Texas Municipal League Municipal Excellence Award Winners for 2002
(Under 25,000 population)
Public Works - Mount Pleasant
A city council-appointed Citizens Advisory Panel developed a city-wide survey asking Mount Pleasant citizens to prioritize the needs that they felt were most important. The citizens appreciated this initiative and responded with a clear mandate for an expanded street and utility infrastructure improvement program. From this directive the city staff created Project 84/7. This project would see that 84 miles of city streets would be either resurfaced or totally reconstructed in seven years – and all done without bonded indebtedness. To fund this ambitious project, the council resolved to dedicate all utility franchise fees, water and sewer street use fees, and $300,000 annually from the landfill lease agreement. With the project approximately 35 percent complete, the citizens, businesses, and industries of Mount Pleasant are benefiting greatly. And citizens and businesses along the newly renovated streets have started working to improve the appearance of their properties.
Public Safety – Alvin
The Alvin Police Department has, over the past decade, developed new and innovative programs that are tailored to meet the needs of Alvin citizens. These programs step outside the boundaries of traditional law enforcement approaches, and educate and inform citizens about programs that can improve the quality of life in Alvin. The programs include an anti-drinking-and-driving initiative for minors; the Are You Okay? program that makes daily contact with local elderly and homebound residents; the youth anti-tobacco program which penalizes minors in possession of tobacco; the civilian volunteers who monitor handicap parking violations; and the hundreds of gun safety locks donated by local businesses for the police department to distribute to families with small children. These are just a few examples of the successes of the Alvin Police Department.
Management Innovation – Wylie
A common complaint for building inspection departments is that handwritten inspection reports cannot be easily read, and that valuable time is lost by paperwork, generating new reports, and re-inspecting facilities. The City of Wylie’s building inspection department knew there had to be a better way. With the introduction of pocket PCs, city staff knew they were on the right track. Today, building inspectors, equipped with pocket PCs, each morning download their inspection list for the day, review the history of prior inspections on site, key in new comments, and retrieve contact information for the construction site. As a result, less time is spent doing inspections, and contractors get results printed out upon the completion of an inspection. This new technological advancement provides for precise and timely delivery of services.
City Spirit – Brownwood
Brownwood Reunion Celebration – a weekend to celebrate the people and the spirit of Brownwood – was the first ever to be hosted live around the world via Web cams, making it a worldwide homecoming. An “Image Committee” was formed a year earlier to “develop and promote an internal and external image” to promote Brownwood to potential new residents, while at the same time building and promoting the pride and spirit in the community among Brownwood citizens. With the goal of launching the “best small town Web site in the nation,” they planned a reunion weekend, boosted by a song written and performed just for Brownwood. After months of work, fundraising, and marketing, a successful event was attended by approximately 15,000 with over 9,000 “virtual” visitors. Brownwood – Feels Like Home.
Additional information on the TML Municipal Excellence Awards Program can be obtained by calling Karla Vining at the TML offices, (512) 231-7400.