tcma annual conference news
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NEW! If you check in at conference registration by 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, a special drink ticket for the Welcome Reception will be provided.
Check Out This New Saturday Session:
Let the Light Shine: How and Why TCMA is Helping Address Members' Brain/Mental Health Needs
The challenges of our profession can be draining, weigh heavy, and take a toll on our mental health. In this session, attendees will learn about TCMA's new partnership with Deer Oaks EAP Services and the goals of the Membership Committee's Mental Health Sub-Committee. Additionally, a former career city manager will share their powerful, personal testimony to overcome struggles.
Please view the most up-to-date COVID public health recommendations here:
National guidelines via the CDC website
Texas guidelines via the DSHS website
Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa
Jim Benton is no longer the city administrator of the City of Alma. Linda Blazek is the new city administrator.
John Camp is no longer the city manager of the City of Saint Augustine. Jeaneyse Mosby is serving as the city manager.
Chris Castaneda is serving as the city manager of the City of Carrizo Springs.
Charles Cox retired as the city manager of the City of Farmers Branch.
George Evanko is serving as the city administrator of the City of Leonard.
Darrell Hull (police chief) is serving as the interim city manager of the City of Kennedale.
Sheyi Ipaye is the new city manager of the City of Willis.
Charles “Tink” Jackson is no longer the city manager of the City of Missouri City. Sedrick Cole is serving as the interim city manager.
Jeff Jones is the new town manager of the Town of Sunnyvale.
Steven Jones is the new city administrator of the City of Trinity.
David Junek has been appointed as the City of Snook’s first full-time city administrator.
Jason King is serving as the interim city manager of the City of Stephenville.
David Kocurek is no longer the city manager of the City of Palacios. Cynthia Raleigh is the new city manager.
Nate Mara is the new city manager of the City of Decatur, effective July1.
Terralyn May is serving as the interim city manager of the City of Prairie View.
Ray Miller is serving as the city administrator of the City of Thorndale.
Scott Moore is the new city manager of the City of Manor.
Brent Parker was appointed as the city manager of the City of Wylie.
Le Ann Piatt is no longer the city manager of the City of Converse.
Wes Pierson is the new city manager of the City of Frisco, effective August 2.
Ray Resendez (police chief) is serving as the interim city manager of the City of Dumas.
Ricky Tow was appointed as the new city manager of the City of Cameron, effective July 18. He is currently serving as the city manager of the City of Gladewater.
Danna Welter is the new city administrator of the City of Splendora.
Stacy Williams is no longer the city manager of the City of Cleveland. Angela Smith (city secretary) is serving as the interim city manager.
Jim Winkelmann is the new city administrator of the City of Comanche.
Greg Wortham is no longer the city manager of the City of Colorado City. Donna Madrid is serving as the interim city manager.
The TCMA Management Messenger welcomes the following new members approved by the Executive Committee on May 25, 2022.
Full: Bobby Atteberry, Interim City Manager, Denison; Hayden Brodowsky, Director of Operations, Hudson Oaks; Sylvia Carrillo, City Administrator, Sunset Valley; Rick Chaffin, City Manager, Gunter; Erin , Interim City Manager, Brady; Matthew Daeumer, Assistant City Manager, La Porte; Alejandra Lopez, Assistant City Manager, San Antonio; Marshal McIntosh, Deputy City Manager, Brownwood; Jimmy Purcell, City Manager, White Oak; Jessica Rogers, Assistant City Manager, Tomball; Paula Ryan, Deputy City Manager, Missouri City; Dana Schoening, Assistant City Manager, Sweetwater; Shane West, City Manager, Overton
Associate: Frances Aguilar, City Secretary/Director of Municipal Court, Angleton; Justin Balderas, Executive Director, Levelland Economic Development Corporation; Haden Farr, Assistant to the City Manager, Keene; Melissa Fields-Allgeyer, HR Director, Levelland; Genesis Gavino, Chief of Staff, Dallas; Shelly Klein, Assistant to the City Manager, Hurst; Winema Martinez, Management Analyst, Mesquite; Kim McAuliffe, Downtown Development Manager, Georgetown; Sandra Overstreet, Director of Human Resources, Pantego; Jerod Potts, Assistant to the City Manager, Sachse
Cooperating: E. Jay Ellington, City Manager, Texarkana, Arkansas; Stacey Williams
Student: Vivian Beltran, Lamar 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 May:
Full: Wendy Baimbridge, City Administrator, Hedwig Village; Jose Cavazos, Interim City Manager, Levelland; Cesar Garcia, City Manager, La Marque; Karen Glynn, City Administrator, Bunker Hill Village; Jason King, Interim City Manager, Stephenville; April Knudsen, City Administrator, Roman Forest; Cynthia Raleigh, City Manager, Palacios
Associate: Monica Benavides, Assistant to the City Manager, Denton; Drey Hicks, Assistant to the City Manager, League City; Kylie Jackson, Innovation Manager, Sugar Land; Shayla Lee, Assistant to the City Manager, Sugar Land; Molly Martin, Economic Development Director, Joshua; Cesar Rodriguez, Directory of Strategy Management, McAllen
Cooperating: Dipalben Chaudhary, Management Analyst-Finance, Mesquite; Elizabeth Grindstaff, Account Manager, Freese and Nichols; Anthony Snipes, Regional Director-AHF, AIDS Healthcare Foundation
meet your colleagues
The TCMA Management Messenger welcomes Trey Fletcher to his new position as the city administrator for the City of West Lake Hills as of May 2. He began his public service career in 1996 as a planner in Louisiana and returned to Texas in 2001 with a short gig in consulting in Houston. He then continued with planning work with the cities of College Station and Pflugerville. While in Pflugerville, Trey entered the city management realm serving various roles, most recently as deputy city manager.
