December 2021

TCMA Management Messenger

Membership Dues
TCMA Board Announcement
Management Transitions
New Members
New Member Applications
Meet Your Colleagues
City Management Clinic
Professional Awards and Scholarships
Perspectives on City Management: TCMA Podcast Open Call
Member News
When I Grow Up
Ethics Corner
TCMA Educational Events
Memos on Meetings

Membership dues

It's time to renew your 2022 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. If you renew online, please check the box provided to indicate the requirement has been fulfilled and state the location where the training was taken in the space provided. Only TCMA, ICMA, and TML ethics trainings fulfill the requirement.

Among your TCMA membership benefits are:

  • Discounted registration to TCMA educational events
  • Complimentary online ethics training
  • Scholarship opportunities for professional development
  • Salary Survey for full members
  • Professional financial and employment agreement services
  • 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, contact the TCMA staff at 512-231-7400.

tcma board announcement

TCMA Immediate Past President Brad Stafford recently retired following a successful career in city management. In accordance with the TCMA Constitution (Article III, Section 4), when or if the president, president-elect, vice president, TML Board representative, director-at-large, or immediate past president separates employment from their city or COG, they shall either resign from the Board or petition the Board to complete their term of office. The Executive Committee has affirmatively accepted Brad’s petition to complete his term as immediate past president. If you have any questions, please contact TCMA President Sereniah Breland at 512-990-6103 or or

management transitions

Glen Adams is no longer the city manager of the City of Santa Fe.

Randall Aragon is serving as the interim city manager of the City of La Marque.

Travis Askey resigned as the city administrator of the City of West Lake Hills. Ashby Grundman is serving as the interim city administrator.

Keith Bonds will retire as the city manager of the City of Longview, effective January 31, 2022.

Kevin Carruth resigned as the city manager of the City of Rockport, effective January 7, 2022.

Paul DeBuff is serving as the city manager of the City of Alvarado.

Robert Evans is no longer the city manager of the City of Willis. Marissa Quintanilla is serving as the interim city manager.

Kyle Hayes will retire as the city manager of the City of Beaumont, effective April 2022.

Rene Hinojosa is no longer the city administrator of the City of Natalia. Nichole Bermea is serving as the interim city administrator.

Warren Hutmacher is no longer the city manager of the City of Hutto.

Charles "Tink" Jackson was appointed as the new city manager of the City of Missouri City.

Amber Lewis is no longer the city administrator of the City of Rollingwood. She will serve an assistant city manager of the City of Kyle.

Trudy Lewis resigned as the city administrator of the City of Hutchins. Guy Brown will serve as the interim city administrator.

Mike Murray is the new city manager of the City of Bridgeport.

Robert Parker is serving as the interim city manager of the City of Watauga.

Gilbert Perales resigned as the city manager of the City of Leon Valley, effective January 15, 2022.

Claire Powell was appointed as the new city manager of the City of Lewisville, effective January 31, 2022.

Jason Reynolds is no longer the city manager of the City of Nassau Bay. Tim Cromie (police chief) is serving as acting city manager.

Mark Rohr resigned as the city manager of the City of Marshall, effective January 14, 2022.

Omar Romero is no longer the city manager of the City of Peñitas. Humberto Garza is serving as the new city manager.

Bob Turner is serving as the interim town manager of the Town of Sunnyvale.

new members

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

Full: John Noblitt, City Manager, Sanger; Richard Tramm, City Administrator, Montgomery

Associate: Eric Matthews, Director of Information Technology, Allen; Michael Ross, Fire Chief, Mansfield; Gregory Stevens, Chief of Police, Rockport

Cooperating: Robert Goode, Vice President, Senior Project Manager, Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam

Student: Serenity de Leon, Texas State University; Jarrett Lipman, 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 November:

Full: Kevin Gee, Assistant City Manager, Lufkin; Kevin Neal, Interim City Manager, Lorena; David Orr, City Manager, Texarkana

Associate: William Cox, Business Relations Director, Leon Valley; Michaela Dollar, Economic Development Director, Georgetown; Brad Goudie, Director of Emergency Services, Seabrook

Cooperating: Nijah Adams; Simon Andrew, Professor, University of North Texas; Christopher Cox, Public Sector Manager, Waste Management; Melissa Carrillo Cox, Program/Project Manager, CPS Energy

meet your colleagues

The TCMA Management Messenger welcomes Steve Dye to his new position as the city manager of the City of Grand Prairie. Steve’s appointment began on October 1.      

