Texas Municipal League Municipal Excellence Awards
The 2013 Texas Municipal League Municipal Excellence Awards recognize and encourage the achievements of Texas cities in meeting the challenge of municipal government. Innovative problem-solving, excellence in management, increasing citizen participation, and reaching toward higher service levels are all daily occurrences in Texas cities, and they deserve recognition.
This awards program seeks out the best of these programs to honor. It is through the recognition of the best of the best that all Texas cities share and learn from these achievements.
The competition is divided into two population categories to allow cities to compete with other cities of comparable size. The population categories are: cities less than 25,000 population and cities over 25,000.
Within each of the two population categories, there are five subject categories: management innovations, communication programs, city spirit, public safety, and public works. Those categories are explained below:
- Management Innovations - Award applications in this category encompass employee development and training, financial applications, intergovernmental cooperation, technology advances, or other innovative approaches to city government management.
- Communication Programs - Award applications in this category feature effective methods used by cities for citizen communication, employee communications, council communications, customer communications, or municipal communication projects. The applications would not be limited to written communications, but may also include oral and visual communication methods.
- City Spirit - Award applications in this category highlight any citywide effort to address a city need. This may include clean-up efforts, beautification efforts, economic development efforts involving a city-based project, historic preservation efforts, or other projects supported by broad-based city efforts.
- Public Safety - Award applications in this category include efforts to improve the safety and security of the city. Included would be law enforcement programs, fire and emergency response programs, youth programs related to public safety, and disaster response programs.
- PublicWorks - Award applications in this category address a wide variety of projects and efforts, such as environmental management programs, planning and land use, transportation programs, utilities, parks and recreation programs, and energy resource management.
Cities may submit one entry in each of the five subject categories, but judges may move entries between categories. More than one application in a single category may result in disqualification. Each entry should demonstrate a proven record of effectiveness and evidence that the program has achieved its goals.
The awards program is open to all Texas Municipal League member cities. Each city can submit one award application in each subject category, for a total of five applications. Entries must describe programs or projects brought to conclusion or showing significant results between November 1, 2011, and May 1, 2013.
An official Municipal Excellence Award entry application must be submitted for each project. The official application may be reproduced in an alternative format, as long as all questions on the form are answered. Please type or legibly print information requested on the award application. The original application must be signed by the city’s chief elected or administrative officer. If applications are submitted in more than one category, please submit a separately bound document for each category.
When completing the award application, the summary of the project must be concise and limited to less than 200 words. The description of the project, which can be longer, should include the following information: why the project was needed, how it accomplished the goal, who benefited, level of cooperation in the city, time or money savings, time or money costs, improvement to quality of service or livability of the city, and future impact on the city. This information may appear on separate pages.
Additional information — artwork, brochures, photos, media clippings, DVDs, CDs, and other similar material — may be submitted, but is not necessary. Videotapes submitted must be half-inch VHS format. Please check DVDs and CDs submitted for quality of picture and, if applicable, sound. Label each electronic submission to indicate the format for preferred viewing. All material submitted with each entry becomes the property of the Texas Municipal League and will not be returned.
Five copies of all materials (excluding DVDs and CDs) must be submitted.
Award Application Deadline
All entries, including additional material if submitted, must be received in the TML offices by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 7, 2013. Entries can be mailed or shipped to TML Municipal Excellence Awards Program, 1821 Rutherford Lane, Suite 400, Austin, Texas 78754-5128. E-mail and fax applications will not be accepted. Entries, including additional material, will not be returned.
The Texas Municipal League, its staff, officers, and Board, will not be responsible for any lost, delayed, or misdirected award applications.
Entries will be screened by TML staff for completeness. Any entries deemed not complete will be excluded.
Final judging will be conducted by an independent panel of judges with considerable experience in the area of municipal government. The judging will take place in Austin and will be closed to the public. The judges reserve the right to change the category of entries.
Judges will be asked to look for the following attributes of each entry:
- Is the application complete and are all the necessary items enclosed?
- Is the project innovative?
- Did the project achieve its goal?
- What is the long-term value to the city?
- Can the project be adapted for other cities?
Announcement of the Winners
All winning applicants will be notified in late September 2013. The winners will be featured in a future issue of Texas Town & City magazine. In addition, the winners will be recognized at the TML Annual Conference to be held on October 8-11, in Austin.
Additional information on the TML Municipal Excellence Awards Program can be obtained by calling the TML office at 512-231-7400.