Municipal Excellence Awards

The 2023 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 Categories

The competition is divided into two population categories to allow cities to compete with other cities of comparable size. The population categories are cities under 25,000 population and cities over 25,000 population.

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 to communicate with citizens, employees, customers, or other government entities. The applications can include written, oral, and visual communication methods.
  • City Spirit - Award applications in this category highlight any citywide effort to address a city need. This may include projects focused on neighborhood clean-up, beautification, economic development, historic preservation, 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. This may include programs relating to law enforcement, fire and emergency response, youth, and disaster response.
  • Public Works - Award applications in this category address a wide variety of projects and efforts, such as environmental management, planning and land use, transportation, utilities, parks and recreation, and energy resource management.

Update: Cities can submit multiple entries in each of the five subject categories, but judges may move entries between categories. Each entry should demonstrate a proven record of effectiveness and evidence that the program has achieved its goals.

Application Process

The awards program is open to all Texas Municipal League member cities. Each city can submit multiple award applications in each subject category. Entries must describe programs or projects brought to conclusion or showing significant results between November 1, 2021, and June 1, 2023.

Applications will only be accepted through Texas Municipal League's (TML) online award application website: Mailed applications will not be accepted. The 2023 application is now closed.  Applications will be open for 2024 in early January. 

To help cities prepare, below is the information the online application will collect. Please do not send applications by mail.

  1. City name
  2. Population
  3. Subject category of entry: 
    • City Spirit
    • Communication Programs
    • Management Innovations
    • Public Safety
    • Public Works
  4. Title of entry
  5. Brief Project summary (200 words or less)
  6. Project description (1,200 words or less)
    1. Why the project was needed
    2. How it accomplished its goal(s)
    3. Who benefited
    4. Level of cooperation within the city and/or with other entities (city, county, state, etc.)
    5. Time or money savings
    6. Time or money costs
    7. Improvement to quality of service and/or livability of the city
    8. Future impact on the city
  7. Name of the chief elected or appointed official (mayor or city manager/administrator) that approves the city's application
  8. Contact person’s name, title, mailing address, phone number, and email address

Additional information may be submitted through the online application site but is not required:

  • Artwork
  • Brochures
  • Media clippings
  • Photos
  • Videos

Award Application Deadline

All entries, including additional material, must be submitted through the online awards application website by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on Friday, June 2, 2023. Mail, email, and fax applications will not be accepted.

The Texas Municipal League staff, officers, and Board will not be responsible for any lost, delayed, or misdirected award applications.

Judging Process

Entries will be screened by TML staff.

Final judging will be conducted by an independent panel of judges with considerable experience in the area of municipal government.

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 to other cities?

Announcement of Finalists and Winners 

Finalists in each category will be notified in late August 2023. Winners will be announced during the awards presentation on October 4 at the Opening General Session of the 2023 TML Annual Conference and Exhibition in Dallas. In addition, the winners will be featured in a future issue of Texas Town and City magazine.