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  • Thursday, May 19, 2016 4:32 PM | Deleted user

    Now I am probably the last guy to give anything close to management advice. In fact, I can give you a list of people whose wisdom is infinitely more deserving of your attention and imitation. But I have had the pleasure of making mistakes. Lots of them – good ones too! If there’s a silver lining, it’s that I’m the prime beneficiary of my own stupidity and I’ve learned (the hard way) to avoid repeating mistakes. As General Patton said, “I don’t pay for the same real estate twice”.

    If you’re like me, one of those mistakes is a tendency for us to fall in love with our own planning prowess. Our goals and intentions flow seamlessly into actions then into results. Standing in front of the starting line, there are no hiccups and no wildcard scenarios. Surely we’ve accounted for every contingency. We convince ourselves that the ecosystem that we operate in cannot penetrate our flawless designs.

    But we’re wrong and too many of us will wise up too far down the line. One of the best things I’ve come to realize in my short time in government is that no plan is too good to be amended or abandoned. Better yet, a plan that doesn’t change from start to finish is likely one that was carried blindly to conclusion. 

    If I can make a suggestion it’s this: set aside time to take stock of what is really going well, and conversely, what you had hoped would go well but isn’t. Do it sooner than you think you will need to – wayward ships don’t typically right themselves due to the passage of time. It’s a tough conversation, especially if you have to admit you were misguided. 

    The UMANT team recently did just that for our 2016 year. We recognized which plans were succeeding, and which were noble, but doomed efforts. Our goal for the second half of the year is to slowly bring these wayward ships back on course.  

    See an area that we can improve upon or change in the second half of 2016? Drop me a note at the email below.

    Ryan Adams

    Assistant to the City Manager, City of Irving 


  • Thursday, April 14, 2016 3:51 PM | Deleted user

    The Alliance is launching a new program called the Innovation Labs where local governments will share, collaborate, and adapt solutions to civic trust and engagement. The Texas Lab will be held on May 26 in Dallas.

    Register Here: http://transformgov.org/m/en/CalendarEvent/101409/TX_Innovation_Lab_Civic_Engagement_and_Trust_Panel

  • Wednesday, April 13, 2016 2:58 PM | Deleted user

    The University of North Texas is hosting an MPA Conference on April 29th at the Frisco Convention Center. Historically, this conference has been restricted to students and alumni, however this year the doors have been opened for anyone in the DFW local government profession to attend. It promises to be a big day for local govies.


    Beginning at 9:00am is the conference. With a theme focused around innovative ideas and how they shape and define local government, the agenda boasts some heavy hitting speakers – Karen Thoreson, President of the Alliance for Innovation and Bob O’Neill, ICMA Executive Director. 


    Following the conference, UMANT, in partnership with the UNT Public Administration Student Association is hosting a post-conference mixer. Join conference attendees for drinks, local government trivia, and professional networking. The mixer starts at 2pm at the Cyprus Lounge at Embassy Suites (just a short walk from the Convention Center). No registration required.


    Capping off the night is a ticketed event at the Frisco RoughRiders Baseball Game.  Join all your local government friends and take in a minor league game under the shade of an outfield tent. Tickets are only $20 with food included in the price! As an added bonus, Bob O’Neill will be throwing out the first pitch!  Grab your tickets at the UMANT website or click HERE.

    We hope to see you at one or all of these events!

  • Wednesday, April 13, 2016 2:57 PM | Deleted user

    You may have seen that UMANT has become more purposeful about posting updated job listings. We’re not bad at finding all the job openings available in North Texas, however we need your help to make sure our members are fully aware of what job opportunities are available. If you have a job open in your organization or know about a job opportunity – let us know! We’re happy to post it on our website. Just email info@umant.com.

  • Wednesday, April 13, 2016 2:57 PM | Deleted user

    Just a reminder that UMANT, in partnership with ELGL.org, is providing you with webinars to ensure you are using technology to make your life easier! Two webinars are coming up. First, on April 21, the webinar will review Google Alerts – a powerful tool that gives you a heads up when certain terms or words are mentioned anywhere on the web. On May 19, the webinar will review Publisher and Canva. This one is for those of us who don’t know Photoshop, but need to create high quality digital images for social media. Register for both of these and future events HERE.

