Stress and Its Impact on Your Health
Friday August 5, 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Register today for this complimentary mental health and wellbeing webinar!
TCMA is excited to offer a new quarterly webinar series, Maximizing Mental Health in the Workplace. In partnership with Deer Oaks, this four-part webinar series is designed to assist members with mental health and wellbeing.
This session is a practical look at the effect stress has on individuals mentally and physically, along with helpful strategies for recognizing stress and proactively implementing techniques that can improve health, productivity, and life satisfaction.
To register, please click Mental Health and Wellbeing
Henry Arredondo is the new city administrator of the City of Dilley.
Brian Barboza is the new city administrator of the City of Knox City.
Chris Bentley is no longer the city administrator of the City of Whitney.
Erica Berry is no longer the city manager of the City of Llano. She is the new city administrator of the City of Bangs.
Sharon Citino is the new city manager of the City of Bellaire.
Tully Davidson is no longer the city administrator of the City of Grand Saline. Dana Clair is the new city administrator.
Rick Davis will no longer serve as the city manager of the City of Baytown, effective December 31.
Kevin Denney is the interim city manager of the City of Jarrell.
James Earp is the new city manager of the City of Hutto, effective August 3.
Kevin Gee is the new city manager of the City of Lufkin, effective August 2.
Melissa Gonzalez is no longer the city administrator of the City of Taft. Sid Arismendez is the interim city manager.
Konrad Hildebrandt is the new city administrator of the City of McLendon-Chisholm.
Jerry Hood is no longer the city administrator of the City of Pinehurst.
Lindsay Koskiniemi is the new city manager of the City of Sweeny.
John Land is the interim city manager of the City of Farmers Branch.
Julie Oakley will no longer serve as the city manager of the City of Lakeway, effective September 2.
Ron Patterson will serve as the interim town manager of the Town of Prosper.
Robert Reynolds is the interim city manager of the City of Cleveland.
Ray Resendez was appointed as the city manager of the City of Dumas.
Vanessa Shrauner is the new city manager of the City of Rockport.
Charles Smith is the new city manager of the City of Gladewater.
Tammy Soliz is the new city administrator of the City of Point Comfort.
Ashley Wayman was appointed as the new city administrator of the City of Rollingwood.
Tim Whitley is the city administrator of the City of Malakoff.
David C. Williams II will no longer serve as the city administrator of the City of Kempner, effective September 30.
The TCMA Management Messenger welcomes the following new members approved by the Executive Committee on July 25.
Full: Cedric Cole, Interim City Manager, Missouri City; Nathan Mara, City Manager, Decatur; Justin Parker, Interim City Manager, Spearman
Associate: Edgar Garcia, Director of Planning, McAllen; Placido Madera, Planning Director, Eagle Pass; Mark Rauscher, Assistant Director, Fort Worth Fire Department
Student: Eric Burnside, The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley
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 July:
Full: Paul Brandenburg, City Administrator, Liberty Hill; Konrad Hildebrandt, City Administrator, McLendon-Chisholm; Matt Lingafelter, Assistant City Administrator, Sunset Valley; Lety Yanez, Assistant City Manager, Wylie; William Zermeno, Deputy City Administrator, Yorktown
Associate: Carter Estes, Assistant to the City Manager, Amarillo; Juan Pablo Villarreal, Director of Internal Services, Brownsville; Elizabeth Suarez, Director of Aviation, McAllen
mEET YOUR COLLEAGUES
The TCMA Management Messenger introduces and welcomes Lindsay Koskiniemi (pronounced: kos-kuh-nee-mee). Lindsay began her position as city manager for the City of Sweeny on July 18, 2022. She began her career in municipal government after serving on active duty in the United States Coast Guard.
Lindsay holds masters degrees in accountancy and public administration and is a Certified Public Manager and Certified Government Finance Officer. Lindsay is a graduate of the Texas Women’s Leadership Institute (Alpha Class) and is passionate about public service, cultivating leadership at all levels of organizations, and the importance of mentorship on the success of the city management profession. Active in her community, Lindsay serves as a member on the Iowa Colony Parks Advisory Committee and a tribal member on the Pawnee Nation Liquor Control Commission.
