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News and Tidbits
September 2016

President's Message:

Greetings Chapter members!
Thank you to Christine Green, City Secretary, University Park, and Amanda Hartwick, Assistant City Secretary, University Park, who hosted our August meeting in the beautiful University Park Library. We were welcomed by Robbie Corder, University Park City Manager.

Our speaker this month was Lisa Carver, Moxie Consulting, who talked to us about "Dealing with Difficult People". We are always excited to see Lisa and she gave us some really good ideas and tips on dealing with people that "get on our nerves". She discussed specific personality types to look for and action plans for dealing with those types of personalities. For example, when working with a "Tank", who is pushy and aggressive because they want to get things done, you need to stay cool and hold your ground. You can gain the respect of a "Tank" with an assertive, yet controlled, demeanor. She also reminded us that we must operate from our Circle of Control and Influence. We can only control ourselves - our attitude and our behaviors. As always, it was a very fun and informative presentation and we hope to see Lisa again very soon!

At this meeting, the membership approved the following business items:
  • July 21, 2016 meeting minutes
  • Monthly treasurer report for July 2016
  • Transfer of Profits of $1,201.20 from Professional Seminar held in April 2016 to Special Project Fund
  • FY 2016-2017 NTMCA monthly meeting schedule
  • 2016-2017 Slate of Officers:
    Carol Borges - President
    Sheila Morales - Vice-President
    Amy Shelley - Treasurer
    Laura Bell - Secretary
    Monica Solko - Historian
The membership discussed the proposed Fiscal Year 2016-2017 budget at our August meeting. Several questions were raised by our members and after deliberation, consideration of the FY 2016-2017 budget was continued to the September 14, 2016 meeting in Southlake. The board will make a few adjustments to the proposed budget to make it clearer for our members.
Art Camacho, Membership Committee Chair, announced the winner of the membership drive gift basket. The winner was Diane Cockrell, City Secretary, City of Decatur. Thank you Art and Laurie Garber, Membership Committee member, for all of your hard work! And, congratulations Diane!

HOST A MEETING IN 2016-2017: The NTMCA Board is already starting to plan for next year and we will be looking for meeting hosts (our fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30). If you have never been a host or would like to host a monthly business meeting again, please reach out to Carol Borges.
COMMITTEE SERVICE: PLEASE start thinking about NTMCA Committee service for our FY 2016-2017 year. Our Chapter is all about its members and we depend on your participation to bring new ideas and initiatives to our group through service on our Committees. How will you serve?
CONGRATULATIONS & BEST OF LUCK NORMA! Hope to see everyone on September 14th in Southlake for our final FY2015-2016 business luncheon! I will be administering the oaths of office to our incoming board members. Also, Norma Zenk, City Secretary, City of Azle, will be retiring at the end of September. Please join us in Southlake to wish Norma well as she embarks on the next chapter in her life!  
TO MY FELLOW BOARD MEMBERS - CAROL, SHEILA, AMY & LAURA: I cannot tell you all how much it has meant to me to work with all of you these last few years. We have worked so hard & have had a ton of laughs! You are all amazing people and I have loved every minute of our time together. Thank you for everything!
THANK YOU ALL: I would just like to take this opportunity to thank the board and all of our NTMCA members for the pleasure of serving on our Chapter board for the last 3 years. This has been such an amazing experience for me. I have learned so much and I have made some lifelong friends. We are so fortunate to have a network of peers that we can depend for advice, support, and comradery. Although my time on the board is coming to a close, I am committed to the continued support of our Chapter through committee service. I encourage everyone to serve! It's both fun and rewarding. Again, thank you all for this opportunity!


Important dates for 2016
  • NTMCA Monthly meeting in Southlake on September 14th
  • October 4-7, 2016 - TML Conference, Austin
  • October 27-28, 2016 - TMCA Graduate Institute, Galveston
Mary Supino, President
Pursuing Happiness Through Collaboration - Compliments of Marcel Brunel             
This year marks 240 years since the United States Declaration of Independence was signed. In this historic document, Thomas Jefferson declared 3 inalienable rights: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. I think a lot of us today might interpret "pursuit of happiness" as meaning happiness is something you chase after. I'd like to suggest that the pursuit of happiness in the original context meant: you practice it. When you pursue law, you practice it. When you pursue medicine, you practice it. Happiness is not some illusive treasure we chase after. It's a state of being.

