Flower Mound Leader > News
Jefferson looks forward to new opportunity
As Harlan Jefferson prepares for his new job as Prosper's town manager, he sees a chance to lead a unique town.
Jefferson was named the town manager at Tuesday's council meeting, ending a search that lasted several months. Jefferson starts his job Jan. 21.
Jefferson spent 12 years in Flower Mound, serving as town manager, deputy town manager, chief financial officer, director of finance and treasurer. The Flower Mound Town Council terminated his contract Oct. 8. Mayor Tom Hayden cited differences in economic development philosophies.
Jefferson now has a chance to lead another municipality, and he sees Prosper's future growth as an exciting challenge.
"I became interested in the position due to the challenge and opportunity to help transform the town of Prosper into the community envisioned in the town's comprehensive plan," Jefferson said. "The town of Prosper has economic development attributes not found in many communities such as the community's growth potential, the proposed Dallas North Tollway extension and the Prosper Economic Development Corporation [EDC]. The town manager position will allow me to complement those attributes by building a foundation of staff and infrastructure to support the rapid growth of the community while enhancing the quality of life and customer service for residents."
Prosper, 15,000-resident community located north of Hwy. 380 in Collin County, is likely to see major growth in the coming years.
"The most immediate challenge will be finding ways to provide the infrastructure to accommodate all the planned development such as the 2,300-acre Windsong Ranch and Gates of Prosper projects," Jefferson said. "It's a challenge that the staff and I, along with the council, will be facing in the near term and one which we will take on with great enthusiasm."
Helping fuel that growth is the possible extension of the tollway.
That, along with the EDC, will be new to Jefferson. The Prosper EDC is a 4A corporation authorized by the Texas state legislature to attract businesses to a community utilizing a portion of the sales tax in that community.
"Although I have previously worked in three different communities, this will be the first opportunity I have had to work for a community with a toll way and an Economic Development Corporation," Jefferson said. "These attributes are great assets, and they will be invaluable to Prosper's efforts to expand its commercial tax base."
But with the changes come things that Jefferson is familiar with from his time in Flower Mound.
"Both Flower Mound and Prosper are known for being fast-growing suburbs with small town charm and excellent school districts," Jefferson said. "Many residents are attracted to the communities because of the exceptional school districts, and I am excited about the opportunity to develop a strong relationship with the Prosper Independent School District."
Prosper leaders are excited, too.
"Harlan quickly rose to the upper level of our discussion because of his experience, leadership, temperament, and disposition," said Prosper Mayor Ray Smith. "Prosper is on the verge of major expansion, and we're looking for someone who can relate to all levels of municipal development. We're confident that Harlan can provide the leadership we need as we move forward."