At the Aug. 4 meeting, council members each proposed one person to form part of the board that will decide the fate of the James W. Throckmorton statue in downtown McKinney. The remaining four positions were filled by a member from the McKinney Arts Commission, a member from the historic preservation advisory board, one from the Main Street board and one from the Collin County Historical Commission.
Charlie Philips nominated Russel May; Scott Elliott nominated Justin Beller; Rainey Rogers nominated Nathan White; George Fuller nominated Larry Jagours; Frederick Frazier nominated Jimmy Stewart; Rick Franklin nominated Don Day; and La’Shadion Shemwell nominated Kenneth Holloway.
The other members of the advisory board are Latishia Nance from the arts commission, Betty Petkovsek from the historic preservation advisory board, Matt Hamilton from the Main Street board and Paula Ross or her designee from the Collin County Historical Commission.
The advisory board will decide among themselves who should be their chair, per the mayor's suggestion.
Based on discussions during the council’s work sessions in July, the board was put together to address conversations regarding the removal of the statue. Throckmorton was a lawyer and politician and was buried at Pecan Grove Cemetery. He also served for the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. The advisory board would review and assemble information pertinent to the statue, such as its history and the context for it, and incorporate public input, which would be gathered in a variety of formats, including in-person hearings, staff said. The board would also review available options for the statue, which include leaving the statue in place as is with additional signage or paired with other monuments, or relocating the statue under city ownership or new ownership to a different private or public property, according to meeting documents.
Despite ongoing calls for its immediate removal, city staff addressed at a July 7 work session that the old Collin Courthouse is a State Antiquities Landmark and that a permit needs to be filed with the Texas Historical Commission for it to review and approve potential changes to the Throckmorton statue on that property.
The advisory board will meet at least three times before Oct. 6 and work to provide a recommendation on the statue by that date.