October 2021

TCMA Management Messenger

TCMA Professional Awards and Scholarships
Management Transitions
New Members
New Member Applications
Meet Your Colleagues
TCMA to Host Exhibit Booth
Texas Reception as the 2021 ICMA Annual Conference
TCMA Podcast
Succession Planning
Transformational Leadership in Uncharted Territory
Ethics Corner
Around the State
TCMA Educational Events
Memos on Meetings

TCMA Awards Scholarships_banner

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. The deadline for submission is January 7, 2022.


  • Administrator of the Year Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Mentoring Award in Memory of Gary Gwyn
  • NEW! Excellence in Ethics and Integrity Award
  • Assistant of the Year Award in Memory of Valerie Bradley
  • Terrell Blodgett Academician Award
  • City Council of the Year Award

For more information and applications, click here.

TCMA also provides opportunities for professional development through scholarships. Unless otherwise notes, the deadline for submission is January 7, 2022.


  • Barney L. Knight Texas CPM Scholarship
  • Clarence E. Ridley Scholarship
  • Leadership Development Scholarship
  • Tom Muehlenbeck Scholarship (Deadline April 1, 2022)

For more information and applications, click here.

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

Management transitions

Jacqueline Bazan
is no longer the city administrator of the City of La Joya.

Thomas Bolt retired as the city manager of the City of Manor. Scott Dunlop is serving as the interim city manager.

Donna Edens is no longer the city administrator of the City of Grandfalls.

Kimberly Eggleston is no longer the city manager of the City of Higgins. Kelly Cribb is serving as the interim city manager.

James Fisher is no longer the city manager of the City of Brenham. Carolyn Miller is serving as the interim city manager.

Andy Garcia is the new city manager of the City of Falfurrias.

Andrea Gardner is no longer the city manager of the City of Watauga. She is serving as an assistant city manager of the City of Corpus Christi.

Dennis Jobe is retiring as the city manager of the City of Brady.

Kandace Lesley is the new city manager of the City of Lake Dallas.

Craig Lindholm is no longer the city administrator of the City of Winnsboro.

Bert Lumbreras will retire as the city manager of the City of San Marcos, effective January 31, 2022.

Terry McCalpin is the new city manager of the City of Carrizo Springs.

Dan Serna is no longer the city manager of the City of Harlingen. Gabriel Gonzalez is serving as the interim city manager.

Brad Stafford will retire as the city manager of the City of Navasota, effective October 29.

Camilla Viator retired as the city manager of the City of Madisonville. Kevin Story is serving as the interim city manager.

Scott Wayman will retire as the city manager of the City of Live Oak, effective January 14, 2022.

Andy Wolfe is no longer the city administrator of the City of Venus. Tonya Roberts is serving as the city administrator.

New Members

The TCMA Management Messenger welcomes the following new members approved by the Executive Committee on September 24, 2021.

Full: Daniel Johnson, Assistant City Manager, Manvel; Kristy Stark, Assistant City Manager, Boerne

Associate: Matthew Eckmann, Facilities & Real Estate Manager, New Braunfels;
Peter Martinez, Lieutenant/Assistant Chief of Police, Westover Hills; Russell Sander, Fire Chief, Marble Falls 

Cooperating: Anita Green, Compliance Manager, Microsoft

Student: Megan Currington, The University of Texas at San Antonio; Amber Raley, The University of Texas at Arlington; Jasmine Stillwell, University of North Texas; Stephan Zaparolli, The University of Texas at Austin.

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: Chaise Cary, Interim City Manager, La Marque; Juan Estrada, City Administrator, Dilley; Don Ferguson, Village Administrator, Salado; Rolin McPhee, Interim Assistant City Manager, Longview; Laura Storrs, Assistant City Manager, Amarillo

Associate: Tracy Aaron, Chief of Police, Mansfield; David Alviso Jr., Public Works Director, Pleasanton; Cary Erskine, Finance Director, Morgan's Point Resort; Kyle Gordon, Executive Director of Community Services, Hurst; Tamara Smith, Budget Officer, Coppell; Lauren Williams, Management Analyst, Addison

meet your colleagues

The TCMA Management Messenger welcomes David Jordan to his new position as city administrator of the City of Bandera. David’s appointment began August 24. He previously served as the city administrator of the City of Dilley and assistant city manager and director of public safety for the City of La Marque. He has also served as city councilmember and mayor pro tem of the City of Leon Valley. 

David gained more than 25 years of management and leadership experience while serving in security forces in the United States Air Force.  

David is currently seeking a masters of public administration from Webster University and is currently enrolled in the Certified Public Manager Program at Texas State University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in social psychology and an associate’s degree in police science. 

David’s hobbies include horseback riding, fishing, racquetball, and playing video games with his kids. He and his family are thrilled to be chosen to serve the community of Bandera.

