All sessions will be held at the Hanger Hotel and Conference Center in Fredericksburg.
Thursday, May 7
Sessions are subject to change.
Registration and Continental Breakfast
Welcome and Overview
Eddie Daffern, Mayor, City of Staples and TML President; and
Linda Langerhans, Mayor, City of Fredericksburg
Opening Keynote: Four Things Every Small Town Needs to Succeed
What’s the number one thing you can do to help your small town thrive? Get the people who live there to fall more in love with it. In our opening session, Melody Warnick, author of This Is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are, will use statistics and stories to explain four simple strategies that will boost place attachment, well-being, economic growth, and talent attraction and retention where you live.
Melody Warnick, Journalist and Author
Plan for Prosperity
While many small towns throughout the nation are struggling, these communities are flourishing. Hear from our panel of small-town mayors and city managers on how they are overcoming challenges and planning for prosperity.
Economic Development for Small Towns
In this session, TML Legislative Counsel Bill Longley will talk about the basic legal requirements relating to the economic development tools available to Texas cities and how those tools can be used to strengthen your local economy.
Bill Longley, Legislative Counsel, Texas Municipal League
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Branding, Economic Development, and Resilience
Steven Pedigo, Director, LBJ Urban Lab
Cyber Risk, Avoiding Pitfalls
This session will discuss the complexities related to cyber risk and how to identify and treat the perils of transacting business.
Aaron Hardiman, Manager, Member Services, Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool
Don’t Mess with Texas: Water Edition
Small cities in Texas are faced with a wide variety of water infrastructure challenges that require carefully-tailored and affordable solutions. Director Brooke Paup will discuss the low-cost financing options that the Texas Water Development Board has to offer, in addition to the agency’s work in long-term water planning and water-related data and science.
Brooke T. Paup, Board Member, Texas Water Development Board
Recruiting and Retaining Big Talent: A Small Town Approach
We saved the best for last! Get ready to explore ideas on how to attract talented professionals to your small town. The topics of recruitment and compensation packages, as well as retention, will also be covered.
Brad Stafford, City Manager, City of Navasota
Friday, May 8
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. You’ll share solutions to some of your tougher issues and talk about the successful programs that are the talk of your town.
Moderator: Holly Gray-Moore, Mayor Pro-Tem, City of Roanoke
Top Legal Issues for Small Towns and Cities
TML legal staff will discuss hot legal topics, including new laws regarding public comment at your meetings, walking quorums, cybersecurity training, website posting requirements, game room regulations, and more.
Christy Drake-Adams, Assistant General Counsel, Texas Municipal League; and
Amber McKeon-Mueller, Assistant General Counsel, Texas Municipal League
Speaker and Topic TBD