Steve is a lifelong Texan who received his bachelor of science degree from Sam Houston State University and his master of criminal justice from Tarleton State University. He began his police career with the Houston police department in 1984 and served with the Arlington and Garland police departments in various assignments. Steve was as an assistant chief in Garland and chief in Colleyville before being selected as the chief of police for the City of Grand Prairie in July of 2011. He was promoted to deputy city manager/chief operating officer in 2018 after serving 36 years in law enforcement.          

Steve has been married for 31 years, and he and his wife have two daughters. He enjoys family time, cycling, and running.

The TCMA Management Messenger also welcomes Gabriel Gonzalez to his new position as the city manager of the City of Harlingen. Gabriel’s appointment began on October 11. He started with the City of Harlingen as an assistant city manager on February 5, 2001. Prior to Harlingen, Gabriel served as a city manager for the City of San Benito for three years. He worked in San Benito for eight years and was with the City of Brownsville for six years. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from The University of Texas at Austin in 1984.

Gabriel and his wife, Norma, have been married for 34 years and have two sons, Gabriel Everest and Zachary Christian. His hobbies include golfing, cycling, and fishing.

city management clinic

2022 TCMA City Management Clinic Banner

Join TCMA for this Annual Event
February 24-25, 2022

Topics and Speakers Include:

Managing Mental Health in an Organization during Stressful Times
Speakers: Joseph LaBeau, Retired City Manager, Licensed Professional Counselor, and Mental Health Consultant; and Brent Parker, Interim City Manager and Former Fire Chief, City of Wylie

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds for Small Cities
Speakers: Adrienne Lothery, Assistant City Manager, City of Colleyville; and Nicole Little, Business Process Analyst, City of Pflugerville

The Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS) Report
Speaker: David Wescoe, Executive Director, Texas Municipal Retirement System

Lessons Learned from the 2021 Storm
Speakers: Michael Marrero, City Manager, City of Odessa; and Kenneth Williams, City Manager, City of Buda

Practical DEI
Speaker: Cliff Keheley, City Manager, City of Mesquite

Legislative Update
Speaker: Jared Miller, TCMA Public Policy Task Force Chair and City Manager, City of Amarillo

To learn more and register, visit the City Management Clinic website

This educational event is for government officials only.

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 governments 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 information and applications, click here.

TCMA also provides opportunities for professional development through scholarships. Unless otherwise noted, 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 information and applications, click here.

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

perspectives on city management: tcma podcast open call

Do you have a unique story about the exciting life of a city manager? Our audience wants to hear from you. All stories submitted will be reviewed and the most compelling will be selected for a future episode. to submit your story, click My Story.

member news

Jared Miller

Amarillo City Manager Jared Miller was recently recognized for the leadership skills he learned while serving our country as an officer in the United States Navy Reserve. To read the full article, click here.


TCMA is saddened by the passing of Keith Smith, husband of Mary Smith, city manager, City of Rockwall. Keith served as a building official for the City of Mesquite and served on the board of the Building Officials Association of Texas. Services were held on November 10. For a full obituary, please click Keith Smith.

when i grow up

What do you want to be when you grow up? A question we have all been asked since we learned to talk. Typical answers are astronaut, firefighter, teacher, police officer, doctor, lawyer, etc.

I have never heard city manager in that list. When I realized that local government was my future career, I began reading books on leadership and management. Most of the books, however, are written from the private sector perspective. While there are countless similarities, a career in public service takes a special kind of person–a doer. A person with a servant heart that, at the end of the day, realizes their profession is all about the people they serve. As I started to think about what I want my legacy to be as the 2017 Urban Management Assistants of North Texas president, my focus was on preparing emerging local government leaders for taking on the next step in their careers.

