Jacksonville officials attend conference, return with inspiration

Released by the City of Jacksonville:

JACKSONVILLE, TX - Hoping to draw from the experience of others in city government, several Jacksonville officials were in Fort Worth last week to attend the 97th Texas Municipal League Annual Conference and Exhibition. Mayor Robert Haberle, Councilmen Jeff Smith and Rob Beall and City Manager Mo Raissi represented the city at the 2009 conference.

The meeting provided an opportunity for city officials to attend workshops addressing leadership principles, ethical responsibilities, utility issues, communication skills, technological implementation and a variety of other municipal issues.

"They offer classes pertaining to various challenges and problems that municipalities face, and they give you some solutions you can take home and use to handle those challenges," Haberle said. "It's a great opportunity for us to visit with officials from other cities across Texas and learn how they coped with the challenges Jacksonville is facing today."

The mayor said he focused mostly on breakout sessions covering leadership and management topics, but he did also participate in the "Texas Multicultural Future: Crisis or Opportunity?" class.

Earlier this month, Haberle was elected to represent Region 15 on the TML executive board during Calendar Year 2010, and last week was his first meeting with his fellow board members. The board determines the positions TML adopts regarding legislation which impacts the interests of municipalities.

TML is a voluntary association of more than 1,200 Texas cities. More than 4,000 city officials, guests and exhibitors attended the conference this year.

"This event really helps equip you for problem solving in your community, and it is always really helpful to talk to so many people who have gone through what we are going through and who can tell you what their best practices have been," Haberle said. "I always come back from these conferences with new inspiration and a new focus to tackle the challenges that Jacksonville faces."