Lindsay and her husband, Warner, have been married for nearly 11 years and are a blended family with 3 kids: two incoming high school seniors, Riley and Taylor, and Parker, who will be in fifth grade. Never a dull moment in the Koskiniemi household, the family has two rescue cats, two dogs, enjoys boating, fishing, outdoor recreation, and good food.
TCMA is saddened by the passing of John Hatchel. John was a TCMA life member. He served as the city manager of the City of Plainview, assistant city manager and deputy city manager for the City of Waco, and in various cities as interim city manager.
Memorial services were held on July 25 at the First Methodist Church in Woodway. Please keep his wife Linda and family in your thoughts and prayers. A full obituary can be viewed here.
TCMA is sadden by the passing of Jill Haffner wife of Mark Hafner city manager of the City of Keller. Jill passed on July 26 after her battle is multiple sclerosis. Jill request that no formal services be planned. A complete obituary and information on memorial donations can be found here.
Assistant City Manager Rebecca Vice, City of Allen, received the Linda Keithley Award for Women in Public Management. This award recognizes an outstanding female in public management in North Central Texas who exemplifies the standards represented by Linda Keithley during her 17 years of service with the North Central Texas Council of Governments. Rebecca was recognized on July 12 by the City of Allen Council.
Assistant City Manager Justin Weiss, City of Fate, published his first book, B is for Beekeeping. Justin wrote the book because he wanted to give something to his children. He also learned that beekeeping is rather therapeutic and bees are critical to our survival. To learn more, click here.
three crises in the first three years
I was appointed city manager for the City of El Campo in May of 2019 following a long career in government finance. As deputy city manager, I thought I had an idea of what city management entailed. I certainly wasn’t prepared for the ride ahead. None of us in 2019 knew the next three years would be so tumultuous.
In my first year of city management, the global pandemic COVID-19 struck. Without any emergency management experience as an administrator, I did the best I could, just like the hundreds of other city managers throughout this state. I looked regionally, locally, and even nationally at procedures and setting up protocols. We dealt with our first cases and learned to manage with staff who worked from home. We made mistakes, we learned from them, and then leaned on the resources we had to get through it. The emails from my fellow managers in Region VI validated and assisted in more ways than the members in my region will ever know.
We were figuring it out, I suppose. We had made it through the rough summer of 2020, and the increase in cases throughout the early winter, and then…Winter Storm Uri hit. It took out the power to some, not all, of our water plants. The generator at City Hall worked and then failed. My family was without power to our home for 66 hours. Roads were iced over and cell service was out. My staff could find me working remotely in the Public Safety Headquarters (with a functioning generator) Conference Room. Councilmembers appeared intermittently because there was no way to reach them. Our biggest concern was losing water pressure. Feeling helpless for the second time in less than a year, we did what we always did, we charged through. We secured generators, instructed staff when we were able, and planned for the next time this happened. And while we appreciate the State of Texas recognizing the need for clean, drinkable water, we also desperately need funds to meet the mandate for generated run power.
Of course, this leads to the third crisis in three years. One we are all facing. Inflation. Supply chain shortages. Labor force issues (can’t find them, can’t keep them). Rising gas prices. We survived 2008, right? Somehow, this one feels different. It feels different than after 9/11, too. Maybe because as the administrator I see the effects holistically. Perhaps because I’m the one at the dais asking for more funding, explaining why a cost-of-living adjustment isn’t sufficient. I’m the one with the department head vacancy for 10 months, only to downgrade the position because there is no one qualified that has applied. And I’m the one responsible for predicting the unpredictable.
