September 2021

TCMA Management Messenger

TCMA to Host Exhibit Booth
Management Transitions
New Members
New Member Applications
Texas Women's Leadership Institute
Texas Reception at the 2021 ICMA Annual Conference
Meet Your Colleagues
Internships Needed
TCMA Partners with TCG
TML Intergovernmental Risk Pool Podcast
Where Were You, and Other Insights
Ethics Corner
TCMA Educational Events
Memos on Meetings

TCMA_TML Annual Conference

TCMA is excited to host an exhibit booth at the Texas Municipal League Annual Conference and Exhibition on October 6-8 in Houston. The booth will promote the Campaign for Professional and Ethical City Management. Encourage your elected officials to visit booth 445 and learn how professionally trained individuals are critical for the day-to-day operation of cities. TCMA extends a special thanks to all the volunteers for participating and sharing their expertise.

Don't forget to support the TCMA hosted educational session at 10:45-11:45 a.m. on Thursday, October 7. The City of McAllen, recipient of the 2021 TCMA City Council of the Year, will be showcased. They will present Walking and Chewing Gum at the Same Time: Now a Core Competency for Cities?

To learn more about the Conference and register, click here.

Management transitions

Weston Beck is serving as the interim city administrator of the City of Malakoff.

Robert Buentello is serving as the interim city administrator of the City of Poteet.

David Jordan is the new city administrator of the City of Bandera.

Terry McCalpin is no longer the city administrator of the City of Leonard.

John Naron resigned as the city manager of the City of Hearne, effective September 17. V. Alonzo Echavarria will serve as the interim city manager.

Sarah Novo is no longer the city manager of the City of Flatonia. Wayne McKethan is serving as the interim city manager.

Erik Rejino is no longer the city manager of the City of Levelland, effective October 1. He will begin serving as an assistant city manager of the City of Lubbock.

Mary Smith was appointed as the city manager of the City of Rockwell.

Isaac Turner is serving as the interim city manager of the City of Bridgeport.

Nathan Watkins is no longer the city manager of the City of Mont Belvieu, effective September 3. Scott Swigert will serve as the interim city manager.

Neal Welch retired as the city administrator of the City of Olney.

New Members

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

Associate: Matthew Frederick, Lieutenant, West Orange; Andy Harvey, Chief of Police, Pharr; Bryan Hugghins, Chief of Police, Cibolo; Elizabeth Johnson, Assistant to the City Manager, Plano; Blair Snow, Assistant Director of Finance, Amarillo

Cooperating: Steven Adams, Managing Director, Specialized Public Finance Inc.;
Paul Jasin, Managing Director, Specialized Public Finance Inc.

Student: Cynthia Alamillo, The University of Texas at El Paso; Valencia Jefferson, The University of Texas at Arlington; Matthew Kojm, The University of Texas at Austin

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 August:

Full: Daniel Johnson, Assistant City Manager, Manvel; Kristy Stark, Assistant City Manager, Boerne

Associate: Matthew Eckmann, Facilities & Real Estate Manager, New Braunfels; Peter Martinez, Lieutenant/Assistant Chief of Police, Westover Hills; Russell Sander, Fire Chief, Marble Falls

Cooperating: Anita Green, Compliance Manager, Microsoft


TCMA is happy to sponsor the Texas Women's Leadership Institute (TWLI). The Institute is designed to empower and prepare women to be city managers in Texas. Participants go through a competitive application process. Those selected attend five seminars held throughout the State and throughout the year. The seminars are designed to provide hard and soft skills needed to be successful city managers. The third class of TWLI will start in January of 2022. Applications are available here. The application deadline is October 10, 2021. For questions, please contact TWLI Executive Director Karen Daly at or 512-796-8456.

texas reception at the 2021 icma annual conference

ICMA Annual Conference 2021

We hope you're planning to attend the ICMA Annual Conference on October 3-6 in Portland. Following educational sessions on Monday, October 4, please plan to attend the Annual Texas State Reception from 6:00-7:30 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency Portland at the Oregon Convention Center, in Regency Ballroom A, located at 375 NE Holladay Street in Portland.


