2000 Texas Municipal League Municipal Excellence Awards
(Over 25,000 population)
Management Innovations – Cities of Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville and Lancaster
A Regional Training Center was developed by these four cities to provide municipal employees with training in all facets of their jobs in a convenient location and comfortable atmosphere. The training offers certification in four areas – customer service, leadership, supervision, and management, along with a continuing education program for those not interested in certification. Employees of the four cities are able to get specialized training, and the program provides managers the opportunity to identify individuals who may grow and develop into more productive and promotable employees.
Public Works - City of Arlington
Providing 19 billion gallons of water annually to 325,000 customers, the City of Arlington faced increased federal regulation of drinking water standards. In August 1999, the city became the first city in Texas to use ozone to purify its entire water supply through a $22 million upgrade. Although ozone is traditionally known as an air pollutant, safe ozone use dates back to the early 1900s and is ten times stronger than chlorine. As a result, customers now receive superior water, and the city saves $186,000 a year in chemical costs.
Public Safety - City of Denton
When his own house burned, the Denton Fire Chief experienced first-hand the overwhelming sense of loss, and he determined there was a need for a program to channel resources to others in the same situation. Made up of fire department staff and community volunteers, the Denton Fire Department Victim’s Support Program extends the fire department’s customer-centered service delivery to the needs of victims of emergencies. It provides them ongoing assistance including recovery information, shelter, packing boxes, clothes, or any other needed items or services during and after an incident. It also directs and coordinates support from the city and other organizations and agencies to these victims.
Communication - City of Denton
After adoption of the 1999-2020 comprehensive plan, the city created a Visual Quality Survey as a unique public involvement tool to gauge citizens’ opinions regarding residential, commercial, and industrial development. Employing a variety of formats, the survey was made available to citizens through the city’s Web site, kiosks in city buildings, broadcasts on the city’s cable access TV channel, and paper documents. Citizens of all ages were encouraged to participate in the survey. The visual advantage to the survey provided for increased involvement as the city used the survey as a learning tool to encourage citizens to become more involved in the governmental process.
City Spirit – City of Round Rock
The third time was the charm for Round Rock’s recruitment of minor league baseball. Two previous attempts to bring minor league baseball to the city had failed. But, the third time the city’s can-do spirit and family-friendly atmosphere proved to be the winning combination. A record turnout of 12,179 voters – four times the previous high for a city election – passed a referendum allowing the city to finance the stadium with $8.65 million in revenue bonds backed by hotel-motel taxes and $16 million in cash from team owner Nolan Ryan and others. The first-class stadium saw record attendance in its first year of operation and has become a tremendous source of pride for the city.
Additional information on the TML Municipal Excellence Awards Program can be obtained by calling Karla Vining at the TML offices, (512) 231-7400.