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34.5 Years Of Dedication

Frisco's First And Only To-Date City Manager Retires This Summer

When George Purefoy became a proud Frisco resident in 1987, he also became the city's first manager. After nearly 35 years in that leadership role, George is set to retire on June 30.

“The only reason for my retiring is that since I will be 70 this June, I need to take some time to do some of the big items that Debra [his wife] wants to do while we are both still physically able to do so," George explained to fellow city staffers when he announced his retirement. Those "big items" include overseas travel -- trips that he and Debra wanted to take since they were married but didn't have long enough stretches of time to do so, he says. 

As a natural problem solver, George confirms one of the job components he's enjoyed most is being part of solving the difficult issues present in a burgeoning city. "The more complex the issue, the more I enjoy it," he adds, with a knowing chuckle.

He cites the long-running dispute since 2012 over the cleanup of lead-contaminated property owned by a battery recycling plant, Exide Technologies, as the most challenging matter with which Frisco representatives dealt. City officials still envision a park that will accommodate a bike-and-hike trail, triathlons, rowing teams, festivals, 5Ks and open spaces.

Frisco Back Then

When George started on the job, the City of Frisco employed only 50 people and its population was about 5,000. Now, Frisco employs more than 1,300 people and its population has grown to about 215,065. In fact, a U.S. Census Bureau study in May 2020 named Frisco the nation's fastest-growing city due to its 71.1 percent population growth rate between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2019.  As of January 2022, the city is 77% developed. Current city population projections indicate the city may grow to approximately 325,000 by 2030.

Although George says Frisco's potential was clearcut, he adds that in the mid-to-late 90s there was little interest from external sources in doing business that far North. "No wanted to let us in to see them, but the mall changed that. It was like a stamp of approval. Then circumstances flipped into a sea of change. We weren't expecting how fast it came, but it sure was nice. We certainly accomplished a lot."

Prior to joining the Frisco city staff, George had been city manager for the City of Columbus, Texas, and prior to that, city administrator of the City of Taylor Lake Village, Texas. Before that, he served as administrative assistant for the City of Boerne, Texas. He holds a master's degree in public administration. In the past, he also worked as teaching/research assistant at East Texas State University, and was a former police officer in Arlington, Texas.

George is considered the “lead architect” of Frisco's public-private partnerships that resulted in developing several prominent hotspots, such as Stonebriar Centre, Toyota Stadium, the Comerica Center, The Star in Frisco and most recently, the relocation of PGA Of America headquarters from Florida. 

"The PGA project surprised me, and was a reminder to never give up," he says. 

Executive search and advisory services firm Affion Public, headquartered in Hershey, Pennsyvlania, was hired to find a new Frisco city manager. Under administrative direction of City Council, Frisco's city manager performs duties of chief executive officer in the administration of all services, affairs, and programs of the city. The firm posted the position on Feb. 23 with the deadline of March 23 for receiving resumes. They are slated to finish finalist interviews by the end of May. 

True to George's steadfast nature, he says he's willing to stay on, if necessary, until the new manager can get settled. 

Recent Accolades During George's Tenure

In 2018, Frisco topped Money Magazine’s prestigious list of ‘Best Places to Live in America.' Frisco made Money's list again in 2021-22, ranking No. 19. Other, recent notable city highlights include:

  • No. 1 Best Real Estate Market in the U.S. (2021, Wallethub)
  • No. 1 Best City to Do Business in Texas (2020, homecity/Better Homes & Gardens)
  • No. 1 Most Recession Proof City (2020, Smartasset)
  • Safest Cities in America (No. 5, 2022 – Moneygeek; No. 2, 2021, Smartasset)
  • No. 2 Best City for Jobs After Graduation (2020,
  • No. 22 Best Cities for First-Time Homebuyers (2021, Wallethub)

George's words of wisdom revolve around the fact that major financial investments by Frisco's mayors and councilmembers through the years always brought big dividends. "Investments came back manyfold. Our leaders always wanted to invest in the city and they made good decisions. As a city manager, you can't ask for better than that," he states. "It's been a great career, especially here. And it's been an absolute privilege to represent Frisco."