Don TaylorTCMA is saddened by the passing of Don Taylor on July 30. Don served 32 years as a Texas city manager. He served in the cities of Wharton, Tomball, Dickinson, Universal City, Aransas Pass, and Schertz. He was a 2010 recipient of the TCMA Lifetime Achievement Award.

A private celebration of his life was held on August 5 in Claremore, Oklahoma. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Don's name to Texas Children's Hospital at

Please keep his wife Shirley and family in your thoughts and prayers.

meet your colleagues

The TCMA Management Messenger welcomes J. Rhett Parker to his new position as city manager of the City of Post.  Rhett’s appointment began August 2.  He previously served eight years as the city manager of the City of Cameron.  He has also served 11 years as the city administrator of the City of Ralls.  He has been a member of TCMA for 18 years. 

Rhett received his bachelor’s degree from West Texas A&M University, earned a CPM from Texas Tech University, and will graduate in December 2021 with an MPA from The University of Texas at Arlington.   

Rhett and his wife, Stacy, have been married for 21 years and have two daughters, Jadyn and Adyson.  His new position in Post takes his family back to West Texas closer to friends and family.

internships needed

Without a healthy number of city internships to choose from, students will turn to the nonprofit or private sector. This results in a loss of great talent from our profession. A section in the TML Career Center has been designed specifically for these opportunities. All positions can be posted at no charge. Please visit the TML Career Center and post your opening under “Internship/Fellowship.” This is a complimentary service to our members.

Below are types of internships and fellowships for your city to consider and post. Some cities have offered virtual internships. This can be a win-win situation for everyone. 

Paid Versus Unpaid
Students typically prefer to be paid for their internships, but for some cities, this isn't an option.   Consider partnering with your local university. For example, the university would pay $1,500 per intern per semester. Local governments would match this amount dollar for dollar, thus creating a $3,000 per semester internship wage. 

Because not every city can afford or has enough work for a full-time intern, your city could develop a “micro-internship.” These opportunities are project-based versus time-based. They cater to executive or online MPA students or traditional MPA students who want to work from home. The student will inquire about the number of hours for a micro-internship, so posting the number of hours is important. 

If your city offers year-long or multi-year fellowships, please place these opportunities in the TML Career Center as well. You may also engage with ICMA or Lead 4 America to develop a fellowship program in your city. 

If you need assistance or have questions regarding posting positions, email

The Committee thanks the membership for their support to develop talent and provide knowledge and skills for careers in local government.

TCMA City Managers of Tomorrow Committee

tcma partners with tcg

Through a partnership with TCG Consulting, TCMA members have access to personalized financial planning and employment agreement assistance. TCG is an independent financial services firm that specializes in consulting and retirement planning services for cities, school districts, and other government entities.

Financial Planning
Whether you are just starting your career or retiring next year, having a financial plan can provide you with peace of mind regarding your financial future. TCG Consulting will create a comprehensive analysis of your current financial state and create a strategy to achieve your goals. TCG will also examine your current investment holdings to make sure they meet your objectives. Click here to learn more about this program.

Employment Agreement Assistance
City budgets might be tight these days, but there are numerous ways to create a compensation package that is mutually beneficial to both parties. TCG Consulting looks at your entire compensation package with a focus on enhancing your income in retirement. Let TCG save you time and stress by negotiating your salary and benefits. Click here to learn more about this program.

tml intergovernmental risk pool podcast

Local Officials PodcastDon't miss the TML Intergovernmental Risk Pool podcast titled Local Officials: Stronger, Together Podcast (STP) Series. The series helps city officials and employees understand key concepts in15 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.

Episode 8 title "First Responders and COVID-19 Vaccines" tells the heart wrenching story of former Fire Fighter Roger Dean is available at TMLIRP website.

where were you, and other insights

Twenty years ago this month, America was scarred forever by unthinkable acts of terrorism. As we pay now witness the crushing blow of troop withdrawals and the horrific reclamation of Afghanistan in its wake, our world is challenged by chaos and insecurity on many fronts, foreign and domestic.

Twenty years ago, everyone lauded the incredible sacrifice and commitment of our first responders, not just in New York City, but around the country their brethren also. Deservingly so, but every day is a new day and fraught with its own challenges to that paradigm.