  • Wednesday, April 13, 2016 2:56 PM | Deleted user

    Just a quick note to our March 30th Leadership Luncheon speakers. David Cooke, Jim Parajon, Cris Gilbert, and Stephen Booher – you were all phenomenal and we are so thankful for your time and wisdom.

  • Wednesday, April 13, 2016 2:55 PM | Deleted user

    The Texas City Management Association put out a call for volunteers to serve on TCMA committees, specifically the Advocacy, Ethics, Membership, Nominating, and Professional Development committees.

    This is an important opportunity for the emerging local government leaders, UMANT membership especially, to let their voice be heard at the state level. This organization, represents all levels of city management in Texas, however the representation on its committees isn’t’ quite so broad. UMANT encourages its members who are TCMA members to volunteer for a committee and help steer the future of the organization, a future we will all inherit, toward the best possible direction.

    Committee commitments will begin at the end of the 2016 TCMA Annual Conference and conclude at the end of the 2017 TCMA Annual Conference. For more committee information, visit tcma.org. To volunteer for a committee, email Kim Pendergraft at Kim@tml.org.  

  • Wednesday, April 13, 2016 2:54 PM | Deleted user

    Who wants to carry our banner? ICMA has asked UMANT to nominate a member to serve on its 2017 Conference Planning Committee. The Committee has an orientation at the 2016 Conference in Kansas City with the main meeting occurring Dec. 2-4, 2016 in San Antonio. While attendance at these events is not required, it is encouraged. If you are interested in serving as UMANT’s representative, please email info@umant.com.

  • Wednesday, March 16, 2016 9:41 AM | Deleted user

    As part of our 2016 effort to grow UMANT, one of our chief priorities this year is to really take a look at our member roster to understand who exactly our members are and start the conversation of how we can deliver what they expect from a professional organization. 

    As an added benefit, we would get a baseline for how many members we have at the beginning of the year and have something of a starting point to compare to at the end of the year. We want to be an organization that local government professionals in North Texas flock to, and we’re working hard to live up to that expectation of ourselves.

    Funny thing. Once we started looking at our members, we found that quite a few were…shall we say…a bit delinquent on dues. 

    In full disclosure, we should have been more on top of our roster and kept better contact with our members. We should have called to double check, knowing that some people want to stay members and just forgot to renew, and others have moved on and want to ride off into the sunset. Well, we’re making up for that in the next two weeks. 

    We’ve set a goal that by March 31, we are pulling all of our overdue members out of purgatory by either bringing them back into UMANT as a current member, or saying our farewells and wishing them the best; though we hope our prodigal members will choose to stick with UMANT and enjoy all that our organization has to offer in 2016.

    What does this mean to you? Well, if your membership has lapsed, you’ll be getting a call or email from someone on the UMANT executive committee. Don’t wait for us though! Head over to www.umant.com, login, and check your member status to see if you’re overdue.

    If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to someone on your 2016 Executive Committee.

  • Monday, February 15, 2016 11:52 AM | Deleted user

    There's a gathering looming in our future.  It comes as no surprise to most of us that North Texas is one of the fastest growing regions for the local government profession.  With three MPA schools in our backyard, a booming population, regional municipalities are quickly growing in size and number.

    Amazingly, but for a few select occasions, local govies across the region rarely get together for outside of a conference.  Once in a blue moon, professional airs are set aside and we all get together to talk a little shop, have a few laughs, and remember that one of the pleasures of our profession is the people who share it with us.

    In two weeks, one of those nights is upon us.  UMANT is teaming up with NTCMA - something we haven't done in over two years - for a night on the town a the Messina Hof Winery in Grapevine.

    Besides wine, food, local government trivia and awards, this event is your opportunity to get to know your peers outside of the city halls and conference hotels.  Its your chance to get to know each other as individuals who you can share a laugh with and call upon later for support.

    Don’t miss this event because a gathering like this won't come around again for a while.

    Get registered here today!

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