Over the course of several months, I interviewed 19 local government leaders made up of new city managers, tenured city managers, former city managers, and deputy and assistant city managers. I asked them the questions I was asked most often from emerging leaders. While writing a guide to help early professionals be proactive in making opportunities for them to be successful in their current and future positions, I believe the following advice is applicable to everyone in local government:

  • Be a Learner: By raising your hand and asking the right questions, you gain experience you might not get otherwise. It's less about knowing the subject matter, and more about having a general knowledge of every department and possessing the ability to learn how to manage anything whether you know a lot about it or not. “Have the guts to stand up and tell people what you want and be bold enough to ask for help to get there.” – Tom Hart
  • Be Ambitious: Actively prepare yourself from day one and be intentional about what you're going to learn from your experiences. Be able to identify your own personal gaps, and make a plan to address them. Attend trainings and seminars that are outside of your comfort zone, volunteer to lead or assist projects, or ask to attend meetings for specific departments or initiatives. “Be a barn burner: hungry for more opportunities outside of your current scope.” – Jack Carr
  • Build Relationships: Everything is done through relationships. Everything. From addressing resident complaints, to building a budget, to executing city council's vision. Understand that multiple people from various departments must be able to work together. The ability to relate to people and see things from their point of view is absolutely critical. “Understand what you need to do to build a high performing team that is respectful of each other's skill sets and is willing to work together to be successful.” – Lea Dunn
  • Have Confidility: Confidence and humility are two soft skills that were brought up in the sentence from multiple managers. So I coined a new term “confidility.” The definition is to have a feeling of self-assurance with a modest view of your own importance. Having confidility will help you believe in yourself and your ability to perform at a high level without losing sight of the team effort that makes your organization successful, especially when you are looking to take the next step in your career. “You’re ready for the next step when you finally get to the point where you feel like you’ve done enough and prepared yourself enough to have the confidence, not the ego, to lead people.” – Robbie Corder
  • Be a Servant Leader: Servant leadership is an organizational lifestyle that starts and ends with you. At its core, servant leadership is leading by example, never asking someone to do something you wouldn't be willing to do yourself, and putting the needs of others before your own. City management is a calling greater than just a job. You are a public servant and are committed to making your community a better place by making people's lives better through the services you provide. Therefore, servant leadership and city management go hand-in-hand. “Be willing to do what is right and don’t compromise your values.” – James Fisher

Looking back over this guide, I would add another piece of advice: Be a Networker. Networking is extremely important in professional development. It allows you to build connections with people in this profession that you can turn to for anything. One of the major benefits of being a member of TCMA is the opportunities our organization provides to make these connections happen whether through webinars, region meetings, or the annual conference. Because of these events, I have been able to build a network and can reach out to when faced with a new challenge or issue and meet with incredible leaders in our field to ask career or professional advice. Networking also helps get your name out there when you are looking for a new job opportunity. The more you network, the more your name will come up when opportunities open and cities or recruiters start reaching out to you to apply. 

Lastly, I want to recognize the local government leaders who took the time not only meet with me, but invested time in developing the next generation of leaders:

  • Bruce Glasscock, former City Manager, City of Plano
  • Cliff Keheley, City Manager, City of Mesquite
  • Dan Johnson, City Manager, City of Richardson
  • Eric Ellwanger, City Manager, City of Allen
  • Erin Rinehart, City Manager, City of Carrollton
  • Jack Carr, Deputy City Manager, City of Plano
  • James Fisher, former City Manager, City of Brenham
  • Lea Dunn, Assistant City Manager, City of University Park
  • Mark Hindman, City Manager, City of North Richland Hills
  • Mark Israelson, City Manager, City of Plano
  • Matt Mueller, Town Manager, Town of Little Elm
  • Paul Grimes, City Manager, City of McKinney
  • Paulette Hartman, Deputy City Manager, City of North Richland Hills
  • Peter Vargas, former City Manager, City of Allen
  • Robbie Corder, City Manager, City of University Park
  • Shana Yelverton, City Manager, City of Southlake
  • Shelli Siemer, Deputy City Manager, City of Plano
  • Tom Hart, former City Manager, City of Grand Prairie
  • Wes Pierson, City Manager, Town of Addison

(Submitted by Caitlan Biggs, Director of Administrative Services/Town Secretary, Little Elm)

ethics corner

The Burden and Bounty of Leadership

I had a high school football coach that would go through game footage with us on Monday afternoons. Coach Allen did what you would expect a good coach to do; he praised players for excellent performance and told the rest of us what we needed to work on at the next practice. Yes, I was in the “rest of us” category. Coach Allen was liberal with his praise and respectful when administering a critique. That alone made him a good coach.  What qualified him as an excellent coach was his insistence on personal accountability.

