Community Impact Newspaper sent Mott a set of questions about his candidacy. This article is part of ongoing May 4 election coverage and does not constitute an endorsement of the candidate. His responses below have been edited for publication style.
Why are you running for McKinney City Council’s at large seat?
My wife, Jennifer, and I are proud to have deep roots in this community that has been our families’ hometown for generations. Although McKinney is no longer the small town that we once knew, we still want our son, Sam, and the kids of his generation to enjoy the benefits and opportunities of growing up here that we had. We’ve experienced tremendous growth over the past 25 years since I graduated from McKinney High School. We should expect similar growth over the next 25 years. I’m running for City Council to ensure that we plan responsibly and empower city staff with the tools to encourage the right kind of growth that will allow us to maintain our community’s unique nature and quality of life.
What experience—professionally or politically—do you have that would prepare you for this position?
As an attorney, I’m trained to mediate conflict and to help people find solutions to complex problems where all parties can feel some satisfaction with the outcome. In court, I often work with issues that have technical or emotional complexities, and I find ways to talk about and resolve those issues with judges and other interested parties. On the political side, I first worked on a City Council campaign 18 years ago when my late uncle, Gabe Nesbitt, was elected to serve on the McKinney City Council. As I watched him during his tenure, I saw how a principled, pragmatic, hard-working public servant could make a real difference in our community, working cooperatively with fellow council members and city staff to move McKinney forward. I aspire to be the kind of public servant that he was.
If elected, what would be your top priorities for the city?
1) We must be proactive in building the infrastructure that will accommodate the growth we expect, with an emphasis on the expansion of east-west thoroughfares north of US 380.
2) Protect our open spaces and expand our parks to provide opportunities for our children to play outside.
3) Streamline the planning and development process so that we’re friendly to businesses that want to join our community.
4) Work with organizations like the McKinney Economic Development Co. and better utilize city-owned assets like McKinney National Airport to expand our commercial tax base to provide property tax relief to McKinney homeowners.
What is your stance on the proposed US 380 alignments?
The US 380 problem is an example of what happens when you fail to adequately plan or respond to foreseeable growth. We’ve been discussing traffic problems on 380 for over 20 years. The option to widen 380 will have a detrimental effect on businesses along the 380 corridor, and will create a traffic nightmare on a thoroughfare that is already congested and dangerous. The bypass alignments currently proposed by the Texas Department of Transportation do not respect the private property rights of longtime McKinney residents. Neither option by itself will be satisfactory solution.
What should the city be doing to address the projected population growth, especially as it relates to providing city services?
The City Council, in coordination with city staff, industry experts, and concerned citizens, adopted the ONE McKinney 2040 Comprehensive Plan late last year. I believe it’s a great plan. The council should empower the city manager and city staff to aggressively enact the components of that plan, making sure that their work reflects the city of McKinney’s core values of respect, integrity, service and excellence.