City staff development draws statewide attention

Several years of professional development services are making a name for the City of Marble Falls.

“I am just plain proud of what I am seeing with the entire team at the city,” said Mayor John Packer.

Cities from all over the State of Texas have sought information from the city and the Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation (EDC) on best management practices, as well as implementing projects and planning.

“In the last month several outside agencies have contacted our Parks and Recreation Department to inquire about our master planning and implementation processes and practices,” said City Manager Mike Hodge. “In recent years, a number of other cities have called about or made onsite visits to discuss building a skate park or disc golf course.”

The city administration staff has received inquiries about the Coffee with the Mayor and Mingle with the Mayor Community Engagement Initiatives, as well as their social media practices and city website,
“Our Police and Communications Departments have been sought out by various agencies for their knowledge, skills and abilities with the Spillman Technologies Software System, including bar coding property evidence rooms, specific module use, software programming, other various functionalities and assistance with transition to the software,” Hodge added.

The professional development program that led to this statewide interest has been extensive.

The staff started with an in-depth study of John C. Maxwell’s book — “The 5 Levels of Leadership” —to gain insight on building a “Level 5” organization.

This year, the focus has been on defining leadership and the city’s “CORE Values.” The team completed a study of “Non-Negotiable,” a curriculum that details the endeavor by Happy State Bank to develop and live by the CORE Values of their organization.

When the executive team decided it was time to raise the bar, they took a good hard look at the city’s overall mission. as well as guiding principles. They reached out to staff in every department to find out why they do what they do and how they could make it better.

“Over the last several months, and as a result of a tremendous amount of outreach throughout the organization, a new 'Mission Statement' was born,” said Hodge. “It is one that every team member had a hand in creating. Currently, they are working on defining a fundamental set of CORE Values that will be integrated into every aspect of daily responsibilities to and interactions with the community.”

Both the Mission Statement and Core Values are set to be rolled out at the end of 2017.

This effort, combined with the city’s mentoring program, supervisory training and emerging leaders program are all integral efforts to establish a culture representative of a Level 5 Organization.

Contact from other agencies across the state is seen as evidence this commitment to a higher standard is beginning to pay off.

“The goal is to provide the best possible service to the people of Marble Falls,” said Packer. “They’re not just talking about it, they are working internally on exactly how to make that happen. I am encouraged by the direction of the leadership.

“Our vision is to help build a city that we can all be proud to be a part of, one with top notch services, practicing fiscal responsibility, with great quality of life amenities, and a strong sense of community,” said Hodge. “That is what we would like to see for the future of Marble Falls.”

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