January 2023

TCMA Management Messenger

Membership Dues
Statewide Elections
Public Policy Task Force and the Legislative Process
Management Transitions
New Members
New Member Applications
Meet Your Colleagues
Professional Awards and Scholarships
It All Starts Here
Ethics Corner
Courtney Sharp City Management Clinic and New Scholarship
Mental Health and Wellbeing Webinar
Call for TCMA Knowledge Base Resources
TCMA Educational Events
Memos on Meetings

Membership Dues

It’s time to renew your 2023 TCMA membership and continue to receive the many benefits you enjoy as a member. Please remember that region dues are separate from statewide dues and should be paid to your respective region. 

TCMA full and associate members are required to complete two hours of ethics training every two years as a condition of continued membership in TCMA. Only TCMA, ICMA, and TML ethics trainings fulfill the requirement.  In addition, all members are required to complete two hours of mental wellness every two year. This can be accomplished from a variety of sources including services provided through the TCMA Mental Health and Wellness Assistance Program or other resources of which a member may have access. If you renew online, please check the box provided to indicate the requirement has been fulfilled and state the location where the training was taken in the space provided. 

Among your TCMA membership benefits are:

Thank you for your support and participation in TCMA. If you have any questions, contact the TCMA staff at 512-231-7400. 

Deadline to Renew is January 31!  

To renew your statewide dues and update your membership information online, 
click TCMA Dues.

Statewide Elections

Nominations Now Open-v2

We are now accepting recommendations for prospective candidates for the following 2023-2024 statewide offices including a vacancy in the office of TML Board Representative: President-Elect (2023-2024), Vice President (2023-2024), Director at Large (2023-2025) and TML Board Representative (Office ending October 11, 2024).

As it relates to the vacancy for TML Board Representative: TCMA Constitution Article III, Section 4, C. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Director to the Texas Municipal League Board, the TCMA President shall fill the same until the next succeeding election, when a Director shall be elected as provided in Article III, Section 2 and 3. 

As you think about candidates for these statewide TCMA Board positions, we encourage you to consider the following factors: active involvement in TCMA, active involvement in the TCMA region, years of municipal government service, TCMA committee service, desire to serve, level of regional support, and prior TCMA Board service. The Nominating Committee will consider each person’s candidacy in light of the current composition of the Board and will strive to achieve a balance among such factors as geography, size of city, ethnicity, race, and gender.

We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the nomination and election schedule. For complete election information and a nomination form, click 2023-2024 TCMA Election.

Public Policy Task Force and the Legislative Process

The Public Policy Task Force will begin meeting weekly with the Texas Municipal League to prepare for the upcoming legislative session. This is critical to help members of the Task Force help keep their region members informed of critical legislative items.

A Public Policy Training Toolbox is available in the TCMA Knowledge Base. Resources can also be found on the Texas Municipal League website at Legislative Information

In addition, members may find it difficult to determine if they can or should participate in the legislative process, the TCMA Board has provided a statement and checklist for members to consider. Members are encouraged to review this at Member Participation in the Legislative Process.

Management transitions

Keith Bond will no longer serve as the city manager of the City of Lacy Lakeview. Calvin Hodde will serve as the new city manager, effective January 17.

Bryan Bradford will no longer serve as the city manager of the City of Garland. Judson Rex will serve as the new city manager, effective January 17.

Tim Crow is the new city manager of the City of Gonzales, effective December 8, 2022.

June Ellis is no longer the city manager of the City of Haskell. Winston Stephens is the interim city manager.

Martin Mangum is the new city administrator of the City of Llano, effective November 28, 2022. 

Michael Marrero is no longer the city manager of the City of Odessa. Agapito Bernal is the interim city manager.

Donald Moore will no longer serve as the city manager of the City of Grandview. Melissa Boyle will serve as the new city manager, effective December 19, 2022.

Gary Palmer is the new city administrator of the Town of Montgomery, effective January 6.

Bill Parry will retire as the city manager of the City of Gatesville, effective February 28.

Jason Reynolds is the new city manager of the City of Baytown.

Mike Slye will retire as city manager of the City of Kaufman, effective February 28. 

D.E. Sosa is no longer the city manager of the City of Groves. 

Timothy Underwood is the new city manager of the City of Roman Forest, effective November 7, 2022.

David Wallis is no longer the city administrator of the City of Godley.

New Members

The TCMA Management Messenger welcomes the following new members approved by the Executive Committee on December 29, 2022.

