June 2021

TCMA Management Messenger

TCMA Annual Conference News
Management Transitions
New Members
New Member Applications
Sympathy
TCMA President Visits
City of Lake Jackson Honors Bill Yenne
TCMA Welcomes a New Senior Advisor
Council Manager Form of Government
TML Intergovernmental Risk Pool Podcast
City Management and the Legislative Process
Ethics Corner
TCMA Educational Events
Memos on Meetings

Tcma annual conference news


Mobile app
Mobile App 2021Download the conference mobile app to access the schedule, speaker biographies, attendee roster, sponsors, and much more at the palm of your hand. The mobile app also allows you to build and personalize your daily schedule, receive reminders and updates, and socialize with your colleagues.

To download the app, visit the app store on your mobile device and search TCMA2021 or open this link www.tripbuildermedia.com/apps/tcma2021 on your mobile device. We look forward to seeing you soon!

For questions, please contact Emily Hughes at emily@tml.org.

Skip the Long Hotel Check-in Line
Kalahari is offering check-in for all conference guests in the same location as conference registration. Check-in at this location will be available only on Thursday, June 10, from 10:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m., at the convention center, Pre-function 7AB.

Parking

  • Complimentary self-parking
  • Valet parking is available. Please contact the hotel for rates at 512-651-1000.

Friday Night Event Tickets
If you purchased tickets to the event, remember to bring them for entry. Buses will be available on Friday, June 11, at 6:00 p.m. to transport attendees to Dell Diamond. Loading will be located at the Convention Center Portico. A handicapped accessible bus will be available. Please notify Kim Pendergraft at kim@tml.org in advance if you need assistance. To review the current COVID-19 protocols, please click Dell Diamond

Conference Attire
Casual attire is traditional for all TCMA Annual Conference events.

Special Accommodations
If you are in need of assistance of any kind, including dietary restrictions (such as allergies or sensitivities to particular ingredients), mobility, or audio or visual aids, please let us know prior to the conference. Contact Kim Pendergraft at 512-231-7400 or kim@tml.org.

COVID-19
Please visit Kalahari COVID-19 and the City of Round Rock for updates on protocols. Please remember to respect others and continue to practice reasonable safety protocols.

MANAGEMENT TRANSITIONS


Alejandro Barrera is the new city manager of the City of Roma.

Erica Berry is serving as the interim city manager of the City of Llano.

Gerry Boren resigned as the city manager of the City of Diboll. Keith Wright is serving as the interim city manager.

Tyler Collins is the new city administrator of the City of West Tawakoni.

Scott Edmonson is no longer the city manager of the City of Llano. He is the new city manager of the City of San Saba.

Charles Ewings is the new city manager of the City of Justin.

Gerald Gunstanson is the new city manager of the City of Ranger.

Bryan Hugghins is serving as the interim city manager of the City of Cibolo.

Mark McDaniel retired as the city manager of the City of Kerrville. E.A. Hoppe will serve as the new city manager.

Chester Nolen is no longer the city manager of the City of Bridgeport. Steve Stanford is serving as the interim city manager.

Joseph Pace is the new city manager of the City of Wharton, effective June 15.

Bernie Parker is the new city manager of the city of Keene.

Robert Patrick is the new city manager of the City of Midland.

Danny Presley is no longer the city manager of the City of Webster. Mike Ahrens is the new city manager.

Deana Smith is no longer the city manager of the City of Post. Meg Nelson is serving as the interim city manager.

Gary Smith is the new city administrator of the City of Troy.

Erik Zimmer is no longer the city manager of the City of Alpine. Megan Antrim is serving as the interim city manager.


New Members


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

Full: Amber Bransom, Assistant City Manager, Joshua; Tiffany Bruce, Assistant Town Manger/Town Engineer, Flower Mound; Daniel Buckley, Deputy City Manager, Galveston; Michael Chambers, City Administrator, Lorenzo; Adam Deweber, City Administrator, Muenster; Melissa Landin, City Manager, Eagle Lake; Richard Olson, Town Administrator, Argyle; Angela Smith, Deputy City Manager, Rowlett; Gerald Williamson, Assistant City Manager, Lufkin; Dr. Neiman Young, Assistant City Manager, Corpus Christi 

