Friday, August 14, 2009

McKinney business leaders would entice new firms under Mayor's 100 plan

By ED HOUSEWRIGHT / The Dallas Morning News

Mayor Brian Loughmiller wants McKinney's businesspeople to help sell the city.

He briefed City Council members Friday on a plan called the Mayor's 100, which would use executives to entice companies to move to McKinney.

Loughmiller wants the council to select 10 business leaders in fields such as manufacturing, health care and retail. They, in turn, would each appoint nine colleagues in the field.

All 100 would act as unpaid economic development ambassadors, using their networks to promote McKinney as a good business location.

"People who live in McKinney have expertise and knowledge we can take advantage of," Loughmiller said.

He said the executives wouldn't recruit direct competitors, only companies in the same general industry. For instance, he said, a hospital official might persuade a pharmaceutical firm to relocate to McKinney.

Council members generally expressed support for the program, which has been tried in Dallas, San Antonio and other cities, Loughmiller said.

Loughmiller said the 100 business leaders would not compete against the McKinney Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Corp. or Community Development Corp., which also recruit businesses. Instead, they would work toward a common goal, Loughmiller said.

Council members Pete Huff and Ray Ricchi said the council needed to make sure the other economic development organizations would work with the Mayor's 100 before approving the plan.

"Some of these groups are turf-conscious and jealous," Huff said.

No comments: