next step was to meet with Keith Clifton, Chairman of McKinney Economic Development Corporation. Keith did a terrific job in negotiating on behalf of the City and MEDC. The end result was the agreement for Traxxas to come to McKinney. Gratitude and thanks goes out to our Mayor, David Craig and Keith Clifton for putting together a package that was a “win-win” for everyone involved but especially the citizens of McKinney.
The other thank you I have for the Mayor is for finding Jason Gray, our new City Manager. The City had hired a consulting firm to find qualified individuals to assume the vacated position of McKinney City Manager. The short list was presented to Council to begin the interview process for the position. The Mayor, after studying the list, went out on his own to find a City Manager. He had found out that Jason Gray, who was the City Manager for Celina and served as the Assistant City Manager in Frisco, had made the short list for the City Manager’s position in Round Rock, Texas. With Council approval, the Mayor and current Mayor Pro Tem, Travis Ussery, contacted Jason Gray regarding his possible interest in McKinney. Mr. Gray was
interviewed by the Council and then unanimously selected.
Brian, on behalf of the Citizens of McKinney, I want thank you for thinking outside of the box. Putting aside “business as usual” and the same old “status quo” procedures that ran off other businesses that chose McKinney first. It is this kind of thinking and action that will move our City to the next level of greatness. You have set an example for other city leaders to follow. You saw a need and instead of forming a committee
to explore the opportunity, you took action and brought the opportunity to those that needed to work out the details. Great job, Mr. Mayor.