August 2020

TCMA Management Messenger

Management Transitions
New Members
New Member Applications
Meet Your Colleagues
Member News
Ethics Corner
TCMA Educational Events
Memos on Meetings

Intern Graphic

The TCMA City Managers of Tomorrow Committee continues to make a concerted effort to provide timely information for internships for Texas university students who are considering careers in local government. If your city provides internships, the Committee requests that they be posted in the dedicated "Internship/Fellowship" category in the TML Career Center. An Iframe has been created on the TCMA website where students can easily access this information. To view, please click Internships. Another way you can provide information is to complete the Internship Survey by August 14. TCMA hopes to have a large number of city internships from which to choose.

Timing is Critical
The Committee has learned from recent student focus groups that it is imperative that cities post their internship opportunities early in the semester (e.g. January/February). Without a healthy number of city internships to choose from, students will turn to the nonprofit or private sector. This results in a loss of great talent from our profession. In this new world of COVID-19, knowing if your city provides opportunities for interns to work remotely is also a critical component.

Below are types of internships and fellowships for your city to consider and post in the TML Career Center. All positions can be posted complimentary.

Paid Versus Unpaid
Students typically prefer to be paid for their internships, but for some cities, this isn’t an option. Consider partnering with your local university. For example, the university would pay $1,500 per intern per semester. Local governments would match this amount dollar for dollar, thus creating a $3,000 per semester internship wage.

Because not every city can afford or has enough work for a full-time intern, your city could develop a "micro-internship". These opportunities are project-based versus time-based. They cater to executive or online MPA students or traditional MPA students who want to work from home. The student will inquire about the number of hours for a micro-internship, so posting the number of hours is important.

If your city offers year-long or multi-year fellowships, please place these opportunities in the TML Career Center as well. You may also engage with ICMA or Lead 4 America to develop a fellowship program in your city.

If you need assistance or have questions regarding posting positions, email

The Committee thanks the membership for their support to develop talent and provide knowledge and skills for careers in local government. Please share this information with your human resources staff.

Texas City Managers of Tomorrow Committee


Mario Canizares will serve as the new city manager of the City of Nacogdoches, effective August 10.

Tommye Cole is no longer the city manager of the City of Shamrock.

Brant Gary is the interim city manager of the City of Bellaire.

Lisa Hernandez is no longer the city administrator of the City of Natalia. Rene Hinojosa is the new city administrator/city secretary.

Odis Jones is the new city manager of the City of Missouri City.

Melissa Landin is the new city administrator of the City of Eagle Lake.

Laure Morgan is no longer the city manager of the City of Hemphill. Kelli Beall (city secretary) is serving as the interim city manager.

Arvin Tucker is serving as the interim city administrator of the City of Falfurrias.

New Members

The TCMA Management Messenger welcomes the following new members approved by the Executive Board on July 24, 2020.

Full:  Gary Broz, City Manager, Edna; Marty Nelson, City Manager, Ennis; Grayson Path, City Manager, Paris; Kenneth Roberts, City Manager, Karnes City; Heather Robertson-Caraway, Interim City Manager/City Secretary, Breckenridge.

Associate: Jennifer Berkich, Executive Management Assistant, Corpus Christi; Yvette Mendoza, Executive Management Assistant, Corpus Christi

Cooperating: Christian Campbell, Intern, Canyon

Student: Derik Hammes, West Texas A&M University; Alicia Ortman, Texas A&M University

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 July:

Full: Erika McComis, Assistant Town Administrator, Argyle; Sean Overeynder, City Manager, Lamesa; Donald Reese, Assistant City Manager, Brenham; Rachel Shelly, City Administrator, Cresson; Brandon Wright, City Manager, DeSoto

Associate: Rachel Balthrop Mendoza, Assistant to the City Manager, Denton

Cooperating: Lindsey Baker, Director of Government Affairs, Denton County Transportation Authority; Richard Foley, Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities & Operations, St. Mary’s University

meet your colleagues

The TCMA Management Messenger welcomes Ben Thatcher to his new position as city manager of the City of Boerne. Ben’s appointment began on June 15. He started his local government career in 2002 with the City of Southlake as a management intern and worked his way up to assistant city manager before joining the City of Boerne. Ben comes from a municipal government-oriented family. His father is a city manager in Mount Pleasant, and four brothers work for cities in various roles in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Ben holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from the University of Utah with an emphasis on public relations, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of North Texas. He is an ICMA Credentialed Manager, and active member of the International City/County Management Association, and recently finished serving as the chair of the alumni advisory committee for the Master of Public Administration Program at North Texas.

Ben and his wife, Summer, have four sons, Caden, Noah, Connor, and Dallin. Ben enjoys spending time outdoors hiking and camping, and attending sporting events with his family.

