Former Celina EDC Executive Director, Corbett Howard, Promoted to Director of Government Affairs
In the newly created position, Howard will research and review key pending legislation that may affect the burgeoning city, which straddles the borders of Collin and Denton counties. He also will prepare and coordinate appropriate responses to city staff, lobbyists, local, state and federal legislators as well as monitor and track pending bills.
“I am very excited to take on this critical role,” Howard said. “My job is to be involved in every level of government and to interact with the leaders of cities statewide so that we can keep abreast of legislative proposals and actions that may directly impact Celina. We can’t afford, as a fast-growing city, to stand back and allow things to simply happen around us.”
A former three-term mayor of Celina, Howard is already a familiar face among state lawmakers having led the city’s delegation to Austin during a dozen consecutive legislative sessions. He spent the past decade serving as director of the Celina Economic Development Corporation, building and maintaining key relationships that ultimately brought several large-scale commercial and residential development projects to the city.
As Director of Government Affairs, Howard will continue to assist the city in attracting businesses to Celina. He will also work directly with elected and appointed officials to promote the city’s strategic plans while representing its position on proposed legislation.
During his mayoral terms, from 2002 through 2008, Howard led the creation and development of Celina’s first Comprehensive Land Use Plan and was responsible for Capital Improvement Plan projects that secured water for future city use. He oversaw the voluntary annexation of more than 10,000 acres, which protected the city from Municipal Utility Districts. While leading Celina to home-rule status, he worked to lower its ad valorem tax rate 20 percent over a five-year period and facilitated a pair of successful local-option elections in 2005 and 2010.
Recently, Howard served on the executive committee of Collin County’s 2018 Transportation Bond Program. In November, voters passed the $750 million package that focused on improving the area’s roadways to meet growing transportation demands.
“That will ultimately have a great impact on Celina and all of North Texas,” said Howard, who is also a regional committee review member for the North Central Texas Council of Governments. “As Director of Government Affairs, a large part of my job is to be out front protecting our interests so that we aren’t caught by surprise by local, state and federal government decisions that could potentially have a negative impact on our city.”