I am honored and humbled to serve as your Texas City Management Association President for 2016-2017. Your TCMA Board is looking forward to the coming year which will begin with updating the Strategic Plan. Reviews, updates, and new plans are developed every two years to ensure that our organization continues to serve the members effectively and maintain the high standards we place on our association.
TCMA members consistently respond to member surveys stating that professional development and networking opportunities are the most important services provided by our association. TCMA is committed to providing professional development opportunities that prepare city managers with the skill sets necessary to be successful in a world of rapid change, growing service demands, and a growing anti-government and anti-establishment political climate. Advocacy for the council-manager form of government was identified in the 2014-2016 Strategic Plan as a priority. TCMA will continue to focus on advocacy for professional city management in all Texas cities.
To ensure professional city management will continue into the future, we will continue to “build our bench” through continued development of the emerging leaders program and increasing our membership. An emerging leader’s task force has been appointed and will work to develop programs relevant to emerging leaders in our profession, incorporate training into the annual conference, and seek to provide other professional development opportunities. Increasing TCMA membership will also help reach city managers across the state, educating them on the ethical tenets as well as training and networking opportunities available to them through TCMA. City managers and those interested in becoming a city manager must see the value in TCMA membership in order to join. More importantly, they must see themselves reflected in the membership and leadership of our association and that TCMA has its members’ interests at the core of its mission.
The association provides a unique opportunity to meet other city management professionals and establish relationships with people otherwise never met. Those relationships lead to what members identify as the most valuable asset offered by TCMA, support. Support for friends and colleagues in times of professional and personal struggle. Encouragement to pursue opportunities that will grow us professionally and personally, and trusted colleagues to “bounce things off of” gaining different perspectives before putting things into practice. Our role as members of this association is and always should be to offer support and encouragement of city managers and those that aspire to be city managers across the state.
As president, I challenge you to serve TCMA this year by being an ambassador of support for TCMA and for professional city management across the state. Be an ambassador of support for ethical local government, effective local government, and responsive local government. Be an ambassador for not just good local government, but great local government. Not because you are obligated, but because you are willing and able. Not because you have to, but because you want to.