December 2020

TCMA Management Messenger

Statewide Elections
Membership Dues
Management Transitions
New Members
New Member Applications
Meet Your Colleagues
Sympathy
TCMA Hires a Digital Media Coordinator
Professional Awards and Scholarships
Assistant of the Year Award
Short and Long Term Financial Implications of COVID-19 Literature Review
Ethics Corner
City Managers of Tomorrow
TCMA Educational Events
Memos on Meetings


Nominations Now Open-v2


We are now accepting petitions for prospective candidates for the following statewide offices: President-Elect (2021-2022), Vice President (2021-2022), and Director-at-Large (2021-2023).

As you think about candidates for these statewide TCMA Board positions, we encourage you to consider the following factors: active involvement in TCMA, active involvement in the TCMA region, years of municipal government service, TCMA committee service, desire to serve, level of regional support, and prior TCMA Board service. The Nominating Committee will consider each person's candidacy in light of the current composition of the Board and will strive to achieve a balance among such factors as geography, size of the city, ethnicity, and gender.

Thank you for your support and participation in TCMA.  If you have any questions, please contact the TCMA staff at 512-231-7400.

The Nominating Committee encourages you to familiarize yourself with the nomination and election schedule. For complete election information and a nomination form, please click 2021 TCMA Election.


membership dues


It’s time to renew your 2021 TCMA membership and continue to receive the many benefits you enjoy as a member. Please remember that region dues are separate from statewide dues and should be paid to your respective region. To renew your statewide dues online, click TCMA Dues. This is also a good time to update your membership profile and can be accomplished at the same link.

TCMA Full and Associate members are required to complete two hours of ethics training every two years as a condition of continued membership in TCMA. Members should keep a record of their training in their personal files. Only TCMA, ICMA, and TML ethics trainings fulfill the requirement. Online training is available at TCMA Online Ethics Training.

Among your TCMA membership benefits are:

  • Discounted registration to TCMA educational events, including the TCMA Annual Conference, William "King" Cole programs, and the City Management Clinic 
  • Complimentary online ethics training
  • Scholarship opportunities for professional development
  • Salary Survey for members with Full membership status
  • Access to the TCMA Knowledge Base
  • Support through a variety of in-transition services 
  • Senior Advisor Program to assist with personal and professional issues
  • Coaching Program to grow talent, initiate staff development, and access free webinars
  • Inclusion in the online TCMA Membership Directory
  • Discounted subscription to Texas Town & City magazine, as well as TCMA publications
  • Opportunities to learn of both association and profession-related news items from TCMA's monthly newsletter, Management Messenger, which is emailed to members and is also available on the TCMA website. This publication contains information about TCMA members, their cities, and other items of interest.

Thank you for your support and participation in TCMA.  If you have any questions, please contact the TCMA staff at 512-231-7400.

MANAGEMENT TRANSITIONS


Rick Holden is no longer the city manager of the City of Alvarado. Emile Moline is serving as the interim city manager.

Alberto Perez is no longer the city manager of the City of Rio Grande City. Noe Castillo is serving as the interim city manager.

Jud Rex will no longer be the city manager of the City of Denison, effective December 11. Bobby Atteberry will serve as the interim city manager.

Craig Spencer is serving as the city manager of the City of Everman.

Amy Wallace is serving as the city administrator of the City of Crosbyton


New Members


The TCMA Management Messenger welcomes the following new members approved by the Executive Board on November 23, 2020.

Full: Amanda Hill, City Manager, Rusk; Lisa Palomba, City Administrator, McLendon-Chisholm; Claire Powell, Assistant City Manager, Lewisville

Associate: Nicholas Montagno, Assistant to the City Manager, Boerne; Vanessa Ramirez, Deputy Director of Public Works, Odessa; Robert Valenzuela, Director of Public Works, Sugar Land

Student: Amanda Hemple, The University of Texas at San Antonio; Abdoulie Jarju, the University of North Texas; Chuyone McGuire-Ford, Texas A&M University; Douglas Waters, The University of Texas at Arlington; Lee Wright, Texas State University;
Blake Wyne, Stephen F. Austin State 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 November:

Full: Wade Willson, City Manager, Spearman

Associate: Carey Neal Jr., Assistant to the City Manager, Lancaster; Michael Neujahr,
Fire Chief, Copperas Cove

meet your colleagues


The TCMA Management Messenger welcomes Bruce Green as the new city manager of the City of Lufkin. Bruce’s appointment began on October 6, after serving for three months as the interim city manager. Bruce began his service at the City of Lufkin as city attorney, later being promoted as the deputy city manager. Prior to joining the City of Lufkin administration, Bruce served as a constitutional attorney and was involved in legal education. 