TCMA_TML Annual Conference

TCMA is excited to host an exhibit booth at the Texas Municipal League Annual Conference and Exhibition on October 6-8 in Houston. The booth will promote the Campaign for Professional and Ethical City Management. Encourage your elected officials to visit booth 445 and learn how professionally trained individuals are critical for the day-to-day operation of cities. TCMA extends a special thanks to all volunteers for participating and sharing their expertise.

Don't forget to support the TCMA hosted educational session at 10:45-11:45 a.m. on Thursday, October 7. The City of McAllen, recipient of the 2021 TCMA City Council of the Year, will be showcased. They will present Walking and Chewing Gum at the Same Time; Now a Core Competency for Cities?

To learn more about the Conference and register, click here.

texas reception at the 2021 icma annual confernce

ICMA Annual Conference 2021

We hope you're planning to attend the ICMA Annual Conference on October 3-6 in Portland. Following educational sessions on Monday, October 4, please plan to attend the Annual Texas State Reception from 6:00-7:30 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency Portland at the Oregon Convention Center, in Regency Ballroom A, located at 375 NE Holladay Street in Portland.

tcma podcast

Website Banner 2200 x 500

Don't miss the two part episode of The History of City Management in Texas. Dan Johnson, city manager of the City of Richardson, tells the fascinating story of the history of city management and its rich roots in the State of Texas.

You can listen directly from the Buzzsprout platform at Buzzsprout. All episodes are 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 tcmadigital@gmail.com.

succession planning

Kent Myers, city manager of the City of Fredericksburg, was recently published in the August edition of Public Management. The article titled "Preparing for the Silver Tsunami with Succession Planning" is available to TCMA members by clicking Silver Tsunami. In addition, Kent will be a featured speaker in a live webinar on November 18 at Noon titled "Passing the Torch: Developing a Succession Plan for Your Jurisdiction." To register click Passing the Torch.

transformational leadership in uncharted territory

Our profession has been thrown into territory most of us have not navigated before. “Unprecedented” is now cliché. Public health, weather emergencies, social and political tension, remote work, and multiple job vacancies have left us scrambling. Our normal has been turned upside-down. As much as we would like the comfort of the way things were, I am convinced that ship has sailed. So what are city managers to do? Keep chugging Red Bull? Bury our heads in the sand? Look at our TRMS statement one more time?  The answer lies in changing how we lead.

City managers are leaders of bureaucratic institutions which are defined by their stability, reliability, and longevity. All strong characteristics for ensuring the needs of the public are met. On the flip side, local government is highly structured, ridged, and slow. We are operating organizations designed for the days of rotary phones, but we are in the days of Zoom. Most of us have been brought up in bureaucratic organizations, and we enjoy the predictability they offer. However, the leadership style required to maintain bureaucracy is not the leadership style required for modern challenges and change.

Transactional leadership is the prevailing leadership style in bureaucracy. It is characterized by centralized decision making, hierarchy, and rules. Policy manuals and flow charts tell us what to do to keep the organization operating. However, the past few years, our bureaucratic documents were not sufficient to address our challenges. We were in uncharted territory. Our survival instinct kicked in, and we shifted into a different leadership style, one of transformation and adaptivity. 

Transformational leadership adjusts the focus from rule following to mission-mindedness. Transformational leaders engage in open communication not constrained to the chain of command, they encourage creativity, and empower staff members at all levels to solve problems. Transformational leadership generally out-paces transactional leadership, because it adapts more quickly.

In his book, Canoeing the Mountains, Tod Bolsinger compared Lewis and Clark’s expedition to the challenges of modern-day leadership. Bolsinger stated: 

Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery were about to go off the map into uncharted territory. They would have to change plans, give up expectations, even reframe their entire mission. What lay before them was nothing like what was behind them. There were no experts, no maps, no “best practices” and no sure guides who could lead them safely and successfully.

This excerpt describes the dilemma city managers face in leading their organizations into the future. Bolsinger provided five lessons for leaders in uncharted territory:

  1. Uncharted Territory – The world before us is not like the world behind us. We must stop using old strategies to solve new problems.
  2. On-the-map Leadership – We must be credible and trust-worthy in known matters before people will trust us to lead them into the unknown.
  3. Off-the-map Leadership – Adaptation is everything. We must stay calm, stay connected, and stay the course.
  4. Relationships – We can’t survive the journey alone.
  5. Transformation – Change is not possible unless the leader experiences change. 

These lessons are easily said but not easily lived. Let me encourage you. If you have survived the past two years in city management, you have adopted some of these practices. I admit that I did better with widespread communication in the early months of the pandemic than I do today. I collaborated more with fellow city managers and local community leaders, and I welcomed creativity that bubbled up from
 all levels in the organization. Now is not the time to fall back into our patterns of transactional leadership. The world around us has changed and continues to daily. Our profession requires us to serve the needs of our communities. Those needs are changing, so we must change, too. 

Let me clarify, I am not suggesting throwing out policies and formalized procedures; that would be chaos. I am encouraging senior leaders to re-focus on inspiring their teams to internalize the mission, especially in uncharted territory. When using a camera lens, there can be two images in the frame. Focusing on one for sharpness does not eliminate the other. 