Cities and towns around Texas of all sizes and distributions have their own obstacles and challenges at which time none is greater than for local leadership to strive for calm and focus into what matters. 

On August 18, our community experienced our first officer involved fatal shooting. The evening before, City Manager Sereniah Breland hosted a community reception for the sole finalist to take the role of police chief. Following a competitive national search, the City of Pflugerville recommended Commander Jason O’Malley for appointment as its third police chief since the City was incorporated in 1965. Resilient city management leads the way.

There are days when it’s difficult not to be discouraged by the obstacles and challenges before us, but it’s the values within our cities and town that give hope and optimism, and we, as city managers throughout Texas offer that resolve as steady leaders. My colleague, Assistant City Manager James Hartshorn, recently shared an article from the Harvard Business Review with our team titled “What Leaders Really Do.” It poignantly states, “They don’t make plans; they don’t solve problems; they don’t even organize people. What leaders really do is prepare organizations for change and help them cope as they struggle through it.”

I was born at the end of the Vietnam War; my daughter was born three months prior to 9/11. These events are impactful in many ways, but not in the same way for everyone. The world around us is changing rapidly before our eyes, and increasingly many don’t have the perspective but for reading about it. Let us not forget the events of 9/11 and the continued sacrifices that have been made in its wake.

(Submitted by Trey Fletcher, Deputy City Manager, Pflugerville)

ethics corner

As decision makers, city managers are typically a rational bunch. The nature of our jobs, and sometimes the nature of our personalities, cause us to be fact-oriented, un-biased, consistent, professionals who can be counted on for solid decisions, advice, and recommendations.  

Also true is city managers are humans who operate in a world of variables. As we contemplate our decisions, how able are we to separate emotion from cold hard facts? How are we influenced by unconscious bias? How does being overwhelmed, exhausted, or full of caffeine impact our immediate response to situations? Do we allow ourselves to have favorite projects, staff members, or even councilmembers?  

City management is a beautiful, complicated, and necessary profession. We enjoy the diversity of our tasks, the unpredictable nature of our days. We happily take on the challenge of the fuzziness of the politics/administration dichotomy. We should, and most often do, see these tensions as both glorious and hard and take satisfaction in knowing that there is honor in humble public service. Those who can do what we do, and do it well, are few. Yes, we can take pride in our humble service, so long as we remember the road to failure is paved with a believing we have everything figured out. Let’s never reach the conclusions that we know everything we need to know, we’ve learned everything we need to learn, and any decision we make is completely informed or even “rational.”

This is why we celebrate our Ethical Code, which in many ways is the very definition of our profession. We can even celebrate that the Code of Ethics, like city managers, isn’t perfect. Our Code isn’t law, handed down by neither God nor government.  

Rather, the code is a well-considered, and time-tested guide for every decision every local government administrator makes. The twelve tenets and guidelines serve as a filter for every difficult situation. When our heads are swimming with variables and potential outcomes, the code helps us come to grips with what does and doesn’t really matter. Not every consideration is equally important. Not every advisor is coming from an equally valid perspective.  

We make the Code better by actually using it, and continually testing it against real life stuff. Future submittals of the “Ethics Corner” are going to dive deeper into the subject of how the ethics guide our daily decision making. I hope you find this helpful, and encourage you to contact me or Ethics Vice-Chair Matt Mueller with your feedback and suggestions.

You may contact us: 

Paul Hofmann, Ethics Chair and City Manager, Bastrop at or 512-332-8800.

Matt Mueller, Ethics Vice Chair and Town Manager, Little Elm at or 214-975-0400.

(Submitted by Paul Hofmann, Ethics Committee Chair, and City Manager, Bastrop)


TCMA Podcast
Perspectives on City Management
Listen to episodes here

#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 City Managers of Tomorrow Committee met on August 18 via video conference. Meeting minutes are available here.

The Ethics Committee met on August 27 via video conference. Meeting minutes are available here.

The Membership Committee will meet on September 10 via video conference.

The Board will meet on September 17 in Austin.

The Advocacy Committee will meet on October 15 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