Bruce and his wife returned to Bruce’s roots in Texas in 2007, followed by the relocation of their children and grandchildren. Bruce and his wife, Debra, have four children and seventeen grandchildren.


Sympathy


TCMA is saddened by the passing of Ross Calhoun Sr. on November 3. Ross served the City of Arlingon for more than 20 years where he was appointed as city manager when he was 32 years old and is remembered by being instrumental in attracting the Texas Rangers to Arlington.

A funeral service was held outside on Friday, November 13. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Heart Association in honor of Ross. 

Please keep his wife Cheryl and family in your thoughts and prayers.


tcma hires a digital media coordinator


Stacey OsbornePlease give a big TCMA welcome to Stacey Ford Osborne. Stacey will work alongside TCMA as a digital media coordinator. Stacey will work to promote and engage those interested in the city management profession and those already serving Texas cities, so be ready to answer her call (email).  

Stacey is a strategic communications specialist. Highlights from her career include founding a nonprofit organization for rural communities, developing a comprehensive youth engagement program in South Texas, positioning multiple Texas cities for economic development success, and advising Texas municipalities on how best to communicate with businesses, visitors, and the general public. 

For eight years, Stacey served as the host of the weekly radio talk show “State of the Arts” on the NPR affiliate in El Paso, Texas, and also hosted membership drives and auctions for the local PBS station in El Paso. She was nominated for a Lone Star Emmy Award in 2010 for her work as a writer/producer on the video project “Tell Us Your Story.” 

Stacey holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Brigham Young University and a master’s in interdisciplinary studies from The University of Texas at El Paso. She lives in New Braunfels with her husband and two cats. 

You can welcome her at staceyfosborne@gmail.com.



TCMA Awards Scholarships_banner
DEADLINE FOR AWARD NOMINATIONS
AND SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS
IS JANUARY 8, 2021 AT 5:00 P.M.

TCMA AWARD PROGRAMS

  • Administrator of the Year Award
  • Assistant of the Year Award in Memory of Valerie Bradley (New)
  • City Council of the Year Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Mentoring Award in Memory of Gary Gwyn
  • Terrell Blodgett Academician Award  

For information and applications, click here
 

TCMA SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS

  • Barney L. Knight Texas CPM Scholarship
  • Clarence E. Ridley Scholarship
  • Leadership Development Scholarship
  • Tom Muehlenbeck Scholarship (Deadline April 2) 

For information and applications, click here 

If you have questions about any of these programs, contact Emily Hughes at emily@tml.org or 512-231-7400.


ASSISTANT OF THE YEAR award in memory of valerie bradley


Valerie BradleyOn November 2, at the Mesquite City Council meeting, Paulette Hartman, past TCMA president and North Richland Hills assistant city manager, presented the 2020 Assistant of the Year Award in Memory of Valerie Bradley to Valerie’s husband, Rob, and son, Jake. The Bradley family was in attendance along with Mario Canizares, Nacogdoches city manager;  Mark Hindman, North Richland Hills city manager; Mark Israelson, Plano city manager; Cliff Keheley, Mesquite city manager; and David Morgan, Georgetown city manager.



Valerie Bradley award presentation


short and long term financial implications of covid-19 literature review


With the onset of the pandemic, known as COVID-19, municipalities across the State of Texas were faced with financial challenges from the beginning as a result of the trickling down affect from the national economy. Cities, small and large, faced decisions of providing public service expenditures that had to be adjusted. The thrust of this review is to provide insights of the short and long term implications of COVID-19 with a glimpse into the future. While the foundation of the literature will be focused on the United States and Texas economies, an international aspect will also be discussed.

