Texas Municipal League Municipal Excellence Award Winners for 2004
(Under 25,000 population)
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Seguin and Schertz (Management Innovations)
There are co-winners in the management innovations category. The cities of Seguin and Schertz each faced the challenge of securing an adequate, long-term water supply for their citizens. Concerned about the vulnerability of their water sources to meet the demands of the rapid growth of both cities, the professional staffs from the two cities worked together, under the leadership of their respective city councils, to form the Schertz-Seguin Local Government Corporation. This non-profit organization, led by a Board of Directors, secured funding to construct a water supply system that provides both cities with a secure water source. This innovative partnership between the two cities provides citizens with higher quality water, increased resources to recruit industry and business to the area, and the assurance that their water needs will be met well into the future through a drought and flood resistant supply. video
The winner in the public safety category is the City of Fairview. In 2002, the City of Fairview found itself with a small volunteer fire department, a single police officer, and a part-time ambulance service with insufficient standards for responsiveness and quality of care. The city of 3,000 residents had limited fiscal resources, but a growing need for quality services. By pooling its resources with other jurisdictions and organizations, the city is now served by a Safe Team.Today, the police department is led by a 20-year law enforcement veteran and includes three experienced, well-trained officers, plus two reserve officers. The volunteer fire department has grown significantly, and fire dispatch is provided by the City of McKinney. EMS is provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is held to strict standards of responsiveness and patient care. The teamwork approach has enabled the city to provide services to its residents and stretch limited funds through inter-local agreements with surrounding jurisdictions. video
The winner in the public works category is the City of Brenham.Recognizing the need to serve citizens of all ages and to maintain and improve the quality of life, the City of Brenham developed Hohlt Park to allow the city to meet a need identified in the citys master plan.But the lack of adequate swimming facilities became a glaring omission in meeting citizen requests. The Blue Bell Aquatic Center is an example of what a city can do when it comes together with a single vision.With donations from Blue Bell Creameries, the Hohlt family, and others, including $5.00 contributions, the residents of Brenham helped raise the funds to pay for their aquatic park. The center consists of an outdoor leisure pool, an indoor natatorium and a therapy pool. These facilities have become an integral part of the citys recreational programming offering swimming lessons, water safety classes, senior citizen Aquacize classes, and high school and community swim team events - benefiting citizens all ages. video
The winner in the communications category is the City of Granbury.Every worker and citizen in Granbury is a salesperson for the city. Recognizing that the hospitality industry is a major part of the Granbury economy, the Citys convention and visitors bureau offers an 8-hour interactive course in hospitality training to every business in the city.All businesses in the city are encouraged to participate. The first group to participate in the training was the Granbury Police Department. The Granbury Friendly training program provides a comprehensive customer service program to the citys businesses and their employees at no charge. To date, nearly 250 individuals from 100 businesses have attended the hospitality training program. The training includes a keynote presentation from an expert in quality customer service delivery and additional presentations on making a good first impression, knowing your job and your community, communicating clearly, hospitality habits and more.All attendees receives a community resource guide to help them provide that special Granbury Friendly feeling to visitors. video
Buda (City Spirit)
The winner in the city spirit category is the City of Buda.Buda residents have rallied around the cause of keeping the city Buda-ful. Residents throughout the city have embraced the task and volunteer countless hours to serve on committees and commissions to preserve the heritage and spirit of the city. Each year, hundreds of visitors flock to town to attend the nationally sanctioned Weiner Dog Races.Wanting to build upon the attraction of the races and encourage people to see the rest of the city, committees were formed and activities were planned to attract attention to the city. The Buda Improvement Grant resulted in a majority of the buildings in the downtown area receiving economic assistance to complete a major facelift to historic buildings. A Welcome Center was located in a renovated stagecoach office, and the Buda Parks Commission secured a grant to create a passive nature park on 48 acres behind the center.All this activity and more, have given this Buda the deserved title of Buda-ful.video
Additional information on the TML Municipal Excellence Awards Program can be obtained by calling Karla Vining at the TML offices, (512) 231-7400.