Member News

TCMA congratulates Opal Mauldin-Jones, city manager of the City of Lancaster, as a recipient of the 2020 Municipal World Women of Influence in Local Government Award. To read about her honor, please click Congratulations Opal!

Opal Mauldin-Jones, City of Lancaster

ethics corner

Why Should TCMA Code of Ethics be a Standard in the Workplace?

Local city councils have a responsibility to expect and demand high ethical standards in the workplace, as those standards are at the heart of any successful governance. Many cities have adopted ethics ordinances which provide a value map for mayors, councilmembers, and staff to guide them in their decision making process. When a city council is in search of a city manager to lead their city, they should be clear on their organizational values and in turn, that manager should be clear on their ethical standards to uphold those values. This is precisely the reason why the Texas City Management Association (TCMA) developed a code of ethics for this profession – to give ethical city managers and other public administrators a framework of values to follow. The ethical standards of a city manager or other public administrator are the foundation of public service and are vital to ensure public trust and confidence, commitment and accountability, and provide proper employee guidance by local city managers and other public administrators.

Public Trust and Confidence

According to a national survey of cities in the United States, there are “higher perceptions of trust in cities where there are higher perceptions of ethical behaviors” (Feldheim & Wang, 2014). Another study conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2019 reports that public trust in government continues to be down. Showing it is even more important to have a local government viewed as highly ethical.  When hiring a city manager or other public administrator that abides by the TCMA code of ethics, a city is getting a professional. A professional manager affirms the dignity and worth of the local government and is someone whose actions demonstrate integrity. They serve the best interests of the public, understand their role, provide credit to the elected representatives, and refrain from all political activities. They continue to improve themselves and others professionally and keep their community informed. And they resist encroachment on their professional responsibilities, handle personnel based on merit, and never leverage their position.  It is the professional code of ethics which informs the public of what to expect of their city manager. The code gives residents a reason to reconsider negative stereotypes of government leaders and restore the public trust and confidence in their government.

Commitment and Accountability

“An ethical decision-making model with accountability proposes that various forms of accountability will influence ethical intentions” (Beu, 2003). All TCMA members agree to follow the code of ethics. TCMA provides a process for investigating and determining whether a member has violated their code of ethics and, if needed, imposing sanctions. This ensures that when a city hires a TCMA member, that city is getting a person committed to make decisions based on a set of ethical standards. If they fail to do so, they will be reprimanded or possibly expelled from TCMA membership. This accountability ensures that a city receives a person that is committed to their city with a professional code that protects the public interest.          

Workplace Ethics Ensures Management Guides and Mentors Their Employees Well

When city leadership live in their daily lives a set of principles which highlight “honest behavior by employees, encourage employee openness, and promote organizational and individual loyalty to the public interest,” not just while “on the job,” but 24/7, the public trust can be restored (Feldheim & Wang, 2014). When the city employs professionals that follow the TCMA code of ethics, they are instilling a culture of leadership across the organization that trickles down to all employees. That leadership by example guides employees and builds an influential and strong ethical organizational culture. According to a 2012 Great Place to Work Institute study, the most ethical workplace cultures outperformed peer indicators by almost 300 percent. Good ethics equals good governance.

When a city is faced with complex choices, its residents will feel confident that their entire organization is committed and accountable to expected, reasonable, and higher standards. Municipalities can be assured that when they hire city managers and public administrators who abide by the TCMA code of ethics, they are getting a professional that answers to the people they serve. Ethics are the cornerstone on which strong cultures are built upon, and the TCMA code of ethics can help shape and maintain a civil and effective government.

(Article submitted by Crystal Caldera, Assistant City Manager, Leon Valley)


#ELGL Inspire: TCMA-ELGL Joint Events

We will be back for the fall semester. Stay tuned for more information.

Tex-ICMA Coaching Webinars

Managing Hostility in Public Discourse: Living in an Age of Anger
12:30-2:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 9

Charting Your Future: Developing Your Personal Strategic Plan
12:30-2:00 p.m., Thursday, October 22

Talent Management in the 21st Century: Growing, Attracting, and Retaining Your Best
12:30-2:00 p.m., Thursday, November 12

Memos on Meetings

The Ethics Committee met on July 20 via video conference. The minutes are available here.

The Board will meet on August 7 via video conference.

The Public Policy Task Force met on July 23 via video conference. The minutes are available here. The next meeting will be August 13 via video conference.

The Professional Development Committee will meet on August 21 via video conference.

The Allies Across Texas Task Force will meet on August 28 via video conference.

The Membership Committee will meet on September 18 via video conference.

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.

Additional Resources
Visit 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