October Newsletter

TCMA Management Messenger

October 2019

Awards and Scholarships
Management Transitions
New Members
New Member Applications
Congratulations
Ethics Corner
The Case for Council-Manager vs Strong Mayor
TCMA to Host Texas Reception in Nashville
Committee Activity
TCMA Idea Share
TCMA Educational Events
Memos on Meetings


Professional Awards Scholarships Picture (JPG)

Awards and Scholarships

Each year, TCMA provides opportunities to recognize colleagues for their outstanding service to the city management profession, honor an outstanding city council for significant contributions to local government in Texas, and recognize an academician who has made significant contributions to the formal education of students pursuing careers in local government. Awards include:

Administrator of the Year Award
City Council of the Year Award
Lifetime Achievement Award
Mentoring Award in Memory of Gary Gwyn
Terrell Blodgett Academician Award

For more information and a nomination form, please click here

TCMA also provides opportunities for professional development through scholarships. Scholarships include:

Barney L. Knight, CPM
Clarence E. Ridley
Leadership Development
Tom Muehlenbeck 

For more information and to apply for a scholarship, please click  here. 


Management Transitions

John R. Dean Jr., retired as the city manager of the City of Ovilla. Pam Woodall (city secretary) is the interim city manager.

John Camarillo is serving as the interim city manager of the City of Carrizo Springs.

Melissa Landin is the new city administrator of the City of Falfurrias.

Steve Norwood is the new town manager of the Town of Trophy Club, effective October 14.

Joseph Price is the new city manager of the City of Canyon.

Sherry Roberts is no longer the city administrator of the City of Dalworthington Gardens.

Robby Silva is the new city administrator of the City of Point Comfort.

Ronaldo Vela is no longer the town manager of the Town of Laguna Vista. Alma Deckard (city secretary) is the interim town manager.

Precious Wafer is the new city administrator of the City of Easton.

Ronald Wilde is no longer the city administrator of the City of Jonestown. Ken Flynn is the new city administrator. 

Erik Zimmer is the new city manager of the City of Alpine.


New Members

The TCMA Management Messenger welcomes the following new members approved by the Executive Board on
September 24, 2019.

Associate: Kelly Davila, Director of Regional Services & Economic Development, Lubbock; Denzel Maxwell, Executive Management Assistant, San Antonio; Dustin McAfee, Development Services Director, Celina

Student: Sandra Bustamante, The University of Texas at San Antonio; Leah Campbell, The University of Texas at San Antonio; Blake Irving, Texas Tech University; Eva Kitchen, The University of Texas at San Antonio; Tylar Phillips, University of North Texas; Peter Sattler, The University of Texas at San Antonio; Marcus Thomas, The University of Texas at San Antonio; Lindsey Walker, The University of Texas at San Antonio  


New Member Applications

The current TCMA Board policy requires that names of new member applicants be published each month in the Management Messenger. Any written objection during the subsequent 30-day period will be reviewed by the Membership Committee. If no objections are received during this time, the names will be submitted to the Executive Committee for approval. Written objections can be mailed to TCMA, Attention: Membership Committee, 1821 Rutherford Lane, Suite 400, Austin, TX 78754. Applications received in the month of September:

Full: Michael Boese, City Manager, Keene; Blake Jurecek, Assistant City Manager, Wichita Falls; Howdy Lisenbee, Assistant City Manager, Pecos City; Olan D. Massingill, City Manager, Brazoria; Theresa Prasil, City Administrator/City Secretary, Teague


CONGRATULATIONS

Anthony Snips Picture (JPG)The TCMA Management Messenger congratulates Anthony Snipes, city manager of the City of Missouri City, was recently selected by the National Academy of Public Administration to the 2019 Class of Academy Fellows. The selection process requires a rigorous review of the individual’s contributions to the field of public administration and policy. To read more about Anthony and the Academy, click here.




Ethics Corner

Tenet 3 - Demonstrate by word and action the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity in all public, professional, and personal relationships in order that the member may merit the trust and respect of the elected and appointed officials, employees, and the public 

Tenet 3 is applicable to all employees of an organization and imperative to be held by the organization’s management team. The tenet is one to which all employees should abide to ensure the trust is an essential trait for the public service we provide as we interact with each other, council members, and the public.     