Trey has a Bachelor of Science in geography from Texas A&M University, where he was in the Corps of Cadets and the fightin’ Texas Aggie class of 1995.
Trey and his wife, Becky, have been married 24 years and continue to reside in Pflugerville. They have two children - Megan and Andrew. Megan is completing her third year at The University of Texas at Austin, and Andrew will be deploying for boot camp in June to prepare for service in the United States Marine Corps.
TCMA is saddened by the passing of Bob Hart on April 29. Bob served as city manager of the cities of Sundown, Sweetwater, Pampa, Georgetown, Huntsville, Kennedale, and Corinth. He was a recipient of the TCMA Lifetime Achievement Award and TCMA Mentoring Award, and was to be honored at the 2022 TCMA Annual Conference with the 35 Year Service Award.
The City of Corinth has posted words about Bob that can be viewed here.
A celebration of life was held on May 10 at the Denton Bible Church. For a full obituary, please click here.
Please keep his wife, Lois, and family in your thoughts and prayers.
TCMA is also saddened by the passing of Denny Arnold on May 2. He served as city manager of the cities of Victoria, Schertz, and Stamford. Denny was a TCMA life member.
Funeral services were held on Saturday, May 7 at the Rosewood Funeral Home in Victoria.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
Please keep his wife, Carole, and family in your thoughts and prayers. For a full obituary, please click here.
consumer fraud scams
Due to timely technology and enduring greed, we continue to be at war with the constantly growing and spreading industry of consumer fraud scams. Every day cybercrooks are plotting their next steal. More than ever, the bad guys are on our phones and computers tricking our loved ones, spamming our email boxes, mining our information, and impersonating us. Scam pitches have intensified to the point that each of us, daily, is forced to battle with fraudulent and harmful texts, social media posts, phone calls, and emails. This article will provide information on three consumer fraud scams, top 2022 scams, and some prevention methods.
Consumer fraud scams starts with knowing some of our personal information such as names, email addresses, passwords, credit card information, and social security numbers. Scammers potentially steal this information each time we log into our user accounts on various web sites such as Microsoft, Yahoo, Marriott International, Adobe, and Facebook. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there were a record 1,862 publicly reported breaches of large-organization customer databases last year. Another means of obtaining our personal information is through Malware or malicious software. If your computer is compromised with a keylogger, every letter we type is revealed to the cybercrooks who then can steal our banking and email credentials.
A more common target for data stealing is unprotected smartphones. They are the weakest link to our personal information and cybercrooks know it. Mobile malware can steal data, conduct surveillance, and even perform malicious advertising. It can hide undetected on devices for some time. Scammer attacks reach our cell phones via application downloads, system vulnerabilities, phishing emails, the use of non-secure or public Wi-Fi connections, and by text or voicemail phishing attacks.
Once our personal information is obtained, it is easily and cheaply bought in illegal, international underground digital shops or online forums through data brokers. Today, our social security number is worth about $2 and no more than $5 if it includes a name and birth date. A person’s credit card information is worth $25-$35, a hacked Facebook account can bring $65 while a selfie photo with a United States driver’s license brings $100. Even internet-browsing “fingerprints” are sold for $3 on the black market.
Without our personal information, scammers cannot reach us or pretend to be us. To fight back on data stealing:
- Use multifactor authentication on all digital accounts.
- Use antivirus software and perform cybersecurity updates on all devices.