Despite it all, I don’t question my desire to be in city management. Like others, I realized there is no other profession that could fulfill my needs for a career. That there is no higher calling than public service. And I’ve learned a few lessons over the last three years:
- Planning is everything. We were lucky that some of us had been through emergencies before – hurricanes, financial crises, illnesses, but none of us were ready for all three (ice storm, pandemic, and economic upheaval).
- Communication is essential and is still our largest barrier. Not all messages were clearly nor effectively communicated to all parties involved. Assumptions lead to some misunderstandings and hurt feelings that could have been avoided.
- The media is your best friend. We relied heavily on our local media to get the message and they delivered.
- Don’t panic. Resisting that urge was extremely challenging.
- Clarification is still needed in many areas. We need to make our policies more user friendly. While these policies must be written in particular terms and legalese, we learned that we should develop more “cheat sheets” to making them clearer to our workforce. We found that many of our employees are not accustomed to regularly reading comprehensive policies, and it was difficult for them to quickly reference how our COVID-19 operations could impact them from a policy standpoint.
- Trust but verify. The accountant’s creed comes in handy. We were told a lot of things, some true, a lot turned out to be rumor or speculation.
- Life goes on. Whether we like it or not. We still received permit applications, we still had meetings, we still had payroll, water bills, and decisions to be made. Not all things could be put on hold. That was tough when everyone wanted to freeze.
- Taking care of yourself is important. I underestimated how the pandemic, winter storm, economic downtown, and their accompanying threats were going to affect me on a personal level. It was always in the back of my mind that this virus could take me down. What was the next step? Who would run the City? Did I prepare them enough? These were questions that kept me up at night, questions that haunted me every time I touched a door handle, went to a meeting and walked through the doors at City Hall.
During the beginning of the pandemic, back in 2020, when stress levels and uncertainty were high, I wish I had taken the time to tend to my own mental and emotional health needs. Decision fatigue is very real and can be compounded by a wide range of opinions and emotions depending on the situation. Ultimately, we all worked together to achieve our common goal, but now wish we had extended some of the care to ourselves. It is important for those of us who are leaders to remember that our well-being is important for each of our organizations’ success in any situation.
As we move into the next crisis, and there surely will be one, we have an entire generation of leaders who have experienced their fair share of emergencies. I’m confident in the resiliency and resolve in the next generation of leaders who have learned to make tough decisions, tackle challenges, and face adversity head on. Through it all, I’m grateful for the network that TCMA has afforded me, to know that none of us, are in this alone.
(Article submitted by Courtney Sladek, CGFO, ICMA-CM, City Manager, El Campo)
2022 ICMA ANNUAL CONFERENCE SCHOLARSHIPS AND TEXAS RECEPTION
ICMA is offering eighteen Annual Conference Assistance Scholarships to the 2022 TCMA Annual Conference, September 17-21, in Columbus, Ohio. Each scholarship includes complimentary registration and a $1,000 travel stipend. Click ICMA Scholarship for information and to apply.
If you’re attending the ICMA Annual Conference please plan to attend the Annual Texas Reception on Monday, September 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at the Hilton Columbus Downtown, in Kojo Kamau Junior Ballroom A, located at 401 North High Street in Columbus.
tcma educational events
Perspectives on City Management
Listen to episodes here.
Tex-ICMA Coaching Webinars
(Pre-registration is required)
12:30-2:00 p.m., Thursday, September 8
12:30-2:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 20
Everyone Has Personal Challenges
12:30-2:00 p.m., Thursday, November 17
TCMA Webinar Series: Maximizing Mental Wellbeing in the Workplace
1:00-2:00 p.m., Friday, August 5
1:00-2:00 p.m., Friday, October 21
1:00-2:00 p.m., Friday, December 9
1:00-2:00 p.m., Friday, February 17, 2023
Memos on meetings
The City Managers of Tomorrow Committee met on July 18. Minutes are available here.
The Membership Committee is scheduled to meet via video conference on August 11.
The Ethics Committee is scheduled to meet via video conference on August 18.
The Professional Development Committee will meet on August 25-26.
The next Board meeting is September 9.