McKinney EDC chairman resigns over concerns with ‘objectiveness and bias’

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comment from the McKinney Economic Development Corp. 

McKinney Economic Development Corp. Chairman Jason Burress resigned from the board due to what he says is “objectiveness and bias in the analysis and presentation of certain projects” delivered to the MEDC board.

The announcement came during an MEDC board meeting Feb. 19.

“Also, [I] believe that we’ve made some radical overnight changes and plans to major master developments seemingly where we’ve turned on a dime and which I believe are harmful and also send a poor message to the development community,” he said at the Feb. 19 meeting. “… There are also certain things in terms of the way that we’re allowing projects to be negotiated I don’t feel are in our best practices, at least in my humble view.”

Presentations to the economic development board come from MEDC staff as well as city staff and developers. Burress did not name any specific projects or presentations in his announcement to fellow board members. He told them he was being “purposefully vague.” He declined to comment further when reached by Community Impact Newspaper.

“The MEDC has made significant progress during Jason Burress’ 5-year tenure as [a] board member and chairman of the MEDC,” MEDC President Peter Tokar said in an email. “He is passionate about our community as both a resident and business owner in McKinney and his influence as chairman will have lasting effects in the organization despite his departure.”

City of McKinney staff did not respond to requests for comment made by Community Impact Newspaper.

McKinney City Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. March 4 to appoint a new MEDC board member, according to McKinney Mayor Pro Tem Tracy Rath. The MEDC board will appoint a new board chair during a special meeting called for 8 a.m. March 5 at McKinney City Hall.

Burress has been on the board for three and a half years and served as chairman for three years.

“I’m truly honored to have served in this capacity and hope that the citizens of McKinney know that I have served to the very best of my ability,” said Burress, who is also the founding attorney of Burress Law, which operates in McKinney.

The MEDC was created in 1993 to support the development, expansion and relocation of new and existing companies. The corporation is primarily funded with the levy of a half-cent sales tax. The MEDC has offered incentives and capital investments to companies including Playful Corp., Raytheon Co. and Simpson Strong-Tie Co.

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Cassidy Ritter
Cassidy graduated from the University of Kansas in 2016 with a degree in Journalism and a double minor in business and global studies. She has worked as a reporter and editor for publications in Kansas, Colorado and Australia. She was hired as senior reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Plano edition in August 2016. Less than a year later, she took the role of editor for the McKinney edition.
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