The challenge of leading

The last 48 hours have been difficult to navigate, both politically and personally. On the one hand, the proposed contract extension for our city manager is something I strongly believe was in the best interest of the taxpayers. On the other hand, the taxpayers by-and-large didn’t agree.

Many of the comments were, as I see it, short-sighted. But I don’t believe they were off-base. I just have a different perspective. And that brings me to the question I have wrestled with since the day I was elected. Is it my job to support popular measures, or go with what I believe is right, even if most disagree? There’s no easy answer.

I want to thank those who spoke out against the contract. It was difficult to stomach, but nonetheless I appreciate feedback from our citizens. From day one I have tried to be as transparent and communicative as possible in my role on city council. That means I must embrace criticism. I have learned a great deal from this and will incorporate those lessons into how I lead moving forward.

We will go back to the drawing board with the contract. I know there are many perspectives on what that contract should include. You are welcome to share them as you have been all week.

Again, thank you for participating in our government. We are all fighting for the same thing – a beautiful and prosperous city. And that means we’re on the same team.

5 thoughts on “The challenge of leading”

  1. Educate the population. Inform them of the different proposals, the positive and negative impacts of all aspects. Don’t govern without the will and consent of the people. You only make wrong decisions with an uneducated populous.

  2. Travis, it seems to me that the problems with the proposal were:
    1. New idea and little or no public discussion
    2. Last month the additional $5 water bill fee basically because of lack of General Fund budget to expand the city services organization. This month apparently the council found $550,000 to buy a very expensive home. While the intricate financials would eventually work, it just struck working folks as wrong.
    3. An eight year contract for a city employee doesn’t seem to be appropriate. The current city manager corrected what had occurred before and for that he should be recognized/compensated. I think folks realized that taking all the proceeds from a bond issue and then paying interest when the funds were not needed was a bad idea.
    4. Texas is an “at will” employer as you know and we should not be doing long term contracts in the city organization. There should be rewards (pay increases for positive performance) and penalties for poor performance that are clearly outlined when a person is employed. Leadership in the council will change over the next eight years and it will need to have flexibility in who are their employees and how best to accomplish their vision.

    I think that innovation is needed and will be accepted, but it does need to be out front and transparent. I would hope that more effort can be made to encourage more commercial firms to be in Kyle and that is a role that the city council can provide the necessary vision and actions.

  3. Travis,

    I agree with Parker. You are doing an amazing job and as you know, its not an easy job. If it was truly a good deal, it should have been planed out better as far as how and what was communicated. How it was to be presented. Maybe had a meeting or two on public comments. You stated many times last night the optics stink. Your gut was right. Thats why the news organizations gravitated to it.

    A good friend once told me… Some times when stuff like this happens, treat it like bubble gum.. Chew the good (learn as much as you can from your situation) then spit it out. Keep doing the good we elected you to do! and as always, thank you for your service.

  4. I fear you began this piece with an erroneous supposition – that most of us disagreed with an extension of the city manager’s contract. I must have been reading different comments than you. By and large, everyone were in support of keeping Scott Sellers. People were FOR the city manager. They just felt building him the most expensive home in Kyle was excessive. People don’t like “excess” when it comes to spending their tax dollars.
    I know we all look forward to an improved communication on the city manager’s contract negotiations going forward.
    Listen to the people you represent on the Council. We are not “short-sighted.” We care very deeply about our community, as do you.
    Thank you very much for your service. We appreciate all that you do.
    Lila Knight

  5. Well said. If you want my opinion, you should make decisions on what you feel is right. Even if the majority disagree. Most of the time the masses are not informed enough and that leads to short sightedness. Do your best to educate and inform and then go with what you think is right. If you make enough bad decisions, you wont be reelected but at least you held your integrity instead of being blown away in the wind of popularity or trying to appease the mob even though they are wrong. Not that you did in this case, just advice for the tough road ahead.

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