All sessions will be held at the Lake Granbury Conference Center in Granbury.
Thursday, May 16
Sessions are subject to change.
Registration and Continental Breakfast
Welcome and Overview
John B. Love III, CMO, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Midland, and TML President
Trish Reiner, Councilmember, City of Granbury
The Unique Character of Texas Small Towns
Chet Garner, host and creator of PBS’s The Daytripper, will share his experiences from the road about what makes a small town special.
Plan for Prosperity
While many small towns throughout the nation are struggling, these communities are flourishing. Join our panel of officials from small cities in Texas to discuss how they plan for growth and prosperity.
Stan Farmer, City Manager, City of Horseshoe Bay; Michael Kovacs, City Manager, City of Fate; Connie Schroeder, CMO, Mayor, City of Bastrop
Handout Kovacs Handout Schroeder
Economic Development for Small Towns
In this session, municipal law expert Christopher Nichols will provide an overview of the basic legal requirements relating to the economic development tools that are available to Texas cities, and how those tools may be used to strengthen your local economy.
Christopher Nichols, Managing Attorney, The Nichols Firm
11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Water Projects and Funding
Texas has always been associated with opportunity and growth, and our water resources are at the heart of that reputation. Learn how the Texas Water Development Board’s financing tools can help your city accomplish your projects and achieve your infrastructure goals.
Caaren Skrobarczyk, Manager, Brazos Region, Texas Water Development Board
Funding Your Town’s Transportation Projects
Texas transportation faces challenges from population growth, deteriorating infrastructure, and rapidly rising road construction costs. Cities are shouldering more costs historically covered by state and federal governments which can be especially difficult for small cities with limited funding resources. Explore ways to fund your town’s projects and initiatives in this primer on transportation funding.
Brian R. Barth, P.E., Director of Project Planning and Development, Texas Department of Transportation
Strategic Facility Planning for Small Cities
Many small cities face overwhelming infrastructure and facilities problems that outpace funding. Because of that, they often struggle to consider priorities across infrastructure platforms. Should we build that park or fix that street? Should we focus on the police station or fire hydrants? How much money will we need and when? A strategic facilities plan can help you inventory your needs, set goals based on your vision, and create an affordable work plan for projects. Find out how this breakthrough process can prepare your city for the future.
Casey Sledge, PE, CFM, President, Sledge Engineering, LLC
Friday, May 17
Breakfast Roundtable – What’s Working in Your Community
Get up early to join this lively breakfast discussion about the projects and programs that are working in small cities across Texas. Live Oak Mayor Mary M. Dennis will invite you to share solutions to some of your tougher issues and talk about the successful programs that are the talk of your town.
Moderator: Mary M. Dennis, CMO, Mayor, City of Live Oak and Past TML President
Top Legal Issues for Small Towns and Cities
You’ve got questions, and our legal experts have the answers. Bring the questions you’ve always wanted answered, and leave this session with a clearer understanding of the legal issues that affect small cities.
Mick McKamie, Partner, and Wayne Olson, Founding Partner
Taylor Olson Adkins Sralla & Elam LLP
Closing Session: Facing Challenges, Seeing Opportunities
Dr. Christine Nix is accustomed to breaking barriers and battling adversity. She spent 25 years in law enforcement and was the first and only African-American female to be promoted to Texas Ranger in the history of the Texas Department of Public Safety. Nix believes that if you do your job right and treat people with fairness and dignity, they will respect what you do. Attend this closing session to hear how to lean into your challenges and find purpose.
Christine Nix, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, University of Mary-Hardin Baylor