My family and I moved to McKinney back in January from California, where I served in law enforcement for 21 years. I watched local jurisdictions annex land from “county” into “city” largely for financial gain. But what I witnessed in doing so was a strain on local law enforcement to now serve a much larger geographic region without additional resources. In hindsight for city leaders, the annexation action was likely a regrettable decision.
McKinney’s annexation situation is slightly different, and although I have concerns regarding additional strain on public safety, my larger concern rests with the simple fact that this proposed involuntary annexation is being forced upon a minority of roughly 130 families who appear very vocal against the annexation. That alone is a moral, ethical, and just reason to cause pause on this matter.
As you may already know, the Texas Legislature passed a law, signed by the Governor, ending this practice of “forced annexation,” but the law does not take effect until December 1. In the meantime, it appears some McKinney leaders are in favor of forced annexation, and doing so before the new law takes effect.
My question to city leaders is simple: Why not wait until January and put the issue up to a vote of the people, as required by the new law, and let’s see how this plays out?
Like any good argument, one must also understand the reason why some McKinney leaders want the land now. The reason? Because they likely wouldn’t get voter approval should they wait for the new law to take effect.
I get that from a “city perspective,” the city wants to grow – they need the land to do so. City planners and city manager are likely “doing their job” by advocating for the forced annexation now. I can’t blame them.
However, from a leadership perspective, the forced annexation fails on all levels. Instead, our city leaders should wait until December, then create a strong proposal describing the benefits of the annexation, hold town halls, and put the matter to a vote of the people, not the politicians.
I believe McKinney cares enough to do the right thing.
NOTE: Public hearings on McKinney’s forced annexation plan are scheduled for October 16 and 17, with a final city council vote set for November 7.