Let's think about what that means in the context of being a City Secretary. 

In a world that says we have to be competitive, it's hard to practice happiness.  The staff and the council's needs are often in conflict; each individual's motivation is "winning"; and trust levels are low or maybe non-existent.  Not an environment that nurtures the pursuit of happiness.

Contrast that with an environment where relationships are collaborative.  Where the needs of both individual's are recognized and aligned. Where each individual's motivation is to work together to create something bigger than either of them could create on their own.  An environment where it's not about one winning over the other, but about achieving the optimal return for both.  It's much easier to be happy in a collaborative relationship. Fire working with Police or Directors working with Supervisors.

In today's business environment, collaboration is the new competitive advantage.  Cities that can build and sustain collaborative relationships both within and outside the organization are the companies that will succeed.  The same can be said for sales.

Developing a collaborative relationship with your client by building trust, respect, value and working with them interdependently to achieve positive outcomes for both of you will help you succeed.

Here are 3 things you can do to be more collaborative with your City Colleagues:

  1. Understand and align with their goals, challenges and needs. As I often say, diagnose, then prescribe. Ask the beyond-the-obvious questions to get the beyond-the-obvious answers, and then go back and create a recommendation.  Think: interdependent.  If they are successful then I can be successful.
  2. Ensure your motivation to work together is an optimal return for both.
  3.  Work toward a relationship where trust is implicit.  I can be trusted with all things all of the time.

And that is how we begin to practice happiness in a collaborative relationship. It doesn't just happen. It takes...practice. Remember that little word in the center of collaboration: "labor." So let's labor on the relationship we think are smart and right to do so on, and ensure we are doing our best work to make the relationship as long and strong as possible.

It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.
- Charles Darwin




Article by Holly Fimbres, Alyce Deering Scholarship Recipient             
Hello all,
It sure has been a fast yet exciting year. In June, I was able to attend the OMA, PIA, Records Management, & Parliamentary Procedure seminar, which was a great event! There was so much fundamental information that was provided and below is just a few key points that were discussed.

Texas Open Meetings Act:
  • Reposting - Section 551.041 does not require a governmental body that recesses an open meeting to the following regular business day to post notice of the continued meeting if the action is taken in good faith and not to circumvent this chapter. (GC 551.0411(a))
  •  Emergency Meeting - An emergency or an urgent public necessity exists only if immediate action is required of a governmental body because of: (1) an imminent threat to public health and safety; or (2) a reasonably unforeseeable situation. (GC 551.045(b)) Note: Per GC 551.045(a), sufficient notice is provided if it is posted for at least two hours before the meeting is convened.

Public Information Act:

  • Clarification - If you do not receive a written response to a written request for clarification or additional information, the requestor's entire request is considered withdrawn. Note: Have to wait until the 61st day; If have mailing address, must send the written request for clarification by certified mail; and Must inform requestor of the consequences of not responding. (GC 552.222)
  • Withholding Information - A governmental body is required to ask the Attorney General for an open records ruling in almost all cases if the governmental body wants to withhold requested documents or information based upon an exception of the Public Information Act. (GC 552.301) Note: A commonly used determination is Open Records Decision No. 684, which includes withholding fingerprints, motor vehicle record information, and access device information, etc.
Records Management & Disaster Recovery:
  • Program Components - Policy Directive; Inventory and Retention; Management of Active Records; Management of Inactive Records; Vital Records and Disaster Planning; Management of Electronic Records; and Compliance.
  •  Recovery - Large enough to accommodate several tables; Good air circulation; Securable; and Environmental controls.
Parliamentary Procedure:
  • Precedence - The Texas Open Meetings Act always takes precedence over Parliamentary Procedures.
  • Precedence of Motions - A list of specific motions that indicate the priority of motions. When a motion on the list is pending, any motion above it is in order and any motion below it is out of order.
We have so many vital individuals within our association that are full of knowledge and expertise. It is such a pleasure to be a part of NTMCA. I hope each of you have a wonderful Summer and get to enjoy some downtime.
Thank you,
Holly Fimbres
Town Secretary/RMO
Town of Trophy Club

