On Tuesday, June 7, during the first regular meeting of the McKinney City Council since election day, Councilman Travis Ussery was voted the new Mayor Pro Tem. Ussery, who represents the city's District 3, has begun the final year of his first term in office.
"I am quite humbled and very honored to serve the city in this capacity and I appreciate my colleagues unanimous support," Ussery said following the meeting.
Ussery, who was born and raised in McKinney and graduated from McKinney High School in 1976, is following in his father's footsteps. Leon Ussery was elected to the McKinney City Council in the early '60's and become Mayor Pro Tem in 1966. Leon Ussery became Mayor in mid 1966 and served in that capacity through 1967, choosing not to run for re-election when his term expired.
"I never imagined that I'd be a member of council - it's just wasn't something I ever thought of myself as ever doing, but have been pleasantly surprised by the number of people I've had the opportunity to meet and get to know. Working with Mayor Brian Loughmiller and my other council colleagues has been a unique opportunity to serve with a special team," shared Ussery.
What has been the most surprising aspect of being a member of city for the laconic Ussery, whose real job is as a CPA in downtown McKinney? The amount of time it takes to be an engaged member of council.
"I am surprised by the amount of time it takes to attend and participate in city business - meetings, work sessions and attending city functions take up a large amount of time to do the job effectively," Ussery commented with a smile. "I've also found it much more enjoyable than I initially imagined it (the job as councilman) would be."
That time commitment will surely increase with Ussery's new title as he will stand in for Mayor Brian Loughmiller in his absence.
In other city business, Councilman Ray Ricchi (District 4) and Councilwoman Geralyn Kever (District 2) were sworn in as they each begin their new three ear term in office.
The site plan for Bonnie Wink Park, which will be located in the area between W. Virginia Parkway Bois D Arc Road, was approved. The park will include an amphitheater, an extension of the hike and bike trails and a dog park.
The issue surrounding the Imagine Charter School renting out the McKinney Performing Arts Center on the square in downtown McKinney was tabled at the request of the applicant.