- Do not save credit card numbers online with merchants or service providers.
- Freeze your credit at the three major credit bureaus.
- Activate biometric locks on mobile devices.
The Boiler Room
In the past, shady calls offering an enticing investment opportunity usually came from a large United States suburban office, with several so called “salespeople” making pitches. Their goal was to quickly bond with us so to create a sense of urgency such as “act now or you will lose your chance to make thousands of dollars!” Today, boiler rooms (named because the original unlawful call centers were usually located in building basements) remain as one of the top outlets for consumer fraud scams.
With today’s technology, boiler rooms are set up with state-of-the-art computers, high speed internet, and automatic dialing systems allowing scammers to reach hundreds of us a day. The scammers false pitches come to us via our phones, email accounts, social media feeds and text screens. Unlike the past, boiler rooms can be located anywhere in the world. And, with the help of VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calling costs are low, and phone numbers can be tricked to look like it’s coming from a known location. Additionally, before making a call, scammers mine the dark web, the internet, and social media to arm themselves with personal information about us (age, location, passions, political views, etc.). One useful piece of information for scammers is knowing the links we click on thus showing our interest in a product or topic. From that knowledge, cybercrooks prepare a detailed calling script with the intent to hook us.
To fight back on boiler room scams:
- Ignore telephone calls from unknown or unfamiliar numbers; let the caller leave a message.
- Know the language of fraud- Listen for words and phrases such as "insider information," "exclusive deal," "act now," or "you will miss this great opportunity."
- When it involves money, never make a quick decision. Check the caller's credentials.
The underground financial world of money laundering is where gift cards, cryptocurrency, wire transfers, and other payment methods are converted into clean cash untraceable by law enforcement, and banks and other legitimate financial institutions. The easiest and most common money laundering scam is gift cards.
A gift card is like cash: once used, the untraceable money on it is gone. In December 2021, the Federal Trade Commission released data showing a loss of $148 million in gift cards to scammers. Gift card scams start with a phone call from a scammer pretending to be someone they’re not with a goal to scare or pressure us into acting quickly, so that we do not have time to think or talk to someone we trust. Common gift card scams include:
- A scammer pretending to be from the IRS claiming taxes are owed and convincing you to send him gift cards in exchange for reduction in what is owed.
- You meet someone special on a dating website, but then they need money and ask for help. The romance scammer makes up a story to trick you into sending him gift cards.
- A scammer says you have won a prize but first, you must pay fees with a gift card.
- You receive an unexpected refund check. When inquiring about it, you are told to deposit the check, then give them the difference on a gift card. Since it is a fake, the check bounces.
After purchasing the gift card, the scammer will always ask for the gift card number and PIN allowing them to get the money loaded onto the card right away. So, what do cybercrooks do with the gift card information? They purchase popular high-tech products and other desirable goods to resell. After paying off everyone involved, crooks still make a pure profit even if the products resells for less than 50 cents on a dollar. Just like gift cards, scammers will convince us to wire money via Western Union or other such companies. Once sent, the receiving scammer picks up the money and walks away.
To fight back on money laundering scams involving gift cards, remember gift cards are for gifts and not for payments. If you find yourself heading to the store to send a wire transfer because an unknown someone on the phone demanded so, STOP.
Top 2022 Scams
It is important to continue watching out for the tried-and-true scams, such as romance and online purchase scams. But we must beware of modern twists such as when scammers incorporate a recent event into their messages and use new technology more effectively. The list below focuses on the top 2022 scams as reported by the Consumer Fraud Reporting Organization, Federal Trade Commission, and the American Association of Retired Persons:
- Fake Government Officials – Scammers send an email, letter or phone call pretending to be from the IRS, FBI, or SSA instructing you to wire Western Union or MoneyGram money someplace.
- P2P Payment Request - Scammers demanding payment via money transfer apps such as Venmo and Zelle that is done in seconds and cannot be cancelled.
- Fake Check Payments - You sell something online and you are overpaid. Scammers instruct you to wire money back. The check looks real; but after cashing it, you find it is fake.
- Fake Job Frauds – Scammers pretending to be recruiters calling, emailing, or texting with high-salary or work-at-home job offers with a goal to get additional personal information or to convince you to send money for bogus home-office setups or fake fees.
- Rental Assistance - Scammers impersonating government or nonprofit employees requesting personal information and money up front to process rental assistance application fees.
- Arrest Warrant – Scammers create a fake Caller ID so to appear to be calling from a local law enforcement agency saying there is a warrant for your arrest and that you can pay the fine to avoid jail time. Payment is by Western Union, other wire transfer or pre-paid debit card.