Associate: Sergio Alanis, Parks and Recreation Director, Pharr; Melanie Cano, Development Services Director, Pharr; Lindsey Guindi, Director of Strategic Projects, Bryan; Milford John-Williams, Assistant to the City Manager, Lake Jackson;
Brenda Miller-Fergerson, Director of Human Resources, Webster;
Veronica Solis Ramirez, Human Resources Director, Pharr

Cooperating: Donald Brinkman, Executive Consultant, CSRS Inc; Mei Lin, Project Manager, Plano; Susan Ross, Principal Consultant, JC Vestri Consulting

Student: Constantina Allen, St. Mary’s University; Amanda Rodriguez, Lamar University; Carlo Tolentino, St. Mary’s University; Students from The University of Texas at Arlington include: Vanessa Aguilar, Leslie Antunez, Jorge Avitia, Apuk Ayuel, Lilian Bastidos, Phelisha Bollin, Erika Cooper, Isaac Donaldson, Jessica Esquivel, Lorenzo Hayes, Cristien Holguin, Nathaniel Johnson, Shelly Klein, Sharon Koshy, Catherine Krantz, Chad Marbut, Christopher McDonald, Diem Nguyen, Marissa Olivas, Ashley Poston, Daniel Ringhauser, Monifa Rucker, Manya Shorr, Trang Sidell, Amina Sourang, Ian Storm, William Tate, Andre Thomas, Deborah Vela, Juliet Wallace, Deuce Waters, Douglas Waters II, Ashley Williams


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: Linnette Barker, City Manager, Ingleside; Manuel Chavez, Assistant City Manager, Del Rio; Aretha Ferrell-Benavides, City Manager, Duncanville; David Hortman, City Manager, Bullard; Jeff Johnston, Assistant City Manager, Plainview; David Jordan, Assistant City Manager, La Marque; Blu Kostelich, Chief Financial Officer, Lubbock; Brandon Strope, Assistant City Manager, Borger; Charlene Warren, Assistant City Manager, La Marque; Keith Whitfield, City Manager, Daingerfield

Associate: Lauron Fischer, Special Projects Manager, San Antonio; Michael Stelly, Director of Public Works/Chief of Police, West Orange

Cooperating: Rick Osburn, retired city manager; Richard Walker, Sales Executive, TML Health

sympathy

Stan WeikTCMA is saddened by the passing of Stan Weik. Stan served as city manager of the City of San Saba since 2007. Please keep his wife Joanne and family in your thoughts and prayers. An obituary and donations in lieu of flowers can be viewed here.






Tcma president visits


Region 1 Meeting

TCMA Region 1 welcomes TCMA president Brad Stafford to a region Meeting on May 7.


TCMA president statewide visits

TCMA president Brad Stafford meets with Municipal Clerks Association president Aimee Nemer, City Secretary, Richardson, and president of the Texas City Attorneys Association, Alan Bojorquez on May 27.


city of lake jackson honors bill yenne

Bill YenneThe City of Lake Jackson renamed its city hall in honor of Bill Yenne for his years of service to the City. To view the unveiling, please click https://fb.watch/5B9ZGjFOCc/. Bill will also be recognized as a Life member at the TCMA Annual Conference Awards lunch on June 11.




tcma welcomes a new senior advisor


Mark McDanielTCMA is honored to announce the appointment of Mark McDaniel as a TCMA senior advisor, effective June 1. Mark has served Texas cities since 1985. He will retire as city manager of the City of Kerrville on June 1, having worked at the City since 2017. 

Mark served as the 2006 TCMA president. The Board recently approved Life membership status and will be recognized at the awards lunch on June 11 at the TCMA Annual Conference.

Mark holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Texas.

Mark can be contacted at markmcdaniel2016@gmail.com or 817-773-6558.

The TCMA Board extends a special thank you to Kay Godbey, A.C. Gonzalez, Bob Livingston, George Shackelford, and Greg Vick for their continued service as senior advisors. 

To learn more about the Senior Advisor Program, click TCMA Senior Advisor.


council manager form of government

Rollingwood Mayor Michael Dyson shares his support for the council-manager form of government stating it has been one of his most important decisions as an elected official. To read more, click Professional City Management.


tml intergovernmental risk pool podcast

Local Officials PodcastTML Intergovernmental Risk Pool has launched a podcast titled Local Officials: Stronger, Together Podcast (STP) Series. The series helps city officials and employees understand key concepts in 15 minutes or less per episode. After arming you with information, each episode offers easy action items to support you in keeping your citizens, employees, volunteers, and property safe, all while saving public dollars.  The first four episodes are now available on the TMLIRP website.