Historical Spotlight -   Decatur
Creation of City Offices
The first post office and school were established in 1857.  The town began to flourish and in the early 1860s the first of four courthouses was erected.  The late 1860's saw the creation of new stores.  Ranchers and herders would come in off the Chisholm Trail to grab supplies.


This time period, however, was not only a time of peaceful growth.  Decatur was plagued by Indian attacks.  The Deep Creek Cemetery south of town had been the final resting place for a few of those attacked.  An example of these attacks comes from the depiction of Sallie Bowman's demise published in a book by Cliff D. Cates, The Pioneer History of Wise County.  He explains how she was chased down and shot by Indians while tending to her father's herd of horses.

As time went on. Decatur slowly but steadily saw an increase of traffic in the city.  In 1882, the Fort Worth and Denver Railway came through Decatur.  During this time period a gambling railway worker, talking about a female from Decatur, coined the phrase "Eighter from Decatur".  Decatur prospered as a shipping point and market for farmers.


In 1896, the last of the four county courthouses was built.  It came at a price of $110,000 ($2,810,388 in today's money) and is build of solid pink granite and Vermont marble.  The building is still in use today and is rated one of the best historic courthouses in the country.


With the continual growth of the city, in 1897, land was purchased to create Decatur Baptist College.  The college was finished in 1898 and became the first 2-year college ever established in the state of Texas. This building now resides as the Wise County Museum.  The college moved to Dallas in 1965 in order to expand on 100 acres of land donated to it and by the invitation of the Dallas Baptist Association.  The college soon became a four-year school, but still gets to proclaim itself the "Oldest Junior College in Texas".
In This Issue
Article Compliments of Marcel Brunel
Article Compliments of Holly Fimbres
Meeting Reservations
Calendar Wheels
2017 TMCA Committees
Future Newsletters
FY 15-16 Board Officers
Meeting Reservations

Members we need your help!   

In order to be able to provide food for all that attend our monthly meetings, we need to know who will be attending, so please let us know your intentions by the RSVP date.  Deadlines are included in the invitation, and on the meeting webpage.   


The best way to take care of this is to plan to attend all of the meetings and RSVP when you receive the invite!


Thank you for your cooperation!
Mary Supino, President
Calendar Wheels
These wheels are an excellent tool for counting deadlines with ease and precision.  They are great for calendaring events/tasks associated with elections, requests for public information, budget, public hearings, legal notices, etc. 

The calendar wheels will be available at the monthly meetings for $5.00 each. Monies raised from the sale of the calendar wheels will benefit the Alyce Deering Scholarship Fund. The calendar wheels come in two colors-purple and green. 

If you are not at a monthly meeting, and would like to purchase a calendar wheel, please contact Monica Solko at 817.427.6062 or via e-mail  
2017 TMCA Committees
I will be working on making appointments to the 2017 TMCA Committees. If you haven't had a chance, now is the time to get your questionnaire in.
I am extending the deadline for submittal to September 9. Please email your completed questionnaire to me.
Your Association needs your input and ideas.
Please consider serving on a committee. Together, we can continue to make our Association the most outstanding professional organization in Texas!
Best regards,
Lydia Lopez, TRMC

Future Newsletters
If there is a topic of interest or subject that you would like to see addressed in an upcoming newsletter, please let any of the Board members know.

If you would like to contribute to an article for consideration, please submit it by email to  Amy Shelley
FY 2015-2016 Board Officers 
Mary Supino, Arlington

Carol Borges, Westworth Village

Sheila B. Morales, Copper Canyon

Amy Shelley, Colleyville 
Laura Bell, Addison 
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