A group of concerned McKinney citizens have banded together to form a general-purpose Political Action Committee, aimed at exposing and correcting what it calls “the recently-reported ethics violations at City Hall. ”
It said its mission is to monitor, with a critical eye, the activities of the city government of McKinney to ensure transparency, openness and unquestioned ethical behavior in the leadership and management of the citizens’ government.
“We are educating the citizenry about the ethics violations at City Hall and pushing hard for change,” said Laura Kayata, the group’s media spokeperson and interim chairman. “We love McKinney and are opposed to what’s happening in our city government. McKinney deserves better than this.
“I like to say ‘we are not fighting city hall, but righting City Hall.’ ”
Kayata is a former City of McKinney employee and McKinney Chamber of Commerce executive (Director of Marketing and Public Policy) who now owns a McKinney-based advertising and PR firm.
The group is in the process of filing the PAC with Texas Ethics Commission and naming a treasurer, a step required before donations of $500 may be received or spent.
According to its press release, the PAC is working against the following:
— City Manager Jason Gray’s “factual and documented ethics violations and cronyism.”
— The “brain drain” — i.e., the firing and forcing-out of many of McKinney’s qualified municipal management team to “make room for Jason Gray’s inexperienced `replacements.’ ”
— The “waste of tax dollars paying severance packages to the fired / terminated individuals (a figure reported last year at $650,000, and possibly higher now).”
According to its press release, the PAC is working for the following:
— The move toward more transparency in McKinney’s municipal government. In 2012, after Jason Gray was hired, McKinney was named the least transparent city in the entire state (based on requests to Texas Attorney General’s office to squelch information requested by the public, as reported by publicintegrity.org).
— The engagement and encouragement of citizens to: stand up for what’s right, get involved, speak up and vote in our elections.
McKinney’s city charter is set up in such a way that it allows the city manager to have unilateral control, the PAC claims, leaving too much power in the hands of the CM. One option the PAC is exploring is bringing a voter initiative petition to city council to amend the charter to allow more checks and balances.
For more info, or to get involved, visit mckinneywatchdog.com.