City management and the legislative process


The city management profession requires knowledge of multiple disciplines – public safety, infrastructure, parks, libraries, finance, and human resources are often the most recognizable areas. However, city management’s involvement in the legislative process – both at a state and national level – is arguably one of the most impactful focus areas for city managers. 

Organizations like the Texas Municipal League help represent the broad interests of cities in the Capitol, and they have been our most familiar avenue to glean insight and engage in the legislative process.

While the debate on the role or even existence of hired advocacy firms is still ongoing, it is likely that city councils and staff will begin to take a more active role in the legislative process with information sharing and advocacy efforts. 

To prepare for the next legislative session, cities can begin working on four items: developing a legislative agenda, building lasting relationships with our delegation, sharing our story with our delegation and residents, and diving into the mechanics of the policy process. 

Legislative Agenda: Working with our city councils to develop a legislative agenda and a set of priorities is one of the most crucial steps we can take to prepare for the legislative session. Council-adopted legislative agendas or sets of documents outline and focus the issues most important to our city councils and communities. They also serve as authorization for staff to communicate on behalf of our communities to the legislature. 

Relationships with the City’s Delegation: Building and maintaining relationships with city representatives in the Texas House and Senate, as well as with their staff, is vital to city advocacy. Just as city managers educate city council members on the policy issues important to communities, keeping a city’s delegation members informed of the notable things – good and bad – happening in the city keeps legislators in tune with their district. While some cities may only have a few representatives, others like the City of Grand Prairie have many more. Engagement with all of our delegations is key in creating successful coalitions that support cities during the legislative session.

Sharing the City’s Story: Telling the story of each of our communities is important. We are all working hard to create a better, safer quality of life for our community. Celebrate successes and communicate failures, not only to staff and council but most importantly to residents. One of the lessons from the last Texas Legislative Session was the importance of ensuring that residents are aware of how their taxes are working for them. The City of Grand Prairie implemented an online tax calculator for residents to better understand their property tax bill as well as an educational campaign to break down what services are provided. This strategy helped to better engage Grand Prairie residents. Citizen engagement in the city’s legislative process may very well be the next frontier in city management. The voice of a citizen testifying at the Capitol often leaves a more lasting impact than does a staff member. Cities can identify the champions in each of their cities and engage them to be advocates for the City. 

Legislative Process: Finally, understanding the mechanics of how policy becomes law can be an invaluable tool when working to educate communities and city councils. Engaging the city attorney’s office to better translate the legal jargon and process into layman terms has proven to be a successful approach. Additionally, many city delegation members and staffers can provide insight through the legislative process and help city managers navigate the unwritten procedures and elements. Lastly, exploring the state’s legislative website and the legislative calendar is also a great tool to rely on when working through a session. 

Legislative sessions are opportunities to be at the forefront of policy changes that will impact how cities do business. The more we can educate and engage in the process, the greater possibility of better outcomes for our communities.

(Article submitted by Andrew Fortune, Assistant to the City Manager, Grand Prairie)


Ethics Corner


The following report is presented to the TCMA membership covering the period from June 2020 to May 2021. 

1. ICMA Issues
A. Ethics complaints - One complaint is pending with the ICMA Committee on Professional Conduct after a TCMA committee reported it to ICMA. One ICMA complaint of an ICMA/TCMA member earlier in the year was closed without action after the member was able to produce several documents, minutes, agendas, and public meeting to various groups, etc. explaining a situation that the member was accused of keeping from the public.

B. ICMA is conducting a diversity study on the Code of Ethics to determine the profession’s commitment to racial equity and social justice.

C. TCMA has placed a hold on Tenets 8, 9, 10, and 11 for review.  The hold is in place until a study on sensitivity and diversity is reviewed for all tenets.  

D. ICMA presented its procedures for enforcement to the TCMA Ethics Committee.  They are similar to TCMA; however, TCMA will not investigate an ICMA member.  Also, the ICMA Committee of Professional Conduct (similar to the TCMA Ethics Committee) has broader discretion on finalizing cases or not proceeding than the TCMA Ethics Committee.  ICMA does share the outcomes of cases that go forward with state associations, and in the case of Texas, also, the ethics chair.   Designated ICMA are responsible for collecting information and leading investigations.  ICMA, moves slowly through the process ensuring documentation is at the root of the allegations and finding more than witness accounts.

