FORNEY, Texas — The Forney Economic Development Cooperation Board of Directors issued a letter to the Forney City Council on Thursday raising concerns about City Manager Anthony "Tony" Carson, missed economic opportunities under his direction, and a culture and atmosphere of retribution and intimidation.
The letter, dated March 25, 2021, and obtained by inForney.com, was signed by Board President Joe Dan McBeth and reviewed, and in agreeance with, a majority of the board, the letter states.
The letter states the EDC has been unable to secure a candidate, since the departure of former EDC Director Warren Ketteman and Specialist Stewart McGregor, who is qualified and a good fit for the Forney community. The City of Forney is now in its third round of applications to fill the vacated seats.
"Word of our environment has gotten out and is making the search for a quality person much more difficult," reads the letter.
The letter raised a number of issues including, among other things, the involvement of the EDC in funding $200,000 of the City of Forney's Christmas lights project, large economic opportunities that were lost, a lack of collaboration, and a general lack of transparency and truthfulness in Carson's dealings with the board.
In referencing lost economic opportunities, the letter states three major developments in Forney have either been delayed or abandoned.
"The latest instance, regarding the biggest economic development opportunity Forney would have ever seen and will probably never see again, was abandoned by the developer due to its conversations and lack of productive negotiations with Mr. Carson," continues the letter. "From the little information we have gathered, it is our understanding that they did not even respond to Mr. Carson's 'offer' and is now looking for other sites."
"The EDC Board was neither informed nor asked for any input on the project," the letter states. "The Board was not informed that the negotiations were actually taking place."
"The EDC Board historically has excellent input on Economic Development - even if it does not end up contributing funds directly. Unlike Mr. Carson, the EDC Board does believe in taking into consideration the benefit to the schools as well, especially when it is potentially a very, very large annual increase of property tax revenue to the school every year."
"We also believe considerations should be made for what benefits the City will inherit, instead of solely focusing on what is being given up. In this case, proper incentives that would have been a steppingstone for Forney receiving multi-million dollars in tax revenue for both the school district and the City, basically vanished."
"Again, there was ZERO discussion with the EDC Board and the loss in revenues is almost unfathomable," continued the letter. "That alone should be cause for great concern for our future developments and to where or whom Mr. Caron's loyalty lies."
The letter requested two joint meetings each year with the Forney City Council, given the "current situation."
"We have expressed our concerns on several occasions for over a year and have not been heard," states the letter.
Read the complete four-page letter, below: