2021 TCMA Professional Award and Scholarship Recipients
Call for Volunteers and New Committee Structure
New Member Applications
TCMA Launches Podcast
TCMA Annual Conference Hotel Update and Important Deadlines
Yes, My HBCU Education Really Prepared Me
Campaign for Professional and Ethical City Management
Texas and the Census of Governments
TCMA Educational Events
Memos on Meetings
2021 tcma professional award and scholarship recipients
TCMA is proud to announce the recipients of the 2021 Professional Awards and Scholarships. A presentation of awards will be held at the TCMA Annual Conference Awards Luncheon on June 11 at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in Round Rock.
Lifetime Achievement Award
This award recognizes the city management professional who has made significant contributions to the field of local government management for more than 20 years.
Allen Bogard, Life Member and Retired City Manager, City of Sugar Land
Administrator of the Year Award
This award recognizes the city management professional who has made significant contributions to the field of local government management in the past 18 months.
Mentoring Award in Memory of Gary Gwyn
This award recognizes a city management professional who has made significant contributions in the development of new talent and who has designed and implemented outstanding career development programs for local government employees.
Gina Nash, City Manager, City of Sachse
Assistant of the Year in Memory of Valerie Bradley
This award recognizes TCMA member who exhibits a fierce advocacy for advancing ethical local government leadership and the mentorship of young professionals.
Mayra Cantu, Management Analyst, City of Georgetown
Terrell Blodgett Academician Award
This award recognizes the individual who promotes careers in local government to school administrators, faculty, and students. Their contribution to the development of research is relevant and beneficial to current issues facing city management professionals. They also encourage active links and working relationships between academia and TCMA, the regional TCMA chapters, local Texas government organizations, and the Texas communities where their institutions of higher learning are located.
Kay Godbey, Life Member and Adjunct Professor, The University of Texas at Arlington
TCMA congratulates the City of McAllen as the City Council of the Year.
TCMA recognizes the following 2021 scholarship recipients:
Certified Public Manager Scholarship: Yvette Mendoza, Special Projects Manager, Corpus Christi; and Robby Silva, City Administrator, Point Comfort
Clarence E. Ridley Scholarship: Daniel Morgan, University of North Texas
Tom Muehlenbeck Scholarship: Ty McConn, son of Larry McConn, Assistant City Administrator, Early; and Dixon Whisenhunt, son of Mindy Patterson, Deputy City Manager, Abilene
Sandra Barton is serving as the acting city manager of the City of Lago Vista.
Anthony Carson is no longer the city manager of the City of Forney. Karl Zook is serving as the interim city manager.
Eddie Edwards retired as the city manager of the City of Borger. Garrett Spradling is the new city manager.
Stan Endres retired as the city administrator of the City of Muenster. Adam Deweber is the new city administrator.
David Esquivel is serving as the interim city manager of the City of Tomball.
Daniel Jackson is serving as the city manager of the City of Dimmitt.
Odis Jones is no longer the city manager of the City of Missouri City. Bill Atkinson is serving as the interim city manager.
Eric Kuykendall was appointed the new city administrator of the City of Jefferson.
Christopher McGuire is the new city administrator of the City of Clyde.
Kenny Ray Murray is serving as the interim city administrator of the City of Rosebud.
David Orr is serving as the interim city manager of the City of Texarkana.
Alberto Perez is the new city manager of the City of Mercedes.
BJ Potts is the new city manager of the City of Tulia.
John Strenski is serving as the interim city administrator of the City of Lakeside City.
Keith Whitfield is no longer the city administrator of the City of Rosebud. He is the new city manager of the City of Daingerfield.
Call for volunteers and new committee structure
On April 9, the TCMA Board approved a new structure to provide better continuity for the following TCMA committees: Advocacy, Ethics, Membership, and Professional Development. Region presidents will now appoint a region representative to serve a two-year term on each of these committees and an annual open call will be conducted for 15 at-large positions.
If you would like to serve in an at-large position on one of the above stated committees, please click 2021 Committee Volunteer. Service will begin at the end of the 2021 TCMA Annual Conference (June 10-13, 2021) and conclude at the end of the 2022 TCMA Annual Conference. To review the objectives of the committees, please click TCMA Committees.
No changes were made to the following committees:
- Executive Committee (Article XIII) which also serves as the Budget and Planning Committee
- Nominating Committee (Article III, Section 6, B)
- City Managers of Tomorrow Committee
- The following structure was approved on April 3, 2020: chair, vice chair, committee members are MIRs with five open seats appointed by the TCMA president.
- Creation of a Task Force (Article VII).
Deadline to Volunteer is Friday, May 7.
Please contact Emily Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-231-7482 if you have questions.
The TCMA Management Messenger welcomes the following new members approved by the Executive Committee on April 26, 2021
Full: Neil Cardwell, Deputy City Manager, Forney; Mike Etienne, Assistant City Manager, Victoria; Paula Favors, Assistant City Manager, Wharton; Sterling Naron,
City Administrator, Hudson Oaks; John Oznick Jr., City Manager, Eastland;
Daniel Pennington, Chief of Staff, Pasadena
Associate: Megan Folkerts, Senior Management Analyst, Kerrville; Kate Garcia, Executive Assistant to the City Manager, Victoria; Kate Graham, Assistant to the Town Manager, Little Elm; Hayden Migl, Assistant to the City Manager, San Marcos;
Alex Morgan, Interim Special Projects Manager, San Antonio; Billy Owens, Assistant to the City Manager, North Richland Hills; Rhiannon Pape, Research & Development Specialist, San Antonio; Anthony Spanel, Environmental Director, Amarillo;
William Thompson, Assistant to the City Manager, West University Place;
Stacey Ybarra, Assistant to the City Manager, Round Rock
Cooperating: Kril Cunningham, Sr. Vice President-Public Sector, Lockton Dunning Benefits; Joe Farias, Senior Project Manager, GarzaEMC; Alan Fourmentin, General Manager, Trophy Club Municipal Utility District No. 1; Marissa Garza, Business Development Associate, GarzaEMC; Darren Huckert, Vice President, GarzaEMC;
Brett Larson, Vice President, GarzaEMC; Jonathan McKee, Vice President, GarzaEMC; Julia Mrnak, Vice President, GarzaEMC; John Pelham, Senior Vice President, GarzaEMC; Chris Randazzo, Senior Vice President, GarzaEMC
Student: Veronica Reyes Ibarra, Texas State University; Jamie Jobes, Texas State University; Lauren Lathon, 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 April:
Full: Amber Bransom, Assistant City Manager, Joshua; Tiffany Bruce, Assistant Town Manger/Town Engineer, Flower Mound; Daniel Buckley, Deputy City Manager, Galveston; Michael Chambers, City Administrator, Lorenzo; Adam Deweber, City Administrator, Muenster; Melissa Landin, City Manager, Eagle Lake; Richard Olson, Town Administrator, Argyle; Angela Smith, Deputy City Manager, Rowlett; Gerald Williamson, Assistant City Manager, Lufkin; Dr. Neiman Young, Assistant City Manager, Corpus Christi
Associate: Sergio Alanis, Parks and Recreation Director, Pharr; Melanie Cano, Development Services Director, Pharr; Lindsey Guindi, Director of Strategic Projects, Bryan; Milford John-Williams, Assistant to the City Manager, Lake Jackson;
Brenda Miller-Fergerson, Director of Human Resources, Webster;
Veronica Solis Ramirez, Human Resources Director, Pharr
Cooperating: Donald Brinkman, Executive Consultant, CSRS Inc; Mei Lin, Project Manager, Plano; Susan Ross, Principal Consultant, JC Vestri Consulting
TCMA is saddened by the passing of Annette Smith, wife of Jacksonville City Manager Greg Smith. Annette passed on April 14. A celebration of life was held on April 19 at Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville. Please keep Greg and the Smith family in your thoughts and prayers.
tcma launches podcast
TCMA has published the first two episodes of the new podcast Perspectives on City Management.
Episode 1: Hugh Walker, TML Board representative, TCMA Advocacy Committee chair, and City of Bryan deputy city manager; Ed Broussard, City of Tyler city manager; and Joe Pace, City of Lorena city manager, discuss the TCMA Campaign for Professional and Ethical City Management.
Episode 2: Austin Bleess, City Managers of Tomorrow Committee chair and Jersey Village city manager; James Earp, City of Kyle assistant city manager; and Crayton Brubaker, Clarence E. Ridley scholar and Texas A&M student, discuss their efforts to develop a sustainable program to encourage and assist members who identify as emerging leaders.
Perspectives on City Management is a podcast about the people who work hard every day to keep Texas cities running smoothly. We will sit down with city managers and other municipal public servants to discuss the business of local government, and the professionals who make it work. Show topics will include professional city management; diversity, equity and inclusion; economic development; quality of life; next generation; and TCMA initiatives that benefit local government leaders.
Perspectives on City Management is brought to you by the Texas City Management Association and hosted by TCMA Social Media Coordinator Stacey Ford Osborne.
You can listen directly from the Buzz Sprout platform at Buzz Sprout. All episodes will soon be available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and anywhere podcasts are found. You can also find the link in the “Spotlight” section or under the “Benefits and Resources” section of the TCMA website. New topics will be posted monthly and if scheduling allows every two weeks.
If you have questions or suggested topics, please contact Stacey Osborne at email@example.com.
tcma annual conference hotel update and important deadlines
Due to an overwhelming response, the room block at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions has sold out. The hotel has opened a limited number of rooms, but will only be available for a short time.
Hotel accommodations are available at the Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, located at 3001 Kalahari Boulevard, Round Rock. TCMA has bought down the room rate and resort fee. The room rate is $159.00 plus a $15 resort fee per room per night. Each paying guest will receive complimentary access to the water park. All other resort activities is the responsibility of the guest. To make online reservations, click https://book.passkey.com/e/50117708 or call the hotel directly at 877-525-2427 and identify yourself as attending the TCMA Annual Conference. (Please note that TCMA Annual Conference attendees are NOT exempt from hotel occupancy taxes.) The block will close on May 21 whether the limited additional rooms are available or not.
A limited number of rooms are available at the The Marriott Austin North, located at 2600 La Frontera Boulevard, Round Rock. The room rate is $139.00. To reserve your room, please visit Marriott North Austin or call 512-773-6767 no later than June 1.
May 14: Golf Registration Deadline
May 21: Early Registration Deadline
For all conference and registration information visit 2021 TCMA Annual Conference.
Yes, my hbcu education really prepared me!
Growing up, my parents instilled in me the importance of pursuing higher education. When considering college, there was never a question of if I was going, only a question of where I was going. I spent my middle and high school years watching the television show A Different World that highlighted college life and focused on every issue that comes along with it. As I began researching college options, I learned the significance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and decided that I wanted to have that experience. My junior year in high school, my family traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, and toured several universities including predominately White institutions like Emory and Georgia Tech and historically Black institutions like Spelman, Morris Brown, and Clark Atlanta. By senior year, I told my mother that my top criteria for selecting a college was that I wanted to leave Texas and attend an HBCU. I graduated in the top 10 percent of my high school class with 17 scholarships offering me a broad spectrum of college options. I don’t remember the exact timeframe in making my final decision about which college to attend, but I distinctly remember receiving a personal phone call from a student ambassador at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, that made me feel welcomed long before I even stepped foot on the campus. Although I spoke to representatives at college fairs and received a variety of correspondence in the mail from many institutions, that personalized phone call from Dillard University left a lasting impression on me.
In August of 1996 my family rented a seven-passenger van for the purpose of taking me to college. My strong support system which included my mother, grandmother, aunt, uncle, two cousins, and I all loaded up early one Friday morning and headed east on Interstate 10 to begin my college journey. In fact, the van was so full (of people) that we had to send most of my belongings on the Greyhound bus! This experience was new for my family because just about everyone before me had attended college locally. As we took what felt like the longest drive in my life (probably because with that many people you have to make frequent stops) I was anxious, nervous, and even slightly afraid of what was in store for me. As I previously stated, we had toured universities in Atlanta but what I didn’t mention is we hadn’t toured the university that I opted to attend. As a matter of fact, I had never even been to the City of New Orleans. Upon arriving on campus, we were immediately impressed with the beauty of the buildings, the friendliness of everyone we encountered, and the comfort of being surrounded by young aspiring students that looked just like me. Within two days of being at Dillard University, I met people who would later become some of my dearest friends. By the end of my first semester, I developed study habits that would propel me forward in my future career aspirations. By the conclusion of my junior year, I had joined a sorority that would create lifelong bonds of sisterhood (which is extremely significant for someone like me who grew up an only child), and on May 8, 2000, I walked down Dillard’s “avenue of the oaks” to graduate with a dual bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and sociology. Since that time, I have obtained a master’s degree in public administration, become a certified public manager, worked for high level well-respected elected officials, served as assistant city manager in a border community where only one percent of the population is Black and am currently in my sixth year as city manager of Kirby, a small suburban municipality in the San Antonio area, where I was hired on a unanimous seven-zero vote by a city council that didn’t look anything like me.
My HBCU experience is probably very similar to the experiences of many professionals and mirrors what A Different World portrayed on television. My purpose for sharing it is because over the years, I have been asked “do you really think attending an HBCU prepared you?” Well, I can honestly say that attending Dillard University left me more than prepared to tackle the issues and handle the responsibilities that come along with my career field. Yes, Dillard is a small, private, Methodist, historically Black institution that many of my peers have never even heard of, but the four years that I spent there challenged me academically and offered a great deal of diversity. HBCUs are competitive both internally and externally. Administrators, instructors, and students are from all walks of life and represent a variety of races, ethnicities, backgrounds, religions, and schools of thought. Additionally, just like with other institutions, you can find an HBCU to suit whatever your individual needs are such as location, enrollment size, and field of study.
In researching the history and purpose of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Historically Black Graduate Institutions, you learn that they were established to serve the educational needs of Black Americans during a time period where we were generally denied admission to traditionally White institutions. HBCUs began establishing in the 1800s to fill a void that existed in our community. In 2021, 184 years after the formation of the first HBCU with 107 institutions in existence, HBCUs continue to play an important role in the Black community and the United States of America. The election of Vice President Kamala Harris, a graduate of Howard University, has put a recent spotlight on HBCUs and their significance. Just like other institution graduates, many HBCU graduates have become successful in their chosen career fields. From award winning film producer Spike Lee to professional athlete Jerry Rice to Nobel Peace and Pulitzer Prize winning author Toni Morrison to Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris to Texas City Manager Monique Vernon. Attending an HBCU just happened to be a choice we made and one of which I am extremely grateful for and proud of. So, to answer that question...yes, my HBCU education really prepared me!
(Article submitted by Monique Vernon, City Manager, Kirby)
Tenet 12 - Public Office is a public trust. A member shall not leverage his or her position for personal gain or benefit.
“When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing-When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors-When you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – You may know that your society is doomed.”
- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Published in 1957, and considered Ayn Rand’s greatest work, Atlas Shrugged, remains among a staple on many bookshelves. The passage above is one of the most impactful in a book full of high-impact sections. Rand was born in Russia in 1905 and was 12 years old when the February Revolution of 1917 gave rise to Lenin’s Bolsheviks and Russian communism. She witnessed communist party politicians begin dealing in favors for continual personal gain and saw the State seize businesses built on years of sweat equity and ingenuity, including her father’s pharmacy.
Ayn Rand’s leading characters in her books contain great examples of what should - and should not – be emulated in city management.