Public employees must be familiar with the standards they are expected to uphold. There are many ways to make employees aware with these standards and expectations. The City of Corinth, by example, promotes the use of book reading and discussions with the management team. This initiative allows the management team to build teamwork, expand knowledge, create common language, and convey expectations of conduct especially with regard to interactions with each other, residents, and community groups. A recent trio of books proved to be highly successful: 12 Rules for Life (Jordan Peterson), Man’s Search for Meaning (Victor Frankl), and Unmasking Administrative Evil (Guy Adams and Danny Balfour). The books provided a much deeper understanding of the importance of the employees abiding by Tenet 3, including several tenet guidelines outlined for city managers, i.e., public confidence, influence, professional respect, relationships in the workplace, and conduct unbecoming. 

Peterson’s (from 12 Rules for Life) rules 7 (Pursue What is Meaningful) and 8 (Tell the Truth – or at Least Don’t Lie) were significant in generating discussion at a deep personal level and in discussing applications for public service expectations. Peterson cited Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s observation of the Nuremburg trials. The conclusion of those trials: There are some actions that are so intrinsically terrible that they run counter to the proper nature of human being. These are evil actions.  No excuses are available for engaging in them. To dehumanize a fellow being, to reduce him or her to the status of a parasite, to torture and to slaughter with no consideration of individual innocence or guilt, to make an art form of pain – that is wrong. While it is not likely this will ever be encountered in city government, it demonstrates we need to be willing stand up and point out what is wrong, unethical or unhealthy for the organization and community.  Don’t blame others or the world. We need to take a stand and bring to light unethical behavior or we are part of the problem.

And above all, don’t lie.  Don’t lie about anything, ever.  

Peterson expanded that thought in rule 8:  “To tell the truth is to bring the most habitable reality into being.  Truth builds edifices that can stand a thousand years…Truth is the ultimate, inexhaustible natural resource.  It’s the light in the darkness.  See the truth.  Tell the truth.”

Victor Frankl’s classic Man’s Search for Meaning also focused on the Holocaust. During the Holocaust, Frankl spent three years as a prisoner in the Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps. Frankl said that the distinguishing factor was one’s ability to find meaning, and teaches everyone that our ability to find and pursue meaning will strengthen us in any trial, big or small.  Again, the horrors of the Holocaust will not be encountered in city government, but the idea of giving employees a sense of being, why what they do is important not only for the community, but for their well-being is essential.

The third book, Unmasking Administrative Evil, by Adams and Balfour explored how an organization or society could have permitted the holocaust in their book. They claim it is entirely possible to adhere to the tenets of public service and professional ethics, while participating in evil and not being aware of it until it is too late (or perhaps not at all). This is a frightening thought in light of Tenet 3.  The slide toward evil begins with speech or words that negatively references individuals or groups: inferior, stupid, idiots, trouble makers, evil, etc.  Words and actions can marginalize groups or individuals.  Blaming others, scapegoating, diminishes our own responsibility. We must realize our organizations true standards, ethics, expectations to avoid the slide that may start with simple words meant to belittle someone or their thoughts. 

While the three books take on a large worldly evil that occurred years ago and may not be encountered at a local level ever, their messages do tell us that all professionals in public life need to realize that our ethical standards and professional training alone do not adequately address the potential for administrative evil. Open discussion, examples of appropriate behavior, setting a clear course, empowering all employees to act appropriately in the face of bad behavior is critical. 

The discussion of the core themes in the books are relative to Tenet 3.  Three take aways: 1) We must be open and communicate our expectation to treat every person worthy of dignity and respect, especially when we disagree or disprove of their tactics.  2) As leaders in our organizations, we must clearly articulate our belief in public service and expectations of how we will interact and talk with each other about residents and community groups.  And, 3) We must articulate a clear vison of where we are going so employees, especially key staff, can see the full picture of our plans, aspirations, assumptions, and appropriate relationships that will reflect positively on the government and community we serve.

Our organizations will be stronger through these discussions as we follow the guidelines suggested by effective supervisory practices to help us model ethical behavior: know the rules, walk the talk, teach the way, and hold the line. 

(Article submitted by Bob Hart, City Manager, City of Corinth)


THE CASE FOR COUNCIL-MANAGER VS STRONG MAYOR

With the permission of American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), ICMA was granted permission to post a study titled “Ethics by Design: The Impact of Form of Government on Municipal Corruption.” The research found that “the council-manager form of government is 57 percent less likely to have corruption convictions than . . . mayor-council form.” To read the complete study, click Ethics by Design.


TCMA to Host the Annual Texas Reception in Nashville

ICMA Picture (JPG)If you plan to attend the ICMA Annual Conference on October 23-23 in Nashville, be sure to attend the Texasreception. The reception will be on Monday, October 21, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Dierks Bentely’s Whiskey Row, 400 Broadway in Nashville. The James Carothers Band will be the special guest for the evening.


