Texas Municipal League Municipal Excellence Award Winners for 1999

(Under 25,000 population)

Public Safety – Town of Addison

The Addison Police Department addressed the increase in Halloween calls from one particular area of the city with the traditional response of increased patrols and enforcement tactics.The efforts were not as effective as the department had hoped and also presented a negative image of the Addison police officers.As an alternative, the Town of Addison initiated the “I have a friend at the Addison Police Department” Halloween block party.Since that time, Halloween-related calls have decreased by 90 percent, and the block party has provided an outstanding opportunity for officers to interact with the young people in a completely positive setting.

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Communications – City of Tulia

Tulia’s cable supplier offered its customers only one programming tier and rates that were 40 percent above the national average.Working with the five Amarillo television stations, the city relocated an existing 500-foot tower donated by the stations and began re-transmitting the signals from the five stations.The city, through the municipally owned electric system, Tulia Power and Light, agreed to own and operate the facility for five years at an estimated cost of $9,500 annually.A City of Tulia staff report noted that “this project is a perfect example of a service that can be provided by a community-owned electric system which would not be supplied by an investor-owned utility.”

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Management Innovations – City of Georgetown

The Georgetown leadership development process is one piece of an overall strategy to make the organization more productive and more compatible with the vision, values, and culture of the city.The program recognizes that successful organizational leadership begins at the employee level and that it is the city’s responsibility to provide leadership training and further development opportunities for each employee.The program encourages individuals to take responsibility for his/her choices and actions and to learn strategies to balance competing family and work demands.

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Public Works – City of Benbrook

In November 1997, Benbrook citizens joined together to build Castle Park, a playground designed by local elementary students.The 11-month project brought together neighbors, strangers, friends, and long-time foes to build a playground that benefits not only the children of the city, but also the community as a whole.Castle Park was built in five days, involved 1,100 volunteers, and was financed by community donations totaling $125,000.The construction of Castle Park culminated a year of special events, parades, and dedications, marking Benbrook’s 50-year anniversary celebration.

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City Spirit – City of Jasper

When the East Texas town of Jasper found itself in the center of a world-wide spotlight following a brutal racial crime, city leaders united in condemning racial violence, prejudice, and bigotry.The once quiet town of 8,000 came together to let the world know, through citizen dialogue, mutual respect, and faith, that when a tragedy strikes, a city can mobilize its human and spiritual resources to re-establish a positive image and impact its future for generations to follow.

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Additional Information

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

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