Ray Eckenrode - Candidate for Collin County Commissioner
Ray Eckenrode, candidate for Collin County Commissioner for Precinct 3 proclaims, “Our citizens deserve leaders who are open, transparent, and available”. The problem is that the candidate has chosen to run a campaign that is decidedly not, open, transparent nor available.
Eckenrode declined the opportunity to be interviewed by Town Square Buzz’s Angie Bado, stating it was not part of his "campaign strategy" and he preferred to spend more time talking with the people in person. This seems to be a very odd campaign strategy. In my experience, candidates would accept an invitation to a dog christening, if they thought five voters would be there. Eckenrode has also bailed on some of the candidate forums.
Why would any candidate in Collin County take a pass on a chance to reach out to voters?
Based upon facts, that I will present in a series of essays, one wonders if Eckenrode appears to be ducking venues, where he could be asked uncomfortable questions. Some of those questions might concern his relationship with, and possible conflict of interest with, Wall Street Tycoon and Independent Bank Group (IBG) founder Vincent Viola and Independent Bank Group CEO David Ray Brooks, the At-Large McKinney Councilmember
Eckenrode will accept the taxpayer funded, full-time salary and benefits as County Commisioner, while he continues to operate as the sole manager for Appian Commericial Realty that will continue "to serve commercial real estate property owners and investors in Collin and Grayson Counties". Viola and Brooks have plenty of financial and real estate interests in Collin and Grayson counties.
Through Viola's fat wallet and Brooks's connections, since 1994 they have acquired a impressive portfolio of property in Collin and Grayson Counties under the names of: Viola, Vincent J, Viola Lordsmeer LP, Viola Vincent ET AL, Viola Blue Ridge, IBG Adriatica Holdings Inc, IBG Real Estate Holdings, Independent Bank, Paloduro Park Building LTD ETAL and IBG Aviations Holdings, Inc.
Their portfolio includes over 2,500 acres in Collin County, including the area dubbed "Violaville" (inspired by Pottersville in "It's a Wonderful Life"), fronting Highway 75 near Anna and shown below as a orange blot:
They also hold others properties around McKinney including Adriatica, the Croatian styled fishing village. Collin County Appraisal District lists the appraised value of all the property at about $100 million. A google map with values is found at this link.
To facilitate their acquisistions, they have also set up a number of companies, such as, VDB Investments, Paloduro Investments, Paloduro Management Company, Paloduro Park Building, Sidmouth Holdings, VB Bancshares, Viola 10.9 Management Co, Viola 10.9, RRB Investments, Viola Blue Ridge Management Co, Viola Blue Ridge, Viola Paloduro Park Management, and Mantua Development Company. All this is just what investigation has uncovered.
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