- Scam Text Messages – Scammers sending a text alert from your bank asking you to confirm information by following a link on your smart phone to steal personal information.
While scammers' delivery methods and messaging can quickly change, a few basic security measures can help protect you from the latest and most common scams. Be skeptical when someone you do not know contacts you, never share personal information, usernames, passwords, or one-time codes online or on the telephone, enable multifactor authentication, be careful with your phone usage, and beware of suspicious payment requirements. Also, change your passwords on important accounts every three months using a random combination of words, numbers and symbols, never keep passwords in a list on your computer – record them in a highly secured password manager system or write them in a book, review your credit account when receiving an alert about potential data breaches from reliable online organizations, and purge your social media accounts of any personal information.
(Submitted by Carole Vanzant, Assistant City Manager, Fair Oaks Ranch)
The Year in Review
Recently, I was asked to prepare and deliver a presentation on “an emerging issue facing local government.” After giving this some thought, the question asked in my presentation was “Is there growing pressure to change how local government administrators define professionalism?”
Most of us have had plenty of opportunities to explain our jobs to councilmembers, community leaders, city employees, and in-laws. Often, people assume it is the mayor who hires the public works director. Sometimes people think they should hand their building permit application to a councilmember. When given the opportunity to explain our roles, and when we are confronted with questions and confusion, we typically use the word “professional.”
If time permits, we go on to explain what this means: we are politically neutral, leave the policymaking to the elected officials, prefer facts over opinions, think long term over short term, and reward merit rather than cronyism. We also say we respect the role of the elected officials, are careful about how our personal advocacies play out in public, and we promote servant leadership amongst our teams.
Increasingly in my experience, the definition is not well understood by my audience. That could be age induced crankiness on my part, but it could also be symptomatic of a nation-wide hyper political culture that is finding its way into our city halls. I do not remember anyone advocating for partisan local elections before, but I hear it now. I also do not remember being encouraged to reveal my personal ideological leanings, as much as I have been these past few years.
Here is a definition of professionalism people tend to understand: Our Code of Ethics. I wonder if any other profession is as clear on this point as we are. Ethics training is the only training we require. It is fun telling engineers and lawyers that there is no standard test, no license to practice. City managers come from a variety of educational and vocational backgrounds and experiences. The one thing we require to join our membership is the most important thing. We are required to behave ethically toward our city councils, our communities, and our employees. This has both lofty and humble implications and speaks directly to being politically neutral, how we submit our recommendations to policy makers, how we treat our employees, and in short whether we are trustworthy.
So, yes, a city can hire a city manager who is not a TCMA member. By this definition, that person should not be thought of as a professional. (Age induced crankiness may be real.)
I do think there is pressure to change how we view professionalism. Maybe some aspects of the definition should change. The good news for TCMA members is that definition only changes if we change the Code of Ethics, and that does not happen easily, or behind closed doors.
I am happy to serve as chair of the TCMA Ethics Committee. Here is a quick recap of our activities this past year:
- The committee recently reviewed and made recommendations to the Board to clarify the process and application of the Code in the Rules of Procedure for Enforcement. The Board will vote to approve at the June Board meeting.
- Recently recommended a public censure of a member, which was approved by the Board and publicized in the most recent Management Messenger.
- Produce the monthly “Ethics Corner,” provide “train the trainer” ethics training, keep our online training courses up to date, and oversee the ethics training provided at the William King Cole sessions and the annual conference.
- Currently investigating two ethics complaints against TCMA members.
I look forward to welcoming members to Bastrop for the Annual Conference this year. Caitlin Biggs of Little Elm and Andrew Freeman of Amarillo are providing the ethics training and attendees are in for a treat.
Thank you for your ethical service and leadership.
(Submitted by Paul Hofmann, Ethics Chair and City Manager, Bastrop)
tcma educational EVENTS
Perspectives on City Management
Listen to episodes here
Tex-ICMA Coaching Webinars
(Pre-registration is required)
The Generational Workforce
12:30-2:00 p.m., Thursday, June 16
12:30-2:00 p.m., Thursday, September 8
Alternatives to Silos
12:30-2:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 20
Everyone Has Personal Challenges
12:30-2:00 p.m., Thursday, November 17
Memos on Meetings
The TCMA Allies Committee met via video conference on May 5.
The Budget Committee met via video conference on May 6.
The Board will meet on June 9 in conjunction with the TCMA Annual Conference.
The Public Policy Task Force will meet via video conference on June 16.
The Professional Development Committee will meet August 25-26.