Margaret Harsch is running for the District 3 seat in the upcoming McKinney City Council election. Harsch is running against Gavin Nicholson, Sheila Johnson, Scott Elliott and Jeremiah Hammer. Current District 3 representative, Travis Ussery, has reached his term limit for the position. Early voting begins April 24 and Election Day is May 6.
Harsch is running against Gavin Nicholson, Sheila Johnson, Scott Elliott and Jeremiah Hammer. Current District 3 representative, Travis Ussery, has reached his term limit for the position. Early voting begins April 24, and Election Day is May 6.
I am a manager for Electronic Forms Solutions. We are a McKinney-based company. We develop software primarily for nonprofits that provide scholarships and grants in their communities.
Why are you running for McKinney City Council?
I want to be a genuine representative for the residents of District 3 and provide them with a say in the issues being addressed by the council. I intend to be an independent leader. I am free from conflict of interest, and I will be able to vote on every issue with the current community and the future of the city in mind. I will be smart on growth. McKinney continues to grow and change rapidly, which is a good thing. But we need to strike the right balance between the “math” of growth and the “mission” to keep McKinney unique.
I will protect our historic neighborhoods. The McKinney historic district and downtown square are part of what makes our city a destination and they are at the core of District 3. I want to make this area of the city accessible and welcoming to every resident of McKinney and to our many out-of-town visitors, and I want to be sure we protect the uniqueness of this area and respect the needs of those who live in the historic district.
What issues do you feel the city will face within the next few years?
McKinney is continually growing in size, but expanding our corporate tax base is a current problem that will only become more important as the rest of the town expands. McKinney also lacks much-needed thoroughfares and efficient transportation that will allow us to welcome new business into the city. The demographic trends show that Collin County will double in size in the next 15 years; our previous business growth has not kept pace with our housing growth and our traffic patterns had not been planned for this explosive growth. We must work today to build in such a way that we can pace with the current community and plan for our futures as more and more people join us.
Given our tremendous growth, the city will be in “decision-making” mode constantly. It is critical that the city council be responsive and representative of the population. Leadership needs to be inclusive and patient, and solicit input from citizens. We need transparent leadership that responsibly acts on behalf of citizens rather than special interests.
If elected, how would you address those issues?
The city needs to be smart about growth and development by being more proactive than reactive. It is important that the city partner with companies. We must attract, not deter, companies by ensuring that we have key people on city staff in place to make business relationships work.
Simply based on the projected growth of Collin County, the city must be prepared to deal with increasing transportation decisions. By gathering input from the citizens, county, and state, the council and I would be able to make the best decisions regarding our city’s growth.
I intend to be an independent, collaborative leader. In times of growth and change, we need to have leadership that gives credence to opinions of residents in decision making.
What qualifications do you possess that make you a prime candidate for the position?
Being anchored in the community allows me to represent the needs of the city. I live and work in McKinney so I am in constant contact with citizens and businesses. This allows me to know what concerns and ideas are of utmost importance to those that live here in our city. I am a good listener and team builder, with extensive management and administrative experience. I can use these skills to be a facilitator.
Citizens have the ability to be well informed and I believe I can be a conduit between the concerns and needs of the citizens and the council as we plan for the future.