Full: John Curry, City Manager, Chico; Andy Joslin, City Manager, Floresville; Camden White City Administer, Caldwell

Associate: Kimberly Kopecky, Assistant to the City Manager, Fulshear

Student: Nate Ebers, Texas A&M University; Nathan Fortune, University of North Texas; Kimberly Silas, University of North Texas 

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 December:

Full: Ryan Henderson, Assistant City Manager, Anna; Kent Manton, City Administrator, Bruceville-Eddy; Helen Ramirez, Interim City Manager, Brownsville; Steve Vasquez, City Administrator, Plains

Cooperating: Brandon Powell, General Manager, Lubbock County WCID#1; Steven Rapson, County Manager, Fayette County, Georgia; Jerrett Williams, Police Supervisor, Bryan

Associate: Shannon Hicks, Director of Public Works and Engineering Services

meet your collegues

The TCMA Management Messenger welcomes Eric Garretty to his new position as the city manager of the City of Graham as of October 24, 2022. Eric has also served as the City of Mexia city manager, the City of Fort Worth capital budget manager, and multiple local government positions in Broward County, Florida. Eric began his career in local government in 2013 after completing a 29-year career on active duty with the United States Marine Corps.

Eric received his bachelor’s degree from Ole Miss in political science and holds a master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in financial management and defense systems analysis. Eric is currently enrolled in the Certified Public Manager program.

Eric and his wife Tena have been married 34 years and have two children, Murphie and Davis. He enjoys golf and traveling the great state of Texas.

Professional Awards and scholarships

Each year, TCMA provides opportunities to recognize colleagues for their outstanding service to the city management profession, honor an outstanding city council for significant contributions to local government in Texas, and recognize an academician who has made significant contributions to the formal education of students pursuing careers in local government. The deadline for submission is January 6, 2023.


  • Administrator of the Year Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Mentoring Award in Memory of Gary Gwyn
  • Excellence in Ethics and Integrity Award 
  • Assistant of the Year Award in Memory of Valerie Bradley
  • Terrell Blodgett Academician Award
  • City Council of the Year Award 

For awards information and applications, click here

TCMA also provides opportunities for professional development through scholarships. Unless otherwise noted, the deadline for submission is January 6, 2023.  


  • Barney L. Knight Texas CPM Scholarship
  • Clarence E. Ridley Scholarship
  • Leadership Development Scholarship
  • Tom Muehlenbeck Scholarship (Deadline April 7, 2023) 

For scholarship information and applications, click here

If you have questions about any of these programs, please contact Kim Pendergraft at kim@tml.org or 512-231-7400.

it all starts here

The moment arrived at a critical juncture and Mikey looked at all the members of his adventurous team and said, “It all starts here!”

During the colder months of the year, I like to sit down in front of the TV and watch some of my favorite old movies. The line above is from one that I loved as a child and still love today, The Goonies, about a group of young misfits who discover and ancient treasure map and set off on and adventure to find the treasure. I often think back on that moment in the movie because the Goonies were a team of very different young people, and each of them brought a different set of strengths to the table that helped them succeed as they progressed through their adventure. City management is very much an adventure, and like the Goonies, so much of our success depends on the strength of our team. In this piece, I want to focus on two key areas that will help you create strong relationships between council and staff, and ensure you hire the right people.  If success is achieved in both areas, it can make all the difference when you set off on your own municipal adventures. 

Create Strong Council/Staff Relationships

As managers, a key part of our job is to build trust with our city councils and help them work together effectively to manage the challenges they face. I love it when council and staff work together to meet big picture goals, especially when these goals seem beyond your reach. Here in Taylor, the city was selected as the home for the $17 billion Samsung Semiconductor, LLC microchip manufacturing plant, one of the world’s most technologically sophisticated plants of its kind. It is under construction right now and it will bring unprecedented growth and economic prosperity to our community—and many people thought it could not happen. This experience has reinforced with me that a game changing economic development deal like Samsung is only possible when there is trust between council and staff. Otherwise, it will be difficult to make it past the finish line.  

I think about when cities miss opportunities to impact their communities’ futures because of internal conflict, communications issues, or other breakdowns in relations between council and staff. Seemingly little things can quickly overwhelm operations to the point where most of the council and staff decisions are reactive instead goal achieving centric. I call this getting lost in the fog when things break down.  

