Ambassadors for the Profession

As TCMA President, I challenged each member of our association to be an ambassador for TCMA and professional city management across the state. As ambassadors, we should support ethical local government, effective local government, and responsive local government. On August 11, your TCMA Board met in Austin to update the TCMA Strategic Plan and set the course for our association for the next two years. The theme “SUPPORT” was repeated throughout the planning session.

There are some troubling trends and issues facing our profession that were discussed during the meeting. One of the issues is the anti-government political climate and as well as the anti-city themes of our Texas legislature. Another trend is the hiring of city managers that are not professionally trained. A few responses emerged from the conversation. First, we as professional city managers and members of TCMA must do a better job telling the story of local government and being advocates for professional city management. Second, as members of TCMA you have responsibilities that are more important than anything a single board members can do. The most important of these responsibilities is one-on-one, personal connections with those in your region. I encourage you to reach out not only with an email, but with a phone call. Meet face-to-face with non-members and members alike. Have a conversation. It is critical to our profession and to our association that personal outreach take place to those new to city management, new to your region, and especially to those members who are facing struggles in their community or who find themselves in transition. Who better to reach out than those members closest geographically to the person? The key to being an ambassador is to be intentional about reaching out to those in your region Make sure each member and potential member is aware of the many services TCMA provides: coaching, networking, and professional development opportunities, document and knowledge sharing senior advisor services, support during in transition periods, and ethical professionalism.

(Article submitted by TCMA President, Paulette Hartman, Assistant City Manager, North Richland Hills. If you have interesting news or helpful topics to share, please submit them to Kim Pendergraft at [email protected]. Please keep the information to fewer than 300 words.)