The guidelines for Tenet 12 are outlined as Gifts, Investments in Conflict with Official Duties, Personal Relationships, Confidential Information, Private Employment, Representation, and Endorsements. How many times are city officials offered a free golf team at a “client appreciation” tournament, an off-shore fishing trip on a developer’s boat, or a night of fine dining and drinks at an annual Christmas party hosted by a large law firm that represents the city in some fashion? These are certainly gifts afforded based on one’s position in city management and they must be considered as nothing less. A member of city management should bristle at the very thought of accepting a cash gift from a vendor, but freebees are just that – cash gifts afforded based on position – and they must be graciously refused.
Investments in Conflict with Official Duties links easily with Confidential Information. As those in city management are privy to economic development information well before the public, a recent land investment adjacent to a retail anchor would not pass the smell test in the public eye.
Personal Relationships, Representation, Private Employment, and Endorsements can be especially tricky to navigate for a city manager who has spent many years in a single organization or in the same metropolitan area. City managers are often public figures and develop a wide breadth of relationships. Some of these will, inevitably, develop into personal friendships.
Imagine a city manager being asked to present at a public works conference on a recently completed $200 million flood control project. The presentation goes well, and the manager returns to work the next day to discover a giant gift basket in their office from the sponsoring project design engineer. The basket contains gift cards for their spouse’s favorite personal activities and expensive liquors.
Did the manager just get paid for endorsing that firm? Surely not, right? After all, they may have known the executive staff of the firm and are personal friends with many from a long career spent in the area. It is only natural that friends show their appreciation…
And that is how quickly it can happen.
Remember, in all things, managers must guard their organizations and profession against the appearance of graft or compromise for personal gain. It is rarely an easy thing to explain to friends but is nevertheless the right thing to do.
Seasoned managers know how critical it is to set the tone with actions. Requests for favors or consideration will not be a rarity and neither will be accusations of impropriety by zealous community members. However, that argument fades quickly when confronted by the manager who can rightly say that, not only have they paid their traffic citations, but their mother has also paid for hers.
The demands on the city manager are high, and it certainly is not the vocation for everyone. To put service above self is a high bar, but one that must be cleared to be successful. That service must be to the greater good, not just friends and family, and certainly not to oneself. In the words of the great Ron Burgundy, those who aspire to city management must, at all times, “Stay Classy.”
(Article submitted by Michael W. Kramm, Assistant City Manager, League City)
campaign for professional and ethical city management
TCMA hopes you have taken time to view the new Campaign for Professional and Ethical City Management. A sample press release is now available on the site for members to begin promoting in their cities and to educate about the council-manager form of government. Visit the website at TCMA Campaign and hear the stories from city managers and elected officials.
texas and the census of governments
The U.S. Census Bureau is beginning its Census of Governments outreach and promotion effort, and are seeking assistance to increase awareness, participation, and response rates for Texas. The Census Bureau conducts a Census of Governments of all state and local government organization units every five years, for years ending in two and seven, and these data will be part of a three-phase effort to document the size, structure, and finances of all state and local governments. For more information about the Census of Governments, please see our website at Census of Governments. If you have questions or would like to assist with outreach and promotion, please contact Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist Keith Tobias at firstname.lastname@example.org or
(301) 763-8733. A flyer with additional information is available here.
TCMA EDUCATIONAL EVENTS
TCMA Annual Conference
June 10-13, 2021
#ELGL Inspire: TCMA-ELGL Joint Events
September 14, 2021 (virtual)
Texas State University
Tex-ICMA Coaching Webinars
(Pre-registration is required)
Leading From the Middle
12:30-2:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 19
Leading Your Community in an Era of Anxiety
12:30-2:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 15
The Future of Work
12:30-2:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 20
Growing Your Career
12:30-2:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 17
Memos on Meetings
The Public Policy Task Force meets every Thursday via video conference.
The TCMA Board met on April 9. Pending approval, the minutes are available here.
The Membership Committee met on April 15-16 via video conference. Meeting minutes are available here.