After a tumultuous campaign season, McKinney Mayor George Fuller was re-elected for a second term as mayor on May 1, beating his two opponents with 67% of the vote. And according to Fuller, “This past election drew more than double the participation of the previous largest municipal election in our history.”
Despite his win and (no doubt) help mobilizing voters, Fuller had a stressful first term. He first took office as McKinney mayor in May 2017. He dealt with COVID-19, social unrest after George Floyd’s murder and the heavily scrutinized recall of a council member.
Yet, there were good parts, too. Fuller was a huge proponent of masks throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, which helped keep his residents safe. He also established the McKinney Musician Relief Fund to help struggling local musicians. And when Winter Storm Uri hit in February, Fuller kept residents constantly updated on power outages through his Facebook page. He also made house calls to help residents directly and created an email account for those in need of essentials to reach him.
Regardless, now Fuller can look forward instead of back as he stays in his mayoral seat for another four years.
To find out about Fuller’s vision for McKinney after his re-election, Local Profile asked Fuller five questions to help you learn more.
What does it mean to you to be re-elected as the mayor of McKinney?
“I am honored to once again earn the trust of our community and serve as mayor for another four years. I love this city, and with four generations of my family now living in McKinney, I have a vested and personal interest in seeing it continue to thrive. And I am also blessed to have my wife, Maylee, so engaged in our city. For the past 29 years, Maylee has sewn into McKinney with the Love Life Foundation. Becoming and serving as the first lady of this great city provides Maylee with more opportunity to serve and make a difference in the lives of others.”
How do you plan to continue to lead McKinney residents out of the COVID-19 pandemic?
“By every measure, we are seeing a drastic decline in Covid illness. Also, the governor has taken over all authority on protocols and safety measures, leaving private businesses to make decisions for themselves concerning masks and other restrictions and individuals responsible for their own precaution choices. My hope is that we continue practicing safe and responsible measures, not only as it relates to guarding our own health, but that of our more vulnerable family members and neighbors. As a city, we will continue to encourage that. The economic impact of Covid will also continue to be a challenge. Federal funding has been a lifeline for many residents and businesses. But at the local level, we need to continue creative ways to help our businesses survive and grow and again. One example of this was an ordinance change that lifted regulations on restaurant carry-out alcohol that helped promote more restaurant takeout sales in general.”
How do you plan to involve residents in the city’s decision-making processes?
“We televise all open meetings and have public input at the beginning and end of each meeting. Educating the community on these opportunities to participate is one thing we need to do better. We are currently discussing creative ways, outside digital marketing and social media engagement, to educate and encourage resident participation.”
What is the biggest issue facing the city in 2021, and how do you plan to address it?
“We have a housing crisis. We must continue to develop comprehensive housing strategies that address the increasing need for more affordable housing options for our graduating students, teachers, first responders and all that struggle to afford a $354,000 median-priced home in McKinney. That strategy cannot rely solely on multi-family and rental properties. We must be creative in ways to incentivize the private sector to deliver more affordable ownership home options. More affordable housing options are also critical to foster commercial, retail and restaurant development — those amenities that we often travel to other cities for. We have businesses passing on McKinney in fear of a lack of an available, local workforce to sustain them.”
What is one thing you would like to say to McKinney residents who didn’t vote for you?
“My hope is that I earn your trust moving forward. Certainly, I will make mistakes, but know that my commitment will always be to what I believe is in the best interest of our community. A significant factor in determining that is knowing the will of the people. Please, be engaged and have your voice heard. If you have concerns on any issue regarding the community, reach out to me directly. I am extremely accessible. We have a great city — let’s work together to ensure it’s a success.”