McKinney calls for land sale, recall election in November

A special election will be held Nov. 3 in McKinney to determine the sale of parkland the recall of a council member. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
A special election will be held Nov. 3 in McKinney to determine the sale of parkland the recall of a council member. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

A special election will be held Nov. 3 in McKinney to determine the sale of parkland the recall of a council member. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

McKinney City Council voted Aug. 4 to hold two elections this November: the sale of about 55 acres of park property and the recall election of council member La’Shadion Shemwell.

The elections will take place Nov. 3.

Recall election

Shemwell, the council member for District 1, is facing a recall election more than three years into his four-year term.

The recall process was triggered by a citizen-initiated petition that received more than 3,100 signatures from registered McKinney voters—nearly 1,000 more than needed.


Shemwell was elected to represent District 1, which stretches along the city’s east side. But the recall process in McKinney mandates that voters citywide get to decide whether the council member is removed.

The recall election was originally set for May 2 but was postponed due to COVID-19.

On the Nov, 3 ballot, voters will be asked: “Shall La’Shadion Shemwell be removed from the office of McKinney City Council Member (District 1) by recall?”

If the majority of votes cast are against the recall, Shemwell will remain in office for the rest of his term, which expires in May 2021. But if the majority of votes are in favor of his recall, he will be removed from office.

City Council members would then have the option to fill the vacancy by appointing someone to serve the remainder of his term.

Land sale election

Voters will also be asked on the ballot about the potential sale of park land, commonly known as the Dowell property, which is undeveloped and currently used for grazing livestock, according to the city of McKinney website.

The city acquired the land in 2008, but no physical improvements have been made there. The city’s Parks Master Plan identifies the area as a potential location for a future park. At this time the city has not prepared any conceptual plans or identified timelines or funding sources to deliver any improvements to the property, according to the website.

If the land is offered to third-party purchasers, any development would include a hike and bike trail across the southern portions of the property to maintain the goal of expanding and connecting the overall trail system, according to the city website. At the Aug. 4 meeting, Mayor George Fuller also said it would be the council's intent for any money from the sale of the land to be put back into District 1. Any development would also have to protect the Heard Museum and its wildlife nearby, council members said.

The Dowell property was selected to sell due to its location next to the city’s prior landfill, which limits its development opportunities as a public park. In addition, there is a strong interest in this area for private development, according to the city website.

It is up to the voters to decide if the city can sell any piece of the land. Should voters choose to authorize the city to pursue selling the land, the city could choose to sell all, some or none of it. Any sale of the land would also have to come back before council for final approval.

Should voters approve the item and the city ends up selling the land, proceeds from the sale must be used exclusively for parkland acquisition or the improvement of the city’s parks systems.

At the special election, the following question will be submitted to McKinney voters:

“Shall the City of McKinney, Texas, be authorized to sell certain park property, being 55.234 acres of land located approximately 0.6 miles east of State Highway 5 on Harry McKillop Blvd. and 0.25 miles south on Couch Drive, in the F.T. Duffau Survey, Abstract No. 287, McKinney, Collin County, Texas?”

Voters will be able to respond “yes” or “no” to this question.
By Miranda Jaimes
Miranda has been in the North Texas area since she graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in 2014. She reported and did design for a daily newspaper in Grayson County before she transitioned to a managing editor role for three weekly newspapers in Collin County. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 covering Tarrant County news, and is now back in Collin County as the editor of the McKinney edition.


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