2. TCMA officially adopted the ICMA revisions of the Code of Ethics Tenets 5 and 6.

3. TCMA ethics complaint. TCMA received an ethics complaint about TCMA members not specifically meeting with an individual who made numerous open records requests to discuss the reports, documents, and opinions on the various topics. The findings showed the members’ organization did provide all documents and material in line with the Public Information Act (Act) and provided several avenues for additional information or to seek answers. The TCMA Code of Ethics does not require a member to take time to respond to requests to meet, discuss, or personally reply to every community member’s request for dialogue or communication that is not required under the Act.

4. Ethics 101 revision. The Ethics 101 class offered online was updated to reflect updates in the Code of Ethics. Hugh Walker and his subcommittee worked hard to make sure the information is current.

 5.  Non-member ethics concerns
– Over the last couple of years, the Ethics Committee worked diligently to address situations where a non-member appears to violate the Code of Ethics and tarnish the profession.  A subcommittee chaired by Danny Presley with the support of TML legal created a draft letter highlighting the attributes of TCMA membership, including ethical support, training, and investigation. The Board approved the letter, and it can be sent to a city that has terminated a non-member due to unethical behavior.  

6.  Participation in the legislative process. In advance of the legislative process, the TCMA Board discussed potential ethical challenges. A letter was developed and approved by the Board. It is posted on the TCMA website and clearly states that TCMA may participate in the legislative process and not be in violation. The letter includes guidelines to protect members. It is critical that a member’s council be involved, know of the member’s participation, and be supportive of member’s participation.  The letter with guidelines is available here.  Immediate Past President Kenneth Williams was instrumental in the preparation of the letter with the guidelines. 

7. TCMA Ethics Corner. The Ethics corner continues to be a monthly column in the Management Messenger. This monthly column is produced by members of TCMA and is screened to make sure the tenet is applied correctly. They are real life situations, experiences, or thoughts of TCMA members. It is popular with the membership.

 8. Update of the Rules of Procedures for Enforcement.
The Ethics Committee created a subcommittee led by Tink Jackson to review and refine the Rules of Procedures for Enforcement. A complete review is pending and is coordinating with ICMA to include those members who are also ICMA members

9. Video on ethics, and its importance to TCMA.  Several videos were created to promote TCMA and the importance of professional city management. A video is available that focuses on ethics and the effects, not only on the individual members but the profession and the cities that employ city professional members. The video is available here.  

10. Future TCMA Ethics Committee.
Being retired and no longer an active member in TCMA, I have not requested to be the ethics chair this year feeling the chair should be in active service. I will make myself available. I thank Brad Stafford for allowing me to serve this past year. I also thank a long line of presidents who saw fit to have me serve as the chair or vice chair during their terms. I particularly thank Ron Cox who first appointed me to be the Ethics Committee chair in 1997 and charged the Committee to develop a procedure to enforce the Code of Ethics. Since then, so much focus has been placed on ethics, mostly in a proactive way. The Ethics Committee or chair has been requested to weigh in on so many issues that are now a part of TCMA such as the Advocacy Committee, the Managers of Tomorrow, the legislative process, sponsorship solicitation, and the Professional Development Committee. Ethics also played a key role in the creation of programs, training, and support:

  • Ethics Corner in the Management Messenger newsletter
  • Online courses (101, 201 and 202)
  • King Cole Training on ethics
  • Train the Trainer on ethics
  • Requirement that a new member must take the 101 course or the King Cole ethics seminar
  • Requirement that new members must have a current TCMA member endorse the application acknowledging that the Code of Ethics was discussed
  • Requirement that at least two hours of ethics training must be taken in a two-year period to maintain membership
  • Created a TCMA Ethics email account to help ensure anonymity
  • More discussion on how ethics need to be institutionalized within a member’s organization.  

 I am so proud to be a member of TCMA and to have been a part of the Ethics Committee for the past 24 years. I thank the board and the boards of the past for the financial and personal support of the work the TCMA Ethics Committee.

(Submitted by Nick Finan, TCMA Ethics Committee Chair)

 

TCMA EDUCATIONAL EVENTS

TCMA Annual Conference
June 10-13, 2021
Round Rock

#ELGL Inspire: TCMA-ELGL Joint Events

September 14, 2021 (virtual)
Texas State University


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

Leading Your Community in an Era of Anxiety
12:30-2:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 15

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 TCMA Board will meet on June 10 in conjunction with the TCMA Annual Conference.

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.