To help create a better working environment between staff and council, city managers can incorporate some best practices into their working relationships. The thoughts below are ones I have found to be particularly effective:

  • Establish the roles of council and staff. A good overview should be provided at least once every two years with council regarding their roles, responsibilities, and duties, and an overview of the role of staff members. 
  • Find out what you need from each other. A great exercise to do with council, most effectively with an outside facilitator, is asking council, “What do you need from staff?” 

Then ask the next question, “What does staff need from council?” Often these discussions provide a better understanding of how you can work together and build greater levels of trust. 

  • Conduct a radical candor session. Facilitate a frank discussion with council about specific difficult lingering issues or overall issues. The goal of radical candor is to help facilitate real lasting solutions or approaches to an issue.
  • Conduct communication assessments. There are many different assessments that can help you understand different communication styles. DiSC is one, but there are several others. When both management and council take the assessments, you can help identify the communications styles and personalities of your team and figure out ways to work better together by knowing how everyone approaches challenges. Knowing how your team members communicate can help improve the overall team performance. 
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. Regular and productive communication is vital, especially in the busy world we live in today. And it doesn’t have to be just formal communications—you can talk to your council at breakfast, lunch, or briefings, while volunteering, attending ribbon cuttings, or interacting at local events. All these interactions can help! 

Find the Right People 

The second thing you need to do to ensure that your adventures will go smoothly is to hire the right individuals for your team. Having the right people in place can lead to breakthrough success within an organization. Below are some important things to keep in mind when you are building your team: 

  • Human resources is not the only department responsible for finding and developing talent and making your city the best place to work. All managers are responsible for helping find the right talent that is needed to help your organization. Hiring works better when you work collectively, so when there is an opening, everyone should help identify candidates. 
  • Ensure that you have an established culture and good overall benefits structure so you can attract and retain talent. You should have an ongoing process in place to ensure the organization has reviewed and consistently updates policies on compensation, employee benefits, telework, conducted employee survey, EAP program benefits and other benefits. Also, think about whether it is time to review your mission, vision, and values. These are some of the areas managers need to think about to help attract the next level of talent needed.   
  • Be creative and look at market conditions to help decide the best path forward when conducting your searches. At times this may mean using a consultant to help find a list of candidates. Other times it could mean targeted recruitment of individuals you know would be an asset to your team. One of my unique successes with finding the right candidate involved hiring an interim manager with experience to fill a position, and later modifying the arrangement so we could continue working with that individual as a contractor. 
  • Lastly, keep an eye out for individuals looking for the opportunity who somehow have not been given the chance to move up. These candidates are hidden gems who are waiting for a chance, and when you give them one, they will push to prove they are the candidate you were looking for.   

When you are building your team, I would recommend the following process that has worked for me over the years:

  • First, narrow your list of candidates to the five to eight best identified for the job and conduct virtual interviews. These are short interviews that will help you gain an understanding regarding of why the candidates are interested and give you both the chance to ask some general questions. 
  • Second, bring in two to four finalists and have them interview with two panels. The panel makeup can be varied depending on the job, and could consist of individuals in the community, strategic partners, non-profit leaders, and other directors/staff members. Each panel should have a staff chair who will make a summary list of positives and note any areas of concern from the panel members. 
  • Third, assess your candidates. Sometimes at this point it may be clear from the panel interviews which candidate you want to hire. If you are still deciding between two or three individuals, the next step should be for city management to conduct a final interview. This allows for one last follow up to determine which candidate is the best fit and to answer any lingering questions on both sides. 
  • Finally, due your own due diligence on the resumes presented to you, contact references, and explore any other reference points if known. 

While this process has worked beautifully for me, I highly recommend finding a process that works for you and follow it consistently to ensure you hire the right candidate who will bring the greatest strength to your team. 

I have found if you can ensure a good working relationship between council and staff and you are able to build an outstanding team, this will help drive your city management adventures forward successfully. It all starts here! 

(Article submitted by Jeffery Jenkins, Deputy City Manager, Taylor)

ethics corner

For the past three months, the Ethics Corner focused on the mentoring relationship between a male city manager and a female city manager and the evaluation of it through multiple perspectives, with the third month tying it together.

Over the next two months, Kent Souriyasak and I will explore the complex topic of gifts and what ethical issues and consideration comes along with them. In March, Chad Nehring will tie it all together.

At this time of year, gifts have been the focus for many of us: what to get a child, spouse, friend, or family member that shows we appreciate them.

