Texas Municipal League Municipal Excellence Award Winners for 2007

(Under 25,000 population)

 

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Highland Village (Communications)

The police department in Highland Village developed an easily adaptable and cost-effective Severe Weather Analysis and Response Model to help make accurate, timely decisions about activating outdoor warning siren systems for severe weather. Dubbed the Outdoor Warning Siren Activation – A Decision-Making Guide, this user-friendly model includes a one-page worksheet that helps first responders quickly track storm progress, determine overall risk, and make a decision regarding siren system activation. Through a citywide “Education and Awareness” process, citizens were taught the purpose of outdoor warning sirens and the considerations involved in activating those sirens. This knowledge helped replace the residents’ natural fear of the sirens with an appropriate level of safety concern and a deliberate plan of action.video

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Hutto (Management Innovations)

Stretched by a growth rate of 1,278 percent in six years, Hutto realized it didn’t have the internal capacity to meet the demands of a rapidly developing city. To improve human infrastructure, the city created an Organizational Development Plan that established four goals: 1) develop internal capacity; 2) determine and integrate core values; 3) increase communication effectiveness; and 4) implement systems to increase operational effectiveness and efficiency. The plan embraced the concepts of recruiting and retaining talent, prioritizing professional development, establishing clear expectations for employees, and encouraging positive behavior through reinforcement. Improvements resulting from implementation of the plan include the adoption of participatory leadership practices and the initiation of the Total Rewards System, an innovative and participatory approach to compensation. video

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Boerne (Public Safety)

The Boerne Police Department school resource officers partnered with the school district to conduct Safety Town, a week-long orientation session in August for children entering kindergarten. The program is designed to alleviate apprehensions the children and their parents may face on the first day of school. In a local school gymnasium, officers set up a miniature town—wooden structures painted to resemble Boerne—adjacent to stop signs and crosswalks to teach bicycle and pedestrian safety. The children take their first school bus ride and are taught school bus safety. Businesses represented in the miniature town paid for the replica, the school district provides buses and drivers, so the only expense to the city is the officers’ time. Safety Town has steadily grown in popularity, from 20 children the first year to 75 children in 2006. video

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Cameron (City Spirit)

A construction debris site in the city was an eyesore, so the Milam County Master Gardeners came up with a solution. They approached the city council with a design plan to turn the property into a garden. The council approved the plan unanimously, and city crews began clearing the area and bringing in soil. Countless donations of money and time helped keep costs to the city at a minimum. The space now features a xeriscape demonstration garden, pathways, an herb garden, a gazebo, a rose garden, and plants labeled for identification. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has certified the garden as a Texas Wildscapes Wildlife Habitat Demonstration Site. Once an unattractive and dangerous area, it now offers beautiful scenery, provides horticulture education, and inspires citizens as they develop landscaping for their homes and businesses.video

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Additional Information

Additional information on the TML Municipal Excellence Awards Program can be obtained by calling the TML offices, 512-231-7400.

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