Let’s have some fun!
The past few years have been difficult for us all. Over a million American lives were lost to COVID. Last year, no Texas municipality was spared Winter Storm Uri. We have endured lockdowns and closures, partisanship and division, vaccine and mask debates, and the postponement or cancellation of significant milestones. In big ways and small, each of these exact a toll on our cities, our professional lives, and even our personal lives. TCMA recognizes our members’ needs and is in the early stages of rolling out meaningful new initiatives to address our mental health wellness. There will be numerous opportunities for our membership to take advantage of these offerings through sessions at our annual conference, quarterly online seminars, and at regional meetings.
As we face our many challenges, let us also focus on the beauty. The beauty of our call to service, the beauty of our kinship. I am thankful beyond words for the camaraderie of my fellow TCMA members. Many tears fell on May 24th as we saw the unspeakable horror that befell Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. Our hearts break for those families who lost innocent children in that close-knit community. Amongst the numerous prayers lifted were those for our friends City Manager Vince DiPiazza and Assistant City Manager Joe Cardenas. Their leadership is needed more than ever, and they have our support. We are an Association, and we have each other’s backs!
Lest we forget, we also have much to celebrate. In just four short years, TCMA will commemorate its 100th anniversary. We soon will begin the journey of making preparations for an amazing centennial in 2026. Our membership has blossomed to over 1,100, our past few annual conferences have set all-time attendance records, and our mid-year training events often sell out. For these things, and countless others, we have much for which to be thankful and joyful.
Finally, whether you are a Life Member who joined decades ago, or you are an aspiring young professional new to this business, know that you belong here. Take advantage of all TCMA has to offer, beginning with the opportunity to build lasting and meaningful relationships. A great year lies ahead. Let’s have some fun!
James J. Stokes
City Manager, City of Deer Park