Ethics Annual Report

As the TCMA Ethics Committee Chair, I want to thank TCMA President Julie Couch and the TCMA Board for the opportunity to serve another year along with Vice Chair Valerie Bradley, Managing Director of Community Services of the City of Mesquite.  Under the direction of our president, we were challenged to see how we could focus more on ethics and better make training available to the membership.  With that in mind, I am pleased to present the first annual report of the Ethics Committee.

The year began with committee members writing ethics articles for the monthly TCMA newsletter with their focus on each of the 12 tenets. Each committee member who volunteered described each tenet in line with the accepted understanding and expectations of TCMA.  We were fortunate to have Valerie, who worked closely with Aubry City Administrator Matt McCombs editing each article to give all twelve tenets one voice from the TCMA organization rather than first person.  The results were excellent, well-written articles that we hope you found beneficial.  I want to thank and recognize the following individuals for the time they took to carefully and thoughtfully author an article: Murvat Musa, Deputy Executive Director, Lubbock Reese Redevelopment Authority; Henry Hill, Deputy City Manager, Frisco; Randy Criswell, City Manager, Canyon; Kevin Troller, Assistant City Manager, Baytown;
Mike Arismendez, Member In-Transition; Vicky Rudy, City Manager, Oak Ridge North; Jeff Johnston, City Manager, Floydada; Susan Guthrie, Assistant City Manager, Tyler; Bert Lumbreras, Assistant City Manager, Austin; Adam Wilbourn, Assistant to the City Manager, Fairview;  Boyd London, Managing Director, Hilltop Securities; Jimmy Stathatos, Town Manager, Flower Mound; and Bob Hart, City Manager, Kennedale.

The Committee also reviewed training opportunities realizing the need for each TCMA region to have adequate trainers who could provide the required two-hours every two years of ethics training.  After confirmation from the TCMA Board on the requirements that an ethics trainer be adequately trained to present on the TCMA Code of Ethics, the committee hosted the second Ethics Training for Trainers.  Martha Perego, Director of Ethics at ICMA, came to Austin to conduct the training. The goal was to train at least two individuals from each region who could train members on the TCMA Code of Ethics and fulfill the training requirement.  With more than 25 in attendance, a full day was dedicated to covering the required basic material, which includes the history of ethics in TCMA, enforcement procedures, and discussion of at least one of the tenets. Martha gave examples of how to deliver the information, the importance of ethics, and discussed the view of ICMA and TCMA on each tenet.  TCMA is now in a better position to provide training more locally to its members. In addition to ICMA ethics training (offered by webinars and conferences), TCMA members now have a variety out outlets to complete their ethics training requirement including the TCMA Annual Conference, King Cole I Basics Workshop, the online training module, and a class conducted by a TCMA Ethics Trainer.

For a list of trainers, please click TCMA Certified Ethics Trainer.

The Ethics Committee also formed a subcommittee to develop an advanced online ethics course.  With the help of Marble Falls City Manager Mike Hodge, McAllen Assistant City Manager Jeff Johnston, Austin Assistant Director of Contract Management Rolando Fernandez, Sundown City Administrator Curtis Schrader, and Valerie, the goal is to provide a more challenging course that may become a series of courses with each focusing on three to four tenets each. Our hope is that the courses will be more interactive and include case studies.

This past year, ICMA reviewed and updated the verbiage of Tenet 12, and in 2013, modified Tenet 7 adding a guideline for “advocacy.”  The TCMA Board adopted the same changes.  ICMA is currently reviewing Tenet 3 and has plans to review one tenet a year, making them current and understandable. To view the most current code, please click TCMA Code of Ethics.

Finally, I wish I could report there were no ethics complaints filed this past year; however, there were two.  The first was a TCMA/ICMA member and has, therefore, been forwarded to ICMA for review to determine if an investigation is warranted.  A second complaint was filed on a member of TCMA who is not a member of ICMA.  The case is currently under review by a subcommittee. In both cases, the rules of enforcement are being followed with the process in the early stages.

I want to thank the Ethics Committee, whose names are included below who have worked diligently on all we have done this year.  And I especially want to thank Kim Pendergraft, TML staff, for all of her assistance, note taking, minute recordings, suggestions, and follow-through.

It has been my pleasure to serve in this capacity. Please feel free to contact me with your concerns, questions, or suggestions.

Thank you for your service to our profession,

Nick Finan, Ethics Committee Chair and Executive Director of Management Services, Texas City

[email protected]  409-643-5927

TCMA Ethics Committee

Chair, Nicholas Finan, Executive Director Management Services/City Secretary, Texas City

Vice Chair, Valarie Bradley, Managing Director of Community Services, Mesquite

Region 1 Representative, Dion Miller, City Manager, Tulia

Region 2 Representative, Curtis Schrader, City Administrator, Sundown

Region 3 Representative, Vacant

Region 4 Representative, Rick Chaffin

Region 5 Representative, Kevin Huckabee

Region 6 Representative, Ivan Langford, General Manager, Gulf Coast Water Authority

Region 7 Representative, Micah Grau, Assistant City Manager, Hutto

Region 8 Representative, Zina Tedford, City Secretary, Shavano Park

Region 9 Representative, Allen Barnes
, City Manager, Gonzales

Region 10 Representative, Jeff Johnston, Assistant City Manager, McAllen

Additional Committee Members:
Deval Allums
, Account Executive, Siemens Industry, Inc.
Kevin Carruth, City Manager, Rockport
David Cockrell, City Manager, Atlanta
Anna Doll, Deputy City Manager, Grand Prairie
Rolando Fernandez, Assistant Director- Contract Management Department, Austin
Andrew Freeman, Assistant City Manager, Plainview
Bob Hart, City Manager, Kennedale
Konrad Hildebrandt, Assistant City Manager- Administrative Services, Odessa
William Hill, City Manager, Shavano Park
Mickiel Hodge, City Manager, Marble Falls
Kyle McCain
Matthew Mueller, Town Manager, Little Elm
Chad Nehring, City Manager, Center
Ken Reneau
Jimmy Stathatos
, Town Manager, Flower Mound
Isaac Turner, City Manager, Taylor
David Vela