Committee Activity

City Managers of Tomorrow Committee
The City Managers of Tomorrow Committee has developed a new section on the TCMA website titled “Future City Managers.” Information pertinent to students, Managers in Residence (MIR), and universities participating in the MIR Program is available. The Committee welcomes material members would like to share in the Knowledge Repository.  This section provides a collection of tools and resources available to MIRs, university college instructors, and students. In addition, students will use this site to search for internship, micro-internships, and other opportunities to complete their degree or begin a career in local government. The Committee requests your assistance by posting these opportunities in the TML Career Center. To view the full section of the website, click Future City Managers

If  you have questions, please email Tristan Gideon.

Professional Development CommitteeCommittee Pic (JPG)The Professional Development Committee met on September 12-13 in South Padre Island. Educational events for 2020 including the TCMA Annual Conference were planned. Minutes are available at PD Meeting Minutes

Membership CommitteeMembership Committee Picture (JPG)The Membership Committee met on September 27 in Austin. They covered several topics to provide quality benefits for the membership including promoting the awards and scholarship program, developing a social media presence for the organization, and review of membership classifications.


Idea ShareAre You Engaging and Sharing on the TCMA List Serve?

The TCMA list serve provides members with the opportunity to collect and share a wealth of knowledge through document sharing, posting questions, the capability to search question and answer history, following conversation threads, collaborating on city issues, and filtering email notifications by category. This service is available to TCMA members only.

Please carefully read the following guidelines and log in instructions.
Guidelines

•    Always fill in the subject line when posting a document, question, or responding to a comment. This information helps find specific topics.

•    Idea Share will thrive if everyone provides engaging content and discussion. Share your documents, knowledge, and best practices and help improve local government.  

•    Posts to this system are the opinions of the individuals making the post.

•    Be careful of attachments that may contain viruses.

•    Do not forward any information gathered from this list unless you have received permission from the author(s). This includes referrals to vendors.

•    Stay on topic. Replies to a question posted to the group should benefit the entire group – and will be seen by the entire group. If you want your reply to be seen by only one person, email that person directly.

•    Before acting on any information received from the group, a city official should consult with local legal counsel to ensure that the information received complies with current law and the particular facts of each situation. 

•    Members from the private sector, please refrain from soliciting through this service. 

Log in Instructions

•    You must use the email address identified with your TCMA membership to join.
•    You must enter tcma123 in the password field. Your password can be changed after your account is created.
•    After you access your account, you can filter the types of notifications you wish to receive.
•    Begin by clicking TCMA Idea Share 

If you have questions or technical difficulties, please email Kim Pendergraft.


TCMA Educational Events

Save the Dates!

William “King” Cole 1
January 30-31, 2020
Austin

City Management Clinic
February 27-28, 2020
Granbury

William “King” Cole 2
March 26-27, 2020
Bryan

TCMA Annual Conference
June 4-7, 2020
South Padre Island

#ELGL Inspire: TCMA-ELGL Joint Events

October 2, 2019
The University of Texas at Austin-LBJ School of Public Affairs

October 30, 2019
University of Houston

November 13, 2019
Texas A&M University

February 12, 2020
Stephen F. Austin University 

February 19, 2020
The University of Texas-Arlington

Tex-ICMA Coaching Webinars

Promoting Trust in a Divisive World
1:00-2:30 p.m., Thursday, October 10

Having Difficult Conversations in Your Organization and Beyond
11:30 AM – 1:00 p.m., Thursday, November 14


Memos on Meetings

The Advocacy Committee met via conference call on September 5. To view the minutes, click here.  The Committee is scheduled to meet on November 8 in Austin.

The Board met on September 20. To view the minutes, click here

The Membership Committee met on September 27. The Committee is scheduled to meet on January 24, 2020, by conference call.

The Professional Development Committee met on September 12-13. To view the minutes, click here

All information is current as of the 25th of the month prior to publication.

In-Transition Services
To see if you qualify for TCMA In-transition Services, please click here. For a list of current city management job openings in Texas click here.

Career Compass
Career Compass is a monthly column addressing career issues for local governmental professional staff. To view current and past articles, please click here.

TML Educational Calendar
Additional Resources
Visit icma.org for additional training opportunities, resources, and advancement of professional local government around the globe. 

If  you have some interesting news that you would like to see included in the Management Messenger, please email messenger@tml.org.