Texas Border Business
During the 2021 Texas Municipal League (TML) Annual Conference and Exhibition in Houston, the City of McAllen received a 2021 Municipal Excellence Award in Management Innovations for Cities Over 25,000 in population. The award recognized the city for producing and hosting a Census Telethon.
McAllen organized a committee of business and community leaders to provide 2020 Census outreach. When the COVID-19 pandemic halted outreach plans, the committee created a safe, virtual event: a 12-hour Census Telethon. The event was produced by the City of McAllen and broadcast on MCN 1300, it’s P.E.G. channel and social media platforms. During the event, city employees, along with local and state officials took calls, musicians performed, and important public service announcements were shown. The City of McAllen showed a final, unofficial response rate of 99.7 percent to the Census, highlighting the success of the City’s outreach.
On hand at the Conference to accept the award were members of the McAllen City Commission, City managers and staff.
“I am really proud to win this award because this project, more than any other, was a true team effort by every department and employees of the City of McAllen,” said McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez, P.E. “Additionally, the goal of the Census Telethon was to increase participation of not just McAllen residents, but the entire Rio Grande Valley, for the benefit of the entire region. That is a true win-win effort.”
TML’s Municipal Excellence Awards recognize and encourage the achievements of Texas cities in meeting the challenge of municipal governance. 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. Awards are given in two population categories – Under 25,000 and Over 25,000 – and five areas – Management Innovations, Communication Programs, City Spirit, Public Safety, and Public Works.
Additionally, the McAllen City Commissioners and City Managers presented at the conference, recapping their recognition earlier this year as the Texas City Managers Association (TCMA) City Council of the Year in Texas. The award highlighted the Commission’s focus and dedication to moving projects forward while keeping employees and the community safe and informed during a difficult 2020 for the residents of McAllen that included the loss of two police officers in the line of duty, a hurricane, the pandemic, and winter storm. TCMA is a division of TML.
This win comes on the heels of the City of McAllen’s Office of Communication winning two TAMI Awards and two Awards of Honor at the annual Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO), also a division of TML.