Public managers have a fiduciary responsibility to maintain the financial stability of their respective entity. When monitoring the financial impact of an incident such as the pandemic,  some evaluation thoughts come to mind as, projections of sales tax revenue, status of expenditures, proposed capital projects, projections of utility fund revenues, to name a few. However, the “Big Picture” revolves around the United States economy and the factors utilized by most economists in gauging how the economy is really doing. Indicators can be seen in reviewing the economies were outlined in an online journal, thebalance.com.1  These include job gains, core inflation, gross domestic product (GDP), stock market, durable goods orders and interest rates.

Job gains were seen in August of 1.4 million compared to losing 20.8 million in April 2020. The Bureau of Labor Statistics added 638,000 jobs in October 2020. The core inflation for October remained at 0 percent, which paralleled the month of September. The United States Commerce Department reported the gross domestic product at an annualized and seasonally adjusted rate of 33.1 percent between July and September. The department reports this statistic in an annualized rate with the underlying factor that the growth rate from one quarter to the next will continue for a full year. Published reports at the time of this article showed the stock market is rebounding. According to published reports from the Census Bureau, durable goods orders increased 1.9 percent in September 2020, for the fifth consecutive month. According to Bankrate, fixed rate mortgage rates continued to drop in October 2020. It was pointed out that all of these factors are inter-related and shape the United States economy.

It is also noteworthy to briefly review how the world economy affects the United States economy. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) updated its forecast in a September 2020 report. The OECE represents the world’s biggest economies. Portions of the report cited2:

…”world economy to shrink by 4.5 percent in 2020 before expanding by 5 percent in 2021.”

Boosted 2020 forecasts for United States and China. Slightly raised the outlook for Europe…”

...OECD Lowered Expectations for Developing Countries: Mexico, Argentina, India, South Africa, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia.”

The OECE further stated that "A recovery is now under way following the easing of strict confinement measures and the reopening of businesses, but uncertainty remains high and confidence is still fragile,"

When all of this information is taken into consideration, what does this mean for Texas and the financial implications for the status, stability and growth of cities within the state? Material gleamed from a published report by economist Dr. Ray Perryman entitled “Texas metropolitan areas poised for growth in coming year”3, helps us to draw all of the aforementioned information for a view to the future. Key takeaways from this report points to positive indicators. These assist in garnering informed outlooks for the short and long term. Excerpted from the report are:

“Even in the face of significant job losses and output declines, however, the underlying structure is generally sound and long-term prospects remain positive, even though the next couple of years will be quite different than what we expected before the coronavirus.”


     “LONG TERM JOB GROWTH THRU 2045

Dallas-Plano-Irving Metropolitan Division 1.79 percent Yearly– Gain of 1.6 million jobs Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown MSA 1.65 percent Yearly 590,000 net new jobs”

McAllen-Edinburg-Mission 1.52 percent Brownsville-Harlingen 1.52 percent Perryman Noted That:

…“well above our current national forecast of 1.36 percent  per year over the 2019- 2045 period”…

Long Term Projections

…“through 2045, eight of every 10 net new Texas jobs will be created in one of the seven largest MSAs”…

“It will take a couple of years to get back on track and things will no doubt look a bit different, but we project long-term job growth in metropolitan areas large and small, as well as rural communities.”

“The national economy was performing well going into the pandemic and the current downturn was not caused by structural issues. Texas was doing even better, setting the stage for sustained growth in the decades to come.”
 
(The full Perryman article can be viewed in the references cited.)

While it is not the intent of this article to cover all of the gamete of literature, it is intended to highlight the importance of all economic indicators and published sources to make informed decisions on behalf of the citizens that we serve. Albeit, the literature noted can be a guide to look into the short and long-term aspects of how financial resources can be forecasted.

1https://www.thebalance.com/what-are-leading-economic-indicators-1978977#types-of-leading-economic-indicators
2https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/16/economy/oecd-economic-outlook-september/index.html
3“Ray Perryman: Texas metropolitan areas poised for growth in coming year”, Waco Tribune Herald, August 28, 2020

(Bold text added by author for emphasis) 

(Article submitted by John R. Milford, Senior Lecturer, Graduate Professional Practitioner, Coordinator-Certified Public Manager Program, College of Liberal Arts, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Edinburg Campus)


Ethics Corner


Tenet 9

"Keep the community informed on local government affairs; encourage communication between citizens and all local government officers; emphasize friendly and courteous service to the public; and seek to improve the quality and image of public service."