While it is a season of giving gifts, it is also a season of receiving gifts. All gifts, regardless of dollar amount, that are given to us in our official capacities have the intention of gaining favor with us, and this is what can lead to a conflict of interest.

Bernard Bentley, the building inspector, has a consistent list of at least 200 inspections that he has to get done each day. When he completes an inspection and it doesn’t pass, the project gets moved to the bottom of the list for him to revisit in a few weeks. This can cause an issue with builders who are trying to meet their own deadlines and cannot move forward until the inspection passes.

One day, Bernard returns to his truck after completing several residential inspections. As he is about to leave and return to the office, he notices a gift bag underneath his seat. The tag said “To: Bernard, From: Bob Builder, Merry Christmas and thank you for always being there for us.” Inside the bag was his favorite bottle of Bourbon valued at $35.

As Bernard drove back to the office, he remembered his Town’s Ethics Ordinance and that it states he can accept gifts that are less than $50 in value. Since this gift was below the threshold, he put it in the back of his truck and took it home with him that night.

Was the gift simply just a gesture of appreciation? Or was Bob seeking some type of favor from Bernard?

Being offered a gift can make us feel good or appreciated. But intent of the giver needs to be factored in, not just the dollar amount. In this scenario, favor might be sought from Bob in the hopes that Bernard will take it easy on him and maybe not hold him so strictly to the regulations that he has to enforce or prioritize him for inspections. Even if this gift did not have this effect on Bernard, the appearance of this conflict of interest can erode the trust of those we serve and make others question our objectivity.

For this reason, it is better to not accept any gifts that could give the appearance of favoritism or influence.

(Article submitted by Caitlin Biggs, Director of Administrative Services/Town Secretary, Little Elm)

Courtney Sharp City Management Clinic and New scholarship

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Join us in Granbury for this Annual Event!

The Texas City Management Association (TCMA) Courtney Sharp 
City Management Clinic 

Topics include:

  • Animals in Disasters: How the Texas A&M VET Can Help
  • Leadership Leverage: Maximizing Your Leadership Impact 
  • Resilient Leadership: Navigating Stress and Increasing Mental Toughness 
  • Parents as Managers
  • Public/Private Partnerships
  • Legislative Update

Read all about the Clinic and register today at City Management Clinic.

NEW! Apply for a Scholarship, click here

mental health and wellbeing webinar

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Register Today for Part Four of the TCMA Mental Health and Wellbeing Webinar Series!

How to Become More Resilient During Challenging Times

 Friday, February 17. 2023, 1:00-2:00 p.m.

During these unprecedented times, employees face many stressful challenges. Increasing our resilience can be a key strategy to successfully coping with and managing the stress and pressure. This session will discuss several approaches that can help individuals to increase their resilience and maintain their health and daily effectiveness.

To register, please click here.

Previous Mental Health and Wellbeing Webinars can be found here.

Call for tcma knowledge base resources

In an effort to enhance resources available to the membership, the TCMA Advocacy Committee is encouraging members to submit materials that can be accessed in the TCMA Knowledge Base. Materials may include sample ordinances, human resource related processes/procedures, animal control best practices and ordinances, employee manuals, paternity leave policies, and educational material to promote the city management profession. Please submit resources to Kirsten Davis at kdavis@tml.org.

tcma educational EVENTS

William “King” Cole Session 1  SOLD OUT 
January 26-27, 2023

William “King” Cole Session 2  
March 30-31, 2023
Sugar Land

Courtney Sharp City Management Clinic
February 23-24, 2023

TCMA Podcast
Perspectives on City Management
Listen to episodes here

TCMA Webinar Series: Maximizing Mental Wellbeing in the Workplace

How to Become More Resilient During Challenging Times
1:00-2:00 p.m., Friday, February 17, 2023

Memos on Meetings

The Ethic Committee met on December 14.  Meeting minutes are available here. The committee is scheduled to meet on February 9 by video conference.

The Advocacy Committee met on December 15. Meeting minutes are available here.  The committee is scheduled to meet on February 2 by video conference.

The Public Policy Task Force is scheduled to meet on January 12, 19, and 26 by video conference.

The Membership Committee is scheduled to meet on January 13 by video conference.

The TCMA Allies Committee is scheduled to meet on January 18 by video conference.

The Board is scheduled to meet on January 27 in Austin.

The 100 Year Celebration Task Force is scheduled to meet on January 31 by video 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.