When leaders practice transformational leadership, the rewards are tremendous. Transformational leadership helps people adapt to change, empowers members at every level, and increases creativity, productivity, performance, and motivation. As if that were not enough, transformational leadership attracts Millennial and Gen Z talent, unlike the transactional leadership style. Transformation begins with the leader and is exactly what we need to forge ahead. We have exciting discoveries to find. I’ll see you on the journey.

Note: Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger was written primarily for religious leaders who desire to make their institutions relevant in a post-Christendom world. I found the principles highly applicable to all bureaucratic organizations, including local government. 

(Submitted by Emily Crawford, City Manager, Brownwood)

ethics corner

Character matters. Of course, it does. Even without a Code of Ethics, each of us recognize that earning trust and respect requires a demonstration of ethical conduct and integrity. So, when does this demonstration – and subsequent evaluation – of character begin? It begins well before we realize anyone is watching. 

I would like to begin this article by highlighting two tenets in our Code of Ethics, which have the potential to change the trajectory of an aspiring young person’s career. Nearly 30 years ago, long before I had ever heard of TCMA or its Code of Ethics, a young lieutenant in the United States Army Military Police Corps discussed with me the importance of leading by example before I landed in a leadership position. That conversation was an important moment in my professional development and, in my opinion, worth sharing with each of you.

Tenet 3 of the Texas City Management Association’s Code of Ethics states that its members shall 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 8 states that members have a duty to continually improve their professional ability and to develop the competence of associates in the use of management techniques. When considered side by side, Tenets 3 and 8 formulate a very clear directive. We must discuss the importance of ethical leadership with our peers and subordinates openly and frequently. 

In a world dominated by social media, communication platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Nextdoor, capture our every action and broadcast them for the world to see. Anyone and everyone are free to manipulate, bend, or completely ignore the truth or context in which something was said or done. It is downright frightening. I will bet everyone reading this article have, at some point in
 the past few years, wondered what your life would look like today if every foolish thing you did as a teenager was available for everyone to see and comment on online. This is less of an indictment of our childhood behavior than it is a call to action for present-day leaders. 

My point is this: it is more important than ever that we talk to our future leaders about what it means to demonstrate by word and action the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity. Much like my former lieutenant previously mentioned, we now find ourselves in a position of tremendous influence with aspiring leaders in our organizations. I know that we will rise to the occasion and give them the guidance they so desperately need and deserve. 

On a Haitian hillside in 1994, I was the beneficiary of an impromptu lesson in leadership from a newly minted first lieutenant. His words still resonate with me today. We were leaning on the side of our High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV; colloquial: Humvee), one of three in a small reconnaissance convoy sent ahead to make sure the path was suitable for a larger convoy scheduled to traverse it the following day. The lieutenant, with his eyes fixed on the soldiers huddled around the other Humvees, looked at me and asked if I knew the difference between possessing character and compensating for a lack of it. He said, “Look at Sergeant Smith, then look at Sergeant Jones (not real names). There’s a difference between commanding respect and demanding respect.”

Everyone in our platoon knew the differences between the two sergeants. While both men were technically and tactically proficient, Sergeant Smith was the type of Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) that commanded our respect because he had earned it. He could be counted on to do the right thing, even if it required personal sacrifice. He was an ethical leader and we all willingly, if not eagerly, followed him. Sergeant Jones, on the other hand, was a do as I say, not as I do NCO. He had a reputation, which he also earned, for lewd behavior and questionable judgment both prior to and after becoming an NCO. We did as he commanded because of the respect we had for the rank on his collar. However, even his rank could not mask the character of the man that now hid behind it. We followed Sergeant Smith. We obeyed Sergeant Jones.

As we made our way back to the streets of Port-au-Prince the lieutenant motioned toward the other Humvees and said, “No matter how far you make it in the Army, these are the people who will remember who you were before you were given the responsibility to lead them. They will not forget who you were. Don’t underestimate the importance of leading by example now. You cannot overcome a lack of character by adding stripes to your sleeves.” That advice was as applicable to a young soldier in a foreign country as it is to an aspiring city manager right here in Texas.

It is never too early to begin leading by example. One can, however, begin too late. Using Tenets 3 and 8 as our guide, let us accept the tremendous responsibility of demonstrating by word and action the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity. Let the rest of the world Tweet about that.

(Submitted by Joe Smolinski, City Manager, Mansfield)

around the state

Board Dinner September 16 2021

The TCMA Board gathers for a meal and networking.


TCMA Podcast
Perspectives on City Management
Listen to episodes here

Tex-ICMA Coaching Webinars
(Pre-registration is required)

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 Membership Committee met on September 10 via video conference. Meeting minutes are available here.

The Board met on September 17 in Austin. Meeting minutes are available here.

The Advocacy Committee will meet on October 15 in Austin.  

The Professional Development Committee will meet on October 28-29 in Lost Pines.   

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.