Leadership is not synonymous with power or authority. Rather, it is a tool with which to empower others to make a difference and a willingness to assist them in the pursuit thereof. The focus of leadership should be on people and the accomplishment of common goals; the foundation stone upon which these goals are established is effective communication. 

Tenet 9 is comprised of four distinct yet interwoven criteria: (1) keep the community informed, (2) encourage communication between citizens and local government, (3) emphasize friendly and courteous service, and (4) improve the quality and image of public service. Open and honest dialog between local government officials and those they serve is an inescapable prerequisite for establishing trust. Earning the trust of those we serve inherently improves the quality and image of public service. In many ways, a positive impression of local public service is a fortuitous and warranted consequence of intentional, courteous communication.

An informed community is necessary to the proper functioning of democracy. TCMA members have chosen to be voluntarily governed by the fundamental ideals (tenets) expressly identified in the TCMA Code of Ethics. As professionals, managers have a duty and, in many cases, a legal obligation to share information with the public. Maintaining sole possession of anything that would be of benefit to others, like public information in this example, is unwise at best and highly detrimental at worst. Perhaps at the most basic level, it intuitively feels like the wrong thing to do. When information is shared among members of a community, a sense of fellowship and mutual understanding emerges. This sets the stage for informed decision-making.

Great public sector leaders encourage effective communication between public servants and those they serve. They recognize their symbiotic relationship seize the opportunity to build trust between them. More importantly, great leaders understand that there is a difference between talking to citizens and communicating with them in a meaningful way. They stress the importance of active listening, which requires focus, comprehension, and thoughtful responses. Taking the time to intentionally listen with the intent of understanding helps build connections and trust between those engaged in a conversation and conveys a sense of authenticity back to the person speaking. In his book, True North, Bill George describes the five characteristics of authentic leadership. One such characteristic is the desire and ability to create relationships with those around them. Not surprisingly, creating relationships leads to a sense of connectedness and belonging. Leaders should encourage communication between public servants and those they serve, and furthermore do so with purpose and authenticity. This creates an opportunity for purpose-driven dialog.

Friendly and courteous service to the public is something many strive for, and is absolutely critical to achieving success. Local government officials must communicate clearly and be deliberate in their effort to fully understand their citizens' concerns. While much easier said than done, they must be patient and remain calm if tensions rise. They must be accurate when giving details, and resist the temptation to answer reflexively before getting all the facts. Telling half-truths erodes trust. Above all else, local government officials should attempt to project positivity. Words matter. In doing so, great leaders will establish a culture of exceptional customer service and create an environment in which civility and disagreement are not mutually exclusive.

If nothing else, the fortuitous and warranted consequence of intentional, courteous communication is a lasting positive impression of local public service. Both the quality and image of public service is improved by following the first three criteria in Tenet 9 of the TCMA Code of Ethics. 

(Article submitted by Joe Smolinski, City Manager, Mansfield)


city managers of tomorrow


CMT Event Nov 2020

TCMA and Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) held a virtual #ELGLInspire event on November 5, at Stephen F. Austin State University. Approximately 40 students participated. David Moss, Southside Place city manager and TCMA manager in residence, and
Mario Canizares, Nacogdoches city manager, engaged with university students to learn about careers in local government.


TCMA EDUCATIONAL EVENTS


William "King" Cole Session 1
January 27-29, 2021
Virtual Event

William "King" Cole Session 2
March 25-26, 2021
San Antonio

#ELGL Inspire: TCMA-ELGL Joint Events

February, 2021
Texas State University

April, 2021
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Memos on Meetings


The Advocacy Committee met on November 17 via video conference.

The Public Policy Task Force met on November 19 via video conference. The next meeting is scheduled for December 3 via video conference.

The Board is scheduled to develop the 2020-2022 Strategic Plan on December 10 and conduct a meeting on December 11.

The Allies Across Texas Task Force will meet on December 17 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 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.