Coach Allen used to say that he would never hold us accountable for a loss of yardage when he called a bad play. He would insist on taking responsibility for the loss. In doing so, he inspired those of us that hadn’t met our potential on a well-designed, poorly-executed play to hold ourselves accountable in front of our teammates. Coach Allen was an exemplary coach, as evidenced by the fact that I still remember his name and leadership qualities more than thirty years after I played for him. Also evidenced by the fact that I readily admitted to being in the “rest of us” category, and I did not lie about the “game footage” being on a reel. See…personal accountability-ish.

As a city manager, I find myself in Coach Allen’s cleats more often than not. Whether I have designed, called, or executed the play, I must take personal accountability for my role in its outcome. It is expected of me, as it should be. When the outcome is not the desired one, I must be willing to consider how I may have performed better. When things go well, I get the pleasure of watching the team celebrate and the satisfaction of knowing I played a part in its success. This is both the burden and bounty of leadership. 

There are a number of similarities between coaching and public service, the most obvious of which is teamwork. We all have our roles to play, much like a team has its coaches and players. Appointed officials conduct research and design plays that, hopefully, get first downs or touchdowns. That sounds a lot like drafting a proposal or policy. Elected officials make decisions or, in other words, call the plays. Appointed officials then execute those plays. Our very own Code of Ethics recognizes these similarities.

Tenets 4 & 5 – Scouting and Designing the Plays

In our efforts to serve the best interests of the people and businesses in our communities, we are obligated to inform our governing bodies of the potential effects on stakeholders in their jurisdictions, especially if their decisions may result in a disproportionate impact on one or more stakeholder (Tenet 4). Furthermore, we must do our best to eliminate barriers to public involvement, so people in their jurisdictions can actively engage in the decision-making process. This is especially important when the policy or action may be controversial or unpopular. We must always remember that our purpose is to serve the best interests of the people even when our decisions elicit public criticism.

Whether the decision that lies before our elected bodies has to do with land use, tax rates, or incentives to a developer, our obligations remain the same. We must provide them with policy options and/or proposals which have been developed utilizing facts, and the technical and professional advice provided by the many talented professionals we have the benefit of collaborating with regularly (Tenet 5). Our proposals should align with the elected body’s existing goals and objectives whenever possible. Should our recommendation deviate from the previously established goals and objectives, we must demonstrate how the proposed deviation would result in a more beneficial outcome than was previously thought to be achievable. This is often the case when new information or opportunities become available.

Tenet 6 – Calling and Executing the Plays

When our elected bodies make a decision, they do so with the understanding that their community will hold them accountable for it. Once that decision has been made, we are responsible for implementing their decision (Tenet 6). Whether we agree with their decision or not is irrelevant. I have seen this process fail in cities and counties across the country. In my humble opinion, this is often due to ego or pride-of-authorship, an affliction neither side is immune to. Ethical and honorable elected and appointed officials are far less likely to fall victim to the sort of inner turmoil seemingly present in teams that lack personal accountability.

I cannot speak for any of you, so it’s more appropriate to focus on my own experiences as an appointed official. During my career I have been able to identify with Coach Allen, the player that put on a great performance, and the player that had plenty of skills to brush up on at the next practice. I have made some great policy recommendations and some that, with the benefit of hindsight, weren’t as good as I thought they were. I have even fallen victim to my own ego a time or two. There are two core principles that I have been able to fall back on when things haven’t gone well; the knowledge that I made the recommendation that I believed to be in the best interest of the people I serve, and my commitment to personal accountability. 

Coach Allen’s personal accountability philosophy is one that I have adopted as my own. I believe that high-performing teams, especially those in the council-manager form of government, are at their best when elected and appointed officials can rely on one another to hold themselves accountable for the decisions they make. Personal accountability is contagious and should be nurtured in our organizations, even if it means extra laps around the field after a council meeting.

(Submitted by Joe Smolinski, City Manager, Mansfield)


TCMA Podcast
Perspectives on City Management
Listen to episodes here

William "King" Cole Session 1
January 27-28, 2022

TCMA City Management Clinic
February 24-25, 2022

William "King" Cole Session 2
March 24-25, 2022

Memos on Meetings

The TCMA Allies Committee will meet on January 7, 2022, via video conference.

The Membership Committee will meet on January 14, 2022, via video conference.

The Board will meet on January 21, 2022, in Austin.                               

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